Chest freezers are often preferred over their upright counterparts for their versatility and storage options. Stacking TV dinners and other frozen foods is a cinch with this design, and with many features available and fewer energy costs, it’s no wonder why companies are increasingly developing chest freezers of their own.

To help you navigate this growing field, we’ve selected six of our favorite chest freezers currently found in the market. We’ll break down features, costs, and everything else you need to know before buying a chest freezer for your space.

Top 6 Chest Freezers

  • Carries the only Energy Star rating on our list
  • Interior lighting makes it easy to clearly see the contents of the freezer
  • Simple key lock prevents prying hands from accessing food
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

  • Spacious chest freezer that is the largest on our list
  • Perfect for big game and long-term storage
  • Lots of storage bins for great organization
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

  • Easy access to drainage means that defrosting is simple and efficient
  • Tall design means more floor space and more capacity
  • Good castors means extra mobility
  • Comes with a 1-year parts and labor warranty

  • DeepFreeze technology gets colder than any other freezer on our list
  • Sturdy build quality is highly durable and long-lasting
  • Offers lots of storage capacity with two solid baskets to aid in organization
  • Includes a 1-year parts and labor warranty

  • Easy access to drainage makes it simple to manually defrost the unit
  • Large thermostat range is helpful for specific temperature needs
  • Tall design is great for larger, bulkier items
  • Comes with a 1-year parts and 2-year compressor warranty

  • Smaller size and footprint makes this a great option for smaller families
  • All-black design blends into interior spaces and modern homes
  • Easy access to drainage makes defrosting a cinch
  • Includes a 1-year warranty


Highly energy efficient and built with simple operation in mind, this GE Energy Star ECM11PHWW freezer covers all of the bases with a great design and a fair cost. This model is a standard mid-sized chest freezer with clear temperature controls and an indicator light right on the front, so checking and adjusting your freezer takes no time at all. The included storage baskets make it easy to ensure everything is in its right place, and the interior lighting helps you make sure it’s all easy to find.

The smaller footprint and modest capacity help GE achieve the only Energy Star-rated product on our list, so we have to give credit where credit is due. While more space might have been preferable, this unit is great if you’re looking for a dedicated chest freezer for the home that’s efficient and well-built.

Pros

  • Highly energy efficient
  • Good internal storage
  • Internal lighting
  • Small footprint

Cons

  • Could be larger
  • Weak warranty

As our largest chest freezer by a considerable margin, the Whirlpool WZC3122DW aims to please those that have some serious cold storage needs with this chest freezer. This model comes with an impressive 22 cubic feet of storage capacity. Using one of the several included bins, you can either store large food on the top of the freezer or use the bins to cover up unsightly game or meat storage needs.

We appreciate the internal lights, locking mechanism, and included hose for easy defrosting. While an exterior light would have been helpful as well, the main issue here is the cost. With this much space to account for, you’ll definitely be paying a higher cost than most with this product. Still, there’s no replacing size, and if size is what you need, then this Whirlpool chest freezer needs to be at the top of your shopping list from our picks.

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Great internal storage
  • Internal lighting
  • Drainage hose included

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Large and heavy design
  • No exterior indicator light

Balancing a mid-sized design with several convenient features, the Danby DCF072A2WDB-3 seems to compete with GE at the mid-sized level to provide a worthy product. This model circumvents features like internal lights and organizational dividers to provide a mid-sized unit that’s more affordable than GE’s and easier to maintain.

By placing the drainage access in front of the unit, you won’t need to pull this chest freezer away from the wall once you’ve installed it. Likewise, the taller design means that the footprint of this unit is one of the smallest for a mid-sized freezer. However, this design does mean a bit more strain on your back. While we would have preferred more storage options, this is one of the best mid-sized units for the price. We recommend this Danby chest freezer for families that need a dedicated freezer for light and constant use.

Pros

  • Easy-access front drainage
  • Small footprint considering the capacity
  • Environmentally-friendly refrigerant
  • Easy-clean liner included

Cons

  • Weak internal organization options
  • No internal lights

Amana’s AZC31T15DW freezer might not have the capacity you’d see in Whirlpool’s freezer, but it certainly has the upper hand when it comes to cooling power. The major selling point of this chest freezer has to be temperature: while the freezer normally gets down to standard numbers, activating the DeepFreeze function will take your food to a bone-chilling and consistent -8 degrees.

This freezer also offers tons of internal storage and the baskets you’ll need to make sure you’re keeping everything organized. We would have preferred greater energy efficiency and possibly casters for mobility, but Amana seems to be aiming for a more permanent garage fixture than anything else. We recommend the Amana AZC31T15DW for anyone interested in a spacious freezer that’s powerful and built to last.

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Large capacity
  • Powerful DeepFreeze functionality
  • Good organization options

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Not energy efficient
  • No indicators

The Midea WHS-258C1 makes for a smaller option that offers a good amount of space without the dividers getting in the way. This model is a well-warranted chest freezer that focuses on ease of use over organization options. So while there isn’t much in the way of drawers and internal walls aside from a single small storage basket, the 7 cubic feet of storage space is remarkably spacious.

As a smaller, more budget-friendly chest freezer, you’ll definitely be a bit frustrated with the lack of internal lights or indicators. In addition, the thermostat seems more wide-ranging than some of the others on our list, so if you need to make the freezer a precise temperature, you’ll need to adjust the dial. We recommend the Midea WHS-258C1 for those who need a smaller, yet taller, cold storage solution.

Pros

  • Open storage room for large items
  • Very effective thermostat
  • Affordable
  • Good warranty

Cons

  • Weak internal storage options
  • No lights or indicators


The Arctic King WHS-185C1WSD, our final chest freezer, looks and functions a little different than the others. Using an all-black design, this model is able to fit inside of certain homes better than the traditional white freezer options available. Apart from color, 5 cubic feet of storage space balances lots of room with the needs of a smaller family.

Other features on the product include a large storage basket and easy access to the defrost drainage. Those who need lots of space definitely should go with some of our other options. Coming in at around $200 or less, this unit is one that’s going to serve you well at a cost that’s more than appealing. We would have appreciated internal lights and more efficient cooling, but considering the cost, it’s difficult to complain about anything else otherwise. We recommend this Arctic King chest freezer for smaller families, budget seekers and homeowners who want something simple, sleek, and efficient.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good design
  • Small footprint
  • Easy-access front drainage

Cons

  • Small storage space
  • Weak internal organization options

Buyer’s Guide:

Chest Freezers

We deliberately tried to pick freezers that varied in size, ability, temperature, and storage capability to make sure that at least one of our chest freezer picks is going to be perfect for you. If you’re still unsure of which chest freezer deserves a rightful place in your home or garage, here are some of the primary characteristics you can consider to help narrow down your options.

Picking between the chest freezer and the upright freezer is often dependent on what you are seeking in the appliance. Both will keep your home goods at a temperature that’s well below freezing, but generally speaking, the chest freezer will get colder. A consequence to this aspect is a manual defrost, so you will need to occasionally empty out the chest freezer and allow it to drain out.

Upright freezers, on the other hand, come with auto-defrost functionality which allows them to better fit inside the home or kitchen. Due to their upright nature, however, stacking and organizing food can make for a huge mess if you open the freezer to find that products have been jostled over time.

If you absolutely need storage for the long-term, the chest freezer is your best option. Otherwise, upright freezers work great for those with freezerless refrigerators or anyone who relies frequently on frozen food. For quick reference, remember the following when it comes to a freezer:

ProsCons
Chest Freezers
  • Offer better food organization
  • More space efficient
  • More energy efficient
  • Great for long-term storage
  • Coldest residential freezer option
  • Require manual defrosting
  • Takes up a large footprint
  • Don’t fit in most kitchens
  • Will require you to stoop over
Upright Freezers
  • Offer great indoor storage options
  • Auto defrost functionality
  • Small footprint and tall height
  • Easier on the back
  • Less effective food organization
  • Takes up more energy
  • Doesn’t offer as much room

We’ve covered the amount of space available in each of these chest freezers, but at the same time, it would be silly to suggest that the largest freezer on our list is also the best for all homeowners. Many chest freezers come with removable baskets, which can hide larger objects below them while still keeping TV dinners and other small items in close reach. This is much better for the back, but also means that the visual space on the top of the freezer seems much smaller than it is.

If you currently have a freezer, take a moment to examine how much space is being used. Do you have larger options buried beneath the commonly-used stuff? If so, the chest freezer may help you get organized and grant you the space you need. For singles, couples, or small families, there often aren’t enough frozen products around to justify filling the freezer below the removable baskets. Remember that chest freezers are more effectively utilized than upright freezers overall, so if you’re going from a 15 cubic foot upright to a 15 cubic foot chest, you’re actually upgrading in size.

We recommend practicing a little bit of food storage minimalism and making sure that you’re using every possible inch of your current freezer before committing to a new one. If you decide it’s time to move on to the chest freezer, look for organizational methods that will allow you to most effectively use space without overflowing with capacity. Your end result should be a freezer that isn’t going to be too big (or too small) for you.

When it comes to the freezer dimensions, the stated numbers often don’t paint a full picture of the situation. While it is true that all of our chest freezer picks are little more than rectangles, you do need to consider that these products often need to be kept a few inches from the wall and from other nearby appliances. Likewise, the lid’s open position is going to be quite a bit higher in measurement than the closed lid dimensions. We recommend being certain that the dimensions of your home or garage is large enough to hold the freezer, both opened and closed.

  • How do I defrost my chest freezer?
  • The easiest way to defrost your chest freezer is to commit to having your freezer out of commission for a day or so. We recommend skipping out on frozen foods and eating what’s left in your freezer over the course of the week.

    To defrost, unplug or turn off your chest freezer, open the drainage hole, connect any hose attachments, and wait. Over time, the ice will melt (provided it is warm enough outside) and the leftover water will pour out of the freezer.

    If you need to speed up the process, then we recommend a blow dryer or possibly a fan.

  • Chest freezers are popular because they give hunters room to store big game without dragging the catch into the home, where it may be less welcome. Most chest freezers are large enough to hold your meat and then some, but if you want a good estimate, calculate one cubic foot of space as equivalent to 40 or so pounds of meat. Then, compare your estimated cubic footage with those of our picks here.

Final Thoughts

Each of these six freezers brings something unique to the table that deserves special recognition. Only one, GE Energy Star chest freezer, stands out as the best of all worlds by balancing efficiency and quality with storage capability and great design. This GE model is the only Energy Star-rated freezer on our list. Likewise, the internal cubic footage is easily controlled and organized with some great baskets and clear internal lighting, making this our favorite all-around chest freezer.

Otherwise, the Whirlpool chest freezer comes with almost as many features in a far larger size and is worth considering if you have some long term storage needs for bulky products. The Arctic King freezer is also worth checking out if you’re on a budget and need a freezer that’ll blend well with your interior design. No matter which chest freezer you pick, we hope that you find the product that best stores your food, organizes it, and most importantly, keeps things chilled.

 

Further Reading