Having a refrigerator and freezer combination is pretty typical in most homes, but sometimes a household needs a bit of extra freezer space for long-term cold storage. That’s where the stand-alone freezer comes in.
Choosing the best freezer for a user’s needs includes looking at several factors, such as the space available for the new appliance, how many frozen foods the user intends to store, how the user feels about energy efficiency, and more.
This buyer’s guide looks at the highest-quality freezers available, providing the knowledge and specifications to help buyers make an informed purchase.
- BEST OVERALL: Frigidaire 13 Cu. Ft. Frost-Free Upright Freezer
- RUNNER-UP: GE Garage Ready 17.3 Cu. Ft. Frost-Free Freezer
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Arctic King 7.0 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer in Black
- UPGRADE PICK: Atosa Reach-In Freezer With Half Doors
- BEST CHEST FREEZER: Frigidaire 14.8 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer
- BEST MINI FREEZER: Midea 3.5 Cu. Ft. Mini Freezer
- BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: Arctic Air AWF25 30-Inch 25 Cu. Ft. Reach-In Freezer
- BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Frigidaire EFRF696-AMZ 6.5 Cu. Ft. Upright Freezer
- BEST ENERGY-EFFICIENT: Whynter Stainless Steel Deep Freezer/Refrigerator
- BEST PORTABLE: Euhomy Compact Mini Freezer
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Freezer
The best freezer for each user will depend on the features that matter most to that user. Some with big families need serious storage; others require a compact freezer for a small home or space. Here’s what to consider when starting a search for the best freezer.
There are four types of freezers. Each offers a unique set of features, and some are better suited to certain environments than others.
- Upright freezers: These look much like a refrigerator, but they have only one door and are probably a bit smaller. They have shelves, just like the refrigerator/freezer combo many users already have. Upright freezers can come in a variety of finishes.
- Drawer freezers: Many are probably familiar with these freezers, as they often come as a refrigerator/freezer unit, where the refrigerator is on the top, and the freezer is a drawer that pulls out on the bottom. However, it’s also possible to buy a drawer freezer on its own that fits into the user’s cabinetry; these might be referred to as “undercounter” freezers.
- Chest freezers: These freezers have one door that opens from the top. Depending on the size of the chest freezer, there might be dividers to help with organization. Just as with the upright models, chest freezers come in a variety of finishes.
- Portable freezers: These small freezers can be lightweight enough to pick up and carry around; they look very much like dorm-style refrigerators. They are tiny and are meant for storing small quantities of frozen foods.
Determining where to place the freezer is one of the first steps in choosing which one might be best for one’s home. For those who can sacrifice some space under their cabinets, the drawer freezer option might work very well.
An upright freezer or chest freezer is ideal for those who have room in the garage or laundry room. A portable freezer, given its small size and ease of transporting it, can be a great solution for those who don’t have much space to spare. Think carefully about where the freezer will go before beginning a search.
A point to keep in mind: Most freezers work best when they are in an area that stays at a comfortable room temperature so that the freezer’s cold air stays cold. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for a freezer that will be put in an area without temperature control, such as a garage.
Size and Storage Capacity
Once the user has chosen a location, it’s time to break out the measuring tape. What size freezer will fit in the space where the user wants it to go? This might eliminate some options; for instance, an upright freezer might not fit in that dedicated space in the garage, but a mini freezer will.
In addition to looking at the actual size of the unit and determining whether it will fit in the intended space, the user will also want to look at the interior size and storage capacity. The larger chest freezers are usually the best for storage capacity, as they are essentially big boxes that keep food frozen. Uprights are next in line for the strength of their cold air, with their capacity limited a bit by the shelves inside and the freezer door (which often holds shelves as well).
Choosing a drawer freezer depends on where the user intends to install it; this might come along with installation of all-new cabinetry during a remodel, so there are other considerations that come into play. When choosing the size of a drawer freezer, talking to a contractor might be the best bet.
When looking for energy efficiency, always start with the Energy Star label. This will help the user compare apples to apples in terms of how much energy will be used in creating cold air. Keep in mind that those ratings are created under ideal conditions. So for those with many family members constantly opening the freezer door, don’t expect to get the efficiency stated on that Energy Star label.
As a general rule, chest freezers tend to be more energy efficient because they often have a tighter seal around the freezer door and typically don’t have self-defrosting features. Upright freezers are next on the list, followed by freezer drawers and portable freezers.
To keep a freezer as energy efficient as possible, set the freezer at the ideal cold air temperature according to the manufacturer’s instructions, keep the freezer door closed as much as possible, and fill up the freezer—the more frozen food in there, the less air to circulate, and the easier it will be for the compressor to keep up with the need for cold air.
Many chest freezers have excellent temperature control. That might be thanks to the tighter seal on the freezer door (that it opens from the top allows gravity to do its work), but it might also be because few chest-freezer models are frost-free. However, many chest freezers offer only a few options for temperature, sometimes even as simple as “high” or “low.” For those who want finer control, many upright freezers offer that option, as do several drawer freezers.
Though some portable freezers offer finer temperature control, given their small size and common uses—to be carried from one place to another, for travel, and the like—many are more of the “plug-and-play” style, with only one cold air temperature setting. Users may want to consider how much an adjustable temperature control feature matters to them when choosing the best freezer.
Blackout Recovery (Power-Outage Assurance)
For those who live in areas that are more susceptible to losing power for an extended period of time, a blackout recovery option could mean the difference between safe, usable food and ruined food that has to be thrown out. Some freezers are better at maintaining frozen temperatures than others; chest freezers tend to be the top choice in this regard and might be able to sustain a frozen temperature for a few days.
During a power outage, all freezers should be able to maintain a proper temperature for at least a few hours. A good rule of thumb to remember is that the smaller the freezer is, the faster frozen food will start to warm during an outage. Keep the freezer door closed to keep the cold air in, and when the power comes back on, check the freezer’s temperature to ensure the frozen foods are still properly cold.
Freezers are just like any other appliance; they can be simple and straightforward, or they can be loaded with bells and whistles. Look for additional features if something in particular matters to you. Here are a few options to consider when shopping:
- Alarms that alert the user when the temperature in the freezer drops too much.
- Door locks that ensure the freezer door stays closed.
- Sliding bins or hanging baskets for chest freezers to make organization easier.
- Adjustable shelves for upright freezers to fit frozen foods of different sizes.
- A power light that shows at a glance that the freezer is working.
- Wheel rollers for easy portability.
- Frost-free freezers prevent ice from forming, so the user doesn’t have to use manual defrost.
- A thermostat to show the temperature.
- Adjustable temperature (manual or electric) for energy efficiency, to prevent freezer burn, and to convert to refrigeration.
- Reversible freezer door(s) for design, positioning, and user’s right- or left-handed preference.
- Flush back for fit, design, and extra freezer space.
- Fingerprint-free finish for easier cleaning.
- Prep tabletop on chest freezers for extra work space.
Our Top Picks
Once you’ve determined your priorities for your new freezer, take a look at these top-quality models for your kitchen, garage, or RV.
Its simple look is deceiving, as this upright freezer has a lot to offer. It features 13 cubic feet of storage with four metallic-wire adjustable shelves, a deep bottom basket for larger items, and five freezer-door bins. With a reversible freezer door available in white or brushed steel, this Frigidaire offers plenty of practical bells and whistles, such as adjustable temperature control and solid performance in environments of up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
EvenTemp Cooling constantly moves air around, ensures the freezer doesn’t develop warm spots, and avoids the problem of some areas getting way too cold, which causes freezer burn. If the freezer door is left open, an alarm sounds. And if the power goes out, power-outage assurance means frozen food will stay frozen (and thus, safe) for at least 2 days.
Ample light-emitting diode (LED) lighting helps ensure users can find what they need without squinting in the dark. Want extra peace of mind that this very quiet freezer is working? The floor-projected power-on indicator light makes it crystal clear.
- Type: Upright
- Dimensions: 67.75 inches high by 27.75 inches wide by 25.6 inches deep
- Capacity: 13 cubic feet
- Price: $$
- Open-freezer-door alarm
- Power-outage assurance
- Works in ambient temperatures up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit
- Adjustable thermostat can avoid freezer burn
- Takes up room in a smaller garage or basement
- White finish could get dirty in a garage setting
Get the Frigidaire 13 Cu. Ft. upright freezer at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy, or Appliances Connection.
This sizable upright freezer from GE works well even in extreme temperatures. It powers through temperatures from below freezing to up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a suitable option for garages, three-season rooms, and even back porches. Slide out the freezer bins under the bright LED lighting to find one’s frozen foods easily.
Exterior temperature control ensures users can change the temperature to their liking without ever opening the freezer door. But if the user leaves the freezer door open for an extended time and the alarm sounds, letting the user know the temperature is rising, the Turbo Freeze option will quickly bring the temperature back to the proper setting.
And besides that, the unit just looks good. The handsome white freezer has exterior controls in an understated panel at the top center, as well as a polished handle that makes it look quite classy—even if it is sitting in a garage.
- Type: Upright
- Dimensions: 64.7 inches high by 32.8 inches wide by 31.3 inches deep
- Capacity: 17.3 cubic feet
- Price: $$$
- Clear bins and glass adjustable shelves
- Turbo Freeze feature ideal for hot climates
- Alarm prevents defrosting from an open freezer door
- External temperature controls to minimize summer openings
- A locked bin is great, but key could get lost
- Can be bulky in a 1-car garage
- White exterior is a dirt magnet
Get the GE freezer at The Home Depot, Best Buy, or Lowe’s.
For those who don’t need a full-size freezer but would still like a decent amount of extra cold storage, consider this chest freezer from Arctic King with 7 cubic feet of storage. With a sleek black finish, this small but mighty freezer fits just as well in apartments as it does in houses. The unit includes a wire basket in which users can stash smaller or regularly needed food, leaving the remaining freezer space for larger items.
As with most smaller chest freezers it will require a manual defrost, but that’s made much easier by the lighter weight; two people can easily move it from room to room. A temperature dial helps ensure frozen foods stay as cold as the user prefers. This freezer works well as a garage unit in climates that aren’t too extreme.
- Type: Chest
- Dimensions: 33.5 inches high by 21.7 inches wide by 31.2 inches deep
- Capacity: 7 cubic feet
- Price: $
- Ideal for small spaces, such as apartments
- Chic black finish
- Holds more than one would think
- Well insulated and cools down quickly
- Not suitable for external usage
- Can be difficult to dig down to the bottom
- Moving often can make it hard to level afterward
Get the Arctic King freezer on Amazon.
As far as upright freezers go, professional or commercial styles don’t suit everyone. But for those who entertain frequently or work in hospitality for a living or as a side gig, this commercial double-door beauty is one to consider, especially for those who have the space for it.
At just under 82 inches high and with 21.4 cubic feet of interior freezer space, this freezer stands higher and deeper than most. But that’s because it’s divided into two compartments, each with its own hinged, self-closing freezer door. Use the adjustable shelves for catering trays in preparation for a gathering, or remove them to store large provisions. Or do both—that’s the beauty of having two compartments.
Running on environmentally friendly R290 refrigerant, this frost-free freezer operates between -33 degrees and 40 degrees Fahrenheit and functions optimally wherever users choose to place it. The stainless steel construction is stylish enough to place in a kitchen and will jazz up any garage, with preinstalled casters making it easy to move should the user change their mind about where to keep the appliance. Either way, LED interior lights, recessed door handles, and door locks to keep fingers out of party appetizers ensure users they’ve made a good decision.
- Type: Upright
- Dimensions: 81.3 inches high by 31.7 inches wide by 28.7 inches deep
- Capacity: 21.4 cubic feet
- Price: $$$$
- Deep and wide adjustable shelves
- 2 sections can separate catering trays from provisions
- Lock prevents anyone from messing with party stuff
- Freezer doors are not reversible
- Freezer is taller than most for tougher fit
Get the Atosa freezer on Amazon.
With nearly 15 cubic feet of interior space, this chest freezer holds plenty of frozen foods for a medium-size household. Optional heavy-duty caster wheels allow for easy movement across hard floors. Sliding plastic baskets for organization make life much simpler, as does the defrost water drain, which allows for easier defrosting when the time comes.
Bright LED lighting helps users find whatever they need, and a power-indicator light provides peace of mind. This deep freeze holds frozen foods at anywhere from -10 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit without relegating the food to freezer-burn city, and the exterior Ready-Select temperature-control dial makes it easy to ensure frozen foods stay just as the user wants them.
Though it’s well suited for garage storage in most climates, this freezer’s clean white finish is attractive enough for inclusion in kitchens, rec rooms, and basements, too. If there are little children around, no problem: The safety lock keeps frozen foods secure, and the pop-out key automatically ejects after locking, helping ensure the user takes that key with them when they walk away from the freezer.
- Type: Chest
- Dimensions: 32.5 inches high by 55.75 inches wide by 29.6 inches deep
- Capacity: 14.8 cubic feet
- Price: $$
- Sliding, removable baskets are a bonus
- Pop-out key is terrific for the forgetful
- Manual temperature control avoids ice buildup
- Manual defrost is a pain, although the drain helps
- Key could get lost by forgetful users
Get the Frigidaire chest freezer at Best Buy, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, AJ Madison, or ABT Electronics.
This small chest freezer is ideal for even tiny apartments and offers a wealth of convenience. Keep frozen foods at -12 to -28 degrees Fahrenheit with the adjustable thermostat, use the single hanging wire storage basket for convenience, and enjoy the added bonus of a hinge-style freezer door that remains open at an angle while looking for whatever is needed.
Perhaps the user wants to defrost it on the porch so they don’t have to worry about cleaning up water that might spill onto the floors. At approximately 54 pounds empty, this compact freezer moves easily. But don’t be fooled by the light weight; the Midea D+ System has a thinner cooling system than that of other chest freezers, allowing more capacity in a smaller footprint.
- Type: Chest
- Dimensions: 33.5 inches high by 20.59 inches wide by 22.2 inches deep
- Capacity: 3.5 cubic feet
- Price: $
- Freezer door hinges are reversible
- Hanging wire basket keeps items steady and up top
- Defrost drain helps for cleaning
- Inconspicuous and compact
- Hinge-style freezer door opens only 45 to 75 degrees
- Manual defrost means water cleanup, despite the drain
Get the Midea freezer on Amazon.
For those who really need to stock up—or are just mega-couponers buying in bulk—check into this large-capacity upright freezer. At 25 cubic feet, it takes up a lot of garage or playroom space. But this is no ordinary freezer; it’s engineered with the compressor on the bottom. That does two things: It elevates the bottom interior compartment so that the user doesn’t have to bend down far to pick up heavy objects, and it allows the user to use the freezer’s top as additional storage without blocking any important airflow.
With a recessed handle, the reversible freezer door has a remain-open feature that allows the user to load and unload frozen foods from the adjustable shelves without pulling repeatedly against the seal. Meanwhile, the external electronic thermostat with digital LED display helps easily maintain the temperature between -10 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
The white epoxy-coated front and sides of this freezer make a handsome addition to a kitchen no matter the color of other appliances. But it’s also resistant to grime if the user wants to place it in a garage. Inside, a white ABS interior liner and stainless steel floor makes it easy to clean regardless of where this freezer is placed.
- Type: Upright
- Dimensions: 78 inches high by 30.75 inches wide by 29 inches deep
- Capacity: 25 cubic feet
- Price: $$$$
- The remain-open feature saves seal wear and tear
- Easy movement with 4 casters, 2 locking
- 3 adjustable shelves to customize storage
- A bottom-mounted compressor lessens bending
- Ice builds up if not locked, increasing freezer burn
- Motor hums on the louder side
Get the Arctic Air freezer on Amazon.
When there’s just enough room to wedge in a useful appliance, this narrow upright freezer does the job. With adjustable legs and a reversible freezer door, it will fit in that awkward spot in a dorm or an apartment—although the user will have to bend down to see what’s in it.
With its surprising 6.5 cubic feet of storage, the freezer holds plenty of frozen foods on its six wire shelves. It’s also easy to manually defrost and clean. The exterior dial temperature control allows users to control the temperature without needing to open the door, which is a great energy-saving feature.
- Type: Upright
- Dimensions: 55.91 inches high by 22.24 inches wide by 21.26 inches deep
- Capacity: 6.5 cubic feet
- Price: $
- Compact freezer holds more than it would seem
- Plenty of shelf space
- Narrow enough to fit into tight spaces
- Large items can fit only vertically
Get the Frigidaire 6.5 Cu. Ft. upright freezer at Amazon, Lowe’s, Target, or The Home Depot.
What a clever contraption this is, converting from refrigerator to freezer and back again via a special feature—and quickly, too. And users don’t have to guess how it’s operating at the moment. An exterior digital display on the slim, silver freezer door lets the user know the temperature, which cools down to -11 degrees Fahrenheit. One would think the flip-flopping would cause ice to build up, but a signature frost-free feature prevents users from having to manually defrost the freezer.
This Energy Star–rated unit is not uber-heavy and filled with machinery, either. Though not a compact freezer, it is slim and light at 124 pounds. This single-door compartment is on wheels nonetheless, allowing for easy movement from room to room. There’s also a surprising 8.3 cubic feet of freezer space, housing six adjustable shelves along with a slide-out basket. That’s a lot of food storage capacity in one smart body.
- Type: Upright
- Dimensions: 67.8 inches high by 23.4 inches wide by 24.9 inches deep
- Capacity: 8.3 cubic feet
- Price: $$
- 6 sliding adjustable shelves and bulk storage basket
- Energy Star rated
- Converts to refrigerator
- The frost-free feature prevents ice buildup
- Quite narrow, so better suited for 1 or 2 people
- The handle is not recessed; requires assembly
Get the Whynter freezer on Amazon or at Appliances Connection.
This tiny yet mighty portable freezer is designed to sit on a countertop and hold just a few things—great for a dorm room, storing medication, or chilling a few six-packs for poker night. A reversible freezer door and removable shelf help ensure convenience. Rapid-cooling technology can chill foods quickly, and the seven-level temperature system allows users to adjust the freezer between -7.6 and 6.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
The sleek exterior, available in stainless steel or black, is suitable for most areas of the home or office. This quiet unit has a short cord for safety, and though it should be manually defrosted, there might be some moisture escape—that’s why many consumers use a drip tray underneath it, just in case.
- Type: Portable
- Dimensions: 31.4 inches high by 20.1 inches wide by 21.3 inches deep
- Capacity: 3 cubic feet
- Price: $
- A removable shelf offers versatility
- Ideal for a dorm room, office, or on the road
- Easy opening with built-in handle
- Adjustable feet
- Easy to defrost, drain, and clean—but needs drip pan
- Must chill upright for 24 hours before use
Get the Euhomy freezer on Amazon.
For an extra freezer that satisfies all of one’s food storage needs, the Frigidaire upright freezer is our best overall choice. There’s plenty of room for provisions, an alarm to let you know when the freezer door is open so that they don’t all melt, and power assurance to keep items cold for 2 days should there be a blackout. And there’s never a need to defrost.
We also recommend the energy-efficient Whynter refrigerator, which flips from being an extra freezer to being an extra refrigerator. It also has six adjustable shelves and a basket for plenty of storage space.
How We Chose the Best Freezers
Our curated list of the best freezers came together after determining a range of aspects that buyers look for when shopping for a new freezer. We made sure to include several options across the entire price spectrum, offering budget-friendly options all the way up to professional high-end appliances.
Dimension was also important because every user has different space requirements and availability. Our top picks include mini freezers that can fit on a dorm-room countertop to large upright and chest freezers ideal for large families who have plenty of living space. Our recommendations also come in a range of styles and designs, from chic metallic finishes to classic black or white, that resist bumps and scratches in a busy home.
Lastly, we made sure to take a careful look at the energy efficiency of our top freezer picks, most of which feature adjustable temperatures and insulation and defrosting technology to ensure they meet our sustainability standards.
You might still have questions about which is the best freezer for you. Though you can narrow down the options by type, size, capacity, and location, you might still have questions about whether frost-free is best, how long you can keep frozen foods in a freezer, and more. Here are some of the pertinent points you need to know before you have that new freezer delivered and installed.
Q. Are frost-free freezers better?
That depends. Frost-free freezers have an auto-defrost system that periodically cycles to avoid ice buildup. The problem is that some of these freezers can fluctuate in temperature during those cycles. If that’s a problem for you, going with a freezer you must manually defrost could be a better option.
Q. What is the difference between a freezer and a deep freezer?
These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, though some consider a chest freezer to be a “deep freezer”—likely because the chest freezer has the capacity to hold frozen foods several-feet deep, while a typical upright freezer makes food much easier to access.
Q. How long can I keep my food frozen?
That depends on the food. Some food, such as bacon, can be frozen for a month before the taste might be compromised; other food, such as steaks, can be frozen for up to a year with no compromise on taste as long as the steaks are packaged properly before freezing. To learn more, see the Cold Food Storage Chart at FoodSafety.gov.
Q. How do you defrost a freezer?
If your freezer has an auto-defrost function, you don’t have to worry about this; the appliance does it all on its own. If you’re going to manually defrost the freezer, this step-by-step guide, “How to Defrost a Freezer,” tells you everything you need to know.
Q. How long do freezers last?
Most manufacturers say their freezers last for up to 20 years, but the average lifespan seems to be around 11 years. You can increase your freezer’s longevity with proper maintenance, including defrosting on a regular basis and ensuring there is never more than ¼-inch of frost in the freezer.