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Home & garden.

5 October 2021

Top five cheap fridges for 2021

You don’t need to spend a fortune for a quality fridge. From integrated models to under-counter options, here are our top five budget fridges.
PG
Patrick Gallagher
Fridge 1

A fridge is one of the bigger investments you'll make for your home. But that doesn’t mean you should spend over the odds for a quality model. 

We’ve found fridges that will not only offer high cooling power and keep your food fresher for longer, but will also save you money on your energy bills.

Some of the worst offenders on the market struggle to chill food, have a miniscule amount of usable storage and still cost you a fortune.

Whether you’re moving home, looking for a replacement model or you just fancy an upgrade, picking the best fridge can be difficult. And with prices not always matching expectations, our expert reviews can help separate the good from the bad.

No matter if you want integrated, under-counter or a model with a freezer box, our fridge reviews have it covered. Read on for our top cheap fridges – and the ones to avoid.

Top five cheap fridges

  • 79%
    £189.99

    This cheap fridge did excellently in almost every one of our tough tests. It's easy to set up, chills quickly and is reasonably energy efficient. Its temperature stability in warm rooms could be better, but we still think this is a great option.

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  • 76%
    £311.00

    This is a tall, white fridge with an attractive price tag. It had an excellent run through our tough tests, showcasing exceptional temperature stability. It also does a very good job of chilling quickly and it won’t push up your energy bills doing so.

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  • 75%
    £189.00

    This cheap integrated fridge did excellently in almost every one of our tough tests. It's easy to set up, chills very quickly and maintains a steady temperature all year round. Although we've seen more energy efficient fridges, we still think this is a great option.

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  • 74%
    £269.00

    Not only does this well-priced fridge chill fresh items quickly, but it's also extremely energy efficient for its size, meaning it's cheap to run. Its temperature stability in cold rooms is fantastic too. But one thing to bear in mind is that it's not among the best at maintaining a stable temperature in warm rooms.

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  • 71%
    £192.97

    It's not a Best Buy, but this budget under-counter fridge chills quickly, has an accurate thermostat and is simple to clean. The downsides include not being the most energy efficient for its size, and struggling to maintain a stable internal temperature in a warm room.

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If you’re also looking to update your freezer, we have uncovered some impressive models during testing. Kit out your kitchen with one of the best models by looking at our freezer reviews.

The fridges to avoid

A cheap fridge to avoid would have a low price tag but struggle at its core job. If a model can't reach the temperature needed to keep your food fresh then we can't recommend it. We’ve uncovered cheap fridges that are so bad at keeping to a stable temperature that your food will spoil before you get a chance to enjoy it.

Cheap fridges to avoid

  • 51%
    £199.00

    Although temptingly priced, this fridge is likely to leave you wishing you'd spent a little bit more. The chilling speed is unexceptional and it's incapable of maintaining a steady temperature when the room it's in heats up. It's also inefficient, so whatever savings you make up front will be eaten into by increased energy use over its lifetime.

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Which? fridge reviews

Aside from testing the cooling power of the fridge using gel packs to simulate food, we also vary the temperature in the room to make sure it can keep the contents safely chilled, too – it’s surprising how many don’t.

To be sure the money you save on buying the fridge won’t be spent paying extra on your utility bills, our experts measure how much energy each fridge uses to keep cool and how efficient each model is in comparison with its usable amount of storage.

We even spray cherry juice in every fridge, wait for it to dry and then score it on how easy it is to clean. If you can’t comfortably clear dirt traps then your fridge could end up harbouring unwelcome germs and bacteria.

Buying the best cheap fridge for you

Type

Deciding on the type of fridge you need should come first. Are you looking for a tall model that will have tons of usable storage? Or perhaps a small integrated fridge to save on space and blend in with your kitchen units?

Also, consider whether you need a freezer, too. If so, opting for a fridge freezer or a fridge with an ice box might be more practical. Take a look at our fridge freezer reviews.

The different types of fridges will come in varying prices, so always check the full review to know you’re getting the most for your money.

Efficiency

Our tests have shown that not all models with the same energy ratings cost equal amounts to run.

We check how much energy each fridge uses to chill and stay cool consistently. We also measure the efficiency against how much you can actually fit inside. 

Features

There are lots of extra functions you can pick from, such as quick cooling and water dispensers, but this will normally increase the cost. More basic additions can be really handy and won’t break the bank either.

Here are some features to look for when choosing your fridge:

  • Adjustable shelving
  • Salad crisp drawers
  • Adjustable door racks
  • Ice compartment
  • Quick-chill function
  • Water dispenser
  • Bottle rack.

Still not sure on the fridge you need? Our expert fridge buying guide will help.