What Are The Different Types Of Refrigerators? - Napoleon Appliances Ottawa

What Are The Different Types Of Refrigerators?


These days, shopping for a new fridge is like choosing a new vehicle. They’ve become so diverse and filled to the brim with innovative features and designs. It’s become much harder to decide on the right fit for your kitchen; there’s a lot to consider when making your decision. You need to think about size, space, designs, and what you want from your refrigerator. Do you want one with multiple fridge doors? An ice dispenser? Storage space? Modern refrigerators can provide those functions and more. 

A very wide selection of models, brands, and refrigerator features are available on the market. That’s why we’ve created this list – to help you understand the various refrigerator options available. 

Door Designs

There are several types of refrigerators that have multiple door options. There’s a great selection of fridge doors out there, and knowing about the different designs can help you decide which refrigerator models will best serve your cold food storage needs. 

Top Freezer Refrigerators 

The top freezer model is one of the more traditional fridge models that people are familiar with, and it’s exactly how it sounds: The top compartment is the freezer, and the bottom portion is the refrigerator. A top freezer refrigerator is a good fit for smaller families or individuals that live alone. These refrigerators tend to be smaller and less expensive than other models. 

A top freezer refrigerator typically doesn’t include many additional features as they’re one of the more basic fridges out there. Top freezer units are often more energy efficient than other models, and you can tell by their efficiency by their Energy Star rating. Overall, these fridges are mass-produced, and you can find them pretty much anywhere. 

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators 

A bottom freezer refrigerator is one of the oldest designs on our list, dating back to its introduction from the Amana brand in 1947. As the name suggests, the freezer space is at the bottom of the unit. Newer, high-end models have also implemented a freezer drawer at the bottom of the refrigerator, which gives it the bonus of easy accessibility and more freezer room than found in top freezer fridges. 

A bottom freezer refrigerator is slightly wider than a top freezer refrigerator and provides more space. It’s an ideal choice for larger families who need extra storage space. These refrigerators have better shelf/drawer space, making it easier to fit food and other contents within. You can also purchase specific bottom freezer models with extra features, such as water and ice dispensers. 

Side-By-Side Refrigerators 

Side-by-side models have grown in popularity in recent years. This particular design is similar to the French door style, but this model has a freezer side, commonly positioned on the left, and a fridge side on the right. The design is slimmer than most other fridge models, and both sides of the fridge are positioned vertically next to one another. The side-by-side design provides easier accessibility and convenience. 

Some side-by-side refrigerators come with slightly less storage capacity due to their horizontal design, but that depends on your chosen model. You can find some side-by-side refrigerators that are taller or wider than regular ones. Much like most modern fridges, you can find units with water and ice dispensers. An added benefit is that most side-by-side units are quite affordable and can fit in kitchens without taking up too much space.

French Door Refrigerators

The French door model includes a top section that’s the refrigerator with two side-by-side doors that swing out. At the bottom of the fridge, you’ll find the freezer drawer. French door refrigerators are often associated with luxury-designed kitchens, and they provide an ample amount of fridge space. A French door refrigerator typically has deeper freezers, more shelf space with adjustable features, and large door compartments. You’ll have great ease storing food in a French door fridge model. 

You can find four French door styles on the market, some of which expand on their storage space potential: 

  • Traditional French Doors: The traditional style consists of a bottom freezer drawer and two fridge doors that open above the freezer. 
  • Two Freezer Drawers: This model contains two fridge doors and a pull-out drawer that can function as a cold food storage freezer or a refrigerator drawer. 
  • Four-Door: This French door refrigerator is a newer style with two upper doors and two lower doors. Some models feature one of the bottom doors as a refrigerator instead of a freezer.
  • Five-Door: This is where things get even more innovative; a five-door model has five compartments. There are two upper fridge doors and three lower freezer drawers. 

French door fridges tend to be pricier, especially if you’re looking to customize and design them to blend in with your kitchen cabinets. 

Installation Style 

You can find specific refrigerator types based on their installation style. If you’re looking to renovate your kitchen and have an idea of how you want it arranged, you may want to consider what refrigerator style will look best. 

Counter Depth vs. Standard Depth 

When compared, standard-depth refrigerators tend to be more affordable than counter-depth units. Counter-depth refrigerators are designed to line up with the front edge of your kitchen cabinets so that only the fridge doors are sticking out. This creates a customized and sleek look for your kitchen. The goal of installing a counter-depth refrigerator is that it blends in with the rest of the kitchen layout. 

However, a counter-depth refrigerator typically costs more than a standard-depth fridge because of its customization capabilities. They also provide slightly less space as they fit compactly between your cabinet space. 

Standard depth models have spacious interiors but don’t provide the same built-in appearance as their counter-depth counterparts. A standard-depth fridge will jut out a bit further than your cabinets. 

Both models are considered freestanding refrigerators, meaning they’re separate from your cabinets. They aren’t attached to the cabinetry, which is a practical option as you get more depth, flexibility, and easier placement. 

Built-In Refrigerators 

As you guessed, built-in refrigerators are installed into your cabinet space. The built-in style provides a seamless look for your kitchen and is primarily used in high-end kitchens. This style is customizable and available in different sizes. 

The issue with a built-in refrigerator is that it can sometimes lack storage space. Cabinets aren’t that deep, and if you’re planning to install a built-in unit, it’ll only go as deep as your cabinetry. While the look of a built-in unit is quite attractive, you’ll have to spend a good chunk of change to get that customized look. 

Column Refrigerators 

Column refrigerators (also known as integrated fridges) consist of a fridge and freezer that are built independently from one another. The two independent options provide more possibilities for your kitchen space. Some people like to position the two next to each while others place them in different spots in the kitchen. 

Column fridges are built with an articulating hinge system, which provides a flushed-in appearance amongst your cabinets without any gaps. 

Refrigerator Features 

Say goodbye to the refrigerators of old. Newer and much more advanced refrigerator models are continuously evolving and adding an abundance of additional features: 

Touch Screens

Over the decades, we’ve become used to smartphones and smart TVs. Today, we have smart refrigerators. These modern fridges are outfitted with LED touch displays on the front door. The display has many functions that allow you to:

  • Use it as a calendar 
  • Receive weather updates
  • Display photos
  • Adjust refrigerator temperatures
  • Look up food recipes
  • Play music

The downside of this marvel is that it uses up a tremendous amount of energy. Most manufacturers have been producing energy-efficient units in recent years, and this isn’t one of them.


Have you ever left the fridge door open and realized your mistake hours later? Many people have. That’s why we love the alarm feature on advanced fridges. These alarm systems will alert you when the door hasn’t been shut properly. If you think you won’t hear it, you will; the alarms are very distinguishable. 


LG was the first to create a refrigerator with an InstaView door design. This door design is a large dark window that becomes transparent when you knock twice on its surface. After knocking, the inside of the fridge lights up so you can see everything inside without having to open the door and release any cold air. You can also control this feature through an app on your phone. Talk about innovation!


We are starting to see more of the door-in-door design with modern fridges. This feature allows you to place items in a front row panel of the door. When you press a button on the fridge handle, only the front row panel will release, saving cold air from escaping. It’s a convenient feature that allows you to put your high-use items at the front without digging through the contents in the fridge.  

Ice Makers & Water Dispensers 

These are fantastic refrigerator features. Water and ice dispensers are a common addition that you can purchase with your refrigerator unit. You can enjoy ice-cold water straight from the fridge whenever you like – and it’s filtered! It’s a useful feature instead of having to store large bags of ice. 

Specialty Refrigerators 

When you hear the word “refrigerator” most people have a clear vision in mind. However, there are different types of specialty fridges like:

  • Mini-Fridges: You can find mini-refrigerators in home bars, home theatres, and garages. The small stature of a mini-fridge is perfect for spots where you can’t fit a full standard-sized fridge or need more storage room. 
  • Wine Refrigerator: Wine refrigerators do what they do best: Chill wine. These particular fridges come in many different sizes, some of which can fit up to 180 bottles. That’s a lot of wine! 
  • Undercounter Fridge: Undercounter refrigerators are pretty much what you would expect. They’re designed to be installed under your countertops for your overstocked items. 
  • Ice Makers: A standalone ice maker unit is a desirable appliance to own. You can purchase different units that produce specific kinds of ice, such as clear, nugget, or crescent-shaped. 
  • Chest or Upright Freezer: You can get a freezer that’s separate from your refrigerator unit. A chest freezer or upright freezer is a helpful addition if you need more space for your frozen food. 

Purchasing a nice refrigerator is a big investment and regular maintenance will keep it running well for years. When refrigerator units break down unexpectedly and an unidentifiable problem arises, get the best possible refrigerator repair in Ottawa. Napoleon Appliances can provide a quick solution for your appliance troubles. Contact us today!

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