Shopping for a new refrigerator brings up quite a few questions: should you get an ice maker? What about a smart model? Top freezer, French door, or side-by-side? Is a smudge-resistant fridge worth the extra cost? These questions can quickly become overwhelming, and if you have a tight budget to stick to, finding a model that ticks all the boxes is even more difficult.
To help narrow your search, we've put together a list of the best refrigerator brands in 2021 that offer fridges for less than $1,000. We also go over the best stores to shop and when you can do so with confidence.
The 4 Best Refrigerator Brands With Fridges Under $1,000
This Best Buy brand is well known for its Fire TVs, but Insignia also has a variety of refrigerators costing under $1,000. You can shop a fair amount of mini refrigerators — including stylish retro models — but you aren't restricted to just mini chillers. We found 10.5-cubic-foot refrigerators with a list price of around $360, 18.1-cubic-foot models for around $550, and a stainless steel, top freezer model measuring 21 cubic feet for around $775.
If you're in the market for new electronics, Samsung has you covered — from TVs and phones to wearables and computers, to major appliances, and so much more. With its wide variety of items, this big brand can cover a range of budgets; it shouldn't be a surprise that it has refrigerators priced under $1,000.
Samsung offers a number of designs, including top freezer, side-by-side, French door, and even specialty fridges. There are Bespoke models, which normally start around $1,300; however, you may get lucky and find some of the smaller ones for around $999. You can expect lower prices if you shop top freezer models, as list prices for those start around $749. While Samsung might be pricier than other refrigerator brands, you can still find an 18- to 21-cubic-foot refrigerator for under $1,000.
Known for its large appliances, Whirlpool is another brand that has a handful of fridge options under $1,000. Unfortunately, paying less overall can also mean getting less space — that's not necessarily bad, though, especially if you're working with limited space.
You can expect to find 11.6-cubic-foot refrigerators measuring 24" wide for as little as $550 — and in a few different finishes, to boot, including fingerprint-resistant stainless steel. Some finishes, like the stainless steel, tend to cost more; in this case, the price jumps to $599.
If you need more space, know that a 14-cubic-foot model from Whirlpool will likely start around $640, and an 18-cubic-foot model could be priced from around $780. You won't be able to get a Whirlpool fridge that's much bigger than that for less than $1,000, though. We saw 19-cubic-foot models with list prices starting around $880, depending on the finish, and those can quickly jump over that $1K line.
Frigidaire's like other fridge brands, in that you'll be restricted to top freezer or compact refrigerator models if you want to stay below $1,000. Prices for the dorm-friendly machines tend to start around $309, but we're guessing if you're reading this guide, you probably need something closer to a full-size appliance.
Frigidaire refrigerator prices aren't necessarily based on size, which can make estimating costs a challenge. For instance, we saw a 13.9-cubic-foot refrigerator start around $799, while an 18-cubic-foot model was priced from $819. However, you may also find yourself paying $819 for a 10.1-cubic-foot model, and an 18.3-cubic-foot refrigerator could start around $870. Even an 11.6-cubic-foot "apartment-size" refrigerator could set you back $890. The best thing you can do if you're shopping for Frigidaire appliances is to have a concrete list of features and designs you want, so that finding a model that fits your budget will be easier.
Where to Shop the Top Refrigerator Brands
Even a refrigerator that costs less than $1,000 is a big purchase, and there's always a chance you'll want to return it or have to deal with repairs. That's why it's important to buy your fridge from a retailer offering solid return policies and protection plans. Learn about the best stores to buy a fridge from in our chart below.
|Store||Protection Plans Available||Return Window|
|Best Buy||3-year plan; 5-year plan||15 days|
|Costco||2-year extended warranty||90 days|
|Home Depot||3-year plan; 5-year plan||48 hours to report defects/damage|
|Lowe's||Up to 3 years||30 days|
|Sam's Club||4-year plan||90 days|
When to Shop for a Refrigerator
You can theoretically find a great deal on a refrigerator any time of year, but big shopping holidays are some of the best times to shop. Major appliance deals during these times are almost a guarantee, and a variety of retailers usually participate, which means you get more choices to check out overall.
Presidents' Day: Celebrated on the third Monday in February, this holiday can result in discounts as high as 40% off on major appliances, though more often, they're around 30% off.
Memorial Day: The last Monday in May may signal the beginning of summer for many, but it's also a good time to shop for major appliances, including refrigerators. Watch for retailers to knock up to 45% off.
SEE ALSO: Your Guide to Every Holiday Sale in 2021
July Fourth: You might not think the middle of summer is the perfect time to buy a refrigerator, but if you're wanting to upgrade, it's a great time to do so. Retailers tend to cut around 40% off, but some discounts can be slightly higher.
Labor Day: The unofficial end of summer is also often the last chance of the season to save big on major appliances. Discounts vary, but they're usually up to 35% or 40% off.
Black Friday (Maybe): If you need to completely redo your kitchen or laundry room, Black Friday might be the best time to shop. The appliance deals we see around this time are often part of "buy more, save more" discounts, so buying more than one could pay off in the long run.
Ready to shop? Check out the best refrigerator deals now!