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Best fridge freezer 2021: The best freestanding fridge freezers to buy

Derek Adams
15 Sep 2021

Learn how to choose the right fridge freezer for you with our bite-sized reviews and handy buying guide

If your kitchen space is at a premium, then you probably don’t have the luxury of considering a separate fridge and freezer. Or maybe you’ve just got your heart set on filling that space with a gargantuan American-style unit. Either way, there are plenty of great fridge-freezers on the market which can provide everything you’re looking for everything in one tidy, easy-to-get-at package.

Of course, with so many fridge-freezer models on show, working out which model to buy can be an intimidating process. Do you go for a wide American-style, two-door option, an upright 60cm, single-door model with a 60/40 split (60% for the fridge and 40% for the freezer) or a smaller stature 60cm model with a large fridge section and a much smaller freezer compartment? That all depends entirely on how much room you have, and how much you value a constant supply of fish fingers and ice cream – and, of course, whether you could even fit a 1.8m-tall monster in your kitchen in the first place.

To make your life a little easier, we’ve curated this shortlist of the best fridge freezer models, which cover the whole gamut of options from more compact models suitable for the more modest kitchens, to king-sized giants suitable for the smartest of smart homes.

Best fridge freezers: At a glance

How to choose the best fridge freezer for you

What is an American-style fridge freezer?

These two-door behemoths are the be-all and end-all of fridge freezers and anyone with a large family, enough space and a high enough income to afford to stock it should seriously consider putting one near the top of the list. When it comes to refrigeration, you can never have too much space.

What does No Frost mean?

Frost and ice is usually caused by internal condensation hitting the freezer’s cold coils. This condensation freezes against the rear wall and, over several months, grows like a mushroom, eventually engulfing the contents in an impenetrable Arctic ice floe. Frost Free or No Frost freezers get around this anomaly by using a fan to blow cold air around the interior. This cold air is then ported to a coil hidden behind the freezer’s rear wall where it turns to frost. Every so often, the coil is heated up and the melted water runs down a pipe into a tray where it is eventually evaporated. Wahey, no more long-winded defrosting sessions.

How long can I freeze stuff for?

It depends on the type of product and whether it’s cooked or raw. Most cooked foods can be safely frozen for up to three months but some items like pre-cooked sausages and hot dogs are best consumed within one to two months. Raw foods can be frozen for up to a year, but again this changes from product to product. A whole chicken, for instance, can stay frozen for up to a year, but chops and steaks are best stored for no longer than six months, while bacon is best eaten within a month. Remember, these are only rough guidelines, so it’s best to check instructions on the food packaging first.

How does the energy rating system work?

A fridge freezer’s energy rating label gives an indication of any given machine’s annual running costs. As of March 21st 2021, these energy ratings have had been given an overhaul. Where the previous system denoted the overall energy efficiency with a rating from A-to-D followed by up to three plus signs, the new system does away with the plus signs in favour of a simpler A-to-G scale. As before, A is reserved for the most energy efficient appliances.

The energy rating labels for fridge freezers also reveal the estimated yearly running costs in kWh and the total capacity of the fridge and freeze compartments in litres. The claimed noise level is also shown, and is indicated by both a broad A-to-D rating and a specific loudness figure measured in decibels.

The best fridge freezers you can buy

1. Zanussi ZTAN24FW0: The best fridge freezer for under £400

Price: £371 | Buy now from Appliances Direct

If you're looking for a tall-standing fridge freezer than this basic but competent 80/20 model from Zanussi might just fit the bill. At 1.4m tall and 55cm in width, it’s a good sized stand-alone model for smaller kitchens. Granted, the Zanussi won’t win any awards for style – the door hinge screws are clearly visible for a start – but you can’t complain for the low price. 

The Zanussi’s 166-litre fridge interior is comprised of three shelves (two adjustable for height), a clear perspex vegetable/fruit container and a decent amount of storage space in the door. The 41-litre freezer above, meanwhile, provides enough capacity for a bag of ice, a few tubs of ice cream and a variety of frozen foods.

There's no frost-free technology on offer, so bear in mind you will be required to defrost it yourself from time to time. If you’re on a tight budget and simply must have a freezer to hand, though, then this no-frills model is well worth consideration.

Key specs - Type: Freestanding; Rated efficiency: A+; Gross fridge capacity: 166 litres; Gross freezer capacity: 41 litres; Frost-free: no; Ice dispenser: no; Water dispenser: no; Width: 55cm; Height: 1.43cm

Buy now from Appliances Direct

2. Hisense RQ563N4AI1: A brilliant American-style fridge freezer

Price: £729 | Buy now from AO

Hisense's RQ563 is a brilliant American-style buy. If you have the room in your kitchen to accommodate it – bear in mind that, at 79cm wide and 177cm high, you'll need a fair amount – then it provides oodles of fridge and freezer storage space in a gloriously good looking package. 

The fridge compartment is nicely laid out and provides all the storage options you could ask for. It keeps things at a nice stable temperature, and the twin crisper drawers glide in and out smoothly thanks to the rollers underneath. 

The freezer drawers lack the silky-smooth rollers of the crisper drawers above, but there's plenty of storage on offer. And as the two no-frost freezer compartments are separate, you also have the flexibility to set each to different temperatures - both performed well in our range of tests and also kept items frozen in our 4-hour power cut simulation.

If there are downsides to be found, they're minor. We'd ideally want some more LED lighting, as there's not quite enough in either compartment, and the stainless steel finish tends to pick up smudges and fingerprints more readily than we'd like. Given the performance and value on offer, though, that shouldn't be enough to put anyone off. 

Read our Hisense RQ563N4AI1 review

Key specs – Type: Freestanding, American-style; Rated efficiency: A+; Net fridge capacity: 290 litres; Net freezer capacity: 142 litres; Frost-free: Yes; Ice dispenser: No; Water dispenser: No; Width: 79cm; Height: 178cm

Buy now from AO

3. Haier HRF-450DS6: The best American-style fridge freezer under £500

Price: £498 | Buy now from Appliances Direct

This budget-priced side-by-side fridge freezer has reaped a raft of raving user reviews. The brushed-silver front and stylish touch-screen digital display make the Haier HRF-450DS6 look far more expensive than it actually is, yet the branding on the front is so subtle your guests could easily be fooled into believing it’s a premium-priced German model.

The huge 341-litre fridge compartment on the right comes with five shelves, two crisper drawers and enough real estate in the door to store milk, several drinks bottles and a bunch of oft-used condiments. The 177-litre “Total No Frost” freezer section uses the same configuration of shelving as the fridge, only everything’s a bit narrower. Nevertheless, there’s enough space in there to swallow an entire Iceland aisle’s worth of frozen groceries.

If you have a large family or just want the practicality of a large, good-looking American-style fridge freezer at minimum cost, then you’d need to hunt far and wide to find a more fulfilling model for the price.

Key specs - Type: Freestanding/semi integrated; Rated efficiency: A+; Net fridge capacity: 341 litres; Net freezer capacity: 177 litres; Frost-free: yes; Ice dispenser: no; Water dispenser: no; Width: 90.8cm; Height: 179cm

Buy now from Appliances Direct

4. LG GSL961PZJV: The best American-style fridge freezer under £1,500

Price: £1,400 | Buy now from Currys

This American-style, two-door behemoth provides 405 litres of fridge real estate on the right and 196 litres of freezer capacity on the left (equivalent to about 12kg of frozen goodies). Aside from its generally huge capacity, the LG also has an energy-saving ace up its sleeve in the form of an inverter linear compressor that, to coin LG’s own phraseology, "uses a linear piston drive instead of a conventional reciprocating drive". Whatever that means, this high-tech refrigeration method is said to generate less internal friction, resulting in up to 32% lower-energy consumption.

Let’s take a look inside. On the right, you’re faced with four main shelves, two fruit and veg drawers (one with a moisture-evaporating crisper feature) and another four shallow shelves in the door. Open the door to your left and you get four freezer shelves and a couple of decent-sized drawers. The door itself houses a couple of dinky ice-lolly shelves along with a four-litre water and ice dispenser. No need to worry about defrosting this beast either, as it has its own anti-frost feature. And fear not should something go awry; simply reach for the LG ThinQ app on your phone, place it against the unit’s Smart Diagnosis logo and, voila, instant diagnosis – and hopefully a solution.

Key specs – Type: Freestanding; Rated efficiency: A+; Net fridge capacity: 405 litres; Net freezer capacity: 196 litres; Frost-free: yes; Ice dispenser: yes; Water dispenser: yes; Width: 91.2cm; Height: 179cm

Buy now from Currys

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