Best Fridge 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Fridges were once a luxury but are now a vital appliance for any kitchen.

They essentially keep produce and drinks fresher for longer, which not only allows you to get on with your busy life without dashing to the supermarket every night but also reduces the amount you need to spend on constantly purchasing fresh food.

New models now offer a lot of extra features, from temperature and frost maintenance to adjustable shelving and even open door alarms and internal lights.

But you also have to consider some of the essentials, such as the space available in your kitchen, your budget and the capacity you require.

Choosing the perfect refrigerator is a huge decision, so to help you find the perfect fit for your home and lifestyle, we have picked and reviewed the best fridges available with all the specifications and features you will be looking out for.

The Best Fridge – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
AEG RKE64021DX Tall Freestanding
  • Dimensions: 185 x 59.5 x 66.8cm
  • Energy Rating: A++
  • Noise Level: 40dB
  • Type: Freestanding
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Indesit TFAA10.1 Undercounter
  • Dimensions: H85 x W55 x D58cm
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 38dB
  • Type: Undercounter
  • Capacity: 96L
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SMEG FAB10HLNE Mini Fridge
  • Dimensions: 96 x 54.3 x 63.2 cm
  • Capacity: 130L
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 37 dB(A)
  • Type: Mini
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Best Tall Fridges

Gorenje ORB153 Freestanding

A spacious, retro fridge with high energy efficiency.

This super-sleek, retro-style by the designers at Gorenje offers the much sought-after look that is often demonstrated by Smeg, without such a hefty price tag. Though a little more expensive than your average larder fridge, it is arguably worth the extra cost, with an A+++ energy rating, ionization technology, dynamic cooling and separate zones for vegetables and meat. A compact icebox is fitted into the top, providing a great place to store drinks and leftovers for freezing.

Contained within there is a CrispZone and a FreshZone – intended for vegetable and meat/poultry/fish storage, respectively. These areas are perfectly optimized to keep these perishable products at their freshest, for as long as possible. As with all the quality products, the auto defrost function also means you will never have to defrost manually or spend hours scraping ice out of the back.

This model has a temperature range of 10-32°C and a power cut safe time of 17 hours. It would make a great choice for a household of sharers, or a large family – though a separate freezer would certainly be required, as the icebox is relatively small.

Currently one of the most environmentally friendly refrigerators on the market thanks to its A+++ energy efficiency rating, you can expect reduced energy consumption without any impact on performance.

We like

  • Attractive retro design
  • Super energy efficient
  • Small top freezer

We dislike

  • Freezer door can be a bit stiff
  • On the more expensive side

Final Verdict

A highly energy efficient fridge with a sleek design and plenty of storage space.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H154cm x W60cm x D66.9cm
  • Energy Rating: A+++
  • Noise Level: 40dB
  • Type: Freestanding

+ Downloads

Gorenje ORB153 user manual

Download

AEG RKE64021DX Tall Freestanding

For a family or household of sharers who require plentiful space for food and drink, you can’t go too far wrong with big and spacious like this model from AEG. This tall fridge comes equipped with 4 glass shelves, 3 door shelves, 2 large drawers, a dairy compartment, a bottle shelf and an egg tray. It would take an awful lot of food to fill this to capacity.

This AEG model has an energy rating of A++ – not too shabby – and its smooth stainless steel exterior is protected with an anti-fingerprint layer that helps to prevent unsightly smudges. There is never a need to defrost manually, as it takes care of ice build-up automatically. Another particularly handy function of this AEG fridge is its holiday mode, which reduces the appliance’s energy consumption during long periods of absence – perfect for staving off mould and bad smells on your return.

This freestanding larder fridge has a reversible door that you can change over depending on its location in the kitchen. This comes at a fee of £30, although it’s actually relatively easy to do it yourself. It also comes with a 2-year warranty included, which can be increased by an extra 3 years if desired.

We like

  • Plenty of space
  • Good quality
  • Easy to clean

We dislike

  • Lack of shelves – one or two more would be an improvement
  • Door can be tricky to open at times

Final Verdict

A spacious tall freestanding fridge with an excellent energy rating.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 185 x 59.5 x 66.8cm
  • Energy Rating: A++
  • Noise Level: 40dB
  • Type: Freestanding

+ Downloads

AEG RKE64021DX user manual

Beko BL77 Integrated Larder

An integrated larder fridge that merges seamlessly with your units.

The appeal of integrated refrigerators (or indeed any integrated kitchen appliance) it its ability to fit seamlessly into your kitchen behind matching cupboard doors – so you never actually see the appliance, except when it is being used. Instead of lots of white goods, you have appliances concealed within kitchen units, so it all looks nice and tidy.

At 55cm wide, with a capacity of 310 litres, this spacious integrated model from Beko gives you plenty of room to store all of your fresh and perishable foods. There are multiple shelves, two roomy vegetable drawers, and plenty of smaller drawers tucked into the inside of the door, including an egg rack. The middle shelf contains a bottle rack, perfect for storing wine, champagne and mixers. Considering its size and capacity, this fridge is amazingly good value for money.

Should you ever experience a power cut, it has a safe time of 13 hours, which all being well should be plenty of time to keep your food and drink fresh before the power returns. Even better, it’s super quiet to the point of being barely noticeable – just 34dB.

We like

  • Door is easily reversible if needed
  • Low noise level
  • Plenty of storage space

We dislike

  • Not a lot of space for larger bottles
  • Installation instructions can be hard to follow

Final Verdict

A spacious fridge with an integrated design which will fit in perfectly with any kitchen design.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H177.0 x W54.5 x D53.5
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 31dB
  • Type: Integrated

+ Downloads

BEKO BL77 user manual

Download

Best Under Counter Fridges

Indesit TFAA10.1 Undercounter

Fridges which have a small freezer compartment at the top are handy if you don’t have enough room for, or wouldn’t get full use out of, a separate appliance. This compartment is perfect for storing ice creams, or if you just want to cool down drinks quickly before a party.

It is an ideal size for singles or couples, or for a small office’s lunches and drinks. With a net capacity of 96L, it is relatively spacious for its dimensions and will comfortably hold five bags of your weekly supermarket shopping if you pack it cleverly. With an auto-defrost feature, there is no need to manually thaw the fridge section, which can be a real chore. The freezer department comfortably fits around half a dozen items, designed for ice and some summer lollies.

A bright light illuminates the interior of the appliance so you won’t be struggling to find your dinner time ingredients even when at full capacity. It is quiet, which is perfect in both a small space or if your kitchen is open plan. Basic in appearance, it’s perhaps not the best choice if you’re conscious about the look of your appliances, but still looks modern and clean and does the job.

We like

  • Ice Box
  • Three door shelves
  • Price

We dislike

  • Bulky light obstructs top-shelf storage

Final Verdict

A great spacious refrigerator with a decent enough icebox to store a small amount of frozen food

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H85 x W55 x D58cm
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 38dB
  • Type: Undercounter
  • Capacity: 96L

Fridgemaster MUR4892 Fridge with Ice Box

Coming in at under £100, this fridge is perfect for a compact kitchen, or that little bit of extra storage space in a utility room or garage. With 8 temperature regulation settings, you can adjust the coolness depending on how full the fridge is or what you need to keep chilled inside it. There is also an ice box, which for the price is a real bonus.

Because of its price tag, it doesn’t have many bonus features such as an auto-defrost function or interior light. The ice compartment isn’t suitable for storing anything other than ice cube trays, so if you’re looking for extra space for your frozen vegetables then look for a fridge with a dedicated ice box for this.

It is marginally noisier than the other under-counter refrigerators reviewed, but for the much lesser price, it isn’t a massive jump up. It also holds its temperature well regardless of the amount of stock inside.

We like

  • Amazing price
  • Clean, modern design
  • Large 91 litre capacity for dimensions

We dislike

  • No light
  • Have to manually defrost the fridge compartment
  • Ice box won’t freeze food items

Final Verdict

Simple yet does the job successfully

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H84.2 x W47.5 x D44.6cm
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 40dB
  • Type: Undercounter

+ Downloads

Fridgemaster MUR4892 Fridge with Ice Box user manual

Download

John Lewis JLUCLFW6013 Larder

A flexible, hygienic and low-noise undercounter option

As always, the John Lewis name offers an assurance of quality. This neat A+ rated undercounter fridge – with its 150 litre capacity, easy-clean glass shelves, auto defrost setting and Quiet Mark assurance – offers the quality and reliability you’d expect at a reasonable price. At 38dB, this fridge is on the quietest end of the spectrum. Its door is reversible for ease of use, which you can change yourself or have done for you.

Inside there are three shelves, one vegetable drawer, two door shelves and covered dairy compartment, giving plenty of extra room for your bottles, dairy products, vegetables and jars. This product would be ideal for a person living on their own – two people at a stretch – or as a supplement to another fridge in larger households. The covered dairy compartment helps to minimise any smells and keep your butter soft enough to spread easily.

Being a compact fridge model with an A+ energy rating, the running costs of this fridge are estimated at just £12.80 per year. This classic white fridge would fit in with any home or utility without looking out of place, offering plenty of extra space for your chilled food and drink without taking over your kitchen.

We like

  • Nice and quiet
  • Great quality for the price
  • Shelves can be rearranged

We dislike

  • Door occasionally doesn’t shut properly – care must be taken when closing
  • Door handle sticks out quite far

Final Verdict

A low cost undercounter fridge, perfect as a supplement or for one person.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H85 x W59.5 x D63.5cm
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 38dB
  • Type: Freestanding

+ Downloads

John Lewis JLUCLFW6013 user manual

Download

BOSCH KUR15A50GB Integrated Undercounter Fridge

This BOSCH appliance features a lot of well-thought-out storage options for its size and is a lot more spacious than most of its similar rivals. With three shelves, a salad crisper box and three door storage compartments, you will not be stuck for room no matter how you like to organise your groceries.

The bottle shelf in the door is double depth, taking the need out of having to store extra drink containers and sauce jars on your inner shelf space. It also includes partitions to keep your bottles extra secure when opening the door, and these comfortably fit a 6-pint milk carton.

The light is quite long and nearer the back of the fridge, so if the top shelf is quite full of produce then this may take away some overall illumination.

We like

  • Low temperature even on highest setting
  • Well-planned layout

We dislike

  • Door can slam if not closed softly
  • Door shelves are unadaptable in positioning

Final Verdict

Clever storage layout gives it an edge over its competitors

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H82 x W59.8 x D54.8 cm
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 38dB
  • Type: Integrated Undercounter

+ Downloads

BOSCH KUR15A50GB Integrated Undercounter Fridge user manual

Download

Hotpoint HLA1 Integrated Undercounter Fridge

With a 146-litre capacity, this integrated larder appliance is surprisingly roomy. Shelving is adjustable to ensure your weekly groceries fit comfortably, and there are two spacious dedicated bottom drawers which keep your fruit and veg fresher for longer by reducing humidity and improving air circulation.

The beauty of integrated appliances is that they can be hidden away behind dedicated cupboard doors so fit in seamlessly with the design of your kitchen – one less factor to worry about when wondering which to purchase.

It is a little quieter than most of its rivals, which is perfect if you are bothered by the constant background noise of your large appliances. The built-in LED light is super bright and doesn’t get in the way of your storage space, which is often a common problem in fridges of this size. The shelving in the door space will comfortably about three cartons of milk and juice, and there is a smaller covered shelf nearer the top of the fridge for storing smaller perishable items such as cheese, eggs and butter.

Bear in mind that there is no key at the front of the appliance to adjust the positioning of the legs once fitted, so it possibly will need a lot of moving back in and out.

We like

  • Effective salad crisping space
  • Bottom draw shelf is perfect for really tall bottles

We dislike

  • Plastic legs cannot be adjusted when fitted
  • Legs are also a bit flimsy

Final Verdict

A surprisingly spacious refrigerator that keeps all your fresh salad items extra crisp

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H81.5 x W59.6 x D54.5cm
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 37dB
  • Type: Integrated Undercounter

+ Downloads

Hotpoint HLA1 Integrated Undercounter Fridge user manual

Download

Best Mini Fridges

SMEG FAB10HLNE Mini Fridge

The standard-size Smeg fridges are a popular choice up and down the country, so it is no surprise that the smaller versions have followed suit.

This is not the type of mini fridge which will happily sit on your bedroom side table as it is around half of the height of an ordinary fridge, but this is perfect for anyone who needs the extra storage space.

Whether you need some extra party food space, a backup refrigerator or want to keep your secret stash hidden in your bedroom/home office, the retro design will fit nicely anywhere. Plus, it is quiet when running so it won’t disturb your work or sleep. There is a very generous 130L capacity, which is great for a mini fridge.

An A+ energy rating will help to keep running costs low, so you don’t have to worry about the extra burden, and an automatic defrost function will keep on top of any frost, so you don’t have to.

We would say it is a bit pricey for what you get, but if it is going to be a focal point in your room, then you’re going to want something that looks the part.

We like

  • Retro design
  • Great capacity
  • Cost effective to run

We dislike

  • Too tall for undercounter installation
  • Price

Final Verdict

If you want a Smeg fridge in the spare room, games room, bedroom or home office, then this is the ideal option. Plenty of space, half the height of an ordinary Smeg yet still the same well-loved design and effectiveness.

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: 96 x 54.3 x 63.2 cm
  • Capacity: 130L
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 37 dB(A)
  • Type: Mini

+ Downloads

SMEG FAB10HLNE Mini Fridge User Manual

Download

Lec R50052W Table Top Fridge with Ice Box

Ideal if you need a little bit of extra space for your chilled items, the 45-litre capacity of this appliance is enough to comfortably hold two large bags of shopping. This appliance is perfect with the hotter weather approaching and can be used to store extra beer, wine and salad items before a family barbecue or party. Perfect for keeping in a garage or outbuilding if you have the option. There is also bottle storage in the door to keep your drinks safe and within easy reach.

The ice box is understandably a bit on the small size due to the overall dimensions but, at 4 litres, will comfortably fit enough ice required for a get-together or that secret tub of ice cream you want to keep hidden away for yourself. There are 6 generous temperature regulations for optimum flexibility depending on what you want to refrigerate, and it is unbelievably quiet.

We like

  • Bonus ice box
  • Spacious for dimensions

We dislike

  • No auto defrost feature

Final Verdict

Great item for keeping the seasonal excess of summer food fresh

+ Specifications

  • Dimensions: H49.2 x W47.2 x D45 cm
  • Energy Rating: A+
  • Noise Level: 45dB
  • Type: Table top mini fridge

+ Downloads

Lec R50052W Table Top Fridge with Ice Box user manual

Download

Help and Resources

Fridge Buying Guide

How to Choose the Right Refrigerator

Buying a refrigerator is an investment, as it is one of the most important appliances in your kitchen. Here are some of the factors you should consider and look out for.

Will it fit?

Finding the right size is key. Start by measuring the width, height and depth of the space allocated for your refrigerator model. Be sure to allow a few inches extra and factor in room for the doors to swing open. You should also consider the logistics of getting it into your house – will it fit through the door?

Door direction

Above all else, the thing to think about is practicality. The positioning of the doors plays a key role here. Figure out which way you want the doors to open for easy access. With some models, you can opt to have the doors reversed. Make sure you specify this before delivery.

Location matters

Most refrigerators are designed to live in a room with a consistent ambient temperature, like the kitchen. If you’re planning on storing your it somewhere else, such as the garage, make sure you choose a model that is designed for a colder environment.

Ice and water

Perhaps you’d like a fridge that comes with an ice and water dispenser? This feature is increasingly popular and regularly features in the american-style fridge freezers. Bear in mind that it needs plumbing, so for this to work it will need to be installed within 1.5 metres of a water source. You should also check that the dispenser is easy to use, especially if you have children.

Cleaning preferences

The shelves will either be wire or smooth – thick plastic or glass. Think about which you would prefer to clean. Smooth shelves are sometimes easier, as you can simply wipe them down. You should also think about the outside. Stainless steel looks very beautiful when clean, but is prone to smudges. The better options have a white or smudge-free finish.

Lifestyle and eating habits

The type of fridge you need will differ depending on how many people you live with and whether you have any physical problems that make bending down or reaching high shelves tricky. It also depends on what type of food you eat, and in what quantity you usually buy it. For example, if you buy a lot of frozen food, a tiny little bottom freezer is not going to be the better option for you. Or if you like a lot of fresh veg, you’ll want an option with plenty of drawers. Think about what would be most useful for you and base your decision on that.

FAQs

Who makes the leading refrigerators?

Hotpoint, Beko, Samsung and Smeg are considered among the best manufacturers today. Smeg products famously have a 50s retro look to them, whereas the other brands are more contemporary. All will serve you well for an appliance that is high quality, and the preferred aesthetic is up to you. Other top brands include Bosch, LG, Samsung, Whirlpool and Zanussi.

What is the best fridge temperature?

The optimum refrigerator temperature is at or just below 4° C. You should take care not to pack the fridge so tightly that the air cannot circulate. The ideal temperature for your freezer is -18° C.

The temperature display is usually found at the top of the refrigerator. Use the arrows to adjust your fridge temperature setting until it is between 2° C and 4° C. Or if you have a keypad, simply type in the desired temperature.

What is the ideal refrigerator for a small kitchen?

It depends how small you need to go. The smallest you can get (without being super tiny) is an under-counter fridge. These are quite inexpensive and maximise your surface space. This could work for an individual storing only a few days’ worth of groceries at a time, but not much more than that.

A standard freezer-freezer has width of 36 inches, but if you have a small kitchen you might want to consider a narrower model, more like 24 inches (or 60 cm). You knock 12 inches off, but you can still retain a lot of room inside.

If height is the issue but you don’t want something quite as small as an under counter fridge, you may prefer a single standing tall fridge.

What is the best fridge for a dorm room?

An under-counter fridge can be a great option for student residences, as they are smaller. The Indesit Undercounter Fridge has a useful icebox for storing ice cream or cooling drinks before a party, as well as being quiet and energy-efficient. Alternatively, you may want something even more compact just for your bedroom, in which case this LEC Free Standing Table Top Fridge could be perfect for you, at 49.2 x 47.2 x 45 cm including ice box.

What are the ideal fridges for camping?

Compact travel fridges can run off 12V power, mains power or gas, and they are the perfect (but most expensive) option for actively cooling your food on the go. This Waeco 3-Way Portable Cool Box is a good choice for serious campers, with 41 litre capacity, zero noise, and sleek aluminium exterior.

What elements do you look for and what features matter most to you? Let us know in the comments.

Hopefully, this buying guide has given you some idea of what to look for in new refrigerators. What are the most important features and functions that you will consider? Leave a reply and let us know.