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Splurge vs save: The cheaper fridges that match expensive ones

Our lab testing shows you don't have to spend more to get a better model.

fridge splurge save lead
Last updated: 17 February 2022

How much would you pay for the fridge of your dreams? What if we told you that you could pick up a similar product for less that'll perform just as well – or even better? 

Our fridge experts are on track to assess 90 fridges this year, putting each product through rigorous testing in our labs, so we see past the marketing hype and judge each model on its merits. That's why we know that a hefty price tag or big brand name doesn't always mean good performance. 

Our fridge experts are on track to assess 90 fridges this year, putting each product through rigorous testing in our labs

We've taken a look at two different fridge types and put two models toe to toe to show you how you can spend less for the same performance. Check our fridge reviews to assess each product on how well it keeps food fresh, its temperature stability, estimated 10-year running costs, and more. 

"Time and again we find price isn't necessarily an indicator of performance and fridges are no exception," says CHOICE whitegoods expert Ashley Iredale.

"And unlike other appliances, a poor performing fridge can cost you more – a lot more over its life, through higher than necessary running costs and food which perishes sooner. 

"Luckily, we can show you which fridges give you champagne performance on a beer budget, and continue to save you money over the life of the appliance."

lg gb455uple fridge vs electrolux ebe5307bc r fridge

Splurge vs save: The stainless steel finish bottom-mount fridge

In the battle of the stainless steel bottom-mount fridges (or upside-down fridges, if you will), an extra $1400 buys an extra 75L of volume, a chiller and a dairy compartment – but not a great deal more. 

Both fridges rated quite well overall, and were neck and neck on virtually all tests. The Electrolux rated slightly better on temperature stability, and just won out on temperature evenness. LG is a little better in terms of its temperature range, and our experts rated it slightly higher for keeping food fresh for longer. 

Although you get a bit more total volume for your money with the Electrolux, they're both quite large fridges, so you're not exactly going to be short on space if you opt for the LG. Both fridges come with a two-year warranty. 

westinghouse whe6060sa fridge vs fisher paykel rf605qnuvx1 fridge

Splurge vs save: The extra-large French door fridge

If you're after an extra-large French door fridge, you are going to have to splash some cash. But when you're looking at dropping a cool $4K, you really need to ask whether you're getting your money's worth. 

Our fridge experts assessed these two fancy French door models and found that they deliver similarly good performance, despite their significant price difference. They received similar scores on criteria such as keeping food fresh longer, noise level and temperature evenness, but the Westinghouse came out well ahead for temperature range (how well the range of temperature options suits the needs of most people). 

When you're looking at dropping a cool $4K, you really need to ask whether you're getting your money's worth

"The Fisher & Paykel received a slightly lower score for its default temperature setting – a measure of how close the fridge will be to the optimum temperature out of the box," says Ashley. "This is important because most people don't change the default settings.

"But forewarned is forearmed, as they say, and spending a few minutes checking the fridge and freezer with a thermometer and adjusting the controls accordingly will give you optimum temperatures for both the fridge and freezer."

Both these fridges come with a two-year warranty. 

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.