Most and Least Reliable Refrigerator Brands

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

A refrigerator shown in a modern kitchen.

Consumer Reports’ extensive lab tests will help you find the refrigerator with the best combination of storage capacity, temperature control, efficiency, and ease of use. But you also want your next refrigerator 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.

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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-freezer, bottom-freezer, French-door, side-by-side, and built-in. 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 earn an Excellent rating for predicted reliability, but Frigidaire French-doors receive 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.

Top-freezers, as a category, have the highest predicted reliability. Despite these high marks, most top-freezer brands are rated low in terms of owner satisfaction.

Within the category, seven of the nine brands earned an Excellent rating for predicted reliability: Amana, Frigidaire, Kenmore, LG, Maytag, Samsung, and Whirlpool. But only LG received a positive owner satisfaction rating (earning a Very Good), making it the best top-freezer brand to choose.

GE and Hotpoint top-freezers got Very Good ratings for predicted reliability, but both brands received Poor ratings for owner satisfaction.

See our top-performing top-freezer refrigerators.

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