Your first decision will be whether to purchase a counter depth or a traditional depth refrigerator. Counter depth are not as deep but you pay for this shallowness in capacity. Still, it fits better in your kitchen because regular refrigerators are deeper and jut out into the kitchen space. If you are building a new house, you can frame the wall back to account for this extra depth. In addition, counter depth refrigerators typically cost more. Another more expensive choice is a “commercial” refrigerator which has the compressor on the top and is “built-in.” These cost more than $5,000.00 but give more capacity. They are also taller and wider but not as deep as traditional refrigerators.
The latest trend in refrigerators is a bottom freezer. These are popular because most of the use of the refrigerator is to the refrigeration rather than the freezer part of your machine. Placing this part on top precludes the need to bend over and puts food you get to the most time at eye level.
Another innovation are multiple doors and doors inside doors. These all hinge on different temperature levels throughout the machine for various foods, such as vegetables and meats, which last longer based on temperature settings.
Water and ice in the door seems to remain strong but some machines have an inside water supply. Some machines also have two ice machines, one in the door and one in the freezer.
Refrigerators are one piece of the appliance industry that seem to have a lot of recent innovations, especially in doors and integration of technology like wireless and cameras. As an example, Samsung has a machine with internal cameras that you can access from your smart phone to see whether you need milk or eggs. Others have screens the size of the doors as home organizers.