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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, long-term.

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

More on Refrigerators

As part of our annual 2018 Spring Survey, we asked CR members about more than 65,000 refrigerators (with icemakers) that they’d purchased between 2008 and 2018. 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 take-away from the survey: Brand reliability varies by configuration. For example, Frigidaire top-freezers rated an Excellent for predicted reliability, but Frigidaire French-doors rated a Poor.

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 7 percent of refrigerators in CR’s survey are top-freezers.

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

Within the category, eight of the 10 brands earned an Excellent rating for predicted reliability: Amana, Frigidaire, Ikea (made by Whirlpool), Kenmore, LG, Maytag, Westinghouse, and Whirlpool. But only LG received a positive owner satisfaction rating (earning a middle-of-the-road Good), making it the best top-freezer brand to choose.

GE and Hotpoint top-freezers got Very Good ratings for predicted reliability but rated a Poor for owner satisfaction. As for Samsung, the brand is so new to the category that we don’t yet have enough survey data to provide ratings.

See our top-performing top-freezer refrigerators.

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