Most and Least Reliable Refrigerator Brands

Consumer Reports' latest survey results can help you avoid aggravating repairs

When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions. 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our nonprofit mission. Learn more.

Modern kitchen with stainless steel refrigerator Photo: iStock

It takes four weeks in Consumer Reports’ temperature-controlled test chamber to collect all the temperature data that goes into scoring each fridge in our refrigerator ratings. And that’s not counting our evaluations for storage capacity, energy efficiency, ease of use, and more.

But using a refrigerator for one month is a far cry, of course, from relying on one for 10 years, the median expected lifespan for a newly purchased refrigerator, according to CR member surveys. If you’re in the market for a new fridge, you want it to last for years to come—and you want to be happy with your purchase.

“That’s one of the reasons we incorporate reliability and satisfaction data from our annual surveys directly into our overall refrigerator scores,” says Simon Slater, CR’s associate director of survey research.

More on Refrigerators

As part of our annual member surveys, we asked CR members about more than 130,000 refrigerators (with icemakers) they’d purchased between 2010 and 2020. The results inform CR’s predicted reliability and owner satisfaction ratings in our refrigerator ratings charts. They’re grouped by refrigerator type—top-freezers, bottom-freezers, French-doors, side-by-sides, and built-ins. The brands in the survey include Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore, KitchenAid, LG, Maytag, Samsung, and Whirlpool.

One major takeaway from the survey: Brand reliability varies by configuration. For example, Frigidaire top-freezers earned an Excellent rating for predicted reliability, but Frigidaire French-doors received only a Fair score.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the winners and losers among brands across the major refrigerator categories.

Top-Freezers

Short on style and features, this traditional configuration offers the best value. Only 5 percent of refrigerators in CR’s survey are top-freezers.

Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.