Which? Best Buy fridge freezers
The best fridge freezers chill and freeze fast to help your groceries last longer. Compare the best we've reviewed below before you buy.
How we uncover the best fridge freezers
If you need a new fridge freezer, how do you know which ones will keep your food safely preserved and which will cause it to go off more quickly than it should? We’ve tested hundreds of fridge freezers to find the ones that keep your food fresher for longer and that don’t cost a fortune to run.
The best fridge freezers chill and freeze food fast, keep it safely cooled around the clock, run quietly and won’t hike up your energy bills. We’ve tested fridge freezers from all the big brands to uncover the Best Buys that stand out from the crowd. And we test for everything, including the actual usable volume that's in a fridge freezer, rather than the claimed capacity the manufacturers quote. Our investigations in summer 2017 found this can be up to an average of 35% less space. But we also look for:
Cooling power We see how quickly a fridge freezer can chill and freeze food-equivalent gel packs. The best can do the job in a matter of hours, whereas the worst can’t cool in two days of testing.
Temperature stability We crank the temperature up in our test lab to see whether a fridge freezer will keep your food perfectly chilled and frozen when your kitchen heats up. We then lower the room temperature, to test how well your food is protected during chilly winter nights when your heating is switched off.
Reliable thermostat setting A great fridge freezer will chill and freeze to perfect temperatures when you first set it up in your kitchen, so we follow the manufacturer’s recommended thermostat setting to test how accurate it is. The best models are spot on for perfectly chilled and frozen food, but the worst are so far out you would have to use a fridge/freezer thermometer to get your appliance running properly.
Energy use We measure how much energy a fridge freezer uses to chill and freeze food and keep a steady temperature – and we work out how much it will add to your energy bill. We also reveal whether a fridge freezer is energy-saving or an energy guzzler for the amount of food you can pack away.
Ease of use and cleaning Smooth-sliding drawers, easy-to-adjust shelves, door racks that are deep enough to hold large bottles of water – you’ll find these inside the best fridge freezers. Our ease-of-use and cleaning tests uncover the models that are well-designed, as well as those that will quickly get on your nerves.
The best fridge freezers create perfect conditions for storing your chilled and frozen food, even when the temperature in your kitchen changes.
We monitor and vary the assessments that underpin our reviews to take account of changing standards and areas of concern.
There has been a growing body of evidence from the London Fire Brigade to indicate that the backing material used on a refrigeration appliance can increase the spread of fire. Its tests have shown that if the insulation present in all appliances 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.
Fridge freezer reviews you can trust
We don't just reveal the best – we also highlight the low-scoring Don't Buy fridge freezers that fail to make the grade, so you don't end up with a dud that you'll soon by keen to replace.
Which? tests the latest freestanding, integrated and American-style fridge freezers from all of the big appliance names, such as AEG, Beko, Bosch, Hotpoint, Indesit, John Lewis, Samsung and Zanussi. We’ve come across good and bad fridge freezers from the same manufacturer, and found you can’t always rely on the brand badge on the appliance to guarantee a top-notch model. And this is where our reviews come in.