The one question that pops up on the mind of everyone who wants to buy a refrigerator is this – how much does a good refrigerator cost? Most of us want to maximize every dollar we spend on a fridge; at the same time, we do not want to miss out on modern features. Also, we prefer to own an appliance for many years to come; and we want to avoid costly repairs.
On average, a family purchases a refrigerator every seven years. Considering the importance of this investment, we carefully selected four pricing bands that capture inflection points in terms of feature set and build quality. We will take you through these price ranges to help you make an informed pick. Here we go!
Refrigerators Under $999
Most top freezer refrigerators typically come well under $1,000. Do you recall your first refrigerator in the rental apartment? It probably cost around $650, well below the thousand-dollar mark. Normally, you won’t get a French door refrigerator in this category, but seasonal promotions might bring down the price of a slim LG French door fridge (30-33-inch width) right under $999.
What to expect:
- Basic internal climate control (low/med/high settings instead of actual temperature reading)
- Little to no focus on humidity controls and air filtration
- Ice makers are sold separately, so don’t expect an indoor or external water ice dispenser
- Basic shelves (no glass shelves or folding/adjustable ones)
- Possible gallon storage on the door
- No smart features (i.e., without app or wifi support)
- Optimum durability. Manufacturers have been making these fridges for decades. Therefore, we expect these products to run trouble free.
Refrigerators Between $1,000 - $1,499
This price range features additional refrigerator types beyond top freezer models.
What to expect:
Side by side refrigerators as well as higher-end top freezer models
Basic internal climate control
More focus on limiting temperature fluctuations
Little to no focus on humidity controls and air filtration
Select models come with ice dispensers and external water dispensers
Possible gallon storage on the door
No smart/wifi features
Expect 6-8 years of longevity
More on best side by side refrigerators.
Refrigerators Between $1,500 - $2,999
This price category has an abundance of refrigerators with the latest technologies and fantastic features. Here you’ll see the LG refrigerator with a glass door that reveals its content when you tap (a.k.a. LG InstaView) and the Samsung refrigerator with a touch screen on the door (a.k.a. Samsung Family Hub).
The price band offers counter depth refrigerators with sleek fit and finish. Also, you’d see the door-in-door design (a.k.a. food showcase) refrigerators which prevent the release of cool air.
In addition, Samsung introduced 4-door refrigerators in this price range with an incredibly rich feature set, including freezer compartments that turn into a fridge (Flex Zone) to give you the flexibility in storage. Samsung RF22K9381SR is an excellent example for you to check out.
What to expect:
Emphasis on internal climate control (humidity, air, and temp controls) that helps preserve your food for longer duration
Complex ice and water dispensers
Excellent convenient shelves, gallon storage on the door
Smart features on higher-end models
Silent operation and Energy-efficiency
Many styles to choose from including French door refrigerators
More on best French door refrigerators.
Refrigerators Over $3,000
Counter depth and most likely the built-in refrigerators with dual compressors that help with food preservation are in this price band. If you are going for an integrated, flush-mount look, it might be a good idea to research options in this price band.
Models from premium brands such as Miele, Thermador, JennAir, Viking, and Sub-Zero push over $7,000. We explored under what circumstances a Sub-Zero refrigerator might be worth for your home in our in-depth review.
What to expect:
- Paramount internal climate control. (humidity, air, and temp controls) Your food is sure last longer in these fridges.
- Complex ice and water dispensers. Internal dispensers.
- Excellent convenient shelves, gallon storage on the door
- smart features
- Noise and energy efficiency is a major area of focus
- Reliable (e.g., Sub Zero will come with 12 yr warranty and designed for a 20 year longevity)
These fridges will look great and will add to the decor. Custom paneling, flush installs are possible. Help home resale value and desirable sought after pieces and will make your home marketable.
- More information on best counter depth refrigerators.
How much should I pay for my refrigerator?
Now back to the big question— how much should you pay for your refrigerator?
Our answer remains any amount that matches your budget for a refrigerator that ticks all your boxes and matches your family needs. As we’ve mentioned, the refrigerator lays a strong claim to the title of the most important appliance in your home. You use it multiple times a day, every single day, and the costs associated with one that fails or experiences damage can be huge.
Imagine you’re away from home for the weekend, and your fridge’s cooling functionality fails. You’ve just lost not only the money you’ll spend to have it repaired, but all the money you spent on all the food in the fridge that’s now ruined.
We don’t want you to overstretch financially for a high-end refrigerator. But if you can afford a slightly higher quality model, but are considering buying a bargain-basement model so that you can spend more on your next vacation, we recommend reconsidering. You’ll spend more in the long run for repairs and faster replacements than if you were to spring a bit more for a dependable fridge from a reputable brand.
You can do without Smartphone compatibility, digital screens, and other luxury features. But I bet you can’t do without is a dependable refrigerator that will get the job done when it comes to preserving your food year in and year out.
If you’re still not sure on which refrigerator brand to go for, check out our ranked review of best refrigerator brands.
See what other Designer Appliances readers are saying.