25 years ago, you would purchase an Amana 21 or 23 cubic foot top mount refrigerator for your family. If you wanted an upscale refrigerator you bought a side by side. Then bottom mounts, French doors, double drawer French doors and now four as well as five-door refrigerators became popular.
Most companies have focused on French door refrigerators. Only Frigidaire remains committed to the category with multiple models and prices.
But larger top mounts still make sense because they are cost effective and can fit certain sizes better than the more popular French door products.
Let's look at sizing a refrigerator first.
Refrigerators (and appliances in general) are designed to fit within cabinets. The most common cabinet sizes are 30", and 36" wide. The other less common sizes are 33’’, 42" and 48" widths. Top mount refrigerators are designed for the smaller sizes.
Top vs. Bottom Mount Freezers
Bottom freezers have become more popular over the last 5-10 years, especially the French door (side by side top with bottom drawer). As we store less frozen food, you don't bend for the fresh food in the bottom configuration.
Top freezers, however, are less expensive and can have more capacity in smaller cabinet sizes especially in the popular 30" and less popular 33-inch sizes.
Let's look at the largest top mounts.
The Largest Top Mount Refrigerators
23.8 cubic ft
LG makes the largest top mount refrigerator in the industry. This model is equipped with premium ceiling and side LED lighting, digital temperature control, a factory installed ice maker, door storage for two gallons. It has gliding pantry drawers with humidity control to best preserve fruits and vegetables.
21.3 cubic ft
Whirlpool produces the second largest top mount refrigerator in the industry. It is equipped with a temperature management system and air filter, factory installed ice maker, humidity-controlled crisper bins to best preserve fruits and vegetables, and glass shelves designed to contain spills for easy cleanup.
GE GTE21GSHSS - $1,124 (online retail pricing)
21.1 cubic ft
GE manufacturers the third largest top mount refrigerator in the industry. This model is equipped with glass shelves that contain spills for easy cleanup, temperature control system to maximize freshness, door storage for one gallon, and a humidity-controlled crisper to best preserve fruits and vegetables.
20.5 cubic ft
Frigidaire makes the fourth largest top mount refrigerator in the industry. This refrigerator is unique because it fits in a 30’’ cabinet opening and still has a large capacity due to its 69" height.
This refrigerator is also a great value buy for a large capacity top mount refrigerator. This refrigerator has humidity controlled crisper drawers to keep produce fresher for longer, gallon door storage, a clear dairy drawer, a reversible door, and color coordinated door handle and hinges.
Here is a tip: Frigidaire manufactures lesser expensive top mounts with just basic glass shelves for about $700 or less depending on the rebates.
What Should You Consider?
They more or less have the exact same features. LG is the largest. In terms of reliability, Frigidaire surprisingly is the most reliable commodity brand we sell. The basic 21 cubic foot should be fine for a family of 4 possibly 5.
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Jessica Petrino is an Appliance Sales Consultant at Yale Appliance + Lighting. Jessica is a graduate of Brandeis University where she studied Economics and Philosophy. In her spare time she enjoys skiing, golfing, and traveling.
Read more about Jessica here.
A Note About Pricing