Top five best integrated fridge freezers for 2021
Integrated fridge freezers have become much more popular in recent years, as more and more people try to keep their home appliances hidden behind fitted kitchen cabinets. But our tests reveal that good ones are still few and far between.
If you can’t decide between a built-in and freestanding model, bear in mind that integrated fridge freezers tend to cost more than freestanding ones, and yet almost always contain less storage space.
At the time of writing in November 2020, the built-in models we’ve tested cost £689 on average and contain 184 litres of usable space – enough for around 10 supermarket carrier bags' worth of fresh and frozen food. By comparison, the average freestanding fridge freezer costs £575 and contains 230 litres (12 carrier bags) of usable space.
If you’re still set on an integrated fridge freezer, we’ve found some great models that will maximise the lifespan of your food without driving up your energy bills, or being noisy and awkward to use. We’ve rounded up five of the best below, with prices starting at less than £400. We’ve also picked out three of the worst to give you an idea of what to avoid.
Integrated fridge freezers to avoid
They may look similar, but don't assume that all integrated fridge freezers provide an equally good home for your food. Our tests have uncovered built-in models that will push up your energy bills without even cooling effectively. Read on for the integrated fridge freezers to avoid to make sure you don't end up with a dud product.
Some integrated fridge freezers have also raised concerns about safety. See more on the models we wouldn't recommend below.
Which? fridge freezer reviews
You may well wonder how good or bad a fridge freezer can really be. They all chill and freeze your food, after all. But you’d be surprised.
Every fridge freezer we review is subjected to nine weeks of intensive and independent testing, so you can have complete confidence in our recommendations.
Chilling and freezing tests
The worst models chill and freeze several times more slowly than the best, giving heat-loving bacteria several extra hours to tuck in to your food. As a result, food in the fridge will quickly lose its freshness, while the flavour and freshness of the food you freeze is also less likely to be preserved.
Our tests also reveal that many models struggle to maintain a safe and steady temperature when the temperature in your kitchen changes. Ever woken up to half-frozen orange juice after a cold night, or found freezer burn on food that had been perfectly frozen? Poor temperature stability could be the reason. The temperature in the best models fluctuates by less than half a degree in cold and warm room conditions.
We also perform an array of tests on the thermostat, as well as assessing how efficient and noisy each fridge freezer is, as well as how easy they are to use and clean .
We constantly monitor and vary the assessments that underpin our reviews, to take account of changing standards and areas of concern.
In September 2017, we called on manufacturers to immediately stop producing refrigeration appliances with non-flame-retardant plastic backing. Since then, and in the apparent absence of any action from the newly created Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), we’ve been conducting fire testing on refrigerator backings.
So far, we’ve tested backing samples from more than 100 different refrigeration appliances, across every refrigeration brand that we cover. We applied an open flame to each sample, and any product that was unable to withstand the flame for 30 seconds, which would leave the flammable insulation exposed, has been deemed unsafe and made a .
Hundreds more products have also been made Don’t Buys because either the manufacturer confirmed, or our own research indicated, that the backing on these products was identical to a product we tested and found to be unsafe.
If you own a flammable plastic-backed fridge, freezer or fridge freezer, please be reassured that refrigerator fires are very rare. We analysed government fire data in March 2018 and found that only 8% of fires caused by faulty household appliances were caused by fridge freezers, fridges or freezers. It’s also worth bearing in mind that while the backing material can cause an existing fire to spread, it isn’t the cause of fire itself.