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Fridge reviews

Last updated: 10 February 2016

A fridge is a big investment that you want to get right. We test and review more than 60 of the latest top, bottom, French door and side-by-side fridges to find the best buys for all budgets. Find out how we test fridges. Not sure what type you need? Use our fridge buying guide to find out. 

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In our testing labs, we give every fridge a thorough workout to help find the models that:

  • are best at keeping optimum temperature
  • have the best range of temperatures
  • have a good range of shelves and compartments
  • are the most energy-efficient
  • have the best member-rated reliability scores

We also give you good and bad points for each model, and the running cost of each fridge over ten years. And our list of CHOICE Buys will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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This is the manufacturer's recommended retail price. Prices are generally always flexible, so shop around both online and in bricks and mortar shops for options.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 429 and 5499

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Height (cm)
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The claimed dimensions for the smallest box that will fit around the fridge, including hinges, door handles and any protrusions out the back.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 142 and 186

Width (cm)
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The claimed dimensions for the smallest box that will fit around the fridge, including hinges, door handles and any protrusions out the back.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 52 and 100

Depth (cm)
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The claimed dimensions for the smallest box that will fit around the fridge, including hinges, door handles and any protrusions out the back.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 58 and 82

Volume (L)
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The gross volume quoted by the manufacturer tells you approximately how much air space the fridge needs to cool, which includes spaces you can't put food into. Taking this into account, use the volumes to get an idea of how big the freezer is compared with the fresh-food compartment, so you can choose a fridge that meets your storage needs. For side-by-side fridges with an ice maker, the usable freezer volume is approximately 30% less than claimed due to space taken by the ice maker, so the claimed total volume is overstated too.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 203 and 701

Brand reliability score
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Scores are taken from our brand reliability survey, but do not add to the overall score. The score refers to the brand, not a particular model. If you see "Not available" as the outcome, that's because we haven't gotten enough people who own the brand to reply with their findings - we need at least 50 to make the outcome statistically significant.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Type
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This classifies the type of fridge into sizes, bottom or top mount, side by side or french door.

Energy and water ratings

Claimed star rating
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The star rating reflects the claimed energy consumption. This is a simple way to assess fridges, but not as accurate as the kWh which is the actual measure of energy and hence how much it's going to cost you in the long run. Paying attention to this is more useful - look for the lower number.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 1 and 4

Claimed energy consumption kWh/yr
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This is the manufacturer claim of energy used in one year of use under test conditions. Your fridge is the only appliance in your house which is ALWAYS on, so this matters. It makes up 8.5% of the average household energy usage. Look for the smallest number in this column so you aren't paying as much in the long run.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 269 and 650

Features

Crisper
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Look for a well-sealed crisper drawer to keep vegetables fresh, and check that the fridge's air outlets don't blow onto it, as this will dry out food faster. A good crisper means you don't have to put your fruit and veggies in plastic bags.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 1 and 3

Door alarm
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Is there an alarm that sounds if the door is left open? This criterion will be added as we test new fridges.

Chiller
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A chiller is important if you often store meat, fish and poultry (fresh or cooked), to keep it at a safe temperature and for longer. If you're choosing a fridge with this feature, the chiller's temperature should be close to zero and ideally it has a separate temperature control.

Dairy compartment
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A dairy compartment is convenient for keeping butter and hard cheeses slightly soft.

Ice dispenser
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A water and ice dispenser on the outside of the door means it isn't constantly opened for cold drinks. Don't forget to check whether it needs to be plumbed in for these features – if you don't already have a plumbing connection, it's an additional expense, plus most have filters which will need replacing periodically.

Water dispenser
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A water and ice dispenser on the outside of the door means it isn't constantly opened for cold drinks. Don't forget to check whether it needs to be plumbed in for these features – if you don't already have a plumbing connection, it's an additional expense, plus most have filters which will need replacing periodically.

Test results

Temperature range score
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We rate the range of temperature options for the fridge and freezer, assessing if there's an adequate range of combinations to satisfy the needs of most users.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Fluctuation score
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We measure how much the temperature fluctuates due to the compressor running and stopping. The higher the score, the more stable the temperature.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Ambient change score
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We rate how well the fridge and freezer copes with changes in ambient room temperatures, such as from summer to winter.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Noise level (dBA)
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New fridges, particularly frost-free ones, make a combination of noises that some people may find annoying. More noise is produced when the compressor starts up and also during the defrost cycle. Some models have an external fan system to help keep the compressor cool, which can add to the noise level. Also, plastics inside the fridge can make loud noises as they expand and contract with temperature changes. The design of your kitchen and the fridge's location will affect what you'll hear. Our test tells you which models are noisier during normal running, but some of these more unusual noises can be more noticeable with models that are quieter during normal running.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Specifications

Needs plumbing
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If it has a ice or water dispenser, will the fridge require plumbing, thereby costing you more to install? This will be added as we test new fridges.

Fridge size
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We've classified fridges into the following groupings: Upright or single door fridge (various sizes) Less than 300L Small (300–380L) Medium (381–450L) Large (451–525L) More than 525L and French door Side-by-side (various sizes)

Door hinge position
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This is the side of the fridge the door hinge is positioned on, as well as the direction that the door opens. With many models you'll have to pre-order it on either the left or right, and it isn't reversible after purchase. Some are reversible, and although you can do this yourself with some models, manufacturers recommend getting a service call. Reversible doors are useful if you move house and/or need to position the fridge in a different spot.

Eco-friendly coolant
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Based on studies on the differing coolant properties, refrigerant R600a (defined by a Yes) is considered to be more eco-friendly than R134a refrigerant (defined by a No).

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Status

Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Overall score
  • CHOICE Buy
  • Ten year running cost
  • Price + running costs/10yrs
  • Fluctuation score
  • Temperature range score
  • Uniformity score
  • Ambient change score
  • Recommended setting score
  • Measured energy consumption (kWh/yr) or Pass/Fail
  • Coldest and warmest sections of fridge
  • Brand reliability score
  • Brand satisfaction score
  • Service score
  • Noise level (dBA)
  • Origin
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Status
  • Fridge size
  • Colour / Finish
  • Type
  • Claimed energy consumption kWh/yr
  • Claimed star rating
  • Height (cm)
  • Width (cm)
  • Depth (cm)
  • Recommended installation height (cm)
  • Recommended installation width (cm)
  • Recommended installation depth (cm)
  • Volume (L)
  • Claimed gross volume fridge (L)
  • Claimed gross volume freezer (L)
  • Chiller
  • Crisper
  • Humidity control
  • Dairy compartment
  • Fresh food shelves/shelf positions
  • Rollers
  • All shelves removable at 90°
  • Door hinge position
  • Self closing doors
  • Door alarm
  • Water dispenser
  • Ice dispenser
  • Needs plumbing
  • Control type
  • Eco-friendly coolant
  • Contact
  • Similar models
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