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Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer Refrigerators: Which are Better?

by Pam Silvia

From weeknight dinners to weekend feasts, your refrigerator does a lot of heavy lifting. But do you know which configuration best suits your needs? A tried-and-true style over the years, top freezer refrigerators entail a larger fridge compartment at the lower level with a smaller icebox up top. Not to be outdone, bottom freezer refrigerators are praised for their convenient organization, granting you easy access to the items you reach for the most. This is because bottom freezer refrigerators stow your fresh foods at eye level while keeping your frozen goods accessible at the pull of a drawer at the bottom of the appliance.

At a Glance:

Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer [Chart]

Top Freezer Refrigerator Pros and Cons

Bottom Freezer Refrigerator Pros and Cons

Best Top Freezer Refrigerators

Best Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Three meals a day, every day, calls for a refrigerator that you can count on. So, when it comes to choosing between a top freezer vs bottom freezer refrigerator, which is better for you? Read on to find out!

Comparing Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

To provide an overview of both top freezer and bottom freezer refrigerators, we included an easy-to-reference chart with important product specifications, including price range, storage capacity, and dimensions.

Product Attributes Top Freezer Refrigerators Bottom Freezer Refrigerators
 
Price Range $350 – $3,000 $750 – $5,000
Refrigerator Capacity (cu. ft.) 7.5 – 18 12.5 – 16
Total Capacity (cu. ft.) 10 – 25 18 – 23
Width (in.) 23.25 – 35.75 29 – 35.75
Height (in.) 64.5 – 68.5 66.5 – 68.5
Depth (in.) 23.75 – 33.5 25.75 – 34.5
Top-rated Brands Frigidaire, GE, LG, and Whirlpool Amana, GE, KitchenAid, and Whirlpool 

Top Freezer Refrigerators: Pros and Cons

GE black top freezer refrigerator in kitchen

Sometimes, you can’t beat the classics. Perfect for frozen pizzas and a sea of leftovers, top freezer refrigerators keep the freezer compartment at eye level while providing excellent freezing power and ready-made ice. Ideal for compact kitchens, top freezer fridges are all-around smaller than their bottom freezer, French door, and side by side counterparts. Accordingly, the storage capacity and upfront cost of these fridges are also more conversative than those of other full-sized configurations.

Here are some pros and cons associated with owning a top freezer refrigerator:

Pros

✓ Affordably priced (entry-level models start at around $350)

✓ Less expensive to maintain

✓ Occupy smaller footprint compared to other full-sized configurations

✓ More usable storage space in the fresh-food compartment

✓ Don’t have to strain your neck or back to access the freezer

Cons

X Fewer organization options in the freezer drawer

X No pull-out freezer drawer

X No exterior water or ice dispenser

X May slightly strain your neck or back to access the fresh-food compartment

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators: Pros and Cons

GE stainless steel refrigerator in kitchen

Conversely, bottom freezer refrigerators keep the fresh-food compartment at eye level—in other words, this fridge configuration literally has your back, keeping your body from bending when accessing the ingredients you reach for the most. Compared to top freezer models, bottom freezer fridges are wider, offering fewer refrigeration solutions for compact spaces. That said, bigger is often better.

Check out the pros and cons associated with owning a bottom freezer refrigerator:

Pros

✓ More organization options in the freezer drawer

✓ Suitable storage for families of up to four people

✓ Don’t have to strain your neck or back to access the fresh-food compartment

✓ More usable space storage space in the freezer drawer

Cons

X Higher upfront cost (entry-level models start at around $750)

X More expensive to maintain

X May slightly strain your neck or back to access the freezer drawer

Our Best Top Freezer Refrigerators

Best Overall: Whirlpool 20.5 Cu. Ft. Wide Top Freezer Refrigerator

The best top freezer refrigerator in our opinion, the Whirlpool 20.5 Cu. Ft. Wide Top Freezer Refrigerator (WRT311FZD) maximizes storage space with classic amenities like clear door bins and frameless glass shelves. That said, this Whirlpool top freezer refrigerator offers premium features, including two humidity-controlled crispers that give you plenty of room to keep fruits and vegetables in their ideal environment. A Flexi-Slide™ bin quickly and easily moves side to side for convenient storage options so that you can adjust to make space for tall items when needed. Plus, the LED interior lighting is longer-lasting and uses less energy than incandescent lighting, casting a bright light on the contents of your refrigerator so food looks as it should.

Click for best price: Whirlpool 20.5 Cu. Ft. Wide Top Freezer Refrigerator

Best Value: Whirlpool 14.3 Cu. Ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

If you don’t have a lot of kitchen space, this Whirlpool 14.3 Cu. Ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator (WRT314TFD) provides a lot of bang for your buck. Whirlpool improved the design of this small-capacity model, offering quiet cooling for a more pleasant kitchen. To keep frozen items ice-cold, intuitive freezer temperature controls allow you to adjust the level of cold air.

Click for best price: Whirlpool 14.3 Cu. Ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

Best Luxury: LG 23.8 Cu. Ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

Contoured doors, hidden hinges, and a host of great interior features give the LG 23.8 Cu. Ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator (LTWS24223S) a look that is as sophisticated as it is functional. And its beauty isn't just on the outside. With every feature thoughtfully designed—including an internal water dispenser, humidity-controlled crispers, a full-width pantry drawer, and LED lighting—this appliance helps you create the sophisticated, distinctive kitchen you want and deserve. If that's not enough, this LG top freezer refrigerator was rated Most Efficient by ENERGY STAR® in 2020.

Click for best price: LG 23.8 Cu. Ft. Top Freezer Refrigerator

Whirlpool 20.5 Cubic Foot Wide Top Freezer Refrigerator

Pictured: Whirlpool 20.5 Cu. Ft. Wide Top Freezer Refrigerator

Our Best Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Best Overall: GE Series 20.9 Cu. Ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

The GE Series 20.9 Cu. Ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator (GBE21DGK) is stocked with loads of helpful features that make it the best bottom freezer refrigerator. Crisp, clear LED lighting helps you find exactly what you’ve been looking for, while a variety of shelf configurations provide additional options for food storage. This GE bottom freezer refrigerator also features a Multiflow Air System with electronic sensors, two humidity-controlled crispers, and four fresh-food bins—two of which are adjustable and two of which are full-width.

Click for best price: GE Series 20.9 Cu. Ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

Best Value: LG 14.7 Cu. Ft. Counter Depth Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

With the LG 14.7 Cu. Ft. Counter Depth Bottom Freezer Refrigerator (LBNC15231V), you can get the space you need in a refrigerator that is right for your kitchen—even if it’s on the small side. Not only does this 28-inch bottom freezer refrigerator manage to store all your groceries, but it also keeps your food fresher, longer—thanks to the Multi-Air Flow Freshness System that is designed to maintain superior humidity and temperature levels. LG then takes its advanced freshness system one step further by adding Door Cooling+ to provide a steady supply of cold air to help keep door contents at peak freshness. Plus, if you ever experience an issue with your fridge, SmartDiagnosis™ helps the service center diagnose problems over the phone or with a mobile app on your smartphone.

Click for best price: LG 14.7 Cu. Ft. Counter Depth Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

Best Luxury: Bosch 800 Series 10.3 Cu. Ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

The brains behind Bosch refrigerators know that opening the fridge allows warm air to enter, which can spoil the food inside. Activating the SuperCool function on the Bosch 800 Series 10.3 Cu. Ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator (B10CB81NVW) rapidly drops the internal temperature to insulate the food inside, ensuring that your newly acquired groceries cool more quickly. Due to its compact design, this Bosch bottom freezer refrigerator is best for providing supplemental storage. That said, this fridge boasts a top-tier lineup of features, including counter-depth installation, a full-width chiller drawer that can accommodate oversized platters, an encompassing MultiAirFlow™ system, and a three-tiered freezer drawer.

Click for best price: Bosch 800 Series 10.3 Cu. Ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

LG 14.7 Cubic Foot Counter Depth Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

Pictured: LG 14.7 Cu. Ft. Counter Depth Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

Our Verdict

Depending on your needs, a bottom freezer refrigerator may be the wiser purchase—and vice versa. On one hand, bottom freezer fridges may be more accessible to seniors and people with disabilities due to their convenient organization. In addition, bottom freezer refrigerators have more usable space in the freezer drawer than top freezer refrigerators do in their icebox. As a result, bottom freezer models are better able to accommodate more frozen foods, including differently shaped packaging.

On the other hand, top freezer models are generally more energy-efficient than their bottom freezer counterparts—which is owed to the freezer compartment being located away from the compressor, causing it to use about 10 to 25 percent less energy. On the whole, top freezer fridges are the best option for small households, compact spaces, and tighter budgets.

Shop Top Freezer and Bottom Freezer Refrigerators at Aztec

Don’t forget to shop local! Browse our inventory of top-rated refrigerators, and if you have any questions regarding top freezer vs bottom freezer refrigerators, feel free to contact our Aztec Appliance team at (858) 987-5777 or visit us at our San Diego, CA location. More accessible than ever, our experts can also be reached via chat!