Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Oct 16, 2010 09:42 AM

Are Sub Zero refrigerators worth the price?

We need a new fridge. We've found one that fits the space and our requirements (bottom freezer, counter-depth, 36 inches, 80 inches tall, either stainless or w/built in capability) and it's a Sub Zero. I don't mind spending $6K if it's really worth that price, but I hate the idea of paying for the name. We are not show kitchen people. (There is a Thermidor with similar specs, but it's uglier and costs more, so that's out.) Are we insane? Is there another fridge you know of that will suit the above requirements? (No GE or Amana, please--BTDT and was not happy!)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I moved into a house with an older Sub Zero 600 series. Hands down the best fridge I've ever used. It keeps my produce fresh much longer. I attribute it to the temperature control and vacuum seal.

    1 Reply
    1. We have a similar (older model) 36 inch Sub Zero, freezer on the bottom, for about 15 years. Though we've had no repair problems and it has work well, we don't find it any better than our 20 year old Sears ($600) in our city apartment. We are fairly basic on what we need from a refrigerator/freezer and we tend to do several shopping trips a week. If I need a replacement, I would definitely not spend $6000 for a new Sub Zero. I think when one is spending that much more for an appliance, part of it is for the name, the look, etc.

      9 Replies
      1. re: PBSF

        Yeah, that whole name thing is a stumbling point for me. Looks do matter--my kitchen is very pretty, but not brand name, look-how-much-I-spent pretty.

        OTOH, I want a fridge that I won't have to have repaired every six months. The rather cynical technician who comes out to service my wretched GE Monogram tells me that no one makes a quality appliance anymore, but that Sub Zero gives the best and longest warranty.

        1. re: Isolda

          I don't know if you can win this game. I have plenty of friends with sub zero appliances who complain all the time about the numbers of repairs their appliances need, the cost of those repairs, and sometimes ridiculously long waits for parts. OTOH, I've had a GE Profile for the past 6 yrs that has never needed a repair and does the job I expect a fridge to do - and I paid under $1000 for it. I would never pay $6K for a fridge - not unless it can cook dinner and do the dishes.

          1. re: Isolda

            the way i've started to handle ALL my appliance serve is to buy a whole house warranty that charges me a monthly amount.
            they will send the appropriate technicians out to fix anything that breaks, and if the repair isn't satisfactory, they will cover any repeat calls.
            fwiw, i believe they would charge a higher monthly fee if i had a sub zero

            1. re: westsidegal

              Careful! Home warranties aren't worth the paper they're written on. Over time, it's much cheaper and less hassle to simply self-insure.


              Wow, after I typed that, I went back in to edit to add the link to Clark's website and realized that I wrote the exact same wording he used. Hmm, interesting. I have, however, been listening to him for almost 15 years so I guess it's bound to show.

              Sorry to get off-topic.

              1. re: westsidegal

                I am a firm believer in whole house warranties, but their appliance coverage is usually not as comprehensive as a standard service contract on the appliance. On refrigerators, in particular, they tend to exclude the ice maker and also have exclusions if they find your coils need vacuuming. Same thing if you have used the wrong detergent in your front loading washer. It's more economical than individual policies, but once in a while, you find your coverage is lacking.

                1. re: RGC1982

                  i guess i was lucky because they already covered an ice maker repair for me.

                  i have no idea where/what the coils might be, but they've made three repairs to my older fridge in the last 3 years and all have been covered.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    As I've posted, our home warranty ended up replacing our Sub-Zero after a couple of failed repairs, but they've since changed the limits of the policy so they will only pay $4,000 towards a new fridge.

                    1. re: ferret

                      may i ask what your home warranty company was.

          2. Has to be exactly 80 inches tall? If you can go 84, there's also Miele's KF19x1. Bottom mount, 36 inches wide, counter depth, stainless or built-in.

            Overbuilt engineering-wise (e.g. hinges that can support a concrete fascia if you want).

            1. I would not spend that kind of $ on a Sub Zero -- I have a Jenn-Air single door, freezer drawer on bottom and I like it a lot -- cost about $2,500. It has an ice maker inside of freezer -- I did not want that on outside of fridge door -- some people like that and it's available that way.

              3 Replies
              1. re: walker

                Is your model of Jenn-Air still available? I tried finding Watacetti's Miele, but no one seems to have that particular model, and when it comes to an appliance this costly, the exact model really does matter.

                1. re: Isolda

                  What I bought was Jenn Air cabinet depth euro style jbr2088hes (which is the right hand swing number).

                  I paid $2,175 plus tax, Dec 07. You can call BSC Culinary, 415 626 6246 to see if model # and price has changed. When I was in the show room, they showed me other makes, like Viking, that was the same exact fridge on inside, only difference was outside finish and handle on the door. This one matched the handle on the Miele dishwasher I was buying at the same time. The only thing: the sides are black instead of stainless steel. Some people have a ss panel made to go over the black part. I've learned to live with it. I've had absolutely no trouble with it.

                  1. re: Isolda

                    The model I mentioned comes in either right or left hinge (hence the x in the numeric). Any authorized Miele retailer can get it but it's really on the showrooms that would have demonstrators. I like the standalones rather than the combos but that's personal preference (and you have to reinforce the floor since they're 2000 lbs empty).

                2. Have you looked at a Viking French Door Counter Depth? This one is 72" tall. They cost around $3,000 however Viking currently has a $500.00 rebate. I've been happy with mine :)