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Ten things you didn’t know about the UK’s freezers

The best fridge freezers can make life easier


14% of people have never defrosted their freezer

It may not be the most exciting of kitchen gadgets, but the humble freezer has revolutionised the way we shop and store food. Here’s ten facts you may not know about the unsung hero of kitchen appliances.  

How often we use our freezers, what we store in them, how likely we are to forget the contents – new research from YouGov has revealed some interesting facts about the way we use our freezers.

We’ve combined these stats with our extensive freezer knowledge, developed through years of rigorous testing, and come up with a list of top freezer facts. 

Of course, if you just want to know which are the best appliances to help keep your food as fresh and nutrient-rich as possible, check out our list of Best Buy fridge freezers.

Top ten freezer facts  

1. 43% of us sometimes forget to use the food stored in our freezers – though a saintly 16% strongly disagree that they do this. 

2. Our freezers are full with food, according to 72%. We’re most likely to store meat or poultry in our freezers (76%), with vegetables coming in second at 65%.

3. Freezer performance varies wildly – our highest scoring freezer earned an impressive 85% while the worst scored just 18%. We test how quickly a freezer cools – as the faster food freezes the fresher it will be when you defrost it -and how energy efficient it is. You can read our freezer reviews here and our fridge freezer reviews here.

4. Freezers are a dining saviour according to 37%, who always have an emergency meal stored in there.

5. Not all freezers are designed to work in the chilly temperatures of UK garages. Some manufacturers, such as Beko, guarantee its freezers will work in temperatures as low as -15°C but many don’t, so check before you buy. Find out more in our guide to best freezers for your garage

6. Our annual reliability survey reveals that the top three faults freezers experienced by Which? members are: cracked or broken drawers or flap-lids (29%), build-up of ice in a frost-free freezer (12%) and the freezer not keeping the right temperature (11%). You can read more about the best and worst freezer brands for reliability here.

7. This January 36% of us are planning to use up food in our fridge freezers, in order to save money.

8. 14% have never defrosted their freezer, though the majority of us have within the last two years while 10% of us have tackled this laborious task in the last month.

9. Manufacturers can measure the capacity of their fridge freezers with the shelves, draws and racks taken out – so the volume stated can be much higher than you actually get. We measure useable space and have found it can be as much as 25% less than the capacity stated.

10. And finally, a guilty 7% say their freezer is full to the brim but they rarely use it.

How we test freezers and fridge freezers

Which? freezers expert Jess O’Leary said: ‘Most of us would soon miss the convenience that a freezer adds to our lives – they allow us to shop less often, save money by buying in bulk and freeze batches of home-cooked meals to eat another day.  

‘That’s why it’s worth doing a little research to make sure you buy a good one. When we test fridge freezers and freezers we test how quickly they freeze food and whether they keep your food safely frozen – even when the temperature outside is high or low.

‘We also test whether they’re energy efficient for their size, how long your food stays frozen in a power cut, whether they run quietly and how easy they are to use and clean.’

We’ve tested freezers from all the leading brands, so you can read  freezer reviews from the likes of Zanussi, Bosch, John Lewis and Hotpoint.

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