Choose from American double door styles to retro singles (iStock/ The Independent)
Choose from American double door styles to retro singles (iStock/ The Independent)

Things to consider when choosing a fridge freezer

We’d like to start by saying that all the fridge freezers we’ve tested do a good job of keeping food chilled or frozen. Whichever model you choose, this most basic of requirements is covered.

Perhaps the most important difference between these appliances, and among fridge freezers generally, is capacity. You need to choose an option that has space to store all your perishables.

Most fridge freezers have a capacity somewhere between 200L and 600L. Large households, or smaller ones that make a lot of meals at home, will likely require something towards the higher end of that capacity range, often in the form of a twin-door American-style fridge freezer or a tall single-door option.

Smaller households, or those that frequently eat out or order in, will probably find a smaller capacity sufficient.

Another aspect of fridge freezer capacity to consider is the ratio between fridge space and freezer space. Many models have a roughly 70:30 split in favour of fridge space, but some others cater more generously for frozen goods with a 50:50 ratio. If you like to freeze large items such as joints of meat and whole fish, or you often freeze meals to defrost later, an appliance with plenty of freezer space is obviously preferable.

While it’s generally a good idea to buy a fridge freezer that’s a little larger than you need, rather than too small, it’s worth noting that there are some benefits to choosing a smaller appliance. With a smaller fridge freezer, you’ll save on floor space in the kitchen, and usually on energy costs too.

Noise, bills and aesthetics

Based on the decibel readings supplied in fridge freezer specifications, you could be forgiven for believing all fridges to be roughly as noisy as each other. All the appliances featured here are in the seemingly narrow range of 37dB to 43dB.

However, a change of just one decibel is perceptible to the human ear, while a difference of 3 dB represents a 23 per cent gulf in subjective loudness. If you tend to find noisy appliances irritating, it pays to compare the decibel ratings of the fridge freezers you are considering, and choose the quieter option where possible.

Another important fridge freezer specification is the energy rating, which is a grade on the scale of A+++ to D, signalling the energy-efficiency of the appliance. Running a fridge freezer costs roughly £30-60 per year in electricity, so choosing a relatively highly energy-efficient model could save you up to a few hundred pounds over the lifespan of the appliance. Energy ratings are calculated relative to the capacity of the appliance, so do bear in mind that a smaller fridge freezer may cost less to run than a larger one with a better energy rating.

Interior design is also a major consideration when choosing a fridge freezer. You could be looking at this fridge – or peering hungrily in at its contents – for 10 years or more, so it pays to get one that you like the look of. Most fridge freezers are white or silver appliances, designed with contemporary kitchens in mind. Buyers aspiring to a country-style kitchen should also consider retro options like the Swan and Smeg fridge freezers that we’ve featured.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

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