Which fridge freezer brand to buy in 2020
Cracked or broken drawers and flap lids, blocked drains and outlets, and a build-up of ice in the fridge are some of the most common fridge freezer faults, according to our annual survey of owners.
Worryingly, we also found that catastrophic faults, such as a broken compressor or a faulty circuit board, are far more common in some fridge freezer brands than others. For the very worst brands, more than one in nine fridge freezers 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 fridge freezer. So we asked nearly 3,000 Which? members to tell us whether they had any problems with their fridge freezer, or whether they're happy with it, in our unique reliability and customer satisfaction survey.
Our survey data takes into account the reported fault rates, severity of these faults, and how quickly they occurred. In our latest analysis we've looked at the performance of the biggest fridge freezer manufacturers – including Beko, Hotpoint, Indesit, John Lewis and Samsung – and have calculated a reliability rating and customer score for each, so you know which brands to choose and which to steer clear of.
Best vs worst fridge freezer brands compared
As you can see, there's a sizeable difference between the most and least reliable fridge freezer brands, and the satisfaction score reported by customers.
The most reliable fridge freezer brands
The table below summarises this year’s reliability results. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to whether a brand's customers would recommend it. The higher the percentage score for reliability, the fewer problems reported.
But bear in mind that a fridge freezer can be reliable without being safe. Some brands in the table below are still selling fridge 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 chilling and freezing tests, because our research reveals that flammable plastic-backed fridge 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 that all fridge freezers should have flame-retardant backs.
|Brand||Reliability score||Customer score|
Table notes: The above data is based on a survey of2,776 Which? members in September 2019.
Sample sizes: AEG 86, Beko 257, Bosch 507, Electrolux 51, Fisher & Paykel 33, Haier 30,Hotpoint 182, Indesit 52, John Lewis 44, Kenwood 63, Lec 41, LG 112, Liebherr 77, Miele 89, Neff 102, Samsung 510, Siemens 107, Zanussi 109.
Common fridge freezer problems
The most common problem people that experience with their fridge freezer is drawers, compartment doors or flap lids cracking or breaking.
Other common problems include the build-up of ice in the fridge, and blocked drains or outlets, accounting for 11% and 9% respectively of all the fridge freezer faults reported in our survey.
Which fridge freezer brand stays fault-free for longest?
The graph above shows how the fridge freezer brand that stays fault-free for longest compares with 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.
|Brand name||% fault-free after eight years|
Results based on feedback from more than 2,776 fridge freezer owners, surveyed in September 2019.
How long will my fridge freezer last?
On average, a fridge freezer will last for 11 years. This is based on the experiences of Which? members who told us for how long they kept their previous appliance before they replaced it, either due to a fault, or because it wasn’t working as well as when they bought it. As you can see from the graph below, there’s a big difference between how long the best and worst brands last.
How we measure faults and reliability in fridge 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 occurs only 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, cracked drawers in the fridge or freezer.
- 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 fridge 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.
Fridge freezer brands rated
Choose a brand from the list below to find out more detail about how good it is, including the number of Best Buys it has received and the average score of its fridge freezers in our reviews.
How we calculate the best and worst fridge 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 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 8,000 Which? members told us about more than 24,000 products. 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 fridge 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 its products unless a marked improvement in reliability is shown.