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Whether you tuck a chest freezer into a corner of your garage, kitchen, or basement, it'll be a quality solution for your frozen food storage needs. These appliances are usually modern in design, with interior lighting and temperature control settings that you can set yourself. After coming home with a particularly large haul from the store, these freezers will ensure you don't have bags of frozen kale or chicken tenders sitting out on the counter while you re-organize your top or bottom freezer.
In addition, most come with storage baskets that slide so you can easily access what you do put into them. The capacity of this appliance can range from 9 cubic feet—which is about the size of a standard freezer attached to a refrigerator—to 15 cubic feet. Before choosing a chest freezer, decide how much extra space is needed in your home and then shop accordingly.
Below, we've found the best chest freezers for a variety of budgets and needs.
Lid stays up on its own
Interior LED lights
Safety lock and key
Requires more maintenance
Manual temperature controls
Whether you like to prep your meals in advance, buy in bulk, or are a baker, you can’t go wrong with this model: the Frigidaire FFFC15M4TW. It’s so easy to spot what you’re looking for in this 14.8-cubic-foot unit, thanks to its bright interior LED lights, removable plastic baskets for organization, and a lid that stays up all on its own. This type of lid makes it possible to root around with both hands.
This freezer also has an exterior power indicator light and temperature dial which can be set from -10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (It’s generally recommended to set your freezer at 0 degrees.) It features a water drain for easy defrosting, and also comes with a safety lock and key. Whenever you need to move it around, make use of the casters and put it exactly where you need it. All in all, this large range of features makes it our pick for best overall.
Exterior temperature dial
Bulk storage baskets
Not very spacious
Requires more maintenance
The Magic Chef HMCF7W4 is another quality pick if you're searching for a chest freezer. It covers all the bases with its two bulk storage baskets, temperature dial which can be set anywhere from -8 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit, and LED lights. You likely won't have any issues finding what you're looking for, and organizing frozen pizzas and vegetables thanks to a removable divider.
Now, this model is not frost-free or self-defrosting. You'll have to use the included drain to defrost the unit yourself. In addition, this piece isn't quite as spacious as others on the market, but makes the most of its 7.0 cubic feet of interior space. If you take it to a college dorm or vacation home, you'll enjoy the recessed handle, and how sleek and simple this appliance looks wherever it goes.
Exterior temperature dial
High-temperature warning light
Lock and key can be tricky to use
If you're hoping to spend less on a chest freezer, the Hotpoint HCM9DMWW is for you. It has an exterior dial for temperature control with seven different settings, so you can be certain your food is being kept at the ideal temperature. Notable features also include a high-temp warning light that automatically turns on when the freezer is open, and a green power light that makes it clear when it’s on and running correctly.
In addition, an interior LED light turns on when the lid is lifted, and there are two sliding, bulk storage baskets that make it easy for you to store and locate all your favorite foods quickly. With a built-in defrost drain, and a lock and key, this model certainly treats you to the works without requiring you to spend a lot.
Can be noisy
This commercial-grade chest freezer from SABA would work well in a cabin, pool house, or anywhere you want to serve up cold beverages or ice cream to friends and groups. It has forced air cooling to cool the bottles on top—aka the ones you just put in—first. The stainless steel glide lids are easy to open and close as well, even for kids.
This model has a digital temperature control and auto defrost which alone makes it worth the extra cost. It comes with a key so you can lock it whenever you’re not around, and wheels so you can move it easily. Plus, the black and stainless steel finish is stylish and less of an eyesore in any room.
Plenty of storage space
Easy to organize with dividers
Temperature alarm is sensitive
On the expensive side
You'll never run out of space to store your favorite meals and snacks with the GE FCM22DLWW. This model has a whopping 21.7 cubic feet of storage space, that is thoughtfully designed with five bulk storage baskets and four dividers. You can customize the dividers so that the appliance fits your specific lifestyle and needs, and then lock the entire piece when you're done organizing to keep food safe. If you're taking this freezer on-the-go—say, for a camping or hunting trip—the lock can be very helpful and put your mind at ease.
In addition to those notable design features, this GE chest freezer also includes a temperature alarm and power indicator. The piece is Energy Star-certified so you don't have to stress about it racking up your energy bill, either. Just be aware: the temperature alarm can be a little touchy at times, and go off even when the piece is at the right temperature.
Large temperature range
Compatible with a weaker outlet
Doesn't look stylish
Can be heavy to carry
Whether you're on vacation or setting up an extra freezer in your RV, you want a piece that's reliable, portable, and flexible. Enter, the Whynter FM-452SG: a pick that doesn't necessarily look stylish, but will certainly get the job done. It has 1.48 cubic feet of interior space, which is outfitted with two storage baskets for all your organization needs. The internal temperature of the piece can be adjusted to any temperature between -8 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now, at 52 pounds, this piece is certainly a bit heavy to carry. You'll want to set it up at the beginning of your trip in a place that's easy to reach, so you can grab a snack, and also manually defrost the appliance as needed. The appliance makes up for this weight by being compatible with even a 12-Volt DC outlet. This type of outlet is common on boats and RVs, where power sources are a bit limited.
Can withstand extreme temperatures
Doesn't use much energy
Exterior power light
Can become warped over time
Not every chest freezer can perform in all temperatures, from very cold to very hot, so if you want to keep one in your garage, it’s worth it to splurge on a unit that can handle the extremes. The GE FCM11PHWW is a great pick, as it can work in temperatures ranging from 0 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Ultimately, it's able to be installed in an area that's not climate controlled.
Though it’s medium-sized, it’s Energy Star-rated, meaning it runs efficiently and without taking up many resources. It won’t rack up new charges on your electric bill. Other benefits include three sliding storage baskets, an interior light to help you find what you’re looking for, and an exterior power light so you can feel very assured that it’s working.
For a chest freezer that's reliable, spacious, and covers all the bases, opt for the Frigidaire FFFC15M4TW (view at Home Depot). It's our best pick overall because it has a water drain for defrosting, removable baskets, and a lid that stays up on its own which makes it an easy and accessible unit. If you're looking to spend less, the Hotpoint HCM9DMWW (view at AJ Madison) doesn't have as much space, but does include a high-temp warning light to ensure your goods are always chilled properly.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was edited and updated by Marisa Casciano, who is our large appliance expert for The Spruce. Throughout her career, she's researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, and more in the home and lifestyle space. As an avid cook, she understands the need for extra storage space, and a model that can withstand different temperatures, locations, and uses.