Refrigerators and Freezers – A Complete Buying Guide

From storing fresh groceries to keeping that carefully prepared dessert perfectly chilled, your fridge and freezer are undoubtedly amongst some of the most essential appliances in your kitchen.

With this in mind, it’s important to think carefully about your requirements before you invest. Whether you choose an American fridge or a stylish integrated fridge-freezer, the model you select can have a significant impact on your lifestyle and the aesthetics of your kitchen design.

This guide is designed to take you through all the considerations you may wish to think about before you purchase and help you pick the best fridge-freezer for your space.

Choosing a fridge and freezer

Whether you’re planning a full kitchen renovation or just want to update your appliances, the first step in buying a new fridge or freezer is thinking about your lifestyle. Do you need a large fridge to store the weekly shop for your family? Or, would you prefer plenty of freezer space to ensure you can store leftovers easily? Do you want a separate fridge and freezer or an integrated fridge-freezer model?

Whatever your needs, it may be worthwhile noting down what you currently use your fridge-freezer for (or what you’d like to use your appliances for) to ensure you choose a model that meets your requirements.

Choosing colour for your fridge

Colour is another important consideration at the start of your buying journey. While white is a common choice, there are plenty of colourways available to suit the look and feel of every space.

For traditional kitchens, you may wish to choose a cream fridge-freezer. These work particularly well with neutral or warm colour palettes and look striking when paired with similar-hued cabinets.

If you have a modern kitchen, you may want to invest in a model with a striking design. Silver fridge-freezers work well with industrial aesthetics, while black fridge-freezers can contrast minimalist spaces beautifully.

Whatever colour you choose, it’s a good idea to think about your choices before you narrow down your favourite models. This will help to streamline your selection and help you find the best fridge-freezer to suit your style.

How to choose the perfect fridge

There are many advantages to choosing a standalone fridge. They ensure you have plenty of space to store your groceries, and you won’t lose valuable chilling space to a freezer compartment. There are also a variety of different sizes available to suit every kitchen, meaning you should be able to find a model that works for you.

Whether you’re looking for a large fridge or a compact model, there are a variety of considerations to bear in mind. 

Size and capacity

Standalone fridges are available in a variety of sizes. Before you look into your perfect fit, think about whether you want a tall fridge or a built-under model. Tall fridges can be placed wherever you want, whereas built-under models fit beneath your worktops.

Size is usually measured in centimetres. These can vary depending on the model you choose, so it will be important to measure your space carefully. There are large fridges and compact models on the market, so there’s plenty of variety for every requirement. Remember that if you choose a standalone fridge, it’s likely that you’ll want to have a freezer elsewhere in your home too. Be sure that you factor in both appliances when you measure!

In terms of capacity, fridges are usually measured in litres. However, most retailers will also let you know how many grocery bags will fit in your chosen model too. Small fridges tend to fit approximately eight bags of groceries, while large fridges can store up to 17 bags.

Style

Upright or standalone fridges come in a variety of styles, and it’s really up to you to choose your favourite. Standard models are sleek and minimal, and can seamlessly blend into your kitchen design without detracting from it.

For a touch of style, you may want to choose an American fridge or vintage-inspired design. These can both work very well in classic and contemporary spaces alike.

Additional features

As well as the size and style of your fridge, it’s just as important to think about functionality. Fridges can have a variety of different features, so it’s a good idea to think about what would suit your lifestyle best.

Quick chill technology

Quick chill technology is ideal for cooling items fast. Whether you want to quickly chill a bottle of wine for impromptu dinner parties or preserve the freshness of vegetables, fast chill compartments are a handy feature.

Adjustable shelving

Adjustable shelving comes as standard with many fridge models, but it is useful to check before you buy. From defrosting the Christmas turkey to storing your latest grocery shop, adjustable shelving ensures your food fits your fridge perfectly.

Flexible temperature zones

Flexible temperature zones are ideal for keeping food at their best for longer. By selecting different temperatures for each zone, you can tailor your chilled storage to suit every grocery.

Reversible doors

From large fridges to integrated models, it’s useful to look at reversible door options if your kitchen requires it. With this functionality, you can place your fridge exactly where you want to without worrying about which side your door opens.

How to choose the perfect freezer

The ideal companion to a standalone fridge, freezers are a must in every home. From freezing leftovers to storing groceries for longer, freezers ensure you always have delicious food when you need it.

Size and capacity

There are a variety of different freezer sizes available, and which you choose depends on your lifestyle requirements.

If you’re looking for an integrated freezer to sit next to your built-in fridge, look for under-counter models that match your overall aesthetic. These can vary in width but always fit seamlessly underneath your cabinets. Standalone built-in freezers tend to have between 80 and 100-litre capacity.

With tall or upright freezers, you’ll benefit from plenty of space to keep your groceries frozen to perfection. These tend to have a large capacity, meaning you can store upwards of 204 litres worth of food.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you can buy large chest freezers, which are well suited to utility rooms or outbuildings. These give extra storage for large amounts of groceries; the ideal choice for busy homes.

Style

Like with standalone fridge models, upright freezers tend to have a sleek and seamless design. White continues to be one of the most popular hues, which is ideal for creating cohesivity in any space. However, you may wish to invest in a unique freezer in black or silver to enhance a darker colour palette.

You may also be able to find vintage-inspired freezers to compliment a classic space. These typically have a retro appearance that looks particularly striking in traditional kitchens.

Additional features

When choosing your new freezer, be sure to pay attention to additional features that may make your experience simpler. From defrosting to quick freezing, extra functionality can ensure that your freezer performs at its best.

Automatic defrosting

Take the hassle out of maintaining your freezer with a model that offers automatic defrosting. These ensure that you never have to manually defrost your appliance ever again.

Quick freeze technology

To lock in the nutrients and taste of your food, freezers that offer quick-freeze technology are a go-to. These adjust the temperature when you add your groceries to ensure they’re frozen as quickly and as safely as possible.

Temperature alerts

Temperature alerts can be a handy feature for your chosen freezer. These sound an alarm when the temperature in your appliance gets too high. These often also let you know if you have accidentally left your door open.

How to choose a fridge-freezer

Integrated fridge-freezers are a popular choice for homes of every style. Space-saving and convenient, they give you both your fridge and your freezer in one appliance. Whether you choose an American fridge-freezer or an integrated model, you’re sure to find that a fridge-freezer is a versatile addition to your kitchen space.

There is a wide range of fridge-freezer options to choose from. The best fridge-freezers ensure maximum flexibility with premium performance, ensuring your food is both chilled and frozen at its best.

Size and capacity

When choosing the size of your fridge-freezer, it is important to think about your lifestyle requirements, as well as the size of the space you have available. For example, if you find you regularly freeze large amounts, choose an integrated fridge-freezer 50/50. Alternatively, if you have more fresh food in your fridge, choose an integrated fridge-freezer 70/30.

  • Built-in fridge-freezer

Built-in fridge-freezers typically sit underneath your kitchen cabinets. They’re an ideal choice for smaller households. These can be available in 50/50 fridge-freezer capacities, which means you have equal amounts of fridge and freezer space.

However, built-under models tend to feature a larger fridge space with a small icebox for freezing minimal amounts of food.

  • Upright fridge-freezer

Upright integrated fridge-freezers are a great choice for those looking for maximum flexibility in their appliance. It is important to remember that these are tall fridge-freezers, which means you’ll need a dedicated space in your kitchen.

You’ll find plenty of size choice with these types of fridge-freezers. For more space to chill food in your integrated fridge-freezer, 70/30 is your best option. This gives you 70% of fridge space and 30% of freezer space. Alternatively, if you want equal space in your integrated fridge-freezer, 50/50 may be better suited to your needs.

  • American fridge-freezer

American fridge-freezers are becoming increasingly popular. Offering side-by-side storage, an American fridge-freezer is an ideal choice if you want plenty of space in an integrated model.

Size and capacity can vary with these fridge-freezer models. However, capacity is typically significant. You may be able to fit upwards of 617 litres of food in your chosen model depending on the size you choose.

Style

The good news is that there are plenty of design-led choices when it comes to integrated fridge-freezers. From simple, sleek styles to models that make a striking statement, you’re sure to find an integrated fridge-freezer that suits your kitchen design.

Like with other fridge and freezer models, white continues to be a popular choice. However, you’ll find black fridge-freezers and silver fridge-freezers readily available if that suits your preferences better.

Additional features

Fridge-freezers are often at the pinnacle of technological innovation. Whether you’re looking for smart technology or automatic defrost functions, there are plenty of additional features to consider before you purchase.

  • Quick chill and fast freeze

These features ensure your fresh and frozen food remains at its best for longer.

  • No frost and automatic defrosting

Whether you choose a no frost model or automatic defrosting, these features make maintaining your integrated fridge-freezer simple.

  • Holiday mode

Holiday mode functionality is ideal if you regularly spend time away from your home. This feature uses the minimum amount of energy to maintain efficiency while keeping your frozen food stored safely.

  • Airflow technology

By maintaining an even refrigerator temperature, airflow technology ensures that your food is kept fresher for longer in every area of your integrated fridge-freezer.

  • Clean air filters

Some integrated fridge-freezers include clean air filters to help prevent odours. These are a great choice if you want to keep your fridge clean and fresh.

  • Adjustable shelves and wine racks

For maximum versatility, look for a fridge-freezer model that offers adjustable shelving and additional shelf features like wine racks or egg holders.

  • Natural light LEDs

Blue light or natural light LEDs are a great feature for the fridge section of your integrated fridge-freezer. These mimic natural light and ensure items, like your fruit and vegetables, maintain freshness for longer.

  • Left or right-hand opening

If you have a specific kitchen design that requires the door of your fridge-freezer to open on a certain side, left or right-hand opening functionality may be right for you.

  • Antibacterial features

To maintain sanitary conditions, antibacterial features on your fridge-freezer shelves or door seals are worth considering. They can make your integrated fridge-freezer easier to clean too.

  • Touch controls

Whether you want to manually change the temperature of your fridge-freezer or simply want to keep an eye on its performance, touch controls are a useful feature.

  • Smart technology

From cameras that allow you to see inside your fridge from your phone to a screen that lets you display recipes on your fridge, smart technology is the ultimate in fridge-freezer features.

  • Ice and water dispensers

For perfectly chilled water on tap or ready-made ice cubes for your gin and tonic, dispensers are a popular must-have. Choose from models that are plumbed directly to your water source or dispensers that don’t require plumbing at all.

Considering energy ratings

As well as choosing an integrated fridge-freezer with premium performance and style, it’s important to think about the energy rating too. Whether you choose an American fridge or a built-in fridge-freezer, your chosen model will cost less to run if it has a higher energy rating. Look for models that have a rating between A+++ and A for the best efficiency.

Whether you’re looking for a stylish built-in fridge-freezer or a black fridge-freezer that makes a statement, choosing the perfect model will help elevate your kitchen space.