Best Time to Buy

The Best Time to Buy a Refrigerator

While buying a refrigerator might not be the most exciting purchase, it is an item you'll use almost every day.

An artistic illustration of a house filled with products with refrigerators highlighted

The best times to buy a refrigerator are 4th of July, 4th of July Weekend, Black Friday, Black Friday Weekend, Cyber Monday, Labor Day, Maytag Month, Presidents' Day, all of February, all of January, all of March, and all of May.

  • Now
  • Buy May 1st

Refrigerators are often on sale—about 36% of the year, or an average of 1-in-2.8 days.

often on sale
36%
of year on sale
12
sale periods
131
sale days
Check prices at Costco

The best months to buy a refrigerator are January, February, March, May, July, September, November, and December.

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The best holidays to buy a refrigerator are 4th of July, Labor Day, and Presidents' Day.

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the best time to buy a refrigerator
Tayler Riouff's Profile Picture
Tayler Riouff
Managing Editor
11 min. read

When you think of household staple appliances, it’s hard not to think of one of the most important ones: the refrigerator. While a new refrigerator might not be the most exciting purchase for a homeowner, it’s an important purchase because it’s an item that you’ll rely on and use every single day. Here’s when the best time to buy a refrigerator is, along with everything you need to know about buying one.

(Jump to best time to buy section.)

A Quick, Cool History of Refrigeration

For thousands of years, people have been searching for the best way to keep food fresh as long as possible. Cold temperatures helped prolong the shelf-life of perishables, a fact noted by ancient peoples all over the world.

In ancient India and Egypt, a quick evaporative cooling method was used to create ice in regions where the temperature doesn’t fall below freezing. Greeks and Romans would transport ice and snow from mountains to keep in deep storage pits called snow cellars[2].

Mayans dug subterranean sites and used the cooler temperatures to store harvested and hunted food. Similarly, Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Americans used subterranean cellars, like root cellars, to store crops and other foods.

Ice and underground cellars remained the main method of refrigeration and food storage until the 19th century.

The First Refrigerator Patent

The first refrigerator patent was granted to Thomas Moore[3] in 1803. From there, inventors began quickly developing new methods of refrigeration, aiming to develop a smaller, more effective machine. The first compact and reasonably priced refrigerator was invented and patented in 1915 by Alfred Mellowes[4].

By 1920, refrigerators were considered essential, with “more than 90 percent of American homes” having one installed.

From there, refrigerators became increasingly popular in commercial establishments and private homes. By 1920, refrigerators were considered essential, with “more than 90 percent of American homes[5]” having one installed.

Refrigerator models have come a long way since 1803, with many varieties and models existing on the market. Before we get into the specifics of the best time of the year to buy a refrigerator, let’s cover what you need to keep in mind while shopping for a new fridge.

How to Buy a New Refrigerator

While (most) refrigerators aren’t as high-tech or complex as your personal phone or laptop, manufacturers are on a constant mission to update and innovate current models. Before you dive into the many amenities of different fridges, you should start with these three main things:

  1. Different fridge sizes
  2. Different styles
  3. Energy efficiency

Different Fridge Sizes

One of the most important things to consider while shopping for a large appliance is size. Fridges of all types and styles come in different sizes, but the space available for a new fridge is likely fixed.

 One of the most important things to consider while shopping for a large appliance is size.

Before you start shopping, you should start by measuring the width and height of the space where you intend to put your fridge to ensure you’re not buying beyond your space constraints. Next, you should measure the width and height of your doorways. Once you find your perfect refrigerator, you’ll want to ensure it can fit through the doorways of your house.

The standard size range for most refrigerators is 36” to 24” wide[6]. However, within this range, different fridges can vary by as much as one inch, so measure carefully and reference the manufacturer’s listed dimensions when shopping. When considering the depth of your appliance, refrigerators are split between sizes: counter depth and standard depth. Counter depth fridges are shallower to achieve the built into the counter appearances, whereas standard refrigerators aren’t as shallow, offering more storage capacity.

Bonus Size: The Mini Fridge

An open mini fridge on blue tile

Another popular type of refrigerator is a mini fridge. A mini fridge is a smaller, more compact version of a refrigerator that is optimized to fit in tight spaces like RVs, offices, college dorm rooms, or home wet bars. While the average size of a mini fridge, according to Whirlpool, is 30”H x 18”W x 19”D, you can also find even smaller models meant for desktops and facial creams.

The Different Styles of Fridges

Multiple refrigerator types on a dark background

Different manufacturers might have different classifications for fridge designs; Consumer Reports[6] breaks it down into five main styles:

  1. Top-Freezer Refrigerators
  2. Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators
  3. French-Door Refrigerators
  4. Side-by-Side Refrigerators
  5. Built-in Refrigerators

Top-Freezer Refrigerators

A stainless steel top-freezer refrigerator

These models have two doors: one on the bottom and one on the top, with the top door serving as the freezer. These traditionally-designed refrigerators offer a lot of storage for their size.

Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators

A white bottom-freezer refrigerator

As you might’ve guessed, these two-door models feature a smaller freezer compartment on the bottom with a larger refrigerator compartment on top.

French-Door Refrigerators

A french door refrigerator with the doors open

These models are similar to the previous one in that the freezer is on the bottom. The refrigerator on top of the freezer features two doors that split the opening in half and open from the center.

Side-by-Side Refrigerators

A side-by-side refrigerator with the doors open

Side-by-side models feature two vertical compartments, with the freezer on one side and the refrigerator on the other.

Built-in Refrigerators

A built-in refrigerator

A similar model to the side-by-side in that these models usually feature two vertical compartments, built-in models sit flush or almost flush with more cabinets and counters.Sometimes these models will also appear in a variety of other configurations—like French Door. Built-in refrigerators are generally the most expensive style of fridge since they normally need to be installed as a single component during a full kitchen cabinet renovation.

Which Fridge Style is Best?

That depends on you! There are pros and cons to every style—for example,bottom freezers might be less accessible but will have a larger storage capacity. Side-by-side models are popular for their visual aesthetic, but the tall, narrow freezer and refrigerator compartments might limit your storage capacity.

Bonus Style: The Beverage Fridge

A beverage cooler with a glass front filled with bottles

A beverage refrigerator, also known as a beverage cooler or beverage center, is a smaller version of a full-sized fridge that is “usually designed explicitly for holding cans and bottles,” according to Compact Appliance[7]. Since beverage fridges are designed to house only beverages, they come in a wide variety of sizes and are often customizable, meaning the shelves can be adjusted to account for different bottle heights and sizes. Because they aren’t showcasing last night’s leftovers, beverage fridges are traditionally glass-faced and feature interior lighting that’s optionally always on.

How to Choose a Fridge Style

Once you’ve got an idea of what size of refrigerator your can fit in your kitchen, you’re ready for the next step: choosing your style. If you’re unsure of where to start, start by taking a look at what you usually cook and store in your fridge. Do you like to keep frozen pizzas on hand? A fridge with either a freezer on the bottom or the top might be a better option for your ability to store the bulky frozen pizza boxes.

Understanding the EnergyGuide Label

The EnergyGuide label is a rating scale developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) with the purpose of helping consumers shop for energy-efficient appliances. Products that are able to pass a strict performance review by the EPA and the DOE earn an ENERGY STAR®[8], indicating high quality and energy efficiency.

Refrigerators certified with an ENERGY STAR are designed to be more energy efficient and, while they may be more money up front, they usually cost you less money in the long run.

Now that you know all about the different styles, models, and ratings, let’s jump into the most important part of this article: the best times of the year to buy a refrigerator.

The Best Times to Buy a Refrigerator

Q1 Sales - January - March

The start of the new year isn’t just a time for post-holiday recovery; it’s a time for securing a great deal on a new refrigerator. During spring, manufacturers start rolling out their new models, which means retailers use Q1 to sell last year’s models to make room for new inventory.

To help expedite this process, retailers run sales around holidays like Presidents' Day. Each year, on the third Monday of February, you can start finding great deals on last year’s models.

May is Maytag Month

By May, many retailers will have rolled out the year’s new models, which means they’re ready to further reduce prices on last year’s models to make more room in their warehouses and showrooms. It also marks one of the most important sales months for one of the largest manufacturers in the United States: Maytag.

For the entire month of May, the company offers a rebate for every Maytag appliance purchased, either through the company directly or through a retailer like Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Each year, Maytag announces a promotional event called May is Maytag Month. For the entire month of May, the company offers a rebate for every Maytag appliance purchased, either through the company directly or through a retailer like Lowe’s or Home Depot. You can also get great deals on washers and dryers during Maytag month.

The offer changes from year to year ($200 was the max 2022 rebate amount[9]), but this rebate is available on top of the normal sales you can find in May, meaning you can get a pretty sweet deal on a nice refrigerator.

Holiday Sales

While Q1 and May are the best times of the year to buy a refrigerator (and earn some money back through the May is Maytag Month rebate), there are other sales throughout the year that you can take advantage of.

Retailers and manufacturers like to cluster sales on holidays like the 4th of July, Labor Day, and Black Friday. Not only are they banking on you shopping on your extra day off, but you’ll be able to find great sales. Let’s take a quick peek at each one:

4th of July

By July, new refrigerators have been on the market for a couple of months, meaning you might be able to find sales prices on the latest models. July also marks the start of Q3, so manufacturers and retailers have the additional incentive to start the quarter off on the right foot by promoting sales.

Independence Day Weekend

Some retailers like to cluster their July sales around Independence Day Weekend, instead of just the 4th of July.

Labor Day

Labor Day falls on the first Monday of each year which also marks the start of the last month of Q3. In order to meet quarterly and monthly quotas, retailers will start slashing prices on old and new models.

Black Friday

Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, can be a great time of the year to secure a deal on a small refrigerator model, like a beverage or a mini fridge. You might be able to find a good deal on a full-sized model on Black Friday, but retailers have been historically inconsistent on Black Friday deals for larger appliances.

Cyber Monday

Finally, Cyber Monday is a great day to try and find a great deal on a refrigerator. Retailers will have a better idea of what their inventory looks like post-Black Friday sales, and since this is midway through the final quarter of the year, you can find great deals.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there’s a lot more to buying a refrigerator than just finding the model you want at the right price. Seasonality, capacity, and type all play a role in what makes a fridge perfect for your home. By taking the time to understand when the best time of year to buy a refrigerator is, and the history of refrigeration technology, you can make an educated decision on which fridge is right for your kitchen—and save money while doing it!

FAQ

Let's recap by answering some key questions:

When is the best time to buy a refrigerator?

The best times to buy a refrigerator are 4th of July, 4th of July Weekend, Black Friday, Black Friday Weekend, Cyber Monday, Labor Day, Maytag Month, Presidents' Day, all of February, all of January, all of March, and all of May.

Why 4th of July is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

By July, new refrigerators have been on the market for a couple of months, meaning you might be able to find sales prices on the latest models. July also marks the start of Q3, so manufacturers and retailers have the additional incentive to start the quarter off on the right foot by promoting sales.

Why 4th of July Weekend is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

Some retailers like to cluster their July sales around Independence Day Weekend, instead of just the 4th of July.

Why Black Friday is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, can be a great time of the year to secure a deal on a small refrigerator model, like a beverage or a mini fridge. You might be able to find a good deal on a full-sized model on Black Friday, but retailers have been historically inconsistent on Black Friday deals for larger appliances.

Why Cyber Monday is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

Retailers will have a better idea of what their inventory looks like post-Black Friday sales, and since this is midway through the final quarter of the year, you can find great deals.

Why all of February is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

February is part of the spring sales cycle where manufacturers try to get rid of last year's fridge models to make room for new ones. Presidents' Day (the third Monday of February) is a particularly great time to buy.

Why all of January is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

Fridge manufacturers roll out their new models during spring, which means retailers need to liquidate last year's models to make space for new inventory (since, you know, fridges are big). This liquidation period starts in January.

Why Labor Day is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

Labor Day falls on the first Monday of each year which also marks the start of the last month of Q3. In order to meet quarterly and monthly quotas, retailers will start slashing prices on old and new models.

Why all of March is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

March is part of the spring sales cycle where manufacturers try to get rid of last year's fridge models to make room for new ones.

Why all of May is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

By May, many retailers will have rolled out the year’s new models, which means they’re ready to further reduce prices on last year’s models to make more room in their warehouses and showrooms. It's also Maytag Month.

Why Maytag Month is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

Each year, Maytag announces a promotional event called May is Maytag Month. For the entire month of May, the company offers a rebate for every Maytag appliance purchased.

Why Presidents' Day is a good time to buy a refrigerator:

Presidents' Day falls in the middle of the spring refrigerator sales cycle when manufacturers look to liquidate last year's fridge models to make room for new ones.

How often are refrigerators on sale?

Refrigerators are often on sale, approximately 131 days each year, spanning 12 distinct sale periods—that's 36% of the year.

What are the best months to buy a refrigerator?

The best months to buy refrigerators are January, February, March, May, July, September, November, and December.

What are the best holidays to buy a refrigerator?

The best holidays to buy a refrigerator are 4th of July, Labor Day, and Presidents' Day.

Why 4th of July is a good holiday to buy a refrigerator:

By July, new refrigerators have been on the market for a couple of months, meaning you might be able to find sales prices on the latest models. July also marks the start of Q3, so manufacturers and retailers have the additional incentive to start the quarter off on the right foot by promoting sales.

Why Labor Day is a good holiday to buy a refrigerator:

Labor Day falls on the first Monday of each year which also marks the start of the last month of Q3. In order to meet quarterly and monthly quotas, retailers will start slashing prices on old and new models.

Why Presidents' Day is a good holiday to buy a refrigerator:

Presidents' Day falls in the middle of the spring refrigerator sales cycle when manufacturers look to liquidate last year's fridge models to make room for new ones.

What's the best place to buy a refrigerator?

The best place to buy a refrigerator is at Costco, The Home Depot, Lowe's, and Best Buy.

  1. "Refrigerators - Statistics & Facts" (Statista)
  2. "refrigeration" (Britannica)
  3. "Fun Fact: Did You Know that the Inventor of the Refrigerator Resided in Montgomery County?" (Maryland Association of Counties)
  4. "Refrigeration" (Innowiki)
  5. "Who Invented the Refrigerator?" (Live Science)
  6. "Refrigerators" (Consumer Reports)
  7. "FAQs: Beverage Refrigerators" (Compact Appliance)
  8. "Why ENERGY STAR?" (ENERGY STAR®)
  9. "May is Maytag Month—shop the best appliance deals on washers, dryers and dishwashers" (USA Today)

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