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How to choose the best fridge freezer for your kitchen

Our comprehensive 2023 fridge freezer buyers guide covers everything you need to know to help you choose the best fridge freezer for your home.

A fridge is often the focal point of the kitchen and in the space of ‘all things food’, it is arguably one of the most important electrical appliances in the room. From ensuring your food is kept fresh and safe to eat, to keeping your favourite drinks cool, it’s certainly an item that needs some pre-purchase research and consideration.

Let us simplify this process for you by helping to identify the fridge for you. This guide explains everything you need to know to ensure you select the best model for you.

Types of fridges & freezers

Larder Fridges

Larder fridges are designed to provide a large amount of storage space for fresh food items, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, and other perishable items.

Fridges with freezer compartments
Fridges with a small freezer or ice box are intended for people who only need to freeze a small amount of food at a time, such as ice cream, or to store ice for drinks.
A freezer is used to freeze and store food and other perishable items at temperatures below the freezing point in order to keep them fresh for longer periods of time.
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Fridge Freezers

A fridge freezer is a single appliance that combines a refrigerator and a freezer compartment. It is intended to provide a convenient way to store both perishable and frozen food items in a single appliance.

Types of installation


A freestanding refrigerator is a self-contained unit that can be placed anywhere in the kitchen as long as there is an electrical outlet and enough space. These refrigerators are typically taller and wider, and they are available in a wide range of sizes and styles, including top-freezer, bottom-freezer, and side-by-side models. They are designed to be easily moved and replaced or upgraded without requiring extensive installation work.

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An integrated refrigerator, also known as a built-in refrigerator, is one that is designed to be installed into your kitchen cabinetry. These refrigerators are typically smaller than freestanding models and come in a variety of configurations, including under-counter, column, and drawer models. They are designed to blend in with the kitchen decor and provide a streamlined appearance. 

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The decision of whether to go freestanding or integrated depends entirely on your available space and kitchen style. Many modern kitchens use integrated solutions as this maximises every available bit of space and conceals appliances behind built-in furniture. When considering integrated, there are many options, including under-counter separates, combined fridge freezer units and even individual tall fridges and freezers. For example, models such as the UKFS18EV2HB and UKFF18EN2HB are designed to be fitted into a tall housing unit and can be positioned side by side in order to create a large refrigeration space that maximizes food storage capabilities.

Fridge or freezer? This is a fundamental question, as it will impact your choice of appliance considerably. You need to think about whether you want just a fridge or both a fridge and a freezer. If both, are they one appliance or two stand-alone units? Could an icebox suffice for your freezer needs or do you require a 50/50 split? Smeg offers fridges and freezers individually or in a combination of splits, giving flexibility dependent on your situation. 


If you keep a lot of fresh food, this is an excellent option. This split features a huge refrigerator section on top and a smaller freezer compartment on the bottom.
A good option for those who keep a lot of fresh food but don't want to compromise on a much smaller freezer area. This split allows for a slighlty larger fridge vs freezer.
This choice gives you an equal split of fridge and freezer, giving you the best of both worlds.


An American side-by-side refrigerator will offer plenty of storage capacity, efficient organisation, and a sleek design, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a new refrigerator.

To enhance flexibility even further our four-door fridge freezers have a convertible compartment which can be a fridge or become a freezer dependent on which groceries you’ve bought that week!


If you want a fridge that will add a touch of vibrancy and personality to the room, then one of our iconic 50’s retro range might be best for you. From the petite FAB5 mini bar to the spacious FAB50 fridge freezer the range includes seven sizes and comes in a multitude of colours with other special editions released across the years.

Read our retro fridge buyers guide


Smeg appliances are revered for innovative design, something we’ve bought to some of our collaborations with iconic brands. Inspired by the universally known Fiat 500 hatchback, the Smeg500 is one example of this and a real labour of love. The unique cooler is made from original Fiat 500 parts with working lights and switches for the extra wow factor. Available in a variety of bright colourways, the Smeg500 is a memorable addition to any bar, restaurant or the home of Italian retro lovers. Alternatively, for the fashion followers in the world, our recent collaboration with Dolce and Gabbana has taken the iconic 50’s style fridge and given it a very stylish new dress. Each fridge is one-of-a-kind and features images hand painted by Sicilian artists. Here the fridge is more than something to cool your food and drink – it becomes a piece of art, an Italian masterpiece.


Fruit & vegetable drawer

This drawer is ideal for storing your fruit and vegetables, keeping them fresher and crisper for longer.

Life plus drawer

These controlled temperature zones (-2°C +3°C) are designed for better and longer preservation of perishable food such as fish, cheese and meat.

No Frost

A No frost system in the freezer means no manual defrosting is needed, the refrigerator will do it for you.

Ice maker

An ice maker in the freezer compartment will ensure you have enough ice for entertaining in style.

Fast freezer

Ideal to use after returning from the shops with frozen items like ice cream that need quick freezing.


This power-saving mode allows you to disable the refrigerator but keep the freezer working, so energy isn’t wasted whilst you're away from home for a long period of time.

Auto defrost

Fridges with Auto defrost stop icy build-ups in your fridge.

Active ION system

An Active Ion system neutralises bacteria and other impurities responsible for unpleasant food odour keeping your fridge in top condition.


Did you know, A-rated appliances (at the time of writing) no longer exist? 

In 2020, the energy rating system was restructured. This was because improvements in energy efficiency meant the old system was no longer fit for purpose for modern appliances.

As a result, fridge freezer ratings have shifted from A+++ being the best to a simple A-G system with D currently being the best.

Previous Rating New Rating
 -  C
A+++ D
A++ E
A+ F

The good news is, new D-rated fridge freezers are still just as energy efficient as the earlier A+++ rated appliances, so these are still an excellent choice for your home.

It's important to be aware of the change as some websites still display old ratings, misleading consumers.

Read the article


What is a freestanding fridge freezer?

Freestanding fridge freezers can be placed anywhere in the kitchen. As they are not built-in, these versatile appliances can move with you to a new home.

What is an integrated fridge freezer?

Integrated fridge freezers, also known as "built-in" fridge freezers allow you to attach one of your kitchen cupboard doors to the front, thus making it blend in seemlessly with your kitchen units providing a streamlined look.

What is a larder fridge, and how is this different to a fridge freezer?

A larder fridge does not have a freezer compartment. In constrast, a fridge-freezer comprises of both fridge and freezer compartments.

What size fridge freezer do I need?

When considering size, there are two things to consider:

  • the physical dimensions. This is especially important if you have a specific space where you plan to locate the applicance.
  • the internal storage capacity. This is normally determined by the size of the household (e.g. a family of 4 will typically need more storage than a family of 2). However, that's not always the case. For example, if you have pets on a raw food diet, or like to freeze dinners in advance, you may need larger freezer space).

Undercounter fridge freezers, etc are normally around 60cm wide and around 85cm high. In terms of capacity, this depends on the design, phystical size, and whether it's a larger fridge, etc, but as a guide these wll have a capacity of 75 to 200l. 

Freestanding fridge freezers are also typically around 60cm (596mm) wide, but can vary in height depending on what capacity you need, and can vary from 72cm to over 200cm. The taller unit can have a capacity of 200-300l.

What is an American fridge freezer?

An American fridge freezer, which is also known as a side-by-side, is a large appliance that combines a fridge and freezer into one unit and typically features two vertical doors side by side.

Many American fridge freezers include ice or water dispensers within the external surface of one of the doors.

How wide is an American fridge freezer?

Whilst these can also vary in width, typically an American fridge freezer will be around 91cm wide with a capacity of around 500 to 600l.

What is an French fridge freezer?

A French fridge freezer is similar to an American style, but instead of 2 of 4 doors, they typically have an upper section which consists of 2 doors, and a lower section which consist of 2 draws.

As cold air sinks, the 2 draws are normally for the freezer compartment, and the upper section contains the fridge, although with some of our models you can actually choose!

What temperature should be fridge or freezer be?

The most ideal temperature for your fridge is between 37°F (3°C) and 40°F (5°C).

Your freezer should be 0°F (-18°C).

When making any adjustments, it can take up to 24 hours for the new temperature to settle to the new level.

Do I need to defrost modern freezers? If so, how often should a freezer be defrosted?

Most modern freezers now include some kind of frost-free, no-frost technology which eliminate the need for routine defrosting. This has a number of advantages. It helps reduce energy bills, improves the freshness of food, and reduces maintenance.
For freezers or fridge-freezers without frost-free capabilitiies, you should normally expect to de-ice it roughly every 12 months.

How long is a fridge freezer warranty?

Most manufacturers only provide a 12 month warranty. However, at Smeg all of our fridges and fridge freezers come with 2 year warranty assistance for parts and labour.

Need more help?

Did you know that Smeg has a dedicated support website which is full of useful information about our products, including everything from how to check your fridge temperature to how to register your warranty?

Read our FAQ's

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