Fridge freezers: How to buy the best fridge freezer Freestanding fridge freezers
Freestanding fridge freezers are the most popular type of fridge freezer available. They’re also the cheapest and the easiest to fit into your kitchen.
Good freestanding models will chill groceries quickly to keep them fresher for longer and offer plenty of storage space for fresh and frozen food. We reveal the pros and cons to help you decide whether a freestanding fridge freezer is right for you.
To read reviews of all the freestanding, integrated and American-style fridge freezers we’ve tested, head straight to our fridge freezer reviews.
Freestanding fridge freezers
Here are the pros and cons you need to weigh up when deciding whether a freestanding fridge freezer is right for your kitchen.
- Cheaper than integrated or American-style fridge freezers.
- Lower electricity costs – check out our fridge freezer energy costs calculator tool to see and compare how much different models cost to run.
- Widely available in a range of colours, sizes and prices.
- You can opt for a larger fridge or freezer compartment depending on whether you need space for more fresh or frozen food.
- Easy to fit into a kitchen.
- You can take it with you if you move house.
- Cheaper models tend to be basic. Useful features such as a frost-free freezer, fast-chill functions and chiller cabinets will quickly add to the price.
- Freestanding models typically store less fresh and frozen food than American-style fridge freezers.
- Less discreet than an integrated model and can dominate the space in a small kitchen.
We’ve tested fridge freezers from Beko, Bosch and Hotpoint to see how well they keep food chilled and frozen and whether they’re pricey to power for the amount of usable storage space you get.
Check out reviews and test results for all of the fridge freezers we’ve tested.
Inside a freestanding fridge freezer
1. Digital displays, controls and thermostats can help you keep your fridge freezer running at the right temperature. These come on higher-end models; most fridge freezers have simple displays and manual thermostat dials.
2. Door racks are the ideal place for keeping bottles, cartons and jars, as well as delicate items such as eggs. Some have a covered compartment at the top for keeping diary products extra cold.
3. Lower door racks should be deep and tall enough to store large bottles or milk or fizzy drink which are too tall to stand up in the main fridge compartment.
4. Transparent freezer drawers help you see what’s inside at a glance. Different-sized freezer drawers help you make the most of the space – larger drawers are ideal for awkwardly shaped or bulky items such as a joint of meat, while slim drawers help prevent smaller packets and tubs from getting lost.
5. Frost-free freezers will save you the time and hassle of having to defrost it yourself.
6. Salad crisper drawers let you keep fruit and vegetables in one place. Good fridges will have two drawers so you can keep soft fruits and bulky veg separate.
7. Adjustable fridge shelves let you configure the main fridge space as you want and mean you can use the space more flexibly – making room for large items when you need to.
To find out more about the fridge freezer features you'll come across, read our features explained guide.
Freestanding fridge freezer sizes
A fridge freezer is the largest appliance you’ll have in your kitchen, so it’s crucial to buy the right size. With some models, you’ll need to factor in extra space at the sides, back and/or top, so it’s important to check dimensions carefully.
Most freestanding models are 55cm, 60cm or 65cm wide. Some need extra space at the sides, back and/or top for air to circulate, so it’s important to check whether this is the case before you buy.
If you’re short on space, look for a slimmer 50cm-wide model.
Most freestanding fridge freezers are roughly 180-190cm high. If you need one that fits underneath a high kitchen cupboard look for a shorter model that’s around 130-175cm.
If you need a lot of storage space, consider a larger version which is 195cm or taller – although bear in mind that you may struggle to reach items on the top shelf if you’re not particularly tall.
Fridge freezers are typically 60-65cm deep. But if you don’t have much space, look out for a shallower 50-60cm model, which will take up less floor space in your kitchen.
Freestanding fridge freezer prices
Most models have the fridge sitting above the freezer, with the fridge being the larger compartment of the two. You can buy a cheap fridge freezer for less than £200, while models from premium brands such as Liebherr and Miele can cost more than £1,000.
Whichever brand you’re looking at, the main difference between cheap and more expensive models is whether the freezer is frost-free or manual defrost. Opting for frost-free will add £30-£100 to the price.
It’s possible to buy a cheap, frost-free fridge freezer for less than £300 from brands such as Beko, Indesit and Lec. Expect to pay more than £400 for a basic frost-free Bosch, Hotpoint, LG, Panasonic or Samsung model, and more than £500 for top-of-the-range models from these brands.
Fridge freezer brands
Most of the main brands have a wide range of manual defrost and frost-free fridge freezers. These include AEG, Beko, Bosch, Hotpoint, Indesit, LG, Liebherr, Miele, Neff, Panasonic, Samsung, Siemens and Zanussi.
We’ve found that fridge freezers are less reliable than separate fridges and freezers, but they’re still more dependable than other kitchen appliances. To find out which brands are likely to stand the test of time, we survey thousands of Which? members about the reliability of their fridge freezers.