Hundreds of the bestselling fridge freezers are unable to maintain a stable temperature when the mercury rises on a hot summer’s day, new Which? research reveals.
We’ve tested the temperature stability of more than 450 models and found you can only rely on 60% of them to keep your food at a safe and stable temperature.
For the best home for your food, see our full list of the best fridge freezers.
Some get too cold
Some fridge freezers overcompensate for the warm weather by becoming far too cold.
We’ve measured temperatures as low as -3°C in the fridge and -25°C in the freezer.
Not only is that likely to send your energy consumption soaring, but you also need to be extra careful when cooking meat on the barbecue, as it may take longer to cook through.
Others get too hot
Other fridge freezers practically give up altogether when the going gets tough.
We’ve measured temperatures of 10°C and more in some fridges.
At this temperature it won’t take long for lettuce leaves to wilt.
Sustained double-digit temperatures allow heat-loving bacteria to thrive, potentially threatening the safety of your meat and fish.
To keep food perfectly fresh, it needs to be rapidly cooled to between 0°C and 5°C in the fridge and -18°C in the freezer and kept there.
If you own one of the many fridge freezers that struggle in warm weather, you should consider buying a fridge thermometer so you can see what sort of issue you’re dealing with.
Find out more ways to keep food fresher for longer.
The worst offenders
The following five fridge freezers are among the worst we’ve seen when it comes coping with warm weather conditions.
- AEG SCB5142VLS — the fridge we tested got nearly twice as warm as the maximum safe temperature recommended by the Food Standards Agency.
- Beko GNE490E20PX — we measured temperatures of more than 14°C in the fridge’s vegetable drawers and the rest of the fridge was also far too warm.
- Hoover BHBF182NUK — food in the fridge could start to freeze, because the temperature drops below zero.
- Bush 60185FFWTD — the temperature in the fridge plummets to -2°C, while the vegetable drawer temperature goes even lower.
- Indesit LR6S1WUK.1 — the fridge temperature drops to nearly -3ׄ°C, which is really poor.
While they might be perfectly decent fridge freezers in other respects, if you own one of the models above, we recommend keeping a very close eye on your food when the temperature rises.
See our Don’t Buy fridge freezers for the models to avoid.
Our fridge freezer tests
All fridge freezers have a climate class indicating what room temperatures it’s suitable for.
Every model in the UK has been designed to work in room temperatures of at least 32°C.
So, as part of our extensive chilling and freezing tests, we bump up the temperature in our test chamber to a toasty 32°C.
To really impress us, the temperature in both fridge and freezer needs to fluctuate by less than half a degree in these conditions, but many don’t come close.
Compare the temperature stability for top brands in our fridge freezer reviews.