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Don't Buy freezers

by Ben Slater

The worst freezers take ages to freeze and can't keep a stable temperature, so your food isn't as fresh or nutrient-rich as it could be. Find out which freezers you should steer clear of.

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Don't Buy these freezers

The best freezers are cheap to run and keep your food safely frozen around the clock, whatever the temperature is in your kitchen. They also freeze groceries quickly, so your food will be as fresh and nutritious as possible when you defrost it. But some models fall so far of this benchmark we've flagged them as Don't Buys to avoid - to save you from wasting your money on a terrible freezer.

  • We expose the freezers that can't cope when your kitchen heats up or cools down, causing your food to over- or under-freeze. The best models keep food safely frozen round the clock, even if the temperature in your kitchen changes. 
  • Our extensive lab tests have uncovered models that struggle to freeze our food-equivalent gel packs in two whole days of testing. The best manage the job in just a few hours.
  • Your freezer is switched on around the clock, and yet we've seen some real energy-guzzlers that cost a fortune to run for their size.

A Don't Buy freezer is one of the very worst models on the market. So to avoid buying a dud, make sure the freezer you're about to buy isn't on our Don't Buy list.  

Best Buy freezers - see our list of fantastic freezers that aced our tough tests.

Safety related Don't Buy freezers

At Which? we continually monitor and vary the assessments that underpin our reviews to take account of changing standards and areas of concern. We’ve named 250 fridges, freezer and fridge freezers Don't Buys after our research proved that their plastic backs may dramatically accelerate the spread of flames in the event of a fire in your home.

We requested information from manufacturers about their appliance backings. Then we tested backing samples from more than 80 different refrigeration appliances, across every refrigeration brand that we carry reviews for.

We applied an open flame to each sample for thirty seconds and any product that was deemed to be unsafe has been made a Don’t Buy.

Hundreds more products have been made Don’t Buys because the manufacturer either confirmed, or our own research indicated, that the backing on these products was identical to a product we tested and found to be unsafe.

Freezers account for 17 of these 250 safety-related Don't Buys. Models that are still available are listed below. Follow the links for more details.  

Just because a freezer isn't included in this list doesn't mean its backing isn't made of flammable plastic, however. There's a chance it could be a model we haven't tested, or an older model that's not on sale any more. If after checking our freezer reviews, you haven't seen details of the backing material, please check with the manufacturer.

If you do own a model with one of these flammable plastic backs, be assured that refrigerator fires are rare. Our March 2018 research into government data found that only 8% of fires caused by faulty appliances were caused by fridge freezers, fridges or freezers. And although these plastic backings may accelerate the spread of flames, they are not the cause of fire itself.

While the manufacture and sale of these products remains completely legal, thanks to flawed current safety standards that won't be replaced until 2019, all of these manufacturers have committed to replacing flammable plastic backing and are either in the process of discontinuing plastic-backed appliances, or are upgrading to different backs. Our Don't Buy recommendations below relate to the flammable plastic-backed versions of any upgraded product. They will remain Don't Buys until the plastic version is no longer available to buy in shops.

Hisense FV105D4BC2 

Hoover HBFUP130K

Hotpoint CS1A300H

Hotpoint FZA36G

Hotpoint FZA36P

Hotpoint RZAAV22P

Hotpoint UH6F1CW

Indesit TZAA10

Indesit UI6 F1T S UK

Indesit UI6 F1T W UK

Lec TU55144W

Lec U5511S

Whirlpool AFB1843/A+

Whirlpool UW8F2CXBUK

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