Before you buy a refrigerator, it's important to know what type of refrigerator you're looking for. Here's an overview of the main types:

Side by Side Refrigerators

Fresh food and freezer space is split vertically with two tall compartments. Shelf space is narrower, but you can store your favorite fresh and frozen food items at higher levels for more convenient access. If you don't need extra-wide shelves, and you use fresh and frozen foods about the same amount of time, this type refrigerator is ideal.

Top Freezer Refrigerators

Common style that's been popular for years. The freezer section takes up the top third or so of the space, with the larger fresh food section on the bottom. Provides wide storage spaces and racks for cakes and pizzas, but it's sometimes difficult for shorter adults or children to reach items in the back of the freezer. One of the most affordable refrigerator designs.

Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Just the opposite of the top freezer, with your fresh food space on top and the freezer on the bottom. The freezer section can be opened with a door, but pull-out drawers are becoming more common. Many families use their fresh food section the most, so having all of your fresh food on top minimizes the amount of time you have to bend over to reach items.

French Door Refrigerators

This stylish refrigerator has one large fresh food section on top with two pull-out doors, similar to armoire style furniture. The freezer section can either have one or two pull-out drawers on the bottom. If you're energy conscious, this refrigerator can save electricity because you only have to open one of the armoire doors to grab something.

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