What Number Should My Fridge Be On?

By Daniel Berry •  Updated: 11/24/21 

Let’s be honest, how many of us actually know what the numbers on your fridge mean? Is 1 colder than 5? Who really knows, well let’s have a look and see what number your fridge should be set to.

What Number is Coldest?

The number indicates how hard the fridge will be working and therefore how cold it will be. So the higher the number the colder the fridge. This is the reverse of what I thought the numbers meant. I always believed they corresponded to the temperature, which is the opposite of what it actually is.

The Picture Perfect Fridge
The Fridge That No-ones Fridge Actually Looks Like

Which Number to Use?

So which number should your fridge be on then? Well, there are a few factors that go into this, that is why fridge manufacturers make it so simple to change the setting.

The amount of food in your fridge will change the number you need to use. If your fridge is full to the brim with food then it will need to be on a higher setting to keep it cool.

If it is empty then you will need to choose a lower setting. If you are running your fridge too cold then you risk ice building up in the fridge. This can also cause food to freeze in your fridge.

I have personally ended up with frozen spinach when the fridge was turned up too high.

Which Number Should My Fridge Be On?

This is not going to be groundbreaking in any way shape or form, but what I would suggest for most people is the middle setting, 3 on most fridges.

If your fridge is quite empty then go for a lower setting, if it is full then go for a higher setting. That’s all there is to it really if you start noticing frost forming on the back then turn it down a little bit. If items feel a little warm then turn the fridge up a little bit.

Daniel Berry

Hey, I'm Dan, I studied computer science with artificial intelligence at Loughborough University. I try to bring my tech knowledge to the posts where it is needed while also offering a DIY view to go with Sam's professional view on tools. I am a very keen DIY'er and have experience of doing everything the completely wrong way.