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Don't Buy fridges

by Patrick Gallagher

The worst fridges take ages to chill, meaning your food will leak nutrients and go off more quickly than it should. Find out which fridges you should avoid.

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Don't Buy fridges

The best fridges cool rapidly and keep food safely chilled to keep your food fresher for longer, even in changing kitchen temperatures. And they do this without racking up your energy bill in the process. But some of the fridges we test are at the other end of the scale. These terrible fridges are so bad that we've labelled then Don't Buys to help make sure you don't end up with a dud in your kitchen. 

  • We've uncovered fridges that can't complete our chilling tests in two whole days of testing. The best manage the job in a matter of hours.
  • Our temperature tests expose the dreadful fridges that just can't keep a steady temperature. These fridges will over- or under-cool your food when your kitchen heats up and cools down.
  • Some fridges are real energy-guzzlers. Because your fridge is switched on 24/7, they'll cost a fortune to run.

Fridges that we classify as Don't Buys can't be relied on to keep your food safely chilled. So, before you buy a new fridge, check whether it's not on our list of Don't Buys. Otherwise you could be wasting your money.

Best Buy fridges - see which top-scoring models stand out from the crowd and aced our tests.

Safety related Don't Buy fridges

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 fridge freezer 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.

Fridges account for 100 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 isn't included in this list doesn't mean its backing isn't made from flammable 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 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 flammable 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 flammable 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 flammable 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 flammable plastic-backed versions of any upgraded product. They will remain Don't Buys until that version is no longer available to buy in shops.

Gorenje ORB153C

Gorenje ORB153C-L

Gorenje ORB153O

Gorenje ORB153BK

Gorenje ORB153BK-L 

Gorenje ORB153RD

Gorenje ORB153BL 

Gorenje ORB153BL-L

Gorenje RBIU6F091AWUK

Gorenje RBO6153BK

Gorenje RBO6153R

Hisense RL423N4AC1

Hisense RL170D4BC2

Hisense RUL173D4AW1

Hotpoint CTL55K

Hotpoint CTL55G

Hotpoint HFA1

Hotpoint HLA1

Hotpoint HS1801AA

Hotpoint SDAH1832K

Ikea FROSTIG (103.660.70)

Ikea Lagan (403.349.64)

Ikea Svalna

Indesit TLAA10S

KitchenAid KCFME 60150R

KitchenAid KCFMB 60150L

KitchenAid KCFMA 60150R

Lec L5511W

Lec L5511B

Lec L5511S

Lec R5511W

Lec R5511S

Lec R5511B

Liebherr UIK1550

Smeg UK35PX4

Smeg UKUD7122CSP

Whirlpool ARG18083A++

Zanussi ZQA14030DA

Zanussi ZRG15805WA

Zanussi ZQA14031DA

Zanussi ZBA32050SA

Zanussi ZRG14800WA

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