Whether your current refrigerator is on the fritz, you’re moving, or you’re renovating, buying a refrigerator can be stressful. There are so many options, and most of them are pretty expensive, so you want to ensure you make the right choice.
If you have kids, it’s even tougher to choose a fridge, because there are certain considerations to keep in mind in terms of a family-friendly option.
The following are some tips to help you choose a family-friendly refrigerator.
Should You Choose a Counter-Depth Refrigerator?
One option you might want to think about is a counter-depth refrigerator. As the name implies, these refrigerators tend to be shallow, and they’re meant to be flush with cabinets when they’re installed, much like a dishwasher.
There are some reasons this can be beneficial for a family. The first is that a shallow refrigerator can actually help everyone find items more easily.
If you have a deep fridge, you may have more storage space, but there are also more opportunities for things to get shoved in the back and go bad. They also tend to provide more space in the kitchen and less congestion which can be helpful if there are lots of little ones wandering around.
If access is more important to you than ample storage, a counter-depth refrigerator may be worth a second look.
Access For Little Ones
For the most part, once your kids are over a certain age you probably want them to be able to access items in the fridge pretty easily because it will make your life easier.
With this in mind, you might want to consider a side-by-side unit because it will have lower shelves where you can stock the kid-friendly items so they can just reach in and get them. If you have a unit with a lower freezer, everything may be completely out of the reach of your smaller kids.
There are also options with multiple drawers on the bottom, and one of the middle drawers may have compartments and storage space designed specifically for kid-friendly snacks, like yogurt.
Most refrigerators these days are equipped with a door alarm, and it can be worth making sure of if you have little ones.
A door alarm can let you know if the refrigerator or freezer doors have been open for more than a minute or so, which is helpful to save energy and keep everything cold but also to make sure your kids aren’t creating a kitchen disaster.
Finally, when you’re thinking about a family-friendly refrigerator, you might want to rethink stainless steel. For many years stainless steel has been considered the finish of choice in appliances, but there are a few reasons you might avoid it. First, it’s not magnetic so you can’t hang all those family reminders, but more than that, your kids will leave smudges and fingerprints all over stainless steel.
It’s essentially impossible to keep it clean.
There are some options including slate finishes which are matte and magnetic, as well as options such as the “Active Finish” available from Kenmore, which is marketed as stainless steel that’s fingerprint-resistant.