Fridge freezer buying guide
Fridge freezers are a space saving alternative to having two separate appliances, making them particularly popular in the UK. With a vast choice of models on the market in a variety sizes and configurations however, picking out a new one is no easy feat. This guide helps highlight the things you need to consider before making your decision.
Freestanding fridge freezers are the most common type on the market. They typically feature a tall design and come in a variety of colours and styles, ranging from curvaceous retro-inspired models by Smeg, to sleek stainless steel models by Bosch. Fridge freezers offer separate compartments for both chilled and frozen foods, one of which is usually more accessible because it’s at eye-level. If you’re someone who reaches for chilled goods more often than frozen items, then it makes sense to choose a model with the fridge on top, to save you from constantly crouching down.
Built-in fridge freezers: As with any other appliance, a built-in or integrated model blends neatly into your kitchen design, giving it a more seamless finish. While there aren’t as many built-in fridge freezers on the market as freestanding models, there’s enough variety to suit most needs. If you’re leaning towards a built-in model, it’s worth taking into account that it’ll be more expensive to install.
American-style fridge freezers are a fixture on many Brits’ wish lists. Big, spacious, and impressive-looking, they typically feature large fridge and freezer compartments behind side-by-side doors. Some models even offer three or four-door configurations, for more versatile food storage. Many American-style fridges come with additional features, such as chilled water and ice dispensers.
The important stuff
A fridge freezer’s volume configuration is something you don’t want to overlook. If you’re someone who eats a lot of frozen foods then you’ll want to prioritize the freezer space, and the opposite is true if your lifestyle revolves around chilled products. There’s a variety of different configurations to choose from, so consider how much space you’ll need first.
Left or right hand opening?
This is really a no brainer, but something that’s easy to overlook. Choosing a fridge freezer with doors that open out into your kitchen allows easier access.
A fridge freezer with high energy efficiency is cheaper to run and better for the environment. Energy efficiency is measured in ratings from G to A+++, with anything rated A++ or above considered very energy efficient. Bosch and Samsung are two brands that produce models with excellent ratings.
Some fridge freezers offer more additional features than others, but it varies from model to model. Generally speaking though, the more expensive models out there usually provide the most extras. Below are some of the most common fridge freezer features, all of which are especially useful to have.
- Frost-free: Many of today’s fridge freezers come with the convenience of frost-free technology. It works by circulating air around the freezer’s interior, which stops any ice from building up. As a result, you’ll never have the arduous task of defrosting it.
- Fast freeze: A fast freeze or fast chill feature ensures your food stays fresh as soon as it’s placed in your fridge freezer. This addition is most useful when you’ve just returned from a food shop, and your items have been out of the cold for a while.
- Open door warning: Leaving a door open on your fridge freezer can be a costly mistake, especially if it’s been left open long enough for food to spoil. Open door warnings feature on many models today, and work by sounding an alarm when the door has been left open for too long.
- Ice and water dispensers: Some fridge freezers, particularly American-style ones, boast ice and cool water dispensers. These are especially handy during the summer months, or when you’re entertaining. The disadvantage to this feature however is that the fridge freezer will probably need to be plumbed into your water supply, which will amp up the installation costs unless you decide to do it yourself.
- Antibacterial coating: Many models feature a special antibacterial coating within the interior. This is not only to prevent bacteria from lingering, but also to reduce unpleasant odours too.
Your budget will naturally play a large part in which fridge freezer you end up buying. Prices vary massively: a small basic freestanding model can be snared for as little as £150, whilst a top end Sub-Zero American style fridge freezer can easily take you into the thousands. On average though, expect to pay anywhere from £200 to £500 for a decent fridge freezer.