Refrigerator Reviews

Compare some of the best refrigerator brands using our ratings comparison of kitchen appliance customer satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Samsung keeps it cool with our customer satisfaction award

The people have spoken and for 2015 we can announce that Samsung has taken our top spot for overall customer satisfaction.

Samsung keeps it cool with our customer satisfaction review

It’s hard to imagine a time before refrigerators. Whether it’s for your home or business, fridges are one of those things we can’t manage without. But what exactly are we looking for when it comes to buying a new one?

Well, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that looks can be important! Our survey of new fridge-buyers found that 52% have purchased a fridge based on its internal layout and design, but 22% place greater weight on the exterior aesthetics than its actual functionality!

Refrigerators are one of those purchases that you should only need to make a few times in your lifetime. An average fridge is usually expected to run for 10 years or so before it needs replacing – depending on the model. Replacing your cooling companion can be costly, so when the times does come to buy a new fridge, you need to make sure it will suit your needs for several years to come.

Fortunately, Canstar Blue has endeavored to help New Zealanders find a great refrigerator by asking hundreds of Kiwis to rate the fridge they most recently bought across a range of categories. The people have spoken and for 2015 we can announce that Samsung has taken our top spot for overall customer satisfaction.

What drives fridge satisfaction?

New Zealanders obviously have their own reasons for buying a new fridge at the time of purchase – whether it’s because of its functionality or appearance. But what do we want from refrigerators in the long term? From our survey, the greatest drivers of satisfaction are:

  • Value for money: 27%
  • Internal layout: 25%
  • Reliability: 15%
  • Quality of fittings and fixtures: 15%
  • Food freshness: 12%
  • After sales service: 5%

Types of fridges

There are a number of different types of fridges, usually offered in a range of models and sizes. To help you next time you go shopping for one, here is a quick glossary of refrigerator types.

Top mount: Top mount fridge-freezers are the traditional single door fridge with a single door freezer ‘mounted’ on top.

Bottom mount: Bottom mount fridge-freezers are the reverse, with the freezer placed at the bottom of the fridge. Bottom mount freezers can refer to either a door or drawer freezer.

Single drawer: Single door fridges mounted on top of a drawer freezer. Some people believe this type of fridge-freezer is easier to use than bottom mount fridges.

1-door: Also known as ‘vertical fridges’, these are tall single-door fridges with no freezer attached. These are mostly ideal if you need extra fridge space in a thin area.

Side by side: A wide two-door fridge freezer. Usually, the left compartment is a freezer, while the right compartment is slightly larger and operates as a standard fridge.

French door: French door fridge-freezers are quite popular, but also more expensive than most fridges. French doors are designed with a two-door fridge on top, and either a two-door freezer or a one or two drawer freezer at the bottom. Sometimes referred to as three or four doors, these fridges usually offer an impressive range of temperature control technologies and are equipped with a water/ice dispenser.

Bar fridges: You are probably well acquainted with the humble bar fridge. They are usually single door fridges at about half capacity of a one door fridge. You can also purchase wine fridges, which are built to keep wine at an optimal temperature (cool, not cold) and level of humidity.

Regardless of our fridge type, or our reasons for buying them, many Kiwis can be quite wasteful with what they put inside them – with 43% of us throwing out food on a weekly basis. Interestingly, 51% of women throw out food weekly, compared to only 36% of men.

More concernedly, 11% of respondents admit they never clean their fridge. It may not be a particularly fun task, but it’s nevertheless important to maintain a clean, healthy fridge to prevent the build-up of potentially harmful bugs.

The brands we rated


Samsung is an international manufacturer of electronics and appliances. It has an extensive refrigerator range with prices beginning at $698 for a top mount fridge freezer, up to $4,987 for its popular French door fridge/freezers and side by side fridge/freezers. All domestic use refrigerators are covered by a one or two year comprehensive warranty and up to 10 years compressor warranty, depending on the size of the model.

Fridge types available in New Zealand:

  • French door
  • Side by side
  • Top mount
  • Bottom mount
  • 1 door
  • Bar fridges

Mitsubishi Electric

Mitsubishi Electric is the electronics and appliance division of global powerhouse Mitsubishi. It creates a wide range of products for home, business and industry, including a number of fridges and models to suit different needs. Prices begin at $899.99 for its classic style, 160 litre fridges, and all domestic use fridges are covered with a comprehensive 24 month warranty for registered customers, and a 5 year compressor warranty.

Fridge types available in New Zealand:

  • Classic style (top mount)
  • Single Drawer (bottom mount)
  • Four door
  • ‘Connoisseur’ Multi Drawer fridge


Westinghouse is a premium electronics and appliances company that has been operating for more than 100 years. It produces seven types of fridges that come in a wide range of models and sizes.

Fridge types available in New Zealand:

  • French door
  • Multi door (2-4 door)
  • Side by side
  • Top mount
  • Vertical
  • Bar fridge.

Fisher & Paykel

Fisher and Paykel is a global producer of kitchen and laundry appliances. Many of its fridges are fitted with sensor and temperature control technology to help keep your food fresher for longer.

Fridge types available in New Zealand:

  • Bottom mount
  • French door
  • No freezer
  • Side by side
  • Top mount


Haier claims to be the world’s largest home appliance manufacturer and backs all its products with a 2 year warranty.

Fridge types available in New Zealand:

  • Bottom mount
  • French door
  • Side by side
  • Top mount
  • Vertical
  • Bar fridge

Frequently Asked Questions

The refrigeration system is made up of coils to transfer cooling gasses throughout an enclosed metal box. With the use of a liquid substance called refrigerant, which turns into gas, cold is kept inside the unit at a set temperature as defined by the user. Heat is correspondingly kept out to prevent bacteria from hastening the spoiling process.

Like most appliances, the refrigerator had its primitive start many years ago. Some of these included the Chinese storing their food in ice boxes and the English placing ice blocks in salted flannels in preparation for summertime.

The first artificial type of cooling system which didn’t need to literally store blocks of ice was created in the 18th century. From cooling coils, it took almost a century for General Electric to finally develop a commercially available refrigerator unit in 1927, where something similar to the fridge of today made an appearance.

The earliest form of the standard domestic refrigerator was called the Monitor Top. Its design blended well with most interiors and became widely available for home usage. In the coming decades especially during its rise in demand among Kiwis in the 1980s, refrigerators became sleeker and more practical. Their styles and layouts varied from French doors to bottom freezers, along with add-ons such as built in water dispensers and ice makers.

Today, technology has taken the best refrigerators to the next level. Touch screens, energy efficiency, smart temperature settings and humidity control, improved storage and ice dispensers are just some of the luxuries in top range appliances.

Each year, Canstar Blue conducts a survey among New Zealand households on which brands give them the most feature and service satisfaction. Among hundreds of respondents, these brands came out on top of the domestic refrigeration industry:

  1. Samsung
  2. Fisher & Paykel
  3. Mitsubishi Electric
  4. Westinghouse
  5. Haier

The refrigerator is every homemaker’s ally in prolonging the freshness of produce and keeping beverages ice cold for the family to enjoy. In varying sizes, styles and prices, there is a lot to think about when purchasing a refrigerator. Even commercial establishments have to think hard about this business essential. With this in mind, it is important to look at how the fridge works, how it came to be and what the most popular styles and brands are.

Fridges typically last 10 years before needing replacement and often cost around $2,000 for a new unit. You might want to consider the following purchasing tips when on the search for a new refrigeration unit:

Purpose and criteria in choosing your style of fridge

There are many things to consider when choosing a fridge and it is important to think about not only your everyday meals, but other scenarios where the fridge may be needed.

Your food preparation style should help you decide your ideal fridge’s design. For instance, you may choose between these two models:

Top built-in freezers – Enable you to retrieve more ice and keep more of your frozen foods within reach.

Bottom built-in freezers – Fits salad, cheeses and other fresh food gourmands.

There are many other types of refrigerators which serve varied purposes of cooking and storing ingredients. Bottom mounted or French Door fridges also have bottom built-in freezers, and they additionally have two doors which open out. More advanced units allow for more storage and compartments for more specialised ingredients.

Access areas and kitchen layouts

While fridges have the ability to keep your food fresh, they can take up a lot of space. A choice between a sleek or traditionally designed unit can contribute to the overall design of your kitchen.


Consider from which side of the kitchen you’ll be entering, depending on where you’ll position your fridge on your work triangle. You may either choose from left or right door opening fridges to ensure an efficient and safe zoning in your cookery.

Choose a right door opening unit if your living room-to-kitchen transition starts from the left, and vice versa. This way, accidents will be minimised, especially when there are kids or dogs running around the house!

Cooking space

If you have limited space, you might want to invest in a counter depth or built-in unit. The fridge may be installed right below a set of cupboards, saving significant space.

For those who are working with a cramped kitchen, compact models can store a few ingredients you can cook with. For homeowners who find takeaway meals to be more practical, this type of fridge should also serve them well.

Main and additional features

Temperature controls and compartments are the two main features you need to look into before purchasing a refrigerator. While the most basic features have become more sophisticated, what you’ll want is an even cooling temperature system right where it’s needed most.

Freezers should ideally be set at -18 degrees Celsius and main compartments should be set at 4 degrees Celsius. Basic compartments should include:

o   Easy-to-wash crisper drawers for fruits and veggies

o   Chiller compartments

o   Shelves and meat storage

Lastly, Energy Star Ratings are one of the most sustaining features refrigerators can have. They’re earth friendly as they no longer emit as much harmful compounds into the atmosphere, plus they contribute towards additional electricity savings in the long run.

These are just some of the details you can look into upon purchasing a refrigerator. Take time to list your own criteria and don’t hesitate to browse through a couple of units.

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton using the SSI panel to regularly survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a new refrigerator in the last 3 years – in this case, 585 New Zealanders.

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 were compared in this survey.

The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically.

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