The refrigerator (or fridge) has come a long way from being a luxury item to a necessary appliance today. It preserves the nutrients in our food. It also keeps our food safe for consumption by keeping bacterial growth at bay for a longer period. Of course, it also keeps our favourite beverages cool and ready to be had. These are all things we can agree on. But when it comes to buying a refrigerator, we all will have a different take on which brand/model/capacity is optimal. Apart from personal tastes, that choice will largely depend on the storage capacity we need, our eating habits, space in the house and most importantly our budget. The very large number of models in the market may make the whole process more complicated than expected. Just the brand name may not be sufficient to base a buying decision on. Here, we bring to you some consolidated basic research on frost-free refrigerators, focusing on aspects such as gross volume, storage volume, electricity consumption, star rating and warrantee – factors based on which you can make a choice among the many brands/models.

The first decision is necessarily choosing between a direct-cool refrigerator and a frost-free one. The former is typically much less expensive than the latter. A direct cool model produces the necessary chill through natural convection. Frost-free refrigerators, as the name implies, do not require any kind of manual defrosting. Also, the life expectancy of the current models of frost-free refrigerator is greater than that of the current direct-cool models in the market.

There are also the inverter-type refrigerators that allow for varied speed and runs in longer cycles at low speed. These utilise electricity energy more efficiently. If upfront cost for buying is not a concern for you, then do look at refrigerators with inverter technology. The extra money you pay upfront will be recovered in the form of electricity savings.

A convertible refrigerator gives you the extra space when the refrigerator runs out of storage space. Its freezer transforms into a fridge and back into a freezer as per your need.

What other things you should know before you buy a refrigerator? The following points are handy:

  • What size and which type, brand and model?
  • What does the star rating actually mean?
  • Does the refrigerator keep your food at a fixed temperature?
  • Why so many different compartments?
  • What do I need to know about new features?

When planning to buy a refrigerator, don’t rely on advertisements, thinking the most advertised brand is the best. You might miss some opportunities by not checking other brands. List out your needs and features important to you; considering your budget, choose the one best suited to you.

  • Size/Capacity: It depends on need, costing and space. A family of four can easily do with a 250–300 litres refrigerator. 

Family Size


Bachelors or couple

Less than 200 litres

Small family

200 to 300 litres

Family of four

250 to 350 litres

Larger family

300 litres or more

Colour and Finish

Stainless-steel fridges bring that sleek, professional look to your kitchen but can be prone to showing fingerprints and other marks.  White fridges are easier to keep clean than their stainless-steel counterparts. Fridges in bright colours are increasingly popular. A black fridge is a modern alternative to a plain white appliance but without the fingerprint-showing tendencies of stainless steel, but they can be a little imposing and may make your kitchen itself seem darker.

  • Top- or bottom-mounted freezer: If price, range, efficiency, and value are your biggest concerns, then a top-mounted fridge is for you. The disadvantage is you have to bend down to access the food compartment, which is the most used. Bottom-mounted fridges are all about convenience—and save you from back pain. Plenty of space and extra features make side-by-side fridges great for large families.
  • Star rating (energy consumption): Your fridge contributes to your energy bill, so choosing an efficient one will save you money. While larger fridges will use more energy overall than smaller ones, the energy star ratings help you compare relative energy efficiency. Choose the fridge with more stars when choosing between two similar-sized models because it will cost you less to run. In India, it is now mandatory to fix star rating label on refrigerators. Star rating denotes how energy-efficient your appliance is. 
  • Compressor: It is the basic mechanism (heart), besides the freezer and condenser, by which the refrigerator works. A normal compressor runs at a constant speed throughout. On the other hand, an inverter compressor can run at varying speeds. It starts at a low speed and boosts up when there is a loss in cooling. This is in contrast with normal compressors that take off at a high speed, consuming more electricity and producing a lot of noise.
  • Cooling capabilities: It refers to the amount of time a refrigerator takes to decrease temperature to lower (minus) side. Faster cooling/freezing is desirable.
  • Noise: Whether refrigerator noise is an issue or not depends on your kitchen layout and its proximity to living and sleeping areas. Refrigerators can make a variety of strange noises due to compressor startup, automatic defrosting, electrical fans, and even from materials expanding and contracting as they change temperature. This is normal but may be more noticeable in models that are quieter during normal running. Refrigerators typically operate at around 35 decibels during normal running.  
  • Guarantee/warrantee: It is important to enquire about the guarantee/warrantee. Most refrigerators come with a one-year warrantee. The compressor warrantee may vary from 10-20 years. The details are given in the warrantee card.

Keeping Food Cold and Safe?

Keeping food cold and safe for long periods is the whole point of a fridge, but not all fridges are equal in this regard. Above 40 degrees F of food compartment is considered an unsafe zone, which means that food is susceptible to spoiling or growing harmful bacteria – therefore set the thermostat accordingly. 

How to set up your fridge’s temperature control settings:

  • Check if your fridge is set to the recommended settings from the manual.
  • Use a thermometer to measure internal temperature (summer and winter).
  • Adjust your settings until you have 3 degrees C (fridge) and -18 C (freezer).
  • Maintain good airflow inside the fridge to avoid hot and cold spots.
  • As a rule, keep an at least 5 cm clearance from wall/sides.

    Comparison at a Glance: Double Door Refrigerators

    For our survey, we selected commonly sold brands of Double Door, frost-free refrigerators with a capacity of 235–340 litres. The survey was conducted in the first week of April 2024.

    Sl No. Brand Model 

    Total Storage volume 


    Freezer + fresh Food 



    Annual Energy Consumption, kwh per year BEE Star Rating Price, Rs.


    (product+ compressor) years

    1 Whirlpool NEO DF278 PRM 235 52+183 265 2 22690 1+10
    2 LG GL-I292RPZX 242 61+181 232 3 25990 1+10
    3 Samsung RT28C3053S8/HL 236 53+183 229 3 24990 1+20
    4 Haier HEF-252EGS-P 240 57+183 270 2 20990 1+10
    5 Samsung RT28C3032GS/HL 236 53+183 263 2 23190 1+10
    6 Samsung RT30C3733BX/HL 256 53+203 231 3 24490 1+10
    7 Godrej RF EON 265C RCIF FS ST 244 50+194 231 3 23990 1+10
    8 Godrej RT EONALPHA 270B 25 RI JD PR 253 51+180 265 2 22890 1+10
    9 Whirlpool ‎NEO DF278 PRM 235 52+183 265 2 22690 1+10
    10 Panasonic NR-TH272CVHN 260 83+177 232 3 27490 1+10
    11 Samsung RT28C3922S9/HL 236 53+183 263 2 24490 1+10
    12 Samsung RT37C4512S8/HL 322 50+272 276 2 34990 1+10
    13 LG GL-S262SPZX 246 58+188 232 3 26990 1+10
    14 Whirlpool NEO DF278 PRM 235 52+183 265 2 22690 1+10
    15 Samsung RT28C3122S8/HL 236 53+183 263 2 24190 1+10
    16 Panasonic NR-TH292CPKN 280 83+207 234 3 30590 1+10
    17 Panasonic NR-TH272CVHN 260 83+177 232 3 27490 1+10
    18 Whirlpool NEO DF278 PRM ARCTIC STEEL (2s)-N 265 75+184 500 2 21945 1+10
    19 LG GL-S302SPZY 264 59+205 270 2 27990 1+10
    20 Lloyd GLFF342AMWT1PB 340 85+255 239 2 32500 1+10
    21 Panasonic



    309 83+226 207 3 33990 1+10
    22 Bosch CTC27S031I 243 49+194 3 28500 1+10
    23 Samsung RT34C4523B1/HL 301 72+229 237 3 35490 1+20
    24 Midea MDRT359FGI28 233 63+170 242 3 21990 1+10
    25 Bosch CTC27S031I 243 49+194 3 28500 1+12
    26 Voltas Beko ‎RFF270C/WPNBR0 230 225 3 26900 2+12
    27 Samsung RT28C3022CR/NL 236 53+183 2 26800 1+10
    28 LG GL-S292RDSY 240 61+179 267 2 26590 1+10
    29 Bosch CTC29BT31I 269 49+220 3 31900 1+10
    30 Whirlpool IFPRO BM INV CNV 340 285 65+215 257 2 33900 1+10

    Note: Price may vary from retailer to retailer. Please check latest price on or

    Some Other Important Points

    • Door: Make sure you can open the fridge doors easily and comfortably.

    • Temperature controls: Look for two separate temperature controls. A single control sets both the freezer and the fresh food compartment, so you can’t adjust one without affecting the other. Some electronic fridges have better independent controls.

    • Shelves: Shelves ought to be easy to remove and replace for cleaning or adjustment. Does the range of shelf positions suit your needs?

    • Rollers and adjustable feet: Rollers are useful for easy moving (such as when cleaning behind the fridge). Four rollers are better than two, provided they have brakes or adjustable feet to secure the fridge and stop it from escaping.

    • Dairy compartment: A slightly warmer area of the fridge, it is convenient for keeping butter and hard cheeses slightly soft.

    • Chiller (meat compartment): This compartment stores meat, fish, and poultry (fresh or cooked) at a safe temperature, keeping it fresher for longer. Chiller temperature should be close to zero and ideally it should have a separate temperature control.

    • Childproofing: Keep kids safe and choose a child-friendly fridge. 

    • Door alarms: This feature is very useful because if the door does not shut all the way, then the door will either beep or chime. This helps prevent food and energy waste.

    Tips for Using the Refrigerator

    • Avoid opening the fridge frequently – you will save power.
    • Clean off the condenser coils at least once a year.
    • Protect your fridge from high heat sources.
    • Reduce your frost accumulation if it’s a direct-cool refrigerator.
    • Let your food cool before putting it in.
    • Cover everything (food) stored. 
    • Check the door seal for air leakage. 
    • Clean the drain hole and drip pan. 
    • Adjust level for easier closing of door. 
    • Wipe all surface areas with a combination of dishwashing soap and warm water. Use a microfibre cloth or a good-quality sponge.
    • For stubborn stains, mix a small amount of baking soda with a little water to produce a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stain and leave for an hour before wiping with a damp sponge or cloth. Disinfectants should never be used inside refrigerators.
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