What is the most reliable refrigerator manufacturer

Fridge test: The winners of the Stiftung Warentest

The big ones are better

Sven Schulz

Pretty much everyone needs a refrigerator because it increases the shelf life of food enormously. But should it be a big one or a small one? With or without a freezer? In the test by Stiftung Warentest (02/2020), four models of the large refrigerators achieved an overall rating of "very good": Bosch, Liebherr, Siemens and Miele were convincing. When it comes to the small fridges, the participants don't do so well. Stiftung Warentest takes 20 free-standing devices (eleven large and nine small) into the test laboratory in the large refrigerator test. The test winner among the cooling giants up to 1.90 meters high is the model KSV36AI4P from Bosch for around 825 euros, with the up to 85 centimeters high it is the model VS 2195 from Bomann for a little over 200 euros. How it was tested and further information on the individual models can be read here.

Stiftung Warentest tested refrigerators again - eleven large models up to 1.90 meters and nine small ones up to 85 centimeters. The cooling quality was primarily tested. How quickly is it cooled down and is this temperature maintained? Can the refrigerator work just as well in the cold garage as it does in the warm kitchen? And is it gentle on consumption? The Bosch KSV36AI4P took first place with an overall grade of 1.3, closely followed by Liebherr KPef 4350, Siemens KS36VAI4P and Miele KS 28463 D ed / cs. The price range extends from 800 to 2,000 euros. It only gets cheaper at IKEA (Kylande model for 600 euros, overall grade 1.7).
There is only one test winner for the little ones: The model VS 2195 from Bomann for around 213 euros achieved an overall grade of 2.5 with a "good" rating. It doesn't get much cheaper with the cooling dwarfs either, the OFR 21112 A2 model from ok. for 160 euros can only achieve a "sufficient" with a 3.8.
In this post you can read: First, we present four recommended products from the test. Then we will tell you how Stiftung Warentest examined the cabinets in the test laboratory and how much money you should spend on a good refrigerator. Finally, we answer the most common questions about refrigerators.

Fridge Test 2020: Winner at Stiftung Warentest (full table in desktop view)

Test winner without a freezer compartmentPrice tip without freezerTest winner with freezer compartmentPrice tip with freezerfurther recommendation

product

product

Bosch KSV36AI4P

IKEA Kylande

Liebherr TP 1434

Exquisite KS16-1

Bomann VS 2195

Price approx.

Price approx.

800 euros

600 euros

340 euros

170 euros

213 euros

Overall rating

Overall rating

1,3

1,7

2,7

3,1

2,5

Usable volume fridge + freezer compartment (liters)

Usable volume fridge + freezer compartment (liters)

254

307

75+13

84+12

110

Electricity consumption per year (kWh)

Electricity consumption per year (kWh)

86

126

102

106

71

to offer

to offer

To Amazon To IKEA To Amazon To Amazon To Amazon

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Test winner without freezer: Bosch KSV36AI4P

  • Bosch KSV36AI4P

    Great basic skills, but leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to lighting.

advantages
Very good cooling
Super temperature stability
Very good energy efficiency
disadvantage
Moderate lighting
The overall winner is also our test winner without a freezer compartment. The Bosch KSV36AI4P achieved a 1.3 in the Stiftung Warentest test.
  • Cool: In the supreme discipline, the Bosch device is completely convincing and gets the top grade.
  • Temperature stability during storage: Here, too, the refrigerator is ideal for the testing eyes of Stiftung Warentest and keeps what it promises.
  • Energy efficiency: At 10, 25 and 32 degrees room temperature, the giant has no noticeably increased power consumption.
  • Handling: The Bosch leaves a few points here. While the programming using the instructions for use is great, the clearing and lighting for the examiners is only satisfactory.
  • Noise: The refrigerator doesn't get too loud: in fact, the Bosch device is the quietest model.

Price tip without a freezer: IKEA Kylande

  • IKEA Kylande

    Cools solidly, maintains the temperature and is also efficient. However, it makes the storage impractical.

advantages
Very good temperature stability
Very good instructions for use
Easy to program
disadvantage
Impractical when putting away
It is now known that IKEA can do more than sell furniture. White goods can also score points with Stiftung Warentest. IKEA's Kylande received an overall grade of 1.7, making it our price tip for 600 euros.
  • Cool: The Kylande cools solidly and gets a 1.8 here. This means that it gets the second worst rating in the large devices, but it is still impressive in the entire test field.
  • Temperature stability during storage:The model can hold the 4 degrees very well and just barely missed the top grade.
  • Energy efficiency: When it comes to energy efficiency, the Kylande is not doing badly either. Stiftung Warentest just gave it a "very good" rating.
  • Handling: Here it does just as well as its twice and three times as expensive colleagues from Siemens, Miele, Bosch and Co. Only when it comes to storing things, the IKEA model is not convincing.
  • Noise: The noise development is there, but not annoying and just good for the ears of the auditor.

Test winner with freezer: Liebherr TP 1434-21

  • Liebherr TP 1434-21

    Cools down well and is easy to use, but increases the energy consumption significantly at high temperatures.

advantages
Cools down very well
Easy to put away, stow away and clean
disadvantage
Bad energy efficiency at high temperatures
For the little ones, there is a test winner with a freezer compartment - Liebherr TP 1434 for 385 euros. With an overall rating of 2.7, it can assert itself against four other manufacturers.
  • Cool: The Liebherr model received a "very good" rating here, leaving the competition behind.
  • Temperature stability during storage: The temperature stability is also good; the small cooler only weakens at a room temperature of 10 degrees.
  • Energy efficiency: This is where the model leaves decisive points, because at high room temperatures of 25 degrees or more, energy consumption goes up significantly.
  • Handling: Unfortunately, the door alarm is inadequate, as the very good instructions for use, the easy cleaning and storage only save on a mediocre note.
  • Noise: The Liebherr model is one of the quiet hums and can definitely convince.

Price tip with freezer: Exquisit KS 16-1

  • Exquisite KS 16-1

    Overall okay and pretty cheap. Above all, it leaves points when it comes to energy efficiency.

advantages
Low noise development
Easy cleaning
disadvantage
Moderate energy efficiency
The KS16-1 model from Exquisit is even cheaper - for 217 euros you can get a small refrigerator with energy efficiency class A +++.
  • Cool: Not quite as convincing, but not bad either: the Exquisit gets a mediocre rating from Stiftung Warentest.
  • Temperature stability during storage: The model only struggles at a room temperature of 10 degrees, and is very good at 25 degrees.
  • Energy efficiency: The KS16-1 cannot do well here. At high temperatures, the power consumption also increases.
  • Handling: Without lighting and a door alarm, this cool dwarf cannot go beyond "sufficient".
  • Noise: On the other hand, it is not too loud and can definitely keep up with the more expensive competition.

This is how Stiftung Warentest tests

Instead of food, packages with temperature sensors ended up in the test objects, and the room temperature was regulated to 10, 25 and 32 degrees. On the one hand, it was measured how long it takes for the measurement packages to cool down. On the other hand, the changing room temperature was used to check whether the cabinets can hold the storage temperature of 4 degrees. For energy efficiency, Stiftung Warentest measured the power consumption per 100 liters of capacity at the different room temperatures. The instructions for use, the storage and cleaning as well as the programmability were also put to the test. Lighting and door alarms (if any) were also included in the evaluation. For the noise development, a quality index was calculated based on the sound pressure and sound power level.

This is how much money you have to spend on a good refrigerator

Of course, it is interesting to know what you can expect from a cheap but still good model. Often a "satisfactory" refrigerator is very good in terms of its performance, but leaves decisive points in the equipment. Among the small coolers, the KS16-1 model from Exquisit gets a satisfactory rating, but costs only 217 euros. The Liebherr, which does better in the ranking, costs 385 euros. So this is the price range in which you can strike without worry. The situation is similar for the big ones: You can get the IKEA product Kylande for 600 euros, but the power consumption is higher. At 825 euros, the test winner from Bosch is not necessarily one of the most expensive models (Miele charges almost 2,000 euros for the KS 28463 D ed / cs) and cannot shine when it comes to lighting, but delivers very good power consumption. So here is the price range for large refrigerators in which you can buy cheaply.

This is what you should pay attention to when buying a refrigerator

The right refrigerator depends very much on your requirements. We have listed the crucial questions for you.

From side-by-side to mini

First, think about how many people are using the refrigerator. Singles generally don't need XXL fridges, but families do. These double-door models with a side-by-side freezer and fridge section and 300 liters and more storage space may look impressive, but they also consume a lot of electricity. The Rhineland-Palatinate consumer center points out that a model with 100 liters of usable volume is usually sufficient for singles - this denotes the net content, i.e. the space that is actually available to you. For every additional person in the household, you should expect an additional 50 liters of usable volume in the refrigerator compartment.

Power consumption: From A + to A +++

Don't let the energy efficiency label fool you. This shows how many kilowatt hours a device consumes per year and introduces a rating scale with letters. Although it ranges from the top grade A +++ down to D, retailers hardly ever offer refrigerators below A +. This means: in practice, the worst refrigerator is actually rated with A +. Before you buy, you should calculate whether a device with A +++ is worthwhile for you. Sometimes it can be that the saved energy costs cancel out the purchase price difference between a bargain fridge with an A + and a more expensive A +++.

Type: cooling, freezing or both?

Think about what you need the refrigerator for. If you are not a fan of frozen goods anyway, then a device with a refrigerator compartment will suffice. If you, on the other hand, freeze food in advance from time to time and treat yourself to an ice cream, you can't avoid a fridge-freezer. However, you should stay away from refrigerators with freezer compartments integrated into the refrigerator compartment. They are out of date and only use electricity unnecessarily. Better: the fridge and freezer compartments are separated from each other and have separate cooling circuits and doors. Pay attention to the indication of the freezer compartment stars for the freezer compartment. Long-term storage at minus 18 degrees is guaranteed from three stars.

Division: compartments and boxes

Make sure you have enough and flexibly usable shelves made of safety glass. This allows you to adapt the storage space to your needs. If you eat a lot of meat, you need a lot of space in the lower, coolest area of ​​the refrigerator. If you eat a lot of dairy products or pre-cooked food, you should allow more space in the middle and upper refrigerator area. Drinks and sauces, on the other hand, are placed on the door shelves. It is best to store vegetables and fruit in the boxes provided for them, as this is where the humidity and temperature are best for them. Vegetarians should keep these boxes in the fridge as large or as large as possible.

Cold storage compartments: Practical fresh-keeping areas

Behind real cold storage compartments there is a third cooling control circuit that regulates the humidity and temperature independently of the rest of the cold storage room - sometimes down to 0 degrees and 90 percent humidity. Manufacturers also refer to them as the 0-degree zone or Vitasafe. Correspondingly equipped refrigerators are more expensive, but keep meat, sausage, dairy products, fruit and vegetables fresh longer. Chiller or crisper boxes, on the other hand, only work with clever cooling technology, which can reduce the cooling temperature by a few degrees, but cannot regulate it independently of the rest of the cooling area.

Installation location: Not in the sun, well ventilated

If possible, place the refrigerator where the sun does not shine. Preferably in a dark storage room. Otherwise the housing heats up unnecessarily and the cooling unit has to do more, which leads to higher electricity costs. A refrigerator should not be placed flat against walls, as this prevents good air circulation. We also recommend that you remove dust from the cooling fins on the back of the refrigerator once a year, which also improves the cooling performance. Both measures reduce power consumption.

Automatic defrosting and NoFrost: energy losses saved

If you don't want to defrost the refrigerator manually a few times a year and remove the thick ice crusts, you need an automatic defrosting system and NoFrost function. With the former, condensation water is collected on the back of the device, fed to a container and evaporated. The NoFrost technology reduces the humidity and distributes the cooling air evenly, which prevents ice formation. In the long run, both of these will save you electricity and your fingers will get cold.

Comfort: useful additional functions

The larger refrigerators in particular offer some pleasant additional functions that make the device much more expensive. So you should think twice about whether, for example, an ice cube dispenser is worth the extra charge and the additional water pipe, or a conventional ice cube tray is also worth it. In principle, the super cooling function is only suitable for large families. For their bulk purchases, the temperature is reduced sharply for a short time in order to get the food to the normal refrigerator temperature more quickly and then automatically raised again.

Antibacterial coating: not perfect protection

Food hygiene is very important for many consumers, which is why refrigerator manufacturers are increasingly addressing this topic with a wide variety of techniques. The range of products on offer ranges from ionized air to antibacterial nanosilver coatings for the interior. However, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has determined that this does not result in any additional benefits in terms of protection against germs. You can therefore not avoid monthly cleaning of the storage surfaces.

Safety: warning tone protects against damage

A door accidentally left open, a defect in the device or a power failure is all it takes and the contents of the refrigerator are inedible rubbish. For this reason, some refrigerators have built in a beeper that emits a warning tone if the cooling temperature rises rapidly above a certain level or the door is open. A very useful but rare feature.
This article was created by CHIP authors and is based on the results of the article "The big ones are cool" by Stiftung Warentest (02/2020). The CHIP test center was not involved in the investigation.

How much electricity does a refrigerator use?

When buying, pay attention to the energy efficiency class. This gives you a first impression of how much electricity the device is consuming. A device with class A +++ uses around 50 percent less electricity compared to a device of class A +.

How is the refrigerator delivered?

Devices purchased online are delivered by a carrier. Usually an appointment will be made with you. You can have the refrigerator delivered to your doorstep or to a specific pick-up point.The installation can also be included free of charge or for an extra charge, depending on the offer. We speak of free delivery, free curbside or delivery to the place of installation. In any case, it is worth contacting the shipping company to clarify any further questions. Is there an elevator or are there any obstacles on the way?

How is the refrigerator installed?

Free-standing refrigerators do not have to be installed, just set up close to a socket. Side-by-side refrigerators with ice dispensers, on the other hand, may require a water connection. You can either do this yourself, the installation is often included in the offer.