Fridge & Freezer Deals

Well stocked fridge

If your television is the most important of the least important electronic devices in your house, then your fridge is surely the most important thing full stop. Along with your freezer, it houses your food. It is the sustenance of life. With so many options on the market though, we've come up with a useful guide to helping you choose what's right for your household.

See Also: Cookers & Hobs | Tumble Dryers | Washing Machines

There is a wealth of options when it comes to choosing your refrigeration device; from stand-alone fridges with separate freezers, to combined fridge-freezers, with American style ‘super’ fridge-freezers to boot. We’ll have a look at each of the options in turn so that you know what you’re looking for when you go shopping.

In some instances, such as Energy Rating, the information you’ll need to take into account will be the same regardless of the device you’re looking to buy, so we’ll deal with them in one go rather than repeating ourselves in each section.

Fridge Buyers Guide

Size & Type

inside of a fridgeBefore you make a firm choice about which fridge you want, it’s important to consider size in two manners: how much room have you got in your house for a fridge? And, how much food are you going to want to store?

Once you’ve answered that question you’ll hopefully have narrowed down your options so you’ll have a clearer idea of which part of the market you’re going to be shopping in.

Fridge-wise there are numerous options. They are:

  • Mini-fridges – These are exactly what you’d expect them to be. Smaller fridges that are more suited to holding extras from your main fridge. Things like cheese, small bottles of milk, cans of soda, and so on.
  • Undercounter fridges - These are smaller, more compact fridges that, like the title suggests, fit conveniently underneath your kitchen counter. This gives them a degree of flexibility, as you can put them wherever you have space to fit them. They are generally large enough for all of the usual things you’d put in a fridge and will tend to have Fast Chill and automatic defrost features.
  • Tall fridges - These are designed to offer you far more space for all of your fresh food and grocery needs. The downside is that they’ll also obviously take up a lot more room in your house. You can pair them with a tall freezer if you live in a big house and have a lot of food buying needs, but ensure you’ve got the space to keep them. As you’d expect these also tend to offer the usual Fast Chill, automatic defrost and similar user-friendly features.
  • Standard fridges - The type of fridge that we all know and love. They usually contain a small freezer compartment at the top of the fridge. This makes them ideal for people who don’t tend to freeze much food but will still like the option for small bits. They often contain an ice-tray, too. The downside is that the freezer compartment takes up space in the fridge, limiting the amount of room available for storing food.
  • Larder fridges - Similar in composition to standard fridges, but without the ice tray. Larder fridges have that little bit more room for fresh food and grocery storage, and the layout tends to involve the things you’d expect in a fridge – shelves and a crisper drawer.

Storage

Most fridges, regardless of their type, have flexible storage options. Most will have shelves that you can move up and down in order to fit in larger items, such as a chicken, a lasagne dish or even a pineapple, should you so wish.

Door racks are also a much under-rated storage facility. They can hold bottles, juice boxes, cartons and more. They normally also have an egg rack to save you putting a full egg box on one of your shelves, and a butter storage tray. The small things can make a big difference.

Don’t forget to have a look at the practical features of the fridge you’re considering purchasing. Does it have glass shelves, for example? They are ideal for stopping liquid dripping down on to the food below, and can also be wiped clean should something spill. If you’re a wine drinker, you might want to look for a fridge that has a wine rack inside of it so that you keep your wine bottles organised and safe.

Wine isn’t the only thing that can have its own compartment, of course, though some people might think it’s the most fun. Check if your fridge has a salad crisper drawer or a dairy compartment. The separate compartments can prevent odours from smelly foodstuffs travelling from one part of the fridge to another.

Other Features

As well as ensuring you pick the right fridge to match the right freezer, should you be looking to buy a freezer, there are other things you should think about when fridge shopping. Does it have a reversible door, for example? That’s unlikely to be a deal breaker, but if it does have them then you’ll be able to set your fridge up according to the layout of your kitchen.

Some high-end fridges also have water dispensers built-in. This feature tends to be more common in the American style fridge-freezer, so we’ll look at it in more detail when we talk about them, but it’s definitely something worth considering if you like filtered water.

Freezer Buyers Guide

Size & Type

FreezerFreezers come in two different types with one of those types then having further subsections. The types are upright freezers and chest freezers. In essence the things you’d look for when considering which freezer to buy are the same with both types, so we’ll look at them as one thing rather than as two separate devices.

Just so that you understand the difference though, here’s a brief outline of each. Chest freezers tend to be large capacity devices with a door on the top of them, rather than the front. They are normally used to store food that has been bought in bulk and they tend to have wire baskets that sit on top of each other, in which you place your food. Due to the design of the freezer they are more commonly placed inside a garage, utility room or outbuilding.

Upright freezers are the more conventional device that we’re all used to seeing. They often match a fridge of a similar design and stand next to, or on top of, the freezer in a kitchen. It is the upright freezer than tends to come in different styles, and we’ll look at each in turn now.

  • Mini-freezers – Much like their fridge counterparts, these mini-freezers are ideal for extra storage of small items. They normally have Frost Free technology to help in their maintenance.
  • Undercounter freezers - These devices are compact and convenient to use in your home. They have more flexible storage abilities than mini-freezers and they’ll also tend to have Fast Freeze and Frost-Free features. They’re better suited to smaller households, or for use as an extra freezer.
  • Tall freezers - Normally these are chosen to match their tall fridge friend, but that’s not always the case. Tall freezers offer significantly more storage options than the other freezers. Most offer Fast Freeze and Frost-Free technology, as well as other user-friendly bits and bobs.

Other Features

Frost-Free freezers have technology in them to stop ice building up, so theoretically, you won’t need to defrost them very often – on top of that, you’ll also have more storage space as there won’t be a build-up of ice to with which to contend.

Static freezers, on the other hand, require defrosting manually at periodic intervals. If you don’t do this then ice will build-up, the storage conditions will worsen and you won’t get the optimum performance out of your freezer.

Something to consider should you be looking at buying a chest freezer is that most of them are only available in the static freezer format. They must be defrosted manually and normally have a front drainage system. That makes them easier to maintain and more energy efficient. Once the defrosting process has been completed, the front drainage system can be used to drain the water into a suitable receptacle before being dispensed.

Most freezers contain ice cube trays, but some will also have ice dispensers that sit on the front of the freezer. Much like with the water dispenser on some fridges, this tends to be on higher-end models or American fridge-freezers.

Another thing to consider when you’re looking at buying a freezer is whether or not it has transparent drawers. It sounds obvious, of course, but if you have transparent drawers then it’s easier to see what is where inside your freezer, which means you won’t have to go hunting around just to find those frozen fish fingers.

The final thing to consider is whether your freezer allows for the storage of more bulky items. Do you always find that you host your families Christmas party, for example? Having a large section of the freezer in which to store the turkey and frozen veg will make your preparation significantly easier. The same can be said for large meat joints and so on, too.

Fridge-Freezer Buyers Guide

various fridge sizesThe best of both worlds, or the least of each? For some, a separate fridge and freezer is not an option due to either space limitations or financial issues. That is where a fridge-freezer might come in handy.

Size & Type

There are 3 main types of fridge-freezer:

  • Fridge-Freezer Splits – This is the best option if you want to have a fridge-freezer but know that you’ll be likely to use one aspect of it more than the other. You can buy different models of split fridge-freezer that have varying storage capacity. 70/30 models give you the maximum amount of fridge storage, whilst 60/40 models offer a little bit more freezer room, should you need it. Finally, 50/50 appliances give you the best of both worlds as they are split evenly down the middle.
  • Freezer Top Units - If you think that you’ll be constantly getting frozen food out of the freezer then a freezer top unit will be the ideal choice for you. Of course, with the freezer on top then you’ll have to crouch down when you want to get things off the bottom shelf of the fridge, or out of the crisper draw.
  • Freezer Bottom Units - The exact reverse of the freezer top unit, this is for those of you that think you’ll need access to your frozen goods less often than your fresh produce.

Anything Else To Think About?

Fridge-freezers are, as the description suggests, a combination of both devices. Because of that, the same features that you need to look out for in both of those things also apply here.

That means that you need to keep an eye out for the freezer system your chosen fridge-freezer employs, as well as consider the storage flexibility options in the fridge section. Also have a look at what features your unit contains for the maintenance of the freshness of your food, such as rapid cooling, multi-zone compartments and food preservation features.

American Style Fridge-Freezers

What To Consider When You Go Looking

The most stylish of all the fridge-freezer options, the American Style fridge-freezer is the absolutely daddy of the group. They tend to be large, uncompromising units that do everything you could possibly want them to do.

Size & Type

American Style Fridge-Freezers tend to come in a side-by-side configuration with one door for each. That isn’t exclusively the case, though, as you can also get them in 3 or 4 door configurations. These may well be models with freezer drawers on the bottom, or variable temperature compartments in the fridge. Have a think about what you want to get out of your fridge freezer and you’ll almost certainly be able to find an American model that suits your needs.

Water & Ice Dispenser

fridgesThe most standout feature on the American style fridge-freezers is definitely the water & ice dispenser. They don’t often come as standard, but are a great addition if you think you’ll get use out of them.

Models that have a built-in water & ice dispenser come in two forms: plumbed dispensers and non-plumbed dispensers. It’s pretty easy to figure out what each entails, but just to make it clear, plumbed dispensers must be plumbed into your house’s water supply, and the supply must be about 1.5 metres away from the fridge-freezer. These also need water filters, which must be replaced periodically – so take the cost of replacement parts into account when you do your calculations.

Non-plumbed dispensers don’t need to be attached to the house’s plumbing, but instead use a removable jug or container. These need to be topped up periodically, so whilst you don’t have the added cost of changing water filters you do have the inconvenience of having to fill the water container yourself.

Having a water & ice dispenser built-in to your fridge can be great if you you’re a big fan of filtered water or you tend to have endless amounts of ice in your drinks. Some of the models even have a setting to dispense crushed ice, which are idea for cocktails. But they are an added expense, so just make sure you consider your options carefully as far as your financial situation is concerned.

Features Common To All Units

Whether you are looking to buy a fridge, a freezer, a fridge-freezer or an American style behemoth of a unit, there are some factors to consider that are relevant for all of your options. We’ll look at each of them in turn, now.

Energy Rating

Historically the energy ratings of fridges and freezers ranged from G-A, with A being the best and the G the worst. However, over the years, manufacturers have worked incredibly hard to make their machines as energy efficient as possible. With this in mind, you will only tend to find units with energy ratings in the A range – from A to A+++.

The newer – and often more expensive – the machine, the better the energy rating. The better the energy rating, the more money you’ll save on your bills each year. It isn’t written in stone, of course, but here’s a rough guide to the potential savings you’ll get with each energy rating:

  • A to A+ can offer up to 10% savings on your energy
  • A+ to A++ can offer up to 20% savings on your energy
  • A++ to A+++ can offer up to 50% savings on your energy

Other Features

Other things to look out for when you’re buying your unit are as follows:

  • Low-power lighting – LED lighting tends to be more efficient, brighter and have lower power consumption than standard lighting.
  • Digital controls - With external controls on your fridge or freezer you can change the temperature, set ice mode if you have an ice dispenser, and even let your fridge know that you’re on holiday.
  • Antibacterial coating – Some fridges and freezes come with an antibacterial coating over the shelves and surfaces. This stops the spread of any bacteria that may be on your foodstuffs and helps to keep everything fresh for longer.
  • Compressors – the more developed fridges and freezers have compressors that give your unit consistent cooling and use less energy. They’re also more durable than standard cooling methods.
  • Express freezing – This is a feature I’m sure we could all have done with at some point or another. If you put a drink in the freezer to chill it quickly – such as a can of lager or a bottle of wine – in order to be able to drink it, this feature sets off an alarm to remind you to take it out again.
  • Warning alarms – Most modern fridges have alarms in them to let you know if you’ve left the door open or if the temperature has started to increase.

This isn’t an extensive look at all of the options on the market, but if you use this guide and bear in mind the main things we’ve highlighted then you’ll be well on your way to getting the fridge, freezer or fridge-freezer you want.