A bottom-freezer refrigerator is a popular choice for many households, and if you examine the layout and design of these models, it isn’t hard to see why. Bottom-freezer refrigerators place fresh foods and beverages stored in the refrigerator portion at eye level, making it much easier to find things. They also offer a freezer drawer at the bottom that pulls out to reveal a spacious area for storing frozen foods.
Choosing the best refrigerator is no easy task. This guide walks you through the key considerations when shopping for the best bottom-freezer refrigerator and introduces you to some of the top models on the market. After reading the following sections, you should be ready to select the right bottom-freezer refrigerator for your needs.
- BEST OVERALL: Whirlpool 22 cu. ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Hisense 17.1-cu ft Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator
- BEST WITH WATER DISPENSER: LG 21.8 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator
- BEST HIGH-CAPACITY: LG 25.5-cu ft Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator
- BEST FRENCH DOOR: GE 25.6 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator
While all bottom-freezer refrigerators share the key characteristic of having the freezer at the unit’s base, many other features vary from model to model. Bottom-freezer refrigerators come in a variety of sizes and capacities; feature different shelving systems and temperature setting options; may offer a water dispenser, ice maker, or other advanced features; and come in varying degrees of energy efficiency. Read on to discover which features are most important to consider when searching for the best bottom-freezer refrigerator.
Size and Capacity
One of the first items to consider when shopping for a bottom-freezer refrigerator is the desired capacity. Capacity, measured in cubic feet, refers to the total amount of interior storage space offered in the refrigerator and freezer sections. Most bottom-freezer refrigerators offer a capacity somewhere between 11.9 and 27 cubic feet. The greater the capacity, the more fresh and frozen items the refrigerator will be able to hold. In general, look for at least 4 to 6 cubic feet per adult in the home. The average family of four typically does best with a fridge that offers at least 20 cubic feet of space.
The physical size of the refrigerator is also important to consider. First, determine whether a standard-depth or a counter-depth refrigerator that will stay flush with the cabinets and countertops is preferable. Measure the available space where the refrigerator will go, and check the dimensions for the different models under consideration to see if they’ll fit.
Take a close look at the shelving system and other organizational components of each model. Finding a bottom-freezer refrigerator with a suitable organizational system is key. First, consider the layout and size of the shelves. When possible, look for shelves that offer an adjustable height to accommodate items of different sizes and shelves that slide or flip up for more flexible storage options.
The layout of the in-door storage is another factor. Think about the items frequently stored in the door, such as a gallon of milk or condiments, and look for a refrigerator that will accommodate these preferences. Finally, consider the size and location of any storage bins, including fruit and vegetable crispers and deli drawers.
Next, look for information regarding the temperature settings for each model. The FDA recommends keeping refrigerators set at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping freezers set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Also be sure to review the location of the temperature controls and how easy they are to adjust. Consider whether you can enter a specific temperature or if the refrigerator only offers settings such as “cool” or “coldest.”
Other features that can impact a refrigerator’s temperature include temperature-controlled deli drawers and airflow systems to ensure that air circulates throughout the entire unit to maintain a consistent temperature.
Choosing a bottom-freezer refrigerator that is energy efficient can save money on electric bills each month. ENERGY STAR certification indicates that a model uses at least 10 percent less energy than what is stated as the minimum federal efficiency standards. While bottom-freezer refrigerators are not as energy efficient as top-freezer refrigerators, there are still a number of models on the market that have received ENERGY STAR certification.
Water Dispenser and Ice Maker
Ice and water dispensers do not come standard with many bottom-freezer refrigerators. Models that offer either a water dispenser or an ice maker will likely cost more money than a similar model without these features. However, many users decide that they are worth the extra cost because of the convenience they deliver.
With an ice maker, there’s no need to remember to fill up ice cube trays or worry about the water spilling out of the tray during placement in the freezer. It offers on-demand access to freshly made ice at any time. Some models with an ice maker may also come with a dispenser on the door for the ice, while others offer access to the ice bucket in the freezer. Water dispensers also provide a convenient way to enjoy cold, filtered water on demand. Some bottom-freezer refrigerators have a water dispenser on the door’s exterior, and some feature an interior dispenser.
Some higher-end bottom-freezer refrigerators may offer some advanced features.
- A wine-chilling compartment in a refrigerator offers an ideal place to put bottles of wine to quickly cool them down to the desired temperature.
- Some bottom-freezer refrigerators may also offer an LED display. These models can help users create grocery lists, keep track of ingredients for recipes, and more.
- A few refrigerators on the market offer Bluetooth-enabled sound systems. These models allow you to connect your Bluetooth devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to play music through the speakers on the refrigerator.
The aesthetics of a bottom-freezer refrigerator won’t impact its ability to keep foods fresh or frozen, but they can greatly impact how each model looks in the kitchen. Consider the overall appearance of each refrigerator and whether it will be a good fit. One key feature to keep in mind is the color and finish of each model. Some of the most popular options for bottom-freezer refrigerators include stainless steel, black stainless, black, and white.
Next, evaluate the exterior design of the refrigerator. For the appearance of a built-in refrigerator, look for models with a more streamlined design and consider a counter-depth option. Also check the design of the handle(s) and whether the edges of the refrigerator are squared or rounded. Envision each model in the kitchen, and choose one that will deliver the aesthetic appeal that works best.
Our Top Picks
Below are the top picks on the market for the best bottom-freezer refrigerator. These models are among the most highly rated, high-quality items available, with particular focus on the features outlined above. It’s a mix of product types, capacities, and additional features to help consumers choose the best bottom-freezer refrigerator to match their needs and budgets.
The Whirlpool bottom-freezer refrigerator offers a generous 22-cubic-foot capacity to hold a large quantity of fresh and frozen foods. This ENERGY STAR–qualified model offers interior electronic controls and a special Accu-Chill temperature-management system, which uses sensors to determine when the compressor should be activated. This saves energy while maintaining an optimal interior temperature.
Additional storage and organization features of this bottom-freezer refrigerator include humidity-controlled produce crispers, adjustable door bins, and a spacious freezer drawer. To extend the life of fresh fruits and vegetables, this model boasts a FreshFlow produce preserver that absorbs ethylene gas to prevent some produce from spoiling or ripening too quickly. The glass shelves in the refrigerator feature SpillGuard for easier cleanups. Four finish options are available with this model: stainless steel, fingerprint-resistant black stainless, black, and white.
Individuals looking for a reasonably priced bottom-freezer refrigerator should consider this model from Hisense. The counter-depth refrigerator offers 17.1 cubic feet of interior space with a roller-bearing freezer drawer that opens and closes smoothly. This unit also features adjustable in-door bins to accommodate items of various sizes, plus LED lighting to make it easy for individuals to find what they need.
To ensure foods freeze quickly and stay frozen, even if the door is open frequently, this model also offers super freeze technology, which helps freeze food faster. It is ENERGY STAR certified to reduce electric bills and boasts a sleek and shiny stainless steel finish.
Enjoy filtered water on demand with this 21.8-cubic-foot French door refrigerator from LG Electronics, which features an exterior water dispenser. The bottom-freezer refrigerator also offers a Multi-Air Flow system to ensure the temperature and humidity levels in the refrigerator and freezer sections stay at optimal levels to keep foods fresh. To achieve this goal, LG added digital sensors to monitor the interior temperature and humidity levels and numerous vents spread throughout the entire unit to supply cold air to each section. The refrigerator’s linear compressor is also able to respond quickly to fluctuations and adjust the temperature accordingly.
To keep foods organized and easy to access, this model boasts four split shelves in the refrigerator section and a total of seven door bins. In the event the refrigerator malfunctions, the SmartDiagnosis feature will allow LG to offer troubleshooting advice. This model has a stainless steel finish that will complement a variety of kitchen spaces.
LG’s 25.5-cubic-foot bottom-freezer refrigerator is an optimal choice for individuals looking for a high-capacity unit. This model offers a large refrigerator section featuring adjustable shelves, two humidity-controlled crispers, and a full-width storage drawer. It also boasts a Smart Cooling system that monitors the interior conditions and maintains an optimal temperature to keep foods at their peak freshness for longer.
This bottom-freezer refrigerator has LED panels along the back to offer bright and energy-efficient lighting to help individuals quickly locate items they need. It is ENERGY STAR qualified with an ice maker. The refrigerator has contoured doors and hidden hinges, and it features an attractive fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish.
Those who prefer the style and function of a French door refrigerator may want to consider this bottom-freezer refrigerator from GE. It has a 25.6-cubic-foot capacity to store more fresh and frozen foods than many other refrigerators. To keep things organized and easy to find, a sliding Quick Space shelf, two humidity-controlled drawers, and deep in-door bins are integrated into its design. Take advantage of the Turbo Cool and Turbo Freeze settings to quickly drop the temperature within the freezer or refrigerator to ensure foods stay fresh. Use the internal controls to set the temperature to an exact number, rather than a range or just “cold.”
The refrigerator’s filtration system, built-in ice maker, and interior water dispenser work together to deliver fresh-tasting water and ice on demand. There is also a door alarm and bright LED lighting to increase energy efficiency, make it easy to find the right foods, and ensure that the door is not accidentally left open. Six finish options are available for this bottom-freezer refrigerator: fingerprint-resistant stainless steel, fingerprint-resistant slate, fingerprint-resistant black stainless steel, fingerprint-resistant black slate, black, and white.
FAQs About Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators
Before deciding which bottom-freezer refrigerator to purchase, read through the common questions and answers below. They may provide some new knowledge that could be useful during the search.
Q. Do bottom-freezer refrigerators have ice makers?
Yes, some bottom-freezer refrigerators have ice makers. However, this feature is not included with all models, so check with the manufacturer’s specifications.
Q. How do I organize my bottom-freezer refrigerator?
Individual preferences will likely dictate how to keep a freezer organized. One idea that works for many users is to create zones in the freezer drawer to keep similar items together and easy to find. Also consider purchasing a few small bins to keep items from shifting around in the freezer.
Q. How long do refrigerators last?
On average, a bottom-freezer refrigerator has a lifespan between 10 and 15 years, though the amount of time refrigerators last can vary.