kitchen appliances

A Buyer's Guide to the Sub-Zero Refrigerator

sub-zero refrigerator

Sub-Zero refrigeration, Wolf cooking, and Cove dishwashing is the mighty trifecta of kitchen appliances. In 2020, Sub-Zero celebrated 75 years of industry-leading innovation and design. The Wisconsin-based company pioneered the refrigeration game and continues to make best-in-class appliances that boast a beautiful, timeless design and exceptional craftsmanship.

They have perfected their preservation techniques and technology that is widely used among luxury kitchen owners and professional chefs alike. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about a Sub-Zero refrigerator and help you decide if it’s the right fit for your family.

  • Do Sub-Zero refrigerators keep food fresher for longer?

  • How long will a Sub-Zero fridge last?

  • What kind of design options does a Sub-Zero fridge offer?

  • How much do Sub-Zero refrigerators cost?

We justified the value of Sub-Zero refrigerators previously but will zoom in on a few of their features before answering the above questions.

Sub-Zero refrigerators are famous for their dual compressors. Before the 1950s, homeowners lacked a proper system and would have to deal with taste transfer between items. .Thanks to Sub-Zero engineers, that problem was solved, and now their technology has progressed even further. Their soft-close door hinge locks in temperature and humidity and uses a magnetic seal to make the perfect seal.

Extending the life of your perishable food items makes life so much easier. It means fewer trips to the grocery store and more time to spend at home doing more things that bring you joy. Studies have shown that Americans tend to waste anywhere between $1,000-$2,500 worth of food per year. Having a Sub-Zero refrigerator will cut down on that number dramatically and keep the energy bill reasonable as well.

Do Sub-Zero refrigerators keep food fresher for longer?

Short answer: yes.

Science First

Here is a quick science lesson for you. Certain things are referred to as ethylene producers or ethylene sensitive. Fruit is typically considered an ethylene producer, and some vegetables are generalized as ethylene sensitive.

Apples and pears are commonly known to be ethylene-producing machines in the fridge. Meanwhile, greens and carrots are ethylene-sensitive examples that cannot make their own ethylene. That is why you often see refrigerators with separate compartments for your fruits and vegetables.

Fresher, Longer Dual Refrigeration

Sub-Zero refrigerators combat the decay process and are champions at preservation with their dual refrigeration technology that supplies cool and moist air to refrigerated items, as well as frigid and dry air to frozen foods. The designers at Sub-Zero recognize that maintaining these distinct temperature environments is paramount to the success of their dual refrigeration system. This translates into more longevity for your fresh foods and frozen items–without freezer burn.

Astronaut-Approved Air Purification

Taking notes from NASA back in 2008, Sub-Zero introduced an air purification system that extends the life of fresh food even longer. It jumps into action every 20 minutes, scrubbing the air of the pesky ethylene byproduct as well as other odors.

Setting the Temperature Bar High

If all of that wasn’t enough, Sub-Zero took the fridge’s temperature into consideration next. Their microprocessors are tough to compete with, especially when you consider that their fridges maintain interior temperatures within one degree of setpoint. This gives them another star in our book; other fridges don’t quite stack up to that consistency, and that  can affect the life of fresh foods.

As mentioned earlier, Sub-Zero doors have an impressive seal with their magnetic lock and soft-hinge doors. This ties into both keeping a consistent temperature control inside and keeping outside air out where it belongs.

How long will a Sub-Zero refrigerator last?

The Sub-Zero family has been around for ages, and they stand behind their quality craftsmanship and customer care. Their appliances are rigorously stress-tested to keep your food fresh and drinks cool for more than 20 years of daily use. That includes their door hinges, which are tested more than 300,000 times. They do not slack on their quality checks!

Because they are so into quality assurance, they also offer industry-leading warranties that stand by their work. They joke that even their warranty is built to last. They take pride in their meticulous engineering, premium materials, and testing. They offer loads of online resources with tips on use, maintenance, caring for your fridge, and also fun things like recipe ideas.

Professional kitchens have trusted Sub-Zero for decades, as well as home chefs who want to have the best of the best in their luxury kitchens. Since they’re built to last 20-plus years, homeowners and professionals alike know they’re investing in the real deal.

What kind of design options does Sub-Zero offer?

Whether you want your kitchen to give off a professional look, contemporary vibes, or even a transitional mix, there are endless ways to customize your space with Sub-Zero and their sister appliances.

Pro Series

For those of you after a bold, iconic kitchen, you will want to consider Sub-Zero’s PRO Series refrigeration. The PRO Series contains the most advanced preservation tech and is crafted with stainless steel inside and out, which is even more efficient at keeping your inside items cold and clean.

This collection is the closest you will get to a commercial-grade refrigerator, but its clean design will look good in any home kitchen. Because they are so heavy-duty, be sure to ask your kitchen appliance rep about special installation requirements; the units require more attention due to their weight.

Designer Series

If you want to give off a more sophisticated, contemporary vibe, you will want to explore Sub-Zero’s Designer Series refrigeration. When this series first came out, it was known as the “disappearing refrigerator” due to its seamless and subtle integration.

The classy aesthetic paired with incredible performance makes this series perfect for those looking for a truly customizable design approach. They offer a massive selection to fit your exact style, including their slim column refrigerators and freezers that fit the most compact kitchens and yet still manage to deliver the advanced food-preservation tech that Sub-Zero is known for.

You can opt for over-and-under models, columns, or drawers. Whatever your space and heart desire!

Classic Series

For a mix of traditional and modern-sleek vibes, you can either consider the Designer Series or the Classic Series. The Classic Series features the iconic Sub-Zero grille and wrapped stainless steel doors or your choice of cabinetry. Many options also offer a glass window option, so you can view your contents without having to open the doors—which may curb your habit of mindlessly opening the doors like we’re all guilty of!

You can choose between over-and-under, all refrigerator or all freezer, French door, or side-by-side, depending on your food storage needs.

Undercounter Refrigeration

For the entertainers and party throwers out there, the Undercounter Refrigeration options Sub-Zero offers are a dream come true. They provide luxurious convenience and unparalleled style while keeping up with the theme of ultimate preservation. Whether you want to keep your wine or beverages chilled throughout your home or want to have a reliable ice maker to keep the drinks flowing, there are many customizable options to suit any style.

Sub-Zero’s wine storage options are constructed with advanced preservation tech, just like their larger refrigerator counterparts, and they come in a variety of sizes, configurations, and installations. They protect your precious vino from the harmful effects of humidity, heat, light, and vibration. It’s a nice touch to any home with wine connoisseurs present.

How much do Sub-Zero refrigerators cost?

Using premium materials to build their appliances and adhering to their high standards, Sub-Zero refrigerators and other appliances are priced to reflect their value. The customization and style you opt for will determine the cost of your appliance.

Their French door refrigerators start around $11,000 and go up to $16,000.

Side-by-side models also start around the $11,000 mark and range up to $20,400 once you get into the PRO Series. Whether you opt for an internal ice maker or water dispenser, Wi-Fi capabilities, or customization options will also affect cost.

Their over-and-under refrigerator/freezer with ice maker models start at $10,000 and go up to $16,000.

Column refrigerators and freezers range from $8,260 to $10,830, with glass panel doors leaning toward the higher end. Most refrigerator column units feature an internal dispenser and are panel ready.

Undercounter beverage centers, refrigerators, and wine storage units start at $2,600 and go up to $5,835, and they are also panel ready. They also offer outdoor ice makers and ADA height options for their undercounter models.


A Sub-Zero refrigerator is a lot more than a place to house your food. It’s an investment for your home and a viable way to save more food from spoiling. And let’s face it, it will make your space look fantastic. Their sleek, classic designs will never go out of style, and their technology and craftsmanship are top-of-the-line.

Their flexibility in design and durability makes Sub-Zero and their sister brands an easy recommendation for any professional-grade kitchen. If you need help deciding between a Sub-Zero model or any other refrigerator brand on the market, contact our specialists at Atherton Appliance & Kitchens. We would love to answer any questions you may have about the installation process or address any other concerns you have regarding your kitchen appliance needs.