Canstar Blue’s fridge review has seen LG, CHiQ, Fisher & Paykel, Haier, Westinghouse, Samsung, Hisense, Electrolux, Beko, Kelvinator 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’ll need to consider. With modern fridges usually costing upwards of $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(s), giving you the scoop on some leading brands in the market.
This year, Canstar Blue surveyed more than 1,500 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 that you can make an informed purchase decision the next time you go fridge shopping!
Our latest ratings saw 11 major brands receive the minimum sample size (30 responses) to be included in the results, but which came out on top? LG and CHiQ were joint champions for overall customer satisfaction and also got five-star reviews in various key areas.
Here are the best fridges in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
LG and CHiQ topped our fridge ratings with five-star reviews for quality of fittings & fixtures, food freshness, style & external design and overall customer satisfaction. LG got additional full marks for features and CHiQ for value for money.
Former rating’s winner Fisher & Paykel dropped to third place in our latest ratings, but still managed to achieve five-star reviews for reliability, style & external design and food freshness, alongside Westinghouse and Samsung. Notably, Electrolux also scooped up five stars for quality of fittings & fixtures, food freshness, style & external design and internal layout.
Our fridge ratings provide a helpful guide to which brands are rated highest here 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 main factors to consider before getting your credit card out.
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 454L Bottom Mount Fridge (GB-W455MBL) has an impressive 4.5-star energy rating. Inside, the fridge features surround cooling with air vents located in the front ceiling of the fridge to direct cold air onto items stored in the top door baskets and a ‘Fresh Balancer’ which adjusts humidity settings in the crisper drawers to keep your fruits and veggies fresh. This model also comes with tempered glass shelves and a two-step folding shelf to fit taller items. The freezer contains three plastic drawers and a twist ice maker.
LG’s fridge range includes:
LG earned five-star reviews for food freshness, quality of fittings & fixtures, features, style & external design and customer satisfaction. It got four stars for reliability, internal layout and value for money.
CHiQ may be a Chinese brand, but its wide range of electronics and electrical home appliances is apparently designed to help meet the lifestyle needs of everyday Australians. The brand sells mainly televisions, fridges and freezers, as well as digital signage. CHiQ is also the exclusive television supplier of the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
In terms of refrigerators, CHiQ offers single door and hybrid fridges, as well as top and bottom mount units, and side by side models, ranging in capacity from 199L to 700L (freezers). CHiQ’s 550L Top Mount Black Steel Inverter System Fridge (CTM549B) is a standard model offering a multi air-flow system, full frost-free system, an electronic control system and four-star energy efficiency rating.
CHiQ’s fridge range includes:
CHiQ earned five-star reviews for food freshness, quality of fittings & fixtures, style & external design, value for money and customer satisfaction. It got four stars for reliability, internal layout and features.
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 519L Bottom Mount Refrigerator (RF522BRPB6), priced under $2,000. This stainless-steel finish fridge has 159L of freezer space and 360L 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 achieved five-star reviews for reliability, style & external design and food freshness. It got four stars for overall satisfaction and in the remaining categories.
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 everyday affordable kitchen, laundry and home cooling necessities.
The Haier 514L French Door Refrigerator (HRF520FHS) is one of the more affordable French door fridges available, priced under $1,500. 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. It also comes with a four-star energy efficiency rating, ideal for those who like a well-organised unit that won’t guzzle electricity.
Haier’s fridge range includes:
Haier received four stars for overall satisfaction and in majority of categories. The only exception was internal layout where it got three stars.
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 got five stars for food freshness, and four stars in majority of other categories. It got three stars for internal layout.
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 the 455L Bottom Mount Refrigerator (RL40A4SBAB1), with a respectable four-star energy efficiency rating, priced around $1,449. The matte black finish exterior features flat doors and recessed 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.
Samsung’s fridge range includes:
Samsung scored five stars for food freshness and four stars everywhere else, including for overall satisfaction.
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 over $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 $1,299 RRP*.
Hisense’s fridge range includes:
Hisense received four stars for reliability, quality of fittings & fixtures, overall satisfaction and in other key areas. It got three stars for internal layout and features.
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 501L Stainless-Steel Refrigerator (ERE5047SC) features a MultiZone deli compartment for your deli meats and cheeses, FreshPlus cooling and a Boost Chill mode which increases the chill rate of the unit for 90 minutes before returning to the pre-set temperature. It also comes with a mark-resistant stainless-steel finish and a filtered water dispenser.
Electrolux’s fridge range includes:
Electrolux scooped up five stars for quality of fittings & fixtures, food freshness, style & external design and internal layout. It got four stars everywhere else.
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 the 725L French Door Fridge (GNE134750X), featuring Beko’s NeoFrost Cooling Technology stated to help maintain optimal humidity and freshness, while limiting the transfer of odours between the fridge and freezer units. There’s also an active fresh blue light to help keep your fruits and vegetables fresher for longer and an ice and water dispenser on the door for convenience.
Beko’s fridge range includes:
Beko scored a solid four-star rating across the board, including for overall customer satisfaction.
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 (KBM5302WC) 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 Spillsafe glass shelves, FlexStor adjustable door bin storage, two full-width wire freezer baskets and one full-width crisper.
Kelvinator’s fridge range includes:
Kelvinator got four stars for food freshness, value for money, reliability and overall satisfaction. It got three stars everywhere else.
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 offers three intriguing options priced from $1,800, so they’re some of the most expensive you’re likely to come across.
The Bosch Serie 6 254L Integrated Bottom Mount Fridge (KIN86AD30A) 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:
Bosch rounded up the results with four stars for features and three stars for overall satisfaction and all other rated variables.
While the following brands did not receive the minimum survey sample size required to be included in our 2020 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 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, but 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 $1,528 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 spent more on a quality fridge. When asked what the biggest factor in their purchase decision was, 26% indicated the price of the fridge, followed by size (19%), capacity/storage (19%) and energy efficiency (14%).
Other key findings include:
LG and CHiQ both topped our fridge ratings for 2020, deemed to deliver 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 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 new 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 2020.
Here is a list of fridge brands available to buy in Australia:
Want the best fridge you can buy? Canstar Blue’s latest review saw the following brands perform well:
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:
|LG 441L Top Mount Fridge with Door Cooling (GT-442WDC)||$1,139||4|
|CHiQ 435L Top Mount Black Steel Inverter System Fridge (CTM433B)||$899||3.5|
|Fisher & Paykel 519L Freestanding Refrigerator (RF522BRPB6)||$1,899||3|
|Haier 221L Top Mount Fridge (HRF220TS)||$589||3|
|Westinghouse 460L Top Mount Frost Free Fridge (WTB4600WC-L)||$1,299||4|
|Samsung 471L Top Mount Fridge (SR471LSTC)||$995||3.5|
|Hisense 460L Top Mount Fridge (HR6TFF459)||$989||4|
|Electrolux 460L Top Mount Fridge (ETE4607SB-R)||$2,049||5|
|Beko 424L Top Mount Fridge (BTM425W)||$949||3.5|
|Kelvinator 245L Top Mount Fridge (KTB2502WB-R)||$689||2|
|Bosch Series 4 324L Freestanding Fridge (KSV33VI3A)||$1,889||4|
Source: Respective retailers and Appliances Online, December 2020.
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 three years – in this case, 1,553 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.