Refrigerator Buying Guide 2023 : How to Choose the Best Fridge

Buying a refrigerator? You need to check out these factors before deciding on one.

  • Buying a refrigerator is a big decision that needs careful planning and research. 
  • You should look at many factors before deciding on a refrigerator.
  • This article guides you through choosing a refrigerator according to your preferences.

Refrigerators have become an essential household item in every home. If you’re in the market for a good refrigerator, you must consider a lot of stuff, which requires good research and planning. 

A refrigerator isn’t only a kitchen appliance; it is a long-term investment for your family, as it affects how you handle food for your family, food quality, and even the home design. 

You need to consider many factors when choosing a refrigerator, such as the type of refrigerator, capacity, energy efficiency, budget constraints and more. In this article, let us guide you through everything you need to look at before deciding to buy your home’s refrigerator. 

Types of Refrigerators

There are different types of refrigerators that you can buy. The most common refrigerators are single-door and double-door refrigerators, but you can buy many more refrigerators in the market. Let’s discuss all the different refrigerators types first and see which one would be ideal for your use. 

Single Door Refrigerators

Single Door refrigerators, as the name suggests, come with a single door to the front. These refrigerators have a fridge, freeze and a vegetable bin, all enclosed in a single compartment and a single door. These are generally more affordable than other types of refrigerators and are considered the basic type of refrigerators. These come with up to 255 litres capacity and are perfect for more compact kitchens. 

Single Door Refrigerators Features

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Don’t have direct access to the freezer.
  • Manual defrost.
  • Small freezer.

Double Door Refrigerators

Double Door refrigerators are tall units with two doors, as the name suggests. The two doors are given for their separate compartments for the fridge and freezer, with the freezer on top. The existence of two doors for the freezer and fridge makes it more energy friendly. Also, the freezer compartment is bigger compared to the single door. 

Double Door Refrigerators Features

  • Direct access to a freezer.
  • More energy efficient than single-door refrigerators.
  • No need to defrost manually.

Bottom Mounted Refrigerators

It is a variation of double-door refrigerators, with the freezer compartment mounted on the bottom. This makes it easier to use as the fridge compartment is on the top, and you have easier access to your daily use items. 

Bottom Mounted Refrigerators Features

  • Easier access to fridge compartment.
  • Direct access to a freezer.
  • More energy efficient than single-door refrigerators.
  • No need to defrost manually.

Triple Door Refrigerators

The triple-door refrigerators come with three doors, one on the top for the freezer, the middle one for the fridge, and the bottom for the vegetable bin. They’re similar to the double-door refrigerator but have a separate vegetable bin compartment.

Triple Door Refrigerators Features

  • Separate vegetable compartment.
  • Direct access to a freezer.
  • More energy efficient than single-door refrigerators.
  • No need to defrost manually.

Side-by-Side Refrigerators

Side-by-Side refrigerators come with a set of two doors that open like a cupboard from the middle out. These refrigerators come in big capacities of up to 850 litres or even more and are meant for big families. Depending on the model, it comes with door ice dispensers, temperature-controlled bins, water purifiers, etc.

Side-by-Side Refrigerators Features

  • Multiple storage options.
  • Feature-rich.
  • Water and ice dispenser options.

French Door Refrigerators

French door refrigerators can come with different door setups. The most common setup is the one with a Side-by-Side dual door set up on top and a freezer on the bottom. Some models also follow a four-door setup, with a fridge and freezer set up in such a way that it opens middle out like Side-by-Side refrigerators.

Double Door Refrigerators Features

  • Direct access to a freezer.
  • Energy efficient than other types of refrigerators.
  • No need to defrost manually.

Mini Refrigerators

Mini refrigerators are mini versions of single-door refrigerators. It can be set in small spaces as well as it is small in size. It is generally preferred by a family of two or people living alone.

Mini Refrigerators Features

  • Compact
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Manual defrost.
  • Small freezer 

Size and capacity Considerations

The two things you need to consider first when buying a new refrigerator is the size and capacity of the refrigerator. This depends on your family size or the number of individuals using the refrigerator. For example, a single person or a couple can do with capacities up to 200L, but more is needed for a family of 3-4 members. 

Here’s a handy guide on the capacity you could go for based on the number of persons or family size:

Size of Family Desired Refrigerator Capacity (in Litres)
Single person or couple Up to 200
Family of 3-4 members 250 to 300
Family of 4-5 members 300 to 350
Family of 6 or more members 400 and above

Energy Efficiency and Ratings

Like all other home appliances, refrigerators are given BEE ratings depending on their energy efficiency. The rating goes from 1 to 5 stars, with 1 star being the lowest efficient to 5 being the most energy efficient. You should ideally get a refrigerator with the most energy rating for bigger savings on electricity bills. 

Essential features and functionalities

You should also think about the features when buying a refrigerator. Mini and single-door refrigerators usually come with basic features. These refrigerators are considered basic variants and are meant for cooling your food, and just that. 

Double-door refrigerators come with extra features such as automatic defrost technology so that you don’t need to remove the ice as with single-door refrigerators manually. 

If you want advanced features like smart home integration, water purifier, instant ice, internal camera, and more, you need to go for Side-by-Side or French Door refrigerators. 

Cooling performance and technology

Two types of cooling technologies are used in refrigerators – Direct Cooling and Frost Free. 

With direct cooling, the cool air is circulated through the natural convection process. This is usually used in single-door and mini-refrigerators. The disadvantage of this technology is that you must defrost to get rid of ice formed manually. 

The frost-free technology circulates air evenly around the refrigerator with the convection process assisted by electric fans. Refrigerators using this technology blows air to reach all parts. As the name suggests, this technology is frost-free; you don’t need to manually remove ice. 

The better technology is, of course, the frost-free technology. 

Budget considerations

If you’re on a strict budget, you could stick to a single-door or mini refrigerator. On average, Single-door refrigerators cost between Rs 13,000 to Rs 20,000, depending on the capacity. The double-door refrigerator starts upwards of Rs 20,000. Side-by-Side refrigerators will cost you upwards of Rs 42,000, and French Door refrigerators usually starts at Rs 70,000 or more. 

Now that you have a basic idea of the prices of refrigerators, you can easily nail it down based on your budget.

Maintenance and care

You must maintain and care for your refrigerator after buying it to ensure its long life. Here are some tips:

  • Close the refrigerator doors quickly after opening them. 
  • Ensure the door is closed correctly to ensure the seal. 
  • Always set the correct temperature for better and more efficient cooling.  
  • Empty ice accumulation regularly. 
  • Clean your refrigerator every few weeks. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is the ideal temperature range for a refrigerator?

The ideal temperature for a refrigerator is about 3°C, according to Whirlpool. 

2) How long can a refrigerator keep food fresh during a power outage?

A refrigerator can ideally keep the food safe for up to 4 hours without power. 

3) What are the average lifespan and warranty duration for refrigerators?

The average lifespan of a refrigerator generally is between 10 to 20 years. Most refrigerators come with a warranty of 1 year for the refrigerator but have a longer warranty period for the compressor, generally ten years.