All products were chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our affiliates FAQ page to find out more and read about how we write BBC Good Food reviews.


Smeg FAB5L freestanding mini fridge in a nutshell

Pros: stylish good looks, A+++ energy rating
Cons: price

Star rating: 4.5/5

Available from John Lewis (£799)

The retro good looks of the Smeg freestanding larder-style fridge made it one of the most stylish and eye-catching of the mini refrigerators we tested. It's an expensive appliance but comes loaded with lots of handy features.

More like this

It has ten adjustable glass shelf heights, making the fridge versatile enough for storing taller bottles and packages. It's worth noting that we struggled with the depth of the shelves – at only 14cm, they were too narrow for some packets.

There is both a bottle holder and snack tray in the door. Both have fixed points, so we were unable to adjust them for different sizes of bottles and packets.

The bottle holder is deep enough to store larger milk bottles as well as full-sized wine bottles and beers. We liked the useful bright LED light, as this meant no squinting into a dark space to find the contents.

We particularly enjoyed the easy-to-clean shiny finish of the fridge. Even after a week of use, it showed no finger marks and, when it did, all it took was a wipe with a damp cloth for a smear-free finish.

The Smeg fridge has a high-tech absorption cooling system, so there's no compressor and no noise at all except on start-up. With an impressive A+++ performance rating, this fridge was the best on test for running costs.

We found the adjustable thermostat hard to find and it was only discovered after reading the manual. Both the thermostat slider and the star calibration markings are difficult to see and use, being tucked up on the roof of the fridge behind the light.

We eventually used a mirror to see them, but this was very awkward – a bizarre and not well thought through attribute for such a super fridge.

The handle, hinges and rails on the shelves are made from good-quality, sturdy metal. The snap of the door as it closes reassures that it is firmly shut.

All this comes at a price. The Smeg was the most expensive we tested, but with the quality of the build, energy rating, and stylish good looks, we think the cost is justified.

Available from John Lewis (£799)

Style: freestanding
Litreage: 34 litres
Dimensions: H74cm x W40.4cm x D50cm
Cooling: absorption cooling system
Defrosting: manual
Noise: 40 decibels
Energy rating: A+++

Read our full review of the best mini fridges

The best mini fridges
The best fridge freezers
The best microwaves
Essential buys for university students


This review was last updated in September 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post