Price, quality and practicality are all essential when buying a fridge freezer. We review appliances from brands such as Smeg, Hotpoint, Samsung, Bosch and more.
Buying a fridge freezer requires thorough research. It's one of the largest and most expensive purchases you'll make for your kitchen, and there's a dizzying number of options available.
A standalone fridge freeezer is one that simply requires plugging in, so there's no need to pay for someone to fit it as you would an integrated appliance. A combination fridge freezer is ideal for those pushed for space, as the simple stacking design maximises square footage.
As for the aesthetic of a fridge freezer, a standard stacked combination fridge freezer can be the most affordable option and are available in various finishes, from brushed metal through to colourful lacquer.
Prices here start as low as £150 and it goes without saying that keeping an eye out for sales and appliance bundles – where retailers offer a cheaper price on several branded appliances if you buy them together – will shave off some of the expenditure.
American-style fridge freezers with a wardrobe-like design can be very expensive but have a bold visual appeal – but only if you have a kitchen large enough to fit one.
Which fridge freezer should I buy?
When buying a fridge freezer, start with the dimensions. Carefully measure the space where the applicance will stand and allow for some space around the appliance. Set a reasonable budget and start to think about what you want from a fridge freezer.
Fridge versus freezer space is one factor to take into account. Shelving options, visibility, temperature control, capacity, ease of cleaning and overall durability are all criteria upon which we tested popular entry-level appliances.
Energy ratings are a big factor for many of us hoping to keep bills to a minimum. Legally, all fridge freezers must have an energy rating, which ranges from to A+++ (the most efficient) to G (the least efficient.
If you have an older fridge that you think uses too much energy, this could be a good reason to upgrade to a new one.
As technology advances, so does fridge functionality. If you like gadgets and 'smart' home appliances, consider opting for a fridge freezer with cameras and companion apps for your phone.
Read on to see how we ranked appliances from leading brands including Hotpoint, Bosch, Samsung and Miele.
The best fridge freezers to buy
We tested popular appliances and scored them against our review criteria. Here, we rank the brands in order of score. Read the in-depth fridge freezer reviews of each individual appliance to learn more about them in detail.
1. Liebherr CNel4213 NoFrost fridge freezer (£499)
Best value fridge freezer
Star rating: 4.7/5
We were impressed both by the quality and practicality of this product, especially considering the lower-than-average price tag. The ratio of fridge to freezer space will be key when comparing this with other brands. You'll get more freezer and less fridge, so it's worth thinking about your current usage before buying. Read our full Liebherr fridge freezer review.
2. Miele KFN 28132 ws fridge freezer (£899)
Best high-end fridge freezer
Star rating: 4.7/5
This is a smart and functional fridge freezer that maximises space for its size. You pay a little more, but we think this is reflected in the quality and practicality of the appliance. Read our full Miele fridge freezer review.
3. Bosch Serie 6 KGN36HI32 fridge freezer (£1099)
Best smart fridge freezer
Star rating: 4.4/5
This fridge freezer is ideal for tech-lovers with deep pockets. Being able to control the temperature and check the fridge's contents from your mobile is fun and useful but certainly not essential. The appliance does do the essentials well, too – it's practical and well made, but the price tag is hefty. Read our full Bosch fridge freezer review.
4. Smeg FC182PXNUK fridge freezer (£679)
Best fridge freezer for modern aesthetic
Star rating: 4.3/5
For smartness and simplicity both in appearance and functionality, this fridge freezer gets full marks. It could offer more control over temperature, but if you tend to leave your appliances to get on with the job, this isn't a problem. Read our full Smeg fridge freezer review.
5. Hotpoint Day 1 XUL8 T2Z XOV.1 fridge freezer (£589)
Best fridge freezer for functionality
Star rating: 4.2/5
This appliance has a smart appearance, is easy to control and offers a variety of useful settings, all at a reasonable price. The big minus point for us was the difficulty we had in keeping the handle free of fingerprints. Read our full Hotpoint fridge freezer review.
6. Hoover HMNB 6182 X5K fridge freezer (£429)
Best fridge freezer for competitive pricing
Star rating: 4.2/5
This fridge freezer is a steal compared to many we tried, holding up well in comparison with other similar products, but beating most substantially on price. The temperature control offers less flexibility, but if you're happy to let your fridge freezer do its thing, then this is a great buy. Read our full Hoover fridge freezer review.
7. AEG RCB53324VX fridge freezer (£779)
Best fridge freezer for storage options
Star rating: 4/5
This brand ticked the quality box, but was very innovative with layout. Some might enjoy the various storage options in the fridge door, but we found it somewhat prescriptive, so this is worth bearing in mind. And, in the Test Kitchen where we really put fridges through their paces, we can spot a model that might start to build up food debris. But if you love keeping things organised at all times, this could be the model for you. Read our full AEG fridge freezer review.
8. Swan Retro SR11020BN fridge freezer (£579)
Best retro fridge freezer
Star rating: 4/5
If appearance is what matters most to you, we'd recommend the Swan Retro fridge freezer. Our main concern is the lack of auto-defrost, which nowadays is fairly standard for an appliance like this. We'd have liked better temperature control, too. Other than that, this fridge freezer provides a practical layout and offers the quality we'd expect for the price. Read our full Swan Retro fridge freezer review.
9. Indesit LD85 F1 S fridge freezer (£359.98)
Best fridge freezer ideal for couples and small households
Overall score: 3.5/5
This fridge freezer, along with the Hoover HMNB 6182 X5K, were the cheapest we tested. Drawers have been given priority in the fridge, which we feel is quite limiting, but if this is your preference, the flexi-box does offer versatility. It's suitable for singles and couples, but not for a big household. Read our full Indesit fridge freezer review.
How we tested fridge freezers
We tested freestanding fridge freezers from popular brands. We compared appliances with uniform dimensions using common household ingredients that are notoriously tricky to store in fridges (tall wine bottles, large containers of milk) plus ingredients that are most likely to perish quickly, such as lettuce and grapes.
We then scored the appliances on the following criteria:
- Shelving options: Could fridge freezer shelves be moved and what are the height options like?
- Visibility: Being able to see fridge contents at a glance is a bonus.
- Temperature control: How is temperature operated? Is the control panel or dial easy to access?
- Capacity: The amount of storage space relative to the dimensions of the fridge (some fridges have bulkier shells than others), plus the capacity versus usable space.
- Ease of cleaning: We looked for fridges with shelves that can be washed easily, with a body that can be easily wiped clean with no pesky nooks and corners where debris can gather.
- Overall durability: The build quality and likely longevity of the fridge was assessed.
- Door quality: Doors that didn't close easily with poor seals were marked down.
- Value for money: As buying a fridge freezer means a big outlay, we looked at how many features were included.
More kitchen products tried and tested
This review was last updated in July 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.