When you think of a home freezer, you probably imagine one that comes built-in to your refrigerator. However, sometimes a regular freezer alone isn’t large enough for your needs, which is where chest freezers come in handy.
Maybe you do a lot of meal prepping or want an extra freezer to keep in your garage or another room besides the kitchen. Maybe you don’t need additional freezer space for everyday use, but you want to keep an extra one on hand for holidays or parties. Or maybe your standard home freezer isn’t cold enough for your needs. Investing in a chest freezer can offer a solution to any of these issues and more.
Chest freezers are, as the name suggests, a type of sideways deep freezer that opens like a chest or trunk. Almost all models will be rectangular or cubic in shape. Unlike standard home freezers, chest freezers are their own separate appliances, not attached to any refrigerator. They’re often found in school cafeterias and stores as a place to store ice cream bars and sandwiches and popsicles. There are two main advantages that chest freezers have over standard freezers. Due to their large size, they offer greater capacity and bulk storage space for frozen foods and drinks. And they’ll keep food and drinks frozen for longer periods of time. They’re also one of the more efficient types of freezers, and the vertical opening creates a tighter seal so that the cold air inside is less likely to escape. As long as you have the spare space to stash a chest freezer, they can be a valuable addition to your home. Here are a few models we recommend.
What Should You Consider in Chest Freezers?
Here are a few things to think about before buying a chest freezer:
- Size: Chest freezers are going to be longer and take up more floor space than pretty much any standard freezer. You’ll want to consider both their dimensions and their storage capacity before you buy. There are some smaller, more portable models if you ever want to bring a chest freezer on the road with you or if you need freezer space for a trailer or camper or even a pantry. These will have a storage capacity of somewhere between 3 and 5 cubic feet. While more affordable and still offering more storage space than the average standard freezer, they aren’t as handy for bulk items as a larger model. Most chest freezers will have a storage capacity of 7 to 18 cubic feet, which should suit most households’ needs. Chest freezers with more than 18 cubic feet of storage capacity are available, though they’re harder to find, incredibly large, and will be extremely expensive.
- Organization: Some chest freezers will come with built-in dividers or baskets, and some won’t. If you want a more organized freezer, you’ll want to opt for a model that has one or both. Both are great ways to sort your freezer items by purchase date or category. They also make it easier to find what you’re looking for and may help prevent some items from getting stuck together. Keep in mind, however, that dividers and baskets will slightly reduce the amount of storage space available. Thus if you tend to make and freeze a lot of big bulk items, like lasagna or casseroles, you may want to opt for a chest freezer without either. Some models have dividers or baskets that can be removed or added as needed, so you get the best of both worlds.
- Features: Though they’re fairly basic and straightforward appliances, there are a few types of useful features you can look for when shopping for a new deep freezer. Some have an auto-lock feature, which some people with small children find useful. Not all models come with an interior light, so keep an eye out for a chest freezer that’s equipped with one if you plan to keep it in a darker room like the garage. More modern models may beep or otherwise alert you if the door is left open or the internal temperature is running high. Others have an emergency operation freezer, allowing them to function for up to 24 hours even if the power goes out. There are also energy-efficient models that will be more eco-friendly and easier on your electricity budget, plus those that have auto-frost capabilities.
Top Choice: Midea MRC070S0AWW Chest Freezer
This quintessential, freestanding chest freezer from Midea is a great choice that will be suitable for most households and their needs. Whether you’re looking for a freezer for your home bar or holiday overflow, to keep on your patio for barbeques, or to stash ice and cocktails in your vacation home, this chest freezer is up to all those tasks and more. At 32.1 inches long by 21.7 inches wide by 33.5 inches high, it has an internal capacity of 5 cubic feet, with a slightly larger 7-cubic-foot model also available for purchase. The interior contains one removable, hanging wire basket, ideal for storage of smaller items or ice, that still leaves plenty of space in the main cavity for bigger bulk foods.
Another advantage this chest freezer offers is how easy it is to tweak and adjust to your precise needs. The internal thermostat may be toggled anywhere between 10.4 degrees to -11.2 degrees Fahrenheit as needed. There’s also a mechanical dial at the bottom corner that gives you quick access to turning the freezer on and off. The hinged door may also be propped open anywhere between a 45- to 75-degree angle, handy for loading and unloading the freezer. The recessed handle is easy to grip, and the defrost drain makes it easier to clean. As a final bonus, the built-in whisper-quiet technology is nice and quiet, so you won’t hear the freezer running even when it cycles on or off.
Midea WHS-185C1 Single Door Chest Freezer, 5.0 Cubic Feet, White
A classic chest freezer with lots of useful features.
Most Portable: ICECO JP40 Portable Freezer
Coolers are extremely useful items to keep around your home for day trips to the beach or lake, your child’s soccer and Little League games, picnics, and other similar situations. The only problem with coolers is that they need ice packs to keep your food and drinks cold, which lose their freezing capabilities over a certain period of time. A portable chest freezer like this model from ICECO provides the same benefits as a cooler without that particular drawback or even requiring ice at all.
At 23 by 14 by 18 inches, it’ll fit easily into most car trunks. This chest freezer has an internal capacity of 40 liters, large enough to hold up to 12 bottles of wine or 58 standard-sized cans of soda at once. The double handles make the chest freezer easier to carry, and the lid is insulated to help keep the contents fresh and cold. The lid can also be propped open for easier access to your food and drinks. The chest freezer’s temperature is adjustable between -7 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with eco-friendly and maximum cooldown modes available as well. A 12-foot long DC power cable comes included with your purchase. Three different models are available for purchase.
ICECO JP40 Portable Refrigerator Fridge Freezer, 12V Cooler Refrigerator, 40 Liters Compact Refrigerator with Secop Compressor, for Car & Home Use, 0??50?, DC 12/24V, AC 110/240V
A double-handled chest freezer that doubles as a portable cooler.
Best for Budget: Arctic King Chest Freezer
Like most appliances, chest freezers tend to run on the pricey side. Even though they aren’t as expensive as a full refrigerator and freezer, they can still cost a decent amount of money. This may make it tricky to afford that second freezer you need if you’re on a tight budget. Fortunately, this model from Arctic King offers all the classic benefits of a chest freezer without a super hefty price tag.
In addition to not costing an arm and a leg, this chest freezer will help save you money in the long run as well. It’s designed for energy efficiency, to use as little power as possible while still operating smoothly, so it won’t run up your electricity bill. It has a capacity of 5 cubic feet and comes with an internal storage basket to keep your smaller or most commonly used items sorted properly. The basket is removable if you don’t want to use it. To round it all out, this chest freezer has a defrost drain that’s easily accessed when cleaning time comes around. The overall interior and gasket are also designed to be easy to clean, so you can keep it fresh and sanitary with minimal fuss and effort on your end.
Arctic King 5 cu ft Chest Freezer for Your House, Garage, Basement, Apartment, Kitchen, Cabin, Lake House, Timeshare, or Business
This chest freezer offers all the typical benefits of the appliance without the hefty price tag.
Most Storage Space: Whynter FM-85G Freezer
If you’re in the market for a large chest freezer with lots of storage space, this Whynter model is the one for you. With internal dimensions of 23 inches wide by 13 inches long by 18 inches high, this chest freezer has an impressive 85-quart capacity, which is large enough to hold up to 120 cans of food and drink at once. This chest freezer is a great option for stashing out in your garage or in your camping RV and comes equipped with several premium features that a lot of other models don’t have.
The interior features a small compressor step, two removable wire baskets, and an insulated lid and walls that ensure your items inside will stay properly cold. The temperature can be adjusted from as low as -8 to as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on your needs. There’s an LED display that allows you to quickly and easily check the temperature. If you ever want this chest freezer to cool down almost instantly, simply hit the “Fast Freeze” mode button, and it’ll rapidly drop to the lowest possible temperature. It’ll also alert you if the power is ever running low. The exterior is powder-coated steel for durability and toughness, with stainless steel side handles for sturdy transportation. This chest freezer will function even when tilted at as much as a 30-degree angle and features a drain plug that makes cleaning a breeze. It comes with an 8-foot AC power cord and 10-foot power cord, so you can use either power source or both if you so choose (if plugged in at the same time, the AC will be the main source of power unless it goes out). For an extra fee, you can also buy this chest freezer with an adapter plug socket, insulated transit bag, or power supply cord.
Whynter FM-85G 85 Quart Portable Fridge, AC 110V/ DC 12V True Freezer for Car, Home, Camping, RV-8°F to 50°F, One Size, Gray
A large chest freezer with two power cords and several useful bonus features.
Also Great: Koolatron KTCF195 Compact Top-Opening Chest Freezer
There’s a lot to love about this Koolatron chest freezer. It’s equipped with energy-efficient compressor technology with CFC-free coolant; this ensures not only that your food and drinks are safe but that the chest freezer is energy efficient so as not to run up your power bill. This also ensures its cooling and freezing capabilities are reliable. The temperature is adjustable anywhere between 32 and -11.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Thanks to the external thermostat, you can change the internal temperature at any time without opening up the lid and letting precious cold air out.
This chest freezer also comes with a removable wire basket for organization and an easy-to-open lid that has auto-hold hinges. This means that the lid can be propped open (at anywhere from a 45- to 90-degree angle) at any time, which allows you to keep your hands free when loading or unloading it. This is especially handy for adding or removing large quantities of food or when it comes time to clean out the freezer. The external defrost drain also makes cleaning and defrosting easier. If the 7- cubic-foot capacity of this chest freezer is too large for your living space or needs, there are smaller 3.5- and 5-cubic-foot models available as well.
Koolatron Large Chest Freezer, 7.0 cu ft (195L), White, Manual Defrost Deep Freeze, Storage Basket, Space-Saving Flat Back, Stay-Open Lid, Front-Access Drain, for Basement, Laundry Room, Cottage
A handy chest freezer with a proppable lid that makes it easier to clean out or load your groceries.