Side-by-side refrigerators: a buyer's guide

November 6, 2014

Is your old fridge headed for the junkyard? Find the new side-by-side refrigerator that satisfies you and your kitchen's needs.

Side-by-side refrigerators: a buyer's guide

Side-by-side fridges are available in a wide variety of designs and stylish finishes.

  • They provide easy access to their contents thanks to the hinged side doors and compartment layout.
  • You can place frequently used items on eye level and the rest on lower shelves.


Side-by-side refrigerators boast an average depth of about 76 centimetres and range in capacity from 550 to 800 litres.

Good for smaller spaces

Unlike single door variants, side-by-side doors do not require wide spaces to open freely, which means they are well-suited to smaller or galley kitchens.

  • However, their compartments are usually narrow, making it hard to store larger items, such as platters.

Finding the right size

Although fridges with larger capacity are associated with poor energy efficiency, they can be a necessity for households with five or more residents.

Number of residents

  • Buying a smaller variant can create space issues when storage requirements change with an increase in users.
  • You should opt for a unit with the capacity to satisfy your needs for the foreseeable future.

Fitting with your kitchen

The dimensions should make for a comfortable fit in the kitchen, entry points and passages.


Side-by-side fridges come with a variety of features, so match your specific needs to the range of features offered by each unit to make the right choice.

  • These fridges provide generous in-door storage capacity when compared to other refrigerator styles, so even smaller models can accommodate a significant amount of food.
  • The additional shelves are useful for storing smaller items, such as condiments.

Common features

Some common features include in-door water and ice dispensers, humidity and temperature controls, removable door compartments and glass shelving, among others.

Water and ice dispensers

Choosing a unit with a water and ice dispenser means paying a higher price and sacrificing the in-door storage space. Water dispensers require pipe connections to your home's water supply, so make sure a qualified plumber carries out the plumbing work.

Other options

In terms of more non-essential options, some units offer active air deodorizers to keep the refrigerator smelling fresh, or a twisting ice cube tray that comes with a stylish scoop and bucket for convenience.

The freezer

Finally, side-by-side fridges allow users to organize and access freezer contents easily.

  • The freezer is typically located on the left side of the refrigerated compartment and is available in 22 cubic feet models or bigger.
  • The only downside to these variants is that it may be difficult to reach lower parts of the refrigerator section easily.

If you have back pain or another ailment that makes bending over uncomfortable, consider storing the lesser-used items in the lower drawers of the freezer.

With the right research, you can find a side-by-side refrigerator that satisfies your needs and fits in perfectly with your kitchen.

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