Written By
Published May. 13, 2022

Chest freezers come in handy for hunters, gardeners, people who shop in bulk, and anyone who simply needs a little more freezer space. Stand alone freezers come in one of two formats: chest and upright. Chest freezers open with a hinged lid and provide more usable storage space than their upright counterparts. They also tend to be more affordable and more eco-friendly. Luckily, most chest freezers on the market will get the job done, but choosing one online can be overwhelming since there are so many options available

We’ll break down what to look for when shopping for the chest freezer for your home, and discuss the key considerations to keep in mind as you shop. Keep reading for tips on choosing the best option, and explore our curated picks for the best chest freezers on the market.

How We Picked the Best Chest Freezers

While it’s easy to assume that all chest freezers offer similar performance, a number of factors affect their functionality. Several years of experience covering home goods and appliances as well as extensive product research went into choosing our final curated selection. We reviewed over 30 chest freezers and weighed a number of practical considerations before making our recommendations. 

Size: In order to provide options to suit a wide range of needs, we included chest freezers of varying sizes and capacities. 

Extra Features: We gave preference to models with added features like locking lids, power indicator lights, and good interior organizational options. 

Energy-Efficiency: While all chest freezers are pretty energy-efficient, we made sure to include Energy Star rated models in order to provide even more eco-friendly options. 

Best Chest Freezers: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Danby DCF072A3WDB-6 Chest Freezer

Why It Made The Cut: The Danby DCF072A3WDB-6 Chest Freezer is garage ready, meaning it can withstand dramatic external temperature fluctuations. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 22.19 inches L x 39.94 inches W x 33.38 inches H
  • Capacity: 7.2 cubic feet
  • Energy Star-Certified: No

Pros:

  • Garage ready design
  • Includes manual thermostat
  • Available in multiple sizes

Cons:

  • Not Energy Star-certified

This chest freezer from Danby takes the top spot on our list because of its compact design, 7-cubic-foot capacity, and high-quality construction. It’s the ideal choice for those planning to keep their chest freezer in the garage because it’s completely garage ready, ensuring that food remains at a consistent temperature even if temperatures fluctuate in the garage. It’s insulated with smart foam, helping to reduce electricity bills due to its energy efficiency. The internal temperature is adjustable using the easy-to-access front-mount mechanical thermostat. 

This freezer is available in three additional sizes in order to best suit the widest range of needs: 3.8 cubic feet, 5 cubic feet, and 5.5 cubic feet. It defrosts manually, further adding to its energy efficiency. Some users, however, may not like having to defrost the freezer themselves periodically.

Best Value: Midea MRC070S0AWW Chest Freezer

Why It Made The Cut: With an affordable price and a range of desirable features, this Midea chest freezer is a great compact choice. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 32.1 inches L x 21.7 inches W x 33.5 inches H
  • Capacity: 7 cubic feet
  • Energy Star-Certified: No

Pros:

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Compact design
  • Includes hanging storage basket
  • Features defrosting drain

Cons:

  • Not Energy Star-certified

A great chest freezer doesn’t have to cost a fortune. This model from Midea perfectly exemplifies that idea, with a range of useful features and an affordable price tag. It has a 7-cubic-foot interior capacity, so while it features a compact design and can fit in small spaces, it’s still capable of holding plenty of frozen goods. It includes a hanging wire storage basket which helps to store smaller items that would otherwise get lost in the large main compartment. 

The temperature is adjustable between 10.4 and -18.4 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing users to customize the exact interior temperature depending on their needs. One downside is that it’s not Energy Star-certified, though, like all chest freezers, it’s still quite energy efficient. It does, however, feature a defrosting drain, which makes manually defrosting it a breeze. 

Best Large: Frigidaire FFFC25M4TW 84-Inch Freezer

FRIGIDAIRE

Check Price

Why It Made The Cut: With a 24.8 cubic foot capacity, this extra-large freezer is ideal for those who need substantial freezer space. . 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 84 inches W x 32 inches D x 32 inches H
  • Capacity: 24.8 cubic feet
  • Energy Star-Certified: No

Pros:

  • Extra-large capacity
  • Comes with rolling casters
  • Includes 2 sliding baskets

Cons:

  • High price
  • Not Energy Star-certified

Large households and those who do a significant amount of hunting or food prepping will appreciate the spacious 24.8 cubic foot capacity of this chest freezer from Frigidaire. It’s important to note that due to its large capacity, it does take up a lot of floor space, with dimensions of 84 by 32 inches, making it most appropriate for those with plenty of storage room in their basement or garage. Luckily, it comes with rolling casters, allowing users to easily move it as needed despite its large size. 

The interior is equipped with two sliding wire baskets, making it easy to organize the freezer’s contents. It also features an LED light as well as a locking lid as an added safety feature. The freezer needs to be defrosted manually, which increases its energy efficiency but may be bothersome for some users. A defrosting drain does, however, make the process simpler. 

Best Small: RCA RFRF450-AMZ, 5.1 Cubic Foot Chest

Why It Made The Cut: This compact chest freezer from RCA is Energy Star-certified, features an adjustable thermostat, and includes an organizing basket despite its small size.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 35.04 inches W x 22.83 inches D x 30.12 inches H
  • Capacity: 5.1 cubic feet
  • Energy Star-Certified: Yes

Pros:

  • Includes storage basket
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Includes built-in leveling legs

Cons:

  • Low capacity 

Some households need more freezer space than their refrigerators can offer but don’t have space for a large chest freezer. This model from RCA offers a great middle-ground, with a capacity of 5.1 cubic feet and dimensions of 35.04 by 22.83 by 30.12 inches. It includes built-in leveling legs, which makes it easy to install the freezer on uneven flooring. It’s Energy Star-certified, which is uncommon with budget chest freezers like this one. A red power indicator light lets you see when the appliance is powered on.

Defrosting must be done manually, but a defrosting drain simplifies the process. Though the 5.1 cubic foot version is more compact, those with slightly more storage space can also opt for the slightly larger model, which has a capacity of 7.1 cubic feet.

Best Eco-Friendly: GE FCM16DLWW 65-Inch Freezer

Why It Made The Cut: The GE FCM16DLWW 65 Inch Freezer has a generous capacity of 15.7 cubic feet and includes a safety lock and interior organization baskets; it’s Energy Star-certified. 

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 28.5 inches L x 65 inches W x 33.37 inches H
  • Capacity: 15.7 cubic feet
  • Energy Star-Certified: Yes

Pros:

  • Features sliding baskets for interior organization
  • Includes interior lighting
  • Features a key lock

Cons:

  • High price

GE is known for making high-quality appliances, and this chest freezer is no exception. With an internal capacity of 15.7 cubic feet, it’s a great mid-sized option suitable for most households that have the square footage to accommodate its size. Since this freezer is on the larger side, it’s particularly helpful that it contains sliding baskets to help with interior organization. 

The freezer features interior LED lighting, allowing users to clearly see the contents when the door is open. It’s Energy Star-certified so shoppers can rest assured that they’re picking a model that’s eco-friendly and will save them money on their utility bills. It locks with a key as an added bonus, ensuring optimal safety in households with young children. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Chest Freezer

With so many chest freezers on the market, choosing the right one for your home requires careful consideration. Keep the following factors in mind while making your purchase.

Size and Capacity

Size is the first factor to consider when choosing a chest freezer. The capacity of a chest freezer is measured in cubic feet, and their sizes vary widely, with models as small as 3 cubic feet and as large as 25 cubic feet available. It’s important to choose the size that works best for your household based on your available floor space and your freezer storage needs.

Manual vs. Automatic Defrosting

Chest freezers can be defrosted either automatically or manually. Freezers with an automatic defrost function are convenient because they defrost regularly without requiring any user intervention. The downside, however, is that they use substantially more energy than freezers that require manual defrosting. This makes them more expensive to run. The more eco-friendly and affordable choice is to opt for a model that needs to be defrosted manually.

Desired Features

Chest freezers all share a common functionality, but many come with desirable additional features. 

  • Temperature control: Many models allow users to control the freezer’s internal temperature using a thermostat. 
  • Garage-ready design: Many people keep their chest freezers in the garage, but not all garages are heated or cooled along with the rest of the house. Chest freezers with a garage-ready design are specifically designed to handle these potentially extreme temperature swings.
  • Interior light: An interior light helps users to clearly see the freezer’s contents. 
  • Leveling legs: Leveling legs allow for installation on uneven flooring. 
  • Interior organization system: Some models feature built-in bins or baskets, helping with organization.
  • Safety lock: A chest freezer can be dangerous for young children, so a safety lock is a handy feature that acts as a child safety device. 

FAQs

Q: What is the ideal interior temperature for a freezer?

The standard temperature for a freezer is 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: How often do you need to defrost a chest freezer?

Chest freezers that require manual defrosting should be defrosted every 6 to 12 months.

Q: How do you defrost a chest freezer?

Start by turning off and unplugging the freezer. Then, remove all of its contents and store them safely in coolers. Place a towel inside to absorb the water as the ice melts. Allow the ice to soften before using a wooden spoon to scrape it from the sides of the freezer. Collect the ice before it has a chance to melt completely. Plug the freezer in again, turn it on, and return its contents. 

Q: How much energy does a chest freezer use?

Chest freezers are generally quite energy-efficient, using approximately 250 kWh per year.

Q: How long do chest freezers last?

Chest freezers have an expanded lifespan of between 15 and 20 years.

Final Thoughts

Our recommendations cover a variety of types and styles of chest freezers to best suit different needs. The Danby DCF072A3WDB-6 Chest Freezer  is our top pick because of its mid-size capacity and range of additional features. Our recommended choice for those on a budget is the Midea MRC070S0AWW Chest Freezer, which offers excellent performance at an affordable price.

MORE TO READ