A door-in-door refrigerator in a kitchen with light brown cabinetry

Your Guide to Buying a New Refrigerator

If you want a new refrigerator let Electronic Express help you pick the perfect one! Here is the ultimate refrigerator-buying guide.

What To Look For When Buying A New Refrigerator

How Much Should I Budget For A New Refrigerator?

Your budget will depend on the type and size of refrigerator you’re looking for. In general, larger refrigerators will lean to the higher end of your budget. 

Average New Refrigerator Price Range By Type

  • Mini-fridges – $100 – $400
  • Top freezer or bottom freezer models – $200 – $2000
  • Side-by-side – $400 – $4000
  • French door – $1000 – $3500
  • Smart fridges – $4000 – $4600
  • Luxury fridge – $4000 – $13,000

What Is The Best Time of Year To Buy A Refrigerator?

You can usually find the best deals between September and December. Stores often offer good deals in January to make room for new stock.

Choose Your Style of Refrigerator

Your home has its own unique style and your appliances are a big part of that style. Here is a little about each style of refrigerator to help you consider what’s right for you.

French Door

A cafe luxury french-door refrigerator with a marble gray finish in a kitchen with black shelves, and rose pink painted walls.

French door refrigerators are a popular choice for kitchens. French door fridges have a large refrigeration space above a bottom freezer drawer. The shelves and drawers are wider and deeper than the side-by-side models, allowing for more food storage. French door models also have a deep, multi-drawered bottom freezer for easy storage and organization of your frozen groceries.

Standard Dimension for French Door Refrigerators
  • Width: 30-36 inches
  • Height: 68-70 inches
  • Depth: 29-36 inches

Top Freezer and Bottom Freezer

An LG stainless steel top freezer refrigerator in the garage.

Top freezer refrigerators are the classic model of a fridge-freezer combo. A smaller freezer section at the top, and a larger refrigerator section below. Bottom freezer models are the same but reversed. Both types of models are affordable options that maximize your food storage space.

Standard Dimensions For Top Freezer And Bottom Freezer Models
  • Width: 30-36 inches
  • Height: 61-67 inches 
  • Depth: 26-34 inches


A White Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerator in a kitchen with blue-gray cabinets and part of a chalkboard visible on the right side of the image.

Side-by-side fridges offer easy access to both the freezer and the refrigerator. While it might be harder to store larger items, you won’t have to bend down to access your freezer. The freezer section also has more organization for frozen foods with lots of shelves and drawers.

Average Dimensions of Side-by-side Refrigerators
  • Width: 30-36 inches
  • Height: 69-71 inches
  • Depth: 33-36 inches


A small stainless steel mini-fridge made by Avanti.

Want to add a cool mini-fridge to a game room, man cave, or lounge? Mini-fridges are the perfect choice for cooling or storing fresh food and drinks when you’re short on space. Some models also come with freezer options.

Average Size of a Mini-Fridge
  • Width: 18-24 inches
  • Height: 30-35 inches
  • Depth: 19-26 inches


An under-counter mini-fridge stocked with drinks.

Mini-fridges, wine refrigerators, drink coolers, and drawer refrigerators are all examples of under-counter refrigerators. Add one of these models to your kitchen and save fridge space, especially for large family gatherings. Or pack a drink cooler full of your favorite beverages while maximizing your main refrigerator space.

Average Size of Undercounter Refrigerators
  • Width: 20-24 inches
  • Height: 32-36 inches
  • Depth: 18-26 inches
How Much Do Under-Counter Refrigerators Cost?

The average cost of an under-counter refrigerator will range from around $1500 – $4200. Simpler appliances like drink coolers will run you about $200 – $600 depending on the make and model.

Why Do Under-Counter Refrigerators Cost So Much?

Many under-counter refrigerators are made by luxury brands and are considered high-end items. Additionally, under-counter models are produced in smaller quantities which can increase manufacturing costs. If you want your refrigerator to look like your cabinets, then the customization will also add to the price tag.


A beach house kitchen with built-in shutter-style cabinets, and an open column refrigerator.

Another way to add luxury to your kitchen is with column refrigerators. These models are among the tallest types of refrigerators and offer maximum storage capacity. Column refrigerators can be paired with any matching freezer model. A matching set can then be built into your kitchen to create your ideal aesthetic.

How Large Are Column Refrigerators?

The storage capacity of column refrigerators ranges from 12.4 cubic feet to 21.1 cubic feet. 

Typical Dimensions Of Column Models
  • Width: 34-36 inches
  • Height: 80-84 inches
  • Depth: 23-25 inches
How Much Do Column Refrigerators Cost?

As luxury, high-end appliances, integrated column refrigerators at Electronic Express typically cost between $7100 – $10,000.

To learn more about the features of a high-end refrigerator, our guide Luxury Appliance Brand Buying Guide: JennAir has a wealth of information about what you can expect from appliances made by a luxury brand.


The ultimate luxury appliance, built-in refrigerators are made to wow you, your family, and your guests at every opportunity. Models offer unique internal coloration and dynamic LED lighting to highlight every inch of your storage space. Other features include:

  • Custom panels 
  • Dynamic storage spaces
  • Advanced cooling and air management systems
  • Smart home capabilities
  • Advanced water filtration systems.
How Large Are Built-In Refrigerators?

The size of built-in models varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Their total storage capacity in volume ranges from 14.7 cubic feet to 30 cubic feet.

Average Dimensions of Built-In Refrigerators
  • Height: 67-84 inches
  • Width: 32-48 inches
  • Depth: 24-28 inches


An open Fisher and Paykel drawer refrigerator, stocked with bread, butter, tomatoes, and bananas.

Another way to add a feeling of luxury to your kitchen or pantry is with a drawer refrigerator. At Electronic Express we carry both under-counter drawers and built-in drawer refrigerators. Features include variable cooling modes such as:

  • Wine mode
  • Pantry mode
  • Fridge mode
  • Fast freeze 
  • Deep freeze
  • Bottle chill
How Much Storage Space Do Drawer Fridges Have?

Storage space for drawer refrigerators ranges from 3.1 cubic feet to 4.8 cubic feet.


Adding a solo refrigerator to your space can range from buying a simple mini-fridge to a luxury column refrigerator. Freezerless options come in all shapes and sizes, but will typically be smaller than combination fridge/freezer models. 

Likewise, the price of a freezerless fridge will depend on the style you’re looking for. If you want a small mini-fridge then you can expect a price tag between $100 – $700. A freezerless luxury refrigerator will cost you between $1500 – $10,000.

Smart Refrigerator

A door-in-door refrigerator being opened. The owner looks to be placing a bottle inside of the refrigerator.

Step into the next generation of refrigeration with a smart refrigerator. Models of smart fridges include a touchscreen integrated into the main door of the refrigerator. From here you can see alerts and calendar events, access the internet, manage your shopping list, or put on entertainment.

Some models from LG include a Door-in-Door® feature. This feature allows you to open a smaller external door and access items stored inside without losing cold air. Other features include advanced cooling to maximize food freshness, flexible storage spaces, and dynamic smart lighting.

How Big Is A Smart Fridge?

In terms of total storage capacity, smart refrigerators offer between 29 and 29.5 cubic feet of storage.

Average Dimensions of Smart Fridges
  • Height: 68-72 inches
  • Width: 33-36 inches
  • Depth: 29-34 inches
How Much Does A Smart Fridge Cost?

Picetags for smart fridges range from $4000-$4600.

How Do I Know What Size Refrigerator to Buy?

A picture of a silver Whirlpool refrigerator with its dimensions illustrated. Width is 36 inches, height is 68 7/8 inches, and depth is 29 3/4 inches. Depth includes handles.

First, you need to know if your new appliance will fit in your home. So to make it easy, here is how to measure for a new refrigerator:

Measure Width

Measure from the edge of the counter to the other side of your refrigerator’s space. If your refrigerator will be next to a wall, remember to leave space for the hinges. You’ll want to leave between 2 and 2 ½ inches between your refrigerator and the wall. This will also allow for cleaning and ventilation space.

Measure Height

Measure the space from the floor to the bottom of the cabinets above your refrigerator, then add ½ inch. If you don’t plan to put your new fridge under cabinets, then you don’t have to worry about it!

Measure Depth

Measure from the front of the space to the back of your refrigerator’s space. Then add 1 to 2 inches to allow for proper ventilation behind your refrigerator.

Counter-depth refrigerators should fit near flush with your countertops.

Measure Additional Depth

To know if your refrigerator will fit your kitchen, you’ll need to take a few more measurements.

  • Fridge door depth – the fridge’s total depth with the doors open
  • Depth + door handle depth
  • Depth + door depth when open at a 90-degree angle
  • Depth + doors open and drawers open
Measure Doorways

Before you buy your new fridge, make sure to measure the width and height of your home’s doorways. On move-in day, you can plan to have the refrigerator door handles or doors removed to make things easier. Depending on your home’s doorways, you may even want to remove your front door to allow for more space.

Fridge Capacity

Knowing how much food you can store in your refrigerator is another important consideration. You’ll need to consider how many people you have in your home and how often you buy groceries.

How much space should you have in your refrigerator per person?

A general rule of thumb is you will want between 4 to 6 cubic feet of storage space per person. 

  • For a family of 4, usually, 20 cubic feet of storage is sufficient.
  • For families of 5 or more, 25 to 28 cubic feet of storage is sufficient.

Choose Your Refrigerator Color and Finish

Now the next question to solve is what color and finish do you want your new refrigerator to have? Or maybe you started with a color and finish in mind. Either way now is the time to make sure your refrigerator has everything you want inside and out.

Panel Ready Refrigerators At Electronic Express

If you’re looking for something more custom, then check out the selection of panel-ready refrigerators we carry at Electronic Express. We also offer shipping if you don’t have one of our stores nearby.

Energy Efficiency

Understanding how energy-efficient your new fridge is will help you save money. Generally, Energy Star-certified refrigerators are around 9% more efficient than the federal energy efficiency standard (EnergyStar.gov).

How Much Money Do You Save With Energy Star Refrigerators?

How much you will save will depend on how much you’re spending currently. If you have an older and less efficient refrigerator, then you will save more money on energy. Your savings will also depend on how much your utility charges per kilowatt/hour.

The EnergyGuide label for an LG refrigerator, to be used as an example  for how the reader may find the average cost of power that the reader's potential new refrigerator may have.

When you shop for a new refrigerator at Electronic Express you can find one of these EnergyGuide labels. The label will give you an estimate for your yearly operating cost, and yearly electricity use. To get your estimate, multiply the model’s yearly energy use by your power provider’s rate.

Energy Star estimates that buying a certified model can save you around $20 a year on your power bill.

How Long Does a Refrigerator Take to Get Cold?

The short answer: It depends.

The medium answer: it depends on how often you open your refrigerator and how much food is stored inside.

The long answer: If you open your refrigerator more often, then you’re letting out the cold air more often. Your refrigerator then has to work harder to keep things cool.

Also, the chilled food in your refrigerator actually helps the refrigerator get back to its set temperature once you close it. If your refrigerator is emptier, then it will take more energy to get back to its set temperature.

Our recommendation: if your household likes to open the refrigerator often, you might consider a door-in-door refrigerator model.


We hope this guide will help you as you consider what appliance to add to your home. If you have any questions, use the live chat feature, give us a call, or send us an email. And, if you live in Tennessee or Alabama, our local store team members will be happy to answer all your questions.

If you need help choosing another major appliance, check out our MAJOR KITCHEN APPLIANCES BUYING GUIDE.

Electronic Express: We Make it Happen.

About Electronic Express

Founded in 1983, Electronic Express carries top-quality brands in all areas of electronics. From TVs to computers to appliances. Our stores are located throughout Tennessee and in northern Alabama. 

For local customers, we offer in-home delivery and installation services within a 25-mile radius of an Electronic Express store. We also offer shipping services nationwide for online orders!

Update History

Monday, Feb 26, 2024: Grammatical edits. Added links to Electronic Express’s list of undercounter refrigerators and to the new Luxury Appliance Brand Buying Guide: JennAir. Added update history for transparency and accuracy.