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True vs SubZero Undercounter Beverage Centers (Reviews / Ratings / Prices)

October 14th, 2013 | 2 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

true refrigerator installed blue led lightingTrue and Sub-Zero are now competitors in the undercounter beverage center niche for the first time.

True has always been commercial, while Sub-Zero is residential. Both are the highest quality.

Freestanding vs. Undercounter Refrigeration

Customers always wonder how the same size refrigerator with the same capacity can be so different in price. You can buy a basic refrigerator for $200-$400 like a Frigidaire, Summit or endless import names versus $1,100-$3,500 for a Sub-Zero, U-Line or True.

A freestanding refrigerator has a plastic case with a condenser on the back of the unit. It is not designed to be placed between cabinets. Eventually the heat, unable to escape from the back, will seize the compressor causing the refrigerator to malfunction.

Other differences are steel vs. plastic cabinet as well as temperature differences in the unit as well as the quality of the shelving. I am not bashing the freestanding unit, but they are very different products.

What is a Beverage Center?

A beverage center differs from wine or undercounter refrigerators, because it holds both wine and refrigerated items. Beverage centers are the fastest growing segment in the undercounter niche.

Now let's compare True vs Sub-Zero...

True Refrigeration

The True Professional Series is a division of the True manufacturing company. The True Manufacturing Company was founded in 1945 in O’Fallon, MO. The True manufacturing company is widely known for producing commercial refrigeration. True has recently launched a residential line consisting of wine storage, beverage centers, and refrigerator drawers.

True 24’’ Beverage Center TBC-24-R-SG-A - $3,256

true refrigeration 24 inch beverage center TBC24RSGA

On Display at Yale

  • Rapid commercial quality cool down of beverages
  • Precise digital temperature control as low as 33F degrees
  • UV tinted glass to protect wine from sunlight
  • 2 adjustable or removable stainless steel and glass shelves and two wine shelves to accommodate 13 wine bottles
  • UL rated for outdoor use
  • Three shades of interior LED lighting: white, amber, or blue 

Sub-Zero Refrigeration

Sub-Zero was founded in 1943 in Madison, WI. Today it is the second largest family owned appliance company in the world (next to Miele). They were the first company to manufacture undercounter wine storage units. Today, Sub-Zero is well known for producing high quality refrigeration products, especially in built-in refrigerators, beverage centers, and wine storage units.

Sub-Zero 24’’ Beverage Center UC-24BG/S/PH-RH - $2265.00

subzero undercounter beverage center stainless UC24BGSPHRH

On Display at Yale

  • Easy access to electronic controls with LCD display
  • 2-liter bottle storage on bottom door shelf
  • Adjustable spill proof glass shelves and spill proof glass floor
  • Star-K certified

Which is Better?

It is not often when I compare Sub-Zero and it's the much cheaper product. Sub-Zero has always been the standard in refrigeration, and for good reason. Their undercounter units are reasonable and in line with other residential products like U-Line, Marvel and Perlick.

True is a different type of product. It has a commercial heritage and as such is heavier and the most well constructed unit in the industry. This is a unit rated for the outdoor use. It can be stacked and has really solid shelves as well as incredible lighting. It is a consideration as long as its durability can justify its premium price. For customers looking for a versatile product with unique features I would recommend a True beverage center. These units can be stacked, installed indoors or outdoors, and have shelves replaced with wine racks for optimal versatility. This product also comes with three shades of interior lighting to best fit the mood or design of your kitchen; I personally like the blue shade.

Additional Resources

Download our Refrigerator Buying Guide for features, specs and recommendations for all types of refrigerators. Over 100,000 people have already found answers in a Yale guide.

View our Refrigerator Buying Guide 

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.