It's all very well to read about the specs and features of a fridge. But using it in day-to-day life is a different matter. That's why we don't rely on manufacturers' write-ups. We test the fridges we review ourselves, in our own homes.
Fridges are now filled with great tech that'll help you to organise your shopping and keep your food in perfect condition for longer, such as climate-controlled compartments with adjustable settings for fresh fruit and veg.
Some of the fridge freezers we've reviewed also have switch tech - sections that can either function as a fridge or a freezer, depending on your needs. So, if you have people coming over and are preparing salads and cold cuts, you can maximise your fridge space. But if you see an offer on frozen food, or you want to meal prep for a couple of weeks, you can opt for an extra freezer compartment.
You can find out more about current fridge technology after the chart, as well as information on how we test the fridges we review. Otherwise, read on for the best fridges we've tested.
Best fridge reviews
Haier HTF-456DM6 Cube fridge freezer - Best design
- Four-door design
- Humidity Zone drawers
- Door storage rack
- Integral fridge door seal
- No integral ice maker
- Stiff manual ice tray
This spacious Haier fridge freezer is beautifully designed, with a four-door format that has the potential to change the way you use your kitchen.
It also features some brilliant tech, including a digital control panel on one of the doors.
It features Humidity Zone and Dry Zone drawers, which we found made a noticeable difference to the freshness and longevity of food in our tests.
It also also has Haier's Anti-Bacterial Treatment - a UV light designed to kill bacteria inside the fridge, for more hygienic food storage.
Beneath the fridge is an easy-to-view 140 litre no-frost freezer.
Okay, there's no ice maker but apart from that, this Haier Cube has everything you could want in a luxury fridge freezer, at a very reasonable price point.
Read our full Haier HTF-456DM6 Cube fridge freezer review
LG InstaView Door-in-Door GSX961MCCZ - Best features
- InstaView with knock lighting
- Smart features
- Very basic owner’s manual
- Mechanical humidity switch
- Noisy ice-maker
This brilliant American-style fridge freezer is crammed with fantastic tech. Best of all is the door-in-door feature. Knock twice on the glass panel and it'll illuminate. Then you can open it up and grab a drink or snack without opening the main door.
It also has smart features, so you can opt to control temperature settings on the ThinQ app on your phone or using voice commands via a home assistant. The app also provides open-door alerts.
There's a non-plumbed water dispenser and an ice maker that'll produce both cubed and crushed ice.
It's also got a huge capacity, at 601 litres across both fridge and freezer, which stand side-by-side.
LG GBB62PZGFN 70/30 - Smallest footprint
- Small footprint
- Very energy efficient
- High shelves less accessible
- No water/ ice dispenser
- No freezer light
If you have limited floorspace in your kitchen, this LG fridge freezer is an excellent option. For only 682mm x 595mm of your kitchen floor, you'll get 384 litres of fridge and freezer storage space, including a five-bottle wine rack.
It's also very economical, Energy Class D (A+++ in the old ratings system), with a whisper-quiet 36dB operating volume.
On the minus side, its highest shelf is 5ft11 high, which gives it something of an accessibility issue. It's out of reach for children and shorter adults, although as the freezer is at the bottom, no-one will have a problem getting their hands on the ice cream.
Read our full LG GBB62PZGFN 70/30 fridge freezer review
Hisense PureFlat RQ758N4SWF1 - Most stylish
- Excellent storage capacity
- My Fresh Choice flexibility
- Water dispenser
- Lightweight drawers
- No wine rack
- No ice dispenser
The PureFlat is a stylish, modern fridge freezer. We looked at the black steel finish, which gives the perfectly flat appliance an ultra-modern appearance. The same model in stainless steel is more affordable.
It's a four-door fridge freezer, with the freezer below the fridge and a non-plumbed water dispenser set into the door. There's no ice maker, however.
One of its best features is the "My Fresh Choice" cabinet. What this means is that half of the freezer can be converted into a fridge if you need more fresh food storage space. There are some other nice storage features as well, like the slide-out freezer shelves, snack box and the full size pantry drawer.
It's a really spacious appliance as well, with a total capacity of 606 litres.
Read our full Hisense RQ758N4SWF1 Fridge review
Haier HTF-508DGS7 Cube - Switch tech
- My Zone flexibility
- Two programmable fridge boxes
- Excellent storage
- Bulky ice maker
- Tall at 190+cm
- No ice dispenser
If you have a bit more budget and space and are looking for something a little larger than the Haier HTF-456DM6, then this could be right for you. Not only does it have an extra 50 litres of food storage space but it has some tech and features that the other Cube lacks.
This model has a glass finish and its control panel illuminates when touched and disappears when not required.
One of its standout features is the My Zone flexibility, which allows you to convert half of the freezer into a refrigerator cabinet.
And, in addition to the effective humidity drawer, there's a specialised fresh food storage drawer that can be climate-adjusted depending on whether you want to use it for cheese, meat or fruit and vegetables.
It has super cool, quick freezer and holiday modes, which are simple to set up.
Read our full Haier Cube HTF-508DGS7 fridge freezer review
Hisense RL170D4BC21 Under Counter - Best budget option
- Great value
- Matching freezer available
- Stainless steel effect option
- Limited internal light
- Sensitive thermostat dial
This under-counter fridge is an excellent option if you have limited space and are buying on a budget. It's a fridge only but you can buy a matching freezer (Amazon, £179) and as both sets of doors are reversible, set them up side by side.
If you buy in the stainless steel effect finish, it has a surprisingly stylish look.
Read our full Hisense RL170D4BC21 Under Counter Fridge review
How we review fridges
There's no substitute for taking a fridge home and using it. We use each of the fridge freezers we review for about a month.
During the review period, we test out all of its features against the manufacturer's claims (does the humidity drawer really make a difference? How well does the instant freeze function work?).
We'll also take the temperature in each part of the fridge to see if it's consistent and as accurate as advertised. The more consistent the temperature is, the longer your food will last. We also test how long the fridge and freezer will keep food safe in the event of a power cut.
But we'll also use the appliances as you would in day-to-day life, to check how accessible each part of the fridge and freezer are, if they're well lit, and what kind of storage you'll get for your money.
American-style fridge freezers
Also known as side-by-side fridge freezers, these have double doors that open from the middle, with one side being the fridge and one the freezer - a vertical split instead of the characteristic UK horizontal split. Typically, the freezer compartment is narrower than the fridge.
American-style fridges often contain ice makers and water dispensers, which may or may not be plumbed in.
French door fridge freezers
These can be two-door, four-door, or a mix of doors and drawers. Although there is crossover with American style fridges, they are more likely to be perfectly symmetrical, with a fridge above and the freezer accessed either via two bottom doors or drawers.
Top or bottom freezer
Also called 70/30 or 60/40 fridge freezers, depending on their split, these are the most common fridges in the UK. They're divided horizontally.
Features to look out for
Depending on how you use your fridge freezer, you might find that some of the following features would make a real difference to your life.
This is a feature that most people are now familiar with. Frost-free freezers are equipped with an automatic fan that removes warm air let in when you open the freezer door. That means it doesn't have time to condense into water and ice up. So if you've ever had the problem of an ever-shrinking freezer space that starts to look like an ice cave on Hoth, this is tech to look out for.
Switch zones are convertible zones that can function either as a fridge or freezer compartment. They're typically situated within the freezer but the compartment's temperature can be individually adjusted to function as additional fridge space, so you can have more room for freshly prepared foods for an event. Then you can switch it back to make space for frozen food.
Quick cooling & fast freezing
If you're bringing home bags of fresh or frozen food, quick cooling and fast freeze features will let you swiftly chill or freeze your purchases to keep them in the best condition for longer. In addition, it means that the ambient temperature of your fridge and freezer won't rise when you load them full of room-temperature food.
Many fridge freezers have a holiday setting, which is designed for energy efficiency and economy when you're away. As you won't have lots of fresh food to keep cool, it'll raise the temperature of the fridge slightly but still keep your frozen food safe.
Some brands, such as Haier, include UV light technology inside the fridge that comes in when the fridge door closes to kill bacteria.
Controlling the humidity of the environment is the secret to keeping some vegetables juicy and others crisp. You can adjust the humidity in these drawers to create the perfect environment for the fruit and vegetables you're storing. For example, leafy greens enjoy a high-humidity environment.
There are alternatives to humidity drawers - for example, Beko's HarvestFresh light tech, which reproduces the natural light cycle in the crisper drawer to keep produce fresher for longer.
All brands have their own cooling systems, which are designed to minimise fluctuations in temperature and keep the temperature consistent across all areas of the fridge or freezer.
Smart features can vary a lot from appliance to appliance and from brand to brand. For example, some Siemens, Samsung and Bosch fridges have a 'view inside' feature that, using a camera inside your fridge, lets you check the contents of your fridge remotely, via an app, so you know if you're low on an item or about to buy it twice.
Others will send an alert to your phone if the fridge door is left ajar or let you know if ice is running low or the water tank needs to be refilled.
You may also be able to change the temperature in your fridge or freezer remotely, via an app, or start a quick cool function to prepare your fridge for food you're bringing home.
There may also be app features that'll help you to organise your shopping, food storage and cooking schedule. For example, you may be able to scan items you've bought into the app for meal planning, order groceries via the app and get recipe suggestions.
As yet, we don't think that any smart features are really essential but depending on your lifestyle, they might work for you.