Frigidaire FFHD2250TS 36 Inch Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator
Refrigerators

Picking the Best French Door Refrigerator: Buying Guide + 5 Best Picks

A full-feature French door refrigerator is an upgrade for any kitchen. The sleek, convenient design is very popular with Americans. This popularity attracts intense competition between manufacturers eager to position their models as the best options. 

With the large selection of French door fridge options available, you have a lot more to consider your choice on than storage capacity and finish. And as if deciding which features are essential and which ones aren’t worth paying the extra money for isn’t taxing enough, you have to decide which model is the most energy-efficient, among other considerations.

We hope that this guide is all you will need to read to decide which French door fridge is the right fit for your family’s food storage needs. Speaking of that, there is a lot to talk about, so let’s dive right in.

What is a French Door Fridge?

French door fridges are a style of refrigerator that has a fresh food compartment with two half-width doors at the top and a freezer mounted at the bottom. 

French door refrigerators are typically wider and deeper than bottom freezer fridges and benefit from superior styling. You also have a lot more space in this configuration. With pull-out freezer drawers, adjustable shelving, and large bins in the doors, it is easier to customize storage to suit your needs.

When you go out shopping for a French door fridge you will also discover models that feature two instead of one freezer drawer. The top one is a crisper drawer that’s ideal storage for deli meats and other foods that require more milder freezer conditions.

Why are French Door Fridges So Popular?

Since the French door fridge configuration first hit our stores, Americans have been in love. The fridge style has remained wildly popular, with choices that now span over 200 models. But why are these fridges so popular?

Customizable storage solutions

When you view them side by side, there does not appear to be much difference between side-by-side and French door fridges in terms of their size. Their configurations, however, set them apart in important ways, one of which is their storage options.

Side-by-side fridges have the freezer and refrigerator compartments facing each other, running all the way from the top to the bottom. While this means both are accessible from eye level, it does make them quite narrow and less customizable. With a French door fridge, you have the full width of the refrigerator to organize your storage.

The freezer, too, uses the full width of the fridge, which means pizza boxes and other large items fit better. That freezers on French door fridges also use pull-out drawers makes it easier to stake food items. 

Reaching items at the back of the freezer is also easier as you simply have to pull the drawer. You don’t have to take everything else out first.

The fresh food compartment on French door fridges is deeper than on other fridge styles, unless it’s a counter-depth model. The deep shelving opens up more space for you. 

The clever use of space extends to the doors that open to reveal storage bins that you can use to store tall and awkward-shaped items like your wine and milk bottles. All this layout makes the fridge easier to organize food.

Designed for convenience

Your fridge’s primary job is done if it keeps your food cool and well preserved. But for such a busy appliance that both young and old use frequently, it makes life a lot easier if the fridge has a practical layout. That’s another area where this configuration excels.

The positioning of the fresh food compartment is critical on a fridge. This is where you typically store your frequently used items like milk, fresh fruit, cool drinks, juices, and eggs. It helps if you can reach these items without bending or crouching down. Positioned at eye level, the fresh food compartment is easily accessible on a French door fridge.

Space-saving configuration

Unlike regular bottom freezer fridges, French door refrigerators have two narrow doors instead of one large one. The benefit of this is the fridge can fit into a tighter space because the doors don’t need much room to swing into to fully open. Because they are narrower, the double doors are also not as heavy even when the storage bins are fully loaded with milk and juices.

The same space utility applies to the freezer that uses drawers instead of doors. While a door has to open fully to pack and retrieve items from the freezer, a drawer does not have to if space is at a premium. Choosing a counter-depth model will save more space and create the illusion that the kitchen is larger than it is.

Lower energy usage

Fridges conserve energy when they are not opened as much. When the doors are frequently open, the cool air escapes, leaving the fridge warmer than it needs to be to preserve your food. To cool down to the ideal temperature the fridge has to use more energy. 

By choosing a French door fridge with a door-in-door feature, you will not have to constantly open the main doors. You can access your frequently used items through the door-in-door, which helps the fridge maintain a consistent temperature in the fresh food compartment, saving energy in the process.

Functional and easy on the eye

Let’s be honest, until the modern French door fridge configuration arrived, the fridge has mostly been a utility appliance that you needed to keep your perishable foods from going bad. Fridges were merely big cold boxes we stored food in.

Stylishly designed, with high-tech features, the French door fridges of today can totally transform a kitchen all on their own. From smudge-resistant stainless steel finishes, sleek ergonomic handles, hidden hinges, to their majestic appearance when both doors are opened to reveal a fully-stocked fresh food cabin, French door fridges are designed to turn heads.

Forget looks for a second and consider the many features that come with modern French door fridges and the many functions they add. Take through-the-door water and ice dispensers, for example, that conserve energy since you don’t have to open the fridge every time you rehydrate. You could argue they encourage children to drink more water too. 

Other premium and ultra-useful features you will normally only get on French door models are twin compressors, dual ice makers, adjustable spill proof shelving, crisper drawers, door alarms, external temperature controls, LED lighting, and WiFi connectivity that opens a whole new set of smart features.

French Door Refrigerator Buying Guide

You are about to pay a pretty lot of money for a French door fridge. As such, let it be a choice you will be prepared to live with for the next several years. The right fridge generally will be one that fits your space, has sufficient and flexible storage, is energy efficient, and is easy to clean and maintain.

Still, there are other important questions to ask before you hit buy on a specific model and brand. As you start your search, you will realize that the field for various refrigerator brands is large – French door fridges are not an exception!

How to Choose the Best French Door Fridge for Your Needs?

When choosing the best French door refrigerator you have a lot to qualify your search on. That’s because there are a plethora of features available, with manufacturers prioritizing some and leaving out others entirely, depending on models.

If you have a specific budget, you will quickly realize that you may have to forgo some features. As you will find, the absolute best French door fridge in 2021 may be out of your reach. But there will also be affordable options that meet your needs.

Some finishes are also cheaper than others, as models with different storage capacities will come with different prices. That said, budget isn’t all there is to choose the right fridge for you.

Let’s talk about the other considerations.

Make sure the fridge fits your space

French door style refrigerator. Open doors and empty.

French door fridges don’t come in a standard size. So before you buy a new fridge, make sure that it will fit in your kitchen. You shouldn’t have to replace your kitchen cabinets just so your new fridge will fit. 

Measure the height and width of the space your new fridge will occupy in your kitchen. If your kitchen has a central island and other features that may block the door from fully opening, measure the depth as well. Don’t forget to measure the width and height of the doors and hallways in the route the fridge will follow to your kitchen.

Leave some space around the fridge to ensure there is enough air circulation. Without sufficient ventilation, the fridge does not perform efficiently and uses too much energy.

Does the fridge have enough storage capacity?

An Open French Door Refrigerator Filled With Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

No fancy features will make up for a fridge that lacks sufficient storage. Storage capacity refers to the total amount of usable storage space in your fridge. It includes both freezer and refrigerator storage.

A fridge’s storage capacity determines how much food you can store at a time, which makes it a critical shopping consideration. French door fridge capacity ranges between 20 and 30 cu. Ft. Be careful though, the storage capacities some fridge manufacturers quote for their fridges are inflated.

To determine how much storage you need, look at the size of your family and the number of groceries you buy every month. By some measures, 1 cubic foot of fridge space is enough storage for one bag of groceries. That works out to an average of 19 – 21 cu. Ft. of total storage space for a family of four. 

But let your family’s needs and lifestyle guide you. Because of special interests, you may frequently need storage for tall and large items like pizzas and cake sponges. 

By widening your search you will also find French door refrigerators with specialized storage solutions that fit your specific needs, like rotating wine bottle racks, wide trays, and sliding shelves.

Energy costs

Due to the pressure to conserve energy, we are increasingly favoring energy-efficient appliances. And thanks to stricter government regulations and growing consciousness on the part of manufacturers, today’s fridges use much less energy. 

So you are already lowering your energy bill by upgrading your fridge with a newer model. To be sure the model you are buying will save energy, look for the Energy Star endorsement, or if you want more specific detail, check the yellow Energy Guide sticker.

Aesthetic features

Side view of a French door stainless steel refrigerator

You have likely chosen a French door fridge model because looks matter to you. Indeed, this fridge style is highly desired for its elegant, sleek designs. But some models stand out simply for their finish, handle style, and other features. 

You will want to choose a finish that’s easier to keep clean and which matches with the rest of your kitchen. You have several options, including the usual white, black, and grey neutral colors. If you prefer bright colors, you are more likely to find them on retro models.

For a finish that is easier to keep clean and that will look good in any kitchen, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel is very popular at the moment. Black stainless steel is even easier to clean and has a classier, more distinctive look.

Handles are a very prominent feature on a fridge. Consider their design. You normally have to choose between the curved European style or the straight, industrial look, which you sometimes have to pay a premium for. If you prefer a more featureless look, there are fridges with a groove or recessed handles. Those handles, you should be aware, aren’t always the most functional handles.

Other features you should consider

Front view of gray French door fridge in domestic kitchen

There are optional features that add function to your fridge that you should also keep in mind as you decide on your selection. One that’s also a big aesthetic choice is the door-mounted water/ice dispenser. It is a convenient feature that saves energy since you won’t have to open the fridge to get drinking water.

Staying with features that add function to your fridge, the configuration of shelves and drawers is a big factor with fridges. As you will discover, shelf and drawer layout are usually more important than total fridge volume. 

Pay attention to how drawers on specific models work. Choose those that use rollers as they open and close more smoothly. Door storage bins place milk bottles where they are easier to store and access while folding shelves give you a storage option for tall items.

If you can afford to pay extra for a premium feature, we think a door-in-door compartment is worth considering. With this feature, you get easier access to your frequently used items. You don’t have to open the main fridge doors to get the milk, for example, which helps maintain consistent fridge temperature and saves energy.

Smart features

This is the next (or current) battleground for fridge manufacturers. WiFi connectivity and smart features like door alarms and digital screens continue to inspire new fridges we never envisaged a short while ago. 

We are talking of apps that allow you to prepare shopping lists and TVs and touchscreen tablets mounted on the fridge. Of course, with WiFi connectivity comes the usual security concerns of hacked systems and stolen personal data.

The Best 5 French Door Refrigerators: Review

Here’s a quick guide to the best French door fridges available today. 

1. LG LFCC22426S 22.8 Cu. Ft. French Door Counter-Depth Refrigerator

A heavy-puncher in the French door segment, LG has bet heavily on innovative fridge features. Though the LG LFCC22426S does not come with the standard-setting Smart InstaView screen and WiFi connectivity, it has many noteworthy features. It uses a Smart Cooling System that focuses on freshness, including on areas like the door storage bins where it’s normally not prioritized.

Storage options include two humidity-controlled crisper drawers, a full-width Glide-N-Serve drawer, and flexible shelving. Considering this is a counter-depth model, the 22.8 Cu. Ft of usable storage space is quite generous. The air that circulates in your fridge is extra clean, thanks to the 3-layer Fresh Air Filter.

Outside, LG’s PrintProof smudge and fingerprint-resistant finish is elegant and easy to clean, while the curved handles and hidden hinges ensure the fridge is as good-looking as it is efficient.

SUMMARY

LG LFCC22426S 22.8 Cu. Ft. French Door

Pros

  • Consistent cooling
  • Stylish design
  • Fairly priced
  • Elegant built-in look and seamless fit

Cons

  • Lacks water dispensing capability
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2. Frigidaire FFHD2250TS 36 Inch Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator

Frigidaire fridges are dependable. They are well-built and rate highly for owner satisfaction, temperature control, space utility, and low noise. This particular model is a 21.7 cu. ft. counter depth French door that has all the premium features that are standard in this class. 

With the Frigidaire FFHD2250TS, you can adjust your shelves over 100 ways, which provides enough storage options, including for your wine bottles and other tall items. This flexibility of storage extends to the humidity-controlled Effortless Glide crisper drawers that can be configured either side-by-side or stacked one on top of another.

Expanding the storage options even further are the door bins that can fit gallon-sized milk bottles and a lot more items. The deep freezer basket has a divider that makes organizing easy, while a multi-level LED lighting system keeps the fridge compartment brightly lit so you can find items easily.

If you care about the quality of the water you drink, the PureSource Ultra®II Ice & Water Filtration system removes 99.3% of lead and 99.9% of cysts from household water. Altogether, this is a good family-friendly fridge that will serve you for many years.

SUMMARY

Frigidaire FFHD2250TS 36 Inch Counter Depth French Door

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Flexible storage options
  • Counter-depth configuration frees up more kitchen space
  • Bright internal lighting

Cons

  • N/A
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3. Bosch B36CT80SNS 36″ 800 Series French Door Refrigerator

Bosch’s 800 Series French door fridges are all about thoughtful, streamlined design that packs in all the premium features without being too fussy. The finishes are carefully chosen for practicality, with the easy-to-clean print-resistant stainless steel standard on most models.

In terms of cooling capabilities, Bosch’s technological prowess is evident. The proprietary FarmFresh System and VitaFreshPro systems combine with the crisper drawers to ensure your fresh produce, juices, and meats all stay at their respective optimum temperatures.

What is immediately apparent, however, is that the fridge does not come with a through-the-door water/ice dispenser. While that takes away some convenience, it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, especially given that these dispensers are the number one reason for repairs on French door fridges. 

If you really like this fridge but also highly desire a water dispenser, it should be a relief that there is one inside the fridge. The ice maker is there in the freezer, too. The positioning of the water dispenser frees up space in the fridge compartment and makes this fridge less likely to break down.

Cool design features you may not immediately notice but which lend this fridge an exclusive look are the hidden door hinges and feet. Other features we like are the internal steel back wall, crisper drawers with customized temperatures, the FlexiBar’s flexible storage options, as well as Home Connect and all the smart capabilities it brings.

SUMMARY

Bosch B36CT80SNS 36″ 800 French Door

Pros

  • Multiple advanced features that preserve food freshness and taste
  • Flexible storage options
  • Classy industrial look
  • Advanced air filters that absorb food odors

Cons

  • Pricey for its range of features
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4. Cafe769 CVE28DP3ND1 27.6 Cu.Ft. French Door Refrigerator

The tagline for the Cafe brand is ‘distinct by design.’ It’s clear therefore that this is a brand that likes to stand out. Launched by GE in 2018, the Cafe brand features customizable appliances with premium features that appeal to consumers with an appreciation for stylish design.

The Cafe769; CVE28DP3ND1 has a robust build and industrial look, with copper accents and trim that gives you the feeling you can now be the entertainer you have always struggled to be. It will not magically transform you into a master chef, but your meals will benefit from the freshest ingredients possible. If not for the food you are serving, then your guests will be complimenting you on your fridge.

With adjustable temperature and humidity, you can be sure your food stays fresh, whether it is on the shelves, crisper drawers, or door bins. A dry zone maintains low humidity for the most ideal storage conditions for fruits, while the wet zone is designed for vegetables that require higher humidity for extra freshness.

The freezer has a dedicated slim drawer for your flatbeds, pizzas, and other uniquely shaped  items that benefit from a wide storage space. With 27.8 cu. Ft. of usable space to play with, there is enough storage for all your favorite foods. 

There is no chance of missing anything in the refrigerator thanks to customizable shelving and a super-bright LED panel. We also love the convertible drawer with five temperature settings – .Soft Freeze, Meat, Beverage, Snacks, and Wine

Your kids will obviously leave marks, but you will not see them because of the fingerprint-resistant matte black finish. Overall, this is a beautiful, spacious, and versatile fridge that is on the expensive side but is totally splurge-worthy. That’s also the general sentiment you get when you read the near 1,000 customer reviews on the Home Depot website.

SUMMARY

Cafe769 CVE28DP3ND1 27.6 Cu.Ft.

Pros

  • Spacious, it holds everything you need,
  • Beautiful, easy-to-clean finish and design that will make any kitchen look better.
  • Through-the-door Hands-free autofill water dispenser is convenient
  • Smart Home capability expands the functionality
  • Hides sudge marks brilliantly

Cons

  • Fridge gets dark when the LED panel is obstructed
  • Expensive but worth the money
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5. FORNO Bovino 33-Inch 19 CU. FT French Door Frost-Free Refrigerator

It is tough being a young brand trying to break into a market with names that Americans have known for over 100 years, but Canadian brand Forno Bovino is trying. Its fridges are decent too

. An affordably priced French door fridge, the FORNO Bovino 33-Inch has enough premium features to add a touch of class to your kitchen.

We love the double-door freezer and the stainless steel finish. Add the metal back to the interior LED lighting, electronic touch control, double-flow cooling system, and you have a fridge that packs above its weight. The playbook seems to be a ‘good quality appliance at an affordable price,’ and consumers appear to be buying in as seen from the mostly positive reviews.

You are obviously going to sacrifice some features for the low price. While the cooling capabilities are fairly good, you don’t have a water dispenser or ice maker, and the storage options are rather limited. All considered, this is a reliable fridge that will suit a small family.

SUMMARY

FORNO Bovino 33-Inch French Door

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Easy, straightforward setup
  • The easy-to-clean stainless finish on the doors
  • Shallower depth frees up more kitchen space
  • Longer than the standard 2 years warranty

Cons

  • Storage space is rather limited and not as customizable
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FAQs

What is the best way to organize a French door refrigerator?

Organize your French door fridge as you would any other fridge, which is by putting items in practical spots. The best French door models make this easy by assigning specific, temperature-controlled zones for different foods. This makes it easy to, for example, separate fruits from vegetables and deli meats from your frozen chicken.

How much space do I need to open a French door refrigerator?

French door fridges have narrower doors and therefore do not have to swing too far into the kitchen space to fully open. Check the model’s dimensions to be sure how much space you need to cover for the door swing. Don’t neglect to budget for at least 2 inches of space on the hinge side to compensate for the door’s thickness when it opens.

Do French door refrigerators have more problems?

Some brands are stronger and better made than others, but French door fridges generally tend to have more issues than other fridge styles. Models with through-the-door water and ice dispensers and ice makers are particularly prone to breaking.

How long should a French door fridge last?

Manufacturers build their refrigerators to last 10 years on average. But whether your fridge will last that long also depends a lot on how well you care for it. To ensure your fridge lasts the decade, regularly vacuum the condenser coils to remove dust and dirt, change the water filter, clean the ice and water dispenser, and keep the fridge well-ventilated.

What is the benefit of a French door refrigerator?

There are more than a few benefits to owning a French door fridge. A few are the convenient, practical layout, premium features, and superior styling. French door fridges also tend to have wider and adjustable shelves that maximize storage.

Final Word

Wherever you choose to shop, you are going to find many French door refrigerators on sale. That’s sure to make choosing the right one for you quite the challenge. But our five picks won’t be too far off. 

You will choose one that is within your budget, but if money is no object, our recommendation will be the Cafe769; CVE28DP3ND1. The fridge is not cheap, but you are getting a lot for your money.