Sub Zero Fridge: Everything to Know Before Buying [REVIEW]

Sub Zero Fridge: Everything to Know Before Buying [REVIEW]

The Sub Zero fridge has always been in a class by itself. Much more than a hallmark of luxury, it is a professional, high functioning food preservation system widely used by inspired home cooks and distinguished chefs. The dual compressor design and patented vacuum door seal system in a Sub Zero fridge are an engineering feat. These refrigerators are designed to run two independent cooling systems that maintain temperature and humidity in the freezer and fridge compartments.

Sub Zero fridge boasts best-in-class componentry, superior craftsmanship, and uncompromising attention to detail with every product they build. Every Sub Zero fridge is built on the idea that maintaining temperature, humidity, and circulating fresh air prolongs the life of your food.

The professional design is also a main attraction with Sub Zero refrigerators and they are available in a range of sizes compared to their standard counterparts. These refrigerators fit seamlessly into the cabinetry and almost “disappear”. Sub Zero is considered the best refrigerator brand in the US. Although there are several reasons why we believe these products are our worth the price, here are four of the main reasons:

Watch our exclusive video review of Sub Zero fridges

Top 4 Reasons to Choose a Sub Zero Fridge

Why Sub Zero? Overview
Food Freshness Smart storage temperatures maximize the freshness of fruits, vegetables, seafood and meats leading to less food waste.
Quality/Longevity Designed for over 20 years of use with an industry leading warranty. The best service and support sets it apart from distant competitors.
Design Flexibility Full size built-in refrigerators, fully flush integrated models, infinite paneling options, vast undercounter selection for a professional and seamless look in your home.
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 their company research, on average, over the course of a year, a family of four throws away more than $1,500 worth of food. While most refrigerators do a good job in keeping food cold, 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 air in your fridge.

Dual Refrigeration
Two separate sealed refrigeration systems are used to control the temperature and humidity in the refrigerator and freezer. This allows the separate compartments to stay at optimal humidity levels and also prevents flavor transfer.


Microprocessor Controlled System
This system allows the units to hold a temperature that is far more consistent than most. In fact, Sub-Zero maintains the temperature within one degree of the set temperature at all times during normal use. This is very impressive when you consider that other refrigerators can see temperature swings of up to 14 degrees. Simply put, consistent temperature means food stays fresh far longer.


Vacuum Seal
Sub-Zero has a patented vacuum door seal system. This means that in order to maintain optimal temperature, all four sides on the unit vacuum seal when you close the door.

Air Purification
These units contain an antimicrobial air purification system that automatically scrubs the air every 20 minutes. Many fresh foods emit ethylene gas which causes other foods to spoil much faster. By filtering out these gases, along with bacteria and mold spores that are found on some fresh produce, your food will last far longer.


2) Sub Zero Fridge: Quality & Longevity

Sub Zero’s quality and craftsmanship is second to none. Their componentry is best-in-class and they simply do not compromise when developing and manufacturing new units. Sub Zero fridges are designed and tested to last 20 years. They also test every single unit in the factory before it is put in its box.

Industry Leading 12-year Warranty
There is no question that this company has one of the highest levels of service and customer support in the industry. Besides delivering a world class product, if something should go wrong you can rest assured that it will be taken care of quickly and efficiently. They also have one of the best factory warranties covering an all-inclusive two years. Their patented sealed system (essentially the heart of the unit, including compressors, condensers, evaporators, driers and even tubing) is under warranty for a full five years. After five years, the unit is covered on the sealed system with a limited 12-year warranty.


3) Design Flexibility

No other brand of refrigerator offers as many models and configurations as Sub Zero. Consider the different dimensions and refrigeration if design and layout are important to you.

With Sub Zero you can have:

Installation Flexibility

  • Fully flush installation option
  • Install slightly proud from cabinets

Door Finishes

  • Stainless steel doors
  • Cabinet finish doors
  • Glass doors (if you are confident about your organization skills)
  • Different handle options
  • Ability to change even the design of the top cover on built in models (louvered grill, solid stainless, wood cabinet finish)
  • Single door, bottom freezer (including dual bottom freezer doors)
  • French door
  • Side-by-side
  • Single door full fridge or freezers

Myriad of Sizes

  • Standard size single piece units from 30-inches to 48-inches
  • Make your own size using columns. Mix and match different fridge and freezer sizes and combine them using factory made trim kits for seamless look. (e.g., You can create a 60-inch size by combining a 30-inch fridge with a 30-inch freezer)


4) Home Resale Value

Sub Zero fridge has more brand recognition than any other appliance manufacturer in the industry. 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 and 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 of Sub Zero wine fridge in our earlier article. Meanwhile, let’s dive deep on the built-in refrigerator selection”

Classic Sub Zero Built-in Refrigerators (a.k.a. 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: column, French door, over-and-under, and side-by-side.

You will 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


Sub Zero PRO 48 refrigerator

In a league of its own, Pro 48 (a.k.a. PRO4850G) is the top-of-the-line model for Sub Zero refrigerators. The company often refers to this line 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, with each serving as a separate control for the freezer, refrigerator, and refrigerator drawers.

Please beware that the delivery of a Pro 48 requires a special skill set and plenty of ambient space. 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 want control over their kitchen design. Since there are no exposed hinges or grills, you can seamlessly flush mount this unit without leaving space around the perimeter of the appliance. This allows you to make a Designer Series Sub Zero disappear into your cabinetry. There are two types of integrated models:

  1. Columns where you get an all fridge or an all freezer as one unit
  2. What Sub Zero refers to as “over-and-under” is a fridge with a bottom freezer.


How Much is a Sub Zero Refrigerator?

Most retail brands offer “good, better, or best” the 3-tier pricing formula for their products. Sub Zero refrigerators, on the other hand, do not compromise on quality and have one model for pricing. Here is an overview of how much popular Sub Zero fridges cost:

French Door 36/42-in width, Stainless Steel or Panel Ready, 21/25 cu. ft. from $9,299
Side-by-Side 36/42/48-in width, Water Dispenser Options, Stainless Steel or Panel Ready, 21/24/29 cu. ft. from $8,529
Bottom Freezer 30/36-in width, Water Dispenser Options, Stainless Steel, Glass, or Panel Ready, 18/22 cu. ft. from $8,480
Integrated Bottom Mount (IT) 30/36-in width, Water Dispenser Options, Double Drawer Freezer, Panel Ready from $8,187
Column Refrigerators 24/30/36-in width, Panel Ready from $5,999
Column Freezers 18/24/30/36-in width, Panel Ready from $6,899
Undercounter 24/27/30/36-in width, Drawer Refrigerator & Freezer, Panel Ready from $4,229


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 should last 20 years which is also an enormous benefit (imagine spending $2,500 to $3,500 on a popular brand for an appliance that might last 7-8 years). When you purchase a Sub Zero you are not just buying a refrigerator, you are investing in the heart of your home, generating less food waste, and saving energy with a sleekly designed integrated food preservation system. If you are in the tri-state area, stop by one of our showrooms in New Jersey and see why this refrigerator is considered essential for today’s kitchens.

Sub Zero, Wolf and Cove at Designer Appliances Showroom


Is Sub Zero and Wolf the same company?

Yes. Sub Zero acquired Wolf Ranges back in 2000. The company now makes not only ranges but a entire category of Wolf cooking appliances and ventilation. We cover Wof 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.

Leading consumer reporting company review talks about louder 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 built-in series with top compressors, are now substantially more silent. 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 regular style refrigerators and a Sub-Zero. For example, here are some of the highlights on variations: Dimensions: Standard refrigerators most of us grew up with were about 69-inches high and were deep i.e. extending from cabinets. 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: Do you remember how food would taste (or smell) funny in the freezer when we stored rich foods in the fridge compartment? Regular fridges with single compressors/evaporators circulate air regardless of the compartment causing unwanted odor-transfers. SubvZero separtes compartments and uses an expensive second compressor to guarantee the separation. Your food will last longer in a Sub-Zero fridge. Door-Seal: You will notice the effort needed to open the door of a SubvZero. This is due to the magnetic seals that ensure perfecly closed doors. Most standard fridges lose a ton of energy through their doors (especially after a few years of use) Longevity: Regular fridges are designed to survive 5-8 years depending on the manufacturer. Gone are the days of decades long of performance. Sub Zero is still old school. The company takes pride in making appliances that last 18-20 years (even more).

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. The company also makes under-counter appliances such as ice makers, beverage centers, refrigerators, freezers, and refrigeration drawers.

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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on August 19, 2021. However, we regularly update our content as we test more products and new models are released. We also listen to the feedback of our customers and make changes to our product recommendations based on their experiences. So don’t be surprised if you see some old comments below! Since reader comments contribute to the topic, we have decided not to delete them.

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