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Top five fridges of 2017

By Ben Slater

Find the best home for your food with our round-up of the top five fridges tested by Which?, as well as three to avoid.

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The sole purpose of a fridge is to keep your food in the best possible condition for the longest possible time. It doesn’t sound too difficult, but our pick of the top five and three worst fridges we’ve tested shows how much you stand to gain – or lose – when you buy a new fridge.

The best fridges chill in lightning-quick time and will keep your food safely chilled, no matter what. The worst take can more than twice as long to cool, push up your energy bills and will potentially spoil your food when the temperature in your kitchen rises or falls.

No matter what size or type of fridge you’re looking for, our tough chilling tests wheedle out the best from the rest. And as our best fridges below show, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great model.

Fire-risk fridges and safety

All the fridges we recommend below have flame-retardant backing. We're no longer recommending models that don't, after evidence from London Fire Brigade indicated that the risk of a fire spreading is greater with non-flame retardant plastic-backed fridges.

Keep reading for our round-up of the top five, or head to our fridge reviews to compare all the models we’ve tested.

Best fridge

Today's best price £498.99
Which? score 93%
Reviewed Aug 2016
Best Buy
Energy saver
Cooling power:
5 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
5 out of 5
Energy use:
5 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

If you’re looking for a tall freestanding fridge, look no further than this fantastic model. You can count on your food staying fresher for longer, thanks to the winning combination of rapid cooling and impressive temperature stability – come rain or shine. It’s also extremely efficient for its size, not to mention quiet and easy to use. What more could you want?

Best cheap fridge

Today's best price £225.00
Which? score 69%
Reviewed Feb 2017
Cooling power:
4 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
1 out of 5
Energy use:
5 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

If you’re looking for a tall cheap fridge, this is one of the best you can buy. It provides a respectable 209 litres of usable space – enough for more than 10 supermarket carrier bags of shopping. And it chills quickly, too, helping to maximise the freshness of your food. The only flaw is that the recommended thermostat setting is unreliable, so you’ll need to experiment with the temperature settings when you unpack it.

Best small under-counter fridge

Today's best price £399.00
Which? score 73%
Reviewed Feb 2017
Best Buy
Energy saver
Cooling power:
3 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
3 out of 5
Energy use:
5 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

This small fridge may look expensive, but the rock-bottom running costs make it good value for money in the long run. It just misses out on being a Best Buy, because it chills quickly rather than rapidly, but this is still the best small freestanding fridge we’ve seen in years. It keeps the temperature exceptionally stable, and our tough tests show that it’s a great all-rounder.

Best under-counter integrated fridge

Today's best price £269.99
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Jun 2017
Best Buy
Cooling power:
5 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
3 out of 5
Energy use:
3 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

You can count on this great all-round built-in fridge to keep your food fresher for longer, because it chills rapidly to help keep heat-loving bacteria at bay. It’s not affected by changing room temperatures, either, so you don’t need to worry when the temperature in your kitchen drops on a cold night or soars during a heatwave. It’s a bargain built-in option for the price.

Best tall integrated fridge

Today's best price £548.16
Which? score 83%
Reviewed Apr 2016
Best Buy
Energy saver
Cooling power:
5 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
4 out of 5
Energy use:
5 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

You can rely on this built-in fridge to rapidly chill your food without pushing up your energy bills. And all without you having to adjust the thermostat away from the manufacturer’s recommended setting. It’s also one of the quietest fridges we’ve seen, so it’s a great bet if you want an integrated model for an open-plan living space and don’t want to be disturbed by the hum of the compressor.

Three fridges to avoid

If only every fridge we tested was as good as the five we've selected above. That's far from the case, though, as our three picks below demonstrate. Two are Don't Buys that you should avoid at all costs. And while the third isn't quite that bad, it's very disappointing for the price.

Today's best price £139.99
Which? score 41%
Reviewed Apr 2016
Cooling power:
4 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
1 out of 5
Energy use:
1 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

Why would you buy a fridge that guzzles energy and can’t keep a steady temperature? Not only does the manufacturer’s recommended thermostat setting make this Don’t Buy fridge far too warm, but the temperature in the fridge fluctuates dramatically when the temperature in your kitchen rises and falls. That’s bad news because food needs to be kept at a steady temperature to keep it in the best possible condition.

Typical price £623.00
Which? score 41%
Reviewed Dec 2016
Cooling power:
2 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
1 out of 5
Energy use:
5 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

Don’t be fooled by the sleek looks of this Don’t Buy fridge. It may look the part on the outside, but there are some serious flaws inside. Some parts of this fridge chill in reasonable time, but others are shockingly slow to cool. Don’t be surprised if some of the food in this fridge goes off sooner than you expect. Keeping this fridge at a safe and steady temperature is also harder than it should be, while cleaning it is a nightmare.

Today's best price £638.99
Which? score 49%
Reviewed Sep 2016
Cooling power:
1 out of 5
Recommended thermostat setting:
5 out of 5
Energy use:
5 out of 5
Dimensions - hxwxd (cm):
Member exclusive
Usable storage (litres):
Member exclusive
Annual energy cost (£):
Member exclusive

If you’re looking for a retro fridge, you may want to avoid this tall model. The biggest problem is that it’s very slow to chill, meaning food may not stay fresh as long as you expect. It’s awkward to use and clean, too, so you’ll probably find it frustrating to live with day to day.

Which? fridge reviews

No one tests fridges as rigorously as us, and we’re completely independent, so when we recommend a product, you know there’s no hidden agenda.

Fridges may seem like straightforward appliances, but measuring their capabilities in an objective way actually ranks as one of the most complex tests we do at Which?.

Keeping food in the best possible condition is about more than the temperature inside the fridge – and in fact there are likely to be several degrees difference between the top and bottom shelves. It’s also about how fast the fridge can reach that temperature and whether it's affected when the temperature in your kitchen changes.

Every fridge we review is also tested for energy efficiency, noise and ease of use and cleaning. So, you know what the fridge will be like to live with day to day – and how much it will cost. Buy one of our Best Buy fridges to avoid making an expensive mistake.

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