Chest Freezer Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Option For You

Chest freezers are amazing additions to your homes or businesses. They will help you store larger quantities of food while saving you a lot of money on running costs. There are many different sizes and designs on the market, so we have put together this buying guide to help you narrow down your options and find the best chest freezer for you.

Read on to see how different types of freezers compare, which brands you can trust, what to look for in a good freezer, as well as some tips and tricks on how to use chest freezers.

Intro To The Usefulness Of Chest Freezer

Chest freezers are a very energy-efficient way to store food from bulk purchasing, hunting season, garden harvests, or even just to keep a surplus on standby. They outperform their upright freezer cousins in most ways including effectiveness, price, and usefulness. Choosing the perfect chest freezer for you is as easy as considering some basic factors like price, storage capacity, and electricity usage.

Chest Freezer vs Upright Freezer

The main difference between chest and upright freezers is that chest freezers stand flat on the ground and they open from the top, like a pizza box. Upright freezers work like fridges, they open with a door to the front and they have many compartments.

Chest freezers are generally more affordable with a cheaper purchase price and lower running costs. They run very efficiently so they are perfect for those who want an affordable and effective freezer. Upright fridges take less space, they are easier to organize and they look a bit more elegant. This makes them perfect for those who want a neat and pretty freezer.

How To Choose The Best Type Of Chest Freezer

There are a few things to consider when choosing a chest freezer. It is a big investment so you want to make sure to choose the best one for your needs.

Some of the aspects you should consider include size, energy consumption, storage capacity, and price.


The size of the freezer will depend on how much space you have, but also how much space you need. There is no point in buying something too big because it will waste money, energy, and space. Consider how many people will use it and how much food you need to store.

Energy Consumption

Electricity is expensive and running big appliances does use quite a bit of electricity. To keep the bills down you will want to compare the energy consumption of different freezers. There will normally be an energy use rating from A to G with A being the best. There can also be a sticker that gives the annual usage in kWh.

Storage Capacity

It is best to work out how much space you need and then buy a freezer that matched that capacity. Storage capacity is normally measured in liters, or sometimes in cubit feet. They can range anywhere from 4 cubic feet to 20+ cubic feet.


Your budget will also narrow down which freezers are a good match for your needs. Prices can vary widely as extra features get added. There is something on the market for every budget – that includes not only a purchasing price but also running costs.

Check Out The Best Small Chest Freezers Here:

Is buying a chest freezer worth it?

If you have a big family that needs a lot of surplus food, or you live far from a market and you cannot buy fresh food very regularly, or you prefer buying food in bulk to get better deals, or you have a garden and you freeze your produce for winter seasons, then buying a chest freezer is definitely something worth investing in.

Chest Freezer Pros

Usable Space

Chest freezers are completely open on the inside so that makes a lot of space to use for food storage. It also allows you to store bigger things like big pieces of meat.

Energy Efficiency

Chest freezers are a lot more energy-efficient compared to other freezers. They don’t let as much air in as other freezers and they don’t defrost by themselves so the temperature stays lower at all times.

Low Sound

Chest freezers make very little sound when compared to other freezers.

Chest Freezer Cons

Difficult to Organize

Due to the large open space inside of most chest freezers, they can be tough to organize effectively. Food that is stored at the bottom will get things stacked on top of it and it will be hard to get to it. There are however newer models that come with more organization features or you can also create your own dividers (see below).

Larger Footprint

Chest freezers take up quite a bit of floor space. If you are cramped for space then this can be a challenge. Most people keep them in their garage.

What Size Of Chest Freezer Do I Need?

The size of the chest freezer that you need will depend on a couple of factors.

Firstly, how many people are in your family, and how many people will use the freezer? Do you hunt or have a garden where you will need to lot of space to store food? Do you buy food in bulk? All of these questions will determine the size of freezer you need.

According to Favourite Freezer Foods, on average you will need about 1.5 cubic feet of freezer space per person.

For 4 People

For 4 people, you will need at least 6 cubic feet of freezer space (1.5 x 4). This is the minimum and any of the above factors will increase that space requirement.

For 2 People

For 2 people, you only need 3 cubic feet of freezer space. These will be some of the smallest compact models that there are.

What can you fit in a 5 cubic foot freezer?

What will a 5 cubic foot freezer hold? Using the rule of thumb it will hold enough food to feed a family of 3. Many factors will change this equation though, so let’s look at what you can fit inside a 5 cubic foot freezer.

You can store about 35 pounds of food per cubic foot of freezer space. Of course, you cannot always fit everything perfectly so there might be some dead space here and there. To be more accurate we can say 30 pounds per cubic foot, so 5 cubic feet will store up to 150 pounds of food.

How big is a 7.0 cubic freezer?

A 7 cubic foot freezer is a medium-sized freezer. If you consider 35 pounds per cubic foot, then you can fit the meat from a quarter cow inside the 7.0 freezer. The dimensions will vary, but it can be about 33 inches long and 37 inches wide.

How Much Electricity Do Chest Freezers Use?

Chest freezers use less electricity compared to other types of freezers. This is because they keep the cold air inside when it is opened, it minimizes the intake of hot air, and it does not defrost by itself.

According to the freezer manufacturer Meibca, electricity usage will depend on the efficiency of the freezer as well as the wattage. On the freezer, there will be an efficiency rating from A to G, this will give you a general idea. There will also be a sticker that gives the annual electricity usage in kWh.

This video does a test to find that chest freezers only use about 100 watts when running.

Chest Freezer Tip And Tricks

The best tip for using a chest freezer is to keep things neat and organized. If you know what is there and you know where everything is, you will spend less time with the freezer open trying to find the right thing.


  • Do a regular cleaning so that things stay organized and clean.
  • Create your own dividers to store food more effectively.

Chest Freezer Organization Hacks

There are many ways to organize a chest freezer. The best thing is to find a good system and stick to it.

  • Cleaning it regularly will give you a chance to take stock and reorganize everything.
  • Measuring your space works well, you can then find baskets that fit in perfectly.
  • Categorize and arrange things according to how often you will use them – keep the most often used things on the top.

Do chest freezers work better full or empty?

According to most manufacturers, chest freezers will work at their best when they are two-thirds full. When it is too empty it will lose efficiency and when it is too overly full it will also lose efficiency. This cannot always be helped, but try to keep in mind that two-thirds is the way to go.

How do you use a chest freezer efficiently?

Dummies give us some additional tips on how to use chest freezers efficiently. These tips include stacking and organizing items neatly so that you can fit more things into the freezer. They also suggest planning what you will store in the freezer to make the best use of the space that you have.

As mentioned above, if you know what you have and you know where it is, you can quickly and easily grab what you need without going through everything while the freezer stands open.

5 Most Reliable Chest Freezer Brands

1.   Whirlpool

Whirlpool is a big name in the industry and we choose them as the most reliable chest freezer brand of all.


  • Wide range of products
  • Available at many stores
  • Stylish designs


  • Higher price than others

Score: 95/100

2.   Frigidaire

One of the biggest manufacturers that also makes freezers for other brands.


  • Wide range of products
  • A large manufacturer
  • Widely available


  • Does not always include an extended warranty

Score: 90/100

3.   Amana

A smaller brand in the chest freezer industry, but its products are some of the best on the market.


  • Capacities from 5 to 16 cubic feet
  • Widely available at big stores.


  • A smaller brand so they might give less customer support

Score: 88/100

4.   Kenmore

A popular name in the world of freezers. They are well established with well-trusted chest freezers.


  • Wide range of models
  • Many different size options
  • Beautiful designs


  • Only available at selected stores

Score: 88/100

5.   Magic Chef

Also one of the best-known brands that manufacture chest freezers. You will get good and trustworthy quality from this brand.


  • Well-known brand
  • Affordable products


  • Limited suppliers

Score: 85/100

What is the most economical chest freezer?

The most economical chest freezer needs to be both economical to purchase as well as economical to run.

We find the best balance of these to be the Midea MRC070S0AWW Chest Freezer. It has an affordable price and runs with an adjustable thermostat so that you can set it to the preferred temperature.

How To Make Dividers For A Chest Freezer

To make your own dividers for your chest freezer you can use thick pieces of cardboard, cover them with foil, and then with an outer layer of plastic. Make them perfectly to size so that you can slide them in to make divisions. There are also baskets for sale, but it can be hard to find the perfect sizes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How many pounds of meat will a 5 cubic foot freezer hold?

It is estimated by manufacturers and retailers that 1 cubic foot of freezer space can hold up to 35 pounds of packed meat. So in a 5 cubic foot freezer, you could keep up to 175 pounds of meat. But, it has to be well packed!

Q: What is the difference between a chest freezer and a deep freezer?

There is no real difference between the two, they can be the same thing. The first free-standing freezers were named deep freezers because you had to reach in deep to get something. Now deep freezers can mean wither chest or upright freezers.

Q: What size freezer do I need for 1/2 cow?

Pro Family Chef estimates that you need an 8 to 10 cubic foot chest freezer to store a half cow. In liters, this will be between 230 and 290 liters.

Q: Are chest freezers colder than regular freezers?

Most chest freezers come with an adjustable thermostat so you can decide for yourself what temperature you want to maintain inside your freezer. Chest freezers do maintain the cold better than regular freezers.

Q: What is a deep freezer vs a regular freezer?

A deep freezer is a name that was first given to stand-alone freezers, these were chest freezers and the name came from having to reach deep inside. Now “deep freezer” can refer to both chest or upright freezers.

Q: Do chest freezers have fans?

Whether or not a chest freezer has a fan will depend on the model. Most do not have an internal fan so air on the inside is not circulated, but most do have a heat extraction fan that removes warm air from the inside.

Q: How full should you keep a chest freezer?

According to most manufacturers, chest freezers operate at their best when they are kept at two-thirds full. But, if you need to fill it all the way, or you cannot fill it even halfway, it will still work perfectly fine.

Q: What is a convertible deep freezer?

A convertible deep freezer is a freezer that comes with the option to convert it into a fridge. This simply means that it has a setting that can turn the temperature either down to freezer level or up to fridge level.

Q: How long should a chest freezer be plugged in before use?

From the time when you plug in your chest freezer, it can take anything from 2 to 6 hours before it is frozen inside. You can keep an eye on it, and when it feels cold enough you can start using it.

Q: How long will a chest freezer stay frozen?

Chest freezers are great at staying frozen even after the electricity has been cut off. If you keep it closed it can stay frozen for multiple days.

Q: Why has my chest freezer stopped working?

It can be anything from the electricity, to a broken compressor, a faulty thermostat, or a relay issue. Do It Yourself gives a great troubleshooting process to figure out why your chest freezer has stopped working.

Q: Can you move a chest freezer on its back?

The best way to transport a chest freezer is in its proper upright position, if this is impossible then you can put it on the side where the compressor is, but this is not advised. If you had to transport it on its side, let the freezer sit for 4 hours before plugging it in.


Towards the end of this article, you should have a pretty good idea of what chest freezers are out there and what to look for when you can going to purchase your chest freezer. We hope that you will consider some of the points we looked at so that you can find the freezer that will work best for you.

Chest freezers are available to order online and will mostly come with free local delivery. You can also visit local stores to first have a look to see what you like.

Check Out The Best Midea Chest Freezers Here: