Fridge-freezers are available in various shapes and sizes and in a wide price range. They differ in terms of efficiency, but also in functionality: they can often do much more than just cool and freeze. GIGA clarifies which devices are the best and what to look for when buying a fridge-freezer.
The best fridge-freezer combinations in 2020: content
At a glance: The best fridge-freezer combinations in the test
|Price-performance winner||Bomann KG 320.1||approx. 250 euros||Alternate|
|Test winner Stiftung Warentest||Bosch KGE49VW4A||approx. 610 euros||Saturn|
|Best side-by-side refrigerator||Samsung RS6GN8231S9||approx.1,400 euros||Amazon|
|Best fridge-freezer combination for installation||AEG S1824N||approx. 920 euros||Amazon|
Our price-performance winner: Bomann KG 320.1
The fridge-freezer combination from Bomann not only convinces with its extremely low price of around 260 euros: the look and the quiet working method also make it Bomann KG 320.1 to our price-performance winner. This makes the cooling device particularly suitable for use in living kitchens, where a loud device would disrupt everyday life.
The door is not suitable for stowing PET bottles as they regularly fall out when opened. We reported about a suitable fridge for drinks.
The cooling performance is acceptable in comparison to the luxury class, but not outstanding. The device often has to run at the highest level in order to reach an acceptable temperature. If you do not want to increase your electricity consumption with this, you should not load the Bomann KG 320.1 to the maximum. With 160 kWh per year, the electricity consumption in relation to the size of the refrigerator is in a good range, which gives it energy efficiency class A ++. Due to its size, the device is very suitable for singles and couples.
- Quiet operating volume
- Low price
- Good energy efficiency
- Automatic defrost function
- Bottles and large tubes fall out of the door when opened
- Cooling capacity too low at maximum load
Test winner of the Stiftung Warentest: Bosch KGE49VW4A
The test winner of the Stiftung Warentest with a grade of 1.6 “good” is relatively wide with a lush 70 cm. The shows outstanding performance Bosch KGE49VW4A both in cooling and in temperature stability. Despite its above-average width, its electricity consumption is very low at 165 kWh per year. Comparable devices often use 10 to 20 percent more electricity, which increases maintenance costs. The fact that an alarm sounds as soon as the refrigerator doors are open for a while contributes to the particular energy efficiency.
However, the time until the alarm goes off is too short to store the weekly shopping alarm-free. The alarm cannot be switched off as a precaution, but only after it has been triggered at the push of a button. Otherwise, the device works very quietly in everyday life. If you don’t feel disturbed by the alarm, the Bosch device gives you an almost flawless free-standing device with lots of clever storage options, which also works reliably and economically. It does not have a NoFrost function, but it does have a LowFrost function, which means that you do not have to defrost as often. Singles, couples, as well as smaller families and small shared apartments will get along very well with the space offered.
- A lot of space
- High cooling performance
- Keeps the temperature very stable
- Low power consumption, high energy efficiency
- Temperature adjustment during storage
- Automatic moisture regulation
- Alarm comes quickly, cannot be turned off
- Missing NoFrost function
A slightly narrower alternative with 60 instead of 70 cm is the sister model, which is hardly worse with a rating of 1.7 “good” Bosch KGE39VW4A (Amazon, price comparison). When freezing, it is a bit faster than the KGE49VW4A, but it does not offer a warning display after a power failure. Both models have almost identical electricity costs and are considered to be very efficient.
Best side-by-side refrigerator: Samsung RS6GN8231S9
The fridge-freezer is the best American refrigerator in our test Samsung RS6GN8231S9 thanks to its two temperature-controlled areas, which cool a large amount of supplies in everyday life thanks to all kinds of storage options. Just a few hours after commissioning, the refrigerator and freezer compartment are cooled to operating temperature and ready to be filled. Highlights of the side-by-side refrigerator are the water dispenser, which supplies you with chilled water, and the ice maker, which dispenses crushed ice. However, due to errors, the Ice Maker causes a loud hum when using some devices, although this can be remedied by customer service.
The Samsung RS6GN8231S9 is available in two versions: with a water tank or with a fixed connection. This means that the ice maker and water dispenser also work in storage rooms and niches that are not supplied with a water pipe. For technical reasons, the low-noise operating volume only sets in after about one week of operation. The huge interior is particularly suitable for large families, shared apartments and people who like to store lots of supplies at home. Couples and singles will find it more difficult to completely fill the interior with their groceries. The variant without a water tank offers even more space in the freezer.
- lots of space
- independent cooling systems in every compartment
- excellent cooling performance
- Integrated ice maker
- Chilled water dispenser (tank / connection)
- NoFrost function
- sometimes high volume at the ice maker
- Compressor prone to failure
The best built-in fridge-freezer: AEG S1824N
The best built-in fridge-freezer is the one AEG S1824N, which has a wide range of functions for its price. At the upper edge of the interior there is an LC display with a touchscreen, through which you can easily regulate the temperature and interior humidity. Thanks to the “CustomFlex” system, drawers and slide-in units can be attached completely freely, as there are organizers on the rear wall and inside of the door.
With 226 kWh electricity consumption per year, the device has the energy efficiency class A ++. This is also ensured by the doors, which close themselves as soon as they are only slightly open. This is particularly helpful for families with children who accidentally only lean the door against it and do not close it completely. The modern design and the pleasant lighting in the interior are the icing on the cake and only the NoFrost function is topped, with which one can save annoying defrosting. Only the relatively high operating volume is a point of criticism. All in all, the AEG S1824N is a very good product with a wide range of functions, which is ideal for small households with up to four people.
- Pleasant interior lighting
- Operation via touchscreen LCD
- Modern design, high quality workmanship
- Self-closing doors with SoftClosing
- NoFrost function
- Variable arrangement of drawers and drawers
The best fridge-freezer combinations: that’s how we chose
As the basis for our device recommendations, we used the test of fridge-freezers in the Stiftung Warentest edition 07/2020, in which the combined cooling devices were put through their paces. The experiences of users were also included in our test.
Buying a fridge-freezer: what you should know
What distinguishes a fridge-freezer from a fridge-freezer?
Fridge-freezer combinations are refrigerators, which also include a freezer. However, both subjects are independently of each other to open. Refrigerators that are just a Freezer compartment in the cooling unit offer, have significantly less freezing space in comparison and are less energy efficient.
What are the advantages of fridge-freezers compared to refrigerators and freezers?
The biggest advantage of fridge-freezers is that Saving space. Kitchens in apartments in particular often offer only limited space and no space for an additional freezer. Also the Maintenance costs decreaseif there is only one device. A fridge-freezer saves energy and is therefore less expensive than a refrigerator and a separate freezer.
A built-in variant of a fridge-freezer saves even more space. The device, unlike free-standing devices, integrated into the kitchenette, thanks to a front adapted to the rest of the kitchen, it blends harmoniously into the overall visual appearance of the kitchen.
Freezer above or below?
Most fridge-freezers have the freezer at the bottom and the normal refrigerator at the top. But there are also devices in the reverse order, i.e. with the freezer compartment at the top. Which one you choose should be based on your own preferences and the height of all your roommates / family members:
- Advantage with Fridge part above is that you have the more frequently used refrigerator compartments at eye level. This is an advantage for storage, but smaller people can have problems reaching the upper compartments.
- If the regular, more frequently used, Fridge part below and the freezer is at the top, all family members can reach the refrigerator as normal. However, you often have to bend down, especially to make room.
What is a side-by-side refrigerator or American refrigerator?
American refrigerators, too Side-by-side refrigerators called refrigerators with two doors next to each other. They are particularly large and spacious, but accordingly take up more space. Special functions are often found in the doors, such as an ice dispenser for ice cubes and crushed ice or a water dispenser. Many devices require connection to a water pipe for these functions. There are now devices on the market that can dispense with a fixed water pipe thanks to a refillable water tank.
Due to the high capacity and the associated higher power consumption, a side-by-side refrigerator is more worthwhile in larger families with 5 or more members. American refrigerators are less suitable for small kitchens because they require a lot of space.
How important is energy efficiency and which energy efficiency classes are there?
Fridge-freezers accompany you through your life for quite a while. The average lifespan of the devices is 15 years. The device’s power consumption is correspondingly important. With a device with a “good” Energy efficiency class (EEK) often save many hundreds of euros over the lifespan if you calculate the consumption. Investing a little more money in a slightly more expensive, but energy-saving refrigerator will therefore pay off in many cases in the long term.
The following energy efficiency classes are available:
- A +++ is the highest energy efficiency class and distinguishes the most energy-efficient and energy-efficient devices on the market. With every plus behind the A you save 25 to 30 percent of the energy consumption compared to devices of the next lower class. These devices are often more expensive to buy and cheaper to maintain. They are also more environmentally friendly than all devices in the lower energy efficiency classes.
- A ++ is the second highest energy efficiency class. It is now the standard and distinguishes most fridge-freezers. There is a wide range of products on the market that have been awarded A ++.
- A + have a 25 percent lower power consumption than devices in class A. In the long term, devices in the two higher classes are more worthwhile.
- A was introduced as an energy efficiency class back in 1998 and is already considered a power guzzler today. Appropriate devices are no longer up-to-date and can only be purchased rarely. Even if the devices tend to be cheaper, you should include in the calculation that you can sometimes have several hundred euros more in electricity costs per year with corresponding devices.
- Fridge-freezers in the energy efficiency classes B, C or D cause high annual electricity costs. Such devices are also not recommended in terms of sustainability and environmental considerations and should be avoided.
What size should a fridge-freezer be?
There are designs in numerous sizes, from less than 1.50 m to more than 2 m. The compact devices may be cheaper, but when in doubt the large devices are recommended. In edition 07/2020 of the Stiftung Warentest, only devices were able to convince all tested devices from 1.84 m high, the smaller ones below 1.50 m achieved a maximum rating of 4.0 “sufficient”. In the test, the overall height had little influence on the measured energy consumption, so even energy-saving people can use a large model with a clear conscience.
Schnellfrost, NoFrost, Supercool: Which functions do I really need?
The more money you invest in a fridge-freezer, the more functions you can expect. In the following, we clarify which functions make sense and what effect.
LowFrost / NoFrost
Every time the freezer compartment door is opened, warm room air penetrates. It condenses in the device and then turns into ice. Ice formation not only increases the electricity requirement enormously, but can also prevent the drawers from being pushed in and out. NoFrost and LowFrost reduce the humidity in the refrigerator compartment and the formation of frost, which means that there is no or less ice.
Refrigerator-freezer combinations without LowFrost or NoFrost function must be completely defrosted once or twice a year. With LowFrost you have to defrost less often, with NoFrost you don’t have to.
The techniques previously required higher energy consumption, but this can now be neglected. Since NoFrost models are more efficient, they pay off in the long run today. It also saves time-consuming defrosting. If the budget allows it, we therefore recommend NoFrost refrigerators.
Quick freeze, super freeze or quick freeze mode
Three names, one process: In practice, the quick freeze mode is often activated by a button on the device and quickly ensures freezing temperatures of up to -32 ° C in the freezer. Rapid freeze enables food to freeze more quickly by switching off the integrated thermostat, and the compressor and cooling system are fully utilized. If the freezer is already filled with frozen food, a super freeze function is almost meaningless, since the temperature in the refrigerator is very low anyway. So if you have often frozen food in the freezer and only increased the stock by shopping, you do not need Superfrost mode.
Multi-zone division / cold storage compartments
The latest fridge-freezers are equipped with different temperature zones. This means that food can be stored specifically and kept fresh for longer. Excellent storage conditions for cheese, sausage, meat and fish, as well as some dairy products are the so-called zero degree zone. Some manufacturers also call this Dry-Safe or LongFresh compartment. This is a compartment with low humidity that has a temperature close to freezing.
The vegetable drawer is also a separate zone that has a temperature of 0 ° C to 3 ° C. The humidity for vegetables must be higher so that they stay fresh longer without drying out. Manufacturers advertise such zones with up to three times longer freshness and shelf life of the food.
Alarm function for open refrigerator door
With an acoustic signal, the alarm function helps to detect open fridge and freezer doors early. If the door is accidentally opened, the refrigerator has to use more power to compensate for the cold. This not only costs more electricity and is reflected in the electricity bill, but also damages the environment. There is also a risk of an interruption in the cold chain if an open door is not noticed for a long time. Children in particular tend to inadvertently not close the door completely. We recommend a device with an alarm function if the budget is sufficient.
Tip: If your own refrigerator does not have such a function, you can easily retrofit an alarm for open refrigerator doors with this device for a few euros.
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