HOW TO BUY GUIDE

LEARN ABOUT REFRIGERATORS

When determining which refrigerator you should buy, follow the advice in this guide to decide which style, size and features might make the most sense for your household.

SIZE

There isn't one standard refrigerator size. When shopping for a new fridge, you need to understand the space you have to work with.

After deciding where it will go, consider the following:

  • Height restrictions
  • Width restrictions
  • Depth restrictions
  • Swing space
  • Path of delivery

Before getting too far into shopping for a fridge, measure the area where the fridge will be installed and consider the size that makes sense for your needs.

Here are some key points to consider when measuring your space:

  • Take height, width and depth measurements of the cutout where the fridge will stand and compare them to the product's listed dimensions.
  • Make sure to leave space on all sides of the refrigerator to accommodate cords and hoses and provide adequate airflow: at least 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) on the sides and top of the refrigerator and at least 1 full inch (2.5 cm) behind.
  • Pay attention to a refrigerator's depth measurements with the door closed and open to ensure space for a full door swing out without hitting cabinets, walls or an island.
  • Measure the doorways and pathways that the refrigerator will travel on its way to the kitchen before installation.

Some helpful reminders:

  • Always follow your appliance use and care and installation instructions, as they are your primary source of information.
  • The best advice is to always measure twice!

Free-Standing Fridges

Free-standing fridges offer both standard and counter-depth options to meet your style and storage needs. They are typically easier to install and are generally more affordable than a built-in model. Typically, no custom cabinetry is required for free-standing refrigerators. Most common configurations are: Top Freezer, Bottom Freezer, Side-by-Side and French Door.

Standard Depth

This is a popular choice for families in need of more fridge and/or freezer space. The fridge slightly protrudes from the counter. This style is considered to be a more cost effective option. Choose from a variety of options to find one that suits your needs!

Counter Depth

This style gives the appearance of being built in, providing a sleek, seamless style ideal for modern kitchens - but often less costly than actual built-in models. This style allows for optimal traffic flow in the kitchen since the fridge doesn’t stick out. It also allows for doors to swing wide open without a cabinet or counter getting in the way.

Built-In Fridges

Generally, built-In refrigerators are taller than standard models to make up for the space lost in depth. They also typically offer widths up to 48 inches (122cm) to meet your storage needs.

Come in a variety of styles like French Door, Bottom Freezers and Side-by-Side.

This style is commonly designed to more seamlessly integrate with your existing kitchen. It is often a costlier option because the fridge is built into cabinets which may require custom designed cabinetry and a professional to perform the installation. 

It can either be a flush or non-flush install. In a flush installation, the front of the refrigerator sits flush or in line with the surrounding cabinetry. With a non-flush install, the doors will protrude slightly from the surrounding cabinetry or countertop.

KitchenAid offers a FIT System Limited Guarantee on new qualifying 36", 42" or 48" wide KitchenAid® built-in refrigerators, guaranteeing the qualifying model will fit your existing cabinet cut-out of a compatible model (excludes column refrigerators and custom wood panels) or KitchenAid will provide up to $300 toward the cost of professionally modifying your cabinet’s height or width.

 

*Time limited offer. Offer subject to change or cancellation without prior notice. Learn More

Once you have chosen a size and layout that will work for your kitchen, household and lifestyle, you should start thinking about style. The options listed all have a freezer but can differ based on where the freezer is located. 

 

This is also another opportunity to choose a refrigerator that fits your taste and the current look of your kitchen.

Style/Configuration

Give thought to where you feel a freezer would be most conveniently placed on a fridge.

Top Freezer Refrigerators

  • Freezer is located at the top of the fridge.
  • Classic design and generally a lower price point
  • Reversible door option, with the ability to open from the left or right, depending on preference and flow of the kitchen
  • Typical total refrigerator/freezer volume can range from 10-21 cubic feet.
  • Usually available in 24" (61cm) , 28” (71 cm) and 30" (76.2 cm) and 33"(82.8 cm)  widths.

KitchenAid does not offer Top Freezer refrigerators

 

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

  • Freezer is located at the bottom of the fridge.
  • Freezer door can swing open from either the left or right or be a pull out drawer style.
  • Options for the fridge door to open from either the left or right based on your preference and flow of the kitchen.
  • Keeps fresh food at eye level in the refrigerator compartment.
  • Typically, a bottom freezer is larger than a top freezer and has tiered storage baskets.  This can be useful if you store a lot of frozen foods.
  • Usually 19-22 cubic feet of total refrigerator/freezer volume with small space options at 12 cubic feet.
  • Usually available in 24" (61cm) , 28” (71 cm) and 30" (76.2 cm) and 33"(82.8 cm)  widths.

French Door Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

  • A typical French Door bottom freezer refrigerator has two doors (that open independently) to access the refrigerator compartment at the top with the freezer located below, that pulls out.
  • There are also 4-door and 5-door options available with easy-to-access external drawers. You can store snacks where you can reach them without opening the main doors.
  • Designed to allow you to open only one side at a time. This ensures that the entire fridge compartment doesn’t cool down each time a door is opened.
  • Keeps fresh food at eye level in the refrigerator compartment.
  • Models with two doors are narrower and therefore require less room to open, which can be helpful in a tighter kitchen space.
  • French door fridges are considered a higher end choice because they usually have the most features.
  • Pantry-like layout and specialized storage compartments help keep food more visible and accessible.
  • Typically 20-28 cubic feet of total volume.
  • Usually available in 30" (76.2 cm), 33" (83.8cm), 36" (91.4 cm) widths. Select widths also offer counter depth options.

Side By Side Refrigerators

  • Two separate full-height compartments (freezer and fridge), each with its own door.
  • Can offer more freezer space (great for families who buy more freezer items).
  • Easily access freezer foods.
  • Offer adjustable shelves and door bins to help keep everything organized.
  • With each compartment’s smaller width capacity, it may be difficult to fit wide trays and platters.
  • Typically 20-26 cubic feet of total volume.
  • Usually available in 33" (83.8 cm) and 36" (91.4 cm) widths. Select widths also offer counter depth options.

Now that you’ve decided on the size and style, it’s time to turn your attention to the finishing touches. What is your preferred finish for your refrigerator? Is matching to the rest of your appliances important? Do you want something that is easier to maintain? Answer these questions to determine your ideal finish!

Finish/Colour

Browse finishes and colour options to find the right fit for your taste and current kitchen design.

Stainless Steel

Options available for fingerprint resistant finishes, making it easy to clean and maintain.

Black Stainless Steel

Beautiful modern take on the traditional stainless steel design. Options available for fingerprint resistant finishes.

White

Classic design.

Black

Classic design.

Not offered by KitchenAid

Panel Ready Built In

If you go with a panel ready built-in option, you can customize your refrigerator to match your kitchen panels / cabinet doors.

Internal Finishes

Traditionally, most fridges have white interiors. For a more unique and premium look, select KitchenAid refrigerators offer a platinum interior design that has silver glossy walls to complement the metallic accents found inside the refrigerator.

Finally, you should factor in the number of features you want. Any additions, like having a water and ice dispenser, can influence the design/style and potentially the cost of a fridge.

Features

Refrigerators offer a wide variety of features. You need to decide which are the most appealing and important to you.

Water and Ice Dispensing

There are both internal and external dispensing options. Internal dispensers are a better option for those who prefer a cleaner look on the exterior of their fridge. External dispensers allow for easy access without having to open the fridge.Both provide additional convenience of immediate ice cubes and water. Most fridges that offer water dispensing are equipped to also house a water filter to provide fresh, clean tasting water. Keep in mind that you may require a plumber to attach to the water line so factor in that extra cost.

Performance Features

Performance features help store your food at optimal temperature and humidity conditions:

  • Dual evaporators allow for more precise temperature controls, as two evaporators provide independent cooling solutions for the fridge and freezer.
  • Humidity controlled crispers create ideal fruit and vegetable environments.
  • Adjustable temperature drawers allow you to select a custom temperature based on what you're storing. Some drawers are even full-width pantry style to accommodate large platters/trays.
  • Select KitchenAid refrigerators feature the Preserva® Food Care System which uses two independent cooling systems for the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food fresh longer.

Organization Features

Organization features can help keep your foods and beverages visible and readily accessible:

  • Adjustable Shelving/Bins provide flexibility when storing items of varying heights like jars of sauces, juice containers, party platters or milk cartons.
  • Tiered shelving inside the freezer may improve the storing and retrieval of frozen food items.
  • Select KitchenAid fridges offer a slide-away split shelf in the refrigerator. This versatile design allows the front of the shelf to retract to accommodate tall items.
  • Large Gallon Door Bins offer a deeper door bin to allow for larger items like milk jugs, juice cartons and condiment jars.
LED Lighting

Helps you easily find food inside your fridge and provides a white light so food looks as it should. It also uses less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Smart / Wifi Connectivity

Some smart fridges can connect with your WiFi and your smart devices, giving you options to troubleshoot issues, get notifications and control smart features right from your phone.

We hope that completing these recommended steps has helped lead you to making a decision on what fridge to buy.

Ready to start looking for a new refrigerator? Our Appliance Finder tool can help narrow your search so you can find the one that meets your needs. Click here to find a fridge that’s right for you.