Written by Sarah Rodrigues
It’s not like we live in a roasting hot country but even so, you can’t have a fully functional kitchen without a fridge freezer. Today’s models do far more than just keeping your milk cold and your meat fresh, however - they offer a multitude of functions, some of which you may not need.
First things first, though: size matters. A kitchen too small or too big for a) your kitchen and b) your family does not represent a wise purchase. Equally, you need to examine your eating habits. Are you a fresh food fiend? Look for fridge space over and above freezer space. Are you a batch cooker or ready meal devotee? Then you’ll need more freezer space to accommodate your cartons and containers.
Worth considering, too, are factors like salad drawers - look for humidity control and see-through compartments to help you get the most out of your vegetables. Water dispensers and ice makers might be useful if you frequently entertain or have a young family, but gadgetry like this can drive costs up, so think about how worthwhile they’ll really be for you.
Energy efficiency must also be considered. All new fridges, freezers and fridge-freezer combos have been required to carry a minimum energy efficiency rating of A+ since July 2012, which has made it harder to differentiate between them, so new energy labels show the appliance’s annual energy consumption in kWh. With the difference between the most energy efficient model on the market and the most energy-guzzling one standing at around £80 per year in running costs, it’s definitely worth taking the kWh advice into consideration!
Here some of the coolest (pardon the pun) models on the market:
Rated A++ for energy, this 60cm wide model packs a lot into its design, with 234 litres of fridge space and 86 litres of freezer. Networked interior cameras make it possible for you to check the contents of your fridge on the go - great for eliminating the problem of wasted food. With a brushed stainless steel exterior, it looks slick, too.
With loads of storage space, this side-by-side fridge-freezer has adjustable shelves and a smart design that makes accessing your food easy. It also rates highly on the energy efficiency front.
Flexible shelving means that you can store foods and packaging of all different shapes and sizes in this American style, 3-door fridge-freezer - and its sleek black exterior will add a modern touch to your kitchen. Ice and chilled water are dispensed from the door, and a twin cooling system with separate air flows ensures that temperature control is precise.
When it comes to fridge aesthetics, few things beat a Smeg - but don’t be fooled by the retro design, because this brand incorporates all of the latest technology, including a fast cooling system, rapid freeze function and clear-drawer visibility. The 70/30 split means that it’s definitely a better buy for those who focus on fresh, rather than frozen, though - and its energy efficiency is rated A++
A fair split between fridge and freezer, and reversible doors to accommodate different kitchen layouts are part of what makes this affordable and stylish model appealing. It can also be used as an ‘extra’ fridge in an outside space, since the Beko Freezer Guard means that it can still operate safely in temperatures as low as -15C.