The world is heating up. Reports say that the earth’s temperature has been rising at an average of 0.14° Fahrenheit (0.08° Celsius) every decade since the late 1800s. The year 2022 was the sixth warmest in history, and serious measures must be taken to ensure a safe and healthy environment for future generations.
High-end appliances are some of the biggest contributors to harming the environment. For example, refrigerators emit significant amounts of greenhouse gases. The cooling industry contributes 10% of the global carbon dioxide emission.
Here’s our selection of 10 best eco-friendly refrigerators designed to minimize environmental impact without compromising on performance. Discover energy-efficient cooling solutions that align with your sustainable lifestyle.
Table of Contents
What Is an Eco-Friendly Refrigerator?
Refrigerators run 24/7 to preserve food and keep ingredients fresh. Coolants are chemicals that keep temperatures inside low. Unfortunately, are also incredibly dangerous pollutants.
Freon or hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) is a highly toxic coolant, thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide. Another type of freon that is just as harmful is chlorofluorocarbon (CFC).
Switching to energy efficient options will make a massive difference in your household’s carbon footprint and minimize damage to the environment. The best eco friendly refrigerators use sustainable options.
Modern refrigerators are more environmentally friendly and have the following features:
- Power-saving mode – powers off peripheral components when not in use
- HFC- or CHC-free – eco-friendly coolants
- ENERGY STAR – this certification indicates that the refrigerator is energy-efficient and eco-friendly
What is the Energy Star Certification?
Energy Star is a voluntary program and certification administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that sets energy efficiency standards for a variety of consumer products, including refrigerators. When a product, such as a refrigerator, is Energy Star-certified, it means that it meets specific energy efficiency criteria established by the EPA.
For refrigerators to earn the Energy Star label, they must meet certain standards for energy consumption, performance, and other features. These standards are regularly updated to reflect advancements in technology and changes in energy consumption patterns. Energy Star-certified refrigerators are designed to use less energy while providing the same or better performance compared to non-certified models.
When you see the Energy Star label on a refrigerator or any other appliance, it indicates that the product is designed to help consumers save energy and reduce their utility bills while also contributing to environmental conservation by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy consumption. This label makes it easier for consumers to identify energy-efficient appliances and make informed choices that align with their energy-saving goals.
It’s important to note that while the Energy Star program originated in the United States, its principles and concepts have been adopted and recognized in many other countries around the world as well. If you’re looking for an energy-efficient refrigerator, the Energy Star label is a helpful indicator to consider during your purchasing decision.
Investing in an energy-efficient refrigerator is a smart choice. It not only helps you save on energy bills but also contributes to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. These refrigerators are designed to strike a balance between optimal cooling performance and minimal energy consumption, making them a practical and eco-conscious choice for any household.
Here are ten of the best eco friendly refrigerators on the market:
Best overall eco-friendly refrigerator
1. SAMSUNG 3-Door in Stainless Steel
Eco-friendly | ENERGY STAR-certified, high-efficiency LED lighting
Product Features | Family Hub, finger-print resistant finish, Ice Max technology, internet connectivity
Price Range | $1,999.99 – $2,999.00
The Samsung 30-cubic feet, three-door French door refrigerator in stainless steel is an ENERGY STAR-certified appliance that promises to reduce your carbon footprint. ENERGY STAR refrigerators are 9% more energy efficient and 35% better than older models. Energy consumption is about 673 kWh/yr. With this energy efficient fridge, you can also reduce your electricity bills.
The product has a lot of features that make it among the best refrigerators on the market. It has a Family Hub, which you can use to plan and schedule meals and even stream music. The three-door refrigerator is large, at 30 cubic feet, with a full-width drawer and five shelves, making it ideal for a big family. The Ice Max can store up to 5.5 pounds of ice. It is also fingerprint resistant and available in two sleek colors: black and silver.
Customer Review | “Absolutely love it!! The family hub is both entertaining and useful. It will read you recipes and the option to listen to music or YouTube while in the kitchen is very handy. Absolutely love it!” – Cogillas
Best eco-friendly refrigerator for a minimalist kitchen
2. Bosch Benchmark Built-In Fridge
Eco-friendly | ENERGY STAR-certified, compact, LED lighting
Product Features | MultiAirFlow, dashboard mount
Price Range | around $6,999
Benchmark is a line of Bosch products that represent the best designs from the brand, be it a dishwasher, oven, or refrigerator. Benchmark refrigerators are made to integrate into any kitchen seamlessly. But this particular product, a 30-inch flat hinge energy efficient refrigerator, is made for compact living. At 16.8 cubic feet, it doesn’t use much energy: only 357 kWh/yr. It’s no surprise that it bears the ENERGY STAR certificate.
The Bosch refrigerator is installed on a dashboard. It features MutliAirFlow technology that maintains consistent temperature because of its circulating cool air. It is a smart appliance that connects to iService, which allows for remote monitoring and control. The sound level is just 40 decibels, which is a good range for a refrigerator.
Customer Review | “This fridge is what dreams are made of. When you open the door, you see your food in lights. It’s like having your own show in Vegas. My food stays cool and it notifies you when you’re letting all the cold air out of the fridge by telling you to close the door.” -Dee Dee
Best eco-friendly refrigerator for apartment living
3. Liebherr MRB 300
Eco-friendly | ENERGY STAR-certified, InfinityLight, small
Product Features | SmartDeviceBox technology, BioFresh technology, InfinitySwipe technology
Price Range | $7,599 – $8,899
One of the first things you need to look for when buying an environmentally friendly refrigerator is the ENERGY STAR certification, which the Liebherr MRB 300 possesses. At just 15 cubic feet, the fridge is small, which means its carbon footprint is also minimal. It is perfect for apartment living. And since it is an energy efficient fridge, you can expect savings in your pocket. It will also save you space as it is designed for integrated use.
Liebherr has incorporated many trademarked technologies into the MRB 300. The BrioFresh Plus guarantees long-lasting food freshness so you can shop produce in bulk and not waste any of them to spoilage. It also comes with the InfinityLight, which is seamlessly integrated LED sidewall lighting. It is more energy efficient than any other type of lighting.
Customer Review | “The Monolith is very quiet, with a sound rating of just 40 dBA, and even offers customizable lighting. The integrated LED side-wall lighting creates an even glow that can be adjusted according to taste, including a soft brightening effect upon opening the doors, and a night dimming feature.” -Leigh M.
Best eco-friendly refrigerator for energy saving
4. Bloomberg Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator
Eco-friendly | ENERGY STAR-certified, meets Consortium for Energy Efficiency Standards, LED lighting, lead-free
Product Features | Duo cycle cooking, digital display, Flexi-rack
Price Range | $2,185 – $2,340
There are so many sustainable features about the Bloomberg refrigerator that you can be a proud owner of it. It is ENERGY STAR-certified, for starters, and uses LED lighting in its interiors. This is one of the best eco friendly refrigerators that proudly meets the sustainable standards set by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, which is a joint US and Canadian organization that aims to develop more energy-efficient products. It is made without any of the ozone-depleting greenhouse gases and made from 85% recyclable materials. And if that’s not enough, it is also almost completely lead-free.
The refrigerator is affordable, which is one of the best reasons to get it. It is freestanding, so it is easy to move it around. It operates on duo cycling cooling, with a digital display, and has a Flexi-rack for better storage.
Customer Review | “Having limited space my options were far and few between for a slim fridge because I wanted the freezer on the bottom. The Blomberg fridge drawer moves smoothly, on a track. Overall the fridge is completely silent, and looks great.” – Chelsea
Best eco-friendly refrigerator for high-end kitchens
5. Miele French Door Refrigerator
Eco-friendly | ENERGY STAR-qualified, LED lighting
Product Features | MasterCool technology, push-to-open door, SmartFresh technology, MasterSensor technology
Price Range | around $11,499
Every Miele product is made with maximum innovation but minimum energy output. The refrigerator lineup is no different. The Miele FrenchDoor refrigerator, also known as KF 2982 SF, is ENERGY STAR-qualified, which is the older wording for the energy-efficient certification. It also uses LED lighting, which is better for the household’s overall carbon footprint.
The high-end, energy efficient refrigerator is cutting-edge in terms of form and function, with its sleek stainless steel design. It has a push-to-open door, which provides maximum convenience. Its SmartFresh technology is designed to keep all food fresh inside the cooling equipment for up to three times longer than many standard refrigerators. You can also easily control the fridge with the trademarked MasterSensor. It has an ice maker that can make up to 150 ice cubes every day and has a separate control for convenience.
Customer Review | “When it comes to luxury refrigerators, there are very few brands that set the tone and present the perfect aesthetic for your contemporary kitchen. And while they may cost an extra penny or two, Miele refrigerators exhibit the pinnacle of performance and offer a bevy of advanced features and sleek designs to kitchens of all shapes and sizes.” -Michael W.
Best eco-friendly refrigerator for classic-themed kitchen
6. Beko Fridge Freezer
Eco-friendly | ProSmart inverter compressor, LED lighting
Product Features | Active fresh blue light, active odor filter, CoolRoom technology
Price Range | $1,150 – $2,000
The ProSmart inverter compressor powers the Beko fridge freezer so it can cool faster while needing much less energy. The result is an energy efficient refrigerator that you can invest in without breaking the bank. This affordable product will reduce your electric bill, too.
The Beko Fridge Freezer quickly adapts to temperature fluctuations. Another great thing about it is that it doesn’t make a lot of noise.
The classic black look will fit into any decor theme and elevate your kitchen aesthetic. It comes with an active odor filter, so it will always smell fresh every time you open it. The carbon filter removes bacteria from the circulated air. The trademarked CoolRoom technology also ensures that your food will stay fresh for a lot longer. This technology also helps retain flavor up to two times longer than regular refrigerators.
Some of the other features include a sliding shelf for easy access, a glass shelf, two crispers, and four freezer drawers.
Customer Review | “Faster cooling means less energy usage. Also, the fridge uses two separate cooling systems so opening the fridge doesn’t impact the freezer and vice versa. Finally, the separate cooling systems prevent odors from transferring between the upper and lower compartments.” -Zach E.
Best eco-friendly refrigerator for portability
7. Chefman Mini Portable Fridge
Eco-friendly | 100% freon-free, compact, CETL approved for advanced safety technology
Product Features | Portable, can cool or warm food and drinks
Price Range | around $39.99
This energy efficient fridge is small, so it doesn’t use up a lot of energy. It’s portable, too, so you can put it just about anywhere in your house or apartment. But most importantly, it is 100% freon-free. It has been approved by the Certification Education Technology Leader (CETL) for advanced safety technology and durability.
The Chefman mini fridge is great for bedrooms, offices, traveling, and camping. It has a handle, so you can carry it around like luggage. The surface is an exterior board where users can write notes or labels. It’s not just for cooling food and drinks, as it can also warm them up with a simple press of a switch. It has a four-liter capacity and a removable shelf for versatility.
Customer Review | “I have been pleasantly surprised on how great it really does work. It keeps my drinks super cold and (makes) very little noise.” -Elizabeth M.
Best eco-friendly refrigerator with a pop of color
8. Galanz Retro Refrigerator
Eco-friendly | ENERGY STAR-certified, Climate Pledge Friendly badge
Product Features | Retro design
Price Range | $599.99 – $999.99
Classic refrigerators look interesting, but they are not great for the environment. Galanz has created a retro line of energy efficient refrigerators without harmful freon. The Galanza Retro refrigerator has the ENERGY START certification that confirms its low carbon footprint. Its energy consumption is just 312 kWh/yr. It is also why the brand got a Climate Pledge Friendly badge, which signifies that it has passed the standards of more than one sustainability requirement.
Not only is this product eco-friendly, it is also gorgeous and highly durable. The Galanz Retro refrigerator, which is available in hot rod red, vinyl black, and bebop blue, provide a fun pop of color. It is only 12 cubic feet, but the interior is quite spacious. It has glass shelves, one of which is removable, to give you more space if you need it.
Customer Review | “I love my bright red fridge so much!! 12.5 sq. ft. is a lot larger than expected! Plus, it’s silent; no noise whatsoever. It reached temperature, in both the freezer and fridge, in less than eight hours, although I still gave it a whole day before I started loading it up.” -Jeannie M.
Best eco-friendly refrigerator for large kitchens
9. KitchenAid Side-By-Side Refrigerator
Eco-friendly | ENERGY STAR-certified
Product Features | PrintShield finish, ExtendFresh technology, under-shelf prep zone
Price Range | around $11,249
Large families need a spacious kitchen that can accommodate big appliances like the KitchenAid 48-inch two-door refrigerator. It has an ENERGY STAR certification, which means the product uses up less energy, according to the standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. So, even when you have a refrigerator this big, the electricity bill isn’t going to burn a hole in your pockets.
One of the most exciting features of this energy efficient refrigerator is that it has an under-shelf prep zone. It is a space with a 9” x 13” baking sheet and cake pan where you can prepare food for baking. Many recipes need refrigeration before baking, and you can do just that with convenience.
Other features include the sliding storage tray, ExtendFresh technology that keeps produce and other food items fresh for a longer period, and the trademarked FreshChill in the drawers.
Customer Review | “I purchased this almost a month ago and it is a perfect appliance! It is quiet and sleek in appearance. I love the interior color so easy on the eyes. The lighting in the refrigerator makes it easy to find items. Ice and water and controls on the face make it convenient and easy to monitor. Best decision I’ve made.” -Carol
Best eco-friendly refrigerator for a modern kitchen
10. LG Smart Refrigerator With Craft Ice
Eco-friendly | ENERGY STAR-certified, inverter linear compressor
Product Features | InstaView technology, LinearCooling technology, trademarked Hygiene Fresh
Price Range | $1,799.99 – $2,221.99
LG’s premium line of refrigerators uses the inverter linear compressor because it minimizes energy loss. It boosts energy efficiency, which is one of the reasons it has an ENERGY STAR certification. The InstaView technology in some of LG’s high-end refrigerators also helps conserve energy. Users don’t have to open the fridge to check what’s inside, thus, minimizing wasted power. InstaView technology is so groundbreaking that it has reaped many awards.
This LG smart refrigerator is also large enough to accommodate the needs of an extended family. It has LinearCooling technology to keep products fresh—they won’t lose their flavor for extended periods. And the trademarked Hygiene Fresh ensures that bacteria will not thrive in the fridge. It also eliminates odors.
Customer Review | “I LOVE my new fridge. It looks so hi-tech. I like that I can see what’s at my door and it’s roomy. The fridge is built very sturdy. Super quiet. I wish I can stay in there to cool down when it gets hot haha.” -LinLin
What type of refrigerator is most energy efficient?
The type of refrigerator that is generally considered most energy-efficient is the top-freezer refrigerator. These models have a separate freezer compartment at the top and a refrigerator section below. The design allows cold air to naturally sink, reducing the escape of cold air when the door is opened. Additionally, top-freezer refrigerators often consume less energy compared to side-by-side or French door models due to their simpler design and layout.
What is an energy efficient refrigerator?
An energy-efficient refrigerator is one that is designed to minimize its energy consumption while still effectively cooling and preserving your food. These refrigerators incorporate advanced insulation, efficient compressors, and improved sealing mechanisms to prevent the escape of cold air. They often come with features like LED lighting and smart temperature controls to further optimize energy usage.
Are energy-efficient refrigerators worth it?
Absolutely! While energy-efficient refrigerators might have a slightly higher upfront cost, the long-term savings on your energy bills can be substantial. Over the years, the reduced energy consumption can easily offset the initial investment. Plus, energy-efficient models are better for the environment by reducing overall energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Do energy-efficient refrigerators run all the time?
No, energy-efficient refrigerators do not run all the time. Just like any other refrigerator, they have a built-in thermostat that monitors the temperature inside. When the temperature rises above the desired level, the compressor turns on to cool the interior. However, energy-efficient models are designed to reach and maintain the desired temperature more efficiently, which means they cycle on and off less frequently compared to older, less efficient models.
All photos credits belong to respective brands