French Door or Side-By-Side??

renee_flDecember 6, 2012

We are looking at replacing our refrigerator. I was all set to get a French Door model until I went to a conference today. Somehow the subject of refrigerator styles came up and one of my co-workers said he and his wife absolutely hate their French Door refrigerator and wish they never got it. He said it's hard to get to items in the back (you have to bend over and dig) and the top self doesn't slide if the bottom is too full. He advised me to reconsider and said I would probably regret choosing the French Door model. He even offered to sell me his (it is only a few months old) he hates it so much. Another coworker said he and his wife don't really care for theirs either.

His comments made a lot of sense. Any thoughts or words of advice???

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I hate my side by side, can't even get a pizza in the freezer. I love my regular one door, freezer on the bottom, has much more room.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 6:15PM
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I didn't know what a French door refrigerator was so I googled it - is it the fridge with the double doors up top and freezer on the bottom that slides out (drawer)? If so, that's what I have and I LOVE IT!!!!!!!! I can't stress how much I LOVE it! It was given to us my my in-laws when they bought a new stainless steel one. We just had a regular one before. This one is much bigger and I have no problem with things in the freezer.

My sister has a side-by-side and I hate can't put larger items like pizza or bigger casserole dishes in it. I can never find things in her fridge and she can't wait to get rid of it.

I guess it's all a matter of preference but do you know someone with a French door fridge? You could go to their house and see what it is like. I would never get rid of mine, ever!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 6:17PM
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I just got my French door and it's the best thing EVER! IMHO, of course. Mine also has the drawer between the freezer and the refrigeator. I don't know what size your co-worker's is, but mine is 25.6 cu.ft. I'm short and I don't have any problem getting to anything in/out of it. I can't tell you how much I love the bottom freezer. One thing it has that I didn't think I wanted was the ice/water in the door. Turns out that's about the best thing since sliced bread!

If he's serious, find out how much he wants and go for it if the price is right. It would be worth hiring a moving company to pick it up and deliver and set it up for you.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 6:28PM
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Toni S

OUr french door is a heck of alot better than our internet! twice I've lost my answer to you !

In a nut shell,We think our french door is the best we've had so far, the prior one being a large side by side.
We have a kenmore elite 31 cu ft with a slim ice maker. Love great, lots of drawers, lots of lighting, easy to move. Good luck to you, buy appliances can be confusing to me too.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 6:36PM
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My daughter has a french door... and I don't like it, and would never get one.

I had a side by side... which I liked, but it didn't fit in the spot here at my new to me house.

I don't like the smaller fridge I bought. There isn't a different control for freezer and fridge, and I could use more freezer space.

I might get a new one, either top or bottom freezer, but not french door, once the taxes have been paid.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 6:55PM
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I don't have one but I would buy it from him if I were you.
Side by sides are the pits! Especially if you get the normal size, you can't even fit a pizza box in them. I would go for the french door myself.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 7:09PM
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I really, really like my French Door one! I have had it not quite a month. I had a side by side before and never did like the thing. I am glad it finally quit working. I too am short and have no problem getting things out. You should look at the different styles of the French door ones as some shelves are different. I like mine. Two different shelves you can make so you can fit a gallon jug or something tall on them. I really like my two ice makers, one in the door in the refrigerator part and the other down below in the freezer that the cubes drop in a bin. That one is great when I make iced tea, which is several times a week, winter and summer. Mine is a Samsung. A white one.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Frankly, I wouldn't have either. The side by side's freezer is too narrow for many foods you want to lie flat--watched my MIL struggle with that for years and knew it would never work for me.

French Door? No thank you. I'll admit they look lovely. And in theory, they're practical because cold air drops, so it should be more economical to have the freezer on the bottom, fridge on top. HOWEVER, all your frozen food slides out into the room, is assaulted by warm air on 3 sides, and all the cold air escapes everytime you open the freezer, even if it's just to get 2 ice cubes. That just doesn't make good economical or safety sense to me. Add to that, the thing my family goes into the fride most often for is ice.... I have and always will--a fridge with the freezer on top.

The fridge is easy to navigate, especially now that they all have glass shelves. I prefer to have the more unwieldy section--the freezer--at eye level to reduce the time I have to leave the door of either open.

But they make the assorted styles to please everyone, and you will have to consider your own family's needs, preferences, and economics and make the decision best for your family.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:08PM
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Renee, I have had the side by side and hated it for reasons stated above. I have had the freezer on the top and you end up bending way down to see what is on the bottom shelf of the fridge and things get lost in the back. I had the one with the freezer on the bottom and loved it. The basket and shelf slid out so you could easily see what was in there. You don't keep the door open long enough for anything to happen to your frozen food.

Two weeks ago I got a 28 cubic foot French Door by samsung and have to say I really love it. I too am enjoying the water and ice in the door that I have never had before. There is plenty of room for everything and you can see everything at a glance.

I agree if the guy really wants to sell his make him an offer. I got mine for $1899 on sale from $3,100 what a deal. You might want to check to see if the warranty is transferable.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:22PM
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I hated my side by side frig. My new frig is a "big" maytag with the pull out freezer on the bottom. I love it. I really like the door shelves that holds gallon jugs of milk.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:22PM
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I had a side by side once and would never have one again. The French door is the way to go but ask your friends who hate theirs which one they have and ask here those who love theirs which one they have. Go from there. I have a Jennair French door but it's counter depth which is a whole other story. I like it but it is too small. It was a necessity in my situation and any brand or model I got would be the same problem. The good news is that I have a regular refrigerator in the garage when company comes and I also have refrigerator drawers on my island so I'm okay. I think you would love the French door if you get the right one.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:05PM
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I have been pining for a french door refrigerator for months and months now. I had a side-by-side, that was here when we moved in. I really, really hated that thing. For the same reasons as everyone else. Extremely narrow. Ugh, no thanks. MIL has the single door with freezer on the bottom and really likes it.

I want a white french door, but am having trouble finding one to fit my space. They all seem to have one dimension that doesn't fit, either height, width or depth. I'm still looking.

If the price is right, I would take that guy up on his offer in a heartbeat.

Good luck, let us know what you decide.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:09PM
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I would do almost anything to get rid of our side-by-side, even though it is a top of the line model, and it is a really good refrigerator. But it's the only style that will fit in our tiny kitchen.

I see no downside to the French-door style. I'd love one. And I totally want the bottom freezer. I'm in the refrigerator several times a day. I only open the freezer a couple of times a week. I'd much rather have the stuff I use often right at eye level.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 9:25PM
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This is one of those things that is subjective. Some like some and dislike others for various reasons. I've been infatuated with the French door style since the Galloping Gourmet show was on back in the 60s. My aunt had a bottom freezer with a foot pedal you would step on to open the door. That too was infatuating. My cousin grew up with that and he wound up buying a SxS I think mostly because it was more fashionable at the time and he regretted it ever after because of the tiny freezer you couldn't put a turkey in or even a frozen pizza. A lot of wasted space in there. A forum member put baskets in her SxS to make it usable and that was a good idea. SxS is generally recommended though for handicapped people for general accessibility. SxS however are the most inefficient of all types. Interestingly, the top freezer is the most efficient style after researching it. Few people care about energy use though.

My one GF sputtered and swore at me for 15 minutes when I said I wanted to get a FD type. She had a bottom freezer when she was married and hated it. Had to be on her knees every time she wanted to get something out of the freezer. That part is solved or at least partly solved by the drawer types. I also like the tilt out door feature on the LG so you get quick access to part of the freezer.

On the drawer freezer some have complained about the weight. Might not be a consideration for you though.

I still like the 4 door model that I looked at with the option to switch compartments from frig to freezer or back. That was one "cool" feature.

I gave serious thought to a SxS when I replaced mine a year ago because of accessibility but the disadvantages and much higher cost of purchase and operation scratched that. When I gave it more thought and weighed options I decided to just go with a basic top freezer and I don't really regret the decision for me. ANY frig or freezer will have the proverbial lost items if you're not maintaining it properly and that's not the fault of the style of appliance. For my use I spend more time digging in the freezer rather than the frig and for me bending over is a problem so for me the top freezer is probably the best choice all in all.

You're probably different but I don't do much digging in the frig to find things so the bending for that is less of a hassle for me. Standing straight dealing with the freezer is a big advantage to me and I can brace myself on the door or the counter the times I go for the bottom shelf of the frig.

It comes down to personal preference. Why not try one out? If you want to try one and it turns out it *really* bothers you that much, you *can* replace it. You're not married to the appliance and even marriages are disposable now! Look at it and see what you think. Measure and make sure it fits. My sister would have to cut of the bottom of her cupboard to fit a FD unit in her place. Mine would barely fit but would fit. Get a good price on it and make two people happy. Sounds like a good deal to me.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:22PM
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We have a French door and LOVE it! There are a few things you have to take into consideration, though. Do you have the room on both sides for the doors to open? How do you normally eat? See..I go to Costco once a month and buy meat for the month. I seperate it into small portions and bag it into ziploc bags and freeze it in the bottom freezer. We don't use the freezer for anything else - maybe ice cream every so often but we don't eat frozen dinners, etc. I really like having the refrigerator portion on top because I can actually see the fresh veggies that we buy weekly. I know that we throw out less food because we can actually see everything. All of the shelves are glass and adjustable up or down plus you can pull them out like a pull out cabinet tray. The lights are LED and we have filtered water and ice on the door. It all boils down to personal preference and how you cook/eat.

If price is a big factor, Lowes has great sales every so often and if you open an account, they'll take 5% off. Ours was 2600.00 last year on sale for 1999.99. We had a 10% coupon from our online address change with the post office plus Lowes allowed us to use our 5% off so we paid a little over 1700.00. We paid the card off right after, but it came in handy for the discounts!! Just something to consider...

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:29PM
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FlamingO in AR

Love our French door fridge, it's huge and holds a ton of food. We actually had to cut off the trim on the cabinet over it to get it to fit, it's a beast! Really like how I can open one door or the other, or both to get at things. Our freezer compartment holds so much, too and it's well lit. Love that! No searching in the dark. We got ours at Lowes, it was a floor model and had a couple of scratches so we got a really good price.

Before buying co-worker's fridge, you need to go over and check it out thoroughly. It could have issues that he's not telling you about. The lady who cuts my hair had to return her new $3000 one because the doors didn't seal properly. I think it was a Kenmore, I know she got it at Sears. She had 2 problems with it, the freezer sounded awful when she pulled it out, big grinding noises and the repair guy couldn't fix it. Between that and the seals, she got them to take it back AND she got an extra $50 for her trouble. She ended up upgrading to an even better model.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:54PM
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For the past 30 years I had a side-by-side and last year decided on a french door. French door where have you been all my life, I love it!! With the side-by-side I would struggle trying to fit things in the freezer and forget about buying more than one frozen pizza. With my french door I never run out of room. I entertain a lot and find that because of all the fridge space I am now able to prep and store many dishes ahead of time. Glorious!!!

The only down side is that the ice maker is smaller on the French door, so I have to keep an extra bag of ice on hand.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:57PM
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Gee I don't have any trouble at all reaching for things in the bottom freezer. My shelf slides easily. One of my favorite things is you don't have to dig around the fridge to find things. Lots of room and easy to see things. Be sure to measure the depth of the fridge-ours sticks out more than the old fridge-we knew it would and we had plenty of space. This week I changed the water filter for the first time. It was quite simple and at waist level. My side by side had the filter on the bottom grate and I had to lay flat on my stomach and then struggle to turn it because it wouldn't want to budge. The newer french doors seem to have the water and ice on the door. Ice in the freezer would have been a deal breaker for me!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:58PM
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We have a French Door and love the fridge part. The freezer is a slide out drawer and doesn't hold as much as the old freezer on the top model. I have a side by side that was left in the house when we bought it. We use if for a "beer" fridge but it's not user friendly. The freezer doesn't hold much either.

I like that I can see what's in the fridge with the FD. I'm in the fridge much more than I'm in the freezer and I'm too old to be digging around in the botton of the fridge.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 11:29PM
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FlamingO in AR

Some French door fridges have dual ice makers, one in the bottom freezer and another in the door. We don't use a lot of ice, so ours is only in the bottom.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 7:30AM
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Cynic is right - top freezers are the most energy efficient. Consumer Reports reports that they " offer the most storage for their size and are the least expensive."

But I also think that a lot of it is personal preference. Personally I detest the side by side we have at our vacation place. If you don't have room for a normal door swing then it's fine, but it is the least efficient use of internal space.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 8:15AM
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We LOVE our French door fridge.

" He said it's hard to get to items in the back"... makes no sense. How is the back any farther back with a French door?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Just jumping in to say that I also dislike my side by side. I bought it about ten years ago when the french doors were just coming on the market and had not yet had all the bugs worked out of them. I think I just had stars in my eyes when I saw the SxS -- big, stainless steel with ice and water through the door. I never stopped to consider whether that configuration would actually work for me. I feel like I have to stand sideways to reach into it. Stuff gets lost in the bottom of the freezer. Anyway, I'd go for the french door.

My fridge was so darned expensive that I hope it continues to run for a good long time but when it has to be replaced, the new one will not be a SxS.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 8:59AM
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