Built-in refrigerator or freestanding – which is better to choose?

Built-in appliances are modern, convenient and beautiful. But is it all? In this material, we figure out whether it is worth buying a built-in refrigerator or is it better to buy a classic free-standing model.

The main advantage of the built-in refrigerator is complete invisibility. The appliances are completely hidden in the kitchen set, and in appearance looks like an elegant wardrobe. No metal and enameled walls, ugly handles – everything is covered with decorative panels of the cabinet. Even the kitchen cabinet door also doubles as a refrigerator door. So, in modern kitchens, a built-in refrigerator does not spoil the overall design of the room.

A freestanding refrigerator cannot be built in. Firstly, it will not fit into the cabinet in terms of dimensions, and secondly, its doors are differently arranged, which cannot be mounted to the doors of the headset. Finally, the thermal insulation is slightly different.

The question of beauty is a subjective thing. Someone prefers that the technique is in sight, someone is more pleasant to admire a solid set. There are no clear winners on this issue. However, if you are installing a new kitchen unit, a separate refrigerator can really knock out of the interior ensemble. Especially if you have a classic, rustic or Provence style conceived, where modern elements – and even such large ones – are clearly superfluous.

Built-in technology imposes certain difficulties on installation. So, for a built-in refrigerator, you need to clearly calculate the dimensions of the cabinet in height, width and depth and in no case be mistaken in the smaller direction. The installation itself is not as difficult as it is sometimes frightened by it, but it takes time. You need to assemble a cabinet, place a refrigerator in it, mount and adjust the doors. Moreover, if you order a ready-made headset, then you will have to look for a refrigerator model for the cabinet.

Some kitchens, for example, already made of ready-made modules, may not have suitable pencil cases. If you make custom-made furniture, then first you look for a refrigerator, and then you calculate the cabinets. In general, there is a lot of trouble.
















At the same time, the installation of a free-standing refrigerator is extremely simple – they put it on and turn it on. Here the classic version wins.

Beauty requires sacrifice, and built-in appliances will always be in place. If you suddenly think about redeveloping the kitchen, it will be problematic to move the installation. In some cases, you will be able to disassemble and move the kitchen cabinet to another location, in some you will not.

The solo refrigerator can be moved wherever you like – at least to another corner, at least to another room or corridor.

This is where the really important differences begin. On the one hand, both options take up the physical space of the kitchen in about the same way. But the installation spends extra centimeters on the cabinet, the internal space between the appliances and decorative panels and ventilation. As a result, with similar final dimensions, the design of the built-in refrigerator itself is narrower and smaller. This directly affects spaciousness.

Built-in refrigerators are less spacious than classic ones. If you have a large family, then the standard installation is unlikely to suit you. There are more spacious models, but they take up a lot of space and have non-standard dimensions that may not fit into standard kitchen modules in width and height – you will have to order an individual pencil case. In addition, they will cost significantly more than solo models of similar capacity.

In general, both options can have similar functionality. Both solo refrigerators and built-in units can be one- or two-chamber, work according to the No Frost system and have all sorts of sophisticated options.

The difference only starts in advanced models with features such as an ice maker or water supply. They are usually implemented on the front panel, so a fully-recessed refrigerator cannot have these options.

Side by Side refrigerator Bosch Serie 4 KAI93VL30R silver 189 999 *
The only insignificant gain in the direction of installation is that such models work a little quieter, because they are hidden in the cabinet, and its walls somewhat isolate the sound.

If you want the refrigerator to be able to pour you a glass of water, you will have to disguise a freestanding model in a headset

The major stumbling block is price. Buildings are on average 30% more expensive than solo refrigerators.

For example, for a budget of about 35,000 rubles at the time of this writing, you can buy a solo refrigerator with all the basic modern options – an inverter compressor, Full No frost cooling, super freezing and super cooling options, vacation mode and A ++ energy class.

Refrigerator-freezer Hotpoint-ARISTON HFP 8202 XOS silver

For the same money, there are only models with manual drip defrosting, no inverter, no additional options at all, and even with a freezing capacity of 3 kg per day versus 9. At the same time, you need to be careful with manual drip defrosting – moisture can damage the cabinet walls.

The capacity is also lame – for solo refrigerators in this price range, the average capacity is 310-360 liters, and for the built-in refrigerators – from 210 to 260 liters. One hundred liters is enough not to notice such a difference in everyday life.

Built-in refrigerator Hansa BK316.3AA
For Full No Frost among built-in models, you will have to pay about 1.5 times more. At the same time, the capacity will still be less:

The built-in refrigerator is in many ways the choice of those for whom style is more important than price. If you are in no way constrained in funds and want a really beautiful, modern kitchen, choose a built-in one. For a large family, chefs and in general those who like to buy food for six months in advance, it is better to take large roomy models and order a kitchen according to individual sizes. Typical kitchen modules rarely involve the installation of two-door or non-standard wide refrigerators. The second option is to buy a separate refrigerator and a separate freezer with integration into different cabinets.

This is how you can beat a free-standing refrigerator in a modern kitchen.

If you are accustomed to clearly calculating the budget and want the maximum for the money invested, it is better to take a solo refrigerator. You do not need to bother with it during installation, you do not need to buy an additional cabinet. At the same time, for the price of a high-quality installation, you can purchase a magnificent, fancy freestanding refrigerator with all possible options, shelves, grates, glass shelves and ice makers.