Types of Fridge Freezer
Choosing the right fridge freezer for your home is an important decision, but which type should you go for? Different models differ in their storage capacity, size, price and features. By choosing an overall style first, you can narrow down your options and make buying the perfect appliance easy.
Here we explain all the common types of fridge freezer, from regular top and bottom models to American style and integrated units.
Freestanding Fridge Freezers
Freestanding fridge freezers are the most popular type, as well as being the cheapest and easiest to install. They consist of a top fridge unit and bottom freezer unit, although you can find models where these are the other way around.
Typically they have a 200-300 litre capacity which is spread out over three or four fridge shelves, two or three freezer drawers and door storage.
It’s worth noting that American-style models are also technically freestanding as they’re not built into your kitchen units. But the term ‘freestanding’ is usually reserved for regular top and bottom models.
Price wise, this style is cheaper than American models and much easier than integrated styles to install. Your electricity bills will be lower than with other types too, and you can easily take the unit with you if you move house – something that’s more difficult to do with integrated or American style models.
Every brand has numerous models on offer, with a range of colours, sizes and prices to choose from. You can also choose the ratio of fridge to freezer space, depending on whether you need to store more fresh or frozen food.
The biggest disadvantage of this style is that the lower priced models can be a bit basic in design. You’re less likely to get handy features like frost-free technology and fast-chill functions unless you go for a more expensive model.
Controls can also be basic, with simple displays and manual thermostat dials.
Freestanding models have much less storage space than American style models too.
Freestanding models typically have a 200-300 litre capacity, spread out over shelves, drawers and door storage.
Freestanding fridge freezers have a standard size of 55-65 cm width, 180-190 cm height and 60-65 cm depth. Slightly shallower or taller models are available if you have limited floor space or want that extra bit more storage.
You can even find the occasional undercounter model that will fit under your kitchen worktops.
Slightly shallower or taller models are available if you have limited floor space or want that extra bit more storage.
Integrated Fridge Freezers
Integrated or built-in fridge freezers are similar to freestanding models but designed to be hidden by kitchen cupboards, giving a streamlined and modern look to your kitchen.
This fridge freezer style lets you maintain the look and feel of your kitchen. If you’ve recently had your kitchen redecorated you don’t have to worry about this style ruining the aesthetics. They can also be slimmer and more compact than standard models, so won’t stick out as much.
The variety of integrated models available is much smaller than freestanding versions, and they’re also more expensive. Installation can be fiddly, so you’ll probably want to ask the retailer or someone handy to install it for you.
Not many people know that there are two different styles of door fitting for integrated designs: fixed/door-on-door or sliding door. It’s important to pick the right style for your home as once attached, they can’t be switched.
- A fixed/door-on-door fitting is where the kitchen cabinet door is attached to the fridge door.
- With a sliding door, a rail is fitted along the inside of the cabinet door, which the fridge door then slots in to. As the outside door opens, the fridge door slides along the rail.
Integrated models are usually designed to fit inside a standard 60 cm wide cupboard. They have a standard depth of 60-65 cm and are typically 178 cm tall.
Integrated models are usually designed to fit inside a standard 60 cm wide cupboard.
American Style Fridge Freezers
American style fridge freezers have grown in popularity due to their increased storage capacity and sleek modern finish.
They are sometimes known as side-by-side models as they are usually split vertically, with one side being the fridge and the other the freezer. Other options are available though, such as having French doors covering two fridge sections and two large freezer drawers below, or even a four door unit with individual fridge and freezer sections.
This style, depending on its size, has a capacity of between 300-600 litres, usually spread out over three or four fridge shelves, three freezer drawers and door shelves.
The biggest advantage of this style is that they have a much larger capacity and can hold more fresh and frozen food than other types. They come with a host of useful features such as frost-free freezer technology, digital displays, open door warnings and chiller cabinets. Water and ice dispensers are usually included too, meaning ice cold drinks all year round.
Often in sleek silver, modern American fridge freezers make a real statement in your kitchen. Inside are numerous adjustable shelves and racks so all your food produce can be accommodated, no matter its size. Handy door racks are ideal places for bottles or jugs, while covered door compartments will keep dairy produce cold even when you have the door open.
Due to their increased size and features, this style can be a bit pricier than conventional models. They also take up a lot of space and can become the dominating feature of your kitchen. If you haven’t measured up your doorways accurately, you might have difficulties getting it inside the house.
These models aren’t quite as environmentally friendly, so you may find you receive a slightly more expensive electricity bill after buying one. If you go for a model with a plumbed-in water dispenser, you may also need help when installing it, which can add extra cost.
The water dispenser will need its filters changing roughly every 6 months. Replacements can range in cost from £20 to over £90, so it’s worth checking prices before you invest.
American fridge freezers are a lot bigger than standard models. They can be more than 90 cm in width and are usually 70cm in depth. You also need to factor in an extra 5cm around the sides and back to give air room to circulate, so it’s really important to accurately measure up the area where you want to put it. Height wise, this type is generally 175-180cm tall.
Often in sleek silver, modern American fridge freezers make a real statement in your kitchen.