Why Bottom Freezer Refrigerators Are Great: Quick Buying Guide
First of all, most bottom freezers include the following:
- Door bins with a 1-gallon capacity.
- Deli drawers (much less common).
Other common features include sliding shelves, split shelves, and a door bin that folds up.
On the other hand, bottom freezer refrigerators usually do not have a water and ice dispenser – the layout simply isn’t conducive to that.
As for the price, they tend to run you marginally more than a horizontal refrigerator, but they will cost an amount less than a refrigerator that has French doors (horizontal refrigerator).
Bottom Freezer Refrigerators – Sizes
In terms of popularity, most bottom freezer refrigerators usually have a width of 30”. You will frequently find refrigerators that are 33” wide, though.
If you have a particularly small kitchen, then you should go with a 24-inch bottom freezer refrigerator. However, it will frequently have the same depth as the countertop.
If you are not so concerned with refrigeration, then a top freezer refrigerator will work fine. A mini-fridge may also work in that case, but the freezer portion of a mini-refrigerator isn’t ideal for long term storage.
Unfortunately, bottom freezer refrigerators aren’t normally available with a width of 36”. Those are almost exclusively reserved for the more expensive professional models.
You do have plenty of options with horizontal refrigerator/freezers if you need a refrigerator that is 36” wide, though.
As for height, that tends to vary between 65” and 71”. Height is not a particularly important dimension to concern yourself with. However, it can be an issue in the case that a cabinet is over the area you place your refrigerator.
How Much Capacity Does a Bottom Freezer Refrigerator Have?
A 30” wide bottom refrigerator will normally have around 21 cubic feet to store food. The refrigerator and freezer sections are included in that calculation.
A 33” wide bottom freezer normally has about 21.9 cubic feet of storage space, but some do have closer to 25 cubic feet of storage space.
Finally, a 24” wide bottom refrigerator will not usually have more than about 9 cubic feet of storage at the most.
Keep in mind that the cubic feet do not equate to usable space. Shelves, bins, fans, and other internals can take up to 19% of the capacity of the refrigerator.
On top of that, a refrigerator with the same depth as the counter will have much less depth than a normal depth refrigerator – this means less overall capacity. The advantage of a counter depth refrigerator, of course, is that they are flush with your counter.
We recommend counter depth refrigerators if you have a smaller kitchen or just want a built-in refrigerator.
Water dispensers and ice makers – worth the additional cost?
Automatic ice makers are sometimes included on bottom freezer refrigerators.
We find that these two extra features are convenient, but they do have their disadvantages.
For one, ice makers use more energy. More importantly, if something breaks on your refrigerator, it’s almost always the ice dispenser. They can also leak water all over your kitchen.
An automatic ice maker will also necessitate connecting the refrigerator to a line with water, which can involve some extra cost if you don’t have a hookup. The refrigerator may also not have a filter on the ice maker. It’s easy enough to add an in-line filter, but make sure to remember to check prior to the installation of your refrigerator.
Finally, the refrigerator will most likely not have an ice dispenser that goes through the refrigerator door. The ice maker is simply a section of the freezer that you must scoop the ice out of yourself.
Many people find it easier to just make ice themselves in a tray or to purchase a separate ice maker.
As for the dispenser for water, this extra component isn’t nearly as useful as you would probably believe. The benefits of having a bottom freezer refrigerator outnumber the benefits of a water dispenser.
Here are some popular features that can improve the freshness of the food you keep inside your refrigerator.
Most refrigerators have different crisper drawers that have one or two separate humidity controls.
Deli drawers that have thermostats are common in high cost refrigerators. These are nice because it allows one to store meat at a lower temperature than the rest of the refrigerator. Inexpensive refrigerators will sometimes include a feature that functions the same space. However, the drawer does not have any thermostat.
A refrigerator that has a system to manage airflow will do a better job of venting air through the different parts of the refrigerator. Ventilation like this stops odors from combining together and it will often keep the temperature stable.
Evaporators are normally only found in models that cost more money. These evaporators do a good job of keeping the refrigerator cold in an efficient manner and further reduce the humidity in the refrigerator.
Finally, rapid cooling is sometimes available if the refrigerator has turbo cooling. Unfortunately, turbo cooling is normally only found in the top of the line refrigerators and horizontal refrigerators.
As for air filters, these are useful, but aren’t typically found in bottom freezer refrigerators.
Adjustable shelving is better than less adjustable shelving. Why?
Adjustable shelving means you can efficiently organize your refrigerator.
Now, basic refrigerators will have either two or three shelves. These shelves are typically full length, but sometimes they are adjustable. Ideally, you want shelves that are half as long as the door because they will maximize space.
As for fold up shelves, those are almost exclusively found in expensive refrigerators.
Door bins with a one gallon capacity are a fairly standard feature on refrigerators. However, sometimes bins of different sizes are available, which does add a little extra flexibility.
We hope that our reviews and buying guide provided you with enough information to make a good purchase of your next bottom freezer refrigerator. All the options on the list are excellent choices, but not all of them work best for everyone.
We recommend carefully considering your needs and budget before making a purchase. Just remember that you can’t go wrong with any of our picks.