The Pros and Cons of Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Bottom freezer refrigerators are a step-up from the traditional model in more ways than one

Kitchen with bottom freezer refrigerator and mint green cabinets

The bottom freezer refrigerator is one of the most popular models thanks to its simplicity and functionality. As the name implies, the unit has its freezer compartments located below the fridge. This is the opposite of the tried and true top freezer model. 

There’s a lot to love about the bottom freezer configuration. Sweeten lays out a list of pros and cons.

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Pros

Practical

Do you spend more time gazing into your fridge or your freezer? The answer is likely your fridge. So, bottom freezer refrigerators make more sense because your fridge is at eye level. This limits bending over to pull out the crisper or the milk on the lower rung of the door.  

The way the space is organized—wide compartments for fridge and freezer—gives you options. For example, there’s room to fit large items like platters.

Durable 

Due to their simplicity, bottom freezer refrigerators tend to be more reliable. A Consumer Report survey on fridge doors gave bottom freezer refrigerators an excellent rating. On the other hand, the popular french door model received only a good rating. A french door refrigerator is one refrigerator space accessed by two outward-swinging doors.

Better freezer storage

This configuration has more freezer storage that is better organized compared to its top freezer counterpart. 

A big plus of bottom freezer refrigerators is the drawer (or two) that is pulled out. Instead of stacking items in your freezer, a bottom freezer refrigerator contains everything in drawers. Therefore, there’s no avalanche of frozen goods when you peek in your freezer. 

Cost

This could be a pro or a con because bottom freezer refrigerators sit at the center of the price spectrum. They typically cost less than the french door models, but more than a top freezer fridge. Think $1,200 and higher for your bottom freezer refrigerator.   

Cons

Less economical and environmental

Bottom freezer refrigerators use between ten and 25 percent more energy than the top freezer version, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. So, bottom freezer refrigerators cost more to run with a larger carbon footprint than a top freezer model. That’s because a bottom freezer takes more energy to keep cool due to its close proximity to the condenser fan motor. These hot little things are typically below a fridge. 

The single large doors of a bottom freezer refrigerator allow more cool air to escape when opened. In contrast, a french door fridge with multiple doors releases less air so it expends less energy staying cold. 

Fewer bells and whistles

If water and ice dispensers are a non-negotiable, you might be turning to other models. These are not common features of bottom freezer refrigerators. However, that’s not to say it’s impossible to find dispensers in this style.  

Best bottom freezer refrigerators

Whirlpool bottom freezer refrigerator #WRB533CZJW

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  • Highlight: The Flexi-Slide™ bins allow tall condiments and bottles to fit into the fridge with ease. Storage is customizable in this 24” compact counter-depth refrigerator. 
  • Dimension: 24″w x 71″h x 28.37″d
  • Features: Adaptive Defrost, Energy Star Certified, Reversible doors
  • Price: $989, plus free home delivery
  • Where to buy

Fisher & Paykel refrigerator #RF170WDRX5N

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  • Highlight: ActiveSmart keeps food fresher for longer by sensing the owner’s use of the fridge and providing optimized temperature and a controlled environment. 
  • Dimensions: 31″w x 67.5″h x 27.3″d
  • Features: Adaptive Defrost, Adjustable Glass Shelves, Fast Freeze
  • Price: $2,499, plus free home delivery
  • Where to buy

LG bottom freezer refrigerator #LRDCS2603S

LG bottom freezer refrigerator
  • Highlight: The Glide N’ Serve™ Drawer provides variable temperature control for cheeses, deli meats, and large party trays.
  • Dimension: 32.75″w x 69.87″h x 34.87″d
  • Features: SmartDiagnosis, Energy Star Certified, PrintProof Finish
  • Price: $1,799, plus free home delivery
  • Where to buy

Beko refrigerator #BFBF3018SSIML

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  • Highlight: The EverFresh+ System allows food to last up to three times longer than an average refrigerator because it seamlessly balances precise humidity and temperature.
  • Dimension: 29.1″w x 67.75″h x 28.3″d
  • Features: Zone Temperature Adjustability, Energy Star Certified, Automatic Defrost
  • Price: $1,469, plus free home delivery
  • Where to buy

Liebherr refrigerator #CS1401RIM

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  • Highlight: The SuperQuiet System keeps sounds to a minimum with speed-controlled compressors and a low-noise cooling circuit. The SoftSystem guarantees the door will close gently even if fully loaded. 
  • Dimensions: 29.5″w x 66″h x 24.8″d
  • Features: Automatic Defrost, FrostSafe, EnergyStar Certified
  • Price: $2,499, plus free home delivery
  • Where to buy

    Bertazzoni refrigerator #REF31BMFIX

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    • Highlight: The refrigerator can accommodate handles from the Professional or Master series. The Surround Cooling System optimizes airflow with multiple vents and provides the refrigerator with an even temperature.
    • Dimensions: 31″w x 69″h x 26.5″d
    • Features: Energy-Saving Mode, Touch-Control Interface, User-Friendly Storage
    • Price: $2,199, plus free home delivery
    • Where to buy

    A note on appliance deliveries: If you’re on a tight timeline, Appliances Connection has over 10,000 items in stock and ready to ship nationally. If you’re in NY/NJ, in-stock items can be delivered within 2 days.

    More popular questions

    Bottom freezers are great for size capacity, stacking, and efficiency. Side-by-side refrigerators are best for accessibility, small spaces, and price. Choosing between a bottom freezer or side-by-side refrigerator depends on what the homeowner is looking for.

    When stacking food, food can end up getting lost under other newer food in a bottom freezer fridge. Additionally, those with impaired mobility may have difficulties lifting food from the freezer.

    Over 22 cubic feet is considered large for a bottom freezer refrigerator. If you’re looking for a larger example, LG has ones that are 25.5 cubic feet. Their spacious configuration provides various ways to organize. Food is stackable and easily accessible and they fit more food due to their design.

    While side-by-side refrigerators circulate cold air between the freezer and refrigerator, bottom freezer refrigerators work differently. A vent located at the top of the freezer circulates cold air into the fridge. The cooling sequence happens in the back of the freezer.

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