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Top Fridge-Freezers vs Bottom Fridge-Freezers

Choosing a fridge can be complicated, and while you mightn’t think there’s much difference between a top fridge-freezer vs a bottom one, you’d be wrong. Canstar Blue explores the differences between top fridge-freezer vs bottom ones, and which is the best option for you.

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What is a top fridge-freezer?

A top fridge-freezer refers to a type of refrigerator-freezer unit where the freezer compartment is located at the top of the appliance, above the refrigerator compartment. In this design, the freezer typically occupies the entire width of the unit and is accessed by a door that opens from the top. Below the freezer compartment is the refrigerator section, which is accessed by a separate door or doors.

Benefits of top fridge-freezers

Top fridge-freezers offer several benefits:

1. Freezer accessibility

With the freezer compartment located at the top, it’s easier to access frequently used frozen items without having to bend down. This can be particularly convenient for individuals with mobility issues or those who prefer easier access to their frozen foods.

2. Energy efficiency

Top fridge freezers tend to be more energy-efficient compared to other configurations, such as side-by-side or bottom freezer models.

3. Compact size

Top fridge-freezers tend to come in more compact, vertical models, so are good for kitchens where space is limited.

Downsides of top fridge-freezers

While top fridge-freezers offer several benefits, they also have some downsides to consider:

1. Difficulty accessing refrigerator items

Because the refrigerator compartment is located below the freezer, accessing items stored at the back of the refrigerator can be challenging, particularly for individuals with limited mobility. This may require bending down or reaching over items in the freezer to access items in the refrigerator.

2. Potential for freezer burn

Since the freezer compartment is located at the top, it’s easier for air to circulate and cause freezer burn on food items that are not properly sealed or wrapped. This may affect the quality and taste of frozen foods over time.

3. Uneven cooling

Due to the taller, thinner designs of top fridge-freezers, freezer space can be limited, which can lead to cramped conditions and poor airflow around the frozen food items, leading to uneven cooling.

3. Less choice

There are fewer top fridge-freezers to choose from, and they tend to have limited storage capacity.

What is a bottom fridge freezer?

A bottom fridge-freezer is a type of refrigerator where the freezer sits below the fridge. So, you’ll find the fridge part at the top and the freezer part at the bottom. This design makes it easier to access the fridge since it’s at eye level, while the freezer is down below. It’s convenient for organising frozen foods and can offer more freezer space compared to other fridge designs.

Benefits of bottom fridge-freezers

1. Convenient fridge access

With the refrigerator compartment positioned at eye level, it’s easier to access frequently used items without bending down. This can reduce strain on your back and make it more convenient to reach for everyday essentials.

2. Better organisation

Bottom freezer compartments often feature pull-out drawers or shelves, making it easier to organise and access frozen foods. This organisation system allows for better visibility and prevents items from getting lost in the back of the freezer.

3. Larger by design

Bottom fridge-freezers come in a wide range of styles, offering storage capacities to meet the needs of families big and small.

Downsides of bottom fridge-freezers

1. Limited visibility in freezer

The bottom freezer compartment may have deeper shelves or drawers, which can make it harder to see and reach items stored at the back. This may lead to items getting forgotten or overlooked, potentially resulting in food waste.

2. Cost

Bottom fridge-freezers can be more expensive upfront compared to top freezer models. Additionally, they may consume slightly more energy over time due to the need to cool the refrigerator section located above the freezer.

Which is better?

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your priorities and lifestyle. If you prioritise easy access to the refrigerator section and don’t require a large freezer capacity, a top fridge-freezer might be suitable. However, if you prefer more freezer space and don’t mind bending down to access frozen items, a bottom fridge-freezer could be the better option. It’s essential to consider your specific needs and kitchen layout when making this decision.

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About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Caitlin Bingham. Caitlin is an experienced writer whose passion for creativity led her to study communication and journalism. She began her career freelancing as a content writer, before joining the Canstar team.

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