Don't Buy fridge freezers
A bad fridge freezer struggles to cool, meaning your food won’t last as long as it should. Find out which fridge freezers you should avoid.
Avoid low scoring fridge freezers
We've tested hundreds of fridge freezers from all of the big appliance brands, including Beko, Bosch, Miele, Samsung and Zanussi. The best cool quickly and keep food evenly chilled and frozen 24/7, no matter what the temperature is in your kitchen. But some fridge freezers are so bad they fail our chilling and freezing tests – which is bad news for the shelf-life of your groceries.
To help you avoid buying a terrible fridge freezer, we’ve highlighted the very worst models as Don’t Buys.
- The worst fridge freezers struggle to chill and/or freeze our food-equivalent gel packs in two whole days of testing. The best manage the job in a few hours.
- Our temperature tests expose the fridge freezers that can’t keep your food evenly chilled and frozen, causing your food to over-cool or warm up several degrees when the temperature in your kitchen changes.
- We measure how much energy a fridge freezer uses to do its job and highlight the energy guzzlers that cost a fortune to run for the amount of food they hold.
Sales and promotions can easily make a poor fridge freezer look like a tempting bargain. But our tests identify those models that won't break the bank. Look out for those Best Buys we've labelled 'energy savers' as they're also cheaper to run.
Safety related Don't Buy fridge 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.
Fridge freezers account for 108 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 fridge freezer isn't included in this list doesn't mean its backing isn't 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 fridge 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 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 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 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.