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French Door vs. Side by Side Fridge

Read on to learn more about these two and evaluate their differences in order to best determine which type of refrigerator is right for you.

Which One Is Right for You?

The French door fridge and side by side fridge are viewed by many as sleeker and more sophisticated options than the traditional top freezer refrigerator. Even though they might look similar to one another at first glance, they aren't near identical.
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What Is a French Door Fridge?

French door fridges came to market in the late 1990s, and are now extremely popular and sought-after models for modern kitchens. Like French doors in a home, a French door refrigerator has double doors that open at the middle to reveal wide shelving inside and a freezer drawer that slides out underneath. Some of the higher end options contain built-in water and ice dispensers, and others (like Samsung styles) offer options with touch screens and even smart hubs.
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Pros of a French Door Fridge

French door refrigerators are an extremely attractive option for the kitchen, and for good reason. Here are just a few of the benefits of a French door refrigerator:
  • Their modern design—often with a stainless steel finish—offers a sleek, elegant look to any kitchen.
  • The wider dimensions allow for storage of larger food items, like sizable storage containers and large serving trays. If you often host dinner guests, this could be a major benefit for you.
  • The open shelving design allows you to easily see what's in your fridge, helping to eliminate food waste and forgotten items.
  • Thoughtful storage solutions allow you to adjust the shelf height, as well as find creative places (like the doors) to keep beverages and/or condiments.
  • With a design that keeps all of your fresh foods and produce at eye level, you won't have to bend as much to access what you need for food prep.
French door fridges are excellent options for people who often prepare meals for large groups, where serving trays and easy access to fresh produce are beneficial.

Cons of a French Door Fridge

While French door refrigerators have many benefits, depending on your budget and how you use your refrigerator, there could be some drawbacks as well.
  • French door fridges are beautiful, spacious, premium options for kitchen appliances and that means they generally come with a steep price tag that doesn't necessarily fall within everyone's reno budget.
  • Door storage in French door refrigerators can be quite narrow, forcing you to use the main space for items like large beverage containers.
  • If you often dine on prepackaged meals or other freezer items, the bottom drawer might be less convenient for you to access regularly. The pullout feature also doesn't have the same sophisticated shelving as the main compartment.

What Is a Side by Side Fridge?

A side by side refrigerator has top to bottom shelving on both sides, with one side serving as a freezer space and the other as the refrigerator. Generally, the refrigerator side is larger than the freezer side. Whirlpool and other kitchen appliance brands offer options that include ice and water dispensers.
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Pros of a Side by Side Fridge

Side by side fridges are another popular choice for both traditional and modern kitchens due to their classic appearance. Here are some common reasons people opt for this style:
  • Their slim shape means it can fit comfortably, even in smaller kitchen spaces.
  • Proportionally, side by side refrigerators have more freezer space than French door fridges. Freezer storage can also be easier due to the top to bottom shelving options.
  • Shelving on both sides means that items can generally be accessed without needing to bend deeply or dig through stacked containers to find what you're looking for.
  • More sizable door storage means larger containers (like gallons of milk or liter bottles of soda) can be set to the side within the door.
Side by side fridges are well-suited for those who might have limited width in their kitchen to work with, as well as for those who may have trouble bending to get to the items in their fridge or freezer.

Cons of a Side by Side Fridge

While the side by side fridge is a popular option, depending on your needs, they could have some deal-breaking disadvantages.
  • The slim design of a side by side fridge is great for those looking for a space saving option, but could be difficult for storage if you prepare food in wide containers and large volumes.
  • Since side by side refrigerators have proportionally more freezer space, this could be limiting for those who like to keep a lot of fresh produce in their fridge.

How to Choose What's Best for You?

While side by side fridges and French door fridges are both attractive options for a kitchen upgrade, each has its own list of advantages and disadvantages. Think about your lifestyle and your family's unique needs to help you decide which style is best for you.

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