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Some smart tech feels like it's smart just for the sake of it. When the concept of the Internet of Things first appeared, one of the most popular examples was of a smart fridge that would be able to tell you when you'd run out of milk. Is that something that's really solving a pressing need?

Read more: The best new Alexa devices: AI-powered TVs, fridges, mirrors and more

Fast-forward a few years to now though, and plenty of top-line fridges being released have smart tech in them, so it's clearly a trend that consumers have got on board with over time. That said, it's largely still the preserve of more premium models. And some of the features of smart fridges are actually genuinely useful, without having a huge impact on the price. We've taken a detailed look at the best smart fridges out there, and have compiled this list to help you find one of the best smart fridges that around right now.

The best smart fridges: Our top picks

Best smart fridges 2020 Keep your food cool with added smarts image 1
Samsung Family Hub
1. Best smart fridge overall

A transparent way to stock up

A superb fridge that arguably defines what we all expect from a smart fridge.

  • Bixby voice assistant built-in
  • Fingerprint resistant
  • Custom wine-rack
  • Triple-cooling system
  • Not everyone wants to see what's inside their fridge
  • Pricey

Samsung's Family Hub fridges are the only ones on our list that look like the image you might have of a "smart fridge" in your head - namely, because of that big screen on one door. Whether you want it to play videos, display your music controls, or use internal cameras to show you what you've got stocked inside, the smart screen can do it all.

You can even restock your fridge by placing an order from the smart screen, or use the screen as a family noticeboard where you can leave reminders and notes. With smart displays meaning many of us are getting used to having screens in our kitchens, the smart screen on the Family Hub doesn't feel too out of place, and can be genuinely useful.

LG 30 cu. ft. InstaView Door-in-Door Smart Refrigerator
LG 30 cu. fr. InstaView Door-in-Door Smart Refrigerator
2. Best budget-oriented smart fridge

Doesn't sacrifice price for smarts

A smart fridge packed with features at a reasonable price.

  • More pocket-friendly
  • Can see inside your fridge
  • Built-in water dispenser
  • Can feel a bit gimmicky
  • Still expensive

Some technology can feel a bit like magic, and the InstaView technology in this smart refrigerator is one such example. By knocking twice on the darkened glass of that distinctive window in the fridge's door, the glass becomes clear allowing you to see what's inside your fridge. That might sound a bit like a gimmick, but it serves an important purpose. It means that you don't have to disturb the fridge's delicately balanced temperature by opening it all the time. Similarly, that Door-in-Door panel is effectively an anteroom for the fridge, where you can store your most-used drinks or condiments for access without having to open the main door of the fridge which can impact the wider storage efficiency.

It's a fridge with some smart, connected features, but it doesn't push them onto you too much.

bosch 800 series smart refrigerator
Bosch 800 Series Smart Dishwasher
3. Best smart fridge for keeping things extra cold

This fridge is metaphorically and physically cool

A smart fridge with a special drink chiller drawer for when you need a cold wine or beer.

  • Chiller drawer for wine bottles or other drinks
  • Water dispenser inside
  • Open door notifications
  • Expensive
  • Glass of beverage drawer can be delicate

After a hard day, there's nothing better than coming home and enjoying a cold beer or a glass of perfectly chilled white wine. The beverage cooler drawer on this Bosch 800 Series smart refrigerator is a dedicated glass display drawer that can hold up to 17 standard bottles of wine or up to 35 beverage cans. There are also some useful smart features through the HomeConnect app, including door open alerts that play an alarm but will also send a notification to your phone so that you'll know the door's open even if you've left the kitchen.

You can also remotely monitor and control your Bosch smart refrigerator through the app. Change the temperature, or even run diagnostics from your phone, even if you're on the other side of the world. There's even a chilled water dispenser hidden away inside so as not to ruin the sleek lines of the exterior.

GE profile smart refrigerator
GE Profile 27.9 cu. ft. Smart Refrigerator
4. Best smart fridge for storage

Returns the fridge to your ideal temperature

A smart refrigerator with four doors for added versatility and great temperature regulation.

  • Four door design
  • Door-in-door storage
  • Adjustable temperature drawer
  • Freezer drawer prone to frosting
  • Minimal space on door behind dispenser

Your refrigerator's biggest enemy is you and your family. It works really hard to keep everything in your fridge at the perfect temperature, only for you to open the door and let all the perfectly chilled air out. That's where having multiple doors can help. Instead of opening the entire fridge every time you want something, you open need to open the relevant door. The other chambers of the fridge will remain at the perfect temperature.

If you do leave the door open too long, however, you can use the TurboCool setting on this GE smart refrigerator to quickly return the fridge to the optimum temperature. The middle drawer is also temperature adjustable, so you can choose the perfect temperature for storing meat, beverages, and more. Thanks to the built-in Wi-Fi, you can receive alerts from your fridge, activate the TurboCool mode, or even change the interior lighting levels.

LG 27 cu. ft. Counter-Depth Smart Refrigerator
LG 27 cu. ft. Counter-Depth Smart Refrigerator
5. Best aesthetically pleasing smart fridge

Looks as smart as it performs

A smart refrigerator that has a large capacity but fits in with your countertops.

  • Countertop depth
  • Large capacity for its size
  • Subtle Internal water dispenser
  • Not as much space as some models
  • Additional space required to open doors

This counter-depth smart refrigerator is designed to offer you a lot of storage without taking over your entire kitchen. In fact, it has one of the largest capacities of any counter-depth smart fridge out there. From the outside, there's nothing to indicate that this refrigerator is particularly smart; there's no display or magic glass that lets you see inside. However, using the ThinQ app, there is a whole host of smart skills.

You get notifications about your fridge usage, suggestions for maintenance to keep your smart fridge running smoothly, and the app can even give you an early diagnosis of an issue that may need repair, potentially saving you from a much larger repair bill. You can also link up to Google Assistant or Alexa to control and monitor your smart fridge with your voice.

Samsung Bespoke Side-by-Side 28 cu. ft. Smart Refrigerator
Samsung Bespoke Side-by-Side 28 cu. ft. Smart Refrigerator
6. Best unique looking smart fridge

Stylish and feature-rich

A stylish side-by-side smart refrigerator at a relatively budget-friendly price. With a white finish, Samsung's Bespoke fridge does really bring a fresh take when it comes to looks and keeping your groceries fresh as well.

  • Stylish design
  • Open door alerts
  • Easy open with touch sensor
  • Only two doors
  • Door sensor can be overly sensitive

If you find that the design of most smart refrigerators leave you, well, a little cold, then you might be looking that has a touch more style. If so, the Samsung Bespoke side-by-side smart refrigerator may be just what you're looking for. It's available in stainless steel, like many refrigerators, but also comes in a stunning white glass version that can give your kitchen a really modern feel.

It has a clever Auto Open door that automatically opens with just a light touch of the sensor and a built-in beverage centre that lets you fill up from the water dispenser, or use a pitcher that automatically refills when empty. The Wi-Fi connectivity means you can change the temperature, control the Rapid Cooling modes, and even check if the ice maker is on, all from your phone. You'll get open door alerts too, and it will even tell you when the filter needs to be replaced.

Cafe 27.4 Cu. Ft. Quad-Door Smart Refrigerator
Cafe 27.4 Cu. Ft. Quad-Door Smart Refrigerator
7. Best smart fridge for sending alerts

Great communication feedback

A four-door smart refrigerator that minimizes the impact of opening the door.

  • Four door design
  • Autofill water dispenser
  • Abnormal temperature alerts
  • Not as big as some options
  • Ice dispenser can be fiddly

This another four-door smart refrigerator that offers great versatility. You can set one of the compartments to a wide range of temperatures, from chilling beverages, to storing fresh food, to storing frozen goods, so that the space gets used exactly how you need it most. There's also an integrated water dispenser that senses when you're near and automatically lights up so that you can see what you're doing. The AutoFill function will automatically dispense the perfect amount every time by using in-built sensors.

The Wi-Fi connectivity offers a wide range of useful features, including sending you alerts when your fridge's internal temperature goes above the normal level. You can also see if the ice level is full or even check the status of the water filter, all from your phone. It's compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, too.

The bottom line: What is the best smart refrigerator?

If you're looking for a smart fridge that embodies the ideal of the fridge as the hub of the family, then the Samsung Family Hub is the way to go. The smart screen doesn't just show you what's in your fridge or let you order more groceries, but it's also a great way to organize your family, too. It's got a fairly hefty price tag, but it's a solid investment for what you're getting.

Best smart fridges 2020 Keep your food cool with added smarts image 1
Samsung Family Hub
Editor's Choice

If you're looking for a smart refrigerator that's a little easier on your wallet, however, then the Samsung Bespoke Side-by-Side is a stylish smart fridge at an excellent price.

How I chose the best smart refrigerators

When choosing the smart refrigerators for this list there were a number of considerations. I wanted to choose a range of styles and layouts to fit most needs, from side-by-side models to four-door fridges. I also wanted to include smart fridges that had some genuinely useful smart features on board. Finally, I tried to include a range of prices so that there are options to suit different budgets.

How to choose the best smart refrigerator

If you're looking for a smart refrigerator, there are a few key questions that you should ask before you buy:

What smart home ecosystems is the smart refrigerator compatible with?

Many smart refrigerators are compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa, or both. However, there aren't nearly as many that are compatible with HomeKit to allow you to use Siri. You should ensure that the fridge that you're buying works with your smart assistant of choice.

How much space do you have or need?

There's no point buying an all-singing, all-dancing smart refrigerator if it won't fit in your kitchen. Measure the space where it's going to be placed, and ensure that the fridge you're buying will be able to fit in the same space. There are plenty of different size options available.

Do I really need all the smart features for a fridge?

Not everyone will get use out of all the smart features of their refrigerator. If you're not a fan of organizing your life on touch screens, then the Samsung Family Hub may be overkill. There are plenty of smart fridges that offer app control via Wi-Fi without any other fancy add-ons.