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Which freezer brand?

Most reliable freezer brands

By Jess O'Leary

Article 1 of 2

Buy from a reliable freezer brand to help avoid both minor niggles, such as a broken light, and major catastrophes like a broken compressor.

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Whether you’re looking for a freestanding, integrated or chest freezer, buying from our pick of reliable brands reduces the chance of coming home to a puddle on the kitchen floor and several bags worth of defrosted food.

We've got reliability ratings for 12 of the biggest freezer brands, including Bosch, Beko, Hotpoint, Miele, Siemens and Zanussi. Our exclusive brand scores help you find freezers more likely to live a long and fault-free life – and avoid those that might cause more trouble than they’re worth.

The best freezer brand scores an impressive 94%, with two other brands also scoring more than 90%. We’ve awarded all three brands with the full five stars for reliability. The worst brand can’t even manage 75%, so it pays to take a good look at the full results in the table below, before picking up one of our Best Buy freezers.

Why we're not recommending certain freezers

We monitor and vary the assessments that underpin our reviews to take account of changing standards and areas of concern.

There's been growing evidence from the London Fire Brigade to indicate that the backing material used on a refrigeration appliance (including fridges, freezers and fridge freezers) can increase the spread of fire. Its tests have shown that if the insulation present is not protected sufficiently by a flame-resistant backing, then it can ignite readily and lead to a rapid fire developing.

We are therefore taking the precautionary approach of only recommending those appliances with metal backing – either metal or aluminium laminate – or flame-retardant plastic backs. No non-flame-retardant plastic-backed products, even if they otherwise performed well in our product tests, have retained or been awarded our Best Buy recommendation.

Consumers who already own a refrigeration appliance with a non-flame-retardant plastic-back should be reassured that the likelihood of a refrigerator fire is very low. Our July 2015 research analysing government fire data found that only 7% of fires caused by faulty household appliances were caused by fridge freezers, fridges or freezers. And the material used in the backing allows an existing fire to spread – it isn’t the cause of fire itself.

Freezer reliability

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, sign up for a £1 Which? trial to get instant access.

Which freezer brands are the most reliable?
Which freezer brands are the most reliable?
Brand name Reliability star rating Percentage reliability score
Subscriber only content 94%
Subscriber only content 93%
Subscriber only content 90%
Subscriber only content 89%
Subscriber only content 89%
Subscriber only content 84%
Subscriber only content 82%
Subscriber only content 82%
Subscriber only content 78%
Subscriber only content 77%
Subscriber only content 76%
Subscriber only content 73%

Table notes
Reliability ratings based on responses to a Which? member survey of 1,506 freezer owners in October 2016 and use feedback on members' experiences of the freezer brand that they own. The star ratings show how each brand's reliability score compares to other freezer brands. Table last updated November 2016.

Which freezer brand stays fault free longest?

You’ve told us that when you buy a freezer you think it should last 12 years before developing a fault. But our table below shows those freezer brands that stay fault free the longest.

Which freezer brand stays fault free for longest?
Which freezer brand stays fault free for longest?
Brand name % faults after one year % faults after five years % faults after ten years
Subscriber only content 12% 24% 32%
Subscriber only content 8% 18% 18%
Subscriber only content 0% 8% 9%
Subscriber only content 4% 22% 27%
Subscriber only content 7% 22% 24%
Subscriber only content 7% 19% 23%
Subscriber only content 3% 8% 8%
Subscriber only content 13% 16% 23%
Subscriber only content 3% 8% 13%
Subscriber only content 2% 10% 12%
Subscriber only content 3% 17% 17%
Subscriber only content 3% 11% 11%
Table notes
All ratings based on responses to a Which? member survey of 1,506 freezer owners in October 2016

Please note, while data is shown for Hotpoint and Indesit in the tables above, we currently have concerns about how Whirlpool, the company which owns these brands, is handling safety issues regarding its tumble dryers, and are therefore not currently recommending any of its products.

How freezer brands compare

As appliances go, freezers are one of the most reliable machines in your kitchen. But our reliability scores show there’s still a big difference between the trustworthy brands at the top of the table and the questionable ones at the bottom.

Our most reliable freezer brand had a remarkable 100% reliability rating in the first year of ownership. That means that not a single person who took part in our survey and bought a freezer from this brand experienced a fault in the first 12 months.

Our most reliable freezer brand had a remarkable 100% reliability rating in the first year of ownership.

In contrast, 12% of Which? members who own a freezer from the least reliable brand experienced a fault with it in the first year. This percentage rises to almost a third within the first ten years.

Freezer reliability scores are calculated by the proportion of a brand's machines that have faults, against those from the same brand that don't. The faults are weighted, so more serious problems have a greater effect on the score. The star rating shows a brand’s reliability when compared with others in that category. So that newer or older models don't influence the score unfairly, we adjust scores to account for age.

Common freezer problems

Some freezer faults are common but easily fixed – for example, a broken light can be replaced and a blocked drainage pipe can be cleared. But some major problems are irreparable and will signal the death knell of your freezer. We've rounded up the top five freezer faults reported in our survey:

  • Drawers or flap-lids cracked or broken – 26%
  • Build-up of ice in a frost-free freezer – 14%
  • Freezer not maintaining the correct temperature – 10%
  • Door handle cracked or broken – 6%
  • Broken or faulty compressor – 6%
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