Best fridge 2020: from under-counter fridges to tall-standing behemoths | T3

Best fridge 2020: from under-counter fridges to tall-standing behemoths

Looking for a new fridge? We've got chillers to fit any space or budget from compact under-counter models to tall, full size refrigerators

Best fridge 2020
(Image credit: Miele)

Hello! You're looking at our guide to the best fridges. That means either your old fridge just died, or you're moving from a fridge freezer to separate fridge and freezer. Or maybe you just get off on looking at pictures of fridges. That's fine. We don't judge. Anyway, whatever the reason, if you’re looking for the best fridge then you’ve come to the right place. We have reached right to the back of the internet, scraped off the ice, and found the best chillers out there.

What is the best fridge?

Not for the first time, we recommend a Miele, specifically the K 28202 D ws. This is quite a costly beast, but its quality is undeniable, as most independent engineers will vouchsafe. You should easily get more than a decade’s use out of it.

That said, we fridge fanciers are equally impressed with the cheap-and-cheerful Bosch Serie 2, the TARDIS-like Liebherr TP 1760, and the humongous, the befuddlingly monikered Samsung RR39M73407F/EU and outrageously loud Frigidaire EFR115. 

Some of the older fridges further down the list offer decent value for money, too.

Oh, and keep an eye on our Amazon Prime Day hub for potential big savings in the not-too-distant future.

How to buy the best fridge for you 

We would like to hope that you don’t need to be told how to buy a fridge. But okay… Make sure you measure up (although most fridges are a standard 60cm in width) and bear in mind that most freestanding fridges can’t be crammed right up against the wall because there’s a whole lot of delicate stuff at the back that needs a few centimetres of space to breathe. Many models come with reversible doors so consider that aspect if you simply must have a door that opens in a specific direction.

If you’re going for an integrated (built in) model then prepare to leave it behind if you move, since it’s a right faff to remove and the new buyer won’t be pleased about the gapping hole you’ve left behind.

For those in a need of a little tuition in the art of refrigeration, food should, as a rule, be stored as follows: dairy at the top, cooked/ready-to-eat foods in the middle, and raw fish and meat on the bottom shelf. As for the salad compartment… Well, you know what goes in there.

FRIDGE OUT OF STOCK?

You may discover during that, during this tricky period, some of our favourite fridges keep selling out. So, if you find a model we've reviewed isn't available via the provided retail link, then try these retailers in the UK and USA who usually stock some very decent alternatives.

In the UK:

John Lewis & Partners

Amazon

AO

In the US:

Walmart

Amazon

Home Depot

The best fridges, in order

best fridge 2020: Miele K 28202 D ws

(Image credit: Miele)

1. Miele K 28202 D ws

The best fridge

Specifications
Type: Freestanding
Energy rating: A++
Capacity: 380 litres
Height: 185 cm
Reasons to buy
+Miele reliability+Useful door lever+Large capacity
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap, as such

All fridges create a mild vacuum on closing the door; it’s a necessary feature that helps keep the cold in. However, this vacuum can make re-opening the fridge – especially immediately after closing the door – a bit of a chore. It’s even more difficult to open if the anti-frost drainage hole at the bottom of the fridge – usually situated dead centre above the vegetable containers – becomes blocked. When this happens, the vacuum increases, sealing the door so tightly the damn thing can’t be opened at all for several seconds. 

Miele gets round this irritating sticky-fridge-door issue by dint of a levered handle bar that pivots forwards before releasing the door seal, thereby making it effortless to open. This type of system is nothing new but Miele has made a much better fist of it than others.

The Dynamic Cooling function is another great feature. Air humidity helps keep foodstuffs fresh but too much humidity in one area is a bad thing, especially with wilty items such as lettuces. This model comes with a fan that distributes the humidity – and cold air – evenly round all areas, keeping everything in tip-top shape for longer.

Space-wise you get five height-adjustable shelves, a wine rack, two vegetable containers (with extra fixed shelf above) and another five narrow door shelves for milk, beverages, condiments, eggs, butter and cheese. As with most tall larder fridges, this one measures 1.85 metres from tip to toe so reaching the back of the top shelf can be a literal stretch.

If you have the readies and 60cm of space with no cupboards above, make this stylish high-end cooler your first port of call.

best fridge 2020: Liebherr TP 1760 PremiumT3 Best Buy logo

2. Liebherr TP 1760 Premium

Best under-counter fridge

Specifications
Type: Freestanding
Energy rating: A+++
Capacity: 154 litres
Height: 85 cm
Reasons to buy
+Great build quality+Excellent energy rating
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey for an under-counter

Liebherr is a family-run, German-originated company based in Switzerland that specialises in the production of some of the world’s most humongous industrial mining machinery and earth-moving equipment. It also supplies aircraft parts to Airbus. With that kind of pedigree, how could it possibly make a duff fridge?

This model is arguably the only A+++ rated under-counter model on the UK market and that means it’ll be dirt cheap to run. But that’s not the main reason you’ll like it because, despite its diminutive exterior, inside it’s like the Albert Hall. 

This chilled Tardis is equipped with two separate salad/veg drawers with integral shelf and three more adjustable shatter-proof glass shelves above. Rather ingeniously, the top shelf is narrower than the others, allowing tall items to be placed on the shelf below.

This isn’t the cheapest under-counter model on the market, but you get what you pay for: it’s extremely well built and, judging by the raft of positive reviews, likely to be very reliable. Crucially, its internal temperature remains consistent in all ambient conditions, including extreme heat. Well worth a gander.

best fridge 2020: Beko UL483AP

3. Beko UL483AP

Excellent slim fridge for smaller kitchens

Specifications
Type: Under counter
Energy rating: A+
Capacity: 88 litres
Height: 82 cm
Reasons to buy
+Just 47.5cm wide+Perfect for singles and couples
Reasons to avoid
-Bog standard features

The vast majority of large household appliances are around 60cm in width – a standard measurement adopted by every manufacturer, whether it’s a fridge, dishwasher or washing machine. Mindful that not everyone has acres of kitchen space to spare, we set off on a forage for a slim line fridge and found one in this smart and very reasonably priced Beko. It measures just 47.5cm across so there’s every chance you’ll be able to squeeze it in among your existing appliances.

The Beko comes with two fully adjustable glass shelves plus an extra fixed one above the ample vegetable compartment. Attached to the door panel are three non-adjustable drink and condiment shelves. With 88 litres of space available, this fridge is just the right size for singles and couples or those with budgetary as well as space constraints.

Best fridge 2020: Bosch KSV29NW3PG

(Image credit: Bosch)

4. Bosch Serie 2 Classixx KSV29NW3PG

Best fridge under £600

Specifications
Type: Freestanding
Energy rating: A++
Capacity: 290 litres
Height: 161 cm
Reasons to buy
+Slide-out shelf system+Fittingly priced+Shorter stature
Reasons to avoid
-No discernible style

If you’re looking for a mid-sized larder fridge that doesn’t cost the earth, provides plenty of space, cools quickly and is cheap and reliable to run, consider this extremely efficient model from the Bosch assembly line.

The trouble with most fridge shelves is that, once full, it’s a right pain trying to locate stuff like the Marmite that has somehow worked its way to the back of the fridge along with the mouldy saucisson you completely forgot about. This model rectifies that snag by having shelves that can slide out to a small degree, allowing easier access to stuff at the rear. It’s a great hassle-saving feature that poses the question: how long before a manufacturer comes up with a solid telescopic system that allows every shelf to be pulled out to its full extent?

But I digress.

The Serie 2 has a net capacity of 290 litres which isn’t too shabby. The interior layout’s impressive – those four adjustable, slide-out shelves, a single veggie box and four narrow door containers for the usual suspects. Which? has given this ‘incredible’ model a whopping 92% and who are we to argue the toss?

best fridge 2020: Siemens iQ500 KU15RAFF0G

(Image credit: Siemens)

5. Siemens iQ500 KU15RAFF0G

A very neat integrated number for under £500

Specifications
Type: Integrated
Energy rating: A++
Capacity: 137 litres
Height: 82 cm
Reasons to buy
+Performs well+Compact design works
Reasons to avoid
-No freestanding model-No icebox

With its integrated styling the hugely impressive Siemens iQ500 is a great option if you’re looking to have a built-in fridge that can fit either under a worktop or in an eye-level compartment.

Dimensions of 82 x 60cm mean it’ll work a treat if you have fitted units, or are thinking of going down that route in future. Oh, and there’s a reversible door if you’re wondering if it’ll be versatile enough for your own fitted kitchen.

Considering its cut-down specification the iQ500 is still able to offer up to 137 litres of storage space across three shelves along with a trio of full-width door racks. Plus there’s a full-width crisper drawer for good measure. If you’ve got an average-sized grocery shop then it should be fine and dandy.

We also like the easy clean surfaces inside, which means it’s very straightforward to get rid of crumbs and food residues without too much upheaval.

Siemens has done a nice job with the engineering here too as the unit can super cool food once you’ve got it home from the supermarket. In fact, the compact fridge can chill things surprisingly quickly, which is good news if you’ve got fragile purchases that wilt in no time.

Better still, Siemens ingenuity means that the iQ500 is able to keep temperatures consistent in ambient temperatures as scorchingly high as 43˚C.

The iQ500 performs acceptably well on the energy efficiency front and, for added safety, there’s a flame-retardant backing to the fridge. The appliance won’t get on your nerves either thanks to reasonably muted operation.

best fridge 2020: AEG RKE64021DX

(Image credit: AEG)

6. AEG RKE64021DX

A sizeable freestanding option

Specifications
Type: Freestanding
Energy rating: A++
Capacity: 395 litres
Height: 185 cm
Reasons to buy
+Premium storage+Quiet and efficient+Wide variety of storage options
Reasons to avoid
-Might be too big

The voluminous AEG RKE64021DX is the perfect option if you’re a regular grocery shopper who needs lots of space for fresh fruit, vegetables and other items that require chilling. The sizeable fridge comes with no less than 395 litres of storage and it’s all nicely divided up so you can find a home for, well, anything really.

AEG has done a fine job at engineering the interior to accommodate all sorts, with a trio of full width door shelves, a quad helping of glass shelves and a wide dairy compartment that is hygienically covered. You also get twin large capacity drawers while ancillary storage comes via a removable egg tray along with a shelf for bottles.

With so much inner space to keep cool it’s good to know that AEG has designed the innards to be kept uniformly chilled, thanks to its DynamicAir technology. This works by keep the cold air circulating efficiently, which means longer life for your fruit, veg and other keep-cool items. Management of features and functions is simple enough too, with an external LCD display keeping tabs on how it’s ticking.

Another boon is the auto-defrost capability, which in short means you don't have to defrost it. The appliance also comes with a reversible door, which given the size of this unit proves handy if you have to do a little bit of kitchen rearrangement in order to find space for it. And, once you’ve got that hefty door open you’ll find that the interior lighting has also been nicely done, bathing your favourite produce in an appealing white hue.

Before you get to that practical interior the AEG also dazzles with its stainless steel exterior. This is an quick-clean option that can be easily wiped over while also looking a treat in pretty much any kitchen space. Granted, you’ll need a decent amount of space to find it a home, especially if you’re aiming on having a standalone freezer too, but the AEG RKE64021DX is worth making space for.

best fridge 2020: Bosch KSV36VB3PG

7. Bosch KSV36VB3PG

This imposing fridge packs a real punch

Specifications
Type: Freestanding
Energy rating: A++
Capacity: 272 litres
Height: 187 cm
Reasons to buy
+Good storage options+Consistent temperature+Very efficient
Reasons to avoid
-It’s not your average looking fridge

If you’re looking for a fridge that does it differently then the Bosch KSV36VB3PG will be right up your street. If you’re into movies then you might think it looks like the 2001 Monolith. Yup, this 187 cm high fridge is an imposing beast that oozes lots of mean and moody class. Open it up though and you’re greeted with a fridge that ticks all of the boxes.

The capacity is certainly there, with 272 litres of the stuff that covers everything from a selection of storage shelves in varying shapes and sizes through to the door shelves. These beauties can handle everything from giant-size milk containers down to petite tins of fizzy drink, so add it all together and you have a fridge that’s perfect for families.

In fact, the Bosch KSV36VB3PG makes a lot of sense if you prefer to do a once-weekly shop as it can handle a mountain of grocery shopping in one go. We love the way the storage space is evenly spread throughout, with no real lean areas. Four of the seven shelves can be adjusted for height too, which means you’ll be able to get, well, anything sizeable in without fuss.

It’s also a Bosch, so the energy rating is a very agreeable A++, which should help you offset the higher initial outlay over time. Plus, the design offers reassurance as it features a flame-retardant backing. The appliance is particularly adept at keeping temperatures consistent in a variety of temperatures too, and it’s also able to keep things cool while you’re piling in all that shopping, thanks to an automatic fan.

The Bosch KSV36VB3PG seems very capable at keeping temperatures cool across the board, so stuff at the top will fare just as well as items in the lower areas of the appliance. That’s impressive, as is the way this fridge goes about its business making very little in the way of noise.

While that exterior finish might not be to everyone’s tastes, the Bosch KSV36VB3PG is still an excellent fridge. And, in the right surroundings, this appliance will be an instant talking point the next time you have friends round.

best fridge 2020: SMEG FAB28

(Image credit: Smeg)

8. Smeg FAB28

Best for flamboyant styling

Specifications
Type: Freestanding
Energy rating: A+++
Capacity: 270 litres
Height: 153 cm
Reasons to buy
+Lots of capacity+Small freezer section+Bold retro styling
Reasons to avoid
-Too flamboyant for some

Not all fridges are dull blocks of sheet metal, as the Smeg FAB28R attests. This fun and flamboyant model is a freestanding model that is high-end but quirky. In fact, the Smeg FAB28R sports a A+++ energy rating hidden behind that fabulous retro styling. And, while it’s a fridge in the main, complete with 270 litres of storage, as part of that you do also get a 26 litre freezer compartment.

Inside, there’s a practical layout that is rather more modern than the exterior vibe, with three shelves plus a salad drawer. The latter has a humidity control, although aside from that the Smeg is actually quite light on overall features. Seems to be a case of simplicity is best for this model.

Nevertheless, it’s great at keeping temperatures consistent and that energy efficiency means it’ll shave a little bit of annual bills. The Smeg FAB28R is pretty quiet during operation too considering it’s full-size credentials. An auto defrosting feature means that once you’ve got it up and running  the Smeg will need little in the way of attention too.

The Smeg FAB28R lets you make a style statement thanks to its bold design that’s all retro, but not everyone wants such a dazzling shade for their retro appliance, right? So, alongside red, there’s the less brash pastel green, pink or blue options if you want something more subdued. However, we quite like it in silver, especially with the contrasting chrome handle and distinctive Smeg logo.

best fridge 2020: Frigidaire EFR115

(Image credit: Frigidaire)

9. Frigidaire EFR115

Excellent primary-coloured counter-top model for popsters

Specifications
Type: Counter top
Energy rating: N/A
Capacity: 1.6 Cu Ft
Height: 19.60 inches
Reasons to buy
+Available in colours that go POW+Ample space for singles
Reasons to avoid
-Too colourful for some-Only available in the USA

Woah, you’re gonna need a pair of shades every time you visit this fridge, dude.  Available in three day-glo colours (red, blue and purple), this mini counter-top fridge is just the ticket for the pop art fan with a penchant for loud colour schemes. With an ample 1.6 cu ft of meal estate within, it’s a perfect size model for small kitchens and lodging rooms.

The Frigidaire’s main compartment provides space for three microwave meals, an iceberg lettuce, a cucumber, half a dozen buffalo tomatoes and a trio of Häagen-Dazs Peanut Butter Crunches in the tiny freezer compartment.

And on the right in the door there’s ample room for two litres of root beer, a pint of milk and a couple of bottles of Kentucky Breakfast Stout. You can also reverse the door if required.

And that’s about. You plug it in, stuff food in it and it keeps everything properly cool and fresh without chewing much electricity. And, as you’d expect of a refrigerator in this day and age, it’s completely CFC free and that makes the ozone layer happy. What’s not to like?

best fridge 2020: Samsung RR39M73407F/EU

10. Samsung RR39M73407F/EU

Top-flight Korean entry with water dispenser

Specifications
Type: Freestanding
Energy rating: A+
Capacity: 375 litres
Height: 185.3 cm
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity+Split shelf+Water dispenser
Reasons to avoid
-Poorer energy rating

This imposing silver behemoth has the capacity for a stupendous 375 litres of food and drink – enough for a family of five. It comes equipped with two large vegetable containers replete with humidity control, a wine rack, a non-plumbed water dispenser, four main glass shelves and a ‘Slide-in’ shelf that splits in half to accommodate taller items below.

The inside door isn’t short on space either and comes with seven individually configurable shelves for milk, juices, cheese, butter and oft-used items like yogurts and jams. 

Like most higher-end models, the Samsung incorporates a fan to vent cold air to every shelf and a fast-cool function that rapidly drops the internal temperature after adding new shopping loads. Its digital inverter compressor, meanwhile, ensures accurate cooling in all ambient temperatures, and without making a noise in process.

Samsung is a highly regarded brand in this sphere so consider this model if you can’t quite stretch to a Miele. If you have an extra 60cm of space alongside, consider installing the matching freezer, too…

best fridge 2020: RUSSELL HOBBS RHTTLF1

11. RUSSELL HOBBS RHTTLF1

Exceptional high-volume larder fridge at a reasonable price

Specifications
Type: Counter top
Energy rating: A+
Capacity: 43 litres
Height: 49 cm
Reasons to buy
+Cheap to buy+Small footprint+Freezer compartment
Reasons to avoid
-Too small for couples

This A+ rated, 43-litre Russell Hobbs counter-top larder fridge is perfect for studio flats, bedsits, student digs and mobile homes. It’s also useful as a backup fridge. For its size, this dinky chiller provides surprisingly ample estate for most solo needs.

The main compartment will happily accommodate two or three pre-packed meals, a small amount of fruit or veg and a tub of butter. It also has a titchy freezer compartment with space for a dozen tightly-packed Magnums or a packet of frozen peas. The inner door, meanwhile, has room for a two-pint carton of milk or litre of water, a couple of Sols and a pot of marmalade. Not bad for a fridge that measures just 49cm tall by 47cm wide. Its A+ energy rating will make it cheap to run, too.

best fridge 2020: Neff KI1212F30G

12. Neff KI1212F30G

Mid size model for integrated kitchens

Specifications
Type: Under counter integrated
Energy rating: A++
Capacity: 144 litres
Height: 88 cm
Reasons to buy
+Well built+Decent A++ energy rating
Reasons to avoid
-Pretty basic features

Neff specialises in built-in appliances that hide behind the kitchen cabinetry. This one has a capacity of 144 litres and an energy efficiency rating of A++. As compact fridges go it’s quite basic and comes with four shelves (three adjustable) and three door trays, along with a decent-sized vegetable and fruit compartment. It also features a SuperCool function with automatic deactivation and sensor-controlled temperature.

The interior of this Neff model looks remarkably similar to that of the Bosch reviewed elsewhere in this roundup though the quality and finish of the Neff’s interior shelving is a wee bit better.