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Which? Best Buy fridges

by Jess O'Leary

The best fridges cool quickly, helping your groceries last longer. They also keep your food evenly and safely chilled. Scroll down to reveal our Best Buy fridges.

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If you need a new fridge, how do you know which models will keep your groceries in tip-top condition and which will cause your food to go off more quickly than it should? We’ve tested hundreds of fridges to find the ones that help extend the shelf-life of your groceries and that don’t cost a fortune to run.

  • We run dozens of tests, so you can be sure your Best Buy fridge will cool your food quickly and keep it safely chilled at all times
  • We reveal the true energy costs - your fridge is running around the clock, so we'll tell you how much each fridge will add to your energy bill 
  • We expose the sluggish chillers, to help you steer clear of fridges that will leave your food languishing at unsafe temperatures

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How we uncover the best fridges

A great fridge will chill your groceries quickly, keep food safely chilled around the clock, run quietly and won't hike up your energy bills. We've tested fridges from all the big brands - including Beko, Bosch, Miele, Samsung and Zanussi - to reveal the Best Buys that stand out from the crowd.  

  • Chilling power We challenge a fridge's chilling power, seeing how rapidly it can cool food-equivalent gel packs. The best can do the job in a matter of hours while the worst can't cool in two days of testing.
  • Temperature stability We turn the temperature in our test lab up to see whether each fridge can keep its cool during a heat wave. We then turn the temperature down to see whether it will keep your food evenly chilled during frosty winter nights.
  • Reliable thermostat setting To make sure your fridge chills at the right temperature when you first set it up in your kitchen, we test the manufacturer's recommended thermostat setting. Some are spot on, but others are way off, meaning that you'd need to use a fridge thermometer to set the temperature. 
  • Energy use We measure how much energy a fridge uses to chill, freeze and keep a steady temperature. We then work out whether it's an energy-saver or an energy-guzzler for its size, and also calculate how much it will add to your yearly energy bills.
  • Ease of use and cleaning The best fridges have smooth-sliding salad crisper drawers, easy-to-adjust shelves and door racks that are deep enough to hold large bottles of water. They're also easy to clean. Our ease-of-use and cleaning tests are designed to separate the models that are a dream to use from those that will annoy you. 

A great fridge will chill your groceries fast, keep food safely chilled around the clock, run quietly and won't add a fortune to your energy bills.

Safety notice

We monitor and vary the assessments that underpin our reviews to take account of changing standards and areas of concern.

There has been a growing body of evidence from the London Fire Brigade to indicate that the backing material used on a refrigeration appliance can increase the spread of fire. Its tests have shown that if the insulation present in all appliances is not protected sufficiently by a flame-resistant backing, then it can ignite readily and lead to a rapid fire developing.

We are therefore taking the precautionary approach of only recommending those appliances with metal backing – either metal or aluminium laminate – or flame-retardant plastic backs. No non-flame-retardant plastic-backed products, even if they otherwise performed well in our product tests, have retained or been awarded our Best Buy recommendation.

Consumers who already own a refrigeration appliance with a non-flame-retardant plastic-back should be reassured that the likelihood of a refrigerator fire is very low. Our July 2015 research analysing government fire data found that only 7% of fires caused by faulty household appliances were caused by fridge freezers, fridges or freezers. And the material used in the backing allows an existing fire to spread – it isn’t the cause of fire itself.

Fridge reviews you can trust

Which? tests the latest tall and under-counter, freestanding and built-in fridges from all of the big appliance names, such as AEG, Beko, Bosch, Hotpoint, Indesit, John Lewis, Lec, LG, Miele, Neff, Samsung, Siemens, Smeg and Zanussi. We’ve come across good and bad fridges from the same manufacturer, and found you can’t always rely on the brand badge on the appliance to guarantee a top-notch model. And this is where our reviews come in.

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 don't take advertising and 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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