Your fridge freezer is going to get put through its paces come Christmas, packed with turkey and trimmings and then all those leftovers.
But lack of storage space and potentially unsafe fridge and freezer temperatures are just two of the problems you could face if you own one of the poorer fridge freezers we’ve tested.
We’ve rounded up five fridge freezers with flexible storage features and exceptional temperature stability in winter room temperatures to help make sure all your Christmas cooking runs smoothly.
And we’ve got tips on how best to store your food this Christmas.
Or go straight to all our Best Buy fridge freezers for the top models money can buy.
Can your fridge freezer cope at Christmas?
A Christmas survey conducted by AO.com* discovered that two thirds of people can’t fit their turkey in their fridge this Christmas, forcing some to adopt unusual and potentially unsafe storage methods, such as keeping their turkey in the car boot on Christmas Eve.
Our tests reveal that all fridge freezers contain less storage space than claimed.
In the average fridge freezer, a quarter of the claimed net volume is dead space that you can’t actually use to store food.
To make matters worse, many fridge freezers don’t have enough adjustable shelves, which would make it easier to fit in a large item like a turkey.
Why cold weather could ruin your Christmas turkey
Christmas also poses a challenge because of the cold weather it can bring. All fridge freezers have a climate class that indicates the range of room temperatures that it’s been designed to operate in, but even in these conditions, many will struggle to keep your food safely chilled.
When we test fridge freezers we lower the temperature in our test chamber to 10°C to simulate your kitchen on a cold night. Doing this we’ve found many fridge freezers where the temperature in the fridge will either drop well below freezing or else will shoot up above 10°C – more than double the Food Standard Agency’s highest recommended temperature for safely storing food.
Fridge freezer in the garage?
If you have a second fridge freezer in the garage, these temperature fluctuations could be even more extreme, so it’s a good idea to use that for drinks and less perishable foods at this time of year.
See our fridge freezer reviews to compare every model we’ve tested.
Best fridge freezers for a busy Christmas
The fridge freezers we’ve picked out below all manage to keep an exceptionally stable temperature in room temperatures as low as 10°C. They also all have at least one nifty feature to make Christmas food storage that much easier.
Haier A3FE635CGJE – £479
What sets this Haier fridge freezer apart from most others isn’t the amount of storage space it contains, although that is perfectly respectable, but how that storage space can be used.
A decent-sized fridge compartment sits on top of two external drawers – the bottom drawer is a freezer and the middle drawer can be used as either a fridge or a freezer.
That gives you much more flexibility when storing food. You can use the middle drawer as extra fridge space in the run up to Christmas, for example, before converting it to freezer space for any leftovers that don’t get eaten on Boxing Day.
But can it chill and freeze quickly without driving up your energy bills? Read our Haier A3FE635CGJE fridge freezer review for our expert verdict.
Hisense RQ689N4AC1 – £899
This Hisense fridge freezer also has a compartment that can be used as either fridge or freezer space, but on an even bigger scale to the Haier (above). It’s packed full of other features, too, including door alarms and an automatic ice maker in the freezer, which will come in handy if your hosting Christmas drinks.
Read our Hisense RQ689N4AC1 fridge freezer review to find out how easy all these features actually are to use.
Bosch KGN39VW35G – £499
This is one of the cheaper Bosch fridge freezers you’ll find, but it’s still has lots of features.
The fridge is larger than average and has three alternative shelf positions, making it easier to cram as much Christmas food in as possible.
As well as a door alarm and a frost-free freezer, it also has super-cool and fast-freeze settings, to provide an energy-intensive burst of cooling power that could come in handy if you’re filling up your fridge or freezer with lots of fresh festive food.
But features aren’t everything. Read our Bosch KGN39VW35G fridge freezer review to see how good it is at its main job of chilling and freezing.
AEG SCE8181VTS – £779
Even though they tend to cost more than freestanding models, you’ll have to settle for less storage space if you opt for an integrated fridge freezer. So it makes sense to choose a model that makes the most of its available space.
This AEG fridge freezer is one of the few integrated models we’ve tested that has four alternative positions for fridge shelves, while also excelling at maintaining a safe and steady temperature in cold rooms.
Read our AEG SCE8181VTS fridge freezer review to see how it fared in our other tough tests.
Samsung RS68N8240S9 – £1,699
This sleek Samsung American-style fridge freezer doesn’t have a multi-temperature zone and none of the shelf heights are adjustable. But it makes up for that with the sheer amount of space it packs in.
Our expert measurements reveal it contains some 473 litres of usable space (two thirds of which is in the fridge), which is enough for nearly 25 supermarket carrier bags worth of food.
But it’s no good having all that storage space if the fridge and freezer can’t cool quickly enough to maximise the lifespan of your food. Some American-style fridge freezers struggle with this essential task, while also costing a small fortune to run.
Read our Samsung RS68N8240S9 fridge freezer review to see if this model is one of them.
*According to a survey of 2,000 British consumers conducted by AO.com on 14 December 2018.
Prices correct as of 18 December 2018.