If we made a list of the essential home appliances that keep us safe, the freezer would take a top spot. Refrigerators are equipped to store food for a short period, but freezers, especially chest freezers keep food stored for much longer. Besides having a reliable compressor cooling system, a good freezer should also keep your food frozen for a full 24 hrs or longer if you experience a power outage.

Before you head to an home appliance store for a freezer, there are a couple of things you should know first. What type of freezer would suit your home better? Do you know what is a chest freezer? Which is better – manual or auto-defrost (a.k.a. frost-free)? Did you know manual defrost freezer models are better at storing food for the long term than their auto-defrost counterparts? Is your garage well insulated to accept a refrigerator or freezer?

In this article, you’ll find a complete freezer buying guide that outlines the essential features to look for in a freezer. We have also compiled a list of the best freezers on the market to make your choice an easy one.

Best-Freezer-Models

5 Best Freezer Models

Freezer Types

There are three freezer types on the market. Appropriate one for your home depends on the space available, the storage capacity you desire, and how long you want to store food items.

Upright Freezers

Upright freezers are tall rather than wide, making them an excellent fit for the kitchen. You could choose a model with customizable panels to match your kitchen cabinetry and decor. Upright freezers have shelves that make storing food items more convenient to access but less flexible if you’d like to reconfigure the shelves. They are usually designed with an auto defrost or frost-free feature. Prices range from $300 to $2,000.

Upright-Freezer

Chest Freezers

Chest freezers usually have the best storage flexibility of all three types. They are wide rather than tall and typically take up more floor space. Thanks to its storage flexibility, they are ideal for storing bulky items and are great for households that stock up on a lot of frozen food. The manual defrost feature makes it a great choice for long term food storage too. Prices range from $200 to $1,500.

Chest-Freezer

Pros of Chest Freezers
● They have more space for use compared to upright freezers.
● They are more energy-efficient than other freezer types.
● Chest freezers maintain lower temperatures.
● With Chest freezers, your food is less likely to burn compared to upright freezers.
● They keep food frozen for an extended period in case there is a power outage.

And here are the negatives:
● They are more difficult to organize than upright freezers.

Undercounter Freezers

Undercounter freezers are meant to fit under kitchen counters, which limits their height to about 34 inches. This makes them great for kitchens with limited space. They really come in handy as backup freezers when needed. Prices range from $2,000 to $6,000.

sub-zero-undercounter-freezer


Our 5 Best Freezers

Looking for the best freezers in the market? GE and Frigidarie tend to make the best products. The glaring absense of best refrigerator brands is surprising in this category. Here are our top 5 freezer picks.

1) Best Mid-Size Upright Freezer, GE FUF14DLRWW

Width: 28 3/8" | Height: 62" | Depth: 32 1/8" | Defrost: Automatic & Frost-Free | Capacity: 14.1 Cu. Ft. | Ice Maker: No

GE FUF14DLRWW Upright Freezer

Product Overview
GE refrigerators receive excellent reviews. The same goes for GE freezers. The 29-inch 14 cu. ft. GE upright freezer is great for long term food storage. Just like other GE freezers, the FUF14DLRWW is made to perform from 0F to 110F, making them flexible for several environmental conditions. The unit has a Turbo Freeze quick-freeze system that gives the interior an extra boost of cold air to maintain the set temperature.

As an extra feature, the FUF14DLRWW has a self-ejecting key lock that prevents unauthorized access to food items. Other exciting features of the unit include the brilliant LED interior lighting and the external temperature control that allows you to adjust the temperature without opening the freezer.

Why We Like It
Here's why we consider the FUF14DLRWW one of the best freezers on the market.
● Quick freeze
● Exterior electronic temperature control
● Adjustable glass shelves for flexible storage

Key Features
Other key features of the FUF14DLRWW include
● Brilliant LED interior lighting
● Self-ejecting key lock
● Good storage space


2) Best Small Upright Freezer, Frigidaire FFFU06M1TW

Width: 21 3/4" | Height: 56 13/16" | Depth: 22 13/16" | Defrost: Manual | Capacity: 5.8 Cu. Ft. | Ice Maker: No

Frigidaire FFFU06M1TW Upright Freezer

The 22-inch FFFU06M1TW with 6 cu. ft. capacity affords enough space to stock up and store frozen foods but is still small enough to fit into small spaces. It has adjustable temperature controls and five-wire shelves that allow better storage flexibility.

Unlike the FFFH20F3VW, the unit is not an automatic defrost model, which makes it great for long term storage. It also has excellent performance and is very affordable. The FFFU06M1TW is ideal for small households with little frozen-food storage needs.

Why We Like It
Here are some features we find remarkable about the unit:
● Adjustable shelves for flexible storage
● Fits into small spaces
● UltraSoft Door design

Key Features
Other key features of the FFFU06M1TW include
● Adjustable temperature control
● Defrost water drain
● Leveling legs


3) Best Overall Chest Freezer, GE FCM22DLWW

Width: 73 1/4" | Height: 33 3/8" | Depth: 33" | Defrost: Manual | Capacity: 21.7 Cu. Ft. | Ice Maker: No

GE FCM22DLWW Chest Freezer

Product Overview
The 73-inch GE chest freezer with 22 cu. ft. capacity is top on our list of best cheap freezers. Besides the generous space the unit offers, it has sliding storage baskets and a second level rail for added storage flexibility.

The FCM22DLWW has adjustable temperature controls, which allow you to set the unit at desired temperature levels. It is also designed to perform from 0F to 110F, making it suitable for various other environmental conditions.

Why We Like It
We find the FCM22DLWW very remarkable because of its:
● Generous storage space
● Sliding storage baskets with second level rail for better storage flexibility

Key Features
Other key features of the unit include:
● Audible temperature alarm
● Brilliant LED interior lighting
● Lock (and key) to prevent unauthorized access
● Energy Star certified


4) Best Small Chest Freezer, GE FCM11PHWW

Width: 51" | Height: 33 1/2" | Depth: 27 1/2" | Defrost: Manual | Capacity: 10.6 Cu. Ft. | Ice Maker: No

GE FCM11PHWW Chest Freezer

Product Overview
The 51-inch GE freezer with 11 cu. ft. capacity is our best budget chest freezer on the list. Besides the capacity, which works well for small households, the unit is equipped with three lift-out sliding baskets for storage flexibility. The defrost water drain also makes manual defrosting a lot easier.

The FCM11PHWW, just like its 22 cu. ft. GE counterpart has adjustable temperature controls, and a power ON light which tells you when the freezer is in operation. The unit also comes with a lock and key for added security.

Why We Like It
Here's why the FCM11PHWW made it to our top six list:
● Lift out sliding baskets for storage flexibility
● Generous storage space

Key Features
Other key features of the unit include:
● Adjustable temperature control
● Lock with key
● Brilliant interior LED lighting
● Power ON indicator light to know when the freezer is in operation.
● Energy Star Certified


5) Best Undercounter Freezer, Sub Zero ID30F

Width: 30" | Height: 34 1/2" | Depth: 24" | Defrost: Automatic | Capacity: 4.9 Cu. Ft. | Ice Maker: ID30FI model

Sub-Zero ID30F Freezer Drawers

Product Overview
Sub-Zero refrigerator leads the market in terms of quality and longevity, and the ID30F is always a popular undercounter freezer choice. The 30-inch integrated double drawer freezer is an automatic defrost model that also comes with an optional automatic icemaker. But those are only two of the features that earned the unit the number one position in our list.

Besides its excellent performance, the unit's design flexibility is very exceptional. The ID30F comes with brilliant exterior design and customizable drawer fronts, which can be fitted with panels to blend with any kitchen décor. The smart control panel also adds that extra touch of elegance and class to your kitchen.

Why We Like It
Here are some reasons why we like ID30F:
● Comes with optional automatic icemaker
● Smart touch control panels
● Brilliant design flexibility

Key Features
Other key features of the ID30F include:
● SoftClose door and drawers
● Soft-On LED lighting with varying brightness levels
● Energy-Star certified


Important Features to Lookout for When Buying a Freezer

There are essential features to look for before buying a freezer. Some of these will determine if you’ll enjoy using your new freezer or not.

Size

The capacity of a freezer ranges from 5 cu. ft. on the smaller end to over 18 cu. ft. on the large end. But the appropriate size for your kitchen depends on your storage needs and where the kitchen will be placed.

For a small family, a freezer with 12 to 15 cu. ft. capacity is quite ideal as it can comfortably store a week's worth of food. You might want to avoid having much free space in your freezer as this will create room for warm air.

Freezer_Upright_Chest

Storage Flexibility

Depending on the type of freezer you buy, you are likely to get sufficient storage space for your food items. Upright freezers generally come with in-door storage and shelving options, which makes storage very convenient. But chest freezers have baskets that increase storage flexibility and make them ideal for bulky items.

chest_freezer_storage

Design Flexibility

Large freezers can get quite heavy when filled with frozen items, making them difficult to move around. So getting one that is fitted with rolling wheels might be a better choice. Freezers with customizable panels will also add to the overall elegance of your kitchen.

frigidaire_upright_freezer

Reliability

You certainly do not want to buy a freezer that cannot serve you for long without costing you a lot in repairs. You also need a freezer that can keep your items frozen for at least 24hrs during a power outage.

Energy Efficiency

Freezers with lower kWh usage and higher star ratings will cost less to run and save you money in energy bills. Generally, a smaller freezer will consume less energy than a larger one, but if the freezer has much free space, it will also require more energy.

Performance (Frost-free and Fast-freeze)

Freezers with frost-free functions are a convenient choice for those who want to avoid freezer-burn and frost on their food. Manually defrosting a large chest freezer can become tedious even though they do perform better for long term food storage. It’s good to keep in mind that freezers with fast-freeze function are designed to handle temperature fluctuations.

ge_freezer

Controls

A freezer with a temperature control panel that is easy to access is always preferable. But, at the same time, it should be out of the reach of children as you don't want to risk a sudden temperature adjustment by tiny hands.

freezer_temperature_controls

Fridge vs Freezer?

Besides the operating temperature range, fridges are very different from freezers in a lot of ways.

Refrigerators are designed for frequent access, so the door, temperature and humidity sensors, air flow, and interior lights are designed to accommodate this type of usage. Freezer doors and door seals are designed to maintain a specific temperature with less frequent in and out access with longer term food storage in mind. Fridges have auto defrost sytems and chest freezers are manual frost appliance. This is an important distinction, therefore, we will talk more about this in the next section.

As an example, refrigerators typically do not work well in a garage if you live in a geography that has seasonal temperature swings (unless your garage is well insulated). When the temperatures drop below 32 degrees in a garage the fridge compressor will stop operating thinking that it is cold enough. This in turn makes your food melt in the freezer. Freezers on the other hand, are designed to operate between 0 to 110 degrees. Their compressors will know to kick in more often say if the ambient temperature is high and, vice versa.

Manual Defrost vs Auto Defrost?

Freezers with auto defrost utilize temperature fluctuations so that the defrost feature kicks on automatically. With auto-defrost and these types of temperature fluctuations, these freezers store food for a shorter amount of time than freezers that require manual defrost.

Freezers with manual defrost may require maintenance, but they're better equipped to store food items that you’d like to stock up on. The absence of the auto defrost function means they can keep food frozen if there is a power outage for up to 24hrs.

ge_chest_freezer


Conclusion

In these days of stocking up and spending more time with family, we appreciate the convenience of having an additional freezer. Chest freezers are quickly becoming essential appliances in most homes, enabling us to store and safeguard food items for a long time.

A good freezer should have a vast temperature range, manual/auto defrosting abilities, and a reliable compressor cooling system. The freezers that made it to our top six list are equipped with these features and more. Check our buying guide, and our catalog of freezers for more features.


FAQs

What is the best freezer size?
The best freezer size to buy depends on your preference, storage needs, and the available space in your home. Small freezers have a 5 to 9 cu. ft. capacity. Medium freezers usually are within 12 to 18 cu. ft. while large freezers may have over 18 cu. ft. capacity.

What is the ideal location for a freezer in my house?
The freezer should be kept in a cool location to avoid putting extra strain on its cooling unit. A basement is ideal, as it is out of the reach of kids, also reduces the chances of opening the freezer multiple times daily. A garage location might be tricky. You need to consider the temperature swings between the seasons. As an example, a good quality GE chest freezer can operate in an ambient condition from 0 F to 110 F. However, it is not a good idea to test the limits on a regular basis as it impacts the longevity of your freezer.

How can I minimize freezer burn and frost?
The safest way is to open the freezer less often. Label the items appropriately and keep an inventory of what's inside to avoid opening the freezer when it isn't necessary. You also need to properly wrap your food to protect it from the elements. If you can, try to get a vacuum seal for your kitchen so you can target storing your favorites in an air-free packaging.

How long can I keep my food frozen?
This depends on the type of food stored. Typically, ground beef shouldn't be stored for more than 4 months. An entire chicken might last for up to 12 months, and hot dogs shouldn't exceed six weeks in the freezer. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to keep the door shut and not to make frequent visits inside your freezer.

What happens to my food in the freezer when the power goes out?
When the power goes out a good freezer, especially a manual defrost chest freezer, should keep your food frozen for at least 24hrs. You need to make sure not to open the door unless you really need something. Keep in mind not all freezer models are created equally. Check your freezer manual for specifications for the individual units and more information.

How long do freezers last?
A freezer typically has an average lifespan of 14 to 17 years.