French Door vs Side by Side: Which Fridge Is Better?

Choosing a refrigerator is a crucial decision for any household. The market offers a variety of options, but two popular choices are French doors and side-by-side refrigerators. You might be wondering, "What's the difference between these?" or "Which one is better for me?" Don't worry, our appliance experts at Woodcocks are here to guide you through their set of features, benefits, and drawbacks. Let’s get started!

french door vs side by side refrigerator

What Is a French Door Refrigerator?

French door refrigerators offer two doors on top and a pull-out freezer drawer at the bottom. These refrigerators are known for their elegant design and convenient layout, providing easy access to your most-used items.

What Is a Side-by-Side Refrigerator?

As the name suggests, a side-by-side refrigerator is divided into two vertical sections, the right side for fresh food and the left side for frozen items. The doors run from top to bottom, providing fairly similar space for both sides.

What Is the Difference Between French Doors and Side by Sides?


The primary distinction between French doors and side-by-side refrigerators fundamentally comes down to their layout as mentioned above. French door refrigerators offer more space in the refrigerator area, while in side-by-side models, the refrigerator and freezer space are more or less evenly distributed. Some French door models incorporate extra drawers between the upper doors and the freezer, enhancing organizational capabilities.

Both types come with standard features like water dispensers, ice dispensers, and crisper drawers. The availability of these features depends on the specific model you’re considering. In terms of pricing, side-by-side refrigerators generally have a more affordable starting point. However, it's crucial to consider that prices can vary based on features, size, and the chosen appliance finish.

Pros and Cons of Each Model

Pros of French Doors

  • Space and Capacity: With wide shelves and ample space, you can easily store large platters or pizza boxes.
  • Bottom Freezer Drawer: The freezer is conveniently located at the bottom, making it easier to organize and access frozen items.
  • Customizable Shelving: These refrigerators often feature adjustable shelves, making it easy to accommodate items of various sizes and shapes.

Pros of Side-by-Sides

  • Even Space Distribution: Enjoy a clear separation between fresh and frozen items, making it easy to locate what you need.
  • Narrow Door Swing: The side-by-side design requires less space for the doors to swing open, making it suitable for kitchens with limited space.
  • Budget-Friendly Options: Side-by-side refrigerators often have a more budget-friendly starting price.
  • Suitable for Compact Kitchens: The vertical design and narrower doors make side-by-side refrigerators suitable for kitchens with limited space

Cons of French Doors

  • Higher Initial Cost: French door refrigerators, with their sophisticated design and additional features, often come with a higher initial cost compared to other refrigerator types.
  • Limited Freezer Space: The freezer in French door models is typically located at the bottom, which may result in a smaller freezer compartment compared to some other designs.
  • Not Ideal for Narrow Spaces: The wider doors of French door refrigerators may not be suitable for kitchens with limited space or tight layouts as they require more space for the doors to swing open fully.

Cons of Side-by-Side:

  • Restricted Width: The vertical split design of side-by-side refrigerators may limit the width of the fresh food compartment, making it challenging to store wider items like platters or pizza boxes.
  • Less Fresh Food Space: While side-by-side models offer equal space for both the fresh food and freezer sections, this might result in less vertical space for larger items in the fresh food compartment.

Are French Door Refrigerators Better than Side-by-Side?

While there is not an exact response to this question, we can help you decide what model is a better choice for your kitchen. Keep in mind that choosing between the two depends on your preferences and kitchen layout.

Consider a French Door if:

  • You prioritize a spacious fresh food compartment.
  • You prefer a bottom freezer for easier access.

Consider a Side-by-Side if:

  • You like a well-organized layout for both fresh and frozen items.
  • Your kitchen has limited space for door swing.
French door refrigerator

Featured Models

Whirlpool 36-inch Wide Side-By-Side Refrigerator - 25 Cu. Ft (WRS325SDHZ)


  • 25 Cu Ft. Capacity
  • Adjustable Gallon Door Bins
  • Can Caddy
  • Deli Drawer
  • Electronic Temperature Controls
  • Exterior Ice and Water Dispenser
  • EveryDrop(TM) Water Filtration
  • Frameless Glass Shelves
  • LED Interior Lighting
  • Fingerprint Resistant

Shop other Whirlpool side-by-side refrigerators.

LG 27 Cu. Ft. Side-By-Side InstaView® Refrigerator (LRSOS2706S)


  • 27 Cu. Ft. Capacity
  • Made for hosting
  • Slow-melting Craft Ice(TM)
  • Standard Cubed Ice
  • Bite-sized Crushed Ice
  • ThinQ Care
  • InstaView(R)

Find more LG side-by-side refrigerators.

Samsung Bespoke 4-Door French Door Refrigerator (23 Cu. Ft.) With Beverage Center™ (RF23BB8600QLAA)


  • 23 Cu Ft. Capacity
  • Independent fridge and freezer controls
  • Samsung SmartThings App
  • Cubed ice or Ice Bites(TM)
  • Internal dispenser
  • The FlexZone(TM)

Explore our catalog for more Samsung French door refrigerators.

GE® ENERGY STAR® 25.7 Cu. Ft. Fingerprint Resistant French-Door Refrigerator (GFE26JYMFS)


  • 25.7 cu. FT. Capacity
  • Fingerprint Resistant
  • Space-saving icemaker
  • LED lighting
  • Two humidity-controlled drawers
  • Quick Space shelf
  • Two-level freezer storage baskets
  • Gallon door storage

Explore our GE French door refrigerator collection.

side by side refrigerator

Explore More Refrigerator Options at Woodcocks

If you are ready to find the best deal on a new refrigerator, then shop at Woodcocks. We offer the most reliable brands on all types of refrigerators: side-by-sides, French doors, bottom freezer models, top freezer refrigerators, built-in refrigerators, beverage and wine coolers, and more!

If you prefer to shop in person, make sure to contact our team or visit our appliance store in Miami, for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions: French Doors vs Side-by-Sides

What are the main advantages of a French door refrigerator?
French Door refrigerators offer a spacious fresh food compartment, easy access to frequently used items, and a stylish design. The double doors and bottom freezer drawer enhance both functionality and aesthetics.

What are the main advantages of a side-by-side?
Side-by-side refrigerators provide a well-organized layout for both fresh and frozen items. The vertical split allows for convenient access, and they are suitable for kitchens with limited space due to a narrower door swing.

Which French door refrigerator brand is most reliable?
Brands like Samsung, LG, GE, and Whirlpool are often recognized for their reliability in the French Door refrigerator category.


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