Pros and Cons of Top Freezer vs Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

by Bill Welles

There are plenty of refrigerator options to choose from, but if you’re looking for a separate compartment to store frozen foods and ice, top freezer and bottom freezer refrigerators have always been a traditional aspect of household kitchens. They provide a classic, nostalgic look that pair nicely with any traditional kitchen design. Top freezer and bottom freezer refrigerators are equipped to handle almost any refrigeration need, but like any major appliance, they come with advantages and disadvantages. We wanted to compare these two fridge types and weigh the pros and cons of top freezer vs bottom freezer refrigerators.

 laughing couple taking ingredients out of the fridge

Top Freezer Refrigerators: Pros and Cons

For some users, the timeless look of a top freezer fridge doesn’t always result in a trendy product, but depending on your budget and the number of people in your household, a top freezer refrigerator can be an excellent choice.

A top freezer model is ideal for individuals that don’t require much freezer capacity or over-the-top features, and it’s a sought-after product for those who need an affordable appliance to outlast any industry trend.

If you decide that a top freezer model is right for you, then it’s time to assess the pros and cons. We’ll help you:


  • A more affordable option
  • Often praised for energy savings
  • Freezer and top rack of the fridge are at eye level
  • Sufficient refrigeration capacity


  • Fewer storage and organization alternatives
  • No pull-out freezer drawer
  • Won’t compliment every modern kitchen design
  • Typically lack a water dispenser

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators: Pros and Cons

Refrigerators with built-in bottom freezers have become a much more popular choice over the last 20 years. While energy efficiency is comparable, bottom freezer fridges are generally higher-priced and offer more storage options compared to their top freezer counterparts.

A bottom-mounted freezer is a great pick if you frequently lose items in the back of the freezer, or if you buy heavier frozen items like large cuts of meat, or if you utilize your fridge compartment more often than the freezer, or if you’re willing to pay a little bit more for a product you know will stay on-trend.

Once again, let’s examine the pros and cons to help you determine if a bottom freezer fridge is right for you:


  • Greater storage and organization options
  • Trendier product
  • Minimizes overhead lifting
  • Food is easily accessible
  • Food can be stacked in the freezer
  • Good for small kitchens


  • Often more expensive upfront
  • Food can be trapped at the bottom of the freezer
  • Bending to access the freezer compartment
  • Built-in water and ice dispenser increase the cost
  • Few models to choose from

Considerations Before Buying a Top Freezer

While style and visual appeal are important considerations when shopping for a new fridge, we wanted to further expand on some key buying considerations to help you find the best refrigerator for your home.


Top-mounted refrigerators typically carry one of the lowest price points in the refrigeration category. Depending on the brand and features, these models commonly range on average from $600 to $800. If you opt for additions like in-door ice makers or water dispensers, these are factors that can raise the price tag and your operating costs.

Initially, the absence of a water dispenser might seem like a drawback, but you won’t have to spend money replacing filters, and if you have a home water filtration system, top freezer models don’t need a separate water filter for a dispenser.

Interior Capacity

Top freezer refrigerators offer more usable storage space (especially width) than most other model types. A top freezer unit will typically span from 24 to 33 inches wide. A side-by-side or French door model with double doors will often have a greater width, but the housing for dispenser parts will occupy space that would otherwise be available for storage.

Ease of Access

Some individuals may be turned away from a top freezer refrigerator because they don’t want to bend or squat to access the contents inside the fridge. However, there is more devoted space for refrigerated items, so it helps simplify your meal prep routine. If your fridge is used for storing frozen goods more often, then you have the added benefit of all your icy items appearing at eye level.

While you’re shopping for a new fridge, consider its essential function. You want a product that will keep foods fresh and well-preserved. If your kitchen space allows for it, a top freezer fridge model proves to be an economical and efficient method of storing any perishable goods.

fully stocked GE fridge

Considerations Before Buying a Bottom Freezer

Now that you know a little more about top freezer models, let’s look at some important benefits of bottom freezer refrigerators.


Most people utilize the refrigerator section far more often than the freezer compartment, so placing the freezer on the bottom allows for much more usable refrigeration space. Your fridge will be at eye or chest level, making it easy to locate everyday items. An added benefit is also having the crisper drawers located higher up in the fridge. This makes it easier to locate your fresh ingredients so you can eat healthy and prevent food from spoiling.

Bottom freezer fridge models are popular among senior citizens or anyone with mobility issues because they don’t have to hunch over nearly as often to access their refrigerated goods. While you do have to bend to access ice in the freezer compartment, it is typically located right up front so you won’t have to hunch or reach far into the freezer.

Space Savings

Bottom-mounted freezers feature a convenient slide-out drawer that makes it incredibly easy to organize, store, and access your frozen food. You can make the most of your available space much better with a freezer drawer than with a single-door mount. You can fit more food items and you won’t have to tear through your appliance to find what you’re looking for.

Most bottom freezer models are also larger than top freezer refrigerators, making it much easier to store large items like frozen pizzas or Thanksgiving turkeys. If you shop in bulk, host holiday gatherings, or do a lot of grilling in the summer, a bottom freezer unit can store all your frozen goods with ease.

Temperature Settings

Many newer bottom freezer fridge models feature variable temperature settings so you can control the contents of your appliance. For example, one of the pull-out drawers located in the refrigerator can be stocked with snacks or beverages and set to a different temperature than the main section of the refrigerator. You can also set your vegetable crisper drawers at different temperatures to reduce food waste and keep produce fresher for longer. 

close-up of crisper drawers

Our Favorite Top Freezer Fridge Picks

Once you’re ready to explore new fridge options, here are some of our favorite fridge models sold at Duerden’s Appliance & Mattress.

Best Overall Top Freezer Fridge: Maytag Fingerprint Resistant Top Freezer Refrigerator (MRT711SMFZ)

Upfront electronic temperature controls make it easy to maintain the coolness of your refrigerator with the touch of a button. BrightSeries LED lighting casts a bright, white light and uses less energy than incandescent bulbs.

When you get home from the grocery store and cold food becomes not so cold, that’s where the PowerCold feature quickly gets everything in your refrigerator back to a chilly temperature. The EvenAir cooling tower keeps food cool and distributes cold air effectively so groceries always stay at the right temperature.

Best Budget-Friendly Top Freezer Fridge: Whirlpool Counter Depth Top Freezer Refrigerator (WRT112CZJZ)

If you’re searching for an energy-efficient appliance, this Whirlpool top freezer refrigerator delivers the flexibility you need to make the most of your refrigeration space. Features like Gallon Door storage help free up shelf space while digital temperature controls and an ice maker connection kit mean you’ll always be ready to serve your guests (even the ones that show up at the last minute).

LED interior lighting keeps food looking as good as it tastes, Adaptive Defrost automatically monitors the freezer environment and runs the cycle when it detects temperature spikes, and reversible doors provide access from either direction with doors that can hinge on the right or left.

Best Luxury Top Freezer Fridge: GE Stainless Steel Top Freezer Refrigerator (GIE22JSNRSS)

If you partake in the finer things in life, you can enjoy greater flexibility and organizational options with modular bins right on the fridge door. The sliding deli drawer adds greater flexibility to your fridge and easily creates more space for tall items with an innovative drawer that can be positioned wherever you prefer.

You'll benefit from a polished look and easy-access cleaning with edge-to-edge shelves that extend the full width of the refrigerator, easy-to-use temperature controls regulate both fresh food and freezer sections, and a wire freezer shelf adjusts between two positions to accommodate items of all shapes and sizes.

top freezer fridge ice maker

Our Favorite Bottom Freezer Fridge Picks

If you need to compare the bottom freezer models, here’s our list of favorite bottom freezer refrigerators.

Best Overall Bottom Freezer Fridge: GE Bottom Freezer Refrigerator in Stainless Steel (GDE25ESKSS)

This 33-inch fridge model is wide enough to store all your refrigerated goods without cramming. Built-in LED lighting allows you to find exactly what item you need under crisp, clear lighting, the Sliding Snack Drawer creates more usable space with a drawer that moves across the entire width of the fresh-food section, and this fridge comes equipped with an automatic ice maker.

Best Budget-Friendly Bottom Freezer Fridge: Whirlpool Counter Depth Bottom Freezer Refrigerator (WRB533CZJZ)

Once again, Whirlpool comes up big with a small-space refrigerator. You can easily make room for tall items with flexible storage bins and an organized freezer with a large freezer drawer. When you’re away, optimize energy efficiency with Auto Hibernate mode so your fridge won’t have to work overtime keeping the contents inside chilled.

Wall-to-wall frameless glass shelves in the fridge and freezer offer greater storage flexibility, the Fast Cool option lowers the refrigerator temperature with the push of a button when you need to rapidly cool freshly bought groceries, and the Fast Drink option chills drinks fast in the freezer. A helpful tone will remind you after 30 minutes so you can grab fully chilled drinks when you’re ready to quench your thirst.

Best Luxury Bottom Freezer Fridge: Sub-Zero Built-In Bottom Freezer Refrigerator (BI-36UG/S/PH-LH)

Sub-Zero refrigerators are the epitome of luxury, and this fridge model is no exception. This bottom freezer model features two separate cooling systems so fresh food stays fresher longer in the cool, moist air of the refrigerator. Frigid, dry air prevents frost and freezer burn in the freezer, creating optimum preservation conditions for each type of food.

Sub-Zero's refrigerators come with an anti-microbial air purification system (based on technology developed by NASA) that scrubs the air of ethylene, as well as mold, viruses, and bacteria every 20 minutes. The microprocessor controls the interior temperature to within one degree of its set point, and an advanced air seal secured around all four sides of the door prevents leaks while conserving energy.

fully stocked Sub-Zero bottom freezer fridge

Which is Better?

If you’re after affordability and a spacious interior capacity, then you might gravitate toward a top freezer model. If you seek ease of access and a cohesive kitchen space, then a bottom freezer model is right for you. With the largest selection of refrigeration appliances in Utah, Duerden’s Appliance & Mattress is where Bountiful shoppers go for the most reliable products and trusted names in the business. Shop online, give us a call at 801-295-9413, or visit us in-store today!