Best-Rated Refrigerators

Compare refrigerators in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric, Samsung, Fisher & Paykel, Westinghouse, LG and Haier were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Features, Food Freshness, Internal Layout, Quality of Fittings & Fixtures, Reliability, Style/External Design and Value for Money.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Panasonic

Panasonic is the cool choice for the best fridges, rated No.1 for customer satisfaction by Kiwi consumers!

panasonic article image

How we rate fridges

Our review compares fridges on customer satisfaction, so you can discover what other Kiwis think about our compared refrigerator brands before you go ahead and make a purchase. Think of it like asking hundreds of your closest mates which make of fridge they think is best!

Canstar Blue surveyed 720 Kiwis who had bought a refrigerator over the past three years for their feedback on the fridge they bought.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their fridge brands from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a fridge brand as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Features & functionality: the fridge has adequate settings and features (i.e. automatic temperature control, multiple storage options) and/or advanced specs that enhance functionality (i.e. wi-fi capabilities, a transparent door, water and ice dispenser, etc).
  • Food freshness: the fridge provides effective/even cooling and keeps different foods, especially fruit and vegetables, fresher for longer.
  • Internal layout: the fridge has a logical and functional internal layout that is adaptable for everyday use.
  • Quality of fittings & fixtures: for the price, the fridge’s fittings and fixtures are of a good quality and fit for years of daily use.
  • Reliability: the fridge’s performance is consistent and hasn’t decreased over time.
  • Style/External design: the fridge has a functional and aesthetically pleasing design.
  • Value for money: the price of the fridge was reasonable given the quality and longevity of the product.

The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall Satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall Satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall Satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall Satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  • Panasonic
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Samsung
  • Fisher & Paykel
  • Westinghouse
  • LG
  • Haier

Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.



Ratings Results

The clear winner of Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers Award, Panasonic is the only fridge brand to earn a coveted 5-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction. It’s a top rating it replicates across four other categories, including for Reliability and Value for Money. In total, Panasonic’s customers award it five 5-Star ratings, as many as all the other brands in this year’s awards survey combined.

Editor’s Notes

Panasonic sells a range of 16 fridges here in NZ. Its standard range of fridge-freezers covers 11 models, starting from around $1200 for a 306L top-mount fridge-freezer and going up to approx $2300 for a 417L bottom-mounted freezer model with water dispenser. Panasonic also has a range of premium Prime+ models, which tops out at the PRIME+ Edition 493L French-door refrigerator with in-door water dispenser (approx $3400).

mitsubishi-electric logo

Mitsubishi Electric

Ratings Results

Mitsubishi Electric is no stranger to our refrigerator awards. It has won more times than any other brand, and took out our top award in 2020 and 2021. This year, once again, it earns high praise from consumers. It’s the only other fridge brand apart from our award winner to achieve multiple 5-Star ratings: for Design, Quality of Fixtures, Internal Layout and Features. It earns 4 Stars in all other categories, including for Overall Satisfaction.

Editor’s Notes

Mitsubishi Electric’s range of fridges encompasses multi-drawer and French-door models. Its two-draw fridges range from 306L models, from around $2100, to large capacity 450L models, priced up to $3500. Its French-door fridges come in four-drawer, two-drawer and quad-door models. These high-end fridges range in price from around $4500 to $6500.


Ratings Results

Placing third in this year’s award ratings is Samsung, which won our Refrigerator Award back in 2020. This year, Samsung achieves almost a clean sweep of 4-Star ratings across all eight categories. Only for Value for Money does it earn 3 Stars.

Editor’s Notes

Samsung retails a large range of fridges. Prices start from around $900, for a basic 236L top-mount fridge-freezer, and max out around $5000 for a 647L French-door fridge with water dispenser. More expensive Samsung models also feature customisable design in the form of coloured door panels. These feature finishes including metal, glossy and matte glass, and colours from neutral black and white to pink and navy.

Fisher & Paykel

Ratings Results

Although it earns the same spread of ratings across all categories as Samsung, Fisher & Paykel places fourth on our ratings table of NZ’s best fridges. Its customers award it 4 Stars in every category, apart from Value for Money, for which it has a 3-Star rating.

Editor’s Notes

Fisher & Paykel is a brand synonymous with appliances in NZ, and it sells an impressive range of fridges, including fridge-only models, bottom-freezer fridges, quad-door and French-door models. In addition to free-standing units, it also has models designed to integrate into fitted kitchens. Compared to other fridge brands, Fisher & Paykel’s cheapest models are still quite expensive, starting around $1800 for a 380L fridge-freezer. Its mid-range models cost around $4500 and top-of-the-range fridges cost upwards of $10,000.


Ratings Results

Although Westinghouse earns a 4-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction from those who have bought one of its fridges, across all other categories it earns 3 Stars.

Editor’s Notes

Westinghouse is an Australian brand that has been producing quality appliances for over 60 years. It has a huge range of over 80 fridge models, although not all are readily available in high street retailers. Prices start at around $550 for a small 120L bar fridge, and $1399 for a 308L fridge-freezer. Westinghouse’s larger models retail between $3000-$4000, for example approx $3800 for the Westinghouse 541L dark stainless steel French-door fridge with double-door freezer.


Ratings Results

In this year’s award ratings, LG earns a mixed-bag of results. In most categories it earns a 3-Star rating, including for Overall Satisfaction and Value for Money. However, it earns two 4-Star ratings, for Food Freshness and Features, and one top 5-Star rating, for Quality of Fittings and Fixtures.

Editor’s Notes

LG’s range of fridges covers 11 French-door models, seven side-by-side models and 14 fridge-freezers: five top-mounted and nine bottom-mounted. Its top-of-the-range models feature InstaView windows in their doors and water dispensers, and cost between $4000-$5500. LG’s French-door models cost between $2500 and $4000, while more standard fridge-freezers range from around $750 for a 194L single-door fridge with a freezer compartment, to around $2000 for a 420L bottom-freezer model.

haier logo


Ratings Results

Haier rounds out this year’s award ratings. While it doesn’t manage to score above a 3-Star rating in any category, Haier is consistent, earning a clean sweep of three-star ratings across the board. While not a top rating, 3-Stars still indicates that Haier consumers are content with the value and performance of their fridge choices.

Editor’s Notes

Haier is often regarded as a more affordable option than its sister brand Fisher & Paykel. And when it comes to fridges, Haier’s range is certainly less pricey; all models retail for under $5000. Haier’s quad-door fridges cost from $2800, for a 463L model, up to approx $4900 for a 623L unit with a plumbed water and ice dispenser. Regular two-door fridges start around $900 for a 198L fridge and go up to around $2000 for 416L models.

Other refrigerator brands

Not all brands in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are more brands to check out before making a purchase decision.

  • Beko
  • Belling
  • Bosch

  • Electrolux
  • Midea
  • Miele


Editor’s Notes

Beko is a Turkish company that is one of Europe’s biggest appliance manufacturers. Here it sells a range of eight fridge-freezer and two fridge-only units. Prices start at around $900 for a 193L bottom-mount fridge-freezer. Beko’s largest 450L fridge-freezer costs $1800.


Editor’s Notes

German appliance manufacturer Bosch is synonymous with quality and design. It retails two fridge models and six fridge-freezers here in NZ, encompassing singe and French-door models. Bosch’s smallest, cheapest model is a 351L fridge-freezer that sells for around $2000, while its 605L Series 6 French-door fridge, featuring smart-home technology, retails from around $5500.


Editor’s Notes

Electrolux is a Swedish appliance company. It’s a premium brand that sells a range of 12 fridges, ranging from 425L single-door fridges with bottom freezers (approx $2500) to 609L French-door models (approx $5000).


Editor’s Notes

Midea is a Chinese multi-national electronics company that in NZ sells a range of budget-friendly home appliances, including bar fridges and fridge-freezers. Midea’s 87L bar fridge-freezer costs just $299, while its cheapest fridge-freezer, the Imprasio 181L, is just $500. Midea’s most expensive fridge is its new 584L fridge-freezer, which boasts a black-glass finish and costs $1499.


Editor’s Notes

Miele is a German premium brand that manufactures a wide range of home appliances. Its range of fridges in NZ features two free-standing fridges, that cost $3199 and $3699, two integrated fridges, that cost $5149 and $5599, and four integrated fridge-freezers that cost between $4899 and $6199.


Choosing the Right Fridge for You

When choosing a fridge, there are many things to consider. Of course, the main three are your budget, the size of fridge you need to meet your household needs and, most importantly, the size of fridge that will fit in your kitchen. Always measure accurately before you buy, and take into consideration the room required for a fridge’s door to open fully.

However, when it comes down to the specifics of each fridge brand, the respondents in our survey were clear about which qualities mattered most to them.

Given that fridges are kitchen workhorses, it’s no surprise to see that the most important factor by far is Reliability, cited by a third (33%) of those in our survey.

And while Value for Money comes second (16%) it’s closer to Food Freshness (12%) and Design (12%) on the list of a great fridge’s most important attributes.

Here’s the full rundown of what the fridge buyers in our survey say are the main things they consider when rating their purchases.

  • Reliability: 33%
  • Value for Money: 16%
  • Food Freshness: 12%
  • Style/External Design: 12%
  • Quality of Fittings & Fixtures: 11%
  • Internal Layout: 10%
  • Features: 6%

Choosing an energy-efficient fridge

When choosing a fridge, energy efficiency is an important consideration, one that can save you a considerable amount of money over the lifetime of your appliance.

Finding an energy-efficient fridge is simple. Just check its Energy Rating Label. The more stars, the more energy-efficient the fridge.

The label also shows an estimated kWh usage per year, which if you know how much you’re paying for power, can help you work out the dollar cost of using your fridge.

Keep in mind that cheap and basic appliances tend to be less energy-efficient. So to lower your running costs, you’ll likely have to raise your upfront costs. However, as a fridge is turned on all the time, choosing an energy-efficient model is a wise investment.

How much electricity does a fridge use?

To do the calculations below we’ve used the average national average power price of 32c p/kWh.

Consumers have a huge range of fridge/freezer options to choose from in the 350L to 450L bracket. We’ve gone straight down the middle, and taken a look at the running costs that can be expected for an 400L (approx) model.

Star rating Annual energy use Annual running cost
3 Star

282L fridge
114L freezer

404kWh $129
4.5 Star

300l fridge
125l freezer

291 kWh $93

Based on the above usage, the running costs over five years are:

  • 3-star fridge/freezer – $645
  • 4.5-star fridge/freezer – $465

This is a total difference in running costs of $180.

How can I lower the energy use of my refrigerator?

Our fridges run all day, every day. And even energy-efficient refrigerators can burn extra power if not maintained and used correctly. So, some key tips to lowering the energy use of your fridge are:

  • Keep it (almost) full. A full fridge runs more efficiently, but ventilation is crucial as well. Try keep it around two-thirds full, this will keep it running efficiently while leaving enough space for proper ventilation
  • Keep it closed. If you’re just grabbing milk to add to your tea, before putting it back, it can be tempting to leave the fridge door open while you do it. But doing so lets a lot of cool air escape, forcing your fridge into overdrive to cool back down. So always keep your fridge door closed
  • Check the seals. If these have worn, or aren’t fitted tightly, cold air can escape, meaning your fridge has to keep on cooling
  • Defrost. Ice build-up can impact the efficiency of your freezer. If ice around the inside is more than 1cm thick, defrost it or scrape it away

Types of refrigerators

Top freezer

This type of fridge is the most common, meaning it’s also generally the cheapest, and has the widest range on offer. It’s a single column refrigerator, with the top third (approximately) dedicated to a separate freezer compartment.

The downside is that top freezer models are generally rather low on features, and less thought is given to their appearance.

It’s worth noting that these fridges are some of the most efficient. They are about 10%-25% more efficient than fridges with bottom or side-mounted freezers.

  • Generally cheap but no-frills
  • Have an easy-access top-mounted freezer
  • Often more economical to run than other types

Bottom freezer

As its name suggests, a bottom-mounted fridge is just like a top-mounted fridge, but with a freezer compartment at the bottom. At lower prices, these type of fridges tend to be less common that top-mounted fridges.

While these types of fridges are often not quite as efficient as top-mounted fridges, access to the fridge is easier, as it’s at eye-level.

  • Can be more expensive, but you pay for energy-efficiency
  • Less variety and range than the top-mount types
  • Freezer on bottom for easier access to fridge section


These fridges are essentially wider-than-usual fridges split in half: one half for the fridge, the other for the freezer. For those who tend to freeze leftovers in high volume, or exist on freezer food, this type of fridge may be ideal. Some side-by-side fridges allocate slightly more room for the fridge section, however they tend to have freezers larger than top- or bottom-mounted fridge-freezers. Note that the doors open from the centre, rather than from the side, meaning less spatial clearance is required to swing the fridge door(s) open.

Also worth noting is that side-by-side models often come with features such as water, ice dispensers, and external user interface panels, which some may view as desirable features.

  • Handy with easy-access to fridge and freezer
  • Usually larger but more energy-consuming
  • Boast features such as ice makers but can be more expensive to buy

Mitsubishi energy-efficient refrigeratorsFrench-door

Possibly the most versatile (and most expensive) types of fridges, French-door fridges are similar in width to side-by-side models, and have the entire bottom third devoted to freezer space, just like a bottom-freezer model. As with side-by-side fridges, the fridge door is split into two, opening from the centre.

Some French-door fridges have a single door for the freezer section. But some split the freezer section the same way as the fridge section, making for a grand total of four doors.

The main advantage to this slightly elaborate door configuration is that opening one of the half doors lets out less cold air. The other advantage is that, as with a side-by-side model, the split doors mean less clearance is required between the fridge and your bench/other kitchen installations. In summary, French-door fridges are:

  • Feature-packed and a pleasure to use
  • Usually more expensive than simpler units
  • Usually more power-hungry due to their bigger size

Types of refrigerators with features

There’s no doubt that manufacturers have become more adventurous with their refrigerators, driven by the consumer demand for something that does a little more than just keep food and drinks cold, or frozen.

There are fridges with glass panel features that let you look inside without opening the door. 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, which let you create separate cooling spaces for certain types of foods or drinks.

Smart fridges

Samsung’s Family Hub French-door fridge, for example, has a touch screen on its door. You can link your smartphone and synchronise it to show photos, post stickers, draw pictures and type or hand-write notes. It’s even possible to add a music player. Or even watch TV while cooking. An app can display what’s on your smartphone or Samsung Smart TV without having to buy or install any additional software. In summary, smart fridges are:

  • Great if you want a high-end fridge with extra features, like touch-screen shopping lists and TV screens
  • Easy to use
  • Ideal if you want internal cameras so you can remotely view what food you have while shopping
  • Usually more power-hungry due to larger size

Bar fridges

Bar fridges benefit from being cheap to purchase, easy to transport, and they get the job done when it comes to keeping drinks cold.

Many are under 100L, and some even smaller. However, although they might seem a good idea, bar fridges are rather energy-inefficient relative to their size. In fact, they often use similar amounts of electricity as regular-sized fridges. In summary, bar fridges are:

  • Useful for drinks and entertaining
  • Cheap to purchase, but can be inefficient for their size
  • Easy to pick-up and move around

Fridge-buying tips:

  • Most fridges last about ten years. If yours is nearing that age or older, it’s usually better to replace it with a newer, more energy efficient model rather than keep your old one
  • Consider the direction a fridge door will open in your kitchen. It can ruin the flow of a kitchen if it opens the wrong way
  • Measure the space you have for your fridge carefully. A fridge needs a small gap at the top for air flow and more around the sides to allow the door(s) to open properly
  • Measure the depth, too, and remember that the door will need to protrude from any cabinetry to allow it to open fully
  • Think about how you use your fridge – for example, what type of food you buy and how often you shop – when thinking about fridge size and layout. Is your freezer constantly stuffed full? Are your veggie bins used? Do you require a lot of storage room in the door for drink bottles?
  • As a rule of thumb, a family of four generally requires a 400L fridge
  • Always check a fridge’s Energy Star Rating. A fridge with a higher Star Rating might cost more, but could save you hundreds of dollars in electricity charges over its lifetime

About the editor of this page

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

More Information

Key statistics

Buy in bulk given the rising price of groceries: 30%

Have a second, old fridge they still use: 25%

Bought fridge with an ice dispenser: 25%

Bought a fridge with a water dispenser: 21%

Environmental concerns guide choice of fridge: 20%

Type of fridge bought

Bottom-mount fridge: 39%

Top-mount fridge: 27%

French-door fridge: 13%

Side-by-side fridge: 12%

Chest freezer: 7%

Freezerless fridge: 3%

Bar or wine fridge: 2%

Frequency of fridge cleaning

Monthly: 32%

Every few months: 17%

Once a fortnight: 19%

At least once a week: 12%

Every six months: 7%

Rarely: 4%

Never: 1%

Canstar Blue surveyed 2529 New Zealand consumers 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 respondents who had bought a new fridge over the past three years. In this case, 720 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 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 criterion.

The past winners from Canstar Blue’s Dishwasher ratings:

  • 2022: Mitsubishi Electric
  • 2021: Mitsubishi Electric
  • 2020: Samsung
  • 2018: Mitsubishi Electric
  • 2015: Samsung
  • 2014: Mitsubishi Electric

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