What type of fridge should I buy?

November 8th, 2012

Appliance Talk Fridges & Freezers

Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach to refrigerators – everything from capacity, colour and compartments can now be more suited to the needs of Australian households.

But with so much choice available, one of the biggest decisions customers now have to make is what style of fridge to purchase.

Factors such as the size and decor of your kitchen, the number of people in your household and the type of cooking you do will all play a part your final verdict.

But what’s the difference between a French door fridge and a top-mount freezer model? Is a side-by-side fridge more suited to a family of four than a three-door?

The Appliances Online team are here to help you navigate your way through the many refrigeration possibilities to find the solution for that’s just right for you.

Reverse / top-mount freezer 



The style of fridge that most Australians will be used to, top-mount freezer models are one of the most economical varieties sold in the country.

Still dominating the refrigerator market, top-mount freezer models come in a wide variety of sizes and affordable prices.

Of course, there are some disadvantages – for anyone lacking in height made find accessing the back of the freezer section, while bending down to access the bottom of the fridge section may prove difficult to anyone with lacking mobility.

The compact 216L Samsung SR215MW fridge features a twist ice maker in the freezer compartment, as well as deep door bins, tempered glass and LED lighting.

Appliances Online product expert Colin Jones takes us through some of the other features of this popular model below.

Bottom-mount freezer 



For those who are looking for a slight variation on the classic refrigerator set-up, bottom-mount freezer models are the answer.

The logical design of these fridges means that the most popular food items are at eye level and easily accessible – even the bottle of milk sitting in the bottom shelf of the door.

The range of bottom-mount models have increased in recent years, giving customers a wider variety of features and prices to choose from.

Available with both left- and right-hand opening, the 430L Westinghouse WBM4300WBRH comes complete with bottle restrainers, Spillsafe glass shelves, specialised storage compartments and telescopic freezer bins.

As an added extra, Westinghouse is offering selected customers the opportunity to receive an EFTPOS gift card valued up to $200 until December 31. Click here to find out more.




If you don’t want to worry about which compartment you have to bend down to access, the answer may be in a side-by-side model.

Both the fridge and freezer compartments run the full height of the unit, offering much needed shelving in the freezer section as well as reducing the width of swinging doors.

Side-by-side fridges also have the room and technology to offer additional features – such as an ice and water dispenser – to help make life easier and reduce the number of times the refridgerator doors are open and shut.

The 567L LG GCP197DPSL takes these additional features to the next level, with an ice and water dispenser that can accommodate just about any size container.

Voted equal first in its fridge category by Australia’s independent watchdog Choice earlier this year, the LG also includes an express freeze function to increase both ice making and freezing capabilities for a 24 hour period, one-touch home bar in the fridge door and a moist balance crisper.

French door and 4-door fridges 



French door (sometimes called 3-door) and 4-door fridges have a similar layout to a side-by-side fridge, but with more access options.

The designs of these fridges can vary slightly, they feature a refrigerator section on top with two doors which open outwards and offers uninterrupted access to the entire fridge cavity.

The freezer section at the base of the unit will either have two doors that open in a similar style – this is where the 4-door fridge gets its true name from – or 1-2 freezer drawers that slide out horizontally.

Without a divider in the middle of the fridge section, these styles are ideal for big families or households that do a lot of entertaining.

The 510L Westinghouse WHE5100SA-D is designed to stand out and fit in at the same time, featuring a self-close freezer drawer, holiday energy-efficient mode and a half-width dairy compartment with lid.

With the added advantage of side-by-side openings for both the fridge and freezer compartments, the 4-door 600L Electrolux EQE6007SB offers families the chance to access all contents of both the fridge and freezer with ease.

Bar fridges and freezers 

Traditionally for drinks, these compact units might also serve as extra storage room during important entertaining times such as Christmas or dinner parties.

A bar fridge or freezer can offer important additional storage either in the kitchen or in a separate room, or can be an easy solution for those living by themselves and don’t want the hassle of housing larger models.

Lemair produce both bar fridges and bar freezers suitable for any household, and offer convenient features such as clear freezer drawers and a vegetable compartment in the fridge.

Chest freezers and Pigeon pairs 

For those with serious refrigeration needs, pigeon pairs or a chest freezer may be just what you’re after.

Chest freezers open from the top and provide full access to all contents, and range from 150 to 700 litres.

Pigeon pairs may have a funny name, but all it means is that there is a full-sized upright fridge and freezer sitting next to each other. Many popular brands produce pigeon pairs, meaning that larger households can easily store groceries in bulk in the kitchen, right where you need it.

If you need to know more about which fridge you should buy, you can also check out our buying guide or let our product expert Colin Jones take you through it all in the video below.

All the way from the land of the flightless bird, Krissy brings a part of New Zealand culture to the Appliances Online content team. And although she is adamant she does not say 'fush and chups', she can't deny her continuous use of the term 'sweet as' and her ongoing argument with her team on the correct name for jandals (thongs). One thing is for certain, however, her passion for her kiwi slang is matched with her love for sharing news, hacks and buying tips for all things appliances! Krissy's favourite appliance is the Tefal Cook4Me multi cooker, as she believes it's ok to let an appliance do all the work for you.

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