Best Side-by-Side Refrigerators of 2022

Easy access to fresh-food and freezer compartments gives these top-performing models their appeal

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Kitchen Photo: Getty Images

When you’re shopping for a new refrigerator, you’ll see far more French-door models than side-by-sides.

It wasn’t always that way. Side-by-sides were once the refrigerator style Americans favored. But in Consumer Reports’ latest survey results, 64 percent of new refrigerators bought by CR members from the beginning of 2020 through the first half of 2021 were French-door models. Side-by-sides have the next largest share at just 20 percent. (Top-freezers, bottom-freezers, and built-ins make up the rest of the pie with a combined 16 percent.)

But there are still plenty of good reasons to consider a side-by-side, which has tall and narrow dedicated compartments for fresh and frozen food:

  • Side-by-side refrigerators are typically less expensive than French-door models.
  • More and more side-by-sides have many of the premium features typically found in French-door refrigerators, such as door-in-door designs.
  • The narrow doors of side-by-sides are easier to open in tight kitchens.
  • They often cost less to repair, with a median out-of-pocket cost of $209 vs. $250 for French-door fridges, according to our 2021 survey.
More on Refrigerators

“Side-by-sides let you put some fresh food and some frozen items at eye level, meaning you won’t have to bend over as much as you would with a top- or bottom-freezer,” says Larry Ciufo, who tests refrigerators at CR. “But the narrow compartments can make it difficult to store certain items, such as frozen pizza boxes.”

To test each refrigerator that enters our labs, we outfit it with thermocouples in a climate-controlled chamber and monitor it for a month, collecting more than 5.4 million temperature readings that identify warm and cold spots, to determine which models will keep food fresh longer. We also factor in survey data from thousands of CR members to judge brand reliability and satisfaction. All that data—and then some—informs CR’s refrigerator ratings charts and each model’s Overall Score.

For more information on shopping for a refrigerator, read our free refrigerator buying guide. CR members with digital access can read on for ratings and reviews of six standout side-by-side refrigerators, in both 33-inch and 36-inch widths, in rank order. They include fridges made by Amana, GE, and LG.

Best 33-Inch-Wide Side-by-Sides

Best 36-Inch-Wide Side-by-Sides

Home Content Creator Daniel Wroclawski

Daniel Wroclawski

I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).