Fridge in kitchen
Research report

What to consider when buying a fridge

The Consumer guide to choosing a new fridge-freezer.

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mark s.
12 Jan 2020
french door fridges are stylishly stupid

french door fridges mean you have to open two doors instead of one, or somehow remember which side of the fridge you have stuff stored.

ice dispenser in the bottom freezer drawer so much more compact than in the door... look for sliding shelves

Matthew G.
18 Apr 2020
French doors are more compact

French door fridges have their place - they allow a wide fridge to open in a smaller space. Instead of one really wide door that swings out far, they have two half-width doors that swing in half the space.

roy s.
20 Jul 2019
Energy rating labels.

Our fridge has the energy rating label stuck to the back of it. (2 stars) !!
We will take more notice when buying our next one.

Marita B.
24 May 2019
Why Mitsubishi fridge not in your tests?

hi, I joined Consumer to check out your Consumer reviews for fridges, being particularly interested in reliability after out F&P fridge is apparently not economical to repair with a cracked internal (and impossibly hard to access) internal drain. Despite F&P having 50% of market share in NZ for fridges, its reliability and satisfaction isn't great. So looking for another option.

I am disappointed that Mitsubishi fridges are not in your fridge (our freezer) tests despite representing 15% of purchases for fridges in your reliability survey, coming second for satisfaction and equal third for reliability. This brand is also scores top brand in independent consumer-led product reviews website in Australia and are available here. So why have they been excluded from tests? Consumer is only of limited value if it doesn't represent the more common brands, particularly those that are likely to rate well. Really disappointed that I am now going to have find reviews elsewhere to make my decision.

Consumer staff
27 May 2019
Re: Why Mitsubishi fridge not in your tests?

Hi Marita,

Mitsubishi recently removed a number of their models from the market. As the models we had tested were no longer available we removed them from our website. We are in the process of testing the new models.

Kind regards,

Natalie - Consumer NZ staff

Mike H.
23 Feb 2019
Energy Efficiency

A key consideration should be energy efficiency of the appliance. See data at joint NZ/AUS govt energy rating database http://www.energyrating.gov.au/calculator

Smart fridges also worth a comment as products develop to help manage food content and internal environment.

Margaret B.
15 Dec 2018
Why are there no small refrigerators?

The space in my kitchen is designed for a refrigerator that is 50cm deep and 60 cm wide. The refrigerator sitting in the space (which came with the house) is 60cm deep. That means I cannot open the pantry door easily. I'm trying to solve this problem which is extremely annoying. I really don't want to demolish the kitchen cupboards and start again, which is what has been suggested, as the house is only 12 years old.

And I did not join Consumer in 2004. That is incorrect. I joined in 1971. It seems that the date of joining was not transferred when you set up your database. You would think Consumer would be more careful with data.

Paul W
20 Oct 2018
Will it fit??

AS far as I'm concerned when I buy a fridge is will it fit in the space between the kitchen cabinets. I have a perfectly good Westinghouse but it won't fit in the kitchen space so it sits in the garage as a overflow. Also I wish that with NZ being a dairy country they would put the butter conditioner back.. Are there any still available with a butter conditioner??

Consumer staff
23 Oct 2018
Re: Will it fit??

Hi Paul,

Yes, there are still fridges available with butter conditioners. Our product pages note the features of each fridge we test, including butter conditioners – which we call the 'dairy compartment'. You can find our fridge test results here: https://www.consumer.org.nz/products/fridges

Kind regards,
Frank - Consumer NZ staff

Previous member
24 Mar 2018
Side by side fridge/freezers.

Absolutely agree with comments about fridge freezers, regarding lack of width, etc. We have had one for a number of years now, and have always regretted the purchase.
We both loathe the freezer, mainly. It's far too narrow and is extremely hard to stack food successfully. Even with the limited potential storage opportunity in reality you get even less storage because of stacking issues.
I would like to see how the 'French door' iterations stack up against the 'tried and true' though. But I thought that the side by side made good sense at the time, lol.