We all know the capacity of a fridge is essential. But how many people consider the type of storage on offer before making a purchase?
We explain the different ways manufacturers organise the space so that you can make life a little more comfortable with the perfect combination of drawers, compartments, shelves, bottle racks and salad crispers.
The number of fridge shelves varies between models. Generally, undercounter designs have around three, while tall larder fridges can have as many as six. Take a look at the specifications while you’re shopping around.
The majority of models also have a salad crisper. Sometimes the top of this is counted as a shelf, but sometimes it isn’t. Take a look at pictures of the interior where possible so you can be sure how many shelves there are.
Take a look at pictures of the interior where possible so you can be sure how many shelves there are.
In many fridges, the shelves are adjustable, giving you the opportunity to tweak the storage space to accommodate large and awkward items – for example, a birthday cake or Christmas turkey. The shelves are likely to be transparent, either made from safety glass or plastic. Clear shelves help the light flood the entire storage space so that you can see everything easily.
Spill-proof shelves have a raised lip around their edges. If liquid leaks onto the shelf it won’t be able to drip down onto the shelves below, protecting other food from damage. These shelves also make cleaning up the mess easier.
A split shelf divides the width of the fridge into two separate shelves. You can position the shelves higher and lower than each other, independently, which gives you extra flexibility when storing taller items.
Bottle grips keep tall items upright, while a lidded compartment will maintain a colder temperature.
Door racks are a common feature in most fridges. These handy compartments are ideal for keeping bottles of fresh juice upright, as well as small items like condiments and preserves, which can become lost on the main shelves.
Bottle grips keep tall items upright, while a lidded compartment will maintain a colder temperature, even when the door is open. These are ideal for storing your butter and margarine.
An egg tray can often be found inside the fridge door too. Recycle the box and keep your eggs neat and secure.
An enclosed drawer at the bottom of a fridge is called a salad crisper. This special drawer helps you keep certain fruits and vegetables fresher for longer by controlling moisture levels and air circulation.
Most fridges have one of these bins, while others have two so you can sort items by type. Some high-end models even have adjustable humidity levels in this compartment, for the perfect storage environment. You might also find chiller compartments, which are similar to salad crispers but intended for keeping meat and fish fresh at around 0°C.
Always found alongside your shelves, a wire bottle rack provides horizontal storage for bottles of wine and fizzy drinks. It will safely hold them in their place and is a handy addition for anyone who loves a chilled drink.
Some fridges have a freezer compartment or icebox. Usually a compartment with a drop-down flap on the front, it’s ideal for storing essentials and quick meals close to hand.
However, this may not store items for very long and is unlikely to be suitable for freezing fresh food.
Some high-end models even have adjustable humidity levels.