Fridges in Focus: Thermador vs. Sub-Zero Refrigerators (Full Guide)


If you read some of our garage-ready refrigerator brand comparisons, you’ll see that purchasing a new refrigerator can be challenging. It might be fun initially, but your effort to explore several brands, styles, features, and setups can leave you bored. You know you want trustworthy equipment to store your groceries and keep your food refrigerated, but have you considered how your refrigerator can affect the interior and layout of your kitchen space?

First, you must visualize the refrigerator appliance in your kitchen. Check to see if it will fit properly without blocking the pathway, fit perfectly between cabinetry, and if the style and finish will complement your current kitchen well.

A built-in refrigerator is one of the best ways to ensure your kitchen space looks good and performs at its peak. These refrigerators provide industrial, professional home kitchens with a solid, aesthetic look. This perfect fridge alternative highlights your kitchen and creates a spacious and beautiful environment for your family and dinner guests.

Do you happen to be looking for a new 30-inch refrigerator? We here at DaDongNY will be continuing our brand comparison, but this time we’re looking at refrigerators from some of the most luxurious appliance brands out there in the market, namely: Thermador and Sub-zero.

Comparison Chart: Thermador vs. Sub-Zero Refrigerators

SpecificationsThermador Sub-Zero
Panel-Ready OptionsYesYes
Dual RefrigerationYesYes
Wi-Fi ConnectivityYes (Some models)Yes
Number of refrigerator models available43
Miscellaneous Wine coolers
Under-the-counter refrigerators
Wine coolers
Under-the-counter refrigerators
Warranty5 Years (Full parts)5 Years (Full parts)
LifespanUp to 20 yearsUp to 20 years
PriceAvailable on Best Buy at $3,000 – $12,000Available on Best Buy at  $2,700 – $8,000

Brand Overview


Thermador Appliances, a manufacturer of built-in and countertop kitchen equipment, manufactures Thermador refrigerators and freezers.

Thermador, founded in 1916, is the global leader in high-end household cooking appliances. The company’s headquarters are in Washington, DC, operating in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia through a joint venture partnership in China.

The company is also well-known for its innovative, high-performance equipment, as well as its industry-leading company in technological innovation, design, and craftsmanship. Apart from column refrigerators, Thermador offers cooktops, wall ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, and built-in wine coolers.

Thermador’s trademark flush back design is also the industry’s first type, eliminating countertop gaps and making cleaning within bottom freezer refrigerator doors easier. They also include multiple patented features throughout their bottom freezer refrigerator open door, including an easy-access filtered water dispenser, humidity-controlled crispers, and a drop-down freezer basket.

Pros and Cons

Pros✅ Products of superior quality
✅ Panel customization options
✅  Most Thermador units are push-to-open doors for easy access
✅ Customized fridge configurations
Cons✖️ Smaller storage capacity compared to other expensive brands
✖️Most Thermador units are quite expensive compared to other refrigerator brands


Sub-zero refrigerators are designed to last a lifetime. They are the industry’s most durable refrigerator brand. Many people refer to a control panel-ready fridge as “bulletproof.”

Sub-zero now offers more kitchen items than ever, including wine coolers, beverage centers, refrigerators with every imaginable feature, and everything between them. Sub-zero’s full line of luxurious appliances can be found in some of North America’s most posh homes and kitchens.

Westye Bakke founded Sub-zero in 1945. His ambition led to the first fully built sub-zero refrigerator designed solely for storing food at ultra-low temperatures—sub-zero. With its interior, build quality, and efficiency, the Sub-zero control panel-ready fridge has been a refrigeration standard for years.

Sub-Zero has gone on to lead the whole refrigeration industry with design breakthroughs that far exceed industry standards. Sub-Zero is an active member of the HVAC community due to its continuous innovation.

Furthermore, Sub-Zero has established itself as one of the industry’s leading refrigerator manufacturing brands with many inventions, such as the anti-bacterial open door assist seal, sub-zero flush back design, sub-zero magnetic floor, and sub-zero adjustable ice maker.

Pros and Cons

Pros✅ Two compressors extend the life of your refrigerator and freezer
✅ The air purification system removes germs, microorganisms, viruses, and ethylene from the air
✅ The fridge doors are vacuumed and magnetically sealed to block air
✅ There are several sizes and configurations available
✅ Diffused LED lighting gives better vision
✅ Drawer bins with soft-closing dividers are sealed tightly to keep colder air in
✅ The Pro Series boasts a stainless interior with a pull-out shelf for convenience
✅ Has an average lifespan of 20 years and a 2-year full-service warranty
Cons✖️ The dairy compartment on the Sub-Zero Classic Series opens vertically, causing food to leak 
✖️ The Sub-Zero Classic Series’ interior is primarily made of polycarbonate, making it vulnerable to scratches
✖️ There are no door bins in the Sub-Zero Pro Series


Thermador and Sub-Zero refrigerator brands strive to provide everyone with the best refrigerator features. Every model they produce and sell to the market includes the most recent and innovative technology. All features are designed to satisfy consumers’ wants and needs.


Here are some of the best features to look for when purchasing the best Thermador refrigerators:

Open-Door AssistIt allows the ability to easily open your fridge door with a gentle push, reducing the transmission of harmful microorganisms.
Led Internal Theatre LightingIt highlights the entire refrigerator, making finding the food you’re looking for easy.
Energy Star CertifiedWith an Energy-Star certification, you’ll save money on electricity bills and have less negative environmental impact.
Home Connect Wi-Fi ConnectivitySmart technology will allow you to monitor and control temperature settings and receive notifications on your refrigerator using the Home Connect App.


Here are some of the best features to look for when purchasing the best Sub-Zero refrigerators:

Nano-Coated ShelvingSpills and other kitchen mishaps are different from these tough shelves.
Vacuum-Sealed DoorsEnsure air is always sealed inside the fridge, keeping all your frozen foods as fresh as the day you bought them.
Premium Led LightingIt brightens the refrigerator interior, making it easier to find exactly what you want.
Exclusive Air Purification SystemIts purifying technology regularly washes the inside of your fridge, making it free of ethylene gas every 20 minutes to prevent food odors and spoilage.

Breakdown: Thermador vs. Sub-Zero Refrigerators


Thermador Built-In Panel-Ready Bottom Freezer Refrigerator 

Bottom freezer models from Thermador are the perfect choice if you need a slim fridge with plenty of storage space. Bottom freezer refrigerators have a 16 cubic foot capacity and are ideal for smaller families who do not have enough space for a French door model.

This Thermador Built-In Panel-Ready Bottom Freezer Refrigerator has a streamlined appearance with the Freedom Hinge, SoftClose Drawers, an Open Door Assist feature, and a touch control panel. It will look great in any kitchen and has everything you need to entertain. It features an external ice dispenser that makes diamond ice, allowing you to serve all of your favorite beverages ice-cold, and the carbon air filter reduces food aromas, keeping your kitchen as fresh as possible.

This Thermador Built-In Panel-Ready Bottom Freezer Refrigerator also has an Automatic Ice Maker with filtered diamond ice, Cool Air Flow technology, Open Door Assist, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The following are the Thermador Built-In Panel-Ready Bottom Freezer Refrigerator  specifications:

Model NumberT36IB905SP
ColorCustom Panel Ready
Color FinishCustom
Product Height83 ¾ inches
Product Weight35 ¾ inches
Product Depth24 inches
Refrigerator Capacity14 cubic feet
Freezer Capacity5.6 cubic feet
StyleBottom Freezer
Lighting TypeLED
Defrost TypeFrost Free
Ice MakerYes
Freezer CompartmentYes
Water FiltrationNo
Fingerprint ResistantNot Specified
Sabbath ModeYes
Wireless ConnectivityYes (Wi-Fi)
App CompatibleYes ( Amazon Alexa and SmartThings)
Air FilterYes
ENERGY STAR® CertifiedYes
ADA CompliantNot Specified
CEE QualifiedNot Specified
Manufacturer’s Warranty (Parts)2 Years
Manufacturer’s Warranty (Labor)2 Years

Get yours at Best Buy!


Sub-Zero® PRO 48″ Stainless Steel Frame Side-by-Side Refrigerator

For individuals who often host large parties and need extra-large food storage, we suggest this Sub-Zero 48-inch refrigerator, which encapsulates the soul of high-end and practicality. The Sub-Zero® PRO 48″ Stainless Steel Frame Side-by-Side Refrigerator has six food storage compartments, unlimited shelving, and a trademark glass door for additional style and convenience. With advanced air purification and a dual refrigeration system with independent freezer and fridge management, every ingredient you stock in Sub-Zero® PRO Stainless Steel 22.7 Cu. Ft. Refrigerator is optimally preserved. 

Furthermore, this model has a heavy-duty magnetic door that seals freshness in and warm air out, giving the refrigerator an added level of safety.

The following are the Sub-Zero® PRO 48″ Stainless Steel Frame Side-by-Side Refrigerator  specifications:

Model NumberPRO4850G
ColorStainless steel
Color FinishStainless steel
Product Height84 inches
Product Weight48 inches
Product Depth24 inches
Refrigerator Capacity18.7 cubic feet
Freezer Capacity11.7 cubic feet
Lighting TypeLED
Defrost TypeAutomatic
Ice MakerYes
Freezer CompartmentYes
Water FiltrationYes
Fingerprint ResistantNot Specified
Sabbath ModeYes
Wireless ConnectivityYes (Wi-Fi)
App CompatibleYes
Air FilterYes
ENERGY STAR® CertifiedNo
ADA CompliantNot Specified
CEE QualifiedNot Specified
Manufacturer’s Warranty (Parts)2 Years
Manufacturer’s Warranty (Labor)2 Years

Get yours at Best Buy!

Side-By-Side Comparison: Thermador vs. Sub-Zero Refrigerators

  1. Features

Sub-Zero and Thermador refrigerators share features such as French doors, bottom freezers, side-by-side, top models, beverage centers, and front controls with digital temperature displays.

Additional Thermador features include:

  • Thermador refrigerators include multi-door ice and filtered water dispensers as default.
  • You can also now remove a filtered water pitcher from the door assist.
  • Thermador refrigerators have an auto-defrost system that never loses suction, ensuring the refrigerator is always panel-ready.
  • Thermador refrigerators are extremely quiet, thanks to QuietCare technology, factory-installed in every Thermador refrigerator.

Additional Sub-Zero features include:

  • Sturdy stainless steel frame;
  • Sub-Zero refrigerator models are built with thicker gauge stainless steel, which makes them more durable;
  • Sub-Zero refrigerators are also available with doors made of solid wood or stainless steel;
  • Sub-Zero refrigerators are a less costly option to Thermador’s more expensive ranges, such as the Prisma series;
  • Sub-Zero offers dual separate freezer drawers, which are often found primarily on higher-end;
  • Sub-Zero provides a 14-year compressor, 10-year seals and gaskets, a five-year no-cost parts replacement program warranty, and a lifetime of free service calls;
  • Models of Sub-Zero refrigerators have earned Energy Star certification;
  • Sub-Zero offers dual separate freezer drawers, which are often found only on higher-end models;
  • And, Sub-Zero refrigerators can also have lockable doors and hidden hinges for heightened security.
  1. Configuration

Sub-zero refrigerators come in a variety of configurations, such as:

  • Sub-zero does not sell side-by-side refrigerators; instead, it exclusively supplies bottom freezers and French doors. Due to weak sales, Sub Zero discontinued production of their side-by-side refrigerators.
  • Sub-zero also comes with a counter-depth, under-counter refrigerator model.

Thermador refrigerators come in a variety of configurations, such as:

  • Thermador offers French doors, bottom freezers, side-by-side, top versions, and beverage centers.
  • You can also choose between a single or double-drawer freezer compartment. 
  • Thermador also comes with a counter-depth, under-counter refrigerator model.
  1. Refrigerator Door Style

Sub-Zero and Thermador refrigerator doors are available in a range of door styles. Sub-Zero refrigerators have stainless steel doors as default, with solid wood available for lower-cost versions. High-end Sub-Zero models come with thick stainless steel ultra-quiet doors with hidden hinges.

Sub-Zero also offers a freezer drawer and a confidence system that lets you monitor the temperature from your smartphone or laptop.

Because Sub-Zero can configure the temperature display on your digital thermostat, you never have to worry about resetting it if there is a power outage.

Furthermore, Sub-Zero refrigerators also have a drawer that adds 3 inches to the storage capacity and increases convenience for most under-counter refrigerator models. 

All Thermador refrigerators, on the other hand, have thick stainless steel doors. Their refrigerator doors are also available with hidden stainless steel hinges and magnetic seals similar to those in Sub-Zero refrigerators. Thermador refrigerators also feature thick laminated tempered glass door liners as standard and french doors with no center post to eat space in your kitchen.

Thermador refrigerator doors are also made of solid wood and customized slabs with hidden sub-freezer hinges. Thermador has a full array of french door models and a one-door compact refrigerator for that extra storage space.

  1. Controls

Sub-Zero and Thermador refrigerators both have user-friendly controls. Sub-Zero refrigerators include a digital temperature display that can be adjusted from -22 °F to +8 °F that operates like a manual thermostat or remote control.

Sub-zero also provides innovative defrost systems for refrigerators, so you never have to worry about manually cleaning your evaporator coil and wasting suction in the unit. Thermador refrigerators, on the other hand, come with a temperature display that is fully adjustable between 0 °F and 37 °F.

  1. Shelving

Thermador and Sub Zero both have glass shelves. Lower-end Thermador refrigerator models come with full-width wire baskets, while  Higher-end models include features such as an in-door ice maker, a sub-bin drawer, a water filter, and a custom-designed Thermador ice shelf in clear or tinted glass.

Regarding Sub-Zero, include custom-designed shelves in clear or tinted glass sub zero sub-freezer for additional storage space and visibility of your contents that can be adjusted, depending on your preference. 

Sub-zero freezers also feature soft closing doors to ensure optimal temperature control at all times, as well as fresh air circulation.

  1. Air Cleaning

Both Sub-Zero and Thermador refrigerators feature air-cleaning technology. Sub-Zero purifies the fresh air entering your refrigerator to remove odors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other airborne contaminants. Sub-Zero employs an Ozonator to kill all kinds of microorganisms in the air. Sub-Zero also uses an activated charcoal filter.

On the other hand, a similar technique is used by Thermador refrigerators, which use a venting fan with an auto-clean function to maintain fresh airflow and odor management.

  1. Customer Service

Both Thermador and Sub-Zero brands had overwhelming reviews when it came to their customer service support. According to the Customer Service Scoreboard, Thermador received a 23.80 rating out of 200, with a review complaining that their certified LA dealer repair shops have been overcharging them for replacement parts.

On the other hand, Sub-Zero received a 2.3 rating out of 5 stars, according to Trustpilot, with an individual claiming that the customer service first misread the serial number and wanted to charge me for an engineer visit.

  1. Warranty

Thermador and Sub-Zero offer a two-year comprehensive warranty covering the cost of parts and labor if your appliance experiences an unexpected mechanical or electrical failure after the manufacturer’s initial warranty has ended. The plan also covers a breakdown caused by regular wear and tear.


  • Is Thermador on par with Sub-Zero?

Put, Sub-Zero, and Thermador manufacture and design superb refrigerators that are incredibly reliable and will help you easily arrange your frozen foods. Their difference is a matter of personal taste in style, amount of space required, and price. However, consumers will pay up to $4,000 more for a Sub-Zero refrigerator than a Thermador refrigerator.

  • Is It More Expensive To Buy A Sub-Zero Or A Thermador?

A Thermador refrigerator costs more than a sub-zero refrigerator. A Thermador refrigerator, for example, costs between $12,000 and $3,000, whereas sub-zero refrigerators cost between $2,700 and $20,000.

Furthermore, there is a misperception that sub-freezers are better since they are more expensive. Sub-Zero and Thermador have a broad variety of pricing depending on the features you want for your kitchen; this is why we believe that Thermador refrigerators are more expensive than Sub-Zero; to learn more, see the table above.

  • What Is The Most Reliable Refrigerator Brand?

Thermador is regarded as requiring the least amount of upkeep, making it more reliable than its competitor. Sub-zero and Thermador are both excellent brands with exceptional craftsmanship. While your choice will be decided by your needs and budget, choosing Thermador over Sub-zero will be advantageous.

  • Which Refrigerator Is In Need Of Minor Repairs?

As previously said, Thermador refrigerators require the least amount of maintenance due to their high craftsmanship; and given the fact that they are more expensive. Hence, if you want something that only needs minimal repairs and is cost-effective, consider Sub-zero when purchasing a new refrigerator.


Sub-Zero and Thermador designed and manufactured dependable refrigerators that we passionately recommend to everyone looking for a panel-ready cooling appliance. Regarding overall best, Sub-Zero refrigerators are a tough competitor to match, though pricing will be a big factor. These two are excellent options, but if this is a big purchase, you must ensure that the fridge you chose is best suited.

We hope this essay has helped you find the best refrigerator for your kitchen. We here at DaDongNY offer everything you should know, whether you want something sleek and modern or more traditional with plenty of freezer space.

To learn more about refrigerators and how this valuable piece of equipment chills the food and beverages inside, check out the post here.

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