French door refrigerators have equal sized doors with hinges on either side of the refrigerator. The fridge also includes a pull-out bottom freezer, leaving the entire top section for items that need refrigeration. This can provide room for wide items or storage containers and it can keep a user from having to open the entire fridge at the same time. There are also a few drawbacks to using these refrigerators.
Room on Both Sides
Because French door refrigerators have doors that open both ways, they must be placed in an area that allows room for both their left and right doors to open. This isn't as much of a problem in a single-door fridge as most of the space in the fridge is accessible when the one door is open but pressed against a wall. Since half of the fridge would still be closed and the other door pressed against a wall with a French door fridge, this might make it tough to reach certain items. A French door fridge requires room on both sides or for both doors to be open to reach those items.
Ice and Water Maker
In many refrigerators with ice and water makers, those devices are located on the outside door of the appliance. This saves space on the inside for more food items. In a French door fridge, the water dispenser is typically on the inside of the fridge and the icemaker is inside the freezer compartment. This takes away some of the interior capacity of the fridge. These might make comparisons between French door and traditional refrigerators difficult when making a purchase.
Both the Samsung and Maytag brands of French door refrigerators have experienced major problems with their water dispenser and ice maker systems. Reviews of the product have included several incidents that involve these features leaking or malfunctioning. This could simply be a problem of those brands or it might be an issue that occurs in these devices when they are located inside the fridge.
For those who are used to placing freezer items on the left or the top of the fridge, there may be a bit of confusion at first. Also, users who forget if they have put items on the left or the right of a fridge may have to open up an entire fridge to find the items in question. This is not a major problem but it may cause some annoyance for a person who has never had a French door refrigerator in the past.