So, you want a small freezer for your house, or maybe your office or other space. Maybe you’d just like some extra freezer space in your home. Perhaps you’re finishing or refurbishing your basement and plan to put in a bar. Or maybe you’re looking for something small to put in your office break room. Whatever your reason, you need information on what kind of small freezer may work best for you.
You may be asking yourself what, precisely, constitutes a “small freezer.” You’re probably also wondering how much they cost and how many features you can get. There’s also always the pervasive question, “Which brand is best?”
Comparison of the Best Small Freezer
What Is a Small Freezer?
A small freezer is generally any freezer that has a size of nine cubic feet or less. The size of the freezer you want depends on your needs. Generally, though, this industry figures that you need 1.5 cubic feet of space per person in your household. It would be good to consider how much total freezer space you need while deciding what small freezer is best for you.
How small freezers are categorized
There are two categories of small freezers: Compact, which is five cubic feet or less; and small, which is between five and nine cubic feet. Anything larger is a medium or large-sized freezer. This is true for both chest freezers and upright freezers.
What do people think of small freezers?
People like small freezers for small spaces, such as the trucker who bought a 1.1 cubic foot upright freezer to take on the road. They say that it fits so well in their truck that, for the first time ever, they're able to take ice cream on the road. Many people say that larger small freezers have more space than they appear to, and will keep even a 24-pack of soda or beer inside.
Some people also say that they think a small freezer works perfectly for their food storage needs in apartments and even senior living facilities. In other words, if you have simple needs, a small freezer should work out very well for you.
Pricing on small freezers varies by size and brand. In general, though, you can find a freezer from 1.1 cubic feet all the way up to nine cubic feet for anywhere from $ to $$$. Some fancy small freezers go from $700 to $1500, but for the most part, you can expect to pay a far more reasonable price for a small freezer.
How We Reviewed
We gathered information on specs and features from manufacturer websites, in addition to sites like Sears, Best Buy, and Amazon. Customer review information came from reviews on Amazon, as well as those on Sears' and Best Buy's websites. Some customer information also came from manufacturer websites. We used their star ratings to determine which small freezers are the best.
The Best Small Freezers on the Market
Now that you know as much as possible about owning a small freezer, which ones are the best? We've narrowed all your choices down to three small chest freezers, and three small upright freezers that we feel are the best based on how customers feel about them.
Danby DCF038A1WDB1-3 Chest Freezer
Danby's small chest freezer is an excellent space-saver while providing you with excellent freezer capacity. It's 25 inches long and 22 inches deep, with a power-on indicator light and front-mount mechanical temperature control. This is a deep freezer, so it keeps your food frozen between 10 and -11 degrees Fahrenheit.
This freezer has a smooth back design so you can install it within just a couple of inches of the wall, and features one wire basket for better freezer organization. As a bonus, Danby's freezer uses an environmentally friendly refrigerant. Danby also offers a 12-month warranty on parts and labor and will come to your house to service or repair your freezer.
People who have bought this freezer like its compact size and the fact that it's small and lightweight. Some customers say that it's the perfect size for a single person living in a small apartment. It fits well in their living rooms and makes very little noise. Others say it's ideal for storing up food for holiday gatherings and other parties, especially when you can't have a big refrigerator-freezer in your kitchen.
The primary complaint about this freezer centers on its door seal. Some say it seals too tightly, while others complain of frost forming around the outside of the seal, meaning it's leaking a little. A few have even noticed mold on the seal within just a few months. Some people have also noticed that the power-on indicator light can burn out very quickly, and is difficult to replace. It has an Amazon rating of 4.1 out of 5-stars, overall customers really liked this freezer.
Insignia 3.5 Cubic Foot Freezer
- Convenient controls let you adjust the temperature to keep your foods at the right temperature
- Removable storage basket. Provides flexible organization options for your frozen items.
Insignia's freezers are all available at Best Buy or through their website so that right there can make them convenient to purchase. This particular freezer, like Danby's, comes with one wire basket to help you organize your food and a power-on indicator light.
It also has a mechanical dial for temperature control. At just 22 inches wide and 21.5 inches deep, it gives you excellent storage capacity with a small footprint, so it's suitable for living rooms and crowded basements. You'll have to defrost this one periodically, so it comes with a manual defrost drain, and it has a 12-month manufacturer warranty on parts and labor.
Customers love this freezer's small footprint, its capacity, the fact that it cools down very quickly, and that it fits easily inside their combination kitchen/dining areas. A few say that it's perfect for a family of two or three.
It's not without its drawbacks, though. The chief complaint about this freezer is that it's basic. It does not have interior lighting or digital controls. There's also no way to level it, so if your space isn't level, you'll have a hard time keeping this freezer level. That's something to keep in mind when deciding where to put it. It has a Best Buy customer rating of 4.7 out of 5-stars.
Kenmore 3.5 Cubic Foot Freezer
Kenmore is known for its quality kitchen appliances, and they include a small chest freezer in their product line. This 3.5 cubic foot freezer comes with a mechanical temperature dial, a removable basket, and a power-on indicator light.
It also has a comparable footprint as the freezers listed above so that it will fit well in small spaces. You have to defrost this freezer manually, just like the two listed above, so it has a defrost drain for the water.
Kenmore's customers like the fact that it's quiet since they buy it for small places like apartments. They also say it freezes food very quickly and keeps it frozen. Some say that this freezer gives them just enough extra space for when their favorite frozen foods go on sale. It gives them the ability to stock up and stay stocked up.
The primary complaint about Kenmore's small freezer is that it sometimes comes with manufacturer defects. Sears offers a 13-month limited warranty, which covers such defects. In general, people seem to like this freezer better than the two above. It has a Sears customer rating of 4.5 out of 5-stars.
Magic Chef MCUF3W2 Freezer
Magic Chef offers a small, upright freezer complete with two wire shelves and a flush back so you can install it near a wall. It has a small footprint at just 20 inches wide and 22 inches deep. It's also only 32 inches tall, so it's great to put under your kitchen counter. If you have a bar in your basement, this should fit well under there, too.
This freezer comes with a reversible door handle, which gives you more flexibility for placement. Magic Chef offers a limited warranty, along with a five-year guarantee on the freezer's compressor. They'll repair it should you have problems due to manufacturer defects.
Customers enjoy the fact that they can put it in their garages, kitchens, and pretty much anywhere else. They also say that it doesn't frost up very quickly, so they don't need to defrost it very often. One customer even said that they'd had theirs for six months and hadn't yet needed to defrost it.
However, some have had problems with the door seal, which makes the inside frost up more quickly. That's also a problem that will contribute to your electrical bill. Several customers also say that this freezer is noisy, so if you live in a small apartment, you might have problems with noise. It has a customer rating on Amazon of 4.3 out of 5-stars.
Danby 3.8 Cubic Foot Upright Freezer
Danby doesn't just offer chest freezers; they also offer small upright freezers. Their 3.2 cubic foot freezer comes with two quick-freeze shelves and a reversible door, giving you more flexibility in where you install it.
Its smooth back allows you to place it under your counter or elsewhere near a wall. You can put it on top of the counter in your office's break room, too, since it's only 21 inches wide and 22 inches deep. Danby offers a 12-month warranty on parts and labor but does not cover regular maintenance.
Some people have been able to install this freezer in closets with enough clearance. Most, though, like that they can put it in a corner or against an out-of-the-way wall in small apartments and retirement cottages. One customer reports that this freezer is so well insulated it kept their food frozen during a 31-hour power outage.
One major complaint is that it has no storage space on the door, like other small freezers. The other only has to do with its color, since it just comes in white. Other than that, there aren't many complaints about this small freezer. The freezer has a customer rating on Danby's website of 4.5 out of 5-stars.
Whynter CUF-210SS Upright Freezer
- Measures: 20" Long x 17.5" Wide x 27.5" High. The noise level is <45 dB and the voltage is 115 volts /60Hz
- Freestanding setup (clearance around the unit is needed).Refrigerant type: R600a.
- Sleek stainless steel reversible-swing door and black cabinet with cylinder lock and two keys
Whynter's freezer is smaller than the two listed above, but it's still capable of storing a decent amount of frozen food. Unlike the freezers listed above, this one comes with a lock. It's suitable for your basement, garage, or under a kitchen counter, and has two slide-out wire shelves for organization. You need to defrost this freezer manually every so often, like the others.
You also need to ensure there's a certain amount of space around it. It comes with a reversible door, so you can install it in a corner. It's so small that it's also very lightweight. At 44 pounds, you can install it anywhere yourself, or with just one other person. Furthermore, it's Energy Star rated, which is difficult to find on a small freezer.
Customers enjoy how easily this freezer fits under their counters. It gives them extra storage space for holiday gatherings and birthday parties, and for frozen fruits and vegetables. A few hunters say that this freezer is useful for storing meat, although they need larger freezers for the big game. It's also good for extra freezer space in RVs, so long as you've got enough clearance.
Customers' major complaints center around its size. For some, it's just a little too small for their needs. It's also not made for outdoor use, so it's not a good idea to put it in your garage. It has a customer rating of 5.0 out of 5-stars on Sears' website and 4.7 out of 5-stars on Whynter's site.
Which Small Freezer Should You Buy?
Based on our research and evaluation, we recommend Kenmore's 3.5 cubic foot chest freezer if you want a small chest freezer. We recommend Danby's 3.2 cubic foot upright freezer if that's what you're looking for. These two particular freezers have a higher rate of customer satisfaction than the other brands. However, all of these freezers are high-quality, and what you buy ultimately depends on your personal and household needs.