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Don't Buy fridge freezers

by Ben Slater

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.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

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. 

Fridge freezer backings and fire risk

All fridge freezers currently have a backing made from plastic, metal or aluminium laminate, depending on the make and model 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 have made all flammable plastic-backed fridge freezers Don't Buys, regardless of how else they performed in our chilling and freezing tests.

Our Best Buys only contain fridge freezers we know to have flame-retardant backings and that have also aced in our chilling, freezing and other tests.

You can check whether a fridge freezer is metal or plastic-backed in our fridge freezer safety guide.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

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