The most popular of all refrigerator types, the top-freezer model is instantly recognizable, with the small freezer perched on top of the main compartment. Typically these type of fridges will have 3 shelves and 2 vegetable drawers. This blueprint is generally what you'll find on low-end budget fridges you'd see in your break room, a dorm, or a modestly-priced apartment. But even some higher-end models use this tried-and-true design. They can run from under $500 up through $1,300. Here are some of our current favorites.
Kenmore 79302 ($1,000-$1,289)
The Kenmore 79302 is one of many examples of a solid Kenmore that won't destroy your wallet. LG manufacturers it for Sears, so it's tough to find on sale, though it's possible. This mid-priced refrigerator has excellent temperature control, with very little temperature fluctuation in either the fridge or freezer. This will keep your food fresher for longer and save money that would be wasted on spoiled food. It also costs just $28.34 to operate per year. It's not a huge unit and isn't really customizable, but it gets the job done in a simple and straightforward way.
Whirlpool WRT779RWYM ($800-$1,249)
The Whirlpool WRT779RWYM is a stylish, snappy, solid refrigerator. It has adequate storage space. One of its strongest assets is a low operating cost compared to other top-freezer models. Small, extra features typically not found on similar fridges populate the Whirlpool, including the interior water dispenser, retractable shelf, and a pull-out compartment on the door. But if you don't want bells and whistles, you can do better. Performance wasn't quite up to spec, as the temperature does fluctuate slightly, and it's too small for larger families.
Whirlpool WRT351SFYW ($805-$999)
Whirlpool's WRT351SFYW is an update to the classic top-freezer refrigerator. It's extremely energy efficient, with the cooling compressor staying off most of the time. It also maintains consistent temperature throughout the fridge, which will help keep your food from spoiling quickly. However, full-width shelves in the main compartment limits organizational flexibility, though those shelves do provide a lot of storage space. One other complaint is that there is only one control for both the fridge and freezer temperature, making it difficult to get both at the optimal temperature.