If you’re debating whether to design your kitchen with an integrated freezer and fridge, here are the pros and cons to help you decide.
Integrated freezers are more expensive to buy and run than freestanding models.
These are sometimes called built-in or built-under freezers. They sit under worktops and have a kitchen cupboard door attached to them. They will all fit within the 60cm wide by 60cm deep dimensions of a standard kitchen unit.
Prices start at £200 – £250 for a basic model from brands such as Beko, Candy and Fridgemaster, and cost £300 – £450 for makes such as AEG, Bosch, Hotpoint, Neff, Siemens and Siemens. Expect to pay more for a Miele.
All integrated under-counter freezers fit within the dimensions of a standard kitchen unit.
Tall, upright integrated freezers slot into a tall bank of kitchen units. They’re sometimes called in-column freezers.
Built-in dimensions vary slightly but are always a little smaller than a standard kitchen cupboard, which is 60cm wide by 60cm deep. You can buy freezers of different heights, depending on the size you want. The tallest and most popular are about 177cm tall, but you’ll also find models that are 120cm-130cm tall.
Integrated tall freezers are expensive. While you might find the odd model for around £300, most start at £450 – even for inexpensive brands such as Beko. Prices for Siemens and Bosch start at around £600 and you can expect to pay £900 to £1,500 for top-range products from premium brands.
Tall integrated freezers cost from around £400 to more than £1,500 for top range products from premium brands.
All freezers need insulation to keep cool. This insulation is flammable, so it's essential that it's sufficiently protected in the event of a fire. The backing protecting this insulation is currently made from either plastic, metal or aluminium laminate, depending on the make and model of freezer you buy.
We continually monitor and vary the assessments that underpin our reviews to take account of changing standards and areas of concern.
Our tests have revealed that plastic backing can be highly flammable.
We are therefore not recommending any refrigeration appliances with flammable plastic backing. All freezers with this type of backing have been made , regardless of how else they have performed in our chilling and freezing tests.
If you already own an appliance with a flammable plastic back, it's worth knowing that the likelihood of a refrigerator fire is very low, and the material used in the backing allows an existing fire to spread – but it isn't the cause of the fire itself. Read more on .
Integrated freezers are much more expensive than freestanding ones: prices can be as much as a few hundred pounds more.
One reason is that integrated cooling technology was costly to develop. Plus integrated freezers are less popular, so manufacturing costs are higher.
Another theory is that if your kitchen has built-in appliances, you’ll have to replace like-for-like when it comes to replacing them. This means manufacturers can get away with keeping prices high.