Compare fridges from Mitsubishi Electric, Haier, LG, Beko, Fisher & Paykel, Samsung, Westinghouse, Electrolux, Hisense and Kelvinator based on their reliability, quality of fittings and fixtures, internal layout, food freshness, value for money, style/external design, features and overall 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 give Aussie consumers a platform to give 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.
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 1,200 Australian consumers who have purchased a new refrigerator in the last three years. Respondents were asked to review their new fridge based on a number of key factors, including its reliability, the quality of fittings and fixtures, internal layout, food freshness, value for money, style/external design and features. Ten major brands received the minimum sample to be included in the results, but only one received an overall five-star review – Mitsubishi Electric. It also rated five stars across all other research categories, making it a stellar performer in 2018.
The 10 brands in Canstar Blue’s 2018 fridge review were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
It was four stars overall for Haier, LG, Beko, Fisher & Paykel, Samsung, Westinghouse and Electrolux, while Hisense and Kelvinator had to settle for three stars this year. Aside from Mitsubishi Electric, Beko was the only other brand to achieve a five-star rating in any category, in this case for internal layout.
Our fridge reviews 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.
Japanese brand Mitsubishi Electric offers French door, multi drawer, top mount and bottom mount fridge designs. Fridge capacities range from 385L for a top mount, to 710L for French door style models. It boasts its ‘Fridge Finder’ app that allows you to see how a Mitsubishi Electric fridge will look in your kitchen using a VR photo before you buy it. The brand’s largest 710L fridge features a twin fan multi airflow system, plus triple twist ice trays and tempered glass shelves which are heat resistant. It can even hold up to 101kgs in weight! This model is priced at around $2,800. Expect stainless steel, plus diamond black and pearl white finishes claimed to offer the latest advances in anti-bacteria technology. You’ll also find a number of space saving storage options.
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 brand focuses on every day, affordable kitchen, laundry and home cooling necessities. The Haier 629L Side by Side Refrigerator is one of the more affordable side-by-side fridges available. Both sides include five glass shelves, two drawers, four door bins, and a temperature setting indicator with automatic display. While it only has a two-star energy rating, the fridge is convenient for those who like a well-organised freezer as much as a well-organised fridge.
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 730L units for those who love food and want to store a lot of it. The LG price range is equally broad, offering affordable sub-$800 models up through to big fancy units with big price tags. Looking at a more mid-range example, the LG 450L Bottom Mount Fridge has an impressive 4.5-star energy rating, as well as Smart Diagnosis which communicates with a smartphone app to troubleshoot and diagnose any problems. Inside, the fridge is boasted for tempered glass shelves, with a retractable shelf to fit taller items. The freezer contains three plastic drawers and a twist ice maker. The RRP of this model is $1,449.
Turkish brand Beko offers a wide range of fridges, from side-by-side models to top and bottom mounts. There are a number of price points with both budget and high-end options. Take for example its 641L Side by Side fridge featuring IonGuard technology, Everfresh+ Crisper, Active Fresh Blue Light, and Active Seal Guard. With a price tag of $1,899, 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 245L top mount fridge retails for around $600 and features some of the same technology.
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 380L ActiveSmart top mount fridge, with a RRP of $1,149. This white-finish fridge has 97L of freezer space and 283L 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 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.
Perhaps best-known for its mobile phones, Samsung also has a strong presence in the home appliances market. The brand 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 shoppers with any budget could reasonably consider buying a Samsung fridge. Around the middle of Samsung’s range is this 458L Bottom Mount Refrigerator, with a four-star energy efficiency rating and RRP of just $1,599. The stainless steel exterior features bar handles, while inside there are four tempered glass shelves, a twist ice maker, wine rack and flip up shelf for fitting extra tall items.
Now 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 boasting extra features such as automatic ice makers. An example of a mid-range fridge from Westinghouse is the 460L Stainless Steel Top Mount, which features a twist ice maker, humidity controlled crisper with divider, egg tray, adjustable Spillsafe glass shelves, full width freezer door bin with divider and quick chill function. This fridge is available with a RRP of $1,399.
Electrolux doesn’t really foray into the budget end of the refrigerators segment – you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything retailing for under a grand. Instead, Electrolux goes deep into the high-end market with its biggest and most expensive model a whopping 700L side-by-side fridge priced at over $5,000. One of the cheapest fridges still costs more than the average new fridge spend. The Electrolux 460L Top Mount Fridge, available in either left or right hand opening, has a RRP of $1,749. 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 deodorizer, full-width dairy compartment on top of the vegetable crisper and deodorizer. Eco mode 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.
Hisense is a relatively new brand on the consumer appliance market, but it covers every type of fridge, including bar fridges, pigeon paired standalone fridges and freezers, and French door types. 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 orange bar fridges. An example of Hisense’s mid-range offerings is the 526L Top Mount Fridge SS, with its stainless steel exterior and handles. There’s a handy display and controls panel on the front, to control 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 two crisper bins, egg tray and wine rack. Both the fridge and freezer units have adjustable safe glass shelves. The Hisense 526L Top Mount Fridge SS is available from a RRP of $1,199.
Kelvinator covers the most straightforward traditional top mount and bottom mount refrigerators. The range targets the most important parts of keeping your food and drinks cool through Aussie weather – this isn’t the brand to go to for expensive features such as automatic ice cube makers. This means that Kelvinator fridges stay well within a generally affordable price range. For example, the Kelvinator 453L bottom mount fridge has one of the brand’s highest fridge retail prices yet is still very close to average consumer spend on a new refrigerator, at $1,349. This model has glass shelves, LED lighting, FlexStor adjustable door bin storage, two full-width wire freezer baskets and one full-width crisper.
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 points in detail:
Let’s 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 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 innovation 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 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.
|Fridge Size||Typical Annual Energy Consumption (kWh)||Estimated Cost Per Year|
Cost calculations based on electricity usage rate of 33 cents per kWh. 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 fridge. It comes with an annual energy usage of 282kWh, and based on an electricity usage rate of 33c/kWh, you could expect to pay around $93 to power this fridge over the year! 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 the farthest, so a cheap fridge can be an alluring prospect. Our survey found that Aussie households spend an average of just over $1,172 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 Midea 207L top-mount fridge for example. This fridge costs around $500 to buy, and you may think that its fairly small capacity means lower electricity bills. Unfortunately, you’d be mistaken because it consumes 380kWh annually and has a two-star energy 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 2018 research revealed that one in five (20%) of 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 capacity/storage (20%) and size (17%). Other key findings included:
There are many things to consider when buying a new fridge, with energy-efficiency high on the agenda for most. Not only is choosing an energy-efficient model cost-effective in the long run, it’s also kinder to the environment. Given that fridges need to be run 24 hours a day, it makes sense to choose the most energy-efficient model with your size and price requirements. You’ll also need to consider:
Using these three methods can hopefully send you on the right track to buying the best fridge for you and your family. We hope you find our review helpful in your decision-making process.
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 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, 1,257 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.
Appliances - June 8th
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See our Ratings Methodology.
*Product availability and price range are current as of the stated date, may be subject to change.
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