Best garage refrigerators: 8 garage-ready fridges for extra storage
A great garage refrigerator is to hosting parties what a magician’s card-up-the-sleeve is to showmanship: Need a refresh on that iced tea? Sure, we’ve got gallons. Need room to store the third tray of Thanksgiving stuffing? Absolutely.
There are a lot of affordable refrigerators for extra storage that are perfectly primed to play host to stashes of soda and libations.
The best garage refrigerators have the space and temperature regulation you need for large dishes like casseroles, pots of chili, and ribs, as well as freezer room for all those fresh veggie pizzas you prepped. Critically, most are also designed to work in uninsulated space with fluctuating ambient temperatures—like your garage.
At Reviewed we make it our business to vet the best fridges. Here are some of our favorite garage-ready refrigerators.
The best garage refrigerators for all seasons
Garage-ready refrigerators are designed to function in uninsulated garages with variable ambient temperatures, and are usually certified for temps from 38°F to 110°F.
1. A garage-ready fridge with great core performance
Reviewed / GE
This brilliant refrigerator comes in several eye-catching finishes that can even eliminate fingerprints and smudges.
So, you want a fridge that always has a nice, cool soda for everyone in your large family, or one where, in late fall you won’t have to rush outside to go snap off the power before the cold shuts it down and your squash soup spoils?
If this is the fridge for you, meet the GE GTS22KGNRBB.
A lot of folks would call this fridge no-frills, and it’s true that it doesn’t come with an in-door ice dispenser or a water filter. However, calling this fridge no-frills is like calling a 90’s Jeep no-frills for its lack of a hardshell roof.
The GE GTS22KGNRBB is specifically designed around achieving stability under unstable ambient temperatures. Certified to perform from 38°F to 110°F, it will perform well in uninsulated spaces, even when the weather would shut down most standard refrigerator’s compressors.
But those garage-ready qualities aren’t the only thing the GTS22KGNRBB has going for it. With 15.25 cubic feet of fridge storage, and an above-average 6.68 cubic feet of freezer space, it offers quite a lot of room, both for fresh food and backup frozen goods.
The GTS22KGNRBB is also available in a few finishes, including stainless steel and fingerprint-resistant stainless steel.
$800 at Best Buy
2. An affordable garage fridge that’s also energy efficient
Reviewed / Samsung
Samsung’s 15.6-cu.-ft. capacity top-freezer refrigerator will keep your items impressively cool.
Samsung has made some of the most impressive fridges we’ve tested, so we were excited to discover this one from Samsung fit for your garage. Not only is this fridge certified to operate in environments that drop down to 38°F and up to 110°F, but it’s also Energy Star certified.
Standard depth with glass shelves, adjustable freezer compartments, and nice LED lights, this fridge has a respectable yet basic build. It has a reversible door that makes it easy to install anywhere.
It also contains Samsung multi-vent technology that keeps cool air circulating throughout. With a total capacity of 15.6 cubic feet, it’s not the largest fridge out there, but it’s certainly got enough space to make for a perfect garage-ready backup, especially for the price.
$698 from Home Depot
$699 from Lowe’s
3. A large, garage-ready fridge with efficient energy usage
Reviewed / LG
If you’re in need of extra space, the LG LHTNS2403S has you covered with 17.6 cubic feet in the fridge and 6.2 cubic feet in the freezer.
With lots of storage and a build that can handle the ambient temps in your garage, the LG LHTNS2403S is a big contender on the garage refrigerator scene.
This stainless-steel fridge features an attractive interior with lots of space, as well as some standout features, like a humidity controlled crisper drawer and an ice-maker hookup.
While an ice maker included is a better deal than having a compatible ice maker sold separately, not all of us want an ice maker in our garage fridge, and many will appreciate the extra storage space for frozen pizzas and ice cream. And that’s some significant space, the LHTNS2403S’ freezer includes 6.2 cubic feet of storage, while its fridge contains 17.6 cubic feet.
We haven’t tested this model in our labs, but we have loved many LG appliances that we’ve tested in the past, and we think that the LHTNS2403S comes with a great package of specs.
$848 at Home Depot
4. A smaller GE top-freezer refrigerator
Reviewed / GE
This GE refrigerator gets straight to the point and definitely won’t leave you disappointed.
Slightly smaller than our first pick from GE, this 19.2-cubic-foot option from GE is a value-packed garage fridge with a moderate size. The GE GTS19KSNRSS has a sculpted, premium door with gallon-sized bins, glass shelves, two crisper drawers, and separate temperature controls for the freezer and fridge.
While the GTS19KSNRSS doesn’t have an ice maker, its 5.6 cubic feet of freezer space will make up for that for many.
$793 at Appliances Connection
$574 at GE
5. A zero-degree garage fridge for hardcore temps
Reviewed / Gladiator
The slim size of the Gladiator GARF30FDGB makes it the perfect space-saver for jam-packed garages.
Need a garage fridge that can withstand anything you can? Most true garage fridges are able to live through some temperature fluctuations, but the Gladiator GARF30FDGB is on a different level of heavy duty. This rolling step-open fridge can function down to zero degrees Fahrenheit.
No other fridge on our list is certified to function below 38°F, so we find the Gladiator pretty impressive. That said, Gladiator does specify that because its fridge doesn’t contain a heater, temps below freezing will drop the internal temperature of the fridge and freeze contents.
The impressive take-away here is that the fridge can remain online through low temperatures. This makes it a great pick for a remote cottage, a dock, or parts of the country with deep cold spikes.
With wire bins in the bottom, no freezer, and 17.8 cubic feet of storage, the Gladiator GARF30FDGB isn’t for every home, but for those that need something rugged it’s just right.
$1,500 at Best Buy
Garage-ready fridges for moderate temperatures
We also included a few fridges for garages that don’t drop to low temperatures. These are built for temperatures from 50°F to around 110°F.
These will do well in a mud room, a partially heated garage, or a summer home that gets shut down and winterized. Just be sure to turn them off (and drain any water lines) when the temps get truly low.
6. A bottom-freezer fridge with crispers that actually keep your veggies fresh
Reviewed / Whirpool
Say goodbye to wilted lettuce and mushy fruit with the help of this Whirlpool fridge.
My parents eat a salad every day for lunch, and when I’m home that means lots and lots of vegetables: Bags of greens, Tupperware containers full of cooked beets, bunches of carrots, oranges, and more.
If you’ve got a family that prioritizes fresh foods, you might want a second refrigerator that can keep up with your CSA order. The Whirlpool WRB119WFBM is just that.
This bottom-freezer fridge isn’t the budget pick that many would choose for their garage (especially with the $100 dollar extra stainless-steel finish), but those who need a little something more will appreciate it for its humid crisper drawers, customizable shelving, and efficiency.
That efficiency is one of its best features—our lab projects that on average, it will cost only about $27.29 a year to run.
This fridge is certified for temperatures from 55°F to 110°F.
$1,799 at Best Buy
7. A fridge with backup ice or more fridge space, your pick
Reviewed / Samsung
Samsung has a longstanding reputation for crafting quality, reliable appliances.
Consistent temps, an ice maker, and even the ability to convert the freezer to extra fridge space? The Samsung RT18M6215SG seems almost too good for its price-point.
This value top-freezer fridge might be basic in many ways, but it does come with a few distinguishing features.
At the RT18M6215SG’s price point, a built-in ice maker is a boon. This feature alone can be a life saver at family gatherings or parties.
However, it’s Samsung’s ability to convert the freezer into extra storage space that makes it such a standout unit for the price. While the fridge is small overall, that flexibility means that it’s especially potent as a home backup.
The RT18M6215SG is built for temperatures between 50°F to 109°F.
$1,030 at Appliances Connection
8. A no-frills garage fridge for extra drinks
Reviewed / Danby
Although the appearance of this Danby fridge is simple, its functions are spectacular.
We haven’t tested the Danby DAR110A1BSLDD ourselves, but we think if you’re looking for a basic fridge without a freezer, then it might be right. Think of this as an extra-large version of a mini fridge. With 11 cubic feet of space, it makes for a decent drink fridge. It’s also Energy Star rated, certifying its efficiency.
The Danby user manual is quite vague about what ambient temperatures this fridge is compatible with, saying only that, “Extreme cold ambient temperatures may also cause the appliance to perform improperly,” and that the fridge is not designed for outdoor spaces like garages.
That said, it could work quite well in a partially insulated garage that doesn’t hit low temperatures. As its operating temps are unspecified, we just recommend turning it off when temperatures drop really low or spike over 100°F.
If you can find the Danby DAR110A1BSLDD on sale then we think it is a good buy.
$719 at Amazon
What does ‘garage-ready’ refrigerator mean?
True garage-ready refrigerators are able to function in ambient temperatures between 38°F to 110°F.
However, most also offer lots of storage for beer, soda, and frozen pizzas. They often work as great backup fridges for storing extra food and drinks.
What is the best refrigerator for a hot garage?
If you’re looking to keep beverages cool in a hot garage then you’ll want to find a fridge with both stable temperatures and efficient power usage.
Look for a fridge that can withstand temperatures up to 110°F.
We recommend the GE GTS22KGNRBB, which we’ve tested in our lab. It maintains good temperature consistency in lots of climates.
What is the best refrigerator for an unheated garage?
The most rugged fridge we’ve come across is the Gladiator GARF30FDGB, which can function down to zero degrees Fahrenheit.
This is the only refrigerator on this list that’s certified for ambient temperatures below 38°F.
Is it OK to put a refrigerator in a garage?
Reviewed / Getty Images / Marc Dufresne
Having another fridge in your garage can provide the extra space you need when your primary fridge is crammed.
“Sure,” says David Ellerby, Reviewed’s chief scientist and head of the Reviewed laboratory, “but you need to pay close attention to the ambient temperature specs and how they compare with the temperature range you usually get in your garage. Check the refrigerator is OK’d for garage use by the manufacturer or at least has a wide enough operating range.”
Do I need a special fridge for the garage?
“Unless your garage space is climate controlled or you live in a very mild climate with no extremes; you need a special fridge that can cope with a wider-than-usual temperature range,” says Ellerby.
“The addendum is that even with a special fridge you might need to adjust the control settings at extreme temperatures.”
Should I unplug my garage refrigerator in the winter?
“This depends on how cold your garage might get. If you won’t use the refrigerator or it’s likely to get colder than its recommended operating range, you should empty it and unplug it,” he says.
“If it’s too cold in the garage, the thermostat could be tricked into turning off the compressor inappropriately, or the compressor could be damaged if the coolant hits low enough temperatures.”
The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok or Flipboard for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
The 6 Best Garage Refrigerators of 2023
Made to withstand fluctuating temperatures
Brigitt Earley is an experienced writer and product reviewer for The Spruce who specializes in home hacks and products. She currently writes about home products and toys for The Spruce.
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Dena Ogden has been writing professionally since 2015, and has published over 200 pieces with numerous digital outlets.Her specialities include lifestyle, commerce, and culture topics, and she always has a novel in process, too. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English & Communication from the University of Washington, and is a proud first-generation college graduate.
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Updated on 07/28/23
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Amazon / Lowes
Imagine this: just when you thought absolutely no more frozen pizza boxes and sweet treats could be stuffed into your freezer, you remembered that you own a garage fridge! Suddenly, you have all the storage space in the world, and don’t need to contemplate tossing valuable groceries or tasty pre-prepared meals. This appliance really is a huge perk whether you have a big household, love to entertain, or prefer to stock up.
“Garage refrigerators are a great option for adding additional food storage to your home—perfect for those with large families or those who like to buy in bulk,” agrees Rex Freiberger, the CEO of Gadget Review. However, you can’t stick just any appliance in a garage. A standard fridge works in a climate-controlled space where temperatures never dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or rise into sweltering, triple digits.
Garages, as we all know, can easily reach extreme temperatures, especially as the seasons change. That’s why it’s smart to pick a model that is not as sensitive to outside temperature fluctuations and considered garage-friendly. Freiberger explains more: “Trying to use a standard refrigerator in your garage will often result in much higher energy bills and, eventually, temperature fluctuation-related repairs.”
To help you find an appliance you can reliably use in the garage, we scouted fridge models that are “garage-ready. ” We took a deep dive into not just their design, but also their features, such as slide-out shelves, door pockets, and hidden coils, to put together a list of the most reliable options.
Our Top Picks
GE Top Freezer Stainless Steel Refrigerator at Home Depot
Best Mini Fridge:
BLACK+DECKER Mini Fridge with Freezer at Amazon
Best Stainless Steel:
Frigidaire FRTD2021AS Top Freezer Refrigerator at Home Depot
Gladiator Rolling Refrigerator at Home Depot
Danby Garage Ready Upright Freezer at Best Buy
Best for Energy Efficiency:
LG Top Mount Freezer Refrigerator at Home Depot
In This Article
What to Look For
Why Trust the Spruce
View On Home Depot
View On Lowe’s
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
No freezer light
No ice maker
We appreciate this GE model for its blend of aesthetics, affordability, and practicality. This garage refrigerator is streamlined yet spacious, and reliably keeps groceries cool in fluctuating garage temperatures. First, at a total of 21.9 cubic feet, the appliance has more space than most, so the next time you’re stocking up on soda for an upcoming party, buying bulk bags of frozen berries. or stashing freezer meals for a later date, you’ll be covered—and then some. Inside, you’ll find adjustable glass shelves and door pockets for storing trays and taller, skinny bottles. There are also two humidity-controlled crispers for fruits and veggies.
The shelf in the top freezer is adjustable, so you can accommodate bigger boxes of frozen items, too. Though a decent size, the freezer is relatively basic. It doesn’t have an ice maker or even a light, so it may be hard to see contents while poking around at night. At the same time, having fewer bells and whistles means there could be fewer issues to fix down the line. Not to mention, this pick has reversible doors so you can make it work in any spot in your garage, and is available in five finishes, including black slate, stainless steel, white, slate, and black.
All in all, if you’re looking for a spacious fridge that you can plug in and just not worry about, this model should be at the top of your list. It’s absolutely at the top of ours.
Price at time of publish: $1,199
Total Capacity: 21.9 cubic feet | Dimensions: 32.75 x 34.5 x 65.875 inches | Installation Depth: Standard | Ice Maker Type: Sold separately | Available Finishes: Black slate, stainless steel, white, slate, black
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What We Like
What We Don’t Like
If you only need a little extra space—like room for cans of soda or extra juice boxes—a mini fridge can be a nice, budget-friendly and space-saving option. It doesn’t necessarily have to lack amenities, either. This pick has 4.3 cubic feet of space, plus conveniences like a reversible door and crisper drawer. It also has an internal freezer for frozen goods. All in all, it’s plenty of space for spillover.
The small refrigerator is also energy-efficient, and naturally uses less energy than it’s larger counterparts. Now, there are some drawbacks, namely, that it manually defrosts and its shelving isn’t adjustable. This may present an issue for bulkier items. However, it is perfectly suitable for small containers of fruit or leftovers, and notably comes in three different finishes, too. Plus, you can eventually transport this pick to a dorm room, basement, or another location where it can be useful.
Price at time of publish: $337
Total Capacity: 4.3 cubic feet | Dimensions: 32.72 x 20.63 x 20.94 inches | Installation Depth: Standard | Ice Maker Type: None | Available Finishes: Black, gray, white
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What We Like
What We Don’t Like
If you want to look at something a little more elevated than your standard garage refrigerator, look for a stainless steel option like Frigidaire’s Top Freezer Refrigerator. Though many basic fridges only come in white or black, Frigidaire’s model also comes in an attractive stainless steel design. The door can be changed to open from the left or the right, so you can stick this fridge in just about any corner and not have any trouble accessing it. (That is key in especially tight spaces like the garage.)
Inside, you’ll find a large refrigerator with 15.2 cubic feet for chilling and a freezer with 5.2 cubic feet for freezing and preserving. There’s plenty of dedicated space to keep things organized—the fridge has crispers, a deli drawer, and a dairy compartment, as well as gallon-friendly door bins. The freezer has plenty of space, too. You’ll find two, full-width freezer door racks and a one, half-width shelf inside. If there’s any downside to the space inside, it’s that the gallon door bins aren’t adjustable, so you’ll have to work with what’s already there.
Price at time of publish: $1,029
Total Capacity: 20. 5 cubic feet | Dimensions: 30 x 34.5 x 68.25 inches | Installation Depth: Standard | Ice Maker Type: None | Available Finishes: Stainless steel, white, black
The Home Depot
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View On Appliancesconnection.com
What We Like
What We Don’t Like
No freezer space
Going by cubic feet alone, you may assume that this refrigerator is smaller than others. However, this model doesn’t have a freezer, so all 17.8 cubic feet is dedicated totally to chilling fresh groceries. The appliance also has big wire drawers, convenient shelves, and adjustable door pockets to maximize storage space. It’s a great option for large families and people who like to entertain.
As any garage appliance should be, this one is incredibly heavy-duty. It can operate in extreme temperatures and sits on durable casters, so even if it’s full, you can move it around as needed. The machine also has a tread pedal, so you can open it even with your hands full—perfect when you’re toting a lot of items in and out of the garage. It’s one of the pricier picks out there, but we think the features and functional design make it worth it.
Price at time of publish: $1,800
Total Capacity: 17.8 cubic feet | Dimensions: 31 x 32 x 72 inches | Installation Depth: Standard | Ice Maker Type: None | Available Finishes: Black
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What We Like
Convenient, upright design
Energy Star certified
Fairly compact footprint
What We Don’t Like
When your priority is frozen storage, you may just want to skip the fridge and opt for an upright freezer. From Danby, this upright model has a traditional, front-open door, so you can comfortably open it and reach in like you would with a standard kitchen fridge. It offers a full, 8.5 cubic feet of storage (that’s a lot of frozen pizzas!), which means you won’t have to pause during your next shopping trip to wonder if you have freezer space for the bulk items you want to stock up.
The interior of this freezer has three built-in, non-adjustable shelves, plus four slim door bins. It’s just under 60 inches tall and 24 inches wide—which is a smaller footprint to manage than a standard-sized fridge or a chest freezer. Though, you’ll want to be mindful that there’s no interior light, so you’ll want to keep overhead lighting in mind when you’re placing it.
Price at time of publish: $700
Total Capacity: 8.5 cubic feet | Dimensions: 24.81 x 24 x 58.69 inches | Installation Depth: Standard | Ice Maker Type: None | Available Finishes: Black
The Home Depot
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What We Like
What We Don’t Like
Energy-efficient fridges, like this pick from LG, can cut down on expenses and energy consumption. But, don’t worry about sacrificing space or quality for that designation. Coming with just shy of 24 cubic feet of storage (17.6 cubic feet in the fridge, and 6.2 cubic feet in the freezer), this is a spacious and sleek refrigerator that has adjustable shelves made of durable tempered glass, two crisper drawers for produce, and an LED interior light for convenience. And while it doesn’t come with an ice maker, this fridge is ready for one if you’re willing to buy it separately. (Or, you can always keep the extra interior space.)
This LG fridge also has an aesthetically-pleasing design, which isn’t always the case for a garage-ready pick. The stainless steel finish also promises to be smudge-resistant and easy to clean (good news, since dust and debris can blow into garages). At time of publish, it’s exclusive to The Home Depot, which saves some trouble when shopping, but also could mean it will go out of stock often.
Price at time of publish: $999
Total Capacity: 23. 8 cubic feet | Dimensions: 33 x 68 x 34 inches | Installation Depth: Standard | Ice Maker Type: Sold separately | Available Finishes: Stainless steel
For a garage-ready fridge that’s both attractive and functional, opt for the GE Garage Ready 21.9-cu ft Top-Freezer Refrigerator. Along with a generous capacity that’ll hold plenty of groceries, this fridge comes in five finishes and has adjustable shelves. If your priority is energy efficiency, check out the LG Top Mount Freezer Refrigerator, which is another great pick that boasts 24 cubic feet of storage space.
Size and Capacity
Refrigerator capacity is measured in cubic feet. The more cubic feet, the more interior space for storage. Be sure to note how cubic feet are divided between refrigerator and freezer space in the model you’re considering. About 20 cubic feet is standard, but there are smaller and larger options, too.
For context, the roomiest option we’ve selected for this list is our Best for Energy Efficiency pick, the LG Top Mount Freezer Refrigerator, while the smallest is the Black+Decker Mini Fridge, our Best Mini Fridge pick. If you need lots of fridge space, but a freezer isn’t as important, you can consider a model without a freezer to maximize cubic feet where you need it most. A great example is our Best Large-Capacity pick, the Gladiator Rolling Refrigerator.
When selecting the right size garage refrigerator for you, also consider your space. How much room do you have to devote to the appliance? Fridges with roomier capacities typically have a large overall footprint and are a bit bulkier. If space is at a minimum, you’ll want to find a fridge with a compact or narrow build, or that falls under the mini fridge category. Finding a pick with a reversible door can be helpful as well, as this feature gives you more flexibility when installing the fridge.
Freezer Location and Organization Options
Garage refrigerators can feature a top freezer, in-fridge freezer, or no freezer at all. When picking a model for your home, you’ll want to consider if you need freezer space and how much of it you need. In-fridge freezers can especially cut into the amount of space you have for fresh goods, but will be the perfect size for a few extra pints of ice cream or popsicles. Top freezers will offer the most space, and are ideal if you have several frozen pizzas or meals you want to stash away. As noted above, our Best Large-Capacity pick, the Gladiator Rolling Refrigerator, has no freezer, which is best for those who need the most refrigerator space.
In addition to the freezer location, organization options are key. Are you planning to store all kinds of things—drinks, veggies, meat, and more? You’ll want to look for fully-adjustable options to ensure all of your goods fit. Many do have adjustable shelves, but some lack adjustable door bins. If you’re not looking for anything specific and prefer an all-around option, our Best Overall pick, the GE Garage Ready Top-Freezer Refrigerator, will likely fit the bill.
In a second, garage-friendly fridge, installing an ice maker may or may not be important to you. But, before shopping, you’ll want to make that decision so you can find a model that’s ready to serve, and can be hooked up in your space. It’s worth noting: most garage-ready refrigerators are pretty basic, and don’t come with ice makers. Others have compatible ice makers that are sold separately. A very select few have them built in.
A reversible door—which all of our picks feature—can make your fridge more flexible to install in your space. If you have a small garage, it can make or break your ability to have a fridge there all together, since it makes the appliance much more accessible in a tight space. Install it with the door open to the left or right—whatever works best. It’s usually an easy process. You typically have to switch the hinges by attaching them with screws. The holes are pre-existing.
An interior light makes it easier to see what’s inside of the appliance. It’s not a total necessity, but it’s definitely helpful, especially in a dimly-lit garage at night. Some fridges feature a single bulb. Others, like our Best Overall, the GE Garage Ready Top-Freezer Refrigerator, have LED lighting. Don’t forget to check the freezer, though, when shopping. In addition, some fridges have a light in the fridge but not the freezer, including the model from GE.
Energy Star Certification
When you’re running multiple refrigerators, you may notice an uptick in your energy bill—especially if the machine is working harder to maintain itself in extreme weather. Look for a model that’s Energy Star-certified—like our Best for Energy Efficiency pick, the LG Top Mount Freezer Refrigerator. This will ensure that you’re operating the most efficient appliances, that don’t use more energy than they absolutely need to.
There isn’t much distinction between a garage-ready refrigerator and a regular refrigerator—other than the fact that a garage-ready appliance is labeled as such to indicate that it can adequately operate in more extreme temperatures of unconditioned spaces like the garage. “Garage-ready models are specifically designed to handle the extreme hot and cold temperature fluctuations that can occur throughout the year,” says Rex Freiberger, CEO of Gadget Review.
Your garage fridge may use more electricity than a typical refrigerator—especially in the summer months when the temperature is hotter and the fridge has to work harder to cool. According to Energy Star, a fridge in a 90-degree environment uses 45 to 50 percent more energy than one in a 70-degree environment. To help keep energy usage down, look for an Energy Star-certified appliance.
You can keep a refrigerator in an uninsulated or hot garage as long as it’s labeled garage-ready, as this indicates the appliance can handle extreme temperatures. Garage-ready appliances will also specify temperature ranges at which they can safely operate in the user’s manual. Typically, your garage will need to stay above 35 degrees Fahrenheit for even a garage-ready refrigerator to operate.
You don’t have to unplug your garage fridge in the winter, but there’s one important caveat: if you have a garage-ready fridge, check the user’s manual to find out what temperature range it can operate at. If the temperature dips below the base threshold, your fridge may think it’s too cold and shut off, which could lead to food spoilage.
This article was written by Brigitt Earley, a freelance writer with nearly 15 years of experience writing about consumer products, like home appliances. To curate this list, Earley scoured the most popular retailers to find garage-ready refrigerators. Then, she researched each one, reading all of the specs and hundreds of reviews. Earley also interviewed experts like Rex Freiberger, CEO of Gadget Review, to find out what is most important when shopping for a garage fridge. She further analyzed each of the products being considered to ensure the final list contained only the most reliable, quality picks on the market today.
Dena Ogden, commerce writer at The Spruce, updated this list and contributed additional research. She’s been writing professionally since 2016, and with The Spruce since August 2022, specializing in appliances, cleaning, organization, and home tech topics.
The 9 Best Refrigerators of 2023
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Can I put a refrigerator in an uninsulated garage which is subject to winter and summer extreme temperatures? Energy Star, United States Department of Energy.
The Best Refrigerators of 2023 – Edadila Magazine
The choice of a refrigerator is approached with particular predilection, since it is bought for a long time – for 10 years or more. It should be roomy, quiet, energy efficient, ergonomic. It also has to fit into the interior.
We tell you how to choose a refrigerator for your home among the variety of options. And our top best models of 2023 will help with the choice.
What you need to know about your refrigerator
To choose a suitable refrigerator, it is useful to know the principle of its operation and the functions of the main elements – compressor, evaporator, condenser, refrigerant.
The compressor pressurizes and circulates the refrigerant. In the evaporator, this substance changes from liquid to gaseous form. After that, the refrigerant is cooled in the condenser and returns to the liquid state. Further, the process proceeds in the same order. Let’s consider each of the elements of the system in more detail.
The condenser is responsible for the stability of the equipment and the circulation of the refrigerant. You can buy a refrigerator with the following types of motors:
Conventional version with cycles. The temperature in the chamber is controlled by a special sensor. When the set cooling level is reached, the compressor switches off. When the temperature rises to a certain value, the motor will start again.
The compressor operates constantly without shutdowns, maintaining the desired microclimate in the refrigerator. This is achieved by a smooth change in engine power. It is better to choose a device with an inverter compressor: it works stably, quietly, consumes a minimum of energy, eliminates system overload, since there are no voltage drops. Equipment with it lasts longer, but its price is higher.
The evaporator allows the refrigerant to change from liquid to gaseous state. Depending on the design features, it can be shell-and-tube in the form of a steel cylinder with tubes inside, lamellar in the form of a spiral and flat film with a heat exchange surface. The most reliable are shell and tube evaporators.
A condenser is a heat exchanger in which a gaseous refrigerant is cooled and converted back into a liquid state. The element in the form of a coil is located mainly on the rear wall of the device. The higher the heat dissipation of the condenser, the better. For intensive cooling, the element is equipped with additional fins in order to increase the heat transfer area.
The refrigerant is the refrigerant circulating in the system. Older models use freon (R22), the decay of which releases toxic compounds. Choose an appliance that uses eco-friendly tetrafluoroethane (R134a) or isobutane (R600a) as a refrigerant.
How to choose the right refrigerator for your home
When buying refrigerators, freezers, wine cabinets, consider the design of the model, the number of users, purpose, comfortable noise level and much more.
The main criteria for choosing a refrigerator for the home:
Refrigerators are single-chamber, double-chamber and multi-chamber. If compactness is important to you, choose the first option. The freezer in single-chamber models is located inside the main compartment or is completely absent. The most common are two-chamber refrigerators with separate chambers for cooling and freezing food. Multi-chamber models are equipped with three or more independent compartments.
- Net volume
Indicates the capacity of the refrigerator. The optimal setting depends on the number of users. 120L is sufficient for one person, add 60L for each additional person: two family members need a 180L model, three need 240L, four need 300L, etc.
- Defrost type
In budget models, manual defrosting is used – you have to wait for the ice to melt and remove the water. You can buy a refrigerator with a drip system – water flows down the back wall into the pan and evaporates due to heat from the condenser. Such a model requires periodic defrosting. The best option is the No Frost system, which prevents the formation of ice inside the chamber due to the constant air circulation. It is not necessary to defrost such equipment.
- Power consumption
The energy consumption level is labeled from class A to G. The most economical models are labeled A, A+, A++, A+++. The more benefits, the lower the cost of electricity. The highest consumption is for equipment of class C and beyond.
- Noise level
Low noise models range from 25 to 35 dB, medium noise 36 to 45 dB, noisy models over 45 dB.
Pay attention to additional functions offered by the manufacturer. These include door open sensor, child lock, antibacterial coating, super freeze and super cool, Wi-Fi for smart home system setup, reversible door, etc. Choose options according to your needs as they have a significant impact on the final price.
If you find it difficult to choose the right model, use our ranking of the best refrigerators in 2023.
The best refrigerators No Frost
No Frost technology prevents the formation of frost on the walls of the refrigerator, which greatly facilitates maintenance. This is achieved by adding fans to the design that circulate cold dry air, as well as a heater that removes frost from the evaporator.
No Frost appliances cool and freeze food faster, maintain a stable microclimate, and do not require regular defrosting.
Tip . The circulating air winds the products. Store them in No Frost models tightly packed – in a sealed container or cling film.
Let’s consider the best representatives of this group.
Whirlpool W7 931T W
The two-compartment refrigerator is equipped with an inverter compressor that provides high energy efficiency (A +++) and quiet operation – up to 37 dB. The device has two freshness zones – separate compartments, where an optimal microclimate is maintained for longer storage of products. The spacious freezer includes three drawers. The total volume is 368 liters.
The No Frost system is provided in both chambers, there are also super-cooling and super-freezing modes, a humidity control function in the herbal compartment. And if the electricity is turned off, the equipment will keep cold for another 17 hours.
The doors in the refrigerator are reversible, that is, you decide which way they will open. The control of the device is electronic, there is a digital display on the front wall.
Indesit ITR 5200
The two-chamber model with electronic control is reliable, easy to operate, roomy – a total volume of 325 liters. The temperature regime is controlled by the display. The interior space is illuminated by bright LED lighting. The model is presented in black color, the coating material is metal.
The No Frost system functions in both compartments, making it easy to maintain the refrigerator. There are Push&Go and Freezer Control options. The inverter motor is characterized by quiet operation – up to 40 dB.
A distinctive feature is the ability to adjust the front legs, which makes the equipment stable even on uneven floors.
LG DoorCooling+ GA-B459CLCL
The two-chamber refrigerator implements DoorCooling+ technology, thanks to which food is cooled 32% faster. If you are making blanks, freezing semi-finished products, take a closer look at this model. The volume of the freezer is 107 liters, total – 341 liters.
The Multi Air Flow function ensures even circulation of cold air, which prolongs the freshness of food when placed on any shelf. And No Frost prevents the formation of ice in the freezer and refrigerator, which eliminates the need for defrosting.
The equipment is equipped with a powerful inverter motor with a noise level of up to 36 dB. Energy efficiency class – A +.
Atlant XM 4524-050-ND
If you have a large family, pay attention to the model from the brand Atlant. Its total volume is 401 liters. The two-chamber refrigerator is equipped with a touch display and a linear compressor with a noise level of 43 dB.
The No Frost system is implemented in both chambers, there are functions of fast freezing, supercooling, timer. The “Vacation” option minimizes energy costs during the absence of users at home.
Shelves made of impact-resistant glass, doors can be re-hung. Antibacterial components have been added to the material of the seal, inner walls and handles. They prevent the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms, which increases the shelf life of products, eliminates unpleasant odors.
The two-chamber refrigerator from the German brand AEG has a total volume of 341 liters. The No Frost system is used in the freezer compartment, in the refrigerator there is a drip type of defrosting.
The fast freeze function preserves the healthy composition of the preparations, and the special MaxiBox drawer maintains optimal humidity so that plant foods stay fresh for a long time.
Microclimate indicators are displayed on the touch screen, there is a child protection option that blocks access to the controls. The inverter motor generates moderate noise – up to 42 dB. The equipment has a high energy efficiency class (A +). And if you go on vacation, you can activate the maximum power saving mode.
The best multi-chamber refrigerators
Multi-chamber refrigerators are roomy. They are equipped with three or more cameras. Usually they have extended functionality, additional zones, double doors. But more space is required for such equipment.
Whirlpool WQ9 E1L
Spacious refrigerator contains three compartments with a total volume of 591 liters. This model is suitable if you have a large family, you stock meat, fish products, semi-finished products, plant foods. The refrigerator compartment is equipped with three shelves and two drawers, has double doors. The other two chambers are freezers, each includes three compartments.
The type of defrosting is identical in all chambers – No Frost, there are super-freezing, super-cooling, maximum energy saving modes (Vacation option). The energy efficiency class of the equipment is A+.
High freezing capacity is provided by an inverter compressor – 10 kg per day. The equipment works quietly – the noise does not exceed 37 dB. Instrument control is electronic. The 6th Sense Fresh Lock system captures the slightest temperature fluctuations and, if necessary, increases compressor performance.
The four-door model has three chambers with a total usable volume of 468 liters. If you need to fit a wide casserole dish, a tiered cake, a turkey or other bulky dish in the fridge, this model will do just fine. The refrigerating chamber has a volume of 336 liters. And the freezer is divided into two chambers with a total capacity of 132 liters.
Type of defrost in all compartments No Frost. There are options for quick freezing and cooling, an energy-saving mode, as well as a freshness zone for storing plant foods. Management – electronic using a touch screen.
The inverter compressor provides a freezing capacity of 10 kg per day, the noise during operation of the equipment is 43 dB.
The model has three chambers – one refrigerator and two freezers. The refrigerator is equipped with a double-leaf door, the freezer is presented in the form of retractable compartments. The total useful volume is 412 liters. The capacity of the freezer is 134 liters, the refrigerator capacity is 278 liters.
All compartments have No Frost defrost type, fast freezing and cooling functions, freshness zone. Refrigerator control – electronic using the display.
The model is equipped with a linear compressor. The equipment is energy efficient (A ++), without power it maintains a cold microclimate for up to 20 hours. The noise level of equipment during operation is 45 dB.
The four-chamber model consists of a refrigerator compartment and three drawer-shaped freezers. The refrigerator is quite compact, the total volume is 339 liters.
No Frost system is provided in all chambers, there are options for quick freezing and cooling, energy-saving vacation mode. In the freshness zone, you can adjust the humidity level. Control technology – electronic using the display. The interior is illuminated with LED lighting.
The appliance is powered by an inverter compressor. The noise level does not exceed 40 dB. Energy class – A.
Mitsubishi Electric MR-CXR46EN-PS
Three-chamber model with a total volume of 402 liters has one refrigerator and two freezers in the form of drawers. The type of defrosting is No Frost everywhere, the multi-flow cooling system Multi Air Flow provides a uniform effect on the products.
Freshness zone around 0°C with adjustable humidity level, automatic ice maker, LED lighting. The antibacterial coating prevents the growth of microorganisms, the appearance of mold and unpleasant odors.
The refrigerator features Neuro Fuzzy smart technology to save energy. As a result of the analysis of the family life schedule, the optimal settings for the performance of equipment are selected.
Refrigerator with inverter compressor is quiet – up to 35 dB.
The best built-in refrigerators
Built-in models successfully fit into the interior of the kitchen, literally merging with the set. Such refrigerators differ in design – they do not have decorative facades, the doors are attached to the doors of the headset. At the same time, the door clamping system is much denser, and the hinges are more powerful.
Note. When choosing, first of all, pay attention to the dimensions of the model – they must correspond to the dimensions of the pencil case for the refrigerator.
Weissgauff WRKI 178 H inverter tempered glass ki . The microclimate parameters are adjusted using the electronic module.
The Hybrid defrost system combines a drip system for the refrigerator compartment and No Frost for the freezer. Freezing capacity – up to 3 kg per day. Good performance is provided by the inverter compressor. During operation, the equipment emits noise up to 38 dB. Energy efficiency class – A ++, there is a “Vacation” mode for maximum energy savings.
The built-in two-chamber model has a total volume of 243 liters, dimensions (WxHxD) – 54×176.9×54 cm.
The linear compressor provides a freezing capacity of 3 kg per day, the noise level during operation is 41 dB. Energy class – A +. In the event of a power outage, the period of autonomous cold preservation reaches 11 hours.
The microclimate is adjusted using an electronic panel; LED lighting is used to illuminate the interior space. Increases the shelf life of products and eliminates unpleasant odors with an antibacterial coating.
Gorenje NRKI 4182 A1
Built-in double chamber model with NoFrost DualAdvance cooling system. The freezer uses No Frost technology to prevent frost formation. The refrigerating chamber uses a drip type of defrosting, uniform cooling is achieved by air circulation. Additionally, the air is ionized, which has a beneficial effect on the microclimate.
There is also a super freeze function, a freshness zone for storing plant foods. High freezing power (8 kg per day) is provided by a linear compressor, noise during operation – 39db. Refrigerator control is electronic, microclimate parameters and modes are displayed on the display.
The total volume of the model is 248 l, dimensions (WxHxD) are 54×177.2×54.5 cm. There is a possibility of re-hanging the doors.
Two-chamber built-in refrigerator has a total volume of 273 liters, dimensions (WxHxD) – 54×176.9×54 cm. The model is equipped with an inverter compressor that provides freezing up to 2.5 kg per day. The noise level of the equipment is 39 dB, the energy efficiency class is A+.
Freezer uses manual defrost, refrigerator uses drip. There are seven cooling modes. Antibacterial coating prevents the reproduction of pathogenic microflora, the occurrence of an unpleasant odor.
Korting KSI 8185
If compactness is important to you, choose this model. The dimensions of the refrigerator (WxHxD) are 59. 5×81.8×54.8 cm, it can easily fit under the countertop. The single-chamber model has a refrigeration compartment with a drip type of defrosting and a freezer with manual defrosting. The total usable volume is 115 liters.
The freezer is located on top, the design allows reversible doors, shelves and legs are adjustable in height. The linear compressor creates moderate noise – up to 39 dB. Energy efficiency class – A +. The refrigerator is controlled mechanically using the thermostat knob.
The best inexpensive refrigerators
In the budget segment, the choice of equipment is quite large: there are compact and full-size models, with one or more cameras, with a different set of functions. Consider the best representatives of this group.
Two-chamber refrigerator in many respects is not inferior to more expensive counterparts. The model is roomy: the total volume is 300 liters, the refrigerator compartment has 240 liters, the freezer compartment has 60 liters. The interior is illuminated with LED lighting. It is possible to change the doors.
Freezer located at the top. It has a manual type of defrosting, and the refrigerator has a drip type. There are two freshness zones for storing plant foods. Humidity Control technology allows you to control the level of humidity. Refrigerator control – electromechanical with a thermostat knob.
Linear compressor provides a freezing capacity of 3 kg per day. Energy efficiency belongs to class A. Noise during operation of equipment – 39 dB.
ATLANT ХМ 4208-000
Two-chamber refrigerator belongs to narrow models, perfect for a kitchen with a small area. Model dimensions – 54.5×142.5×57.2 cm, total usable volume – 173 liters.
Freezer uses manual defrost, refrigerator uses drip. The compressor provides a freezing power of 2 kg per day, noise during operation – 42 dB. The antibacterial coating prevents the reproduction of pathogenic microflora, the appearance of mold and an unpleasant odor.
Refrigerator has impact-resistant tempered glass shelves, pull-out plastic baskets. The interior space is illuminated by LED lighting. It is possible to change the doors to the other side.
Stinol STS 150
The two-chamber model is only 150 cm high, but the capacity is not affected. The total volume is 243 liters, the capacity of the freezer is 54 liters, the refrigerator compartment is 189 liters. The latter is equipped with three impact-resistant glass shelves and two drawers for storing plant foods. The freezer has two containers. Both refrigerator doors can be hung on the other side.
Refrigerator has a drip defrosting system, freezer – manual. Control technology – electromechanical.
The device is powered by a linear compressor, the freezing capacity is 2 kg per day. The model is inferior to other representatives of the rating in energy efficiency, it is assigned class B. It works quite quietly – within 39 dB.
Indesit DS 4160 W
The two-chamber model is spacious and has an ergonomic organization of the interior space. Total usable volume – 269l. The capacity of the refrigerating chamber is 182 liters, the freezer is 87 liters. If you make blanks and store semi-finished products, take a closer look at this model. The freezer has three spacious drawers, there are molds for ice. The refrigerator compartment is equipped with three shelves and two drawers for storing vegetable food.
The freezer uses a manual defrost system, the refrigerator uses a drip defrost system. Low Frost technology prevents the formation of frost and simplifies the maintenance of equipment.
Linear compressor provides good performance – freezing capacity is 4 kg per day. Noise level of the operating device – 39db. Energy efficiency class A. In the event of a power outage, a cold microclimate is maintained for 15 hours.
The compact two-chamber model has a total volume of 133 liters. The freezer with a capacity of 33 liters is located on top, there is a manual type of defrosting. The refrigerating chamber with a volume of 98 liters has a drip defrosting system.
Equipment powered by a linear compressor, consumes only 184 kWh/year (class A+). Noise level – 39db.
In reviews and reviews, users note the strength, reliability of technology and ease of use. Removable shelves are made of impact-resistant tempered glass, they are easy to get for washing. And the refrigerator has adjustable legs and the ability to rehang the doors to the other side.
Don R-431 Mi
Inexpensive single-chamber model is suitable for a small family, use in the country. The total usable volume is 210 liters, most of it is reserved for the refrigeration compartment – 192 l, freezer capacity – 18 l. The type of defrost is always manual. The minimum temperature allowed in the freezer is -12°C. Model control – electromechanical.
The refrigerator is characterized by economical energy consumption (class A), energy consumption does not exceed 188 kWh/year. Noise is estimated at 45 dB.
The compact model is presented in silver color – according to user reviews, it looks beautiful in the interior.
Beko RCSK 270M20 W
The two-chamber refrigerator has a total usable volume of 262 liters: 175 liters for the refrigerator compartment and 87 liters for the freezer. The model supports fast defrosting. The refrigerator compartment uses a drip defrosting system, while the freezer uses a manual defrost system.
In the freezer, in addition to drawers, there is an Ice bank tray for storing ice, frozen berries and other preparations. The refrigerator compartment has three shelves and a drawer for vegetable food. Food spoilage is prevented by the antibacterial coating of the seal. Refrigerator control – electromechanical.
The model has good performance – the freezing capacity is 5 kg per day. It is provided by a linear compressor. Noise during operation of equipment – 40 dB. Energy saving class – A +. In the event of a power outage, the cold microclimate is maintained for 18 hours.
Which refrigerators you should not buy
In order not to make a mistake in choosing a model and not overpay, consider the following recommendations:
- Evaluate the design of doors
If the refrigerator has heavy doors that open with a pronounced effort, it is better to refuse to buy. Massive structures are the reason for the rapid failure of the hinges, the deformation of the seal and, as a result, the frequent calls of specialists for repairs.
- Check the quality of the handles
The most durable are metal. Another good option is a handle in the form of a recess in the door. If the doors open hard, and the handles are made of plastic, there is a high probability of their failure over time.
- Determine suitable dimensions
Refrigerator height of 2 m or more is only suitable for tall people who can easily reach food from the top shelf. The most popular size is from 120 to 180 cm. The dimensions of the device are the determining factor when choosing a built-in model.
- Pay attention to the freezer/refrigerator ratio
It makes no sense to buy a refrigerator with a large freezer capacity, three or four drawers, if you do not store semi-finished products, do not stock berries, vegetables, fruits.
- Don’t overpay for energy efficiency
The more advantages in the labeling of energy-efficient equipment, the more expensive it is. In fact, classes A +, A ++, A +++ in terms of reducing electricity costs do not differ significantly.
Also decide if you are willing to pay extra for a design. The more original the technique looks, the higher the price. For example, white models will cost less than refrigerators made of stainless steel or made in different colors.
And pay attention to the number of shelves, moulds, food containers, the presence of wheels for transportation, a bottle rack, a built-in bar and other elements that make operation more convenient. Choose the package according to your needs.
Choosing the best travel refrigerator
When it comes to choosing the best travel refrigerator to keep your food fresh and edible, don’t compromise on quality for price or size. Try to understand at home what basic qualities and features a refrigerator should have, which would best suit your needs during the trip. This will help you avoid endless shopping every few years in the hope of finding the best refrigerator. This is a ranking of five of the very best camping coolers currently available, selected for quality, durability, cooling time and useful features such as drainage slots, wheels and drink holders.
Yeti Tundra’s ultimate travel cooler.
Yeti refrigerators usually shock customers with their price tag, but these are the best camping refrigerators available. Tundra travel refrigerators are the best choice for hiking and excursions, especially if they are very long in time, pass through a variety of terrain and in various weather conditions. Thanks to the ultra-dense thermal insulation, perishable foods and drinks will stay cold for many days, and a tight lid seals everything inside the refrigerator from the external environment. This is an extremely durable refrigerator, it can even survive a bear attack. With this refrigerator you can use dry ice. It is available in ten different sizes, so you can buy the right Tundra refrigerator in a size that fits your needs perfectly.
Rating: 5 / 5.
Engel 35 DeepBlue Performance travel refrigerator.
With DeepBlue travel coolers you can store ice for 8 to 10 days. These are extremely reliable travel refrigerators, indispensable if you do not have the opportunity to replenish your ice supplies during a long trip. It has an incredibly solid construction and a special non-slip lid so you can sit or stand on the fridge. Thanks to the latches closing down, special fastening devices, plastic handles and rope handles, it is very easy to carry and fasten. The sealing gasket securely seals the refrigerator. If necessary, the interior of the refrigerator can be divided into separate sections.
Rating: 4.75 / 5.
Coleman 82 Quart Xtreme 6 Wheeled Camping Refrigerator.
Fill the Xtreme 6 refrigerator with plenty of ice and it will keep your food and drinks for six days at an ambient temperature of 32°C. This refrigerator has the added benefit of having wheels to help you move it around throughout your trip. Its volume is enough to store 129 cans of canned food weighing 340 grams. The lid has a special holder for drinks, on which you can conveniently put cans with canned food. The inside of the refrigerator is very easy to clean, and the drainage slot allows you to dry the refrigerator effortlessly so that your food does not get damp.
Score: 4.5 / 5.
T-Rex Large 62-70 Can Collapsible Rolling.
The T-Rex travel cooler is large enough. It is very convenient to carry. The airtight interior can hold 72 cans of 340 grams, can be used to store hot or cold food (of course not at the same time). For best results, use ice or thermal insulation rather than loose snow. A hinged lid provides easy access to food, while multiple compartments help keep food organized and easily select what you need. Retractable handles make it easy to transport, and thanks to the collapsible design, the refrigerator takes up less space in your garage or apartment during storage.
Rating: 4.25 / 5.
Igloo Ice Cube MaxCold 70 Quart Roller.
The shape and design of the Ice Cube MaxCold travel refrigerator deserves the highest praise for its convenience, practicality and portability. The deep lid allows you to fill the refrigerator above the edges and still keep it closed. If you have ever tried to pack a lot of food in the refrigerator, you will certainly appreciate this feature of the Igloo Ice Cube refrigerator. Ice will keep in the fridge for up to five days, as long as it doesn’t contain too many foods and drinks. The height of this refrigerator allows you to accommodate 2-liter bottles. It also has a compartment for 114 340-ounce cans. The retractable handles extend a decent distance, making it easier to push and pull the fridge, and its cubic shape makes it less bulky and easier to carry.