To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Best freestanding fridges 2023: Designed to keep food fresh, all by themselves

Keep food fresh for longer with our expert guide to buying the best fridge

If you just want a plain, simple fridge, then you’re in luck. There are lots of great standalone fridges to choose from – whether you want a huge freestanding fridge for the kitchen as you have a chest freezer in the garage, need a small undercounter fridge for a flat, or just don’t have room for a big fridge freezer, we can help you find the ones that always keep their cool.

The first thing to do is decide on a budget – the more you spend, the more advanced the tech. Fridges now offer an array of food-preserving features that help retain fruit and vegetables’ vitamins and nutrients for longer, as well as special humidity-controlled drawers for meat and fish. Think about the type of produce you tend to buy most often and select the best fridge to suit those needs. Design also comes into play with stainless steel, black stainless steel and white finishes the most popular.

To help you determine which one is best for you, we’ve selected a shortlist of the best fridges that combine freshness and energy efficiency with smart looks for designer style.

READ NEXT: Best integrated dishwashers

How to choose the best fridge for you

How can I keep food fresh for longer?

Look for things like humidity-controlled drawers for fruit and vegetables, zero degree compartments for meat and fish, dynamic cooling for even air circulation throughout the fridge and intelligent sensors that automatically adjust the temperature (these are especially useful when adding new food after the weekly shop). The more you spend, the more fresh food features your fridge will have.

Bear in mind that every brand markets these features under different names, such as hyperFresh Plus (Siemens), SuperCooling (Bosch) and 6th Sense technology (Whirlpool), so it pays to do a little reading on each model.

How much capacity do I need?

This all depends on the sort of things you tend to buy often and how often you shop. If you like to stock up with a big weekly visit to the supermarket, then a large capacity is probably best. If you prefer to top up with trips to the market or independent shops then a smaller size will suffice.

Freestanding fridges that have no freezer functionality are often referred to as ‘larder fridges’. These appliances can make a perfect addition to households that buy mostly fresh ingredients, or where there’s a standalone freezer for storing frozen goods. Keep in mind that a larder fridge will have no freezer section whatsoever, with the entire cavity dedicated to fresh food storage.

The focused functionality of a larder fridge makes it possible for these appliances to be made in a relatively wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some models have really generous capacities, ideal for stocking up with a big shop, while smaller models are a better option for those who shop little and often.

There are also undercounter models that slot neatly underneath the worksurface – perfect for compact kitchens, open-plan studio apartments, or adding extra cool storage in the utility room. Meanwhile, mid-height larder fridges can provide fridge space in places where vertical space is limited.

Also keep in mind that salad bins and bottle racks may be handy but they will decrease the usable space for jars, packs of meat or fish and other bulkier items.

What makes a fridge more energy-efficient?

The first thing to look at is the fridge’s energy rating. These labels changed in 2021 so where previously they were rated A to D with up to three plus signs (+++), now there are no plus signs and it’s simply A to G, with A being the most efficient. Look at the estimated annual running costs and keep an eye out for things like LED lighting, which is more energy-efficient than non LED.

What other features should I look for?

As well as food-preserving features that will keep ingredients fresh for longer, look for any features that will make your life easier. Frost-free operation is essential these days, but other features could also come in handy. A water dispenser can be useful so that children can help themselves to cool water without constantly opening and closing the fridge door. Speaking of which, a door alarm is great if you have teenagers that are forever leaving the door open. A reversible hinge ensures that you can install the appliance in any kitchen layout, too.

READ NEXT: Best kitchen gadgets

The best fridges you can buy in 2023

1. Samsung Bespoke SpaceMax RR39C7BB7WW/EU: Best fridge overall

Price when reviewed: £1,299 | Check price at AO
best fridge Samsung Bespoke

How much are you willing to spend in pursuit of the perfect fridge? If you answered “lots”, then the Samsung Bespoke SpaceMax could be your ideal pick.

This cutting-edge larder fridge does the basics brilliantly – and then some. Its cooling action is engineered to work evenly throughout the fridge space, so that all your stored ingredients are kept at the same temperature. The fridge can be linked up to the SmartThings smartphone app for on-the-go monitoring and troubleshooting. Even the fridge walls add value, with a thin design that helps boost the fridge’s storage capacity to an impressive 377l.

Most impressively of all, the SpaceMax has attained a ‘C’ rating for energy efficiency, meaning it works more efficiently than almost all other standalone fridges available at present. The only real downside to this spectacular fridge is the price.

Key specs – Type: Freestanding larder fridge; Dimensions (HWD): 114 x 55 x 63cm; Finish: White; Rated efficiency: C; Gross fridge capacity: 377l; Frost-free: Yes (Auto Defrost); Water dispenser: No

Check price at AO

2. Liebherr K2340 fridge: Best mid-height larder fridge

Price when reviewed: £569 | Check price at AO
best fridge Liebherr K2340
Despite its lower-than-average height, the K2340 offers an impressive 213l storage capacity which is enough to fit about 11 shopping bags. For many small or medium-sized households, that’s more than enough.

At 114cm tall, the K2340 is somewhere between a mini fridge and a regular fridge in height. It’s therefore an excellent choice for buyers who need a fridge that will fit somewhere with limited vertical space, perhaps underneath a staircase or some shelving. Liebherr clearly had tight spaces in mind when they designed this fridge, as they’ve also given it a reversible door that can be set up to open on whichever side suits your room layout best.

This fridge’s appeal isn’t all down to its space-saving design. We were also impressed with features such as its auto defrost function and its pair of salad crisper drawers.

Key specs – Type: Mid-height freestanding larder fridge; Dimensions (HWD): 114 x 55 x 63cm; Finish: White; Rated efficiency: F; Gross fridge capacity: 213l; Frost-free: Yes (Auto Defrost); Water dispenser: No

Check price at AO

3. Beko UL584APW fridge: Best undercounter fridge

Price when reviewed: £230 | Check price at AO
best fridge Beko UL584APW
It may be diminutive, but the UL584APW under-counter fridge gives you enough storage space to accommodate about seven shopping bags – plenty to keep a relatively small household well fed for a week.

Perfect for installation in tight spaces, this fridge is highly adaptable, as well as compact. The shelves can be adjusted to create suitable spaces for large or small groceries, and the door can be hinged on either side to suit your kitchen layout. We appreciated the roomy salad crisper drawer at the bottom of the fridge space, and there’s provision for plenty of bottles and jars, too, thanks to the relatively generous inside-door shelves.

Key specs – Type: Freestanding under-counter fridge; Dimensions (HWD): 84 x 54.5 x 59.5cm; Finish: White; Rated efficiency: F; Gross fridge capacity: 130l; Frost-free: Yes (Auto Defrost); Water dispenser: No

Check price at AO

4. Hotpoint RLA36P1 undercounter fridge: Best cheap undercounter fridge

Price when reviewed: £319 | Check price at AO
best fridge Hotpoint rla36p1

When you’re short on space or you just need an extra fridge to store fresh ingredients, an undercounter model tucks in neatly beneath the work surface. Make sure you check the dimensions before you buy though, as even a few millimetres can make all the difference – you want to ensure it slots easily underneath. This Hotpoint model does come with adjustable feet though, which should help.

This fridge is pretty nifty considering its size, as it has a decent capacity, seven shelves and a large salad drawer. It also comes with Hygiene+ Protection to keep food fresh for longer while the anti-bacterial coating on the inner walls kills any bacteria and mould, so it offers peace of mind for families with young children as well as those who may not be into cleaning their fridge as often as they should.

You won’t get any high-tech features or energy-efficient LED lights with undercounter fridges generally, as they tend to be fairly basic. Most people buy them as an additional fridge in the utility room with a main fridge and freezer in the kitchen or when they don’t have the space for a larder model.

Key specs – Type: Freestanding undercounter; Dimensions (HWD): 85 x 59.8 x 62cm; Finish: White; Rated efficiency: F; Gross fridge capacity: 146l; Frost-free: Yes; Water dispenser: No

Check price at AO

5. Fridgemaster MTL55242E: Best cheap larder fridge

Price when reviewed: £259 | Check price at AO
best fridge Fridgemaster MTL55242E

New for 2023, the Fridgemaster MTL55242E larder fridge gives you 13 shopping bags’ worth of storage space at a remarkably affordable price. Sure, it doesn’t have many fancy features, but this fridge provides good basic functionality, and it looks pretty sleek while it’s at it.

Despite its generous storage capacity, this fridge has a relatively low depth, at 54.2cm from front-to-back. This could make the MTL55242E a good choice for households with an unconventionally proportioned kitchen space.

The one big downside to the MTL55242E is that it lacks a frost-free or auto-defrost feature, so you may need to defrost manually if the fridge gets particularly cold.

Key specs – Type: Freestanding larder fridge; Dimensions (HWD): 143.4 x 55 x 54.2cm; Finish: White; Rated efficiency: E; Gross fridge capacity: 242l; Frost-free: No; Water dispenser: No

Check price at AO

Read more

Best Buys