The best freezers make stashing your frozen food easy and organised. But with so many different types and sizes to choose from, how do you know what freezer is best for you? To cut out all the hard work, we’ve rounded up the best options available on the US market right now, meaning you’ll be able to find the perfect freezer for every home.
Chest freezers are brilliant if you’re after a freezer with a large amount of space and, have a large space in which to store your appliance. That’s because these standalone freezers are wider than they are lengthways and are ideal for storing cartons (upon cartons) of ice cream, drinks and numerous food products. If you’re after a freezer that will blend in seamlessly with your kitchen cabinets, consider an integrated model instead, which can slot right in underneath your countertop. If you’re short of space, some of the best freezer brands also offer compact and small freezers to choose from.
Another feature to look out for is the freezer’s energy efficiency. After all, your freezer will most probably be turned on all year round so you want to make sure you can keep your running costs down. Plus, if you can afford it, you’ll thank yourself in the long run if you pay a little bit more for a freezer that comes with frost-free functions. While any appliance that comes with organizational features, such as trays and drawers, is always a plus. It will help store your frozen goods tidily and they’ll be easy to reach.
GE 21.3 FUF21SMRWW Frost-Free freezer review
An upright freezer that gives you lots of storage space. Fantastic features include a lockable door and huge interior capacity.
Electrolux All Freezer with IQ-Touch Controls EI32AF80QS review
A super premium freezer that looks every bit as great as it performs. This freezer also has its own dedicated ice cream area.
Whirlpool WZC3122DW chest freezer review
A huge chest freezer that packs in features and keeps your budget intact. Complete with a lock and three interior bins, this freezer is very practical.
What the experts say
We spoke to the experts and designers at GE Appliances for some helpful advice on what to look for in a new freezer.
"When you’re looking for a new freezer, look out for key things that such as Garage Ready performance - meaning your freezer can perform in ambient temperatures.
Audible alarms to let you know if the temperature rises in the freezer or if the door was left open are also really handy.
Slide-out freezer bins that are clear, rather than white, will help you to organize your freezer effectively. If you're choosing an upright freezer, you should be looking for a model that has a Turbo Freeze mode. This will give an extra boost of air that restores interior temperatures."
Best freezer overall
The GE 21.3 FUF21SMRWW Frost-Free freezer is our pick as the best overall freezer. This is an upright freezer that crams in masses of space, 21.3 cubic feet to be exact, and does so while remaining accessible and smart controlled. This isn't the cheapest freezer out there but for your money you can enjoy a one-year parts and labor warranty. This freezer can live in your kitchen but is also good for wide ranging external temperature variations, meaning it can live in your garage too.
The GE 21.3 FUF21SMRWW freezer scored 4.6 out of 5 stars on Home Depot. Users love how large this freezer is and said it copes brilliantly to remain at the right temperature. Some users criticize this freezer by suggesting its drawers and shelves are 'too narrow' and don't allow for stacking.
Touch controls and a display on the front of this freezer make it easy to use and annual maintenance is as simple as a clean out. The frost-free nature of this freezer means it'll take care of everything else itself. The turbo freeze mode is a nice touch which allows you to quick cool when you add more food so as to maintain temperature and save on food longevity. Slide out drawers and great shelving make this an easily accessible unit that's perfect for regular use.
Best freezer with premium features
The Electrolux All Freezer with IQ-Touch Controls EI32AF80QS is a design statement as much as it is a way to keep your food fresh for longer. That stainless steel build with framed door finish is stunning and actually enhances any kitchen it's placed in.
The Electrolux All Freezer with IQ-Touch Controls EI32AF80QS's users say that they love the design of this freezer. Other praises include the well-designed internal storage that 'helps you keep organized'. Criticisms suggest this freezer is 'loud' and the lack of ice dispenser on the door is disappointing.
There's a plentiful 18.58 cubic feet of storage which is all easily accessible via easy slide drawers, wide shelves and even dedicated soft serve ice cream door storage. The addition of an automatic ice maker, scent-free air filter, LED lighting and IQ-Touch controls all make this a really comprehensive offering that justifies its steep price. The three-year limited warranty is also great to help you spend that extra on something that's made to last.
Best chest freezer
The Whirlpool WZC3122DW chest freezer is a huge unit that makes for an ideal garage storage option for long term food access. Since it's a chest freezer you get a lot more capacity, at 22 cubic feet, for your buck than you might if you went upright.
The Whirlpool WZC3122DW chest freezer scored an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Lowe's. The most positive reviews mention how handy the internal light on this freezer is, especially if you keep the freezer in a garage or outbuilding. Lower-rated user reviews do mention that this freezer is 'loud'.
You also get Whirlpool's US made three-year limited warranty for peace of mind. This features three interior sections so you don't have to dig around to find what you want. Everything is kept secure with a lock and there's a really useful drainage hose for when you want to defrost and clean out this impressive chest freezer.
Best freezer for garages
The Gladiator 17.8 Upright Rolling Garage freezer is, as the name suggests, a great option for your garage. It gives you all the storage organization and space saving of an upright freezer while also giving chest freezer levels of capacity a good bit of competition.
The Gladiator 17.8 Upright Rolling Garage freezer has an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on Home Depot. Users praise the handy foot pedal that opens the freezer door. Users also comment on how useful the casters are for moving around this freezer. Some criticisms come in the form of users saying that the foot pedal isn't fitted to the freezer initially and some additional storage baskets would have been helpful.
The stand-out unique feature we love, aside from the dirt defying matte black finish, is the large metal pedal which opens the door. This is great for hands-free access, just what you want when carrying a lot in and out of the garage. All that's complemented with wheels for easy maneuverability to organize the garage as you need, plus a one year warranty.
Best freezer for integration
The Sub Zero ID30F freezer would have been higher up our list were it not for the prohibitively expensive price. But for that you do get a rather unique 12-year limited warranty, so spread the cost and it's really a good investment.
The Sub Zero ID30F freezer has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Appliances Connection. Gleaming user reviews call this the 'best freezer ever', and suggest its drawers are convenient and spacious. Criticisms come in the form of naming this freezer as 'pricey'.
You get 30-inch wide drawers which soft close and feature soft-on lighting, with lots of external finishing options to suit your kitchen. From touchscreen controls to Sabbath mode and an optional automatic ice maker, this has all the features you'd expect from a high-end brand. This is also Energy Star rated to save you money on running costs and is actually built to last 20 years.
Best frost-free freezer
The GE FUF14DLRWW has a medium-size design that makes it ideal for garages or larger kitchens. While its 14.1 cubic feet capacity is smaller than the other upright freezers on this list, it still provides ample storage space and an accessible layout.
We love the turbo freeze feature, which ensures the interior restores itself to the right temperature after the freezer has been opened and closed, and the exterior controls make it easy to set and check the temperature.
The GE FUF14DLRWW is one of this brand’s highly-rated freezers, scoring 4.8 out of five stars from around 5,000 reviewers across Lowe’s, Home Depot, and GE websites. The big winning point seems to be the design, with people praising the spacious and well-thought-out interior. There isn’t much criticism to be found on this model, although a few users do report that the door seal is tight and can be difficult to open.
There’s plenty of room for all your frozen foods with four shelves, two bins, and additional storage space in the door. It also comes with a lock and key, ensuring your food stays secure at all times. What else is great about the GE FUF14DLRWW is that it’s garage-ready so you’ll have the flexibility to store it wherever you like.
Best freezer with compact design
The Whynter CUF-110B freezer is a perfect compact unit for an RV, boat, office, college dorm, truck or small apartment. Essentially it's a great way to save space while keeping food frozen.
The Whynter CUF-110B freezer has an average user rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Amazon. Positive user reviews mention how low on power consumption this freezer is and how easy it is to switch over the door to open in a different direction. Some user reviews do say this this freezer is very basic and frosts over a little too often.
Its 1.1 cubic feet of space will store several frozen meals and some drinks easily. The rear is flat so it sits flush against a wall, taking up as little room as possible. There's a dial to adjust the cold and this works well keeping even ice cream solid while remaining energy efficient, thanks to its size. It's also lockable, quiet and has a reversible swing door to suit its space.
- Read the full Whynter CUF-110B freezer review
Best freezer for efficiency
The GE FCM16DLWW is a generously sized garage-ready freezer that can cope with seasonal fluctuations in temperature, from zero degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to a sweltering 110 degrees.
It has an impressive array of features, including an audible temperature alarm, a defrost water drain for easy cleaning, and a lock to keep children out. If flexible storage options are what you’re after, then the GE FCM16DLWW is a real winner with four lift-out sliding bulk storage baskets providing plenty of room and making accessing your favorite foods quick and easy.
And even better? This incredibly energy-efficient freezer is Energy Star certified with an approximate yearly energy cost of $33, making it great value for money.
The GE FCM16DLWW has an average customer rating of 4.7 stars out of five at Home Depot. Many users praise the included storage baskets and say that this freezer works quietly even though it’s intended for garage use. Some users also add that they like features such as the door which stays up by itself and the freezer lock. There are some criticisms in the form of users stating that the freezer ice builds up as it’s not frost-free, and that the lack of wheels is a pain.
What lets this freezer down, however, is the fact that it doesn’t have any wheels which makes moving it around pretty challenging. The GE FCM16DLWW also isn’t frost-free so you’ll have to manually defrost this model yourself. It is covered by a one-year warranty, which is pretty standard for this type of appliance.
Best freezer for flexibility
The Samsung RZ11M7074SA is a well designed freezer that offers you the flexibility to choose between two functions.
At 11.4 cubic feet, the Samsung RZ11M7074SA isn’t the biggest freezer in this guide by a long shot, but it packs a whole lot of features into its compact frame. With the ability to convert to a fridge, with one of the most flexible designs we’ve ever seen, and a superior cooling system, this freezer has got it going on.
While it hasn’t got bucket-loads of reviews, the ones it does have across the main retailers websites are all five stars with people praising the storage space, flexible organizational options, and quiet design. There are some drawbacks including the fact that this model can’t operate as both a fridge and a freezer at the same time like some others can, it also isn’t garage ready if you live in areas that have temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Open the door of this sleek and stylish model and you’ll find three shelves, four crisper drawers, and three door bins, which can be raised or lowered. The drawers can also be removed for extra shelving space and the door is reversible, meaning it will work in almost any space.
Best freezer with stylish features
Oozing 1950s style, the Unique UGP-175L R AC Retro freezer is one attention-grabbing appliance with its candy red exterior and chrome accents. At a compact 5.5 cubic feet and boasting a slimline design, this freezer is ideal for small spaces.
You won’t find this model packed with features, but what it does, it does well. It has six full-width sliding adjustable drawers and most impressively, it’s one of the most economical and energy-efficient freezers we’ve seen, costing around $33 per year to run.
The reviews on this freezer would suggest customers share a similar sentiment. While there are comments about the price being too high for what you’re getting in return, the majority of reviewers rave not just about the outward appearance of this freezer, but also how spacious yet compact it is. Overall it gets an average star rating across most sites of 4.9 out of five stars, which is pretty darn impressive.
Given that it’s modeled on the freezers of the 1950s, there are a few drawbacks. It’s not frost-free, there are no wheels, and the price is arguably a little inflated when you consider that this freezer is very much a case of what you see is what you get. That being said, there’s something very aesthetically appealing about the Unique UGP-175L R AC and we can’t deny that it gets the job done.
What to consider when buying a freezer
When you make any big purchase, you want to make sure you get the one that’s right for your needs. One of the most important factors goes beyond the initial price of the appliance. You want to choose a freezer that costs only a small amount each year to operate and consumes very little energy.
In fact, the best chest and freestanding freezers are Energy Star certified, which means that the manufacturer participates in the energy efficiency program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
In addition to important considerations like cost and features, there are certain specifications you will want to consider before deciding which freezer to purchase. Some considerations, like where to store the freezer, will depend on environmental factors that vary based on where you live.
Because freezers are often located in rooms that are not as insulated as your home's interior, you should consider carefully where the best location is for your upright freezer. In some locations, you may be able to store it outside. Ideally, you want to put it in a cool, dry place in your home. If you live in a very cold climate, you may not be able to keep your chest freezer in your garage, because the system requires that coolant boil by a combination of pressure and heat, and if exterior temperatures are too cold, the freezer may stop working.
If you decide to place your freezer in your garage, consider the fluctuation in temperatures it will experience during summer and winter months. Placing the freezer against a west-facing wall in your garage is not a good choice as heat from the sun will collect in the garage, forcing the freezer to work harder. This uses more energy and increases your power bill. Conversely, if outside temperatures dip below freezing during the winters where you live, this can be hard on the freezer's internal parts and components.
Most of the freezers come with limited one-year warranties. Manufacturers that cover vital parts such as the compressor are more comprehensive in warranty coverage.
What are the different standalone freezer types?
Chest freezers: Pros and pros
These types of freezers are super large and can hold up to 22 cubic feet of food. These freezers come with a couple of hanging baskets or dividers so you can stash smaller items of food where you can see it. Chest freezers have around 20% more usable storage than an upright design. Plus, the temperature in a chest freezer stays consistent, because they don’t come with a defrost system.
Due to their large design, it can be hard to find your frozen goods without rummaging around your freezer. Especially if they are stored at the bottom. Chest freezers can also only be manually defrosted, which is pretty time-consuming.
Upright freezers: Pros and cons
Less floor space is lost with upright freezers, in comparison to a chest-style. This style freezer can be easier to organize because they are built with a lot more compartments and drawers. This design also comes with a lot more choice in the style and design. You even have the option to integrate them so they blend in with your cabinetry.
Unlike chest freezers, the different compartments in upright freezers can’t be adjusted. Upright freezers are smaller in size and also cost more to operate. Plus they allow for air to circulate around food, meaning products are more likely to get freezer burn.
How much do freezers cost?
There’s some variation in how much a freezer will cost you, depending mostly on its capacity and size. On the whole, upright freezers will set you back more, while chest freezers are more economical to own. And it’ll come as no surprise that larger models cost more than smaller models. Upright freezers can cost between $300 to $800.
Chest freezers tend to be on the cheaper side, meaning they can cost as little as $150 and up to $700. There’s always an opportunity to save with sales if you’d prefer to save some cash too, with Labor Day, Memorial Day, or President’s Day sales all featuring freezer deals.
Retailers tend to drop prices when newer models are coming out and they need to clear inventory, so keep your eyes peeled if you have the luxury of waiting to purchase.
How do you organize an upright freezer and a chest freezer?
When it comes to upright freezers, try to store your food as flat as you can. It will allow for more storage room. If possible, try to package your food in usable portions in a clear sandwich bag that can be tightly sealed.
Make you date and label them so you know what it is and when it goes out of date. Upright freezers come with different shelves. But for added organization and storage, try using plastic organizers .
That way you can assign a category of food for each tub. Chest freezers tend to come with a handful of hanging baskets, where you can store small frozen goods you want to access easily. However, we’d suggest either investing in some large bags or baskets that can be stacked on top of each other. This will allow you to easily lift your food out when needed.
How to prevent freezer burn
Freezer burn happens because moisture evaporates from your food, thus drying it out. This can result from temperature fluctuations caused by frequently leave the door open, inconsistent temperatures, temperatures set too low or trying to freeze too much food at once. To prevent freezer burn, you can do the following:
- Set the temperature well below freezing, preferably between 0 and 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Don’t stuff your freezer full of food. Only freeze about 3 pounds of food, especially meat, per cubic foot of space. This doesn’t apply to prefrozen food such as frozen dinners – just meat and other food being frozen for the first time.
- Keep the freezer door closed as much as possible. Never leave it sitting open.
- Store food in plastic or glass containers with airtight lids or in sealable freezer bags. Keep liquid items in jars. You can double wrap baked food and leftovers in aluminum or waxed paper before sealing them in freezer bags.
- Rotate your food supply to prevent food from staying in the freezer longer than nine months.
Can you put a freezer in the garage?
Finding out whether you can store your freezer in a garage depends on two factors: the type of freezer you have and the temperature of your garage throughout the year.
While freezers are of course designed to keep your food frozen, the appliances themselves require relatively stable temperatures. If your freezer is kept in temperatures of under zero degrees Fahrenheit, it will be too cold and the compressor will have to work extra hard to regulate the temperature of the freezer. Similarly, frost can build up on the exterior of the freezer and when it thaws again, it can cause damage to the appliance.
Just as keeping a freezer in a garage that’s too cold can damage the unit, so can keeping a freezer somewhere that’s too hot. Again, if the temperature is too high (above 110 degrees Fahrenheit), the compressor will be under extra stress.
So how do so many people keep freezers in the garage? Well, there are ways around the temperature issues. For instance, if you live somewhere where temperatures don’t fluctuate below zero degrees Fahrenheit or get hotter than 110 degrees Fahrenheit, your freezer will be fine kept in the garage. If you have great quality insulation in your garage, the temperature should be more stable.
If none of those options are suitable for you, many freezer brands now make garage-ready freezers that will be able to withstand fluctuating temperatures.
How to pick the best chest freezer
The best chest freezers are an excellent choice due to their energy efficiency and excess space. Some models boast over 20 cubic feet of storage space, making them larger than most upright alternatives, and perfect for storing in your garage or outside (depending on the climate). Aside from size, however, you might be wondering which other features make chest freezers ultra-helpful appliances, and what you should look out for when purchasing one.
Though they can be cavernous, it’s good to look out for chest freezers that have organization elements built-in, so that you don’t have to root around for ages each time you need that pesky bag of peas. Dividers and separate bins will prevent only being able to access the top layer of food within your chest freezer and give an opportunity to organize your foods according to how often you need them.
It’s also worth thinking about any added features you’d like your chest freezer to have. Many models have safety locks to prevent defrosting or accidental child and pet-related incidents, as well as interior lighting to assist you on any late-night ice-cream trips. You’ll be grateful for any features that make drainage easier when it comes to defrosting and cleaning too.
Chest freezers usually have a hinged top, so it’s worth thinking about the exact measurements of the model you choose and assessing how much space it’ll take up when the lid is fully open. Of course, you’ll want your freezer’s capacity to also reflect the size of your family and the number of frozen foods you like to have on hand.
What temperature should freezers be kept at?
The optimum temperature is important not only for keeping your favorite treats perfectly chilled but also for health reasons. According to the FDA (U.S Food and Drug Administration) freezers should be kept at 0° F (-18° C) at all times. There’s also a strong emphasis on checking temperatures periodically, in case they have risen or slipped without your knowledge.
Thermometers built into your appliance should keep track of this for you and are inexpensive if you need to replace them. If you don’t have one, then these can be found in grocery stores and inserted into your freezer so you can read the temperature for yourself. For more information on the mechanics of your new appliance, check out our feature on how freezers work and do they kill bacteria?
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