You have decided to buy a new refrigerator, but which is the refrigerator model that you better choose? There are distinctive advantages and disadvantages for each refrigerator style. In this article, we will help you choose between bottom freezer vs side by side refrigerators. The decision may depend on several factors.
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What is a Bottom Freezer Refrigerator?
Bottom freezer refrigerators are among the most popular styles in the market. It is a modern variant of the traditional freezer-on-the-top style. A bottom freezer refrigerator typically has one large top door which gives access to the refrigerator section and one small bottom door for the freezer section. See also: Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer.
Although a bottom freezer may look conventional, as it does not stray too far from the traditional design, there are actually various models available. Affordable products are available, but you can also find premium products that are equipped with advanced features such as digital temperature controllers and automatic ice makers.
Bottom Freezer Refrigerator: The Pros
The first advantage of a bottom freezer vs side by side is the more spacious design. While the owners of side by side refrigerators often complain that they can’t fit larger items into the narrow, cramped freezers, bottom freezer refrigerators don’t have such problem. It utilizes the spacious area at the basement of the refrigerator, and the ice maker stays on the top without reducing the lateral space. Modern models are also equipped with pull-out drawers and shelves, so organization should be easy.
The second advantage of a bottom freezer vs side by side is the smaller footprint. While side by side models are often wider, a bottom freezer refrigerator is slimmer and more space-friendly. You can easily slip it into a tight kitchen or apartment. Keep in mind that you need some free space in front of the refrigerator so that the doors won’t hit anything,
Third, a bottom freezer refrigerator has the refrigerator section placed on the top. This is an advantage because the refrigerator section is the one that you will access most frequently. You don’t need to bend down to reach for items in the refrigerator section. For example, take a look at these LG models which have bottom freezer compartments.
Fourth, bottom freezer refrigerators are equipped with variable temperature settings. Unlike traditional top freezer models, bottom freezer refrigerators have separate controllers for the refrigerator and freezer. You can keep a slightly higher temperature for the refrigerator while reducing the temperature of the bottom compartment to below zero.
Bottom Freezer Refrigerator: The Cons
There are some potential disadvantages of a bottom freezer refrigerator. First of all, it is more difficult to access the freezer section. You need to bend down or crouch in order to take items that are hidden in the back. This is also a problem when you want to take out heavy items from the freezer.
Second, bottom freezer refrigerators are relatively expensive. Well, they are not as expensive as luxury side by side refrigerators, but their prices are still higher compared to traditional top freezer models. Then again, the price also depends on the size, brand, and features of the refrigerator.
What is a Side by Side Refrigerator?
On the other hand, a side by side refrigerator typically has two doors, one on the right and another one on the left. Usually, the refrigerator section is wider, placed on the right, whereas the freezer is narrower and put on the left.
Side by side refrigerators are modern products. They indeed look stylish. However, there are several advantages and disadvantages often associated with this style.
Side by Side Refrigerator: The Pros
Side by side refrigerators are suitable for people who often need to access both the refrigerator section and freezer. You have equal access to both compartments. Also, a side by side refrigerator is great for families with young children. You can put foods and beverages that you want to keep away from children on the higher shelves, and put the other items on the lower shelves.
The second advantage of a side by side refrigerator is the easier organization. Such model is typically equipped with more shelves and drawers, so you can easily organize different kinds of items to specific places. Frozen items remain easy to access, with significantly less risk of an item getting buried and lost.
Third, a side by side refrigerator requires less space in front of it. This is because the doors are shorter relative to traditional models and bottom freezer models. This feature is especially useful for a small kitchen with little space for movement.
Fourth, a side by side model nowadays often comes with a cold water dispenser and/or an ice maker placed on the doors. This is very convenient, as you won’t need to open the refrigerator if you only want to take cold water or ice blocks.
Side by Side Refrigerator: The Cons
The very first disadvantage of a side by side refrigerator is that it has less lateral space in it. Yes, a side by side model may have multiple shelves from the top to bottom, but you may be unable to fit a large item such as a large pan or platter into it. This issue has been proven to be a major problem in holidays, when the family wants to freeze a turkey or leftovers.
The second disadvantage is that it is usually wider than traditional models and bottom freezer models. So, it requires more surface area in your kitchen. This may become a problem in a tight, narrow kitchen.
Third, the cold water and ice dispensers are indeed convenient, but they require upkeep. Some models may need to be plumbed directly to the water lines. You will need to clean the lines and filters frequently if you want it to stay hygienic, and these parts may also require frequent replacements.
Fourth, side by side refrigerators are often more expensive than the traditional and conventional models. So, if you are interested in this refrigerator type, you need to prepare more money.
Bottom Freezer vs Side By Side
|Bottom Freezer Refrigerator||Side by Side Refrigerator|
|- Refrigerator on the top, freezer at the bottom||- Usually the refrigerator is on the right, the freezer is on the left|
|- Easy access to the refrigerator section||- Easy access to both sections|
|- Has more lateral space||- Difficult to store larger items|
|- Relatively easier to maintain||- Requires more frequent upkeep|
|- Usually more affordable||- Usually more expensive|
Bottom freezer refrigerators are generally more recommended because they offer the best value for the money. It is usually more affordable, and it has more lateral space to allow larger items inside. On the other hand, a side by side model is very convenient due to the easy accessibility and water/ice dispenser, but has less lateral space and requires frequent upkeep.