The Sub Zero fridge has always been in a class by itself. Much more than a hallmark of luxury, it's a pro-style, high-functioning food preservation system widely used by inspired home cooks and distinguished chefs alike to keep ingredients fresh and prevent spoilage.
Since 1945, this Wisconsin-based company has delivered best of the best fridges, freezers, and domestic cooking appliances. It also was one of the first to pioneer the freestanding freezer design. Eighty years is quite a track record. In that time, it's developed a rep for several standout features.
The dual compressor design and patented vacuum door seal system in a Sub Zero fridge are an engineering feat. In addition to their aestheically pleasing good looks, these refrigerators are designed to run two independent cooling systems that maintain the temperature in the freezer and fridge compartments.
A Sub Zero fridge boasts best-in-class components, superior craftsmanship, and uncompromising attention to detail. That's why the company is confident in saying they're designed to last 20 years or longer.
The design possibilities are also a main attraction with Sub Zero refrigerators. These fridges come in a wider range of sizes and configurations compared with their standard counterparts. Choose a panel ready refrigerator, and it will fit seamlessly into the cabinetry and almost disappear.
All of these factors help explain why Sub Zero is considered the best refrigerator brand in the U.S. Although there are several reasons why we believe these products are worth the price, here are the four biggies:
Top 4 Reasons to Choose a Sub Zero Fridge
|Why Sub Zero?||Overview|
|1. Food Freshness||Smart storage shelves maximize the freshness of fruit, vegetables, seafood, and meats, leading to less food waste.|
|2. Quality/Longevity||Designed for more than 20 years of use with an industry-leading warranty. The best service and support sets it apart from distant competitors.|
|3. Design Flexibility||Full-size built-in refrigerators, fully flush integrated models, infinite paneling options, limitless configurations, and vast undercounter selection for a professional and seamless look in your home.|
|4. Home Resale Value||Stellar brand recognition. Always mentioned in real estate listings as a differentiator.|
1. Superior Food Preservation Technology
Sub Zero prides itself on its ability to preserve food far longer than other refrigerators. According to company research, a family of four throws away more than $1,500 worth of food over the course of a year.
While most refrigerators do a good job circulating moist and cold air to keep food fresh, controlling temperature fluctuations and humidity is really what makes food last longer. Sub Zero also has a computer-driven air purification system that works to circulate fresh, moist air more effectively in your fridge.
Two separate sealed refrigeration systems control the temperature and humidity in the refrigerator and freezer. This allows the separate compartments to stay at optimal humidity levels and prevents flavor transfer between them.
Microprocessor Controlled System
This system allows the units to hold a temperature far more consistently than most others. In fact, Sub Zero fridges maintain the set temperature within one degree at all times during normal use. That's very impressive when you consider that other refrigerators can experience temperature swings of up to 14 degrees. Simply put, consistent temperature means food stays fresh far longer.
Sub Zero appliances have a patented vacuum door seal system that helps maintain optimal temperature. All four sides on the unit vacuum seal when you close the door.
These units contain an antimicrobial air purification system that automatically scrubs the air every 20 minutes. Many fresh foods, such as apples, emit ethylene gas; it causes other foods to spoil much faster. By filtering out these gases, along with the bacteria and mold spores found on some fresh produce, your groceries will last longer.
2. Sub Zero Fridge: Quality & Longevity
Sub Zero's quality and craftsmanship is second to none. The componentry is best-in-class, and the company simply doesn't compromise when developing and manufacturing new units. Sub Zero fridges are designed and tested to last 20 years. Every single unit in the factory gets tested before it ships.
Industry Leading 12-Year Warranty
There's no question Sub Zero has one of the highest levels of service and customer support in the industry. Besides delivering a world-class product, the company ensures that if something should go wrong, it'll be taken care of quickly and efficiently. It also offers one of the best factory warranties out there, covering an all-inclusive two years.
The patented sealed system (essentially the heart of the unit, including compressors, condensers, evaporators, dryers, and even tubing) is under warranty for a full five years. After five years, the unit's sealed system is covered by a limited 12-year warranty.
3. Design Flexibility
No other brand of refrigerator offers as many models and configurations as Sub Zero. The different installation, configuration, dimension, and finish options include:
- Fully flush installation option
- Install slightly proud from cabinets
Designer Exterior Finishes:
- Stainless steel doors
- Cabinet finish doors
- Glass doors
- Different handle options
- Top cover design
- Bottom freezer doors
- French door
- Single door full fridge or freezers (aka columns)
A Myriad of Sizes
- Standard-size single-piece units from 30 inches to 48 inches
- Make your own fridge using columns. Mix and match different fridge and freezer sizes using factory-made trim kits for seamless, custom look.
4. Home Resale Value
A Sub Zero fridge has more brand recognition than any other appliance. The fact that a kitchen has a Sub Zero refrigerator in it will almost always be mentioned in real-estate listings, and can become a deciding factor on the purchase. It’s no secret that a kitchen can be one of the most expensive renovations of any home. The Sub Zero name represents a sound investment as well as unsurpassed quality.
Sub Zero Refrigerator Design Styles
There are three types of Sub Zero refrigerators on the market, each with its own unique benefits. The company is also known as one of the best wine fridge manufacturers in the world. You can find our coverage oft the Sub Zero wine fridge lineup in our earlier article. We're going to focus on the full-size refrigerator selection here.
Classic Sub Zero Built-in Refrigerators (aka BI)
Considered the classic look for Sub Zero fridges, BI products were the original concept for this type of refrigerator. The doors on BI Sub Zero refrigerators protrude slightly from the cabinet surface, but they can be made flush with an inset installation. However, in doing so, it’s important to make sure you leave enough room for the doors to open. BI units come in four configurations: French door, over-and-under, side-by-side, and columns.
You'll find differences between the Sub Zero built-in vs integrated refrigerators in our in-depth review.
Sub Zero Professional Series, Commercial Look for the Home
In a league of its own, the Sub Zero Pro 48 (aka Sub Zero PRO4850G) is the absolute top-of-the-line Sub Zero refrigerator. The company often refers to this model as "an 800-pound monument to food preservation."
The look of the Pro 48 is reminiscent of what you’d see in a restaurant kitchen, but the beautiful design makes it the perfect fit for your home. In addition to its attractive design, the Pro 48 has triple evaporators, each serving as a separate controller for the freezer, refrigerator, and refrigerator drawers.
Please beware that the delivery of a Pro 48 requires a special skill set and plenty of space to maneuver; your floor may also need reinforcements to support its weight. Therefore, budget about $600 to $1,000 for delivery cost.
Integrated, Designer Series Sub Zero Fridges
More than 30 different configuration options make integrated Sub Zero fridges popular with homeowners who value options when it comes to their kitchen design ideas. Since there are no exposed hinges or grills, you can seamlessly flush mount these units into your cabinets without any gaps around the perimeter. This allows you to make a Designer Series Sub Zero frige disappear into your cabinetry. There are two types of integrated models:
- Columns where you get an all fridge or an all freezer as one unit
- What Sub Zero refers to as "over-and-under": a fridge with a bottom freezer
How Much is a Sub Zero Refrigerator?
Most retail brands offer good, better, and best as a three-tier pricing formula for their products. Sub Zero refrigerators, on the other hand, have one model for pricing. Here's an overview of how much popular Sub Zero fridges cost, with all specifications accounted for:
|French Door||36/42-inch width, stainless steel or panel ready, 21/25 cu. ft.||from $11,000+|
|Side-by-Side||36/42/48-inch width, water dispenser options, stainless steel or panel ready, 21/24/29 cu. ft.||from $12,520|
|Bottom Freezer||30/36-inch width, water dispenser options, stainless steel, glass, or panel ready, 18/22 cu. ft.||from $8,480|
|Integrated Bottom Mount (IT)||30/36-inch width, water dispenser options, double drawer freezer, panel ready||from $9,655|
|Column Refrigerators||24/30/36-inch width, panel ready||from $8,225|
|Column Freezers||18/24/30/36-inch width, panel ready||from $7,830|
|Undercounter||24/27/30/36-inch width, drawer refrigerator & freezer, panel ready||from $5,475|
New Sub Zero Models
We've covered the offerings Sub Zero has on the table for 2022, but you should know that the company will be updating its entire fridge category drastically over the coming year, including debuting a new CL and DE series in the first quarter of 2023.
During 2022, Sub Zero will ship what's left of its current lineup. Some lucky dealers (including us) were able to stock up on these models in advance. However, given the backlog of existing orders, you may need to wait a year or more to receive yours.
If you have the time, we recommend holding out for Sub Zero's newer offerings that will ship beginning in 2023. Place your order early, and you may also be able to reduce your wait time.
Is a Sub Zero fridge worth the price? At Designer Appliances, we believe that if peace of mind, fresh food, and flexibility in design are important to you, then the answer is yes. This purchase is one you can have the utmost confidence in and expect to last for at least 20 years.
When you buy a Sub Zero you aren't just buying a refrigerator, you're investing in the heart of your home, generating less food waste, and saving energy with a sleekly designed integrated food preservation system. If you're in the tristate area, stop by one of our showrooms in New Jersey and see why this refrigerator brand is essential for today’s kitchens.
Is Sub Zero and Wolf the same company?
Yes. Sub Zero acquired Wolf back in 2000. The company now manfactures an entire line of Wolf cooking appliances and ventilation. We cover Wolf ranges in detail in our blog articles and videos.
Does Sub Zero make dishwashers?
Yes. Sub Zero started making premium quality dishwashers under the brand name Cove dishwashers.
A leading consumer reporting company review talks about louder vibration noise levels on Sub Zero. Is this a concern?
The publication we saw was from 2012 and not up to date. As a user of an earlier generation Sub Zero fridge in an open-plan kitchen, I did experience the compressor noise when it was active. (Mind you all fridges were noisy 10 years ago).
However, the new generation models, especially the built-in series with top compressors, are substantially quieter. Sub Zero's integrated fridges have the compressor on the bottom and are inherently silent.
I have an old Sub-Zero refrigerator. Can I replace it with a new one? Will it fit?
Yes. you will be able to replace your old fridge with a new one. Contact our sales staff for promotions and incentives that Sub-Zero offers for loyal customers.
What is the difference between a Sub-Zero fridge and a regular fridge?
There are many differences between a regular refrigerator and a Sub-Zero. For example, here are some of the highlights on variations:
Dimensions: The standard refrigerators most of us grew up with were about 69 inches tall. However, Sub Zero fridges are 84 inches high and allow for flush-to-cabinet installation.
Style: You can customize a Sub Zero to match your surrounding cabinets.
Dual Compressors: Sub Zero separates compartments and uses a second compressor to guarantee the separation. Your food'll last longer in a Sub Zero fridge and preserve its smell and taste longer.
Door Seal: You'll notice the effort needed to open the door of a Sub-Zero, which is due to the magnetic vacuum seals that ensure perfecly closed doors. Most standard fridges lose energy through their doors, especially after a few years of use.
Longevity: Regular fridges are designed to survive five to eight years, depending on the manufacturer. Gone are the days of decades-long performance; Sub-Zero is still old school, and the company takes pride in making appliances that last at least 18 to 20 years, sometimes even longer.
Does Sub-Zero make wine fridges and other undercounter appliances such as ice makers and beverage centers?
Yes, Sub-Zero offers best-in-class wine fridges. Besides Sub-Zero wine storage units, the company also makes undercounter appliances such as ice makers, beverage centers, refrigerators, freezers, plus matching storage pieces like shelves and refrigeration drawers.