Side By Side vs French Door Fridge—Which One Should You Choose?

Side By Side vs French Door We Look At Both Options


Time for a new refrigerator, but Side By Side vs French Door option? We all come down to ask this question when we’re looking to buy the perfect fridge for our household and every time, we end up being confused by so many different opinions from different people such as our jealous neighbors, salesmen trying to rip us off, and so on. And when we try to look it up on the internet asking ‘side by side vs. French door fridge’, oh boy! We are bombarded with so many different explanations that it makes it even more difficult to come up with a sound decision.


No more of that here, Oh no! You don’t need to climb up a huge wall of text to decide which type of fridge is best for your household. We’ll do the hard work just for you and help you make the best choice of home appliance for your sweet home.

Here, we have reviewed and analyzed the options you have, with thorough research, and organized them with ONLY the information that you’ll need to know in order to make the best decision.

The Face Off

We’re talking about two of the most popular options American fridge buyers have in the market today. Bear no confusion here—

Side By Side Frigidaire FFSS2615TS 

A side by side door fridge is the type of fridge that has the freezer and the refrigerator section divided into two side by side compartments, top to bottom, within the entire volume of the fridge. The two are separated and each compartment has their own dedicated door, hence, the name ‘side by side’. Here, the freezer and the refrigerator have almost the same design and form factor. Both of them offer an organized pantry.

French Frigidaire FFHD2250TS

A French door system, on the other hand, has its refrigerator and freezer compartment arranged top on bottom. Usually, we see the refrigerator wholly on top with its own set of doors and the freezer on the bottom which can be accessed by pulling it out like a tray. Here, the refrigerator remains well-organized with all its pantry while the freezer; it’s like a car trunk down there.


The Comparison

Now let’s ask ‘why?’. Why would you choose one over the other—it’s all your decision to make. We’ll just show you which one has to offer what—side by side vs. French.

Why the Side by side?

The Side by side fridge, just as we have mentioned earlier, offer two compact set of compartments for both the refrigerator and the freezer, top to bottom; both have well-organized shelving options, drawers and pantry.

So, if you’re an organized minimalist who wants to have their frozen nuggets and aloe juice all at the reach of your fingertips, then side by side mechanism should do you justice.

You’ll get all your essentials right at your eye level—it’s like an indoor deli! And when you get midnight cravings or sudden guests come by, you wouldn’t have to be a maze runner to find food—you’ll get your frozen ham and chilled soda right at your disposal, ready-to-serve.

A side by side is also a good option for those who are seeking to make their children independent—that is, a side by side door fridge will allow the children to reach out for their food easily. They wouldn’t have to climb up there or call you to get their food for them. The side by side fridge is divided through the midsection, equally from top to bottom. So, you can keep their snacks at a lower level of the refrigerator for them to grab anytime they are hungry—make them independent!

And have I mentioned that side by side fridges come at a lower price point than the French?

That’s right! You can get a side by side door fridge for just around $750 – $2000.

A good choice for the side by side fridge customers could be the Frigidaire FFSS2615TS. Available in Stainless Steel color, Black Stainless, Ebony or Pearl White. This should make it ideal for all kitchen designs.

It’s almost half of what you’d have to pay for a French door fridge—A point for the budget buyers!

side by side vs french door

Why not the side by side?

Everything comes with its downsides; an irrefutable fact.

It goes for the side by side door fridges as well.

You might have to face difficulty while accessing your fridge if it’s installed in a small kitchen. Yes, you need a big room for this bad boy to unload.

Again, it might be a no-go for those who want to keep their children away from taking out whatever they desire, whenever. It is easily accessible to children having the refrigerator in one of the sides, top to bottom.

Now owing to its compact design, it might be a problem for those who use the refrigerator more often than the freezer. Despite having mathematically equal volume, it’ll seem smaller in practice—Because width and height are different dimensions!

You’ll find it too congested; the refrigerator and the freezer. You’ll also find it very inconvenient when you’re forced to bend down often in order to reach the lower sections. The upper levels won’t serve empty forever!

Again, you won’t be able to fit large items such as pizza or a huge salmon that you caught the other day in either of the compartments—it’s just too tight in there.

These are the points to consider before you buy a side by side door fridge.

Why the French?

Now let’s take a look at the French door fridge. Apart from the fancy name, what else are you paying for?

The French door fridge separates the refrigerator and the freezer by putting one on top of another. This way, you’ll come across a wider space in both, as opposed to the side by side. You’ll have enough room to fit your pizza, salmon, ham in it and still move around your pasta, salad, and so on with ease. It is THE MOST convenient device for those who are more dependent on the refrigerator section and uses the freezer less often.

The freezer, being at the bottom, proves to be more spacious which will allow you to put away a bulk of frozen items for a longer period of time.

Along with spacious compartments, if you’re someone who uses the refrigerator more often than the freezer, then this could be the right choice for you. You’ll have the spacious refrigerator on top, with its own doors, at your eye level. You can easily navigate through it standing upright. It is extremely convenient.

Other reasons to buy the French door system may include the fact they come with many additional features at higher price points. These can also be very energy efficient when compared to the side by side.

French door fridges have a wider space and so, they can cool by dispersing less cold air more effectively which consequently draws less electricity. It can also be power efficient owing to the fact that the refrigerator has two doors for a single unit compartment. So, whenever you open only one of the doors, it’ll cause a lesser ‘cold air spill’ and thus, be energy efficient—you may notice that the additional price is evened out by lower utility bills!

Why not the French?

First thing’s first, it’ll scare off the budget buyers because French door fridges come with heavier price tags.

It’s nearly double the price of a side by side door fridge; coming at a range of around $1200 – $3000—we know, it’s going to burn a hole in your wallet if you’re running low.

Speaking of French door, one particular model comes to mind which is popular among the customers that is the  Frigidaire FFHD2250TS. I personally would’ve bought one these if I could afford it—these are excellent!

Now, even if you can afford these easily, you should also make yourself aware of other shortcomings the French door fridges may have. You might want to make sure what you exactly need in order to make the best decision.

If you’re someone who needs to use the freezer more often than the refrigerator, then a French door is not what you might want in your checklist. Because a French door fridge is very biased to cater to the refrigerator users. It can be very inconvenient for the freezer users because the freezer remains in the bottom half section of the fridge only. And so, you’ll need to bend over to access your freezer every time. This can get annoying in a situation where you’ll need to move a lot of frozen items often.

Another downside of the French is that the bottom freezer section is only spacious but not organized. That’s right, it’s just like an empty box down there; no convenient drawers, shelves or pantry to offer. You can store larger items in bulk with ease but for smaller and more regular items such as fries or nuggets or burgers, it’ll be messy.

You’d have to stack the little items, one on top of another to store them and by the laws of physics, the stacks will fail and be all around your freezer—you get the idea…it’ll be quite a hassle to get what you need down there, being bent over.

I’d personally look for other options if I was someone who needs the freezer more than the refrigerator.


The Rundown

Having discussed the buy-as-you-need aspect, let’s look at a quick rundown of the pros and cons of each the two options:

Advantages of the side by side fridge

  • Affordable
  • Both freezer and refrigerator items are at eye level
  • Better shelving options
  • Equal space for both
  • Accessible to children

Disadvantages of the side by side fridge

    • Not great for large items
    • Congested
    • Needs you to bend down to get items stored at the lower sections of the fridge

Advantages of the French door fridge

  • Can store larger items
  • Can store items in bulk amounts
  • Drawers are at eye level
  • Power-efficient
  • Regularly used items are on top
  • More convenient
  • More space
  • May come with additional features

Disadvantages of the French door fridge

  • Expensive
  • Freezer items need to be stacked
  • Have to bend down to get freezer items


Side By Side vs French Door The Conclusion

Well, we have done the research and analyses to help you make the best decision. It’s your call from here.

Each type of fridge has its own set of functionalities. So, only you can decide which suits your purpose well. We’ve done the overview in the side by side vs french door debate for you.

If I had a bigger budget, then I would’ve considered the French door.

Otherwise, I’d stick to the side by side fridge to serve my household purposes. Just a personal opinion!

Good luck making the right decision.


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Side By Side vs French Door Fridge—Which One Should You Choose?

time to read: 8 min