French Door vs Side By Side Refrigerator: Which Is Best For Your Kitchen?

French Door Refrigerator VS Side by Side Refrigerator

It can be difficult keeping groceries organized in the refrigerator. Leftovers get piled up and pushed to the back corners. Produce gets squeezed into drawers and left for questionable amounts of time, and the freezer can easily turn into an avalanche of frozen vegetables.

Is it you, or is it the refrigerator? Freestanding refrigerators come in multiple formats. The choice between a French door versus side-by-side refrigerator seems to be a common debate among homeowners considering a new refrigerator.

Fully Stocked Side by Side Refrigerator
Side by side refrigerators offer easily-reachable space in both the refrigerator and freezer zones, but storage width is limited.

When comparing 36″ refrigerator door styles, there are a few important factors to consider, such as space allocation and accessibility.

A side-by-side refrigerator offers shelving at convenient heights in both the refrigerator and the freezer. You can keep your most-used refrigerated and frozen items on middle and top shelves to minimize the amount of stooping you have to do.

However, there are some drawbacks to the side by side format. A side by side doesn’t leave much width for either the refrigerator or the freezer, which can make even large refrigerators feel cramped. Accommodating party platters and frozen pizzas in the narrow storage space can be a challenge.

A French door refrigerator, on the other hand, offers full-width refrigerator and freezer space to accommodate large party trays and pizzas easily. While you may have to stoop down to get to the freezer, many French door refrigerators offer drawers and bins to separate the space for better organization and easier access. Some users point out that because we tend to reach into our refrigerators much more often throughout the day than our freezers, it makes sense to have the freezer on the bottom. Overall, most customers seem pleased with their French door refrigerators.

French Door Refrigerator with Door Open
French door units put your primary refrigeration space at a comfortable level, but the freezer space may be harder for some to reach.

Read about counter depth vs standard depth refrigerators.

Regardless, some dislike bending down and digging through piles of frozen food to get what they need. Additionally, some dislike the fact that for most models, you have to open both refrigerator doors to access any full-width deli or produce drawers.

If you’re contemplating the side by side vs French door refrigerator options for your own home, consider how much you use your freezer, how often you entertain with large platters, and whether you or your family members have trouble stooping down to retrieve items from low spaces. It’s also important to consider the shelf and door bin sizes and heights to see if they will accommodate your everyday items such as gallons of milk or tall beverages.

Research can certainly inform your decision, but ultimately the choice comes down to personal preference and habits.

See your French door and side-by-side refrigerator options at Designer Home Surplus.

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