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 all types of freezers from the top appliance brands, evaluating each model's 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 on the market that will keep your extra food chilled year-round.
Frigidaire FFCL1542AW 14.8 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer
Spacious interior with sliding baskets for smaller items
Interior LED lights
Not Energy Star certified
If you’re after a ton of freezer space, the Frigidaire FFCL1542AW Chest Freezer offers very roomy storage for anything and everything you need to keep ice cold. Highly rated by shoppers, this model offers 14.8 cubic feet of space, and it comes with two sliding baskets to organize your meats, bags of frozen snacks, and frozen produce. Another significant, modern perk of this freezer is its 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 guaranteed feature with other models.
The Frigidaire FFCL1542AW is designed to operate in indoor spaces with temperatures ranging from 32 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (rather than the typical 0-to-110-degree range of other garage-ready models). If you go to move this freezer, you'll need to defrost it manually (learn the differences between self-defrosting and manual defrosting models with this guide), but that is typical even of the best chest freezers on the market. It also isn't Energy Star certified, a potential drawback if energy savings is high on your priority list.
Overall, this appliance's space, versatility, and functionality make it our top pick if you're in need of a chest freezer for your home or garage. If you like the look of this freezer but require a larger model, it's worth giving Frigidaire's other chest freezers a look, too—they also make a 19.8-cubic-foot chest freezer and a 24.8-cubic-foot chest freezer for even more storage space.
Price at time of publish: $949
Total Capacity: 14.8 cubic feet | Dimensions: 32.5 x 55.75 x 29.56 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Ready: Yes | Energy Star Certified: No
GE FUF14DLRWW Garage Ready 14.1 Cu. Ft. Upright Freezer
Shelves, bins, and a drawer make it easy to find items
Electronic temp controls with turbo freeze feature
No manual defrosting required
Energy Star certified
Chest freezers can be storage powerhouses, but they can be harder to search through when items are stacked atop one another. The FUF14DLRWW Garage Ready Upright Freezer is an excellent pick if you're looking for a large freezer but need complete visibility of your food. The four glass shelves, door bins, and slide-out drawer 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.
The electronic controls make it easy to set the freezer's internal temperature exactly to your preference. It even has a turbo freeze feature if you need to chill your items quickly. This Energy Star-certified appliance can operate in rooms with temperatures between 0 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit—a wider temperature range than the Frigidaire FFCL1542AW Chest Freezer, making it a better fit for chillier garages. 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 might not be important, it's worth noting that there are no additional colors or finishes available in this upright model. Even though 14.1 cubic feet of storage should be more than enough freezer space for most folks, some shoppers prefer a larger capacity that's closer to 17 or 20 cubic feet.
Price at time of publish: $899
Total Capacity: 14.1 cubic feet | Dimensions: 62 x 28 x 32 inches | Control Type: Electronic | Defrost Type: Frost free | Garage Ready: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes
Magic Chef HMCF7W4 7.0 cu. ft. Chest Freezer in White
Ideal for small families
Exterior temperature dial
Storage bins and interior divider keep items organized
Might be too compact for some
Not Energy Star certified
If you're looking to spend less but need a freezer that's larger than a mini freezer, opt for the Magic Chef HMCF7W4 Chest Freezer. It comes with storage baskets and a removable interior divider, which allows you to place items you use less frequently near the bottom and items like ice cream pints and frozen baby food near the top. An interior LED light also helps you identify items more easily. An exterior temperature dial means you can adjust the temperature without opening the top, and the recessed handle makes opening and closing a breeze.
This freezer's small size makes this freezer a good fit for utility rooms or garages—just make sure you install it in a room that'll stay between 32 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This 7-cubic-foot-capacity is a great choice for a small family whose fridge's freezer doesn't cut it, but some users may find this freezer too small for their needs. It isn't Energy Star certified, and it requires a manual defrost, but it includes a water drain to make the defrosting process easier.
Price at time of publish: $279
Total Capacity: 7 cubic feet | Dimensions: 32.9 x 35.4 x 21.8 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Ready: Yes | Energy Star Certified: No
Best Slim Design
Frigidaire FFFU16F2VV 16 cu. ft. Upright Freezer
Sleek stainless steel exterior
Floor-projected power indicator
No manual defrosting required
Small food items may slip through wire shelves
Finding a freezer that's slim enough to fit into a crowded living space or garage can be challenging, especially when aesthetics are also a concern. With a capacity of 15.5 feet, the Frigidaire FFFU16F2VV Upright Freezer makes better use of vertical space than some other models, packing more storage space into a smaller footprint.
Aside from our best mini and best for small spaces picks, this freezer is the slimmest model in our roundup, but it still packs a punch when it comes to organization features. Four wire shelves, a deep bottom basket, and five door bins offer plenty of flexibility in storing your frozen goods, and LED lighting helps illuminate everything. The wire shelves do offer a slight disadvantage when compared with solid glass ones—smaller food items might be prone to falling through the wire. Instead, you'll want to place those small items in the door bins (or standalone organizer bins, if you have those on hand).
This model features a door-ajar alarm to make sure you don't forget to close the freezer door. A floor-projected power indicator also allows you to see at a glance that everything is functioning correctly. If your power goes out, this freezer can also keep goods frozen for as long as two days. The garage-ready design means you can place it in rooms with temperatures ranging from 0 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it's frost-free, you won't have to manually defrost this model. All in all, if you're looking for an easy-access freezer with a sleek stainless steel exterior—but without the extra width—this one's worth a try.
Price at time of publish: $849
Total Capacity: 15.5 cubic feet | Dimensions: 67.75 x 27.75 x 25.625 inches | Control Type: Mechanical | Defrost Type: Frost free | Garage Ready: Yes | Energy Star Certified: No
Whirlpool WSZ57L18DM 17.7 cu. ft. SideKicks Frost Free Upright Freezer
Very spacious design
Tons of handy storage features
Sleek stainless steel exterior
No manual defrosting required
Not Energy Star certified
Lacks reversible door
Upright freezers are often more spacious than chest units, and this particular model is top-notch when it comes to both capacity and convenient features that make your life much easier. The Whirlpool WSZ57L18DM has 17.7 cubic feet of space and LED lighting for better visibility. In terms of organizational features, it's the most versatile option on this list. This Whirlpool model boasts four adjustable glass shelves, two bulk wire storage baskets, and six door bins for easy-to-reach pints of ice cream and snacks.
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. The freezer will also sound an alarm if the door is left open. 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, it's hard to beat. You'll enjoy a recessed handle and a sleek finish that should blend nicely with other stainless steel appliances. We wish the door were reversible to better accommodate different room layouts, and we also wish it were Energy Star certified. Otherwise, this freezer isn't missing much. While it's the priciest option you'll find on this list (and pricier than many fridges), the Whirlpool WSZ57L18DM's spacious interior, robust features, and easy-to-maintain design makes it worth the splurge in our eyes.
Price at time of publish: $2,645
Total Capacity: 17.7 cubic feet | Dimensions: 66.75 x 30.25 x 28.88 inches | Control Type: Electronic | Defrost Type: Auto/cycle | Garage Ready: No | Energy Star Certified: No
Whynter CUF-110B 1.1 cu. ft. Portable Freezer in Black with Lock, ENERGY STAR
Ideal for small living
Energy Star certified
If you have a small space that needs a freezer that is sized more like a mini fridge, this basic model by Whynter is an efficient, compact pick. It is 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 in living spaces like dorm rooms, boats, or RVs.
Measuring 17.25 by 18.5 by 19.5 inches, the Whynter 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. The swing door is reversible and has a recessed handle to streamline the overall look. 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. You'll just want to avoid running it in uninsulated spaces with temperatures that might fall outside a range of 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The door is also lockable, so no one can access your items unless they have the key. Just keep in mind that you'll have to periodically defrost the freezer when you notice the ice building up to a thickness of 0.25 inches, as it's not frost-free. Ultimately, this mini freezer will get the job done. Opt for the one-year warranty if you're concerned about any potential issues.
Price at time of publish: $229
Total Capacity: 1.1 cubic feet | Dimensions: 19.5 x 18.5 x 17.25 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Ready: No | Energy Star Certified: Yes
Best for Small Spaces
Magic Chef MCUF3W2 3.0 cu. ft. Upright Freezer in White
Happy medium between a mini freezer and large appliance
Flush back design
Easy to organize
Narrow temperature range
Not Energy Star certified
If you need just a bit more room than a mini freezer will provide but don't want to opt for a large appliance, consider the Magic Chef MCUF3W2 Upright Freezer. This 3-cubic-foot model is an excellent option for apartments, small homes, or anyone who doesn't want to dedicate a lot of space to an upright freezer or chest freezer. Inside the freezer, you'll find an adjustable temperature control and two shelves to access your frozen dinners and snacks easily. The door is reversible, so you can decide where your freezer serves you best in your home.
This model isn't Energy Star certified or garage ready, so it should be kept in rooms that stay between 50 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You also 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.
Price at time of publish: $350
Total Capacity: 3.0 cubic feet | Dimensions: 32.1 x 20.3 x 22 inches | Control Type: Mechanical | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Ready: No | Energy Star Certified: No
Best Medium Capacity
Danby DCF072A3BDB 7.2 Cubic Feet Chest Freezer
Ideal for small garages
Five-year limited warranty
Easy clean liner
Comes in two finishes
Only comes with one interior basket
Not Energy Star certified
The Danby DCF072A3BDB Chest Freezer would work well in a small garage, without taking up so much real estate that you'd have to forfeit your parking spot. It's designed to run in rooms that stay between 0 and 110 degrees, so you don't have to worry about leaving it in the garage. 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 fully organize this freezer.
We love that this freezer comes with a five-year limited warranty and is available in a sleek matte black finish or a standard white. Plus, the sleek interior is easy to wipe down, in the case of a sticky ice cream mess, though it skips out on upgrades like LED lighting and Energy Star certification. It is also quiet enough that you won't notice its refrigerant line cutting on and off. You'll have to defrost this appliance manually, but it comes with a front-mounted drain to aid in the process.
Price at time of publish: $659
Total Capacity: 7.2 cubic feet | Dimensions: 33.38 x 39.94 x 22.19 inches | Control Type: Mechanical | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Ready: Yes | Energy Star Certified: No
Best Large Capacity
GE FUF21DLRWW Garage Ready 21.3 Cu. Ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer
Offers 21.3 cubic feet of storage space
Exterior electronic temperature control and tight door seal
Energy Star certified
On the pricey side
Most large freezers cap their storage at 20 cubic feet, but the 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 garage ready (it can operate in rooms between 0 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit), so it doesn't have to take up any prime kitchen real estate. It also has a tight door seal and a lock, which means you can rest assured your items will stay nice and chilly (and secure). It automatically defrosts, too. You won't have to worry about periodically defrosting it by hand.
Since this is an upright freezer, you'll be able to access your items more easily than a chest model, thanks to four glass shelves, two slide-out storage bins, and four in-door bins for grab-and-go items. The temperature control panel is located on the outside of this freezer, so you can check its status without releasing any cold air. It's also Energy Star certified. This extra-large freezer is more expensive than other models, but if you need this much freezer space, it's worth the investment.
Price at time of publish: $1,034
Total Capacity: 21.3 cubic feet | Dimensions: 76.5 x 32.88 x 31.38 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Frost free | Garage Ready: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes
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 and comes with storage baskets, 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 and 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. The best type of freezer for your home will depend on where you want to install it, what you want to store, and what organization options you'd like to have.
- An upright freezer looks similar to a refrigerator, but it has just one interior compartment that features shelving, door bins, and bulk storage baskets. These models are especially helpful if you plan on frequently accessing the contents of your additional freezer.
- 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. The downside of chest models is their depth, which requires you to stack goods on top of each other. However, chest freezes are especially great for avid barbecue fans and meat cookers who regularly store large cuts of meat. Chest freezers are also typically garage ready, meaning they can withstand lower insulation areas of a home, and they also can often be locked to keep items secure.
- Convertible freezers can be shaped like either an upright or chest freezer, and can be switched from a freezer to a refrigerator.
In addition to the three freezer types explained above, you also have more niche categories like mini freezers, or compact units. These freezers typically have capacities lower than 9 cubic feet and are ideal for college dorm rooms, small apartments, offices, or RVs. While they're limited on storage opportunities, they're just big enough to store an emergency frozen meal and your favorite pints of ice cream.
Manual vs. Automatic Defrosting
A freezer can either manually defrost or automatically defrost. If it automatically defrosts, it may have a frost-free (or self-defrosting) design. This means that coils within the freezer will heat up routinely to prevent any ice or frost from building up along the interior walls. In contrast, a model with manual defrosting will need to be unplugged when frost gets to be about 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.
Our best medium capacity pick, the Danby DCF072A3BDB 7.2-Cubic-Foot Chest Freezer, is a manual defrost unit, but it features a front drain opening to aid in the defrost process. It's also a smaller chest freezer model, so it's easier to gently tip to expedite the draining process, as needed.
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 up front, but it will keep things frozen even when your garage experiences more extreme temperatures. Typically, garage-ready appliances will operate in spaces ranging from 0 degrees to 110 degrees Fahrenheit—but it's important to read the fine print, because some operate between 32 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a particularly cold or warm climate, or you are hoping to install the freezer in a more flexible space, a garage-ready design is worth considering.
Chest freezers are commonly garage ready, but you can find garage-ready upright models as well. Our "best slim design" pick, the Frigidaire FFFU16F2VV, is a garage-ready upright freezer that has adjustable leveling legs for uneven concrete, and it's also attractive enough to reside inside your home.
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. 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. While it's not a necessary feature to have in a freezer, it is useful if you plan on storing your appliance in your garage or if you have guests over often. The lock is often paired with a physical key, but new models may include key fobs. Be sure to store the key or key fob in a safe and accessible location. Several models on our list include security locks, including our "best chest" pick, the Frigidaire FFCL1542AW Chest Freezer.
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, because there are fewer 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 that 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 not to leave the door open for long periods of time, and close it tightly when you're done. Occasionally check the temperature of your freezer to ensure that 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. Our guide on how to organize the freezer is a great resource for more tips.
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 won’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, Casciano 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 who focuses 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. Johnson loves that this freezer blends in with the garage while preserving food throughout hot Texas summers. Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, also assisted in refreshing this roundup with additional product information and shopping insight.