The Best French Door Refrigerators Keep Your Food Cool and Your Kitchen Cooler
Farmers’ market frequenters, this one’s for you.
Updated Jun 16, 2022 9:39 AM
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Whether you’re doing a gut reno of your kitchen or just upgrading your appliances, chances are good that a new refrigerator will be one of your biggest ticket items. And if you’re reading this guide, you’re probably not making that major decision with a flip of a coin.
The good news: Stylewise, you can’t go wrong with a French door refrigerator. The two-door design is not only wonderful for organization, but it’s ideal for galley and small-space kitchens since skinnier doors are easier to open in a narrow passage. The catch? There are many superb models to choose from. Luckily, we’ve done the research to find the very best French door refrigerators, from legacy brands to fashionable upstarts. Read on to discover seven of our favorite models (and the right French door fridge for you).
- Best overall: SubZero Classic French Door Refrigerator
- Best energy efficient: Café Smart Four-Door French Door Refrigerator
- Best customizable: Samsung Bespoke Four-Door Flex Refrigerator
- Best for farmers’ market frequenters: Fisher & Paykel Freestanding French Door Refrigerator
- Best for buying in bulk: Viking French Door Bottom Freezer
- Best for hosting: Bosch 800 Series French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator
- Best panel-ready: JennAir Panel-Ready Built-In French Door Refrigerator
Best Overall: SubZero Classic French Door Refrigerator
Dimensions: 42-by-84-by-24 inches | Water filter: No | Ice maker: Yes | Energy Star qualified: No
What we like:
- Two separate cooling systems for fridge and freezer
- Air-purification system
- Designed to last at least 20 years
- No water filter
- Pricey compared to most models
Why we chose it: The gold standard of high-end refrigerators.
If you have even scratched the surface of refrigerator research, you’ve probably come across SubZero. A perennial favorite of chefs and interior designers the world over, the company is known for its quality products that keep food fresher longer. Its proprietary cooling method has two separate systems: one for the refrigerated section to help preserve foods with optimum humidity, and dry air for the freezer to help prevent freezer burn. We love this two-door model for its generous 41-inch-wide size and the many adjustable drawers and shelves, which makes organizing foods a breeze.
Best Energy Efficient: Café Smart Four-Door French Door Refrigerator
Dimensions: 35-by-69-by-36 inches | Water filter: Yes | Ice maker: Yes | Energy Star qualified: Yes
What we like:
- Customizable exterior
- Soft-freeze setting in freezer drawer
- Hands-free water dispenser
- Does not come in counter depth
- Interior is not very bright
Why we chose it: An energy-saving model that is very design-forward.
If you’re looking to purchase a greener refrigerator (and save on your electricity bills), make sure your model is Energy Star qualified. And while many brands make fridges that are certified, none is chicer than Café’s French door model. It’s very customizable: You can choose from three panel colors (stainless steel, matte black, or white) and four colors of hardware. As Albert Fouerti of Appliances Connection notes: “By the looks of Instagram, people are going wild for the matte white with bronze handles.” Another feature we love is the shallow convertible drawer with an adjustable temperature, which can go as low as 23 degrees or up to 42 degrees (perfect for chilling wines).
Best Customizable: Samsung Bespoke Four-Door Flex Refrigerator
Dimensions: 36-by-73-by-34 inches | Water filter: Yes | Ice maker: Yes | Energy Star qualified: Yes
What we like:
- Able to convert fridge space to freezer space
- Widest range of exterior colors of all the fridges we tested
- Comes in counter- or full depth
- Does not have visible handles
Why we chose it: The perfect fridge for those looking for a unique color combination.
Have you ever dreamed of a fridge in a color-blocked palette? Or perhaps you’re not ready to commit to pink cabinets, but you still want to add a hint of rose to your kitchen? Samsung’s infinitely customizable French door refrigerator is here for you. Each of the four doors can be outfitted in a different color, if you so desire, ranging from the more quotidian matte black steel to the unusual hues of sky blue and pink glass. But this fridge is not a novelty purchase. It also has incredibly useful features, like the ability to convert one quadrant from fridge to freezer space and make two different types of ice (cubes or “bites”). Plus it offers a generous 29 cubic feet of storage.
Best for Farmers’ Market Frequenters: Fisher & Paykel Freestanding French Door Refrigerator
Dimensions: 31-by-68-by-27 inches| Water filter: Yes | Ice maker: Yes | Energy Star qualified: Yes
What we like:
- Automatically adjusts temperature, airflow, and humidity to keep food fresher
- Slim water dispenser makes it easy to fill large vessels
- Ice maker can be turned off for extra storage space
- Exterior water dispenser
Why we chose it: An intuitive fridge that works hard to keep your produce in tip-top shape.
This sleek stainless steel model is equipped with Fisher & Paykel’s proprietary Activesmart technology, which automatically adjusts the fridge’s temperature, airflow level, and humidity to keep everything—from your lettuce to your milk—as fresh as possible. And to maintain taste in frozen foods, the freezer is equipped with a fast-freeze mode, which sets the drawer to the coldest possible temperature for 24 hours, helping to seal in freshness. Even the crisper drawers in this model are adjustable: A slider on each bin allows you to control the humidity level depending on what fruits or veggies are inside.
Best for Buying in Bulk: Viking French Door Bottom Freezer
Dimensions: 36-by-70-by-31 inches | Water filter: Yes | Ice maker: Yes | Energy Star qualified: No
What we like:
- Modern stainless steel exterior
- Modular shelves
- Air-purification system to prevent smells
- No counter depth
Why we chose it: A classic look outside with smart storage solutions inside.
Viking may be best known for its workhorse ovens, but that same quality and attention to detail is also evident in the company’s French door fridge. While the stainless steel exterior is reminiscent of Viking ranges, inside are smartly arranged modular shelves and drawers. There are four adjustable tempered-glass shelves; three humidity-controlled drawers; and five large door bins, two of which can accommodate gallon-size containers. And if you find yourself admiring your organizational skills for too long, don’t worry: There’s also a door-open alarm.
Best for Hosting: Bosch 800 Series French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator
Dimensions: 36-by-72-by-25 inches | Water filter: Yes | Ice maker: Yes | Energy Star qualified: Yes
What we like:
- A special drawer for drinks
- Dual compressors and evaporators to keep food fresh
- A “flex bar” to help customize storage
- Only comes in stainless steel
Why we chose it: A top-of-the-line model with a drawer just for drinks.
Jessica Petrino, educator and appliance expert at AJ Madison, loves this fridge because there is nothing else like it on the market. “This French door refrigerator includes a see-through beverage drawer, providing a sleek display for up to 17 bottles of red or white wines,” she says. And don’t worry about having the same temperature for your Chardonnays and your Malbecs. “This drawer comes with five preprogrammed settings, so you can select the optimal storage environment for all of your beverage needs,” she adds. Since entertaining isn’t just about drinks, we also love the full-width chiller drawer for storing fruit or charcuterie platters until you’re ready to serve guests.
Best Panel-Ready: JennAir Panel-Ready Built-In French Door Refrigerator
Dimensions: 36-by-83-by-28 inches | Water filter: Yes | Ice maker: Yes | Energy Star qualified: No
What we like:
- Striking black interior
- Dual climate control for fridge and freezer
- Multi-point LED lighting
- Pricey compared to most models
Why we chose it: Sleek, professional-grade model with many panel options.
“The French door fridge from JennAir is my favorite design,” says interior designer Nikki Chu. “Its bold handles, obsidian black interior, and interior lighting make it stand out from its competition.” We like this model because you can panel it to match your cabinets or choose from one of JennAir’s panel kits. For example, Rise—Chu’s favorite design—features a unique diamond-etched texture on the fridge handles. Another standout feature: Unlike most other fridges that have a white or stainless steel interior, this JennAir is jet-black, which makes for a striking contrast with whatever food is inside.
On Our Radar
This new, superwide offering from Signature Kitchen Suite comes with all kinds of bells and whistles, like five preset drawer temperatures, fully adjustable drawers and door bins, optional flush installation, and more.
With its cantilever shelves, interior water dispenser, and LED lighting, the new sleek Fulgor 36-inch refrigerator is finished in fingerprint-proof stainless steel and with sharply designed handles.
How We Chose These Products
To choose the best French door refrigerators, we tapped the deep knowledge of Domino staffers as well as interior designers Nikki Chu and Victoria Sass and appliance experts Jessica Petrino of AJ Madison and Albert Fouerti of Appliances Connection. We examined models, keeping a special eye on quality, durability, brand reputation, and, of course, style. Our winners not only keep your food fresh and organized but look fantastic in your kitchen as well.
Our Shopping Checklist
“There has been a tremendous amount of focus on customization and color in recent years,” says Petrino. “While stainless steel still reigns supreme, we are seeing increased interest in alternative hues like black stainless, brass and bronze finishes, and matte white and black.”
Of course, if you would rather have your fridge disappear into your kitchen, you’ll want to look for a panel-ready model. These can be fitted with wood (or other materials) to blend in seamlessly with your cabinets. Just make sure to measure your available depth if you’re planning on using panels: “With most refrigerator brands, to get a fully flush look, you need to build the cabinets deeper than the standard 24 inches,” says Petrino. “You’ll want to ensure that the fridge doors line up perfectly with the surrounding cabinets.”
Dimensions and Capacity
“Fortunately, French door fridges come in many different shapes and sizes, so there’s a product out there for everyone,” says Petrino. “Thirty-six inches wide is the most popular size, but there are models available in smaller 33-inch and 30-inch sizes. Additionally, there are a few luxury brands offering 42-inch-wide models for larger kitchens.” Capacity will vary depending on the dimensions of the fridge you choose; the larger the model, the more storage you will get.
As we mentioned above, look for Energy Star models if you want to save money on your bill. “An Energy Star–certified freezer uses 10 percent less energy than a new, noncertified model,” Petrino explains. A good rule of thumb: “If your appliances are more than 10 years old and still working, replacing them could be worth the investment in the long run.”
“At a minimum, most French door fridges today come with LED interior lighting, adjustable shelves, and crisper bins,” says Petrino. “Most counter-depth models offer an optional water line collection for an ice maker and perhaps a water dispenser.”
“A smart refrigerator leverages Wi-Fi connectivity to improve the user experience in a meaningful way,” Petrino explains. “Most owners of a smart fridge will agree that the most useful feature is remote diagnostics. If your fridge is experiencing a service issue, many smart models can diagnose the problem, thus simplifying the service process. Plus you might be able to rescue food (or an expensive wine collection) before it spoils.”
First and foremost: Read the use-and-care guide for your refrigerator. “Following the necessary steps to maintain your fridge will keep it running smoothly for longer,” says Petrino. “Common maintenance tips include regularly replacing the water and air filters and vacuuming the coils behind your refrigerator.”
Q: How much electricity does a French door refrigerator use?
“A typical Energy Star–certified refrigerator uses less energy than a 60-watt lightbulb,” says Petrino.
Q: On average, how long do French door refrigerators last?
The answer depends on the quality, which is part of the reason brands like SubZero are so much more expensive. “Most refrigerators will last between eight and 16 years, but some luxury models are built to last 20-plus years,” Petrino explains. “You have to think about the cost of service relative to the cost of the refrigerator. For luxury models, you’re more likely to pay for occasional repairs, whereas for an inexpensive fridge, it could make sense to replace the unit.”
Q: We have a four-person household. What size French door refrigerator should I get?
“In the U.S., most families opt for a 36-inch-wide fridge with 22 to 32 cubic feet of space,” says Petrino. “Your selection will come down to how much space you have in your kitchen, the desired look, and how often you grocery shop.” Sass says she has her clients consider the following: “Do you shop infrequently and stock up? Do you buy in bulk? Are you a member of a CSA? Do you have a large number of condiments or beverages? The answer to these questions may influence things like the amount of door storage you need or whether you want a bottom freezer or side-by-side style.”
Q: What kind of refrigerator material will go with most interior design styles?
“Stainless steel is still the most popular finish,” Petrino shares. “We are seeing increased interest in other neutrals such as black stainless steel, matte white, matte black, and even a welcome pop of color. Personally, I think the panel-ready option works best in most interior design styles because the refrigerator becomes indistinguishable from the cabinets—perfect for open-concept spaces.”
Q: I only have space for a refrigerator right next to a wall—is that okay?
The short answer: If you want a French door fridge, you can’t put it next to a wall. “Putting a fridge in a corner is tricky because it could limit your ability to open the door on the side right next to the wall,” Petrino explains. “The handle could also bang into the wall, causing dents or scuff marks. Not only will you experience a problem getting food in and out of the fridge, but it will be a challenge to remove shelves and crisper bins for cleaning.”
The Last Word
There are many factors to consider before choosing your preferred French door fridge model: Style, space, price, and what kind of food you store are some of the big ones. But regardless of which fridge you ultimately pick from this list, all marry functionality and durability with beautiful design. The top pick of many industry insiders is the SubZero, both for its straightforward style and durability.