With a fantastically low retail price of about $515, the FFTR1814QW is a great option for folks on a budget, or anyone who wants a second fridge in the garage or basement.
The biggest gripe we had with the Frigidaire FFTR1814QW (MSRP $649) is one we have with most top freezers: The controls are too vague. However, so long as you ignore the manufacturer-recommended setting and turn the dial down a bit, this fridge should be easy on your wallet and your groceries.
Basic, but adequate
While not quite as spartan as some budget models, this Frigidaire definitely errs on the side of simplicity. The textured white finish should be easy to keep clean, but you can also purchase the black 1814QB for the same price, or the stainless 1814QS for about $120 more.
It’s worth mentioning that the handles on our test model didn’t sit perfectly flush with the doors, even after multiple adjustments. Hardly a deal-breaker, but still a disappointing aspect of the overall fit and finish.
Inside the fridge, wire shelves make up most of the available storage surfaces, so you’ll want to keep an eye on anything that might leak. You do get some flexibility, as the two wire fridge shelves get four different slots to sit on.
Unfortunately, fridge door storage is completely fixed in place, so you're at the mercy of the plastic shelves as far as finding a home for gallons of milk or bottles of juice.
The freezer is split by a single wire shelf, and lacks both an interior light bulb and icemaker—a common omission for models in this price range.
More alarming was the amount of noise this model made. We noticed more of an ambient hum than usual, especially when the doors were open. Keep that in mind if you’re planning to put this fridge in a small apartment.
Sensors indicated that the main fresh food section averaged 41.61°F at the top, 41,04°F in the middle, and 44.57°F at the bottom. That’s way too warm—and borders on an unsafe temperature for long-term food storage.
The freezer was just as bad, with average temperatures of 10.16°F at the top and 10.66°F at the bottom.
That being said, temperatures never fluctuated very widely. Averages were ±0.28°F in the fridge and ±0.34°F in the freezer, so we feel comfortable saying this appliance at least proved consistent over time.
Despite the presence of humidity sliders that let the user choose how much moisture to trap inside each drawer, this Frigidaire’s twin crispers were just adequate when it came to moisture retention. Our test materials, when weighed at the same time over the course of three days, lost an average of 0.22 grams of moisture each hour. We’ve seen worse, but not by a whole lot.
Be careful with the controls
This Frigidaire could have been one of the better budget top-freezer refrigerators on the market, but the vague controls work against it.
When we test a refrigerator that doesn’t use a digital thermostat, we always defer to any manufacturer-recommended setting. Unfortunately, the recommended setting on this model’s control dial caused both the fridge and freezer to run very, very warm. We’re talking no cooler than 41°F in the main section, which could cause food to spoil more quickly than it should. The freezer was just as bad, which increases the risk of freezer burn.
But, there is some good news: Temperatures in both sections were at least highly consistent over time, which means users can just turn down the thermostat to improve performance. Be careful though: If you start to see ice crystals in your yogurt, move the dial back a bit.
Temperature issues aside, this fridge has a lot to offer. There's lots of room for storage, great energy efficiency, and good-enough crisper drawers. Plus, we think spending some time inching controls to the correct temperature is a small price to pay for good temperature control from a fridge that costs barely more than $500.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
A solid bargain
Across Frigidaire’s latest top freezer lineup, we’ve noticed a trend: Decent prices for great fridges with thermostats that need a little tweaking. The FFTR1814QW is no exception, featuring consistent temperature output over time and an exceptionally low price.
With retailers offering it for as little as $515, this is a bargain that’s hard to beat. Whether you’re looking for a cheap fridge for your kitchen or a second one to keep in the garage, the FFTR1814QW is worth a peek.
Freezing times were also decidedly average. To determine these scores, we placed room-temperature test materials inside the Frigidaire, which itself was located in our temperature-controlled lab environment. The items stored in the freezer were chilled down to 32°F in 1 hour and 28 minutes.
A combination of wire and glass shelves in the main fresh food area make up most of your usable storage space. Twin crispers at the bottom, as well as nonadjustable door shelves, add to the overall total. Taking into account space taken up by controls, light bulbs, and other obstructions, we determined that this Frigidaire has about 11.27 usable cubic feet of available space.
The freezer, with its lone wire shelf in the main section and two shelves on the door, is very basic. In total, you get 3.6 cubic feet of usable freezer storage space.
With the FFTR1814QW, Frigidaire continues to push the envelope in terms of energy efficiency. This model only used about 0.04 kWh per usable cubic foot, making it the most efficient fridge we’ve tested yet. It should only cost you about $19.75 per year to run.
Meet the tester
Logistics Manager & Staff Writer@ReviewedHome
Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.
Checking our work.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email