Integrated fridges are designed to fit into your existing fittings - to be hidden behind cupboard doors and made to look like a natural part of your kitchen. This means the appliances are more aesthetically pleasing than freestanding models, and help create a more coherant look for your kitchen. However, having a built-in fridge means it is stuck there for good, and it can be extremely troublesome to move it should you want to change the design of your kitchen.
A dedicated refrigerator without freezer can often give you larger fridge storage capacity than even a substantial American style fridge freezer. The largest stand alone fridges have up to 400 litres of internal storage capacity. That's enough to store two supermarket trolleys full of food.
Another great advantage of a dedicated fridge is that they often have matching dedicated freezers. Placing the two side by side can create a combined fridge and freezer capacity big enough for even very large families. Just look out for fridges that have reversible doors which will let you create a fridge freezer combination with both doors opening our from the middle.
Different types of food are best stored at different levels of humidity. Meat and fish are best stored in dry conditions, preserving the natural juices in the meat. Fruit and vegetables are better preserved in more humid conditions, with fruit best stored in semi humid conditions and vegetables best stored in fairly humid conditions.
Many fridges have moisture control compartments which allow you to vary the compartment's humidity level to suit the type of food that is stored inside. This will keep your food tasting fresher for longer.
Budget and small refrigerators sometimes come with wire shelves. Whilst these are economical and can be useful for storing bottles and cans, they provide no drip protection if food from one shelf leaks and drips on to the shelf below. Premium fridges come with glass shelves which stop drips and are easy to clean.
Some fridges have folding shelves which fold away to allow you to store tall items like bottles. Others have pull out shelves which slide partially out of the fridge to make it easier to reach items at the back.
Other Features To Consider
Water Dispensers: Some fridges come with built in filtered water dispensers. Unlike American style fridge freezers, often fridge only water dispensers are simple in door reservoirs that you fill manually. This completely avoids the needs for a plumbed water connection.
The water reservoir normally contains a water filter which gives you access to cool filtered water without needing to open the fridge door. Look for models with a child lock on the water dispenser to prevent small hands playing and making a mess.
LED Lighting: Bright LED interior lights make it easy to see everything in your fridge. LED lights are also use very little energy and create very little heat, making them ideal for maintaining a constant temperature inside the fridge.
Great Design: Why not make your fridge the centerpiece of your kitchen with an icon fridge design? The fridge doesn't have to be the boring box in the corner and there are a number of unique fridge designs available, especially from Smeg.
Multi Airflow System: Some premium fridges use a multi airflow system to ensure an even distribution cold air around all parts of the fridge. These systems work by circulating air which often passes through an air filtration system before being recirculated. The air filter removes unwanted odours to prevent odour contamination of other foods in fridge.
Rapid Cooling: Rapid cooling is a feature that allows you to temporarily increase the cooling rate of the fridge so that it cools new items more quickly. This is ideal for those times when you bring home a big shop from the supermarket.