Canstar Blue’s fridge review has seen Fisher & Paykel, Kelvinator, Westinghouse, Hisense, Electrolux, Samsung, LG, Beko, Haier and Bosch compared on customer satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
If your refrigerator is on the fritz, or you’ve simply outgrown your old kitchen mate, it may be time for a new one. But where do you start? Chances are it’s been a while since you’ve had to buy a new fridge, but fear not because Canstar Blue is here to guide you through everything you need to consider. With modern fridges usually costing more than $1,000, you really should do your research. And that’s where our annual customer reviews and ratings help, as we provide Aussie consumers a platform to share their opinions on their latest fridge purchase, giving you a good idea of what to expect if you choose one of the 10 leading brands compared this year.
This year, Canstar Blue surveyed just under 1,700 Australian consumers who have purchased a new refrigerator over the last three years. Respondents were asked to review their new fridge based on a number of important factors, including its reliability, the quality of fittings & fixtures, internal layout, style/external design, features, food freshness and value for money. The idea is to give you as much helpful information as possible about the compared brands so you can make an informed purchase decision the next time you go fridge shopping!
Ten major brands received the minimum sample size to be included in the results, but only one achieved a five-star review for overall customer satisfaction – Fisher & Paykel. Our cousins from New Zealand know a thing or two about quality fridges (and most other appliances), scoring five stars across most research categories, including reliability, internal layout and food freshness.
The 10 brands in our fridge review were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
Kelvinator, Westinghouse, Hisense, Electrolux, Samsung and LG got four stars for overall satisfaction, while Beko, Haier and Bosch were left on three stars apiece. However, Fisher & Paykel wasn’t the only brand to earn top marks in this year’s review, with plenty of others securing five stars in specific areas.
Westinghouse, Hisense, Samsung and LG all received five stars for their external design, while Electrolux was a standout performer for its internal layout, quality of fittings and food freshness. Additionally, Kelvinator received the top result for internal layout and value for money, while Westinghouse was rated top marks for reliability, and Samsung was the only other brand to score five stars for features.
Our fridge ratings provide a helpful guide to which brands are rated highest in Australia, but picking the best fridge for your household’s needs requires a little more research. Read on as we detail what each of the brands in this year’s review have to offer. We’ll then look more closely at the factors to consider before getting your credit card out.
Fisher & Paykel quite often stands out for its practical designs – notably its drawer appliances. As well as integrated fridges with pull-out drawers, the brand offers single fridge drawers to install into integrated cabinetry. The fridge range covers these, as well as the full traditional range, from bar fridges through to 614L French door fridges.
An example of a mid-priced fridge from Fisher & Paykel is the 447L ActiveSmart Top Mount Fridge (RF440TLPW6), priced around $1,800. This white-finish fridge has 105L of freezer space and 342L of fridge space, with LED internal lighting and electronic temperature controls. The ActiveSmart system is said to use temperature sensors, independently-controlled fans and air ducts that are controlled by a microprocessor to optimise cooling power. This involves adjusting the fan speed and compressor to compensate for changes such as frequent door opening or storing uncooled food.
Fisher & Paykel’s fridge range includes:
Fisher & Paykel scored five stars for overall satisfaction and most other categories, except value for money where it was rated four stars.
Kelvinator covers the most straightforward traditional top mount and bottom mount models. The range targets the most important parts of keeping your food and drinks cool through Aussie weather, meaning it’s one of the more affordable options on the market, but you might have to go without fancy features such as ice cube makers.
For example, the Kelvinator 528L Bottom Mount Fridge (KBM5302WA) has one of the brand’s highest retail prices yet is still very close to average consumer spending on a new refrigerator. This model has adjustable shelves, FlexStor adjustable door bin storage, two full-width wire freezer baskets and one full-width crisper.
Kelvinator’s fridge range includes:
Kelvinator achieved five stars for its internal layout and value for money, with four stars in all remaining categories, including reliability and overall satisfaction.
Part of the Electrolux Group, Westinghouse is a long-standing Australian brand covering more of the family-focused part of the home appliances market, while also foraying into some $2,000+ fridges with extra features like automatic ice makers. It offers bottom mount, top mount, French door, side-by-side, vertical and bar fridges. These also come in numerous finishes including white, silver, dark stainless steel and standard stainless steel.
An example of a mid-range fridge from Westinghouse is the 460L Stainless Steel Top Mount (WTB4604SB), which features a twist ice maker, humidity controlled crisper, egg tray, adjustable SpillSafe glass shelves, full width freezer door bin and quick chill function. This fridge is available for about $1,500.
Westinghouse’s fridge range includes:
Westinghouse received four stars for overall satisfaction, quality of fittings, internal layout, features, food freshness and value for money. It received five stars for reliability and external design.
Hisense covers every type of fridge, which includes French door, bottom mount, top mount, side by side, one door and bar fridges. The brand focuses mostly on the low to mid-price range, but does venture into fridges priced more than $2,000. Hisense also offers some unusual colours – apart from the trendy black finish, there are also red and green bar fridges.
An example of Hisense’s mid-range offerings is the 534L Top Mount SS Fridge (HR6TFF534SD), with its stainless-steel exterior and handles. There’s a handy display and controls panel on the front to adjust the inside temperature and functions, such as super freeze and super cool. Inside, the freezer has two door bins and a twist ice maker, while the fridge has a humidity controlled crisper bin and an egg tray. Both the fridge and freezer units have adjustable glass shelves. This unit is available for $1,199 RRP*.
Hisense’s fridge range includes:
In this year’s review, Hisense earned five stars for external design and value for money, while scoring four stars for overall satisfaction and all remaining categories.
Electrolux doesn’t really foray into the budget end of the refrigerators segment – you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything retailing for under $1,000. Instead, Electrolux goes deep into the high-end market with its biggest and most expensive model – a whopping 681L French door fridge – priced over $3,500. One of the cheapest fridges still costs more than the average new fridge spend, although may be worth it if you’re looking for additional features and extras.
The Electrolux 460L Top Mount Fridge (ETE4607SB), available in either left or right-hand opening, can be had for around $2,000. It has a mark resistant stainless-steel exterior with bar handles. The 119L freezer includes a door bin and twist ice maker, while the 341L fridge compartment includes a full-width dairy compartment on top of the vegetable crisper and a deodoriser. Eco and holiday mode can help manage energy usage, while the drinks chill alarm tells you when your beverages are cold. This fridge also stands out with its excellent five-star energy rating, a relative rarity for fridges around this price range.
Electrolux’s fridge range includes:
Electrolux received four stars for overall satisfaction, reliability, style/external design and features, with three stars for value for money. However, it got creditable five-star reviews for food freshness, internal layout and quality of fittings & fixtures.
Perhaps best-known for its mobile phones, Samsung also has a strong presence in the home appliances market. The company covers a very wide range of price points, from truly entry-level fridges up to some very expensive, very high-end appliances. This means that Aussie shoppers with any budget may find a Samsung fridge to take home.
Around the middle of Samsung’s range is this 458L Bottom Mount Refrigerator (SRL458ELS), with a respectable four-star energy efficiency rating, priced around $1,600. The stainless-steel exterior features bar handles, while inside there are four tempered glass shelves, a vegetable crisper, wine rack, and a flip up shelf for fitting extra tall items. The 149L freezer also includes a twist ice maker. It’s designed with a right hand opening only.
Samsung’s fridge range includes:
Samsung was rated four stars for overall satisfaction and the same score across all research categories, except for external design and features, where it earned five-star reviews.
LG seems to prioritise energy-efficiency across its broad range of refrigerators. Models range from small fridges suitable for one or two people, up to giant 910L units for those who love food and want to store a lot of it. The LG price range is equally broad, offering affordable $1,000 models up through to big fancy units with equally big price tags.
Looking at a more mid-range example, the LG 450L Bottom Mount Fridge (GB-455MBL) has an impressive 4.5-star energy rating. Inside, the fridge features tempered glass shelves, with a 2-step folding shelf to fit taller items. It also has a humidity controlled crisper and air vents located in the front ceiling of the fridge to direct cold air onto items stored in the top door baskets. The freezer contains three plastic drawers and a twist ice maker.
LG’s fridge range includes:
LG was the last brand on the list to receive four stars for overall satisfaction. It also received four stars in all other categories, except external design where it notably received a five-star review.
Turkish brand Beko offers a wide range of fridges, from French door models to top and bottom mounts. There are a number of price points with both budget and high-end options. Plus, you’ll find a range of finishes to suit the style of your kitchen, from stainless steel to black glass.
Take for example its 629L French Door Fridge (BFD629DX) featuring Beko’s Everfresh+ Crisper, Active Fresh Blue Light, and an inner water dispenser located on the inside of the fridge to keep your door looking sleek. It also comes with NeoFrost Cooling Technology, stated to help maintain optimal humidity and freshness, while limiting the transfer of odours between the fridge and freezer units. For something a little simpler, Beko’s 345L top mount fridge (BTM345W) retails for around $600 and features some of the same technology.
Beko’s fridge range includes:
Beko scored three stars for overall satisfaction and across all ratings categories, with the exception of features, where it received four stars.
Haier covers every type of refrigerator on the market, including some of the most affordable options and a few venturing over the $2,000 price mark. Founded in China, the company focuses on every day, affordable kitchen, laundry and home cooling necessities.
The Haier 555L Side by Side Refrigerator (HSBS555AW) is one of the more affordable side-by-side fridges available. It features LED interior lighting, a crisper bin, egg tray, and spill-proof glass shelves. It also has an external temperature control with an LED display and hidden hinges to give you a sleek look. While it only has a 2.5-star energy efficiency rating, the fridge is convenient for those who like a well-organised unit.
Haier’s fridge range includes:
This year, Haier received a solid four stars for value for money, but just three stars in all remaining categories, including overall satisfaction.
Bosch is a brand well-known for high-end household appliances, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to fridges. But are they worth it? The brand has two intriguing options priced around the $3,000 mark, so they’re some of the most expensive you’re likely to come across.
The Bosch Serie 8 287L Bottom Mount Fridge has a three-star energy efficiency rating with four height-adjustable safety glass shelves and frost-free technology. According to the brand, it uses two separate cooling circuits to help with fridge efficiency and provide constant air circulation. Bosch’s FreshSense system is said to monitor temperatures inside and outside each compartment, and adjust accordingly. Additionally, it has SuperCooling and SuperFreezing features claimed to quickly lower the temperature of newly introduced items.
Bosch’s fridge range includes:
Rounding out this year’s results, Bosch received three stars for overall satisfaction and for all other rated variables.
While the following brands did not receive the minimum sample size required to be included in our 2019 review, they may still be worth considering for your next refrigerator purchase:
Buying a new fridge is a significant investment – and before settling on the right brand for your kitchen, you first need to consider a few of the basics, such as:
Let’s now look into each of these factors in detail:
Lettuce begin by explaining the different types of fridges available to buy in Australia. You may have always had one particular type, but you might be convinced to switch. Keep in mind that the following all come with freezer compartments – it’s really just a case of how much priority you give this. Here are the five main types of refrigerators:
Other smaller types of fridges include your trusty beer or wine fridge.
There’s no doubt that manufacturers are becoming more adventurous with their refrigerators, driven by the consumer demand for something that does a little more than just keep your food and drinks cold, or frozen. LG has been one of the brands leading the latest innovations in the fridge space, including its imaginative ‘door-in-door’ feature (pictured). Meanwhile, Samsung could be your go-to brand if you want in-built cameras that allow you to see what’s inside your fridge without having to open it up!
Other notable fridge features that have become common lately include flexible spacing – allowing you to swap or change certain sections to suit your own food storage preferences – and multi-zone climate and humidity settings, letting you create separate cooling spaces for certain types of foods or drinks.
Energy efficiency largely comes down to how large your fridge is. Big fridges obviously use more power, but smaller fridges can be notoriously inefficient relative to their size. The following table is a guide to what you can expect to pay every year to run your fridge, depending on its size.
Seeing as fridges need to be used 24 hours a day, there is no real way around saving energy on an energy-inefficient fridge, bar sending your food to an early grave. The best and easiest option is to purchase an energy-efficient fridge in the first place, but be wary of paying too much because it could take some time for the extra cost to pay off.
Here is a table of estimated fridge running costs, with calculations based on an electricity usage rate of 33 cents per kWh:
|Fridge Size (litres)||Typical Annual Energy Consumption (kWh)||Estimated Cost Per Year|
Details sourced from: SA.GOV.AU
Check the energy star ratings sticker on your fridge to see how efficient it is. If your fridge doesn’t have one of these ratings, it’s probably time for an upgrade! The maximum star rating a standard fridge can have is six stars. Super-efficient fridges, however, can have between 7-10 stars, as shown by the ‘crown’ of stars on top of the label (pictured).
Of course, it takes a lot for a fridge to earn a maximum energy rating. Most fridges struggle to earn any more than five stars. One such fridge to earn five stars is the Electrolux 540L Top-Mount (ETE5407SB). It comes with an annual energy usage of 282kWh.
Of course, energy costs are also dependent on how your electricity provider sets its electricity rates. Be aware that a flexible pricing tariff will mean your fridge costs more to run at peak times of day, but less to run at off-peak times.
Everyone wants their money to go as far as it can, so a cheap fridge can be an alluring prospect. Our survey found that Aussie households spend an average of $1,164 on new fridges. This is pretty much smack bang in the middle of the fridge price range. Fridges can range anywhere from about $400, all the way up to and over $3,000 for the latest and greatest. However, cheap fridges can be the silent killer in your kitchen as far as your electricity bill is concerned.
A fridge’s cheap sticker price can be just the tip of the iceberg. Often, what you save in the initial outlay, you’ll pay for in energy inefficiency over time. Take the ChiQ 251L bottom mount fridge (CBM251W) for example. This fridge costs around $800 to buy, and you might think that its small capacity means lower electricity bills. Unfortunately, you’d be mistaken, as it consumes 321kWh annually and has a three-star energy efficiency rating.
These are extreme examples, but it could help illustrate how you might be better off spending more on a greater capacity fridge that’s also energy-efficient. Not to mention, you can also expect pricier fridges to come with superior quality fittings and fixtures. As is the case with most other household appliances, you often get what you pay for. The trick is to find a quality product at a reasonable price.
Our research found that one in ten (9%) survey respondents wish they had bought a more expensive fridge. When asked what the biggest factor in their purchase decision was, 29% indicated the price of the fridge, followed by size (19%), capacity/storage (16%) and energy efficiency (14%).
Other key findings include:
Fisher & Paykel has topped our fridge ratings for the first time, delivering on the quality and reliability that Aussies expect. However, it’s important to do your research before settling on a model that’s right for your home and family.
While it might ultimately come down to your budget, it’s important to also consider a range of factors including size and energy efficiency, before you splash the cash. There’s certainly no point in having a fridge that’s too large or too small for you.
With power prices so high, energy consumption is more important than ever before. An energy efficient fridge is likely to have a higher price tag than a fridge that’s pretty inefficient, but it should help you save money later down the track. It will also generally have more high-tech features that can prove handy. As with most household appliances, you’ll typically get what you pay for with fridges. So, we hope you find our customer ratings helpful when looking for your new kitchen mate.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Picture credits: hedgehog94/shutterstock.com
*Prices taken from respective retailer websites, correct as of December 2019
Here is a list of fridge brands available to buy in Australia:
Our latest customer satisfaction research on refrigerators saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:
There are plenty of retailers that sell fridges either in-store or online. These include:
Each brand offers a number of models within its range. We’ve taken a comparative model from each brand in regards to capacity to help you compare price, plus each model’s energy efficiency ratings:
|Fisher & Paykel 447L Top Mount Fridge RF440TLPX6||$1,949||3|
|Kelvinator 460L Top Mount Fridge KTM4602WARH||$1,199||3.5|
|Westinghouse 460L Top Mount Fridge WTB4604SAR||$1,549||3.5|
|Hisense 460L Top Mount Fridge HR6TFF459||$899||4|
|Electrolux 460L Top Mount Fridge ETE4607SB-R||$2,049||5|
|Samsung 471L Top Mount Fridge SR471LSTC||$1,599||3.5|
|LG 441L Top Mount Fridge GT-442WDC||$1,049||4|
|Beko 424L Top Mount Fridge BTM425W||$949||3.5|
|Haier 457L Top Mount Fridge HRF454TW||$899||3|
|Bosch 454L Top Mount Fridge KDN53VW30A||$1,199||3.5|
Source: Respective retailers and Appliances Online, December 2019
Canstar Blue surveyed 6,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a new refrigerator in the last 3 years – in this case, 1,697 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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*Prices correct as of publication date.