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Which freezer brand to buy in 2019

By Patrick Gallagher

Unique Which? reliability and customer satisfaction data can help you to choose a brand of freezer that lasts, as we survey owners of Beko, Bosch, Miele, Samsung, Siemens and Zanussi freezers to find out which develop the least faults over time and which brands customers are happiest with and would recommend.

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In this article:

Cracked or broken drawers and flap lids, a build up of ice in a frost-free model, and not maintaining the correct temperature are some of the most common freezer faults, according to our annual survey of nearly 2,400 owners.

Worryingly, we also found catastrophic faults, such as a broken compressor, are far more common in some freezer brands than others. For the very worst brands, 10% develop a fault within the first year of use.

Knowing which brands develop the most faults, and how quickly, is vital when you're buying a new freezer. That's why each year we ask nearly 2,400 Which? members to tell us whether they are happy, or have experienced problems, with their freezer in our unique reliability and customer satisfaction survey.

Our survey data takes into account the reported fault rates, severity of these faults, and the speed with which they occurred. In our latest analysis we've looked at the performance of the biggest freezer manufacturers – including Beko, Hotpoint, Indesit, John Lewis, Miele and Samsung – and have calculated a reliability rating and customer score for each so you know which brands to choose – and which to avoid.

Best vs worst freezer brands compared 

As you can see, there's a big difference between the most and least reliable freezer brands, and the satisfaction score reported by customers.

The most reliable freezer brands 

The table below summarises this year’s reliability results. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to whether their customers would recommend it. The higher the percentage score for reliability, the fewer problems reported.

But bear in mind that a freezer can be reliable without being safe. Some brands in the table below are still selling freezers with flammable plastic backing. Every model with this type of backing has been made a Don't Buy, regardless of how it performed in our freezing tests, because our research reveals that flammable plastic-backed freezers can dramatically accelerate the spread of flames in the event of a fire. While the use of flammable plastic-backing is legal and the risk of fire remains low, we think all freezers should have flame-retardant backs. Find out more about freezer safety.

Use our table below to see which freezer brands are the most reliable, but also make sure you check our list of Don't Buy freezers for the models to avoid.

Only logged in Which? members can view which brands are the most and least reliable, and which our members are most satisfied with, in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Brand Reliability score Customer satisfaction score
95% 91%
87% 87%
91% 86%
89% 84%
86% 83%
88% 81%
89% 80%
84% 79%
84% 77%
84% 77%
81% 76%
90% 75%
79% 75%
77% 73%
85% 72%
75% 68%
81% 67%

Table notes
Ratings based on a survey of 2,380 Which? members in June/July 2018. Table correct as of December 2018.

Sample sizes: AEG 120, Beko 463, Blomberg 30, Bosch 298, Electrolux 54, Essentials (Currys) 40, Hotpoint 220, Indesit 77, John Lewis 168, Lec 74, Liebherr 70, Miele 91, Neff 55, Samsung 91, Siemens 50, Whirlpool 34, Zanussi 166

Key

Member Content

Common freezer problems 

The most common problem people experience with their freezer is cracked or broken drawers or flap lids.

Other common problems include a build up of ice in a frost-free model and a freezer not maintaining the correct temperature, each accounting for 14% and 10%, respectively, of all the freezer faults reported in our survey.

Which freezer brand stays fault free for longest? 

The graph above shows how the freezer brand that stays free of faults for longest compares to the worst brand and the overall average. Which? members can see how brands compare for faults over an eight-year period in the table below.


If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access. 
Brand name % fault-free after eight years
96%
91%
90%
90%
89%
87%
87%
86%
86%
84%
83%
80%
80%
80%
76%
74%
71%
Table notes
Results based on feedback from 2,380 freezer owners, surveyed in June/July 2018.

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Member Content

How we measure faults and reliability in freezers 

Our reliability score takes into account minor, major and catastrophic faults:

  • Minor: A fault that doesn't affect the product's performance significantly or a fault that only occurs occasionally with minimal impact. This issue may be irritating or annoying but it isn't frequently problematic and you can easily work around it. For example, the freezer light not working properly or cracked drawers.
  • Major: A fault that has a noticeable effect on the product’s performance. This fault affects how you use the product and can be problematic. For example, a freezer not maintaining the correct temperature.
  • Catastrophic: A fault that renders the product unusable, with the fault needing to be repaired or parts replaced before it can be used again. For example, a broken compressor.

How we calculate the best and worst freezer brands

Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite appliance brands. Every year we ask Which? members to tell us about the home appliances products they own – from how likely they would be to recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once they get them home. This year nearly 10,000 Which? members told us about more than 34,000 devices. We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey.

Our reliability surveys, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean we can recommend the best freezers you should buy.

This data is crucial for our testing, too. If a brand falls far below the category average, we take away the manufacturer’s Best Buy status and won’t recommend any of their products unless a marked improvement in reliability is shown.

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