What is a Side-by-Side fridge? Is a Side by Side fridge good for me?
A Side-by-Side fridge has two doors – one to access a full-length freezer and the other a full-length fridge: the ideal scenario when relying on fresh and frozen foods equally. The freezer is a great organisation tool, so if you batch cook meals to freeze, or stash frozen fruits for smoothies for the daily, then it makes sense to have them as accessible.
What you see is what you get with a Side-by-Side fridge freezer – everything’s on display on shelves, in drawers and in door bins with no hidden surprises. Many models offer adjustable spill proof shelving for both bulky goods and accidental spillage. If needing a water dispenser, many come with one, while only some have both ice and water.
Large usable litre capacities make these fridges ideal for a 3-4-person household. Keep in mind they can take up a bit of room so measure your space carefully and if you find it tight, consider a Samsung fridge which can maximise internal space without increasing the external dimensions.
Is there a freezer in a Side by Side fridge?
Generally, you’ll find the freezer to the left in a Side-by-Side fridge. Side by Side fridges hero the freezer – one full length freezer for storing all those frozen essentials can be a huge help in busy kitchens, especially households that rely on frozen meals for defrosting midweek or storing frozen veg, fruit or pastry for cooking and baking.
The freezer volume of a Side-by-Side fridge is generous enough for loading and stacking various foods on shelves and in pull-out drawers for an organised space, so you can place frozen desserts on one, meals on the other and so forth.
Very few Side-by-Side models offer both water and ice dispensing however keep in mind that ones that do may take up freezer space. To get around this, brands like LG have their ice maker built into the freezer door to not sacrifice on freezer storage while also making it possible to store items in the freezer door bins.
What’s the difference between a Side by Side and a French Door fridge?
The most notable difference is in the configuration: Side-by-Side fridges have the fridge and freezer side-by-side (two doors); French Door fridges have the fridge above the freezer with two doors for fridge access and two doors for the freezer below - or this can be one freezer drawer with stacked pull-out baskets (both helpful for freezer organisation).
While Side-by-Side fridges can be great for kitchens that need ample fridge/freezer space with quick access to both, French Door fridges are more about the fridge – wide and deep shelves at eye level to store plenty of fresh food, drinks and party platters – and with flexible storage solutions like Slide-back or Flip-up shelving in Westinghouse French Door fridges to cater for those unexpected items.
French Door fridges have more models that dispense both ice and water, as well as having more robust, flexible storage and convertible temperature compartments in either the fridge or freezer while Side-by-Side fridges tend not to.
Are Side-by-Side fridges efficient?
With their larger usable litre capacities at around the 570 to 660-litre-mark, Side-by-Side fridges tend to consume more electricity, so they can cost more to run 24/7. The majority either have a 3 to 3.5 Star Energy Rating, while others can be higher like some Samsung fridges on the upper end of the usable capacity scale with a 4 Star Energy Rating.
To avoid any surprises, it’s a good idea to estimate the average annual running cost. For an estimate, the Australian Government’s Energy Rating site says to multiply the kilowatt hours (kWh) noted on the energy label by the cost of electricity in your area. Remember to compare models of the same usable capacity to get a like-for-like understanding on the energy efficiency.
Side-by-Side fridges generally have a higher annual running cost due to their spacious volume, so to make good use of these fridges, ensure the usable capacity meets your living requirements.