The Best Upright Freezers to Optimize Food Storage

The winner is the GE 14.1 Cubic Feet Frost-Free Garage Ready Upright Freezer

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Best Upright Freezers

The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

An upright freezer provides extra storage space for frozen foods. 

We researched dozens of models from the top brands, evaluating capacity, durability, temperature control, and value. Our best overall pick, the GE 14.1 Cubic Feet Frost-Free Garage Ready Upright Freezer, stands out for its electronic temperature control, versatile shelving and bins, and frost-free operation.

Here are the best upright freezers.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: GE FUF14DLRWW Garage Ready 14.1 Cu. Ft. Upright Freezer

4.8
GE Appliances 14.1 Cubic Feet cu. ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer with Adjustable Temperature Controls GE Appliances 14.1 Cubic Feet cu. ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer with Adjustable Temperature Controls GE Appliances 14.1 Cubic Feet cu. ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer with Adjustable Temperature Controls GE Appliances 14.1 Cubic Feet cu. ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer with Adjustable Temperature Controls GE Appliances 14.1 Cubic Feet cu. ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer with Adjustable Temperature Controls GE Appliances 14.1 Cubic Feet cu. ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer with Adjustable Temperature Controls

Courtesy of GE Appliances

What We Like
  • Energy Star-certified

  • Turbo freeze feature

  • Slide-out drawers

  • Frost free

  • Electronic temperature controls

What We Don't Like
  • Unimpressive exterior

  • Smaller size

Who else recommends it? Bob Vila and Consumer Reports also picked the GE 14.1 Cubic Feet Frost-Free Garage Ready Upright Freezer.

What do buyers say? 4,700+ Home Depot reviewers rated this product 5 stars. 

The GE 14.1 Cubic Feet Frost-Free Garage Ready Upright Freezer is our top pick because it has everything you could want from an upright freezer: a ton of storage space, electronic temperature controls, frost-free operation, and it's Energy Star-certified.

This model comes with exceptionally clever storage for anyone looking to pack their freezer with backstock food but still wants access to chilly snacks like ice cream bars or frozen fruit. The four glass shelves can hold frozen meat or pizzas, while the clear slide-out drawers make for easy access to ice pops in the summer. There's also storage in the door for smaller items or grab-and-go smoothie packs. The electronic temperature controls make it easy to adjust the temperature on the door, and this GE appliance can withstand temperatures from 0 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's garage-friendly.

This upright freezer is frost-free, so you don't have to worry about manually defrosting, and it even comes with a turbo freeze setting to get your items chilly quickly. If your power goes out, this appliance will keep your food frozen for up to 48 hours, and it also comes with a lock and key for peace of mind.

While this GE freezer has many convenient features, the exterior aesthetic is basic and doesn't come in other colors or finishes. It's also a bit smaller than other large upright freezers. However, if you think 14.1 cubic feet isn't enough space, this model also comes in a 17.3-cubic-foot-capacity size.

Total Capacity: 14.1 cubic feet | Dimensions: 62 x 28 x 32 inches | Control Type: Electronic | Defrost Type: Frost free | Garage Friendly: Yes

Runner Up: Frigidaire FFFU16F2VW 15.5 Cu. Ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer

Frigidaire-FFFU16F2VW-15.5-Cubic-Foot-Frost-free-Upright-Freezer

Courtesy of AJ Madison

What We Like
  • Reversible door

  • Able to withstand a power outage

  • Plenty of storage options

What We Don't Like
  • Frost can build up inside

  • Possible delayed delivery

This pick from Frigidaire gives you plenty of room to store everything you need and makes sure it stays frozen solid, thanks to the brand's EvenTemp Cooling System. This technology circulates air to prevent warm spots from forming and ultimately spoiling your food. It's one of many features this upright freezer has that make it an excellent option.

In addition to the cooling technology, this model also can keep your food frozen for up to two days in a power outage, which is a relief to anyone living in an area prone to storms and outages. You can also install this freezer in a garage, so if you'd like to keep your extra frozen food a little further from your kitchen, it's not a problem. It can withstand temperatures from 0 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and even sports a reversible door, so you can shimmy it into any spot that's most convenient for you. A design that's both thoughtful and accessible continues within the 15.5-cubic-foot interior, outfitted with four shelves and a sliding storage basket. For any items that don't easily stack on shelves or you'd like to reach for quickly (like a container of ice cream), there are five spacious door bins as well.

Other helpful features include an alarm that sounds if the door is left open, a light at the bottom that tells you at a glance if the freezer is working properly, and LED interior lights so you can see what you're looking for. While the freezer itself is stellar, some customers have reported delivery delays. However, we think it's worth the wait. This upright freezer checks off all the boxes and would be a great buy for any household.

Total Capacity: 16 cubic feet | Dimensions: 67.75 x 27.75 x 29.12 inches | Control Type: Mechanical | Defrost Type: Frost free | Garage Friendly: Yes

Best Budget: Frigidaire FFUF2021AW 20.0 Cu. Ft. Upright Freezer

Frigidaire 20 Cubic Feet White Upright Freezer

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Energy Star-certified

  • Auto-close door

  • Frost free

  • Same footprint as 17 cubic feet model

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't include baskets

  • Shelves may not hold multiple heavy items

The Frigidaire FFUF2021AW 20.0 Cubic Feet Upright Freezer is a great option for anyone looking to use every inch of their large freezer to store overflow frozen pizzas, burgers, stews, and more. While this freezer isn't exactly cheap, it's an outstanding value for the amount of space it flaunts. This freezer has the footprint of a traditional 17 cubic feet freezer, but it packs 20 cubic feet of storage by utilizing in-door storage, so you know you are getting the best value for your money.

This Energy-Star certified device is packed with features, including auto-close doors, interior LED lights for easy food location, a power-on indicator light, temperature alarm, and it's frost-free, so you don't have to worry about manually defrosting your extra-large device. The four wire shelves create excellent storage and visibility, and in the event of a power outage, your food will stay frozen for up to 48 hours. Its adjustable temperature control lets you set the temperature anywhere from -10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and this garage-ready appliance can withstand temps of 0 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is a newer model, and a previous model contained baskets in place of a shelf, and some reviewers reported missing that feature. While the shelves don't have a listed weight limit, some reviewers were concerned over how much weight each shelf could hold.

Total Capacity: 20 cubic feet | Dimensions: 71.75 x 32.62 x 28.25 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Frost Free | Garage Friendly: Yes

Best Splurge: Whirlpool WSZ57L18DM 17.7 cu. ft. SideKicks Frost Free Upright Freezer

The Whirlpool SideKicks Frost Free Upright Freezer prioritizes accessibility and organization, and has a stainless steel exterior.
What We Like
  • Spacious interior

  • Electronic temperature controls

  • Can be paired with matching refrigerator

What We Don't Like
  • No reversible door

  • No safety lock

This upright freezer does a lot to make it easy for you to store and access food in whatever way is best for you. It offers almost 18 cubic feet of space to store your grocery store goods, and prioritizes accessibility with bright, LED lighting and five door bins. You can use these bins to store smaller items such as a pack of butter or pre-made smoothie, so that they don't get lost in the back.

In addition to those five door bins, this model also has one bulk storage basket and four shelves that'll help keep you organized and stress-free. If you typically worry about your items getting too frozen, you'll also love the interior electronic temperature controls in this model that let you tailor your experience, as well as its frost-free design. This takes away the need to manually defrost your freezer, which can be time-consuming and annoying.

Overall, this upright freezer doesn't shy away from style or functionality. With a stainless steel exterior, it'll fit in well with your other kitchen appliances or could even be placed beside its matching refrigerator. For the price, we wish the door was reversible to make it a little more versatile.

Total Capacity: 17.7 cubic feet | Dimensions: 66.75 x 30.25 x 31.25 inches | Control Type: Electronic | Defrost Type: Auto/cycle | Garage Friendly: No

Best Large Capacity: GE FUF21SMRWW Garage Ready 21.3 cu. ft. Frost Free Upright Freezer

GE FUF21SMR 21.3 cu. ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Very spacious interior

  • Tight door seal

  • Can be installed in a garage

What We Don't Like
  • Items can fall out of wire basket

  • On the expensive side

For the maximum in upright freezer storage space, turn to this very large option from GE. It's impressive in size, measuring 6 feet and 3 inches tall, and packing in just over 21 cubic feet of space. In comparison, most upright freezers top out at about 20 cubic feet. GE squeezed in an extra 1.3 cubic feet for you to stash a few more steaks or frozen dinners.

This model of upright freezer from GE has four wire shelves and one wire basket to keep things sorted and visible. In addition, four door shelves keep any smaller items in plain sight. Now, the super strong seal of this model may make the door a little tough to open. However, this seal will ensure that no cold air escapes the interior, stabilizing the environment your food is in.

Of course, such a large capacity upright freezer might not fit well in your kitchen, or you may not want to haul this heavy-duty model down to the basement. If you plan to keep it in your garage, know that it will perform well in temperatures from 0 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the manufacturer. This is also a frost-free unit at a quality price, so you won’t need to worry about thawing and draining this mammoth appliance.

Total Capacity: 21.3 cubic feet | Dimensions: 76.5 x 32.88 x 31.37 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Frost free | Garage Friendly: Yes

Best for Small Spaces: Magic Chef MCUF3W2 3.0 cu. ft. Upright Freezer in White

The Magic Chef MCUF3W2 3.0 cu. ft. Upright Freezer in White is a great compact option.
What We Like
  • Reversible door

  • Suitable for small living

  • Easy to organize

What We Don't Like
  • Narrow temperature range

  • Requires more maintenance

It's quite possible that you don't need a ton of extra freezer space and are looking for a more compact pick like the Magic Chef MCUF3W2. This upright freezer has just 3.0 cubic feet of storage space, which is ideal for smaller households, apartments, or RVs. Although it does require you to manually defrost it from time to time, it has two wire shelves for organizing easy-to-make meals, meats, fruits, or vegetables. In addition, its reversible door with a recessed handle makes it a flexible option that can be installed just about anywhere.

You can pair it with a matching mini refrigerator to complete an on-the-go kitchen, or set it up in a basement where you're putting together an at-home bar. Once you install it, just use the manual controls to adjust the interior's temperature anywhere between -4 and 6.8 degrees Fahrenheit. This range is much narrower than other models on the market, but you'll likely find it meets your needs.

Total Capacity: 3.0 cubic feet | Dimensions: 32.1 x 20.3 x 22 inches | Control Type: Mechanical | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Friendly: Yes

Best for Tiny Spaces: Whynter CUF-110B 1.1 cu. ft. Portable Freezer in Black with Lock, ENERGY STAR

Whynter CUF-110B Energy Star 1.1 Cubic Feet Upright Freezer with Lock, Black
Courtesy of Amazon.com.
What We Like
  • Energy Star-certified

  • Reversible door

  • Great for dorm rooms or RVs

What We Don't Like
  • Manual defrost

With just a foot of cubic freezer space, this Whynter CUF-110B Portable Freezer is perfect for tiny areas such as dorm rooms, RVs, or tiny homes. Stash pints of ice cream or frozen burritos in this tiny freezer without having to give up much space in your home or RV.

This Energy Star-certified device may be compact, but several features make it a great pick. It comes with a key and lock so you can be sure no roommates or partners have access without your permission, and it's got a reversible door so you can squeeze it in whatever space is convenient for you. You do have to defrost this device manually, but since it's so small, that shouldn't be too much of a pain.

Total Capacity: 1.1 cubic feet | Dimensions: 19.5 x 18.5 x 17.7 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Friendly: Yes

Best Manual Defrost: Danby Designer DUFM043A2WDD 4.3 cu. ft. Upright Freezer

Danby Designer 4.3 cu. ft. Upright Freezer in white

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Operates quietly

  • Energy Star-certified

  • Reversible door

What We Don't Like
  • Not very spacious

  • Requires more maintenance

If you don’t quite trust the natural, automatic defrosting cycles of a freezer, consider this small Danby model that has manual defrost. It has a mechanical thermostat that you can set anywhere from -11 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes time to manually defrost this piece, you'll want to pull everything out so you can scrape any thick ice chunks off the interior and cooling elements.

This is quite a tedious task, but luckily this particular model isn't too large. With a 4.3-cubic-foot capacity, it has just enough space to store anything extra that wouldn't fit in your main freezer but won't overwhelm you on cleaning day. You can organize your frozen food using three shelves that quickly attract cold air. Once you close its reversible door, you can be happy that it runs quietly and remains reliable.

Although this model may not have every single bell and whistle, it certainly will get the job done and fill your needs. It's slightly more cost-effective because of the smaller capacity, and Danby freezers operate between 35 and 46 decibels so that you won't be bothered by the operation noise.

Total Capacity: 4.3 cubic feet | Dimensions: 36.12 x 24.5 x 23.63 inches | Control Type: Mechanical | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Friendly: Yes

Final Verdict

Any household in the market for an upright freezer should head straight for the GE 14.1 Cu. Ft. Frost-Free Garage Ready Upright Freezer. This model is garage-friendly, has a turbo breeze feature, and it's Energy Star-certified. Looking for a slightly larger appliance? The Frigidaire FFUF2021AW 20.0 Cubic Feet Upright Freezer offers 20 cubic feet of storage space, and it comes with a power outage promise, auto-close doors, and a frost-free operation.

What to Look for in an Upright Freezer

Capacity

The interior of an upright freezer is measured in cubic feet. It can range from as little as 1.1 cubic feet to nearly 22 cubic feet. The larger the capacity of your model, the more you can store, so you'll need to consider how much you want to store before buying. The average upright freezer has around 16 cubic feet of space, and is divided up with four or five shelves, as well as a basket. To put this in perspective, that's enough space to store 560 pounds of meat.

Manual vs. automatic defrosting

Upright freezers either manually or automatically defrost. If a freezer manually defrosts, that means that ice and frost will build up in the interior over time. To maintain the model and ensure the cold air can flow evenly, you must unplug the model, remove everything from inside, and give the frost some time to melt away. You can speed up the process by chipping away at the frost build-up, before then draining the water, and plugging in your appliance. Automatic defrosting eliminates this routine, and allows the model to regulate itself. This type of freezer is also known as frost-free or self-defrosting, and can make your experience much easier, but will cost more to operate and purchase upfront.

Temperature range

The temperature range of an upright freezer will determine what you can store inside of it. In most models, this range goes from -10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for storing food for long periods of time. Compact or budget models typically have a smaller range, and only allow for the internal temperature to be set between -4 and 7 degrees, while convertible models can be set as high as 44 degrees. To find the right fit for you, consider what you're storing, and know that the internal temperature range is separate from the exterior temperatures your upright freezer can withstand.

Standout Features

Garage-ready design

If an upright freezer is garage-ready, it can be used in an outdoor setting where temperatures can be very flexible. Despite a very hot or cold external environment, the unit will run reliably and effectively. A garage-ready model is most suitable for households who don't want to eliminate space inside their home for more frozen food storage, or want their appliance to have several installation options.

Quick freeze setting

When you turn on your upright freezer for the first time, or add new items to it after going to the store, a quick freeze setting will help the internal environment get cold fast. When activated, it'll override the temperature you set, and circulate the coldest air possible. It will continue for up to 50 hours—packing in the flavors of your meats, fruits, and vegetables. This is useful for households who want an entirely hands-free experience, or are interested in a convertible model.

Reversible door

An upright freezer with a reversible door can be opened by swinging the door to the left or right. This is a convenient feature if you plan on installing your freezer in a tight space or cluttered garage. You'll notice that this type of door features recessed handles and airtight seals. The seals can become worn over time, but can be replaced if needed.

FAQ
  • How do I set the temperature on an upright freezer?

    To set the temperature on an upright freezer, first locate the temperature controls. The controls could be a manual dial, which you turn to your desired setting, or an electronic panel, where you tap buttons until the readout shows the proper internal temperature. To properly store frozen food, you should set the internal temperature to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Some upright freezers have a warm temperature or door alarm that'll notify you if the interior gets warmer than that.

  • How do you organize an upright freezer?

    When organizing an upright freezer, or any freezer, you want to keep one rule in mind: first in, first out. In doing so, you won't forget about certain packaged meats, and inevitably throw them away after you find them months later. Another tip to follow includes putting your fruit, frozen meals, or vegetables in their own designated storage bins. In addition, plan to store bread and butter in the door bins, as it's a bit warmer. For more, check out our guide on how to organize a freezer.

  • What is better, a chest or an upright freezer?

    In terms of space, an upright freezer is better than a chest freezer. It has a smaller footprint, leaving space for other items in your home. Upright freezers are also easier to organize—since shelving and door bins provide many thoughtful organization options. In contrast, chest freezers use less energy and are less noisy. This is essential if you want to save money or are planning on installing the unit in your home. For more, check out our guide on chest versus upright freezers.

  • Do upright freezers have ice makers?

    Some upright freezers do have built-in ice makers, while others will have the option of purchasing one separately. If you need an upright freezer with an ice maker, note that it will likely cost you more than getting one without an ice maker.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Marisa Casciano, who is the 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 knows the importance of finding a freezer that's both spacious and reliable.

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.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The Best Upright Freezers for the Home. Bob Vila. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-upright-freezer/

  2. Recommended Freezers. Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/products/freezers-33037/freezer-33041/recommended/