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American fridge freezer or integrated fridge freezer?

Deciding which fridge freezer to choose for your new kitchen? Both styles have their advantages and drawbacks, so make sure you think about these four things before making your decision.




If you’re in the process of designing a new kitchen, you’re probably wondering what fridge freezer to buy. American fridge freezers are popular with families for their large storage capacities. You can also have filtered water and ice on tap with ice and water dispensers. They generally have a double door design with the fridge and freezer sat side by side. There are different ratios of fridge to freezer space, so you can choose the model depending on how much frozen food you like to buy.

Integrated larder fridge and freezers are most often designed with the fridge and freezer next to one another. The difference with an integrated style is that the appliances are hidden behind cabinetry, meaning they are less obtrusive and fit nicely with the rest of your kitchen.

A fridge freezer will take up considerable space in your kitchen, so it’s important to choose the right one for you. Here are some things you should consider when deciding between the two styles.

1. Appearance

American-style fridge freezers are designed to stand out in your kitchen. You can find them in a fairly wide range of colours, but most people choose the classic stainless steel style. One downside is that they can look bulky and imposing, drawing attention away from your beautifully designed kitchen. If you’re after a more streamlined and modern design, having an integrated larder fridge and freezer will make your kitchen look more ‘complete’. Not only do you have a lot more choice when it comes to colours and styles, it also blends seamlessly with the rest of your kitchen design.

Kitchen showroom in Bishop's Stortford
Image: A sleek and stylish kitchen at our Bishop’s Stortford showroom, with an integrated larder fridge and freezer behind carbon doors

2. Size and space

One of the main reasons for choosing an American fridge freezer is the larger than average storage space. This is especially useful for big families with lots of mouths to feed or if you love entertaining at home. With plenty of options for inside storage – from wine and egg racks to bottle holders and salad crisper drawers – you can organise your food for maximum freshness. But do you have enough space in your kitchen for the added width, height and depth of an American fridge freezer? All this extra space inside the fridge means it will also take up more space in your kitchen. This can make it complicated when designing the kitchen layout. 

On the other hand, an integrated larder fridge and freezer is much more space efficient. It can be flushed with the wall to create a seamless design, so that it fits in with the rest of the kitchen units instead of jutting out of line. You also have more design freedom when working with integrated appliances, as you are able to decide on the exact measurements of the units, instead of being restricted to stock-standard sizes.



3. Extra features

American fridge freezers also take advantage of the latest technology to offer a range of extra features. From humidity regulators and fast chill settings to holiday mode and blue light technology, all these features help to keep your food fresher for longer. With American-style fridge freezers, you also have filtered and chilled water, ice cubes and crushed ice on tap. However, one thing to keep in mind is that these ice and water dispensers can increase energy usage up to 20 percent.

For a more energy-efficient way of having instant access to chilled and filtered water, you can install a hot tap. There’s a wide range of hot taps on the market now, and most come in stylish colours and materials to add a smart statement to your kitchen. Go for a dazzling gold model to look striking against an all-black kitchen, or choose patinated brass for a more rustic look.

Image: A Quooker hot tap in patinated brass

4. Energy usage

Since fridge freezers are running 24/7, they are one of the most energy-hungry appliances in the home. It’s important to make sure you are choosing the most energy-efficient fridge freezer if you want to save money on your energy bills. According to ToptenUK.org, the cost of running an American-style fridge freezer can be up to three times more than a conventional model. This is because it takes more energy to cool a fridge freezer that is side-by-side as opposed to having the freezer on the top or bottom. 

So you need to ask yourself if the increased energy usage is worth the extra storage space. And more importantly, will you really make the most of the capacity in an American fridge freezer? You actually get the same amount of freezer space (if not more) in an integrated larder fridge and freezer. So unless you have a big family to feed, you’ll end up buying more food than you actually need and using more energy than necessary to keep the amount of food cold or frozen. 

Shaker style kitchen with American fridge freezer
Image: A Shaker-style kitchen with an American fridge freezer

Overall, we would recommend choosing an integrated larder fridge and freezer not only for aesthetic reasons, but for practicality too. It will allow you to save precious space in your kitchen while keeping a smart and modern look. Plus, you’ll have even more design freedom when it comes to fitting appliances into your kitchen, which is what we’re all about at Kemphaus Kitchens. No space is too small, and no space is wasted – we find creative solutions to integrate all the appliances you need into your dream kitchen.

Give us a call on 01279 758777 or email us at info@kemphaus.co.uk for more information about our selected appliances and kitchen design services.