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Need new fridge -- get bottom freezer?

I need a new refrigerator, but have a small kitchen. So, I can't get a huge one. I don't think any side-by-sides would fit. But, I want the most efficient use of space, and was wondering, is it better to get a "bottom" drawer freezer in the refrigerator?

Do such fridges operate better?

Another question, do you have a water filter in your fridge for the ice-maker? Doesn't it make it much more expensive over time, with changing the filter so often? Does it make ice like you get "commercially" -- i.e., super-clear?

Thanks for any help!

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  1. From an efficiency stand point most smaller refrigerators I've seen are built with the freezer on top(cold air flows down).

    Don't have a filter on my ice-maker because the ice tastes "clean". There are different in line filters you can buy at home improvement stores. They don't need to be replaced as often as you think. Think about how much ice are you really making?

    Commercial ice is clear because it doesn't contain air to make it appear cloudy. They freeze it in sheets/layers to eliminate the air. Ice cubes at home freeze from the outside first to inside, trapping air inside the ice cube.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monku

      It doesn't matter that cold air flows down. Most all air-movement in modern refrigerators is propelled by fans. My only regret in my cooking life is that I never got a bottom freezer when I had the chance. How stupid is it that for the stuff you use 90% of the time you have to bend down to see and handle. Wouldn't it be better at eye-level? Case closed.

    2. i have bought a whirlpool gold bottom freezer that will be delivered next week. it has an ice maker and my gc is putting a water filter on it at my request. after much research, i bought the Culligan US-EZ-4 EZ-Change Level-4 Under-Sink Drinking Water System - and i will offer the advice given me: if you buy that and decide to also put in a water tap (because you can 'tee' off the line to service both), DON'T use the tap that comes with the culligan. by an all-metal water tap (amazon offers a lovely one for about $48 more and my gc said it's top notch - because the cruddy one that comes with the culligan system (tap that is) has plastic and will crack easily.
      however, i think that top freezers give you generally more usuable fridge space in a small unit.

      1. We recently bought a new samsung bottom drawer freezer, despite my protests to my wife. But I have to admit, I love it. I was afraid that having the freezer so low would involve a lot more stooping and bending to reach heavy roasts and other frozen items. But it really isnt an issue, and I love the way the items are very acceesible with the roll out racks. Even our ice maker being that low does not present any of the problems I foresaw, thanks to the easy way it slides out. We are on well water, but our water is very good and we do not use a filter for the icemaker. If you need a filter, I would look very carefully at all the options that are out there, some are very expensive for replacments, and wen they clog up the water will not flow to make the ice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chipmoose

          I had one and disliked it. the drawer would over fill and something feel behind the drawer when I went to close it. If you don 't fill as much as you can, then it is wonderful but the problems with filling fully made me decide to not do it again.

        2. I too have a bottom freezer. I use the freezer section maybe once a day, if that, while the refrigerator section is opened continually. I think the bottom freezer makes it so much easier for regular day to day stuff. The roll out freezer basket makes it easy to get stuff out and put stuff in. The basket does limit the usable space in the freezer, so you should be aware of that, but that is the only minor complaint I have.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Shann

            I love my French door bottom freezer (kitchen aid). My last fridge was side by side but I hated stooping down to get things out if the bottom and a wide tray wouldn't fit. The French door solves both problems. The heavy things ( milk, juice) are right at arm 's reach. I can fit super wide trays into the deli drawer. As for the freezer ... I haul milk out a lot more often than a turkey. The drawer rolls right out I would never buy any other kind than French door bottom freezer. I also love that the French door s are lighter and don't take up as much room to open.

          2. Here's my take: If your kitchen is small, but you have room elsewhere (pantry, garage, etc.), consider getting a reefer-only for the kitchen and put a dedicated freezer out back

            8 Replies
            1. re: kaleokahu

              Is there such a thing as a reefer only? I thought all fridges came with freezers in some configuration these days.

              1. re: buttertart

                Sears has 10 freezerless refrigerators on their website.

              2. re: kaleokahu

                You might want to check the warranty before you do this. I wanted to get a freezer and put it in my garage, which is unheated (though I would put it against a wall shared with the kitchen). However, some manufacturers will void the warranty if you place it in an unheated space. Because I suspect they'd use that excuse REGARDLESS of whether or not any malfunction had to do with an unheated garage, I opted to forego the freezer. Instead, I may just get a new fridge and put the old fridge in the garage.

                I do have some of the same issues as the OP--small space, height limited by cabinetry, small kitchen. Currently I have a bottom freezer, which I love, but I haven't found anything yet that will fit the available space.

                1. re: nofunlatte

                  I have had a freezer in my unheated garage in the northeast for nearly 20 years now. It (the same freezer) has worked without a hitch for all those years, unlike my refrigerators which seem to have a problem every 2-3 years. Maybe freezers were just made better back then, or maybe freezers are inherently simpler. But lack of warranty never bothered me.

                  1. re: DGresh

                    I have no doubt that yours was made well. Today, appliances seem to be made more cheaply. I can totally see, though, that something might break and the manufacturer refusing to fix it, claiming warranty invalidation EVEN IF THE PROBLEM WAS UNRELATED. Sorry, just am wary of corporations. That said, I'm. In Indiana and the climate can be challenging as well, yet I see freezers and fridges in garages all the time.

                    1. re: nofunlatte

                      Simple solution: buy a USED deep freezer. This is often a near-impulse buy that people think they will really really use, then they get it home and find they don't use it after all. Frequently lightly (or un) used deep freezers are available for a fraction of the new purchase price.

                      Save $$$ on the initial outlay, and no warranty worries, cuz there isn't going to be one. Then you can give it a home in the garage with a clear conscience.

                      1. re: nofunlatte

                        When I lived in Nebraska and began my holiday baking, I'd set up a card table in the unheated garage and just wrap and stack the packages on that--instant freezer, ha ha.

                    2. re: nofunlatte

                      I think the biggest issue with having a refrig/freezer in the garage is to make sure you have a dedicated circuit for it. Biggest problem is potential for power outage if one of the breakers blow and you don't notice it for a few days and have ruined food. We've also had our old refrigerator/freezers demoted to the garage in several houses with no problems. If I had my druthers, I'd also opt for a refrigerator in the kitchen and freezer w/ ice maker in the laundry room, but alas my DH is addicted to the ice & water dispenser in the door. My Amana r/f condenser died after a mere 7 years, and even though the warranty company strongly "suggested" that we replace it, I was so offended by the short life span that I insisted on a repair--Amana unit didn't even have an access panel to the condenser and the repairman had to cut one! Ridiculous how things are made these days.

                  2. I replaced my side by side with a french door bottom freezer unit and love it, though it took a little getting used to. It's easier to deal with stuff in a good pullout bin system than your typical top freezer which I've also had.

                    My kitchen isn't small but the place the frig goes is - made for 33" W rather than the now standard minimum 36", between a wall and a counter with a cabinet above. Literally between a rock and a hard place. Finding a fridge I liked that fit was like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. What I discovered is instead of going to mass market places like Home Depot or Best Buy, go to a good local appliance store. I immediately found a knowledgeable guy who when given my dimensions and features I wanted, could pretty much tell me the couple fridges that matched right off the top of his head. Which I hadn't been able to find through any amount of shopping/web-surfing/catalog browsing. Sometimes you'll find someone at a big place that knows their stuff like that, but is less common. And they pretty much matched prices.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: snippet

                      i'm shopping at sears. the guy has helped us in the past and is knowledgeable.

                      i did look at a french door fridge with bottom freezer there (kenmore? whirlpool? i have the notes). but the basket system was less than optimal, in my opinion.

                    2. I'm not sure about space issues but I bought an LG French door with bottom freezer. The top part had a sliding basket and the bottom was a drawer so had no problems with storage (turkey fit fine).

                      I like the bottom freezers because I'm short and have had too many things fire out from the top freezers while I'm rummaging to find something and have clobbered my toes one too many times. Ouch, have not had a problem with bottom mounts! Hooray...and side by side models don't let you fit sheet pans of stuff to chill easily.

                      As for the water filter, it really depends on the quality of water in your area. If you don't have a problem with tap water, then the filter isn't really necessary. And I didn't tend to use a ton of ice so the filter didn't get used too often and therefore didn't get changed that often.

                      Good luck in your decision.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bdachow

                        We have an LG french door bottom freezer too, and love it. We got ours at one of those "scratch-n-dent" warehouses for an outrageous price, and the damage on it was a tiny little bang where you can't even see it; it looks like they may have dropped it or let it down too fast when they were unloading it.

                        So far as the taste of the water or the ice -- we have ours hooked up to our RO/DI system, so the taste is perfect.

                        I grew up with a bottom-freezer 'fridge ... it seems like the "right thing" to me. I never could understand why anyone would want things they want frequent access to to be the farthest out of reach?

                        Sears has a pretty good policy about returns. You can try it and if you don't like it, trade it. I believe LG is the maker for several simliar-looking models marketed under others' names. But I think you'll like the bottom freezer model.

                      2. A little late to the party here, but you're apparently still shopping, and having just bought a new fridge today I have a few thoughts...

                        The ergonomic reason to go with a bottom-drawer freezer is that it puts the stuff you use most ofen at eye level. How often do you get something out of the freezer as opposed to the fridge? (If you drink as much beer as I do that's easy to answer.) The economic / environmental reason is that a freezer drawer is more energy-efficient and temperature-stable. When you open a freezer door, the cold air pours out, rolling down the front of the fridge toward the floor; with a drawer, the sides contain that cold air and keep it in place.

                        A french-door (or side-by-side) fridge may be better when it comes to kitchen design and use. In a small kitchen (or one with space / traffic problems), smaller doors are a plus. Side-by-side and french doors are half-width, so they intrude less into workspaces and traffic lanes. If the fridge is at the dead end of a galley and the door swings back against a wall this isn't an issue, but in the middle of the kitchen or near a door it can make a difference.

                        Ditto with refrigerator depth. A counter-depth unit intrudes into the room a lot less than one of the big guys. I was trying to decide between several and the difference in overall depth was nearly seven inches. In a showroom, it isn't so noticeable, but in a small kitchen, that difference is huge.

                        Then there's reliability. Samsung has topped the JD Power initial quality surveys for several years running, with LG coming in second. LG uses a linear compressor, which has fewer moving parts, and stands behind it for ten years. Most manufacturers provide a five-year warranty on the sealed system, and with Kenmore you're SOL after a year even if it's an LG-manufactured fridge. Maytag (including Jenn-Air, Amana, Admiral, Caloric, Magic Chef, etc.) used to be terrible. My current Maytag fridge went through three compressors in 5.1 years, the last one expiring immediately after the warranty. But they were bought by Whirlpool in 2006 and supposedly the new models don't suck as much.

                        The thing that breaks most often on any fridge is the through-the-door ice dispenser. An increasing number of manufacturers are making units that dispense chilled water only. I don't mind scooping my own ice; YMMV.

                        Speaking of icemakers, the only way to get clear ice is to buy a dedicated restaurant-style icemaker. It'd be nice, but a quick look at the priority list shows it right after the built-in fryolator.

                        Water filters do add somewhat to the cost of ownership. They're generally anywhere from $10 to $40+ and need to be replaced once or twice a year. I think some refrigerators allow you to bypass the filter; that's fine if your water is consistently good, but we get weird flavors every now and then, so for me the filter is a cheap alternative to bottled drinking water.

                        If I had a narrower-than-usual spot to work with and all other things were equal, I'd get the Samsung RF197AC - it's counter-depth and will fit in a space that's 33 inches wide. If that's too small, you can pick up a couple of cubic feet of storage with the standard-depth RF21AC.

                        But I have a 36" space to work with, and all things aren't equal. Starting today and going through the weekend, Sears Outlet stores are selling all french-door fridges for half off retail. Availability varies by location, and online information about inventory is unreliable, but if there's one near you it may be worth a look. Some units are badly scuffed and dinged, but others are in pristine condition.

                        My local store had a new Fisher & Paykel RF201A for $1250. Now that's one cool-looking fridge. Full width, but counter depth, and it looks really cool. There's a tiny dent on one side, but it won't show because it faces the wall. I've heard mixed things about reliability, but did I mention that it looks really cool?

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: alanbarnes

                          My current fridg is a side by side Amana. However, previously I have had a freezer on the bottom so that I would not disturb the princess golden retrieve who stretched out in front of the fridge. She is no longer with us, and we are happy with our side-by-side.

                          1. re: Jane917

                            We have a side by side Amana, and at 7 years of age the compressor died. The warranty company we have wanted to replace it (as in, more cost to me) and I insisted they repair it. Much to my shock, Amana did not even make a panel where you could remove the innards--repairman had to literally cut a hole in the back of the frig. to get to the compressor. And here we thought Amana was a good brand. Are they all built to turn into land fill these days? Oy.

                          2. re: alanbarnes

                            checked sears outlet online for an idea of their inventory; they had tons of "ge profile" fridges!

                            1. re: alkapal

                              Keep in mind that the inventory shown online includes stores all over the country. Your local store(s) will have a more limited selection. You can limit your search by location, but the website won't tell you much about condition, and the information is often inaccurate since the selection changes on an hourly basis. It's definitely catch as catch can, but if you've got a store nearby it can't hurt to check it out.

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Please do yourself a favor and do not buy a GE fridge. I have a so-called "top of the line" GE Monogram that I am getting rid of this month during a kitchen expansion. GE customer service is terrible, and you will need it because it will break down quite a bit. It cools unevenly and freezes produce for no discernible reason. The ice maker, which is supposed to be made of stainless steel, so it doesn't, you know, rust, is made of some other metal that does in fact, rust, leaving your ice cubes with brown spots. GE denies this, but every repair person I've had has said this is a common complaint.

                              2. re: alanbarnes

                                Alan, your post caught my eye because I just fell in love with a Fisher & Paykel fridge and my husband is not falling for the "it looks really cool" argument because it's $600 more than the Samsung he wants. Can you supply me with any ammo? The Samsung looks so big and bulbous in comparison.
                                Also, do you know anything about the bottom door freezer unit vs the bottom drawer freezer unit? They didn't have the drawer unit on display but on line it mentions that the shelves are cantlilevered vs the side mounted ones we saw. I really loved the layout of the fridge so I'm worried that the drawer model will not be as nice.

                              3. Looks like the bottoms beat the tops by a notch:

                                "Refrigerators with the freezer on either the bottom or top are the most efficient. Bottom freezer models use approximately 16 percent less energy than side-by-side models and top freezer models use about 13 percent less than side-by-side".

                                From here: http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/h...

                                1. Think of it this way, how many times a day are you in the refrigerator and how many times in the freezer! Love my bottom freezer, but stay away from the indoor ice and water....trust me,way more trouble then they are worth.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Mother of four

                                    +1 on avoiding ice through the door, but IMO a dispenser for chilled filtered water is a good thing - it takes up no room in the fridge, has minimal moving parts, and isn't prone to breakage.

                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                      I still stand by my position that with a bottom freezer, you don't disturb the sleeping dog!

                                      1. re: Jane917

                                        That's one of many reasons to go with the bottom freezer. Another - which I discovered as I moved stuff into our new fridge - is that a freezer drawer holds a lot more food than a top freezer. At least for the stuff I keep in there (most notably frozen vegetables like peas and spinach), it uses space far more efficiently. You can pack it all the way to the back, and don't have to worry about things toppling out.

                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                          I think that's an excellent point, ab. With the pullout drawers, nothing is lost.

                                    2. My favorite feature of the bottom freezer drawer is that I can pack it full and stuff doesn't fall out and land on my foot when I'm rifling through the freezer!
                                      I had a side by side and hated it. Frozen things ejected themselves when I opened the door. Had a huge Kitchenaid with freezer on the top before that, and though it held a lot of food, stuff fell out of it. Roasts, pizza, bags of veggies....some hurt more than others.
                                      The other nice feature of the french door is the wide open span inside.

                                      I do have a water filter in mine, but rarely have to change the filter because our city water has such a good filtration system.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jmcarthur8

                                        I have a filter on mine but haven't changed it in a year...our water tastes fine. My DH thinks that I am poisoning him!

                                      2. We also have a small space for the refrigerator. We purchased a Samsung with a bottom drawer freezer from Costco last year and love it. It is so much easier on my body being able to stand and rummage through the vegetable bins rather than have them down by the floor.

                                        The freezer design took a little getting used to. I have plastic baskets to group items. Not perfect but it helps. I suspect boxed items would store easily. The majority of my freezer items are stocks, home-made frozen items, etc. - so lots of oddly shaped things.

                                        We use very little ice, so we never bothered with the ice maker. We just use an ice tray and purchase a bag if having a party or picnic.

                                        I'll never willingly go back to the freezer on top style again! The side-by-side style is too limiting for me when brining, etc.

                                        (Costco no longer seems to have this model.)

                                        1. I have a 36" GE Profile counter depth side by side and I HATE the side by side. Will go with a bottom freezer next. Looks like many models have wire baskets with open grids even on the bottom. I would think you'd get ice or frost on the kitchen floor if rummaging thru the freezer for something. Does that happen or do you have freezer drawers that have a solid bottom?

                                          1. This is great info. We are renovating our (small--in 1850 cape) kitchen and looking forward to replacing our side-by-side with a bottom-freezer model. We do not freeze a huge amount and are not meat eaters so no turkeys or big cuts of meat. Biggest problem is we never seem to have enough room for all the fresh produce I use. Any more suggestions on makes/models, etc? French door? Probably will not need ice maker though would be nice.

                                            29 Replies
                                            1. re: 3catsnh

                                              i'm trusting alan's samsung recommendation.

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  not quite yet. i'm waiting for mine to die the good death. it keeps surprising me. ;-).

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    We had a fridge that went over 40 yrs at home. Never died, my dad just got rid of it. A '50's Frigidaire with that swell car-name type metal product name on the door. I can still hear the door closing sound!

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      older appliances were definitely built to last. isn't it nice to hear that sound in your mind? i know there are lots of good memories in that fridge! ;-).

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        Big time. This thing was built like a tank.

                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                    Yes, I did get the Samsung. I LOVE my new kitchen, But the refrigerator has NOT been a happy outcome. The bottom freezer often frosts up and now the ice maker is broken. Not looking forward to having to get it fixed.

                                                  3. re: alkapal

                                                    Thanks so much. I reread Alan's post. Can no longer find those model #'s online though. On the Sears website I see a brand new (no ratings) 36" RFG293HARS with 19 cu ft for the frig space at $1799? I am trying to find one w/o the ice/water since everyone seems to complain about them breaking.

                                                    1. re: 3catsnh

                                                      RFG293HARS is ***HUGE*** - 36" wide, 36" deep, and 29 (not 19) cubic feet of capacity. Other possibilities in the same-sized package are the RF263AE (slightly less capacity because of thicker insulation) and the RF266AE (thicker insulation and a dispenser for chilled filtered water inside the fridge). None have ice or water through the door.

                                                      When searching for Samsung models online, you might need to add the two-letter suffix for the finish - RS for stainless, PN for platinum, BP for black, and WP for white. So an RF197AC in stainless would be RF197ACRS. It's 18 cubic feet, 33" wide, and only 28.5" deep including door handles. Sears apparently doesn't carry it, but here it is at AJ Madison: http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajma...

                                                      It would also help if I typed model numbers correctly - there's no such thing as an RF21AC, it's RF217AC. Here it is in stainless from Sears: http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12...

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                        Thank you alanbarnes! I can do 36" so I'm currently looking at the stainless Samsung RF267AE. I am hoping to avoid the ice-maker? (And the cubic foot measurement I was talking about was for fresh food w/o freezer since I never have enough room.) Now wondering if I should wait for "Black Friday."

                                                        1. re: 3catsnh

                                                          "Not enough room" should be a thing of the past with that bad boy. There may be a bigger mass-market fridge out there, but I haven't seen it.

                                                          As far as icemakers go, once you get out of the ultra-budget category, it's tough to find a fridge without one. But I wouldn't worry too much about it; the maintenance problems you hear so much about aren't with the icemakers themselves, they're with the through-the-door ice dispensers.

                                                          If you really don't want to mess with the icemaker, just don't hook up the water line. Or hook up the water and turn off the icemaker. If it's taking up space you need in the freezer, you could probably even remove it. Paying for a device you don't want or need is always annoying, but your other options are limited.

                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                            I finally took a look at models in person over the weekend. The salesman is trying to steer me to the new Electrolux (specifically the EI213BC511S) over Samsung. I found out I need cabinet depth and would like 22.6 cu ft. Any comment on Electrolux over Samsung? What would be the corresponding Samsung? He said I could get without ice/water on door.

                                                            1. re: 3catsnh

                                                              You need to find a different salesperson. The consensus on the Internet is that Electrolux / Fridigaire fridges are pretty terrible. Here's one person's unvarnished opinion: http://worldofappliances.blogspot.com...

                                                              In your shoes I'd be inclined to go with a Samsung RFG238AARS. Yes, it has a through-the-door ice and water dispenser, and such things are inherently prone to breakage. But buying a fridge that's inherently unreliable in order to avoid a part that's inherently unreliable seems counterproductive. If you get a Samsung and the ice dispenser breaks, you no longer get ice through the door; if you get an Electrolux and the compressor breaks, you no longer have a fridge.

                                                              My last fridge was a 2005 Maytag. The ice dispenser worked just fine for the 5.1 years it lasted. But weeks after the warranty expired, it burned out its **third** compressor. Trust me, I'd rather deal with a broken icemaker.

                                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                Isn't 5.1 years a ridiculously short lifespan for a fridge?

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  5.1 years? That fridge never lasted more than two years at a time. The compressor went out not once, but THREE TIMES in the course of 5.1 years. It's just that it got replaced twice under warranty.

                                                                  Which is my point. If you buy a crappy fridge like the old Maytag I had, or, apparently, the current Frigidaire / Electrolux models, the possibility that the ice dispenser will break is the least of your worries. A reliable fridge with a single part that's prone to problems is a better deal than a fridge that doesn't have that part but is prone to problems in general.

                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                    Crikey. Have apparently lived a charmed life fridge-wise (the present one better not be listening).

                                                                2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                  I guess I should have waited to start this discussion until after seeing the finished kitchen design--sorry. I need more advice. I now find out that I can only have a built-in style (or even slide-in) that is cabinet depth. I even had the designer call Samsung to make sure, and they do not have one (their smallest depth is 35"). :( So...basically I need it to be at 24-25" deep, and I can go wider to 40" instead of the 36". I nixed the Electrolux already. I remember you mentioning Fisher & Paykel...but any advice for me before I start Googling blind and going back to the appliance place? Thank you so much.

                                                                  1. re: 3catsnh

                                                                    Well, Samsung definitely makes counter-depth refrigerators. Here's the product brochure for the one I mentioned above; it includes a picture of an installed unit that may be helpful:


                                                                    The fridge is 28.5" deep, but that includes the doors. The box is going to be about 25." I don't think you'll find a slide-in any shallower than that. Maybe if you went with a true built-in, but then you're talking thousands of extra dollars...

                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                      Finally got my Samsung RF238. Very nice indeed. The only drawback for me is that I think the space for fresh vegetables is pretty limited. Don't know what I will do this summer during CSA time -- may need an extra mini frig. Is there a such thing as a vegetable frig?

                                                                      1. re: 3catsnh

                                                                        Sub Zero came out with refrigerator drawers several years ago. They are GREAT! Several other companies have now brought out their versions of the drawers. U - line is one of those companies. there are several others you can look into.

                                                                        1. re: JEN10

                                                                          I would love to hear more about refrigerator drawers! I wish I had know about them before I designed my kitchen. Being vegetarian and an avid cook I don't have enough room for vegetables in the one small drawer in the new frig--and wait until my garden starts producing! So...who has one of these and tell me about them please.

                                                                          1. re: 3catsnh

                                                                            Sorry it took me so long to get back to this post. Sub Zero was the first to come out with the drawers here, They are 27" wide and come in a stack of two. They also make freezer drawers. I loved them for storing all my veggies and fruit. Some people use them for drinks, and other items. I think they are best used for produce myself, it keeps extremely well in the drawers.

                                                                3. re: 3catsnh

                                                                  Okay, nearly two months later and maybe you've already bought a fridge, but I just saw this one, which seems about perfect:


                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                    I ordered a Samsung! It was crazy for a while because Samsung had some wrong measurements on their website, but I am happy to be getting it. Kitchen demo in a few weeks after the cabinets are done. :)

                                                                    1. re: 3catsnh

                                                                      Ouch. Glad to hear it's working out, but seriously - how hard would it be to get the measurements right on the website? Sheesh.

                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                        And I thank YOU for helping me pick it out--and insist on it. I can't wait for my new kitchen.

                                                                        1. re: 3catsnh

                                                                          did alan tell you that all he requires is an honorary brass plaque over the kitchen entrance? LOL!

                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                            HAHA. I'll post that photo soon! My kitchen is now gutted and and in progress. Found a fireplace behind one wall--woohoo!

                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                          I recently bought the Whirlpool Gold Stainless Steel French Door Bottom Freezer. The Whirlpool Gold Bottom Freezer is Consumer Reports' Best Buy recommendation (August 2010 issue). I special ordered it at Lowe's -- and Lowe's matched the sales price of $1,315 (regularly $1,899) that Sears had. A Samsung model was rated #3 in Bottom Freezers by Consumer Reports.

                                                          I like the bottom freezer but the freezer does hold less than my old top freezer. I especially like the eye-level aspect of the refrgerator -- no more bending over.

                                                      2. Dissenting voice: after too many years of bending down, already, to peer into my woefully inadequate 16cf fridge, I was happy to get a side-by-side Samsung this year. Since I already have two freezers in my basement pantry area (upright and small chest; we buy whole hogs and sides of beef and in bulk from our co-op), I tend to put only stuff I access regularly in my kitchen freezer. I LOVE being able to have most stuff at or near eye-level (my whole wheat flour, jars of various nuts, bulk yeast, 7-grain flour, etc.) that I pull in and out frequently. There's a bottom basket for the rolly stuff <g>--I'm using it for meat, mostly--and I can stack bags of frozen produce, and boxes of prepared meals, on the other shelves.

                                                        And, of course, since the vegetable bins (2) are stacked on top of each other on the fridge side, they're quite rummage-able as well, and the shelf stuff is all at waist level or higher, instead.

                                                        It's our first ice-water dispenser in my entire life. We're infatuated. Hope it doesn't break soon. :-(

                                                        1. I would definitely go for a bottom freezer over a top freezer. I find that with the top freezer, things are always sliding out of it. I would also not get an ice maker, I have read that they are less efficient and they definitely take up more space than a couple ice trays.

                                                          1. I have a bottom freezer and HATE it. Stuff in the bottom rack is always blocking opening the top rack. You cannot get as much in it as you can in a top freezer, especially since you have no door shelves. I find bending down and rummaging around in the bottom freezer to find stuff much more annoying than moving stuff around in a top freezer while standing.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: pemma

                                                              pemma what brand and model do you have. Does yours have a wire basket? I see many of those and wonder if ice and frost gets on the floor when open and rummaging? Anyone?

                                                              1. re: Island

                                                                I have a wire basket, and no, have never had a problem with frost. Sometimes an ice cube will get loose, but I just pick it up!

                                                            2. I hardly freeze anything, so I prefer it on the bottom. With the freezer on top, I'm always bending down to look in the fridge. Side by side is the worst. Some of my platters wouldn't fit.

                                                              1. Bottom freezer w/ "French doors" on fridge.

                                                                The house I bought in 1984 had a coppertone french door fridge w/ bottom freezer from the 1960's (some special-edition Kenmore with a signature on it -- forget whose). I loved that fridge so much that during a kitchen gut & remodel in the early 90's, it was the only thing I kept -- I had it repainted to match new appliances.

                                                                Most people get in the fridge more than the freezer, so why have the freezer at eye level? I liked the shelves split down the middle. Some can be at the same height for big platters while others can be staggered for shorter & taller items. And in a small kitchen, the narrow doors will be nice.

                                                                BTW, that fridge was still running when I sold the house in 2009. During the 25 yrs I had it, there was only one minor service call -- not sure if that was due to the design, the brand, or just the fact that they "don't build 'em like they used to."

                                                                1. We bought a Kitchen Aid with the bottom freezer. The ice maker is in the bottom. My biggest problem iw with ice spilling out every time we pull the drawers of the freezer out. At any one time there are about 20 cubes lying in the bottom of the freezer.

                                                                  1. Coming very late to this party ------ do you have young children? Many years ago, when all of my friends and I had young'uns, hardly a month went by that someone didn't report an ice cream-fingerpainting incident in the kitchen courtesy of the bottom freezer. Our little stinkers could get into the freezer and exercise their artistic inclinations; thank God not one of them ever decided to climb inside!

                                                                    I would hope the easy opening issue has been resolved but I will certainly never forget the cleanup, especially since this was back in the day of indoor-outdoor carpeted kitchen floors! Some days I think it is truly miraculous that my boys lived to adulthood!

                                                                    1. Also coming in late... I just wanted to let you know what we are doing to 'sink' the fridge into the wall a bit to keep it from jutting out so far from the cabinetry. We are cutting out the wall a bit to make a niche- it will save 2-3 inches which is enough to keep the fridge from being in the way.

                                                                      1. I'm planning to get a bottom freezer refrigerator soon, but the main consideration for me is easier access.

                                                                        1. I still love my bottom-freezer LG.

                                                                          There are a few minor things which I would change now, if I had the opportunity. I love the french-door for basic refrigerator access ... but ours has the large "party-platter" drawer (which I use for cold cuts and cheese) ... and that requires opening both doors all the way back to the cabinet fronts to open. In retrospect, I think I would go for the single-hinge door instead.

                                                                          Someone posted a link to a (newer?) LG which has a series of 3 vegetable bins above that drawer, and it looks really nice!

                                                                          So far as ice falling into the floor of the freezer, I've never had that problem ... if ice is building up on your frozen packages, it seems to me your freezer isn't sealing well, because you shouldn't get any external ice falling off. Ours never has, even though I remember that happening a lot with my old top-freezer model.

                                                                          RE: ice makers and in-door water dispensers ... if you check the models in the stores, you will see those things take up a LOT of space. I don't use that much ice, so I'm very unwilling to give up space I do use for space I only occasionally use. I mentioned (in a much earlier post) that we have an RO/DI system in the house which supplies the icemaker, and I have no problem with the quality of water or ice we get that way.

                                                                          If you're concerned about filter maintenance, you might consider an in-line filter for your water supply, external to the refrigerator. You might put it where your water supply for the whole kitchen comes through, and in a more easily accessible place than in the fridge. While you would still need to change the refrigerator's filter, it would probably reduce the frequency significantly.

                                                                          And for those considering one of these in a remodel, measure measure measure!!! They are BIG. Don't forget to measure the opening space: for a single-door, your galley width needs to be about 7 feet. For the french door, be sure you have plenty of space on each side of the refrigerator for those doors to open all the way back to the counter fronts. Ours is a bit taller than the conventional over-fridge cabinetry, too. Not by much, but half an inch is still too much!

                                                                          In response to those who were wondering about the depth - I saw (many years ago!) a unit in either Home Depot or Lowe's which was a lot less deep than a typical refrigerator. I really liked it, because I'm short and don't have much "reach" in me, so that configuration really appealed. Until I saw the price tag, which was a couple grand more than even the high-end fridges we were looking at. I suspect such things are still made. Perhaps the exorbitant price has come down. Worth checking, anyway.

                                                                          Overall, I still can't say enough good things about our bottom-freezer. I, too, was raised in a home with an "old" bottom-freezer ... ours was the 60s-era copper finish, and although I was too young to be focused on such things, I don't recall EVER seeing a serviceperson in the house to do any sort of repairs. It just kept on going. And yes ;-) I loved being able to rummage around in the "goodie drawer" for popsicles and ice cream! Some things are just a trade-off! if you want the great advantages of a bottom freezer, I guess you have to expect to handle such little annoyances! LOL

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: exotec

                                                                            exotec, I love my french door fridge, too, and hated the wide deli drawer lid issue (having to open both doors to open the lid on it).
                                                                            That problem solved itself some months back. One of the pins on the end that holds the lid in place broke off, so I put the lid in the garage with the intention of ordering a new lid. I keep my cold cuts and cheese in that drawer, too, like you do. It's been so handy to get into that I haven't ordered a new lid, and don't intend to.
                                                                            It took some getting used to - the back of my brain said the drawer must have a lid... but the rest of my brain said 'forget it.. this is so much easier to use'.

                                                                            1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                              What a great idea! I might have to "break" my lid! ;-)