Stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator in white cabinetry

6 Common Types of Refrigerators

The refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home and a true workhorse. Whether you’re replacing an old model, moving into a new home, or just need a second refrigerator for more storage, buying a new fridge can be intimidating. With the many different types of refrigerators on the market, this guide can help you find a model that will work hard for you.

Stainless steel appliances in open kitchen with white cabinets Stainless steel appliances in open kitchen with white cabinets


First, you’ll need to pick a refrigerator style. There are many to choose from, so we’ve broken down each one to help you decide the style that’s right for you.

Top-freezer refrigerator in kitchen with white cabinets and granite countertops Top-freezer refrigerator in kitchen with white cabinets and granite countertops

Top-Freezer Refrigerators

Top-freezer refrigerators provide plenty of capacity in both the freezer and the refrigerator and come in a range of sizes. These types of fridges typically skip the bells and whistles, delivering only the essential features.

A classic choice and typically the most affordable, the top freezer places the refrigerator below the freezer.

Shop Maytag® Top-Freezer Refrigerators

Maytag brand combines the classic style and durability of a top-freezer refrigerator with the features you need to keep your food cold and organized. BrightSeries™ LED lighting on select Maytag® top-freezer refrigerators makes it easy to find what you’re looking for while the PowerCold® feature on select models can quickly cool the refrigerator with the touch of a button.

Birds-eye view of empty bottom freezer on bottom-freezer refrigerator Birds-eye view of empty bottom freezer on bottom-freezer refrigerator

Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators

A bottom-freezer refrigerator makes the fridge easier to access by placing the freezer on the bottom. This configuration allows you to put fresh foods right at eye level and typically includes a refrigerator compartment that’s larger than the freezer compartment. Learn more about the differences between top and bottom mount fridges.

Stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator with built-in ice and water dispenser Stainless steel side-by-side refrigerator with built-in ice and water dispenser

Side-by-Side Refrigerators

Positioning the freezer on the left and the refrigerator on the right, the side-by-side fridge delivers quick access to both fresh and frozen food. These models often have in-door ice and water dispensers as well as ample door storage. If you like to stock up on frozen food, this style offers slightly more freezer capacity than other styles.

Shop Maytag® Side-by-Side Refrigerators

A great fit for small kitchens, Maytag® side-by-side refrigerators pack plenty of cooling power and capacity into a configuration that keeps fresh and frozen foods at the same level. Select models include features like the Store-N-Door® ice dispensing system that frees up shelf space in the refrigerator, or humidity-controlled FreshLock™ crispers that help keep foods fresh.

Person loading food into French door refrigerator Person loading food into French door refrigerator

French Door Refrigerators

With two half-width doors and a space-maximizing layout, this large-capacity fridge style helps you see what you’re working with and grab what you need. Many french door fridges come with a drawer-style freezer, and some even have french-door style freezers. They usually have the most high-end features and are great for large households. Compare side-by-side and french door fridges to explore key differences.

Shop Maytag® French Door Refrigerators

Maytag® French door refrigerators make it easy to organize all of your family’s favorites. With the Wide-N-Fresh™ deli drawer on select models, you can finally fit those large party platters and deli trays in a convenient location. Plus, you can opt for a model with a fingerprint resistant stainless steel finish that’s as easy to clean as it is durable.

Counter-depth side-by-side refrigerator in kitchen with white cabinets Counter-depth side-by-side refrigerator in kitchen with white cabinets

Counter-Depth Refrigerators

Designed for a streamlined look, counter-depth refrigerators are built to be flush with countertops. Typically under 30 inches deep, what it lacks in depth it makes up for in width and height, offering the same amount of storage space as other styles of refrigerators.

Built-In Refrigerators

Built-in refrigerators are installed inside of cabinets and offer a premium, seamlessly integrated look in the kitchen. Like counter-depth refrigerators, these models commonly come in French door and side-by-side configurations and are available in a range of sizes. These refrigerators also come with a panel-ready exterior you can customize to match your cabinets.

Person opening refrigerator door Person opening refrigerator door

What Else to Consider When Choosing a Refrigerator

Once you’ve picked a style, you’ll need to consider things like budget, size, features, trends and storage. Check out the full refrigerator buying guide from Maytag brand for more in-depth information.

Here’s what to look out for when you’re choosing between models:

How Much Will a Fridge Cost?

The average cost of a new refrigerator is usually around $1,000 to $3,000 but can range between $750 all the way up to $10,000 for more specialty models. Prices vary by style, going up in the following order: top-freezer, bottom-freezer, side-by-side, french door, counter depth, then built-in.

What Size Fridge Should I Get?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all, refrigerator sizes are fairly standardized. Make sure to be as accurate as possible when measuring your fridge cutout to make sure you come home with the right fit. Learn the right way to measure with the Ultimate Fridge Size Guide

What is the Most Common Type of Refrigerator?

Refrigerators vary by configuration and installation type, with freestanding models occupying kitchens in most homes. Side-by-side refrigerators are among the most popular configurations, offering slightly more freezer capacity than French door models and equipped with narrow doors that are ideal for tight spaces.

Choosing Between Refrigerator Features

When thinking about your next refrigerator, think of the features you use the most now, as well as new ones that could upgrade your experience. Things like in-door ice and water dispensers, specialized storage compartments and fast cooling technology like PowerCold® by Maytag brand, are some features to look for when choosing a new refrigerator.

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Organization is Key

No matter which type of refrigerator you go with, an unorganized refrigerator will never truly check all the boxes. Try to create an organization system built around the items you use most, placing them front and center with lesser-used items on the outside of the fridge. Learn more in Maytag brand’s guide to refrigerator organization.

Which Refrigerator Will Look Best?

It’s always great to have a stand-out fridge for its features, but not when it doesn’t match your kitchen. Think about the color and finish you’ll want that best matches the other appliances you already have. The most common appliance colors are white, black and silver, with many of them coming in a fingerprint resistant finish too, like Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel by Maytag brand.

How Much Fridge Storage Do You Need?

The storage capacity will change based on the size of the refrigerator you need. If you have a larger household, you may want to invest in a larger fridge. Full-size refrigerators range between 18 and 32 cubic feet, so keep in mind the size of your kitchen and what you can reasonably fit. Learn about large capacity refrigerators with this guide from Maytag brand.


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