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best french door refrigerators​

The Best French Door Refrigerators in 2021

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

Are you looking for an eye-catcher for your kitchen that is also useful? A French door refrigerator immediately attracts attention due to its size and offers a lot of storage space for your food.

With such a refrigerator you get a piece of American lifestyle in your own four walls. What to look for when buying a French door refrigerator and which are the most popular manufacturers, you can read in the French door refrigerator test.

Frequently Asked Questions: French Door Refrigerators

What is a French Door Refrigerator?

A French door refrigerator is a refrigerator with a double door. Behind this is a refrigerated section; the freezer section, on the other hand, is usually located below the double doors. This makes sense from an ergonomic point of view, because the refrigerator at eye level is opened much more often.

One should not confuse the French door refrigerator with a side by side refrigerator, in which the refrigerator and freezer sections are located next to each other. Side by side refrigerators usually inspire with a very large capacity of more than 500 liters and are also called “American refrigerator”. For refrigerators as large as supermarkets, check out a side-by-side refrigerator review.

The French Door refrigerator, on the other hand, is based on the classic refrigerator/freezer combination in terms of design, where the refrigerator and freezer compartments are on top of each other.

The term “French Door” comes from the American and refers to hinged doors that can be opened to both sides. Thus, the French Door refrigerator not only offers a surprising amount of space inside, but also enough bottles and tubes can be stored in the two side doors. The freezer compartment of a French Door refrigerator is usually located under the cooling area and opens like a drawer.

It is noticeable that French Door refrigerators are hardly available in white. Most of them are designed in an appealing stainless steel look. You can also find models in black from the manufacturers Siemens or Haier. However, these models are not made of stainless steel, but rather of sheet steel.

How does a French Door Refrigerator work?

In terms of its operation, the French door refrigerator is no different from ordinary refrigerators. Some of these devices are equipped with two compressors – one for each refrigerator section. For example, you can turn off the refrigerator section while the freezer compartment continues to run. This so-called vacation switch is a popular special feature on most high-quality models.

Advantages of French Door Refrigerators

One of the main advantages of the French door refrigerator is its very large capacity. Depending on the model variant, such a model offers between 300 and 600 liters of usable capacity and is thus primarily well suited for the larger family. Due to the large capacity, French Door refrigerators are usually about one meter wide, so you should take this footprint into account before buying. A French Door refrigerator has at least three shelves in its refrigerator compartment and two additional drawers for fruits, vegetables and the like.

Of course, a French Door refrigerator has not only advantages. The rather hefty purchase price might deter you from buying it, as well as the large footprint you’ll need. Also, the energy consumption of this type of refrigerator is higher than that of an ordinary refrigerator. Decide for yourself if you need a space for so much food!

Types of French Door Refrigerators

The French Door refrigerator is a subspecies of the American refrigerator. This type of refrigerator also includes the side-by-side refrigerator and the retro refrigerator.

French door refrigerators are available with a fixed water connection, with a water tank and also without a water connection. With the latter variant, you are particularly flexible, as you are not dependent on a water connection. Unfortunately, you cannot prepare ice cubes with such a model. Refrigerators with a fixed water connection, on the other hand, must be placed near a water connection. Also, this variant can not be placed freely in the room.

How are French Door Refrigerators tested?

In the French Door Refrigerator comparison, the price/performance ratio should be convincing, i.e. the refrigerator should offer the best possible performance and special functions for as little money as possible. In the test, devices with the energy efficiency class A++ were particularly convincing.

You should know that French Door refrigerators are not available with the very good energy class A+++ like ordinary refrigerators.

If you are looking for a French Door refrigerator with a very good energy class, take a closer look at the Hotpoint E4D AAABC model: With a power consumption of only 295 kilowatt hours per year and associated costs of about US$85, this is one of the most economical models.

The French door refrigerators differ considerably from each other in terms of their usable volume. The range for refrigeration is usually between 300 and 400 liters; the usable capacity for frozen goods is usually smaller. However, between 100 and 200 liters are the norm here as well: so you get a lot of storage compared to the classic fridge-freezer. Should a malfunction occur, such as a power outage, most French Door refrigerators offer a storage time of up to twelve hours, during which the goods cannot spoil.

In addition, of course, there are many other additional features, which, of course, determine the price of the refrigerator. Special functions such as interior lighting, an ice cube dispenser, a no-frost function or a vacation switch are extra costs for the manufacturer.

A vacation switch is when you warm the temperature of the refrigerator compartment to about ten degrees Celsius, so that less energy is consumed. At the same time, however, the temperature in the freezer compartment is maintained – ideal, therefore, if you are not at home for a few days or even weeks. The No Frost function, on the other hand, saves you a lot of time, because it eliminates the need to defrost your refrigerator.

What should I look for when buying a French Door Refrigerator?

If you want to buy a new French Door refrigerator, first look at the usable capacity. Such a refrigerator offers you up to 600 liters of capacity; sufficient for a family of four. If there are only two or three people living in your household, a French door refrigerator with a useful capacity of between 350 and 500 liters is absolutely sufficient.

Before buying, be sure to look at the energy label, because here you will find some important information about the energy efficiency class.

Good French Door refrigerators have the energy class A+ or A++ and consume no more than US$120 of electricity per year.

However, this makes them bigger power guzzlers than side-by-side refrigerators or ordinary fridge-freezers. The latter consume just US$50 a year. This is primarily due to the fact that these models are mostly equipped with the very good energy classes A++ or even A+++, which is hardly found in the French door refrigerators.

In terms of noise level, most models in the French Door refrigerator test do not exceed a noise level of 40 decibels. Thus, they are not completely silent, but they are not very disturbing in everyday kitchen life. By comparison, birdsong is rated at around 50 decibels on the noise scale.

Due to its design, a French door fridge is naturally more expensive than a standard fridge-freezer combination: you should expect costs starting at around US$1,500. Beko or Bomann, on the other hand, are two brands that offer French Door refrigerators for less than US$1,000.

French Door Refrigerator Accessories

Useful accessories, which you should acquire in any case, are food storage boxes. In these, sausage and cheese are stored safely and germ-free. If you do not buy a French Door refrigerator with ice maker, you can easily make your own ice cubes. Special ice cube molds are available in stores for this purpose. These ice cubes are indispensable, especially in summer, when you want to prepare a delicious cocktail or other cold drink of your choice.

Various accessories such as bottle holders or egg cups are included with most French Door refrigerators. You can also reorder the accessories from many manufacturers; Amazon also usually offers spare parts at quite a reasonable price. These include the water filter inserts that you need for a Samsung French Door refrigerator with water filter system.

As an eye-catcher in your kitchen, how about refrigerator magnets or stickers? The magnets have the advantage that you can pin important notes or souvenirs on your refrigerator here.

You can also easily leave small love messages for your sweetheart thanks to a fridge magnet. Fridge magnets are available in numerous designs, colors and shapes; surely there is a suitable magnet for you. At Amazon you will find a particularly large selection of pretty motifs. Fridge magnets are suitable for all metallic surfaces and therefore for most refrigerators.

French Door Refrigerator Alternatives

One of the most popular alternatives to the French door refrigerator is the side-by-side refrigerator. Both models are quite similar and offer a particularly large usable volume. Only the room layout differs significantly: While the freezer compartment of a French door fridge is located in the lower area, the refrigerator and freezer compartments of a side-by-side fridge are located next to each other.

What is striking in the Refrigerator Test is that the selection of side-by-side refrigerators is significantly larger than that of French door refrigerators. Both the French Door and the Side-by-Side refrigerators belong to the so-called American refrigerators. The retro refrigerators are also counted among the American design.

If you are not solely concerned with functionality, but also with an appealing look, an American refrigerator should be your first choice. Gorenje and Smeg are two of the manufacturers where you can buy such a model, among others.

Of course, if you don’t have much space in your kitchen, a French door fridge is out of the question for you. In this case, you should opt for an ordinary fridge-freezer. This is the variant that can be found in most households.

Cheap models, for example, from the manufacturer Beko, are already available from US$200. One of the main disadvantages of such a combination: compared to the French door refrigerator, the space available in the freezer area is much more limited.

Of course, there are also floor-standing fridge-freezers that offer more space. Even with these man-sized models, however, the freezer area turns out to be quite meager and usually consists of a maximum of two drawers. For example, in the Gorenje RK 61620 C fridge-freezer combination, a popular model in the refrigerator test, the usable volume is divided between 232 liters of refrigerator compartment and only 53 liters of freezer compartment.

This fridge, which can impress with energy efficiency class A++, is available at Amazon for a purchase price of US$379.

One advantage of the fridge-freezers: Not only are they available in numerous different colors, but they also do not require as much space as a French Door or a side-by-side refrigerator. With such a combination, you are practically buying two devices in one and definitely not making a mistake.

Another popular cooling option are the wine refrigerators. This is not a pure beverage refrigerator, because you can definitely store juices, beer and water in an ordinary refrigerator during the summer months. 

The situation is different with a select drop of wine: Even slight temperature fluctuations can negatively affect the quality of a wine. Modern wine refrigerators have two zones, so that red and white wine are stored at different temperatures. It should be well known that white wine is enjoyed colder than red wine.

Wine refrigerators have long since ceased to be a rarity in the restaurant trade, and they are also becoming increasingly common in private households. Anyone who is a real wine connoisseur and likes to enjoy a fine drop now and then should buy this refrigerator. By the way, wine refrigerators are also a visual highlight and bring elegance and sophistication to any kitchen.

If you really have very little space available in your kitchen, you should opt for a mini or camping refrigerator. The advantage is not only the small space requirement: This of course also ensures that a mini refrigerator ensures low maintenance costs. With such a model, you consume only a fraction of the electricity costs of an ordinary refrigerator / freezer combination. Furthermore, camping refrigerators are easy to transport, but are primarily intended only for drinks.