Pros vs. Cons: Freestanding Refrigerators
Ideas and Advice

Pros vs. Cons: Freestanding Refrigerators

Freestanding refrigerators are among the most versatile appliances you can find in a modern kitchen. Unlike built-in refrigerators, which are installed directly into your cabinetry, freestanding refrigerators can be moved and replaced with ease. They provide a lot of value in any kitchen: between their versatility and their easy installation, they are quite popular even in upscale kitchens. Miele freestanding fridges can come with features such as MasterFresh technology to keep your food as fresh as possible, while a Thermador freestanding fridge can come with powerful, professional-grade features.

Pros of Freestanding Refrigerators

Flexible Installation and More Configurations

Flexible Installation and More Configurations

Freestanding refrigerators can be installed nearly anywhere in your kitchen, or even outside it. Many people place freestanding refrigerators in their garage: simply find a unit that can handle the temperature variance in your garage, and you're set. You'll also have more configuration options with freestanding refrigerators than with built-in units. Frigidaire alone offers bottom freezer, top freezer, side-by-side, and French door refrigerators, while you'll be hard-pressed to find a built-in refrigerator with the freezer on top. Frigidaire also has freestanding refrigerators of nearly any size, between 19 in. and 36 in. wide, meaning that you'll be able to find a fridge that fits your space no matter what size that space is.

Easy on Your Budget

Easy on Your Budget

Unlike built-in refrigerators, freestanding refrigerators can be placed without costly alterations to your cabinetry. This means you can save money on installation and buy more matching appliances, or even a higher-end fridge. The Thermador Professional Series is one of these high-end options: this series has a wide variety of freestanding refrigerators. These fridges come with electronic touch controls and SoftClose hinges, as well as frost-free defrosting. You can even get a smart refrigerator that you can monitor and control using your smartphone or other devices!

Cons of Freestanding Refrigerators

Inconvenient Compressor Location

Inconvenient Compressor Location

One drawback of freestanding refrigerators is the location of the compressor. In most freestanding units, the compressor is located in the rear, meaning that in order to perform regular maintenance and repairs, you need to move the entire fridge. This may not be feasible if you have limited mobility or strength, or if you can't afford to make a service call for this basic maintenance need. However, if you are easily able to move your fridge for regular maintenance, the pros of having a freestanding refrigerator can definitely outweigh this con.

Limited Style Options

Limited Style Options

Unless you want to buy a very high-end brand, your color choices for a freestanding refrigerator are generally limited to variations on black, white, and stainless steel. This can be a problem in kitchens that have other appliances in different colors, especially if you want everything to match. Thankfully, you do have some options in other colors. Fisher & Paykel, for instance, offers a variety of panel-ready freestanding refrigerators that you can fit with whatever panels match the rest of your kitchen.

Related Questions

What is the average life expectancy of a freestanding refrigerator?

Most freestanding refrigerators last between 10 and 14 years. If your refrigerator is much older than that, it may be time to look into replacing it with a more efficient, modern unit.

How do you know if your fridge is dying?

If your refrigerator produces frost, food is going bad too quickly, the coils feel hot, or condensation appears on the outside of your fridge, it's time to get it repaired or replaced.

Do freestanding refrigerators last longer than built-in refrigerators?

In general, built-in refrigerators have a longer life span than freestanding ones. However, it's easier to repair and maintain freestanding refrigerators, so ultimately the choice of refrigerator type is up to your specific kitchen's needs.