Mark Harris
10 BEST FRIDGES - The Independent, 23 Feb 2004

Chill out as the technology expert Mark Harris braves frostbite to reveal the coolest fridges…

Smeg FAB28R3 £800 --- BEST LUXURY BUY
Relive the Golden Age of refrigeration with this stylish ’50s retro monster. While there’s nothing old-fashioned about its A-rated energy efficiency, anyone still using a ration book might have trouble filling its 271-litre capacity. Available in nine colours including a stunning pillar-box red.
Smeg (0870 990 9908;

Hotpoint FFA47X £550 --- BEST BUY
The problem with beautiful stainless steel fridge-freezers (apart from their ability to take more fingerprints than an American passport queue) is that even a passing visit to the kitchen can turn into a midnight feast. This huge 396-litre chiller has a digital display, A-rated efficiency and room enough for a whole family’s goodies.
Hotpoint (08701 506070;

Back Bar Display Cooler £650
When summer eventually rolls around, all that lettuce in the fridge will leave precious little room for essential refreshing beverages. This professional-level cooler can hold up to 168 bottles of beer or 240 soft drink cans, which should be enough for even the thirstiest garden party.
Drink Stuff (01763 264282;

Chilli Egg £90
Why are most fridges boxy, boring and square? Try squeezing more than a few tinnies in the Chilli Egg’s cramped oval interior and you’ll soon cotton on. But it’s impossible not to forgive any fridge that glows with a stylish blue light and that can warm food up as well as cooling it down.
John Lewis (08456 049049;

Dometic Electrolux RC4000 £210
Cool boxes are fine for picnics but serious sun-worshippers won’t hit the surf without a genuine refrigerator. The flexible 33-litre RC4000 can run on mains, 12V electricity or gas power and will even produce ice-cubes on demand. A telescopic handle and wheels complete a perfectly portable package.
Dometic (01582 494111;

Smeg FPD34P £2400
Many fridge-freezers have a glossy metallic finish but only this ultra-luxurious Smeg has a gorgeous stainless steel interior illuminated by powerful halogen lights. Leaving the door open to wow guests is bound to dent the class A energy rating, and don’t even think about spilling left-over curry on the designer glass shelves.
Smeg (0870 990 9908;

LG Cubei £210 --- BEST BUDGET BUY
Budget fridge-freezers needn’t look cheap, as the compact misty blue Cubei (also available in powder pink) demonstrates. The pastel shades are complemented by low noise compressors for near silent operation and a spartan 31-litre, frost-free freezer compartment. LG is withdrawing the Cubei soon, so shop round for bargains.
LG (0870 607 5544;

LG GR-G217BTBA £2500
In our fast-paced world, few of us have time to walk to a different room to eat our dinners, so why not combine entertainment and nutrition with a sophisticated TV/fridge-freezer? The fridge has an Icebeam cooling system to keep the compartments perfectly chilled, while the 13-inch LCD plays your favourite shows in flat-screen glory.
LG (0870 607 5544;

Samsung RS21J £1125
Our American cousins may not know much about making chocolate or beer, but when it comes to fridges, we must bow our heads. This gargantuan side-by-side fridge-freezer has automatic ice and water dispensers, a ‘beverage station’ for instant access to soda cans and an independently-controlled compartment for hygienic defrosting.
Samsung (no phone;

Zanussi ZEL160 £190
If you don’t want a monolithic fridge-freezer dominating your kitchen, check out an under-counter larder fridge. The ZEL160 has four shelves, a full-width salad drawer and can store around 150 litres. With its A-rated efficiency and CFC/HDC-free cooling, it’s as easy on the environment as it is on your wallet.
Zanussi (08705 727727;

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