Your fridge freezer will be put through its paces come Christmas, as it’s 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 picked out four fridge freezers tested this year that have flexible storage features and exceptional temperature stability in winter room temperatures to help make sure all your Christmas food stays fresh.
Go straight to all our Best Buy fridge freezers for the top models money can buy.
Can your fridge freezer cope at Christmas?
Plenty of people will struggle to fit a turkey in their fridge this Christmas, with some forced 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 by the manufacturers.
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 were all tested in 2020. Each one manages to keep an exceptionally stable temperature in room temperatures as low as 10°C. They also all have at least one useful feature to make Christmas food storage that much easier.
Hisense RQ563N4AI1 – £799
This versatile Hisense fridge freezer has three zones capable of holding very different temperatures, giving you more flexibility when storing food. The fridge is on top, the bottom right zone is a freezer section that can be kept between -5 and -18°C and the bottom left zone is a deep freeze section that can go as low as -25°C.
This flexible freezing feature will allow you to begin defrosting big items like a turkey without having to take up room in the fridge.
It also means you’ll get to avoid hammering away at a tub of rock hard ice cream, as a quick adjustment of the temperature settings and you’ll soon have perfect soft scoop goodness ready to be served at dessert.
It’s packed full of other features, too, including door alarms and a humidity-controllable crisper drawer, which should help keep your veg in top nick in the run up to Christmas.
Read our Hisense RQ563N4AI1 fridge freezer review to find out how good it is at the essential tasks of fast chilling and freezing.
Haier HB26FSSAAA – £1,999
This sleek Haier 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 a massive 517 litres of usable space (a little over two thirds of which is in the fridge), which is enough for around 27 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 Haier HB26FSSAAA fridge freezer review to see if this model is one of them.
Bosch KIV85VSF0G – £699
This is one of the cheaper integrated Bosch fridge freezers you’ll find, but it still has lots of features.
The fridge is larger than average for a built-in model, and has three alternative shelf positions, making it easier to cram as much Christmas food in as possible.
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 KIV85VSF0G fridge freezer review to see how good it is at its main job of chilling and freezing.
Liebherr CNef 5735 – £1,350
This Liebherr fridge freezer has four alternative positions for fridge shelves, which should give you plenty of flexibility for fitting in any awkwardly sized items on your Christmas shopping list.
The freezer is slightly larger than average for a freestanding model, so if you favour frozen roast potatoes, veg and Yorkshire puddings you’ll have room for quite a few bags of them.
For peace of mind (because Christmas can be stressful enough) it features audible alarms that will alert you if either of the doors has been left ajar by mistake, hopefully in good time for you to avoid a no-dinner disaster. There’s also a child lock on the control panel to prevent curious Christmas elves from messing with the settings.
It also excels at maintaining a safe and steady temperature in cold rooms.
Read our Liebherr CNef 5735 fridge freezer review to see how it fared in our other tough tests.
Prices correct as of 10 December 2020.