Consumer Reports' extensive tests will help you find the refrigerator with the best combination of storage capacity, temperature control, efficiency, and convenience features. But you also want your next refrigerator to last for years to come. That's where the survey team from our National Research Center comes in.

As part of our 2016 Winter Product Reliability Survey, our survey experts asked more than 46,000 readers who bought a new refrigerator between 2010 and 2016 about their experiences thus far with the appliance. The results inform our latest refrigerator brand reliability charts, which are arranged by refrigerator type—French door, side-by-side, top-freezer, and bottom-freezer. 

Overall Satisfaction Is High
One bright spot from the report is the high satisfaction with reliability among all survey respondents, with 55 percent reporting complete satisfaction and 25 percent saying they are very satisfied with their purchase. Across all configurations, LG topped the chart with with 84 percent of its owners being either completely or very satisfied. Also close to the top were Samsung (82 percent) and Kenmore (81 percent). KitchenAid landed at the bottom of the chart with a 75 percent score. 

It's important to note, however, that brand reliability varies by configuration. Here’s a breakdown of the winners and losers across the major categories.



French-Door Bottom-Freezers

This configuration, which places fresh-food items at eye level behind side-by-side doors, has become the most popular refrigerator type in recent years. That’s confirmed by our survey, in which 54 percent of respondents reported having a French-door bottom-freezer.      

If you’re looking to join the crowd, consider the Kenmore brand, whose French-door refrigerators with icemakers were more reliable than Maytag, KitchenAid, and Whirlpool French-door refrigerators with icemakers. The Kenmore Elite 74093, $2,800, earns one of the top scores in our Ratings of more than 300 refrigerator models, combining excellent temperature performance, energy efficiency, and quietness.

Side-by-Sides

Nearly a quarter of respondents said they purchased this type of refrigerator, which is ideal for small spaces thanks to its narrow swinging doors; the ample vertical freezer storage is also preferred by some consumers. Our survey didn’t turn up any meaningful differences in reliability from one brand to the next, so you should base your decision on performance and features. Two models from Samsung—the Samsung RS25H5121SR, $1,900 and the Samsung RH25H5611SR, $1,500—are our current chart toppers.

Top-Freezers

This traditional refrigerator type tends to be short on style and features, but it still offers the best value. In our survey, it was selected by 16 percent of respondents. Maytag and Frigidaire were less repair-prone than Kenmore and GE. The Frigidaire Gallery FGHI2164QF is a top pick that costs about $1,000. Though it just missed our recommended list, the Maytag MRT711BZDM offers solid performance and a generous 21.2 cubic feet of claimed storage capacity.  

There’s a lot of data to wrap your head around from this latest reliability survey. But our refrigerator reliability charts make it easy to compare brands at a glance, and then cross-reference the standouts with top picks from our performance-based Ratings. With the right due diligence, your chances of total satisfaction will go way up.