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Thermador Professional Refrigerators Review: Are They Worth the Hype?

May 29th, 2024 | 6 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

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Thermador Professional Refrigerators Review: Are They Worth the Hype?

Thermador's new 36, 42, and 48-inch professional bottom freezer refrigerators are interesting.

These new models have great visual appeal and several decent features.

But before you buy a Thermador professional refrigerator, you should be aware of three possible problems.

The biggest problem has little to do with the refrigerator's function.

At the end of this article, we will compare the Thermador Pro 48-inch refrigerator with Sub-Zero and SKS 48-inch models.

Let's get started.

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A Brief History of ThermadorThermador-Built-In-Refrigerator-Kitchen-2024

We have been selling Thermador since I started full-time at Yale in 1986.

Back then, they were known for wildly different products, such as big ovens that could be converted to microwaves, downdrafts (yuck), and even steam-powered dishwashers.

Unfortunately, until the early 1990s, they were known for their disappointing quality and lack of reliability, to put it kindly.

I remember their sales manager being upset with me after I pointed out their many issues. Ironically, he went home only to find that his newly installed Thermador wall oven wasn’t working.

They were owned by Masco, a building supply company back then.

Anyway, Bosch acquired Thermador in the 1990s and improved the quality of the appliances. They still maintained their design edge and introduced new products.

Twenty years ago, Thermador pioneered the introduction of built-in integrated refrigerators designed to fit standard cabinet sizes.

Notably, Sub-Zero was the first to introduce such a refrigerator in 1997, although it was in the non-standard size of 27 inches.

The refrigerators are still made in Turkey. Then again, a surprising number of appliances are made in Turkey.

Refrigerators 1986-2024


In 1986, the top-mount style was the most popular choice for refrigerators. I remember as a kid, we had an Amana 23-cubic-foot top mount.

At the time, if you were looking for a premium refrigerator, you might have considered an up-and-coming brand named Sub-Zero, but most likely, you opted for a side-by-side model.

It's hard to believe now, but side-by-sides, especially those with water and ice dispensers, were considered status symbols during the 1980s and early 1990s.

By the 1990s, the French door refrigerator became the standard, offering more space for refrigeration and better lateral storage.

Eventually, this design evolved into five or six doors in multiple configurations, with brands like LG, SKS, Sub-Zero, KitchenAid, and Samsung leading the way.

New Thermador Professional Bottom Freezer Refrigerators

Thermador Refrigerator Models


Thermador offers six 36-inch models, along with three options each in 42-inch and 48-inch sizes.

The main difference between these options is in the handles, which are designed to match Thermador's two series.

You can choose from stainless steel handles or opt for panel-ready models, which allow you to customize the refrigerator with your own paneling.

Thermador Professional Refrigerator Pricing

  • 36 Inch Single Door Thermador Pro Refrigerators ($9,999-$11,499)
  • 36 Inch French Door Thermador Pro Refrigerators ($10,499-$11,999)
  • 42 Inch French Door Thermador Pro Refrigerators ($12,499-$13,999)
  • 48 Inch Models French Door Thermador Pro Refrigerators ($14,499-$15,999)

Let's look at Thermador's' best features and then the problems.

Thermador Pro Refrigerator Best Features

Stainless Steel Interior


Stainless steel is the most hygienic surface.

Its solid surface prevents germs from proliferating like other surfaces.

Ethylene Filter

Ethylene filters the gases off spoiled foods, keeping them fresh longer and preventing cross-contamination.

Fun Fact: Sub-Zero has an ethylene scrubber that removes ethylene gasses from foods. However, the scrubber is not incorporated in the stainless interior Pro line.

Twin Compressors & Evaporators

Twin compressors are standard now for any premium refrigerator, but it is still worth mentioning.

The refrigerator's warmer, moister air and the freezer's colder, drier air are separate, so the freezer defrosts less.

Your food, especially in the freezer, will taste better because you don't have the odor transferred from the refrigerator.

Think fresh fish or stinky cheese in the refrigerator mixing into your vanilla ice cream.

However, the location of the compressor becomes important, as you will see in the comparisons section.

ThermaFlex Convertible Refrigerator Freezer


The top drawer on the right allows you to flex the refrigerator or freezer from 0 to 37 degrees.

You may like changing the refrigerator to the freezer or just having the ability to keep it as a refrigerator.

For example, I don't freeze much other than popsicles for my daughter and tend to forget other foods over time.

However, being able to convert can also be helpful if you entertain.

You can choose an ice cream cake or a charcuterie board.

Thermador Dual Ice Makers


You will like this.

You don't have to reach to grab ice. Just pull out the drawer.

You also have two kinds of ice in the 48-inch models.

The standard ice on all models is the thicker "Diamond Ice."

It's slower to dissolve than regular ice and better for cocktails and fine liquors, so you taste more of the drink and less of the water from the ice.

The 48-inch model also has regular colas, beverages, juices, and ice.

Interior Water Dispenser

For convenience, you can access cold, filtered water on the left-hand side of all the models.

Tip: Planning a new kitchen? One of the best investments is a filtered water tap beside your faucet. You will be surprised how much you use it.

LCD Controls


This Refrigerator has tech and an LCD screen showing every setting. This is an upgrade for presentation for any refrigerator.

HomeConnect Wi-Fi

You can also adjust the temperature and see if the filters need to be changed right on your phone using the HomeConnect app.

Four Cameras


The age of surveillance has entered your Refrigerator.

No, the government is probably not tracking your produce and meat consumption.

But you can investigate the fridge while shopping to make sure you never buy that extra bottle of ketchup or, in my case, mustard again.

The HomeConnect is one of the best-rated appliances.

The app allows you to control the temperature, receive alerts when your door is open, and change your water filter.

Crisper Bins


The bins are solid and 1 inch deeper than the similarly constructed SKS.

39 dB Quiet Operation

Most twin-compressor refrigerators are quiet.

However, Thermador sets the standard at a noiseless 39 dB setting.

Forty-four decibels is the quietness standard, so Thermador far exceeds that.

Problems with Thermador Built-In Refrigerators

Overall, Thermador designed a beautiful refrigerator, except for three issues.

For that, let me show you my refrigerator.

When I renovated my home, I purchased the then-new Sub-Zero refrigerator with two freezer drawers, ignoring my own advice.

Throughout the blog and videos, I always say: Buy what you need and how you use your appliances and work in your kitchen.

However, if you look at how I use the refrigerator, you will notice I don't use the top or the bottom freezer.

The top of the refrigerator is too high, and the bottom is too low.

At least for me, the configuration of a multi-drawer refrigerator freezer is not user-friendly compared to a standard French-door refrigerator.

The height of any refrigerator with multiple drawers becomes too high.


That's the issue with the Thermador, Sub-Zero Designer Series, or SKS Pro.

They have too many drawers, and the compressors are below. The compressor top built-ins with one drawer don't have this issue.

Let me show you using the 48-inch models and some NBA basketball players.

Thermador Pro Refrigerator Problem One: Height

The refrigerator is quite tall.

From the bottom of the freezer to the top light, it measures a total of 79.5 inches—that's 6 feet, 7.5 inches, similar to a small forward in the NBA, like Luka Dončić.

In contrast, consider the Sub-Zero 48-inch French door refrigerator. It has a compressor on top and a single drawer.


The height from the floor to the top of the drawer is 25 inches, and from there to the interior top is 47.5 inches, totaling 72.5 inches.

That's about 6 feet, 0.5 inches—roughly the height of some shorter NBA point guards, such as Chris Paul.

SKS offers a comparable model to the Thermador Pro, but with slightly more manageable dimensions.

It measures 35 inches to the top of the freezer and 40.5 inches to the top of the refrigerator, totaling 75.5 inches.


SKS is four inches shorter than the Thermador Pro—think the height difference between a smaller NBA guard and Stephen Curry, who stands at 6 feet 3 inches.

So, unless you're on the taller side, you might find yourself stretching for that top shelf.

It’s not as risky as juggling hot dishes with a stacked wall oven, but it's definitely less convenient.

Thermador Pro Problem Two: Adjustable Shelving


Only the top shelves in Thermador refrigerators can be adjusted.

However, SKS and Sub-Zero refrigerators allow you to adjust all the shelves, giving you more flexibility.

Thermador Problem Number 3: Installation


I know the company that installed the first Thermador Pro in our area.

The owner was the service manager at Yale five years ago.

When asked how long it would take to install, he said, "eight hours."

That's eight hours with qualified installers.

Thermador contends six hours is the real number once you know what you are doing.

But how will a contractor installing one or two of these per year, at most, ever know what they are doing?

So, your mission is to find people who are capable installers.

Also, be prepared to spend $1,200-$2,000 for installation plus more for the added cabinets and hardware.

For comparison, we only charge $99 to install a Sub-Zero refrigerator, and it doesn't take all day.

To be fair, this problem is not limited to just Thermador but any refrigerator with multiple doors.

Should You Buy a Thermador Pro Refrigerator?

It depends.

The features are outstanding. You have a metal interior, filtered water, solid bins, and decent controls from an outstanding, reliable company.

However, the layout may be tough for some people. As always, I suggest you look before you buy it to see if the design is right for you.

Additional Resources

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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.