A quality American fridge freezer will offer tons of storage, have handy features as standard and look great in your kitchen – but could also end up costing you a small fortune. One of the priciest models we’ve reviewed costs nearly GBP3,000. Fortunately, our tests have shown that you don’t always need to pay over the odds to bag yourself an impressive appliance.
American fridge freezer pros and cons
When you’re spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds on an American fridge freezer, excellent cooling and freezing power, ease of use and plenty of shelving should be a given.
It should also stay at a stable temperature and not be a nightmare to clean. But our tests have revealed that not all models impress. One American fridge freezer scored just 44% and costs around GBP1,000.
We found that it had a poor freezer, a fridge where the temperature shot up in certain conditions and it was extremely awkward to clean.
Three things to check before you buy an American fridge freezer
If you don’t want to spend lots of extra pennies on your energy bill, then it’s wise to check out the efficiency of each model. American fridge freezers usually cost more to run than conventional models, partly because of their size. We measure the energy usage of each model we test.
To find the most efficient, look for four or five stars in our fridge freezer reviews. The good news is that an efficient American fridge freezer needn’t cost you the earth either. A good number of our Best Buy American fridge freezers have been awarded our Energy Saver logo.
More storage means more bulk.
These fridge freezers are large, and you will want to make sure you have enough space in your kitchen to cater. If you’re planning to integrate the appliance into your kitchen units, you will also need to take into consideration any extra space that might be needed for air to circulate.
One of the biggest draws for people buying an American fridge freezer is the perceived vast amount of usable storage. While this is typically correct for the fridge section, the freezer side is slimmer and normally has fewer drawers than a conventional model.
So, if you’re more likely to bulk-buy frozen meals than a week’s worth of fresh food, it might be more practical to opt for a standalone freezer instead. Get more advice on buying an American fridge freezer.
What do you get if you pay more?
From automatic ice makers to transparent doors, there are plenty of extras you can get if you’re happy to spend more on your fridge freezer.
The LG Instaview (pictured above) has a large rectangle of black glass on the fridge door that becomes clear when you knock on it twice with your knuckle and, in doing so, turns on the inside light. This will keep warm air from entering, saving on energy usage.
It sounds great, but will set you back GBP1,699. Individual temperature-controlled drawers are handy for ensuring certain foods are kept as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Pay GBP1,484 for the Samsung RFG23UEBP and this feature is all yours.
Still not found the one for you?
- ^ fridge freezer Best Buys (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ fridge freezer reviews (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ buying an American fridge freezer. (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ LG Instaview (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Samsung RFG23UEBP (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ Bosch KAI90VI20G (www.which.co.uk)
- ^ top five American fridge freezers (www.which.co.uk)
Large manufacturers, including LG and Samsung, bet big on smart connected appliances designed to take the hassle out of everyday tasks at CES 2018. Here we take a look at what was launched, and get out our crystal ball to predict the future of your kitchen. Disappointingly, there was a notable absence of new appliances from LG and Samsung.
Both manufacturers focused instead on adding new smart features to existing ranges, in particular fridge freezers, and expanding connectivity options to make everyday tasks easier. Read on to find out more about what was announced. Fridge freezer Best Buys – find out which models we recommend.
LG’s focus at CES 2018 was promoting the ThinQ platform – its AI (artificial intelligence) software for your home – which will be able to connect everything from your fridge freezer and washing machine to your TV and speakers.
It also unveiled Cloi, pronounced Kloo-ee – a robot created to let users control and manage their smart home (although it won’t be available in the UK), which unfortunately proved to be rather stage shy at LG’s press conference. Connected LG appliances, such as the LG GSX961NSAZ InstaView fridge freezer, are now Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatible, meaning you can control your connected kitchen with just your voice. There is a catch, though, as neither the Amazon or Google platforms come built in to any LG device in the UK – this benefit is currently reserved for the US market – and means that UK users will have to own an Amazon or Google smart hub to make use of this feature.
To further complicate matters, it’s unclear which ThinQ appliances, including the EasyClean Ovens and QuadWash dishwasher, will be available in the UK. We’ve already had LG’s Instaview fridge freezer in our test lab – head over to the full LG GSX961NSAZ InstaView review to find out if it’s a cool customer.
Samsung SmartThings and Family Hub
Similarly to LG, the focus for Samsung was less on new hardware and more on updates to the software for its connected home appliances. The Family Hub Smart refrigerator received an update that adds support for Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant, which allows it to recognise individual voices and personalise the information provided for each member of the household.
There are also AKG speakers in case that’s something you’ve been missing in your fridge up to now. To find out how the original model performed, head over to our full Samsung Family Hub RB38M7998S4 review. Or you can find out more about the SmartThings platform by reading our Samsung SmartThings Hub review.
Essential tech or useless novelty?
It’s not the first time smart home appliances have been showcased by big brands at CES, and it certainly won’t be the last.
But the question is whether or not these appliances truly have a place in your kitchen, and whether they are actually useful. One of the most important considerations with these connected products is cost. The LG InstaView fridge freezer, for example, costs around GBP1,800.
Given that the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant functions aren’t built in, you’ll need to spend between GBP30 and GBP200 to unlock the potential of this feature. There’s also the question of uptake – will the smart kitchen be popular enough to really take off and become the future of the home? In our November 2017 reliability survey, Which? members told us that they expect their fridge freezer to last for more than 13 years, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see an LG GSX961NSAZ InstaView or Samsung Family Hub in every kitchen any time soon.
Finally, it’s important to take a good look at the hardware that’s on offer and whether it’s truly advanced – and reliable – enough to be useful on a daily basis. Most of us have experienced an issue with our smartphones, whether it’s a frozen screen or important updates that start at an inconvenient time. Imagine if that happened to your kitchen – a potentially useful feature can quickly become a useless bit of kit.
This was highlighted further by the performance of LG’s Cloi robot, which repeatedly failed to respond to commands on stage at the LG conference.
If it can happen at this event – a place where precautions must surely have been taken to avoid onstage embarrassment – then is it really ready to be rolled out to consumers and is there enough support in place to tackle issues users might encounter?
This week, as we celebrate the official Christmas countdown, families will be getting the shiny baubles down from the loft and plugging in those long strings of sparkly fairy lights. So, in fear of sounding like a Scrooge, does anyone else wonder how much these lights add to your energy bill? It is a perfectly acceptable worry – electricity isn’t free.
And along with the all the other added expenses that come around this time of year, it’s wise to watch what you’re spending. We have done some calculations to see on average what families all over Britain will be paying to light up their houses like a Christmas grotto for an entire month. Scroll down to discover how much your Christmas lights are really costing you.
Even the Grinch wouldn’t turn his nose up at that.
How you can cut your Christmas energy costs
If you opt for more energy-efficient LED lights, that GBP8.94 figure could decrease by up to 90%.
Find out how much money you can save by choosing the right bulbs for your home with our extensive LED lights guide. Although your fairy lights won’t break the bank, some of your other appliances might. We look at the energy efficiency of each model we test, for products including washing machines and fridge freezers. 
There’s a big difference between the most and least efficient appliances. For example, the most energy-efficient fridge freezer in our tests costs just GBP30 a year to run. The most expensive to run would set you back GBP115.
So you could save up to GBP85 a year by choosing the most energy-efficient fridge freezer.  Ensuring your products are as energy efficient as possible will help save pennies every month. Need more information?
Take a look at our guide on how to buy energy-efficient appliances for your home.