French Door Vs. Side by Side – Similarities And Differences

french door vs side by side

Refrigerators have come a long way since the first refrigerator designed for home use was introduced in 1913. These days, they are no longer just a place to store our perishable food items. The fridge is often the main focal point of any modern kitchen. They are available in a range of colors and include impressive features that help make your meal preparation time more enjoyable.

Two of the most popular types of refrigerator styles include French Door and Side by Side models. These refrigerators can provide you with more storage space for your food and easy access to the items that you use most.

If you are in the market for a new refrigerator, and like both of these popular styles this useful guide on French Door vs. Side by Side refrigerators will help you see the benefits and disadvantages of each model. Allowing you to decide which type will work best for you in your kitchen.

Comparing the Features of French Door vs. Side by Side Refrigerators

french door vs side by side

You may be wondering which type of refrigerator is better, the French Door style or the Side by Side. It all comes down to which one compliments your needs the most. Both types are great if you are looking for a way to upgrade your food storage space.

French Door refrigerators have a large and spacious freezer drawer at the bottom while side by side fridges allow you to put your frozen food on one side and all other non-frozen refrigerated items on the other.

What is a French Door Refrigerator?

A French door refrigerator is one of the most popular types of the appliance. This style of refrigerator is defined as having a side by side top and a bottom freezer. Some feel that this option is better than a side by side model because you are at eye level with everything that is in the refrigerator compartment such as the food on the shelves as well as the vegetables located in the crisper drawers. It is much easier to access the food items that are in the fridge and you only have to bend down if you need something from the freezer.

The freezer compartment located at the bottom is the full width of the refrigerator and is an easy to access pull-out drawer. It offers plenty of space for frozen food, especially if you shop at wholesale stores that sell large bags and boxes of frozen food items. The only downside that some people have with the French Door freezer is that food has to be stacked on top of each other as opposed to the side by side freezer that allows you to organize your frozen food items on shelves and in drawers.

What is a Side by Side Refrigerator?

Side by side refrigerators are pretty self-explanatory, they are the fridges with two big double doors. On one side, usually on the left, you can store your refrigerated items. On the right, you can store your frozen food. The left side of the refrigerator is often smaller and not as wide as the freezer side.

Side by Side refrigerators offer you easy access to the items in your fridge and freezer and allow for better organization with plenty of shelves and drawers in both sections. The freezer section is also larger for a side by side than it is for a French Door model.

The side by side models will also usually be equipped with an ice maker built-in to the door, however, there are some models that have these on the inside. 

French Door vs. Side by Side Refrigerators – Which is Better?

There are several factors that will contribute to your decision on French Door vs Side by Side refrigerators. If your main concern is the price of your new fridge, then a side by side model will be your best option. On average, a side by side refrigerator is at least $500 less than a French Door refrigerator.

French Door models are often preferred because of their ample space in the refrigerator section and due to placing fresh food at eye level. But they are less convenient for those who want more freezer space.

In that case, the best option for you will depend on which section you use the most, the refrigerator or the freezer. 

Here are a few more factors to consider.

  • With a French Door refrigerator, the lateral space is much larger for the refrigerator area.
  • A side by side refrigerator will be the most affordable option.
  • Side by side models also allow for better organized space and more room in the freezer section.

The Top French Door Refrigerators

French Door refrigerators make a great addition to any type of kitchen whether you have a traditional setup or a modernized gourmet kitchen. They offer ample storage space for your perishable food items and just the right amount of freezer space for frozen food.

Here are our picks for the top French Door refrigerators.

Smad 36" French Door Refrigerator 4 Doors Freezer Stainless Steel with...
  • Bottom Freezer with frost free technology
  • 2 large humidity controlled fresh food drawers
  • Dual refrigeration systems, quick cool and quick freeze.

The Kenmore 73022 French Door Refrigerator will make a stylish and functional addition to your kitchen. Available in White, Black, Stainless Steel, and Black Stainless Steel, the 26.1 cubic foot fridge is the perfect appliance to upgrade your kitchen with.

The French Door refrigerator includes dual evaporators that work to cool the refrigerator and freezer sections separately. This ensures that each section remains at the right temperature.

There is a full width pantry drawer where you can place larger items that need to be refrigerated such as sheet cakes or veggie trays.

The large and spacious gallon-size door bins allow you to have plenty of room for jugs of milk, juice and other tall containers.

The frost-free freezer is designed to help keep your frozen food fresh longer than before. There is a built in ice maker in this section as well.

The gourmet-style clear storage drawers allow you to see the fruits and veggies inside your fridge so that you can locate ingredients faster. All drawers and bins are extra-large so that you will never need to cram or force large containers into your refrigerator ever again.

This Kenmore French Door Refrigerator is a top-rated item on Amazon and is manufactured by a brand that families have trusted for many years for their quality appliances.

Refrigerator and Freezer, French Door, SS
  • Total (cu. Ft.): 27.6 | Fridge: 18.93 | Freezer: 8.71
  • CrispSeal
  • Adjustable Interior Storage

The Frigidaire 36” Gallery Series French Door Refrigerator in Stainless Steel is an excellent appliance to add to your home, This stylish and spacious modern refrigerator has plenty of space to store an abundance of fresh fruits, veggies, beverages, and frozen food items.

Keep all your frequently used ingredients close-by and at eye-level with the top refrigerator compartment. There are clear crisper drawers and plenty of storage space for containers of all sizes.

The large freezer compartment in the bottom includes an ice maker and a storage bin to hold the ice as well as one to keep your frozen food organized.

This refrigerator is also available in Black. It is currently available to purchase on Amazon.com. 

Fisher Paykel Activesmart 17 Cu. Ft. French Door Refrigerator -...
  • Glass Shelves
  • ActiveSmart Technology
  • Humidity Control System

This sleek and modernized stainless steel refrigerator by Fisher & Paykel is the perfect choice when you need to replace your standard refrigerator. The straight lines of the handles against the stainless steel material gives this French Door refrigerator a sophisticated look.

The dimensions for this refrigerator are 27.4 x 31.1 x 67.5 inches. Many customers who have left reviews for this fridge have stated that it fits well in otherwise difficult areas.

The stainless steel exterior is very easy to clean and maintain. Unlike many other French door refrigerators, you cannot place large items such as a gallon of milk in the door of this Fisher & Paykel fridge. But otherwise it is an excellent buy with plenty of storage space for the average size family.

The Fisher & Paykel Activesmart 17 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator may be purchased on Amazon.com. 

Thor Kitchen Thorkitchen HRF3601F Cabinet Depth French Door...
  • 2-drawer freezer provides better organization
  • A full-width Chiller Drawer provides flexible storage
  • Retractable Shelf designed to fit taller items with ease

The ThorKitchen Cabinet Depth French Door Refrigerator in stainless steel features two spacious freezer doors to store all your favorite frozen food items.

The convenient 2-drawer freezer allows you to have better organization with your food. There is a full-width chiller drawer that offers even more storage options for those larger Items.

A retractable shelf system allows for taller items to fit inside with no issues.

This appliance has a dual-cycle and dual air-cooled refrigerator system. There is also two extra-large fresh food drawers which are humidity controlled and perfect for produce items that tend to spoil quickly.

The ThorKitchen Cabinet Depth French Door Refrigerator is currently available to purchase from Amazon. 

GE GFE26GSKSS 25.8 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel French Door Refrigerator -...
  • Total (cu. Ft.): 25.7 / Fridge: 17.1 / Freezer: 8.6
  • TwinChill Evaporators Separates Climates
  • Space Saving Icemaker Located On The Door

The GE 25.8 cu. ft. Stainless Steel French Door Refrigerator has a gorgeous design and plenty of space to store all your perishable and frozen food items.

A refrigerator from GE is sure to last for many years to come. General Electric is a trusted appliance and electronics company that has been an industry leader for many years. They continue to create quality appliances like this French Door refrigerator to meet the needs of the modern-day homeowner.

This stainless steel refrigerator offers a total of 25.7 cu. ft. of space in the refrigerator and 17.1 cu. ft. of space for the freezer.

It features TwinChill Evaporators that help separate climates so that all food items are chilled or frozen at the right temperature.

This French Door refrigerator is currently available to purchase on Amazon.com.

The Top Side by Side Refrigerators

Side by side refrigerators are the perfect choice for households that require a lot of food and food storage options. These models have larger and more organized freezer space than French Door freezers and can also be much more affordable as well, depending on the brand. 

Kenmore 73115 French Door Smart Refrigerator, 27.7 cu. ft. in...
  • Item includes room of choice delivery, unboxing, item hook-up and free optional haul-away at checkout
  • Connect with the Kenmore Smart App and Amazon Alexa voice commands to activate Accela Ice rapid ice making system,...
  • 27.7 cu. ft. capacity with dual freezer drawers is designed for large families, weekend parties, and life’s...

The Kenmore 50043 25 cu. ft. Side by Side Refrigerator is a great buy when you need to upgrade from your old fridge and require more storage space.

This refrigerator is available in stainless steel and features a convenient icemaker on the front.

The interior space is easy to clean and care for. It includes adjustable, easy to clean glass shelving, gallon door bins, and clear crisper bin that includes humidity control. You will have access to plenty of storage and organization options inside this spacious fridge.

The Dual Pad ice and water dispenser will fill your glass with fresh water without pressing any buttons. The dispenser features a built-in clear window so that you can check on your ice levels at all times.

The adjustable, gallon-size door bins allow for milk and tall containers to be stored in the door for easy access.

This sleek and slim side by side refrigerator lights up with brilliant LED lights allowing you to always find exactly what you need. This Kenmore refrigerator is currently available to purchase on Amazon.

Frigidaire Gallery FGSS2635TF 26 cu. ft. Side-by-Side Refrig
  • Refrigerators
  • A/C Refrigeration and Accessories
  • HVAC and Refrigeration

The Frigidaire 36” side by side refrigerator features 25.6 cu. ft. of space. This stainless steel fridge has an external water feature and ice dispenser. The interior storage shelves are completely adjustable, and the crisper drawers are humidity controlled.

This stylish and modern Frigidaire refrigerator will make the perfect addition to your upgraded kitchen. The storage shelves inside allow you to organize your perishable and frozen food items like never before.

This high-quality side by side refrigerator with water and ice dispenser is currently available to purchase on Amazon.com.

This appliance has multi-level LED lighting so that you can clearly from top to bottom.

GE PSS28KSHSS Side Refrigerator
  • Factory-installed icemaker eliminates the need to fill ice trays and ensures you have a steady supply of ice on hand
  • Temperature management system combines 4 electronic sensors and a turbo cool setting to help keep foods fresh longer
  • Door alarm notifies you when the refrigerator has been left open or partially closed

The GE Profile Series 25.4 cu. ft. Side by Side refrigerator in stainless steel is an excellent choice for your new gourmet kitchen.

With plenty of space for all your perishable and frozen food items, this 25.4 cu. ft. refrigerator will help keep your kitchen organized and make meal preparation much easier.

This refrigerator is 70” tall, 36” wide and 35” deep. It includes a handy ice dispenser that also provides you with filtered water.

You can count on the GE brand to provide you with a quality appliance that will last for years to come. This product is currently available to purchase on Amazon.com.

Frigidaire FFSS2315TP 33 Inch Freestanding Side by Side Refrigerator...
  • This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes...

The Kenmore 50042 25 cu. ft. Side by Side refrigerator with Ice Maker in White is a great choice when you need to buy a replacement refrigerator or want to upgrade to one with more storage.

Available in White, Stainless Steel or Black, this refrigerator has plenty of interior space to keep your food safe and organized. The adjustable easy to clean glass shelves offer ample room for food storage and the gallon door bins make it easy to keep your favorite juices and other beverages cool.

This refrigerator includes a Dual Pad ice and water dispenser with a built-in window so that you can check your ice level.

The sleek and slim side by side Kenmore refrigerator has brilliant LED lights on the inside so that you can clearly see food from top to bottom.

This product is currently available to purchase on Amazon.com.

What Style of Refrigerator Works Best for You?

With so many different options and features out there for refrigerators these days, it can be overwhelming when it comes time to purchase a new one. Be sure that you buy a fridge that you will get a lot of use out of by choosing a fridge made by a reliable brand.

When it comes to deciding on French door vs side by side refrigerators, you need to determine which section you use most often, the refrigerator or the freezer.

French Door refrigerators have less freezer space, but they place all your refrigerated items at eye level, which is convenient. Manufacturers of side by side models also put a lot of thought into storage space for the refrigerator section, and that is why you will some with plenty of shelves, drawers and storage for taller items.

Side by side refrigerators are usually more affordable than French Door models. They have more storage in the freezer and allow you to organize your frozen food better with plenty of shelves and drawers available.

Regardless of which model you choose be sure to do plenty of research on the many different brands, models and styles of refrigerators currently available so that you can make a well-informed decision on this major appliance purchase.

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