Complete Refrigerator buying guide; everything you should take into account

With this refrigerator buying guide you will be able to know what size of refrigerator fits you, what capacity and distribution is better, its energy consumption and, of course, what kind of extras you can get for a price that does not exceed your budget.

When a refrigerator breaks, it always seems like a catastrophe, not only because of the loss of food that has spoiled or thawed, or because of the money it will cost to buy a new one, but because it seems like a daunting task to choose a completely new one among all the variety there is right now. But in reality it is not that difficult, we just have to stop to think for a moment and follow these tips to know which one we need.

Even the most amateurs intuit that the first thing when buying a refrigerator is to measure the space where it will be placed in the kitchen. But just measuring the height is not enough: a fridge that is too wide can be trapped forever on your front door or elevator. Imagine the panorama.

To avoid a disaster of such magnitudes be sure to correctly measure the height, width, depth of the space  and, if you don’t want to risk more than necessary, the total distance you have to open the door. If not, you will have to juggle daily. It also does not hurt to think which way you want to open the door of your new refrigerator, although many of the current ones have reversible doors.

Anyway, dimensions, like -almost everything- in life, are not everything either. There are many other factors that you should take into account when it comes to knowing which one to buy: its energy efficiency, the arrangement of the drawers, the programming of functions … it is a whole world, and our intention in this article is to help you decide.

Let’s start with the easiest:  what is the best-selling type of refrigerator? Here, by far, the combi type rules. It is because in all countries do not have the space that Americans normally have in their kitchens, and the king is probably the 2-meter stainless steel combi. This refrigerator buying guide will help decide which one to buy.

Where to put your new refrigerator

Perhaps you have come this far without stopping to think about the exact place where you want to put your new fridge. There are theories for all tastes, but it is best to use common sense … as long as you have it, of course.

It is not advisable to place the refrigerator next to the ceramic hob or oven , although sometimes there is no other choice. Nor does it pay to receive direct sunlight, because it will need more energy to cool down and that will be reflected directly in your pocket.

Balay, for example, recommends using insulating panels or, failing that, keeping at least 3 centimeters of separation with respect to electric and gas stoves or 30 centimeters in the case of diesel and coal stoves.

Although the most modern models have an advanced design, it is necessary to ensure that they are not completely embedded in the back wall or trapped by the sides because in that case it will overheat and spend more. Refrigerators also need to breathe.

Types of refrigerator: measures and classes

The neveril industry has evolved more in recent years than mobile phones. If you haven’t been to an appliance store in a long time, you will have to pick up a pen and paper.

Which type is better? It all depends on the needs and tastes of each home. The theory goes that a single person who is away from home all day will not have the same model as a large family, but life is that complicated.

Before getting flour with the thousand and one different types of refrigerators , you must take into account -more or less- what height is best for you. As we have already mentioned, it is not something definitive because what really matters is the net capacity of both the fridge and the freezer and if you need more of one thing or another.

Up to 150cm . Minibars and undercounter refrigerators fall into this category. They are not very common in Spanish homes, but if you are barely using the fridge at home it could help you save money.

  • From 150 cm to 170 cm: They are small. A recommended option for singles who step into the kitchen once a month.
  • From 170 cm to 185cm: Medium in size. One of the most common options, especially in two-door and combi refrigerators.
  • From 185 cm to 195cm: Large refrigerators, large enough for a large family, quite widespread from the nineties.
  • More than 195 cm: They are the largest, a useful solution for families but a bad option if you are barely going to store things inside.

The above classification should not be definitive, but rather a small guide to focus on two or three sections of different measures, always with a watchful eye on the actual capacity of each refrigerator.

  • One-door refrigerators: watch out! They are exclusively refrigerators, they do not have a function to freeze food. And yet they still have their own market, especially among those who go shopping daily or those who already have a separate freezer elsewhere in their home. You can find them in three formats: minibar, under counter and traditional ones, with a large capacity.
  • Two-door refrigerators: they were the kings of the market a long time ago and they are still an option for many people because they are inexpensive, but ergonomically they leave something to be desired because the frozen ones rest on the top and the fruits and vegetables are at the feet. Of course, it is a solution to consider for an apartment on the coast, since during the summer the freezer is a priority.
  • Combi refrigerators: also with two doors, but in this case with the freezer in the lower part and the fruit and vegetables in the most comfortable area. Spain is one of the European countries that most opts for this type of model, present in 8 out of 10 households according to a study by the OCU. They present a good quality / price ratio even in models with the most efficient energy consumption of all.
  • Side by side refrigerators: popularly known as American refrigerators. The traditional ones have two vertical doors, with the freezer on the left and the fridge on the right. They usually have a water and ice dispenser and represent an interesting option for large families due to their large capacity.
  • French door refrigerators: like the American ones, they have two vertical doors, but separate two refrigeration zones to optimize consumption and relegate the freezer to the lower zone. They are also usually large.
  • Four-door refrigerators: a natural evolution of French door models. It includes a flexible middle drawer that can serve as a separate refrigeration or quick freeze zone. Reserved for the highest ranges.

Essential features of refrigerator to look out for

Refrigerator buying guide
  • Noise: A detail that is often overlooked when buying a new model but is essential because a noisy refrigerator is the worst possible enemy for peace at home. Much better if the manufacturer guarantees that the works at full capacity below 45 decibels , which would be equivalent to the sound that exists in a library.
  • Customization: A fixed refrigerator can be a complete nightmare on your birthday or, for example, during Christmas. A good tip to choose between one or the other is to pay attention to the number of modular trays and shelves available, since sooner rather than later you will need it.
  • No Frost: Although it is a fairly widespread feature, it is still almost essential when buying it because it eliminates the obligation to defrost at least once a year to eliminate the ice plates that are forming inside the compartments. If you live in a warm area, the most advisable thing is a total no-frost , both in the refrigerator and in the freezer.
  • Capacity: Whoever covers a lot does little squeeze, any grandmother would say. That’s right. Having a refrigerator according to your needs will imply a more efficient consumption and, therefore, a saving in the electricity bill. For one person, 125 liters between fridge and freezer is enough , while a family with four people will need around 500 liters of capacity. It is also important if you will need more or less space to freeze .
  • Differentiated cold zones: Unthinkable in older models, it allows you to differentiate foods and isolate odors, which extends the shelf life of foods or, for example, ultra-fast cooling of bottles and cans. One of the features that has advanced the most in recent years and is the most attractive is for the consumer.
  • Temperature control: Some only allow you to control the temperature once the door is open, which obviously reduces its energy efficiency. It should not be a reason to discard a model, but rather to highlight one over the other.
  • Water and ice dispenser: Some couldn’t live without it, especially in the summer. On the contrary, yes, you must incorporate a water intake , which is not always possible.
  • Light: Although most current models have left those horrible yellowish lights behind thanks to the LED lighting it is still advisable to check it in person to see if it illuminates the entire interior.
  • Reversible doors: The kitchen configuration sometimes forces you to change the opening direction of the door. Almost all new refrigerators have this possibility, but it is important to check before you buy.
  • Smart refrigerators: The new generation incorporates an exterior screen with information about food, WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity and all kinds of modes to adapt the operation of the refrigerator to the load or time of year. It can be really interesting to have an application in which to consult all this information about your refrigerator when you are away from home, but if this is going to increase the price, it may not yet be worth this type of investment.

Energy efficiency in new refrigerators

Energy efficiency in new refrigerators

Choosing the type of refrigerator will narrow your search somewhat, but you will still have to discard a huge number of models. One of the fundamental aspects today is energy efficiency. “The Spanish consumer is increasingly looking at energy efficiency because we are talking about the only appliance that is on 24 hours a day, ” explains Juristo. And who least expects it to last a whole decade.

There are seven universal labels (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) that represent the consumption of the appliance: the most efficient belong to category A and those that consume the most are accompanied by G. If the one you currently have In the kitchen it is more than 10 years old, it is probably class D or lower, so whatever you buy you will notice a much more efficient consumption.

Almost all the electrical appliances sold today carry the label A. But there are four classes in this group (A, A +, A ++, A +++) which are the ones you should look at when choosing one. In theory a refrigerator with category A + consumes 20% less one class A, one class A ++ 40% less and the most efficient, class A +++ has a consumption 60% lower than one class A.

Climatic class

Another point to review in the technical sheet of a refrigerator is its climatic class, which reflects the ambient temperature at which the appliance can work without problems.

  • Sub-normal (SN): For temperatures between 10ºC and 32ºC.
  • Normal (N): For temperatures between 16ºC and 32ºC.
  • Sub-tropical (ST): For temperatures between 18ºC and 38ºC.
  • Tropical (T): For temperatures between 18ºC and 43ºC.

Freezer stars

If you don’t want to be surprised, it is as important to review energy efficiency as find out the star rating of the freezer. If it does not appear in the technical sheet, ask the manufacturer why only one of the classes allows freezing food with guarantees:

  • One star * : They reach -6º C. They are not used to freeze food.
  • Two stars ** : They reach -12º C. They do not freeze food either.
  • Three stars *** : They reach -18º C. Although they do not serve to freeze food, they are capable of preserving those that are already frozen according to the duration that can be read on their packaging.
  • Four stars **** : The freezer reaches -24ºC, which ensures the correct maintenance of food without risk of breaking the cold chain.

As you have seen, once you are clear about the types that exist in the market, it is much easier to navigate through the different sales websites and not get lost between each model, or go over the price.

The best refrigerator to buy

Now that we know exactly what to look for when buying a refrigerator and which are the best types according to your needs, it’s time to choose the one that suits you best.

It is not an easy task, and it depends partly on the price and the benefits, but also on the guarantee and the after-sales service of the store in question.

All the ones we have selected are low consumption, and it does not make much sense to bet right now on an appliance that is not.

We have tried to assess all these parameters to choose the best available right now. This is the result in order from cheapest to most expensive. This refrigerator buying guide will be helpful to choose right product for your requirements. Following products may not be available at your area and you should keep above points in mind to choose best product.

Teka TS1 138

The first model that we have chosen is of the mini type, that is, small and perfect if you don’t usually store frozen food, although it has a freezer drawer that you can use to store some food, something that few mini refrigerators have.

The best, without a doubt, is its price, and it costs only € 209 in PcComponentes , so it is perfect to have it as an auxiliary or in one of the rooms of the house, especially if you usually rent them.

The brand is Teka, fully trusted and with a long history for several decades. In addition, it is also low consumption with A ++ energy certification and an annual consumption of approximately 131 kW.

If what you are looking for is above all a cheap refrigerator that consumes little, this model may be a good choice.

The best 👍The worst 👎
Very affordable priceNo freezer
Ultra compact sizeLow capacity

Teka FTM 310

We now turn to another refrigerator of the same brand, Teka, and is that it is specialized in adjusting the quality-price ratio as much as possible, hence it has been cast in this list with two extraordinarily low models in terms of price.

In this case, it is a refrigerator with two doors: one for a refrigerator and one for a freezer in the upper area. Although these days they are less and less seen, there are those who prefer to have the refrigerator on top to have it on the bottom, even if that reduces its size a bit.

It is 1.59m high, that is, although it is tall, it is not “very” tall . For small kitchens it is quite good, and it also has low consumption energy certification, although in this case it falls to A +.

Perhaps it falls a bit short in terms of performance to be used as a main refrigerator at home, although it is perfect for second homes that you will only use a few months a year. It is cheap since it costs € 295 in Amazon Spain, so it is not a very large investment.

The best 👍The worst 👎
Affordable priceSmall freezer
Low consumptionThe freezer is up


Going up a notch in terms of prices, we now turn to a two-door refrigerator from LG and of the No Frost type, although today almost all of them avoid the formation of frost as soon as you have a minimum of care.

With A ++ energy certification, it has a fairly low consumption, especially due to its compact size of 272 liters.

It is ideal for people who live alone or couples who do not store too much food, especially in their freezer, which is perhaps too tight in size.

Its price is very competitive: € 509 right now.

The best 👍The worst 👎
A ++ certificationWith freezer
Compact sizeAntibacterial protection

Hisense RB400N4BC3

The value for money of this model from the Chinese brand HiSense is a very important point in its favor. It is of the combi type, that is, with two doors and with the refrigerator in the lower area.

Finished in stainless steel, it is 1.88 meters high, quite respectable and with plenty of room for all the food you can store.

It is already a refrigerator for families and for people who usually keep a lot of things in the freezer, but it also consumes very little energy. According to the manufacturer, as little as 170 kW per year, and that is a significant savings .

The price does not go according to the benefits, and it is for sale for just € 536 on Amazon .

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A +++ certification118 liters capacity
Steel finishesHigher price than other models

Samsung RB37J502MSA / EF

Like the previous HiSense, this Samsung fridge is made of premium materials: stainless steel and graphite.

It has a system to eliminate bacteria so that they do not accumulate in the fridge, as well as drawers for fruits and vegetables and a total capacity of almost 200 liters between fridge and freezer.

Regarding electricity consumption, suffice it to say that it has A +++ certification, which guarantees that it is the most efficient model you can buy right now.

As for the price, they are about € 615 in Amazon Spain, although you must bear in mind that due to its low consumption you will end up amortizing part of that investment.

The best 👍The worst 👎
Steel and graphite finishLimited availability
A +++ certificationHigh price


To close this list with the best refrigerators to buy right now, we have chosen the one that is probably the best in absolute terms, although yes: quality has to be paid for.

This LG from the Signatura line costs more than 8,000 euros, an investment that only a few can afford but that will take your kitchen directly into the future.

It is an American four-door refrigerator with automatic opening and motion sensor, as well as a screen with InstaView, which lights up with two taps and allows you to see inside without having to open the door.

It includes an automatic air purifying filter and a compartment that adjusts the temperature depending on the food you store in it. It is, in short, a smart refrigerator.

The best 👍The worst 👎
Automatic air filterConsumption of 362 kW per year
InstaView screenProhibitive price

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