Looking for a new fridge? It’s big purchase, so you want to make sure you buy the right one. Luckily, our director Director Of Product Content And Testing @MattSteen has put together some tips to help you play it cool. The below information is just a summary, for the full article check out our Fridge Buying Guide.
Questions to Ask What size fridge do you need?
This should be based on the size of your household. You’ll also want to look at reliability.
What type of fridge do you want?
Top mount, bottom mount, side-by side… we look at the pros and cons of each fridge type.
We show you how to work out the running costs of a fridge over a year.
What else should I look for?
From ice dispensers to crispers, we go over the other componants available.
When we moved into a rental property a few years back, the kitchen design was so stupid we had to purchase two short fridges to replace our normal sized fridge as there was no where to put it. The only ones we could find at the time that were the correct dimensions actually turned out to be great. The only gripe we have is that if anything comes into contact with the back wall inside any of the two fridges, it gets snap frozen, so that’s a couple of centimetres at the back of each shelf that we can’t use as we not only need to keep food and drinks off the back wall, but it also needs a little bit of leeway space in case something gets moved slightly whilst other things are removed and replaced in each of the fridges.
We have one of the best brand fridges and have trouble free (touch wood) 18 years and 8 months (purchased on 13 April 2000). Hopefully the fridge continues to perform like it has in the past and we have many more years of its company in the kitchen.
I’ve had a look at fridge reviews… but one thing that’s missing is assessing the thickness of the door. I’m designing a new kitchen and looking to upgrade the fridge, but I’m struggling to find info about fridge placement and space needed around the fridge; can drawers/crispers be removed when the door is open against a wall, or does it need to swing a full 180 degrees etc. I know there’s a specifications section, but it’s very general, ie. closed fridge dimensions. I think I’ll need to go and see them in person. I guess the reviews will help me narrow down the value for money question.
I moved your topic here because your questions are germane to finding the best fridge, not just one that fits your space and Choice would do well addressing those points in future tests. One aspect I raised a while back is that the manufacturers specifications for top, side, and back clearance from walls is also avoided, and only the physical dimensions presented - another issue. It turns out that the manufacturer specifications are as much to do with power consumption as anything since modern fridges do not always have their coils in the back, or bottom, and the less air space around the fridge the higher the power consumption. But reality seems to be if a fridge fits into the space it will probably work OK.
From window shopping fridges, for now your best source to answer your questions for the ‘finalists’ is to visit the manufacturers web site and download the ‘installation’ document - those normally show everything relevant. The owners manuals may not as they are more general. Keep the clearance measurements in perspective re what they are about.
Always the gold standard since anything on paper that looks good might for one or another reason fail to impress in one’s hand.