Our test assesses how well freezers manage temperature on a daily basis as well as how fast they are to warm up when power is cut and how quickly they cool back down.
Our overall score combines test performance (how well the appliance works) with predicted reliability (how likely models from the brand are to remain free of faults) and owner satisfaction (how likely owners of the brand are to be very satisfied).
We’ll only recommend appliances you’ll love to own, that work well and keep working well for a long time.
Our overall score is made up of the following:
We based our temperature performance assessment on:
- how well a freezer deals with a warm load being added
- how a freezer copes with changes in ambient temperature
- freezer temperatures throughout daily operation
- if the default temperature settings are appropriate for safe temperature control.
This is how long it takes the freezer to warm up if power is cut. The freezer is switched off in a room with an ambient temperature of 32°C. We time how long it takes for the freezer to warm from -15°C to -5°C.
We measure how long it takes to cool the air in an empty freezer from when it’s switched on until it reaches -13°C in a warm (42°C) temperature-controlled room. Cool-down times will be longer and more variable with food in the freezer.
It’s reasonable to expect a new appliance to remain fault-free for at least the first five years. Our predicted reliability won’t tell you whether the freezer will cause freezer burn on your steak, but it does show which brands make models that are less likely to fail.
Satisfaction is important – no appliance should be a source of buyer regret. Appliances with very satisfied owners are more likely to get cleaned regularly and maintained well. Their owners are also more likely to seek repair for faults than look for a quick replacement.
This assessment focuses on functionality that can affect the safety of your food in the freezer, such as the appliance’s ability to manage temperature fluctuations, its ability to keep temperatures stable throughout the freezer and how well it deals with seasonal temperature changes such as heat in summer and cold in winter.
Survey data 101
In our annual reliability and satisfaction survey, consumers tell us about faults that have left an appliance they own unusable or mean they’ve had to change how they use it. We also ask them how satisfied they are with the appliance. We use this data to produce our predicted reliability and owner satisfaction scores.
We use a statistical test to rate the relative performance of each brand. Compared to data we have for all products (of the same type) in the survey, we rate each brand with excellent, good, average, poor or terrible reliability and satisfaction. You can compare the rating of different brands for the same product type (for example, the reliability rating for Westinghouse and Haier freezers), but you can’t compare the results for different product types (for example, satisfaction of Fisher & Paykel freezer and Miele dishwasher).
We analyse brands that get at least 30 responses in our survey. That means there are some brands we can’t analyse because we don’t have enough data. For those brands, we assume they have average predicted reliability and owner satisfaction.
Our data is based on responses for 2560 fridges, fridge-freezers and freezers in our May 2021 survey.