Obviously one of the best advantages of side by side fridges is that they cost much less than their french door, bottom freezer counterparts. There really is no practical reason for this other than the fact that the french door, bottom freezer design is the latest and greatest and therefore manufacturers charge a premium for it.
One advantage to a side by side fridge to those that use them most – chefs, is that they contain more in door storage capacity than other styles of refrigerators – especially french door fridges. The obvious benefit here is more shelves to store all kinds of accouterments, spices, sauces, dressings, and condiments.
The average depth of a side by side fridge is about 30 inches so we arent normally as concerned about the built in counter depth look even though they can be produced as counter depth, it’s not as common.
Side by sides are considered a good choice for galley-style kitchens or tighter spaces due to the fact that they are normally quite a bit narrower at an average width of 35” than a top and bottom fridge freezer design. The main reason for the benefit here is that there is not the width in the kitchen to accommodate a larger swing size door like a full size door on a top/bottom refrigerator. The smaller width half doors on a side by side refrigerator just fit better.
One of the negative attributes of Side by Sides compared with a Fridge Top bottom freezer unit is that one must bend over to reach the lower portions of the refrigerator, which are also frequently used storage spaces in the fridge. Same with the inner door, you will be bending over a lot to access the lower portions.
Compared with a French door top bottom freezer fridge you will naturally use a little more energy with a side by side fridge due to the fact that you are opening the entire refrigerator door every time and allowing much of the refrigerated air to escape. With a french door fridge you can open just one half of the refrigerator space to retrieve what you need – thus the reason for the recent introduction by Sub Zero of the windowed refrigerator door, which allows you to see ahead of time where the item is that you want to retrieve.
Other than that, aesthetic appearance differences are the primary consideration. Generally, french door bottom freezer fridges are considered the best looking option and they cost more as a result. After that, side by side refrigerators are thought of as next best looking if there is such a dubious honor among this category.