Kellan is a content writer who specializes in everything DIY. When he's not behind the keyboard, he enjoys spending time with his pets, playing music, and geeking out about basketball. He hopes to make your home improvement projects a little bit easier to accomplish.
10 Refrigerator Brands To Avoid (Buy THESE Brands Instead)
No home is complete without a refrigerator. But if you buy the wrong brand, this can leave you with a dead fridge full of rotten food at the worst possible moment. Instead, let us guide you through the buying process to be sure you get a fridge that will keep your food chilled for years to come.
Your refrigerator is the heart of your kitchen. It’s the one appliance that every person in your family will use multiple times each day. That’s why it’s absolutely worth investing in a refrigerator that’s perfect for your home.
However, the idea of scouring the internet to find the right brand for your needs can feel daunting. Still, if you don’t do research, you risk purchasing a refrigerator that’s unreliable and prone to breaking. That’s why we created this guide to simplify the shopping process and show you which refrigerator brands you need to avoid altogether.
When purchasing a refrigerator, avoid brands like Bosch, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, and Thermador. These brands consistently have problems like water leakage, ice maker overflows, and misaligned doors. If you buy one, you risk having to spend much more than necessary on repair costs. Instead, buy Electrolux, GE, and LG refrigerators, which have the highest reliability ratings by consumers.
Table of Contents
- Does Brand Really Matter When It Comes To Refrigerators?
- 10 Worst Refrigerator Brands to Avoid
- What Should I Look For When Buying a Refrigerator?
- Video: Best Refrigerators to Consider
- Which Refrigerator Brands Are The Least Reliable?
- Which Refrigerator Brands Are The Worst-Rated For Customer Service?
- Which Brands Lack Quality Features?
- What Features Matter to You?
- How Much Are You Willing to Spend?
- What Brands of Refrigerators Should I Buy?
- What Are The Highest-Rated Refrigerator Models On The Market?
- Can You Get An Unbranded Fridge Instead?
- The Takeaway: Refrigerator Brands To Avoid
- Related Questions
Does Brand Really Matter When It Comes To Refrigerators?
The answer to this is both a yes and a no. Not all refrigerators will be entirely representative of what most people think about them. It is possible to get an amazing refrigerator from a pretty low-rated brand. It’s also possible to get a complete dud of a fridge after shelling out thousands of dollars for a quality machine.
However, there is a reason why people pay so much attention to branding when it comes to their fridge brands. The brand that you choose will give you a good idea of what to expect in terms of selection, warranty policy, as well as the general reliability. In other words, choosing a good brand is a smart way to maximize your chances at having a fridge that lasts and lasts.
10 Worst Refrigerator Brands to Avoid
There are a lot of refrigerator models that are currently under fire as a result of the low quality workmanship that they have. These include the following models below:
- The Smeg Retro Fridge. It looks pretty, but has little to no temperature control. Fixes are expensive.
- Samsung French Door Refrigerator. This series of fridges is in the middle of a class-action lawsuit due to Samsung knowingly selling defective models.
- The Whirlpool 26 cu. ft. Double French Door Series. Along with Samsung, this has been regularly cited as highly unreliable.
- KitchenAid 27 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator. This model was one of many cited in a class action lawsuit for defects.
- Whirlpool 25 cu. ft. Double French Door Series. Most of the models in here are under scrutiny for defective parts.
- KitchenAid 29.5 cu. ft. Side By Side Refrigerator. This was named in a quality-related class action lawsuit.
- KitchenAid Built-In Side By Side Refrigerator. Yet another KitchenAid product, this was mentioned in a quality-related lawsuit alongside others on this list.
- LG Large Capacity Side By Side Refrigerator. There are both recalls and lawsuits happening as a result of this fridge.
- LG Side By Side Counter Depth Refrigerators. Multiple complaints about the model’s quality have come to light.
- Whirlpool Bottom Freezer Refrigerator Series. There is a current class action suit against Whirlpool for these items.
What Should I Look For When Buying a Refrigerator?
When shopping for a refrigerator, there are a few key things you should be looking at. Here’s an overview of the most important factors to consider before making a purchasing decision.
Do You Want A Side-by-Side, Bottom-Freezer, Or Top-Freezer Model?
Refrigerators today come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. However, they all fall into one of these three categories. Each can be a good option for homeowners with different preferences.
For example, you may want to buy a bottom-freezer model if you use your freezer often. This puts the freezer at eye level, which may be appealing based on your preferences. Bottom freezer models are fairly popular for this reason alone.
Your second option is to purchase a refrigerator with a side-by-side freezer. French-door and four-door refrigerators save space with narrow door swings, which could be a priority for you if your kitchen is a bit of a tight space. Standard side-by-side models also have narrow door swings, but usually require more reaching and bending.
Finally, you can also purchase a top-freezer model. These cost the least but are also considered to be the least stylish. Of course, you may have different taste preferences than the people who feel this way. In that scenario, a top-freezer model could be an excellent way to save money without having to sacrifice much of anything.
Should I Get A Free-Standing Or A Built-in Refrigerator?
Along with the most common refrigerator layouts you can get, it’s important to remember that the refrigerator’s installation method can also make a difference in how well your refrigerator will work. The two different installation methods are free-standing or built-in.
- A free-standing refrigerator is meant to stand on its own. It can be moved place to place. These tend to be the most popular in smaller kitchens, simply because you might need to “feng shui” your fridge’s position. These also tend to be somewhat cheaper due to the fact that they are often brought along with families when they move.
- A built-in refrigerator is designed to be built into the kitchen’s wall or cabinetry. The built-in feature gives the kitchen in question a seamless appearance that adds value to the home. Built-in refrigerators are permanent fixtures that will only come out when the fridge is completely busted. They also tend to be more expensive than free-standing models due to their luxury veneer.
- When in doubt, it’s best to choose a free-standing refrigerator. This is the easiest and more affordable one to install in most cases. If your cabinetry already has a nook for a refrigerator, you should take a look at built-in models that can handle that kind of spacing.
Video: Best Refrigerators to Consider
Which Refrigerator Brands Are The Least Reliable?
Using the same methodology described above, we can get an accurate understanding of which refrigerator brands are the least reliable on the market today. According to experts, the following brands are the worst in this regard:
- Bosch. For a luxury refrigerator, it’s hard to believe that Bosch has the bad reviews across the board. While some of their models are reliable, there have been complaints on everything from the water dispenser to the actual refrigeration mechanism. If you want to get a better fridge, don’t go for this.
- Frigidaire. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. At one point in history, having a Frigidaire was the way people showed that they made it. Today, it’s one of the many old refrigerator brands to avoid. Not only do they suffer from frequent breaks, but this old name also boasts the shortest lifespan of all refrigerators. Yikes.
- Thermador. Despite being one of the most expensive refrigerator brands on this list, it’s not doing too well in terms of reliability. If you can, skip this one. You can get a better machine for the price.
- Whirlpool. If you look online, you’re going to notice a couple of things. You may notice that Whirlpool stepped up its customer service after 2020. However, you might also notice an unusually high number of reports of Whirlpool refrigerators being dead months after purchase. Whirlpool is currently in a class-action lawsuit after they knowingly sold defective fridges to clients. So, their reliability definitely isn’t what it should be.
- Samsung. So, this is a brand that should come with a small caveat. Samsung makes a bunch of high quality refrigerators that do not have a tendency to malfunction. However, this company is inherently a company linked to smarthome supplies. As a result of glitches that happen with the computer chips, Samsung refrigerators are more prone to breakage. One common issue with certain models of Samsung fridges is a weird noise that comes and goes when opening the fridge door.
While you may now assume these are definitely the refrigerators to stay away from, these brands aren’t necessarily awful choices, and your individual results with them may vary. You should just make sure to keep their reliability rankings in mind. When comparing two models with similar prices and features, it’s a good idea to choose the one that experts rate higher for reliability.
Which Refrigerator Brands Are The Worst-Rated For Customer Service?
When it comes to customer satisfaction, there’s a lot of reason to pay attention. Everyone is asking, “What refrigerator brand should I buy?” But, few remember to ask, “Which refrigerator brands have a bad rep with customers?” Even if a fridge has all the bells and whistles included in it, those features won’t matter much if you can’t get help from the company that made it when they break down.
If you want to ensure that you get quality service and a decent return on your investment, it’s good to get an idea of what people think of the brands in question. In terms of customer satisfaction, these are the worst-ranked…
- Frigidaire. Oh, oh dear. This is not good. Frigidaire is famous for having a lackadaisical customer service department when it comes to their refrigerators. This is a sad shame, considering that this company was once synonymous with refrigerators.
- Whirlpool. Whirlpool refrigerators won’t break often, but when they do, it’s never a good thing. Many people have complained about their long customer service wait times as well as their phone guys with attitude. It’s not a good look.
- KitchenAid. KitchenAid is a little strange. Prior to the sale, their reps are known for going above and beyond to help their clients. Whe you buy the fridge, the customer service and repairs tend to take a steep decline.
Which Brands Lack Quality Features?
Another way to measure a bad brand is to see which ones don’t have much features. Admittedly, this is a bit of a stretch. However, it’s important to remember how insanely complex running a kitchen or home comfortably is. If you want to have an easier time running a kitchen, it makes sense to have a fridge with a ton of neat features that go beyond a crisper or freezer.
The truth is that most major brands will have features that make it easier to work your kitchen’s flow. However, some still tend to be less feature-filled than others. These include:
- Whirlpool. Yes, they do have some chic features, but not many. This is a bare bones brand in many cases. In the cases, where you do have oodles of features, it’s kind of clear that the fridge probably won’t work well for too long. Whirlpool is not a good choice, period.
- Frigidaire. Yes, Frigidaire is going to end up on this list too. If there seems to be a major moral of the story, it’s that you shouldn’t buy a Frigidaire anymore.
- GE. This is a mixed bag. While it’s true that GE has a bunch of excellent models that are chock-full of features. However, when it comes to basic models, you can’t get any more bare-bones than the ones GE has to offer. Unike what’s going on with Whirlpool and Frigidaire, this is actually a pretty good thing in many cases.
What Features Matter to You?
Refrigerator manufacturers regularly try to one-up each other by adding new features to their latest models. While some of these features can be incredibly useful, others exist almost solely to be showed off.
One feature that you’ll want to prioritize is adjustable shelves. These are super important because they allow you to maximize space and make cleaning your refrigerator easier to do. This kind of customization is absolutely worth investing in.
Ice functionality is another feature you should consider. Most refrigerators can produce ice nowadays. However, some are capable of doing so ultra fast. This might be a handy feature if you’re a family that uses a lot of ice.
You might also want to purchase a refrigerator with a counter-depth design. Essentially, these give the refrigerator a custom, built-in look. This could be important for you if you’ve been careful about managing your kitchen’s aesthetic.
Finally, you may also want to purchase a refrigerator model with built-in entertainment. You can buy a fridge with a television screen so you can watch your favorite show while cooking. Expect to pay considerably more if you purchase a refrigerator with this feature.
How Much Are You Willing to Spend?
Of course, you may want all of the functionality in the world. However, if you aren’t willing to pay extra for it, then none of those desires will matter. That’s why it’s a good idea to set a budget before you begin the shopping process. Doing so will help you narrow down your options to a manageable set instead of being overwhelmed by the market’s many options.
The average cost for a new refrigerator is between $1,000 and $2,000. However, your costs may vary widely based on what you’re looking for. The following chart shows the average price range for various types of fridges that may interest you. If you want to get an ultra-luxury refrigerator, you may have to spend upwards of $6,000.
|Refrigerator Type||Average Price Range|
|Smart fridge||$2,000 – $4,100|
|No freezer||$580 – $1,490|
|Side-by-side||$950 – $2,400|
|French door fridge||$1,200 – $2,600|
|Freezer on bottom||$1,000 – $2,500|
|Freezer on top||$390 – $1,000|
Your specific price options may vary based on the store you’re purchasing from and where you’re located geographically. However, these average price ranges are good to keep in mind to ensure that you aren’t wildly overpaying for a refrigerator at any particular retailer.
Energy efficiency is a huge factor when purchasing any new appliance. Just a small percentage increase in your refrigerator’s efficiency could end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the lifespan of the appliance.
This is why it’s a good idea to prioritize purchasing a refrigerator this is Energy Star Compliant. On average, appliances with this certification can save homeowners around 10% on their annual energy bill. This can add up significantly over time.
What Brands of Refrigerators Should I Buy?
Based on our research and reading thousands of customer reviews, the most reliable brands are Electrolux, LG, and Haier. New refrigerators can have dozens of high-tech features. None of them will matter if the refrigerator itself doesn’t consistently function like it’s supposed to. That’s why reliability should be a huge factor in your refrigerator shopping process.
It can sometimes be difficult to ascertain which appliance brands are reliable and which aren’t. This is because one of the only sources of data that we have for figuring this out is consumer reviews.
These are hard to trust completely, as they often come in small sample sizes. Additionally, customers are generally more apt to complain about a product online than they are to praise one.
Given that, one of the most effective ways to answer this question is to pay attention to what refrigerator technicians think about these products. They have the knowledge and expertise necessary to make a more accurate determination.
What Are The Highest-Rated Refrigerator Models On The Market?
This refrigerator from GE ranks as the best counter-depth model on the market today. It features an elegant design that can also be customized to meet your unique needs. Even better, the fridge has an internal water dispenser and is WiFi connected. These features make it an excellent choice for homeowners who want a fridge that will blend into their kitchen’s existing aesthetic.
This refrigerator from GE ranks as the highest-rated refrigerator on the market in 2020. It features an integrated Keurig K-Cup Brewing System and received positive feedback for its temperature maintenance. The fridge is even Wi-Fi enabled so you can download apps that you find useful on it.
Consumers rate this fridge from Maytag as the appliance that offers the best value. It costs just over $2,000 and comes with everything you’re looking for in a fridge. This includes adjustable shelves, built-in water and ice dispensers, and more. The fridge is also made by Maytag, one of the most reliable manufacturers on the market.
This is the top model on the market if you’re looking for a door-in-door model. What stands out is its easy-access compartment, which allows you to grab a snack or beverage without having to open the entire door. This feature will help you save on your energy bill.
Additionally, the fridge’s InstaView technology allows you to see what’s in your fridge before you open the door. You can even knock on the window to make the interior lights come on.
Can You Get An Unbranded Fridge Instead?
There is nothing that is stopping you from getting a fridge from a no-name brand. However, this is a very bad idea. Most “aftermarket” brands are meant to be cheap options that are not meant to last. Rather, they’re temporary fixes that look pretty but fall apart at the seams. They’re made cheap, and they do not have a name that they’re trying to prop up.
Appliances are not meant to be quick buys. You want to have a fridge from a company that stands by its work and offers up warranties. No-name brands will not be able to do that. In fact, the vast majority of no-name brands do not carry any kind of warranty whatsoever for their refrigerators. Those that do rarely ever actually put those warranties to use.
If only just for the warranty, stick to an unbranded fridge.
The Takeaway: Refrigerator Brands To Avoid
There are many different manufacturers who are making refrigerators with solid consumer ratings. Whirlpool, GE, and LG consistently stand out as some of the best on the market.
According to customers, purchasing a refrigerator from one of these companies seems like it’ll always be a fairly safe bet. That being said, you’ll still want to check the ratings for the specific model that you like before you decide to purchase it. As shown in the previous section, even Whirlpool isn’t immune from making a bad refrigerator.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are several refrigerator brands that consumers recommend avoiding entirely. Some of the worst fridges that we’ve seen were made by companies like KitchenAid, Bosch, and Frigidaire.
How long should a refrigerator last?
According to data collected by the United States Department of Energy, fridges are supposed to last about 12 years. At most you should expect them to last up to 15 years. However, if your refrigerator isn’t energy efficient, it may be worth replacing before it hits the 12-year mark.
At the low end of the spectrum, you should still be able to get five to 10 years out of a fridge. However, it’s highly unusual to see a fridge that only lasts for five years.
How do you know if your refrigerator is dying?
There are several signs you can look at to make this determination. You may notice that your fridge looks like it’s constantly sweating, for example. This is a sign of condensation build-up. Or, maybe your freezer is freezing over or you notice that the fridge is making louder and louder sounds over time. These are all signs that it’s time for either a repair or a replacement.
What brand of refrigerator has the least problems?
Generally speaking, consumers see the best results when purchasing fridges from Bosch, GE, LG, Samsung, and Gaggenau. If you’re in the market for a new fridge, purchasing from one of these brands could be your best option. If you are going for the ultra-high end market, then a good choice would be Smeg.
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