If you can’t find anything in your freezer without digging through piles of tater tots and popsicles, you need help. Chest freezers can be a handy storage solution, especially if you buy food in bulk or you hunt. They are inexpensive, energy-efficient, and, as you’ll see from our list, can fit in any space.

Chest Freezer FAQ

1. What Are Chest Freezers?

A chest freezer is a freezer that’s freestanding and opens with a hinged lid at the top. Its design keeps cold air in so items stay frozen solid. Chest freezers have an open design, so you can store larger cuts of meat and boxes that you can’t fit in a side-by-side freezer. It also holds more food per cubic foot — about 35 pounds per cubic foot — than a traditional fridge freezer combo.

2. What Size Chest Freezer Should I Buy?

Chest freezers can be placed into four sizes: large, medium, small and compact.

Compact models are about 5 cubic feet, while small chest freezers are between 6 and 9 cubic feet. Medium chest freezers are 12 to 18 cubic feet. Large ones have a capacity of 18 cubic square feet and above.

The easiest way to calculate the size of freezer you need is to multiply the number of people in your family by 1.5. For example, a family of 5 would need at least 7.5 cubic feet of food storage or a small chest freezer.

Midea MRC04M3AWW Single Door Chest Freezer, 3.5 Cubic Feet, White

3. What Choices Do I Have When Considering Freezers?

Defrost Type — Automatic or Manual

Frost may seem like a problem from the olden days since your fridge defrosts itself. But chest freezers get frost buildup that can hinder the energy efficiency and keep the door from closing. A thick layer of ice can take up valuable storage space.

Most of the inexpensive chest freezers have to be manually defrosted. This is a pain. You have to take all of the food out of the freezer, turn the freezer off, and wait for the ice to melt. Then you have to clean the freezer because, why not?

The real kicker is that you have to store your food somewhere else while the ice melts. Auto defrost freezers solve this issue. The good news is these chest freezers don’t get an ice layer. They defrost themselves once a day, and you just set it and forget it. The bad news is you’ll pay more for them, they make more noise, and they can cause freezer burn.

RECOMMENDED READ: How To Defrost A Freezer the Right Way

An Adjustable Thermostat

Basic chest freezers will have a high and low cooling setting. If you need to keep food at a certain temperature, this type of temperature control can be vague. An adjustable thermostat lets you have more control over the temperature. The more sophisticated and expensive models will have up to seven settings.

Commercial Top Chest Freezer - KITMA 9.6 Cu. Ft. Deep Ice Cream...

Shelves, Baskets, and Dividers

These items can help keep foods organized. This makes it easier to find items, and you can change the arrangement as you change the food in your freezer.

Lights

A power light is essential to indicate the freezer is working. You wouldn’t want to plug it in and realize days later that it isn’t on. Interior lights are helpful, especially if the freezer is stored in a garage or basement.

A Freezer Lock

Families with small children want to consider getting a model with a freezer lock. A chest freezer is big enough for the child to climb into and be trapped. If trapped in a freezer for too long, the child can suffocate. Some chest freezers come with locks that prevent the freezer from being opened.

4. Should I Purchase a Larger Chest Freezer Than What I Need?

No. Having a chest freezer that’s too large means it’s not full. When a freezer is not full, the air inside it warms easily, which means the freezer has to use more energy to keep cool

5. Where Do I Put a Chest Freezer?

You can put a chest freezer anywhere you want, but be sure getting to it is convenient.

6. Why Get a Chest Freezer?

There are benefits to getting a chest freezer. Even if you think you don’t need one, you would be surprised how handy it is to have one. Here are some of the big benefits of adding one to your household.

Chest freezers Can Store More

If you have a side-by-side refrigerator circa 2006, you may know the pain of trying to put a jumbo frozen pizza or an economy-sized box of ice cream sandwiches into the space. Things just don’t fit. Add food for a big family or a Costco membership and freezer space is really scarce.

As you’ll see from our reviews, even a 5-cubic foot chest freezer can hold 175 pounds of food.

Danby DCF072A2WDB1 Chest Freezer, 7.2 Cubic Feet, White

Chest Freezers Are Efficient

You might think that having another appliance will send your energy bill through the roof. In reality, chest freezers are energy-efficient and won’t cost you a lot more on your energy bill. Besides. you can really stock up when items go on sale.

7. Do Chest Freezers Have Downsides?

We want to present all sides of owning a chest freezer. The appliance has many benefits, but there are a few drawbacks. They may not be the right solution for you.

Size

The chest freezers on our list are not that large, but chest freezers in general are not known for their small footprint. A chest freezer can take up quite a bit of space. If you live in a place where space is already at a premium, adding another item that sits on the floor may not be a good idea.

Door Clearance

Even though you’ll be tempted to store items on top of the freezer, remember that the door to the freezer is on top. If you pile a bunch of junk on it, you won’t be able to get to the items in your freezer.

Organizing

Chest freezers can be a pain to organize. If you don’t have bins or dividers, the chest freezer is a big, cold box. It can become a junk drawer of food if you let it. Luckily many of the options on our list have baskets and dividers. Of course, you can add your own divider or basket system.

Looks

A chest freezer is also just plain ugly. That may be why they are frequently sent to the basement or garage. Do you really want to go to the dark, dank garage every time you are preparing a meal? Think about it.

How We Reviewed

When you need a chest freezer, you want one that’s going to not have much effect on your energy bill and will hold enough food so you can save money when there’s a sale. Too many times people inherit a freezer that doesn’t fit their needs or they buy one based on price, not on need. This list of chest freezers has solid options in compact, small, medium, and large sizes. It also includes inexpensive models that are quality.

Other parameters we considered were features, how easy it is to move it, and any warranty offered. We chose our ultimate favorite chest freezer at the end of this article.

Midea WHS-129C1 Single Door Chest Freezer

Midea MRC04M3AWW Single Door Chest Freezer, 3.5 Cubic Feet, White
  • Mechanical Control with Adjustable Thermostat from -12 to -28 Degrees (Great for Storing Frozen Food, Ice Cream, Ice,...
  • Contains 1 Hanging Wire Storage Basket
  • Hinge-Style Door Remains Open from 45 to 75 Degree Angles

If you want a space-saver, this Midea model is 3.5-cubic feet: about the size of a dorm-room refrigerator. It comes with two wire shelves along with a wire basket so you can organize the food. It’s whisper-quiet and has a reversible door, which means the freezer will fit just about anywhere. It is a manual defrost unit, but it has a drain to make the process easier.

The compact freezer measures 33.5 inches long by 22.2 inches wide and 20.59 inches high. It weighs about 60 pounds.

Pros

  • Reversible door
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Perfect for apartments

Cons

  • Too small for families
  • Pricey

Warranty

The Midea comes with a 1-year full warranty and a 2-year warranty for the compressor.

Atosa Commercial Top Chest Freezer

Commercial Top Chest Freezer - KITMA 9.6 Cu. Ft. Deep Ice Cream...
  • 【9.6 Cu. Ft Capacity】Size : 40.5''×26.5''×32.5'', 9.6 Cu.Ft chest freezer has a 1-year warranty, and it is perfect...
  • 【Two Interior Baskets】Thanks to the removable baskets, which helps you organize the interior and better merchandise...
  • 【Temperatu Control】This chest freezer foamed in place polyurethane insulation and environmentally friendly (R404A)...

The Atosa Commercial freezer has a 9.6 cubic foot capacity that is a good size for families. It is energy efficient and has a storage basket for easy access to smaller items.

The freezer measures 40.5 inches long by 26.5 inches wide by 32.5 inches high. The freezer has to be defrosted manually but has a drain to make it easier.

This medium-sized freezer has 3 inches of foam insulation so it can hold the contents at a safe temperature for up to 2 days without power. It also has a lock to keep children out of it. The Atosa can maintain a temperature range from -10 to -1 degree Fahrenheit. The unit weighs 106 pounds and comes with four casters.

Pros

  • Good size for a family
  • Child lock
  • Casters for easy rolling

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No auto defrost option available

Warranty

The Atosa comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor and a 5-year warranty on the compressor.

RCA RFRF452 Chest Freezer

RCA RFRF450-AMZ, 5.1 Cubic Foot Chest, Deep Freezer Cold Storage for...
  • Chest Freezer with 5.1 Inch Cubic Foot Capacity
  • Defrost Drain for Easy Cleaning
  • Shelf for Easy Organization

This is a small chest freezer with a 5.1 cubic foot capacity and a defrost drain for easier cleaning. The RCA has a shelf to keep food organized. The adjustable thermostat keeps food at the right temperature. The front panel has a power switch, so it’s easy to turn on and off.

The RCA RFRF452 measures 35 inches long by 22.8 inches wide by 30.1 inches high and weighs 72.8 pounds. It does not have an auto-defrost function, and it lacks an interior light. For the price, it is a good option if you have room in your kitchen. It comes in two color finishes: white and black.

Pros

  • Shelf for food organization
  • Adjustable temperature
  • Affordable
  • Front drain for easy cleaning

Cons

  • No interior light
  • No auto defrost option
  • Warranty not as good as some other units

Warranty

The RCA comes with a limited 1-year warranty.

Danby DCF072A2WDB-3 DCF072A2WDB1 Chest Freezer

Danby DCF072A2WDB1 Chest Freezer, 7.2 Cubic Feet, White
  • Environmentally friendly R600a refrigerant | Manual defrost
  • Product dimensions – 39.94” W x 22.19” D x 33.06” H | Internal capacity – 7.2 cu. Ft. or 204 liters | Energy...
  • Front mount mechanical thermostat | Front mount defrost drain

The Danby chest freezer offers 7.2 cubic feet of space and has a few more premium features than the other chest freezers on our list so far. It has an accessible front-mounted thermostat and a handy front mount drain for quick defrosting.

The cabinet and lid have energy-efficient foam insulation. The inside is constructed from rust-resistant aluminum that is easy to clean. You’ll get a wire storage basket to put frequently used items in. You’ll also get a compartment divider to make organizing the freezer a breeze.

The freezer is cooled by R600a refrigerant, which is environmentally friendly. The unit weighs 80 pounds and measures 22.2 inches by 39.9 inches by 33.1 inches high.

Pros

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Front-mounted drain
  • Energy efficient
  • Divider and basket included

Cons

  • No auto defrost
  • No interior light

Warranty

The Danby comes with a 12-month warranty on parts and labor.

GE FCM11PHWW Chest Freezer

GE FCM11PHWW Chest Freezer
  • With a door that locks to help keep children out
  • Up-front temperature controls are easy to reach and operate
  • Lock with key allows you to protect your valuable food items from unintentional entry

This roomy chest freezer has 10.6 cubic feet of capacity, which is great for those Costco hauls. The door has a lock on it to keep children out of it. There are temperature controls up front where they are easy to access.

This unit is Energy Star-certified, has manual defrost and interior lighting. There are three lift-out sliding baskets that will keep everything organized. A power indicator light on the exterior gives you the reassurance that the freezer is working and your food is safe to eat.

The GE has a temperature range of -10 to 15 degrees. It has seven settings on its temperature gauge, so you’ll get the temp just right. The freezer weighs 114 pounds and measures 50.8 inches by 27.5 inches by 33.5 inches.

Pros

  • Seven temperature settings
  • Interior light
  • Energy efficient
  • Three bins for organization
  • Child lock

Cons

  • Auto defrost not available
  • Pricey

Warranty

The GE comes with a one-year warranty.

Haier HF50CM23NW Chest Freezer

Haier HF50CM23NW 5.0 cu. ft. Capacity Chest Freezer, White
  • Holds up to 175lbs of frozen food
  • Adjustable thermostat control
  • Easy-Access Defrost Drain

If your budget is on a serious shoestring, you can still get a quality stand-alone freezer in this 5 cubic foot chest freezer from Haier. It has a space-saving design that lays flat against the wall. You won’t even notice it’s there. Its price tag may be small, but this freezer can do a big job — it can hold an amazing 175 pounds of food.

This one has a removable basket for convenient storage of frequently used items. Although this model is a manual defrost, it has a handy drain to make the chore less of a chore.  The only downside is it could use more bins, but you can always add your own. The freezer is quiet and has an adjustable thermostat control. The Haier weighs 71 pounds and measures 22 inches by 28.5 inches by 33.2 inches.

Pros

  • Runs quiet
  • Good price
  • Adjustable thermostat

Cons

  • No auto defrost
  • No child lock

Warranty

There is a 1-year limited warranty on parts and labor and a 5-year warranty on sealed parts.

Midea MRC050S0AWW Chest Freezer

Midea MRC050S0AWW Chest Freezer, 5.0 Cubic Feet, White
  • External Product Dimensions: 24.7" X 21.7" X 33.5"
  • Contains 1 Hanging Wire Storage Basket
  • Mechanical Control with Adjustable Thermostat from -12 to -28 Degrees (Great for Storing Frozen Food, Ice Cream, Ice,...

Midea makes a second appearance on our list of chest freezers and for good reason. This model is bigger than the other one at 5 cubic feet. It has an adjustable thermostat that reaches some of the coldest temps -12 to -28 degrees. You’ll also get a hanging basket to store items you need the most. The unit measures 24.7 inches by 21.7 inches by 33.5 inches high. It weighs 69 pounds. This beauty is energy efficient, using an estimated 218 kilowatt-hours a year. The Midea is really easy to clean.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Energy efficient

Cons

  • No auto defrost function

Warranty

The Midea comes with a full 1-year warranty and a 2-year warranty for the compressor.

COSTWAY Car Travel Freezer

COSTWAY Car Travel Freezer, 84 Quart Portable 2-door Compressor...
  • 【Large Capacity And Perfect Portability】With 80L large capacity, this refrigerator could hold a great amount of...
  • 【Multi-use Design】Deep chilling down performance, two separately controlled temperature zones, you can set either...
  • 【Fast Freeze】For the compressor cooling technology, this refrigerator could achieve fast cooling between -0.4°F to...

The Costway Travel Fridge has a 54-quart capacity that can act as a freezer and refrigerator. It can cool quickly. In just 30-minutes this unit can go from 90 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a durable ABS plastic shell, is compatible with 2/24VDC and 110/240VAC. This travel freezer is a breeze to use thanks to its LCD display with digital temperature gauge. You can use it as a camping fridge, car fridge, in the RV and while tailgating. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. The unit weighs 64 pounds and measures 34.5 inches by 21 inches by 20 inches.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Cools quickly
  • Easy to read LCD display

Cons

  • High price
  • Not a ton of space

Warranty

There is a simple 90-day warranty with this product.

The Verdict

We love the GE FCM11PHWW Chest Freezer. It has the safety of a door lock to keep children out. Its temperature controls are easy to access. We applaud the interior lighting and its three lift-out sliding baskets that keep everything organized. The power indicator light reassures us that the freezer is freezing stuff.

If you need a smaller model, either of the Midea models are your best bet. They are compact and affordably priced. They also have an incredible temperature range that will keep your food in the deep freeze. Whether you choose our winners or not, all of the products on our list will do a great job of preserving your food.

Last update on 2021-09-27 at 12:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API