Fridges and freezers like other white goods are rated according to their energy efficiency. The EU energy label grades products from A (best) to G (worst) for energy use, with the scale going up to A++ for fridges and freezers.
Top performing products carry the blue Energy Saving Recommended logo, which means the product meets strict criteria set by the government and the Energy Saving Trust. That means you can trust the energy ratings that are handed out.
But, with fridges and freezers, this isn’t the only consideration. The EU A-G rating is a rating based on energy consumption per litre or cubic foot of storage, and it’s easier to make a machine more efficient if it’s larger. So a larger A-rated fridge may be more energy-efficient, but can consume more electricity than a smaller B-rated model.
That’s why it’s important to buy the smallest fridge and/or freezer you can for your needs, because typically a smaller appliance will cost you less to run. To determine running costs and to compare them across different makes and models, look at the annual consumption figure in kWh, which can also be found on the energy label. The lower this figure the more economical the fridge will be to run.
If you’re choosing a new fridge and freezer it’s worth remembering that a unit with the freezer on top, or underneath, the fridge is more energy-efficient than a side-by-side unit, which uses up to 20% more energy. So, if this will fit in your kitchen, it’s definitely the most efficient option.
1. Hoover HVBF5182WK
Anyone who has ever spent time de-icing the back of their fridge will appreciate this innovation from Hoover, which circulates cold air around the fridge constantly to ensure that ice can’t build up.
And despite it being able to do that, the Hoover HVBF5182WK won’t cost you a fortune to run, as it has a fantastic A+ energy rating, helped by the interior lights using low-energy but high-brightness LED bulbs which last a lifetime, ensuring you won’t need to wander around your local DIY shop for hours trying to find that one specific replacement fridge bulb you need. Owners also report it is surprisingly quiet to run.
In terms of storage capacity, the Hoover HVBF5182WK is a winner, offering 259 litres – about the equivalent of 14 bags of shopping, which should be plenty for most people.
2. Beko CFP1691W 50/50 fridge freezer
A sleek, spacious and affordable fridge freezer from household appliance specialists Beko. The white fridge has reversible doors, allowing it to adapt to different kitchen layouts. It also has one large salad drawer and an internal bottle rack. As a 50/50 fridge freezer, it’s ideal for those who need more freezer space.
The bright LED light at the top of the fridge illuminates the compartment well too. When tested, the fridge and freezer temperatures were a little uneven but when the doors were left ajar, they quickly returned to their optimum temperatures.
Thanks to Beko Freezer Guard, this fridge freezer can be safely operated when located in areas with temperatures as low as -15C, so it’s ideal for a garage or out-building. If you looking for a combi fridge-freezer with an integrated water dispenser, look no further than the Beko CRFP1601DPS, retailing at £399 from ao.com.
3. CDA PC84SC Frost Free American Style fridge freezer
£679, Marks Electrical
If you’re looking for a fridge freezer that is sure to attract attention, you could do worse than this massive 350 litre beast which comes with two doors allowing you to fully open your fridge and survey your domain. If you’re the type who frequently hosts big parties, this could be ideal.
The fridge has six indoor balconies, a lidded dairy compartment, two humidity controlled salad crisper drawers and three glass shelves.
In terms of freezer space, you’ve got two separate drawers which could be ideal for organising your food into categories. Meat in one and vegetables in the other, for example?
On the outside there’s an electronic display allowing you to quickly check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer and adjust where necessary.
It’s also reasonably cheap to run with an A+ energy rating.
4. AEG RMB96716CX American Style Fridge Freezer
Part of AEG’s excellent fridge freezer line, this model features a MultiSwitch drawer – sandwiched between the fridge and freezer compartment – which is adjustable between -18 to 7°C so you can preserve the taste and texture of your fresh ingredients, as needed.
Technology is the name of the game with this stainless-steel silver fridge freezer. Though it is large enough to hold the contents of 33 shopping bags, its A+ energy rating means you’ll keep running costs as low as possible. Even with the chilled water tap. The only downside, really, is the price.
5. Smeg FAB30R 70/30 fridge freezer
£1,479, John Lewis
This cream retro Smeg fridge freezer looks incredibly stylish and old-school, with its curved edges and freezer on top.
It looks great, but is it any good? First things first, it has a 70/30 split, so is right for those who don’t need much freezer space. But the fridge fits plenty of food. There’s a chrome wine rack, and a bottle retainer.
It may look like it’s from the 1950s, but this Smeg appliance has all the latest technology. A fast cooling system ensures newly added items drop to the right temperature as soon as possible. Drawers are clear, so you can see everything, and the freezer has a rapid-freeze function.
With its A+++ energy rating, it’s also a cost-effective fridge freezer (once you’ve spent the significant sum on the appliance itself, of course).
6. Fisher & Paykel RF540ADUSX4 Goliath 3-door fridge freezer
£2,099, John Lewis
A very spacious, American-style fridge freezer with double fridge doors that open outwards and a large, pull-out drawer to access the huge freezer compartment. Inside the freezer are two drawers and one large compartment, providing ample space.
There are plenty of shelf levels to customise and utilise space as needed, but no bottle rack. The bright internal light illuminates up the whole compartment well, though.
In tests, it regulated its fridge temperature extremely well, even when doors were left ajar. However, the freezer was much slower at this, so you should avoid opening the drawer more than necessary.
The thermostat is easily accessible and straightforward to operate. It has a water dispenser and ice maker, too. If you’re willing to fork out two grand for a fridge freezer, this Fisher & Paykel model is certainly worth it.
7. Bosch KGN36XW35G
German home appliance specialists Bosch have created a top fridge freezer with this frost-free model. The fridge is very spacious at an advertised 237 litres, with a smaller freezer capacity of 87 litres, so it’s a good fit for those who like to keep plenty of fresh food.
It’s very easy to use, and there are a number of excellent features. The frost-free function means you won’t have to scrape off bits of frost, a painstaking task. The Super Cool and Super Freeze settings allow you to ensure food you’ve put in the fridge or freezer gets down to the right temperature as soon as possible.
8. Samsung RB31FDRNSA frost free tall fridge freezer
£549, Currys PC World
For a mid-range option this Samsung fridge freezer will do the trick, and it comes with a host of features befitting of a more pricey alternative. On its exterior is a water dispenser (not plugged into mains, so you’ll have to top it up, and no ice dispenser function) and temperature display so you’ll know if your fridge and freezer are at the right level.
Inside, the fridge has four safety glass fridge shelves, which are adjustable and provide high visibility. Storage-wise, the fridge has a 210 litre capacity; 98 litres for the freezer. It has an A+ energy rating too.
9. Zanussi ZBB27640SV integrated 50/50 fridge freezer
£479, Currys PC World
A spacious fridge freezer with plenty of shelves to customise. It has reversible doors, so the fridge is accessible however your kitchen is laid out.
The Fast Freeze function is particularly useful for when you need to restock the fridge freezer. There is also an auto-defrost function, which means you don’t need to defrost this fridge freezer as much as you would a standard model.
The fridge contains an egg rack, two bottle racks and a dairy compartment. We particularly appreciate that the shelves and door balconies are removable, which makes them easy to clean.
The energy consumption is pretty decent, with its A+ rating. However, customers have said that this energy efficiency means the internal light is slow to turn on, which could be inconvenient.