Need to know
- Our lab experts tested more than 40 currently available fridge models to find the best performers and the ones to avoid
- We assess fridges for temperature stability, food freshness, 10-year running costs and more
- Consider becoming a CHOICE member to read the full reviews
When it comes to buying a fridge, the number of options on the market can be both staggering and stressful. There's the question of which brand to choose, the size you need, the features, the finish and whether it will even fit into your kitchen.
Then there's the vital issue of price versus performance – which model will do the job best within your budget? Choose badly and you could be stuck with a dud for years.
That's why CHOICE has been methodically testing fridges for decades. Rating key criteria including food freshness, temperature stability and evenness, and 10-year running costs, we've reviewed more than 40 popular, currently available models in our certified labs to cut through the advertising spin and help you decide.
CHOICE staffer Graham Byrne. CHOICE has been testing fridges for decades.
Along the way, our experts have uncovered some impressive fridges alongside some seriously poor performers that scored below 50%. Not only do some of them cost thousands of dollars, they'll also struggle to keep your food fresh, adding to the expense over the years.
To help you avoid an expensive and frustrating fridge fail, here are the models that deserve a serious cold shoulder.
In the past, we've warned consumers to avoid a number of ordinary fridges. Some highlights include:
- Smeg FAB38RCRAU, AKA "the worst fridge we've ever tested"
- Smeg FAB32RRDNA1, which failed its energy check and scored just 34% overall
- Ikea Nedkyld fridge, which took out a CHOICE Shonky Award in 2019.
"These fridges all performed terribly in our tests, and we named and shamed them," says CHOICE whitegoods expert Ashley Iredale. "They've subsequently been discontinued by the manufacturers."
Bosch KAN92VI30A: $3000 for a fridge that scored just five percent for temperature stability.
1. Bosch KAN92VI30A
- Price: $3099
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 45%
- Temperature stability score: 5%
- 10-year running cost: $1647
Let's be real here: 3000 bucks for a fridge that won't keep your food at a safe, even temperature is just not on. Bosch does make good dishwashers, but in this case they probably should've stuck to what they're good at.
When our expert testers put this side-by-side fridge through its paces in our thermal labs, they were thoroughly unimpressed with its temperature evenness throughout (which means you'll end up with spots that are too warm or too cold), and its temperature range.
Bosch does make good dishwashers, but in this case they probably should've stuck to what they're good at
After coughing up $3099 for this fridge, expect to be hit with bigger grocery bills, because you'll need to keep replacing food that's gone bad before its time. Our experts rated this fridge as 'Borderline' for the 'Keeping food fresher for longer' test. The only thing that saved it from scoring even worse was that it performed well in response to changes in outside temperature.
Worst of all, though, was its temperature stability – it scored just five percent on this test. When the fridge temperature fluctuates like this, you're likely to find that your ice cream has melted and then re-frozen, or that your lettuce has frozen and then gone limp.
Read the full Bosch KAN92VI30A review.
LG GT-279BPL: poor handler of temperature changes.
2. LG GT-279BPL
- Price: $859
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 45%
- Response to outside temperature score: 8%
- 10-year running cost: $978
LG is usually quite a good fridge manufacturer, but this model definitely isn't one of its finest moments. It doesn't handle temperature changes well – and in fact it received the lowest score for this test of all three of these dud fridges.
And our experts rated it as just 'Borderline' for keeping food fresh for longer, so don't forget to add the cost of food waste to the $859 purchase price.
Definitely one to avoid.
Read the full LG GT-279BPL review.
Euromaid ETM362W: relatively cheap to buy, but chillingly pricey to run.
3. Euromaid ETM362W
- Price: $1199
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 48%
- Temperature stability score: 35%
- 10-year running costs: $1149
It may be one of the cheaper fridges in our tests, but don't be fooled into thinking this Euromaid fridge is a good deal. When we tested its temperature stability, it absolutely bombed out, which means you could end up with your ice cream melted and re-frozen, for example. It wasn't quite as bad as the Bosch in this regard, but it's still pretty terrible.
And while it's a cheaper fridge, it's only cheap at the cash register. By our calculations, it'll cost you $1149 to run over the course of 10 years, which is a relatively high cost for a fridge this size. (By comparison, the Bosch will cost you $1647, but it's almost 300L bigger.)
And since it scored so poorly with regard to keeping food fresh for longer, it'll cost you even more in the long run to replace all the food that's spoiled.
Read the full Euromaid ETM362W review.