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Styles Of Domestic Refrigerators

Different strokes for different folks, and refrigerators are no exception! There are four basic styles of refrigerators to choose from when looking for the one for your home. Most of the major refrigerator manufacturers have fridge models in each of these four styles, depending on your tastes and needs.

Top Mount Refrigerators

A top mount refrigerator has its freezer section mounted at the top of the unit. Besides being the traditional refrigerator design, it has its own unique benefit. Since cold air is denser than warm air, it tends to want to stay low. With the freezer section at the top of the fridge, the colder air travels downward into the refrigerator section, maintaining its cool, but not freezing. This way, all the effort of the refrigeration cycle is focused on the freezer section while the food compartments below reap the extra benefits.

Maytag MTF2142EES Refrigerator
The top mount Maytag MTF2142EES.

Kitchenaid KBRS20ETSS Refrigerator
The bottom mount Kitchenaid KBRS20ETSS.

Bottom Mount Refrigerators

Bottom mount refrigerators have their freezer sections down near the bottom of the unit. These refrigerators were designed to provide extra convenience to the owner. Fridge manufacturers noticed that customers access the freezer section of a refrigerator far less than the main food compartments. By placing the freezer at the bottom, fridge owners can save themselves the unnecessary back pain of frequently bending over to reach their favorite foods and then lifting out anything that might be heavy.

Unlike the top mount refrigerators, which rely on gravity simply pulling down the cold air from the freezer section into the refrigerator, bottom mount refrigerators typically have fans that blow the cold air upward.


Side-By-Side Refrigerators

The side-by-side refrigerator is the middle ground between the top and bottom mount designs. This gives the owner equal access to both refrigerator and freezer compartments without bending. This design also allows the water and ice dispensers to be positioned at a convenient level. The big trade off for all this convenience is space. With narrower sections, it’s almost impossible to store items that require wide areas of space, such as cakes or frozen turkeys.

GE PSCS5TGXSS Refrigerator
The side-by-side GE PSCS5TGXSS.

Whirlpool GI5FSAXVA Refrigerator
The French door Whirlpool GI5FSAXVA.

French Door Refrigerators

The last of the most common refrigerator designs is the French door refrigerator. Like the side-by-side design, the French door is an alternative solution for making the refrigerator more convenient for the owner. The freezer section is located at the bottom, which saves the owner from frequent bending and lifting. What are unique are the added double doors to the refrigerator section. With the doors being half the size, they require less effort to open. They’re also ideal for homes with narrow kitchens, since less they take up less clearance space when opened. The biggest drawback, however, is that the refrigerator doors often don’t support as much storage space as full-sized doors.