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If the freezer compartment in your refrigerator doesn't provide enough space to store all your frozen goods, you like to shop in bulk, or you're looking for a way to preserve garden produce, you need a separate, standalone freezer. We researched freezers from the top appliance brands, evaluating capacity, temperature controls, energy efficiency, and value.
Our best overall chest freezer pick is the Frigidaire 14.8-cubic-foot Chest Freezer, thanks to its spacious design, electronic temperature alarm, and safety lock feature. Our favorite upright freezer is the GE 14.1-cubic-foot Upright Freezer because it has shelves and slide-out drawers, auto-close doors, and a frost-free operation.
Here are the best freezers.
Best Chest: Frigidaire FFCL1542AW 14.8 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer
Interior LED lights
What do buyers say? 1,000+ Walmart reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
If it’s a ton of freezer space you’re after, the Frigidaire 14.8-cubic-foot Chest Freezer offers very roomy storage for anything and everything you need to keep ice cold. This model also comes in larger and smaller sizes, at 24.8 and 14.8 cubic feet. So, whether you're putting this freezer in your garage to store extra goods or in your small apartment, there's a model for you.
The chest freezer comes with a sliding basket to organize your meats, bags of tater tots, or frozen fruit. With your purchase, you'll also get color-coordinated, snap-on clips that can be used as section labels within your appliance. One of the significant, modern perks of this freezer is that it has LED lighting, so you'll never sift through your foil packs in the dark. A power-on indicator light also lets you know when this machine is on and functioning—which isn't a guarantee with other models.
If you go to move this freezer, you'll need to manually defrost it, but that is common with chest freezer models. Overall, this appliance's space, versatility, and functionality make it our top pick for chest freezer seekers.
Best Upright: GE FUF14DLRWW Garage Ready 14.1 Cu. Ft. Upright Freezer
Turbo freeze feature
Electronic temperature controls
The FUF14DLRWW Garage Ready 14.1-cubic-foot Upright Freezer is an excellent pick if you're looking for a large freezer but need easy visibility of your food. The four shelves plus slide-out drawers make for easy freezer organization. Its frost-free operation means you'll never have to manually defrost this appliance and its auto-close door ensures that your items will keep cold. If the door does happen to sneak open, there's a temperature alarm to alert you.
This device is Energy Star-certified and the electronic controls make it easy to set the temperature exactly to your preference. It even has a turbo freeze feature if you need to quickly chill your items. Live in an area with storms or frequent power outages? This freezer will keep your items cold for up to 48 hours in the event of a power outage.
While the aesthetic of your freezer may not be important, it's worth noting that there are no additional colors or finishes available in this model. Also, even though a little over 14 cubic feet of storage should be more than enough freezer space, some may prefer a larger size such as 17 or 20 cubic feet.
Best Budget: Magic Chef HMCF7W4 7.0 cu. ft. Chest Freezer in White
Exterior temperature dial
Bulk storage baskets
If you're looking to spend less but still need a considerable amount of storage space, opt for the Magic Chef 7.0-cubic-foot Chest Freezer. It comes with storage baskets and an interior divider so you can place lesser-used items near the bottom and ice cream pints or frozen baby food near the top. An exterior temperature dial means you can adjust the temperature without opening the top, and the recessed handle makes opening and closing a breeze.
An interior LED light also helps you easily identify the items you are searching for and its slim size makes this freezer a good fit for utility rooms or garages. This 7.0-cubic-foot-capacity is great for a small family, although some may find this freezer too small for their needs. It also requires a manual defrost, but it includes a water drain to make that process easier.
Best Splurge: Whirlpool WSZ57L18DM 17.7 cu. ft. SideKicks Frost Free Upright Freezer
Stainless steel exterior
Interior LED lighting
No safety lock
No reversible door
Upright freezers are typically more spacious than chest ones. But, this particular model is top-notch when it comes to capacity and convenient features to make your life much easier. For example, the Whirlpool WSZ57L18DM has 17.7 cubic feet of space, LED lighting, and five door bins for easy-to-reach pints of ice cream and snacks. There are a total of four shelves in addition to a bulk storage basket for any other items you may be storing in your home.
Plus, everything you store is chilled to your exact preferred temperature, thanks to very precise electronic controls and a temperature monitor. The monitor notices if and when things are too cold so that you can adjust the interior temperature accordingly. This helps prevent freezer burn from building up on any of your food and deeming it unfit to serve. Notably, this upright freezer also has a frost-free design that eliminates the annoying chore of manually defrosting a large appliance.
When it comes to style, enjoy a recessed handle and a light stainless steel finish that will easily match your other appliances. This freezer essentially leaves very little to be desired or maintained.
Best for Tiny Spaces: Whynter CUF-110B 1.1 cu. ft. Portable Freezer in Black with Lock, ENERGY STAR
Good for small living
Not very spacious
Need a tiny freezer for a small space—such as a dorm room, boat, or an RV? This basic model by Whynter is an efficient, compact pick. It’s Energy Star-certified and offers 1.1 cubic feet of space. This capacity is perfect for keeping a stack of frozen dinners or ice cream bars on standby.
At roughly 17.5 by 18.5 by 19 inches, the CUF-110B won’t take up more than its fair share of space in tight quarters. Inside, there's one removable wire shelf and a mechanical temperature dial that allows settings from -10 to 2 degrees. The swing door is reversible and has a recessed handle to keep things streamlined. If you're tucking this freezer under a desk or table, these features add functionality to this piece and allow you to access it in whichever way is most convenient for you.
The door is also lockable, so no one can access your stash unless they have the key. Ultimately, this appliance will get the job done and not bother you with noise. Opt for the one-year warranty if you're concerned about any potential issues.
Best for Small Spaces: Magic Chef MCUF3W2 3.0 cu. ft. Upright Freezer in White
Suitable for small living
Easy to organize
Narrow temperature range
Requires more maintenance
If you need extra freezer space but don't want to opt for a large appliance, consider the Magic Chef 3.0-cubic-foot Upright Freezer. This is an excellent option for apartments, small homes, or anyone who doesn't want to dedicate a lot of space to an upright or chest freezer.
This freezer has an adjustable temperature control and two shelves to access your frozen dinners and snacks easily. The door is even reversible, so you can decide where your freezer serves you best in your home. You do have to manually defrost this device, but since it's on the smaller side, that chore won't be too much of an inconvenience. The temperature of this freezer ranges from -4 to 6.8 degrees Fahrenheit, which is small compared to other models, but that range should work well for most frozen food storage.
Best Medium Capacity: Danby DCF072A3BDB 7.2 Cubic Feet Chest Freezer
Matte black finish
5-year limited warranty
Only comes with one interior basket
This Danby DCF072A3BDB 7.2-cubic-foot Chest Freezer comes in a sleek matte black finish and a standard white color. Its slim size would work well in a garage without taking up so much real estate that you must forego your parking spot. With 7.2 cubic feet of storage, you can store plenty of backstock frozen pizzas, dinners, and ice cream pints for a family of four. An interior basket makes grab-and-go items accessible; however, you'll need to purchase additional baskets to properly organize this freezer.
We love that this freezer comes with a 5-year limited warranty. It is quiet enough that it won't bother you while keeping your food chilled. You have to manually defrost this appliance, but it comes with a front-mounted drain to make it easier.
Best Large Capacity: GE FUF21DLRWW Garage Ready 21.3 Cu. Ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer
Very spacious interior
Tight door seal
Items can fall out of basket
Most large freezers cap their storage at 20 cubic feet, but this GE FUF21DLRWW Garage Ready Upright Freezer boasts 21.3 cubic feet of storage, so you can pack it full of extra food to make it through several winters. This appliance is thankfully garage-friendly, so it doesn't have to take up any prime kitchen real estate, and it has a tight door seal so you can rest assured your items will stay nice and chilly.
Since this is an upright freezer, you'll still be able to access your items easily, thanks to four shelves, two slide-out storage baskets, and four in-door shelves for grab-and-go items. Some customers complained that items could fall out of the baskets, so open them with care. This extra-large freezer is also more expensive, but if you need this much freezer space, it's worth the investment.
If you're in the market for a chest freezer, look no further than the Frigidaire 14.8-cubic-foot Chest Freezer, which has modern features like LED lights and a safety lock. It's very spacious, so you'll never have to worry about storing your frozen goods again. Looking for easier access? Opt for an upright freezer like the GE 14.1-cubic-foot Upright Freezer. It has a frost-free operation, auto-close doors, and its shelves and slide-out drawers make it easy to see its contents.
What to Look for in a Freezer
There are three types of freezers you can purchase: upright, chest, and convertible. An upright model looks similar to a refrigerator, but is just one compartment that features shelving, door bins, and bulk storage baskets. A chest freezer looks like a cooler, since it has a wide build and lift-open lid, and can be organized with dividers and bulk storage baskets. Convertible models can be shaped like either an upright or chest freezer, but can be used as a freezer or refrigerator. The best type of freezer for your home entirely depends on where you want to install it, what you want to store, and what organization options you'd like to have.
Manual vs. Automatic Defrosting
A freezer can either manually defrost or automatically defrost. If it automatically defrosts, it may have a frost-free design or also be called self-defrosting. This means that coils within the freezer will heat up routinely to prevent any ice or frost from building up along the interior's walls. In contrast, a model with manual defrosting will need to be unplugged when frost gets to be a quarter-inch thick. You will need to unload the items you have stored, chip away at the build-up, and drain out the unit. Once it's drained, you can plug the freezer back in and re-organize your frozen goods. This type of freezer can be cheaper to buy and operate, but comes with more maintenance.
If your freezer is garage-ready, it can withstand extreme, external temperatures. It doesn't need to be installed within your home, where it may take up a great deal of space in your kitchen or basement. A garage-ready model can cost a bit more, but will keep things frozen whether your garage is 0 degrees or 110 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a particularly cold or warm climate, or are hoping to install the freezer in a more flexible space, a garage-ready design is worth considering. Just keep in mind: it may cost more.
If your freezer has a reversible door, that means you can open it by swinging the door to the left or the right. This feature is particularly handy for households who don't have a lot of space for extra storage, or plan to install their freezer in a semi-cluttered area. The door usually has recessed handles, airtight seals on both edges, and a sleek design. Just know this: the seals can become worn over time, so you may need to replace them for optimal frozen food storage. Check them occasionally to ensure the freezer is effectively closed and sealed.
A safety lock secures your freezer, and prevents any unwanted entry. And while it's not a necessary feature to have on a freezer, it is useful if you plan on storing your appliance in your garage, or have guests over often. The lock is paired with a physical key or key fob, and ensures that your goods are secure. Be sure to store the key or key fob in a safe and accessible location.
Quick Freeze Setting
A quick freeze setting, which can also be called a "power freeze" setting, drops the set temperature of your freezer. It makes the internal environment as cold as possible, in order to quickly chill meat, fruit, or other goods that you just added. Typically, this setting can last for up to 50 hours at a time, and is a great feature to have if your model is convertible. It's also handy for households that want a worry and hands-free experience.
How long do freezers last?
On average, freezers last 10 to 14 years. Typically, a freezer that manually defrosts lasts slightly longer than one that automatically defrosts. This is because there are less moving parts that can suffer wear and tear over time. To increase the lifespan of your appliance, be sure to maintain it properly. Remove any ice build-up, install it in the correct location (especially if it's not garage-ready), and make sure to not overfill or underfill the appliance as this can make the appliance work significantly harder.
Why do freezers frost up?
Frost builds up on the inner surfaces of your freezer because moisture from your fresh food attaches to the appliance's coils. This process is sped up if your door isn't sealed tight, or your appliance's self-defrosting technology is unreliable and needs repairs. The result will be frost and ice chunks that grow in size, until they've been chipped or drained away, and less storage space for your food.
To prevent a lot of frost from building up in your freezer, be sure to never leave the door open for long periods of time, and close it tightly when you're done. In addition, occasionally check the temperature of your freezer to ensure it's consistent and stable.
Do freezers work better when full?
Typically, you don't want to fill a freezer—whether it's a chest, upright, or attached model—to the brim. You want to pack in your meats, fruits, and vegetables, but leave a little bit of space for the cold air to circulate. A half-empty freezer will use a lot of energy, and an overfilled one will exhaust its parts. Try to find a happy medium by filling the included storage bins and baskets but not making it impossible to grab items for dinner with ease. For more, check out our guide on how to organize the freezer.
Can freezers be kept in the garage?
Most freezers (except for those with a garage-ready design) aren’t built to function in extreme weather conditions like an unheated garage. If you live in an area with huge temperature swings, you should avoid storing a standard freezer in the garage in order to prevent it from overheating, shutting down, or costing you more money to run it. But if your garage is insulated and climate controlled, you can keep any type of freezer there. Make sure it’s in a dry space and out of direct sunlight so it doesn’t struggle to maintain the correct interior temperature.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Marisa Casciano, the senior commerce editor for appliances, cleaning, and organization for The Spruce, wrote this article. 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 home cook who's also always on-the-go, she understands the importance of storing food in a reliable and user-friendly freezer.
This article was updated by Erin Johnson, a commerce editor at The Spruce focusing on large appliances, organization, and cleaning. She has written about the best home products and appliances for Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, and Apartment Therapy. Her family uses the Danby 7.2-cubic-foot Chest Freezer in matte black. Erin loves that this freezer blends in with the garage while preserving food throughout hot Texas summers.