A Guide to: Glass Door vs Solid Door Medical Fridges

With a wide range of medical fridges available, it can be hard to determine exactly which one will suit your needs best.

From small solid door countertop fridges to large double glass door ward fridges, there are many options available. We recently put together this handy ‘how-to’ guide that will help you determine which size medical fridge you need.

There is one other distinguishing feature you should consider when choosing which medical fridge you should buy – glass door or solid door. There is no right or wrong choice, both have their advantages, but one may be more suited to your needs than the other.

Below is a short guide that explains the pros and cons of glass door and solid door refrigerators to help you make the best choice for your healthcare organisation.

Glass Door Medical Fridges

Advantages

Glass door medical fridges are becoming increasingly popular with many healthcare centres due to their aesthetic appeal and ease of use.

Glass door medical fridges allow healthcare practitioners to see their vaccine and medicine stock immediately, which many see as their main advantage over solid door fridges. Locating the right product before opening the door means the fridge is open for a shorter time. The longer the door is open, the greater the opportunity for temperature instability, which can lead to spoiled vaccines and medication.

Glass door fridges also allow you to organise stock easily and see when you’re running low on a particular product, making the restocking process much quicker and simpler.  

In addition, you may simply prefer the appearance of glass door fridges compared to solid door fridges. Many believe glass door fridges look sleeker and more professional than solid door options.

Disadvantages

Although still highly insulated, glass door medical fridges aren’t as well insulated as solid door fridges. Glass door fridges are usually double-glazed; however insulation is typically not as efficient as in solid door fridges. In the event of a power cut, this may lead to the temperature inside the fridge rising more quickly than with a solid door fridge.

Glass door fridges can also present privacy issues. For example, you might not want people to see the products you have stored in your fridge if they are expensive. Certain medicines can be very costly and tempting to thieves, so putting them on display isn’t advisory.

Also worth noting is the fact that glass door fridges let in light, which can lead to light-sensitive vaccines becoming spoiled. If you store vaccines in their original packaging, this isn’t likely to be a problem, but it’s worth taking into considering.

Occasionally, condensation can form on the door of a glass fridge and cause issues with viewing stock. Again, this is worth taking into consideration when purchasing a medical fridge, although the likelihood of this happening is rare.

Solid Door Medical Fridges

Advantages

Solid door fridge units usually have slightly better insulation than glass door fridges. This means they are likely to use less power in order to keep the contents of the fridge cool. In the case of a power cut, they also maintain their optimum temperature for longer. 

The dark interior of a solid door fridge is suitable for medicines and vaccinations that are light-sensitive, even if they aren’t stored in their original packaging.

Solid door refrigerators are a better option if you want to keep the contents of your fridge private. This can be helpful if you’re storing expensive medication, medication that’s especially hard to get hold of, or medication that’s appealing to thieves.

Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of solid door fridges is that you can’t see the contents of the fridge without opening the door. This can mean that the door is open for longer periods of time while you locate the necessary medication or vaccine. Ideally, medical fridges should be opened for as little time as possible to ensure products within the fridge don’t become spoiled.

Price

In general, glass door fridges are slightly more expensive than solid door fridges, however this isn’t always the case. It’s important to take price into consideration when buying a medical fridge, however it’s also important to take into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of each medical fridge when choosing which is best suited to you.

Other Features To Consider:

  • Do you need your medical fridge to lock?
  • Does your medical fridge need to have an alarm?
  • How much stock do you need your fridge to hold?
  • Does your fridge need to be wall mounted?
  • Do you need your fridge to have an external temperature display?

More information on these features can be found here: https://www.coolmed.co.uk/knowledge/product-features-what-to-look-for-when-buying-a-medical-fridge

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team regarding our medical fridges and their features, please contact us here.