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23 October 2020

Retro fridge freezer buying guide

Splashing out on a head-turning retro fridge freezer will give your kitchen some extra style points. Our guide helps you to uncover the best for storing your food.
Retro fridge 478485
Tom Morgan

Adding a colourful retro fridge freezer to your kitchen can give your home a truly unique look. If you're shopping for a retro fridge freezer, use our expert reviews to buy a model that pairs good looks with ample storage space.

At Which?, we've tried and tested a wide range of vibrant retro fridge freezers, paying close attention to how effectively they will cool your groceries.

But choose carefully – many of the models we've tested are either a poor home for your food, or else have potentially unsafe flammable backing and have been made Which? Don't Buys.

Should I buy a retro fridge freezer?

Adding a retro fridge freezer to your kitchen will give the space an injection of colour and personality. There are lots of different styles to choose from and, if you're after a really vibrant colour, you'll be able to pick between deep reds, lime greens and striking oranges.

A retro fridge freezer makes sense if you prefer the look of an older model but don't want to miss out on modern perks, such as improved energy consumption.

Cream fridge freezers

Our own consumer trends research shows that cream-coloured fridge freezers are particularly popular in 2020. A cream fridge freezer might be the way to go if you prefer a subtle look and want your new appliance to blend in seamlessly with your existing cupboards and countertops.

If you're shopping for a cream retro fridge freezer, check out our verdict on the Swan SR11025CN, Smeg FAB50LCR, Gorenje ONRK193C and Stoves STR 60197C Retro.

Where to buy a retro fridge freezer

Most major kitchen appliance stores on the high street stock retro fridge freezers. However, you'll get a better overview of the options (and potentially save some money) if you're willing to shop online.

Big-name retailers that stock a wide range of retro fridge freezers include:

  • AO.com – has a wide selection of models for you to choose from. You can expect to spend anywhere between £300 and £2,000. At the time of writing, AO.com sells retro fridge freezers from Amica, Gorenje, Smeg, Stoves and Swan.
  • Appliances Direct – sells freestanding retro fridge freezers from Amica, electriQ and Galanz. These are available in 80/20, 70/30 or 60/40 splits between fridge and freezer space. Prices start at around £280 and go up to around £500.
  • Argos – only offers two retro fridge freezer models at the time of writing – the Bush Classic BFFF60 in cream or black. Expect to spend around £430.
  • Currys PC World – currently sells retro fridge freezers from Montpellier, Smeg and Swan in an array of vibrant colours. The cheapest option is the £430 Montpellier MAB345K, but if your budget allows for it, you can spend as much as £1,800 on a rival model from Smeg.

Swan retro fridge freezers

Swan retro fridge freezers might catch your eye if you don't fancy spending a huge amount.

These retro fridge freezers start at around £550 for the Swan Retro Top Mounted Fridge Freezer and rise closer to £1,000 for the Swan Frost Free Fridge Freezer. There are plenty of colours to choose from, including black, blue, cream, green, grey, lime, orange, pink, red and wine red.

If you're short on space, you might want to take a closer look at Swan's Retro Slimline Fridge Freezer, priced at around £700. It can squeeze into small gaps in your kitchen as it measures 181cm tall and 54cm wide. This model has three glass shelves and three freezer drawers.

Promising to add 'cool retro-chic' to your kitchen, Swan also makes a range of other retro-inspired appliances – dishwashers, slow cookers and electric ovens – to match the look of its fridge freezer line-up.

We've tested the following Swan retro fridge freezers:

Take a look at our full selection of Swan retro fridge freezer reviews.

Bush retro fridge freezers

Bush sells a single retro fridge freezer model, the Bush Classic BFFF60, exclusively through Argos. At the time of writing, there are only two colours in stock, so you'll have to pick between cream or black.

If you want a more striking retro fridge freezer, consider buying from a brand that offers brighter colours.

Bush retro fridge freezers on the Argos website are priced around £430. This buys you a stylish but affordable retro fridge freezer. These retro models come with an internal LED light, chrome metal handles, four fridge shelves and three freezer drawers. The interior of the fridge (including the rear wall) is made of plastic.

You can take a look at Bush retro fridge freezers on the Argos website.

Servis retro fridge freezers

Retro fridge freezers from Servis have a top-mounted design, which means the freezer is positioned at eye level. You can buy a retro Servis fridge freezer from the brand's website in black, cream, pale blue, pistachio green, red or tangerine orange.

All of the retro fridge freezers listed on the Servis website are 60cm wide, making them well suited to smaller kitchens.

See the full range of Servis retro fridge freezers on the Servis website.

Smeg retro fridge freezers

Smeg is arguably the most well-known retro fridge freezer manufacturer. As part of its Retro 50's Style collection, Smeg offers free-standing washing machines, coffee machines, juicers, hand blenders and more.

If you're shopping for a Smeg retro fridge freezer, you can pick between models that have the freezer compartment at the top or the bottom. But be prepared to spend quite a lot, as prices can climb as high as £2,000 at some retailers.

The 'Fab50' Smeg fridge freezer range (with top freezer) has a claimed fridge capacity of 315 litres and 97 litres of freezer space. Meanwhile, the 'Fab32' range (with bottom freezer) has a claimed fridge capacity of 234 litres and 97 litres of freezer space.

Then there's the 'Fab30' range, featuring a top freezer. These models have a claimed fridge capacity of 222 litres and 72 litres of freezer space.

We've tested various Smeg retro fridge freezers, including these:

Unlock our full selection of Smeg retro fridge freezer reviews.

Montpellier retro fridge freezers

Promising a balance of 'function, style and reliability', the retro fridge freezer collection from Montpellier starts at less than £300. Buyers on a budget may want to take a closer look at the MAB144C, MAB148R and MAB148K.

One of the cheapest retro picks is the Montpellier MAB144C Retro Top Mount Fridge Freezer. This fridge freezer is on sale at around £280, with retro-inspired handles, four adjustable shelves, a salad crisper drawer and door storage. Note that this model is only available in cream, so you may want to look elsewhere if your kitchen needs an injection of colour.

At the higher end of the range is the Montpellier MAB365C5, which will set you back around £570. This retro fridge freezer has a full-width wine rack and a claimed capacity of 209 litres (fridge) and 81 litres (freezer).

Although we haven't tested any retro models from this brand, see how Montpellier's fridge freezers score with our Montpellier fridge freezer reviews

Gorenje retro fridge freezers

Opt for Gorenje and you'll find yourself looking through a mixture of bottom-mount and top-mount fridge freezers. The bottom-mount models (where the freezer compartment is near the floor) include Gorenje's NoFrost Plus technology, which the brand promises is 'one of the best cooling systems in the market'.

Shop online and you'll find the ORK193 series for around £500. These bottom-mount fridge freezers have a claimed capacity of 227 litres (fridge) and 95 litres (freezer). Controls on the top of the fridge freezer help you adjust temperature.

Without a doubt, the most unique-looking retro Gorenje fridge freezer is the OBRB153BL. Inspired by the iconic Volkswagen Type 2 camper van, the front of this special-edition appliance features a large VW logo. Finished with a light-blue and cream colour combination, it has a single door and a claimed capacity of 235 litres (fridge) and 25 litres (freezer).

Depending on the type of Gorenje fridge freezer you choose, you get to pick from the following colours: black, burgundy, silver, cream, fire red, baby blue, juicy orange, olive, apple and copper. 

Here are just some of the Gorenje retro fridge freezers we've tested in our lab:

Visit our Gorenje retro fridge freezer reviews.

Amica retro fridge freezers

Amica sells a range of retro-themed freestanding fridge freezers that have adjustable shelving, lidded dairy compartments and salad crisper drawers.

There are plenty of attention-grabbing colours to choose from, including a stylish duck-egg blue and a deep red. Amica's freestanding, static 30/70 double-door model has a claimed fridge capacity of 164 litres, and there's a further 44 litres of space in the freezer.

We've tested the following Amica retro fridge freezers in the Which? lab:

Visit our Amica retro fridge freezer reviews.

Stoves retro fridge freezers

Stoves only has one model on its website, the STR 60197 Retro, available in black, cream or red.

According to the Stoves website, the STR 60197 Retro has 237 litres of fridge space and 98 litres of freezer space. It's finished off with stylish chrome handles and uses the brand's No Frost technology to prevent the fridge or freezer from icing up.

See the results of our rigorous fridge freezer tests below:

Visit our Stoves retro fridge freezer reviews.

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