Advice about Refrigerators
Berkeley Parents Network >
What/Where to Buy >
Appliances & Electronics >
Advice about Refrigerators
Side by Side or Bottom Freezer refrigerator?
We need a new refrigerator and are having a hard time
choosing between a side by side and a bottom freezer style.
We currently have a top freezer and hate the freezer part -
its always crowded and impossible to find anything in there.
We are mostly concerned about the freezer use - we keep a
lot of food in our freezer. Some of the bottom models come
with two bins and a sliding drawer on top which doesn't seem
too bad but is it still hard to access the food in these?
The criticism I've heard of side by sides is that the
freezer shelves are narrow and it's also hard to access food
in those. Also, we have no interest in a water dispenser
but those seem inevitable with the side by side models. I
would appreciate feedback from people who have either style.
We have a bottom freezer and I definitely prefer it over the
side by side. The side freezers are usually very narrow and
I find them not as user friendly when it comes to large or
wide items. Sandy
Dear Freezer Blues,
About two years ago when we needed a new fridge/freezer, we
got a model that I just love. It has french doors on top, so
that you have a wide area to place pans when you need it. It
has the freezer on the bottom as a pull-out drawer, which I
like much better than our previous side by side. Because in
the side by side, it's true the the shelves are just too
narrow. With the bottom drawer, you do have to make some
effort to keep things organized, but it's not too hard. Ours
has a two section bottom part - we use one for bagged
veggies, the other mainly for bread and meat, with a top
pull out shelf that is great for ice cream and boxed items
like Trader Joe's frozen meals for after school snacks for
hungry teens. But unlike the side by side, it's also
flexible. For instance, a few weeks ago I made 1 1/2 gallons
of chicken stock. I cleared out the top shelf by moving
stuff around, and was able to lay the stock in zip lock bags
flat for its initial freeze. The other great thing about our
model is that it does not have the bulky in-door water/ice
dispenser that takes up so much room. Ice is in the bottom
freezer, and filtered cold water comes out of a small spout
just inside the fridge door. No fridge door shelf space
taken away. This set up seems harder to find, but may be
worth looking for. Ours is a KitchenAid. Best yet, we got it
at Sear's outlet in Oakland for a discount. Good luck! Anne
i recently had to purchase a new refrigerator, and after
much research, this is what i found:
- the more reliable models are like the one you have: top
freezer, bottom refrigerator. the bottom freezer and
side-by-side models are the worst, even though they are
typically the most expensive ones. you're lucky if your
fridge will be problem-free for a decade.
- your GE may not be a GE - mine was apparently an
LG-manufactured GE. so who knows who made your brand name.
- just about ALL new fridges suck in the reliability and
that being said, i bought a bottom-freezer fridge (not a
french-door) which was at a local appliance store because it
was only $500, even though it was stainless steel (not a fan
- weird feel, dated-looking and not magnetic). i figured if
i have to replace a fridge every decade, i might as well
as get the cheapest one because i'm practical like that.
so maybe if you have the space and don't mind the eyesore,
just get a separate freezer unit? that's what i almost did,
until learning that mine was not worth saving - it was a
bottom-freezer, non-french door one from 2004 which already
was repaired once by the previous owner. oh, if you plan on
getting one, always check any available energy star rebate.
also, i think PG&E has a program which will recycle your old
working fridge, and they pay you $35. good luck.
- owner of another potentially disposable fridge
We're a family of four and bought the Amana largest bottom
freezer. The refrigerator part is great, very roomy and
easy access. The bottom freezer is not bad but most days,
it's jammed packed and I still can't find stuff in there. I
find if I am displined enough to not buy too much freezer
food till when I have room in the freezer, it's not too bad.
love my bottom freezer
About 6 months ago, our fridge broke down and we had to buy
a new one. We chose a bottom freezer over side-by- side
(SBS) for the following reasons: (1) freezers on SBS are too
narrow and the water/ice dispenser takes up way too much
room in the freezer, (2) bottom freezer has two baskets that
pull out, making it easy to access food in the back, (3) the
ice maker in the bottom freezer can be removed (we don't
much care for the ice maker - need the space more than
constant supply of ice cubes). We also have a chest freezer
to keep the bulk items that we buy at Costco.
Since then, we sold our house and now we are having to buy
another fridge for the new house. We are considering buying
a all-refrigerator without freezer, and use the chest
freezer as our sole freezer. It's an alternate idea to
traditional(?) fridge-freezer combo. Yuki
I've never had a side-by-side but I absolutely love my Amana
22 cu ft bottom-freezer refrigerator. The bottom freezer
drawer is easily organizable and we use it frequently. No
We have a side by side freezer, and I use it a lot (extra
batches of soups, homemade muffins and waffles for
breakfast, quick items for lunchboxes --all kinds of stuff).
I love my side by side; it enables me to sort things (meats
on one shelf, soups on another, freezer bags of veggie items
in one of the bins, lunchbox items in another). I couldn't
stand the idea of just a couple big drawers at the bottom
with everything in them, no shelves for my containers and
sorting baskets. I don't find it hard to find things, but I
am a bit of an organization freak -- which is why I wanted
this model to begin with. Karen
Everything you have heard about side-by-sides is true.
They're awful. We went from that to a top freezer and
weren't much happier. Now, we have an undercounter, 2-
drawer freezer and a separate refrigerator with 2 large
drawers (one for fruit, one for vegetables) where you might
expect the freezer. This has worked out very well: nothing
ever gets lost in the freezer or produce drawers since they
are so easy to access. And there is lots of room in the
main part of the frig for the rest of the fresh food. anon
Recommendation for wine refrigerator?
hi, we're looking for a recomendation for a good but not super expensive 50 bottle wine refrigerator to store wine at home. price range is $500-1000--would prefer closer to the low end, but do want something pretty good. also ideas on where to purchase one would be great (we've been to east bay restaurant supply and they had very few). thanks.
We bought a wine refrigerator on EBay about a year or two
ago...very happy with the purchase- it holds about 50 bottles,
digital thermometer, major brand (I think Haier or something
like that). There seemed to be quite a few for sale. It was
my first purchase on EBay and have since felt very comfortable
buying from sellers on the site. I always do the ''Buy Now''
option if I really want something.
You didn't say why you wanted a wine refrigerator so pardon me
if my reply isn't helpful. But, we have stored wine very
successfully in an insulated garage and even a bedroom closet! -
Granted we live in the flatlands of Berkeley where even the
hottest days are rarely above 75 and the temperature drops at
night. What has worked for us is to remember that wine can
stand some gradual temperature changes within a small band, so
we put our wine in wood boxes surrounded by empty wood for
insulation and then also insulated our garage (put white
styrofoam false roof to reflect/disperse hot sun on roof). On
warm days, we open the garage door at night when the fog moves
in. According to our ''cellar'' thermomether the garage air has
never gotten above 70 degrees (we think our wines never get
higher than 65 since the nest of wooden boxes further insulates
the bottles - and usually much less as they are always cool to
the touch when we retrieve them)When we just had a deep walk in
closet - we opened the closet door at night and cracked the
room's windows/blinds drawn against morning son - and kept the
door closed during the day to keep in the cool air/windows
open/blinds still drawn. The closet took fanaticism to work BUT
we've stored 50 year old wines/old champagne ie. very fragile
wines for 10-15 years and longer using this system.
Hi! Cannot remember your price range, but have you checked a
catalogue called The Wine Enthusiast? Their website is
this page was last updated: Feb 5, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network