Deep Freezer vs Upright – Which One Should You Buy?

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Read on for our deep freezer guide so you can shop with confidence.

girl pulling frozen waffles out of a white deep freezer inside of garage

It’s time to stock up  on frozen foods with a new deep freezer!

We’re sharing the highest-rated & best deep freezers and upright freezers on the market, plus the pros and cons of each. Back when the coronavirus pandemic initially hit, tons of people were after a deep freezer to stock up on frozen goods in case of pending shortages.

Now that stores seem to have plenty of freezers back in stock again, we set out to help you find the best one to suit your home and family. Our team is even sharing which ones we prefer, so let’s get to it!

white chest deep freezer sitting in garage

Our thoughts on chest & deep freezers:

Pros:

  • Comes with removable hanging baskets or dividers
  • Offer more usable space
  • More energy efficient
  • Less likely to cause freezer burn on food since they don’t self-defrost like uprights
  • Cold temperatures stay consistently lower
  • Keep food colder for longer if the power goes out
  • Quieter than self-defrosting uprights

Cons:

  • More difficult to organize
  • Harder to retrieve items from the bottom
  • Larger footprint than upright models
  • Manual defrost is the only option that can be time-consuming

white stand up freezer in garage with various types of meat and food

Our thoughts on stand up & upright freezers:

Pros:

  • Smaller footprint than its equivalent size in the chest freezer.
  • Easier to organize
  • Shelves and bins in the door can often be adjusted
  • Option to use manual or self-defrost
  • Come in different finishes such as slate or stainless steel

Cons:

  • The door doesn’t stay as cold as the rest of the freezer
  • Noisier than chest freezers
  • Allow more air to circulate around food (i.e. higher odds of freezer burn)
  • Shelves & bins take up more space (up to 20%) than in chest freezers allowing for less food storage
  • Easy to leave open by accident (not as kid-friendly)

upright freezer with door open

Here are the 5 top-rated freezers based on Consumer Reports testing:

  1. Most Spacious – GE Appliances Garage Ready 21.7 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer
  2. Best Overall Value – GE Appliances 10.7 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer with Manual Defrost
  3. Best Longevity – GE Appliances Garage Ready Chest Freezer
  4. Best Stand-Up Deep Freezer – GE Appliances Garage Ready Frost Free Upright Freezer
  5. Most Affordable – GE Appliances 5 Cu. Ft. Garage Ready Chest Freezer

1. Garage Ready 21.7 cu. ft. Chest Deep Freezer

Most spacious.

deep freezer sitting on black hexagon tile floor

Go big or go home! This stunner can pack on some pounds but you better have space (and the budget) for it. With this freezer, you’ll have 21.7 cubic feet of space to store all the food your heart and bellies desire.

ge garage ready 21.7 cu ft deep freezer

Plus, you can assure you’ll have the ultimate organization and presentation each time you open the freezer door with its included 2-level basket system and game-changing LED interior lighting. You’ll never forget about food again!


2. GE Appliances 10.7 Cu. Ft. Chest Freezer with Manual Defrost

Best overall value.

white chest freezer sitting in garage with lid open

Ranking as the second-best deep freezer, this one offers the best price among the top-ranking chest freezers. You’ll surely get the best bang for your buck!

Plus, it still has luxury features like the one above for almost twice the cost with its 3 lift-out sliding bulk storage baskets, 10.6 cubic feet of space, and interior lighting to see any time of day.

Hip Tip from Stacy: Once you have the extra freezer space, you’re going to want to start buying those big family packs of meat that cost less per pound so you either need to be watching for great Amazon deals on Ziplock freezer bags or grab a FoodSaver. Then, make sure to date what you put in your freezer.


3. GE Appliances 15.7 Cubic Feet cu. ft. Garage Ready Chest Freezer 

Best longevity

upright freezer with door open

GE does it again! And not only did they take the top 3 ranks on Consumer Reports in best overall freezers, but they’re also all deep freezers! So if you’re in the market for a great one, you’ll know just where to look since they offer an option for every budget and space in mind.

Easily store a year’s worth of meat in this 15.7 cubic feet deep freezer. Like all the other models, this one still boasts all the same bells and whistles to give you the top-of-the-line experience such as bright LED lighting, 4 sliding bulk storage baskets, and an exterior lock to keep all your goods safe and secure.


4. Garage Ready 14.1 cu. ft. Frost Free Upright Freezer 

Best stand-up deep freezer.

freezer sitting in garage with door open stocked full of food

Ranking in at #4, this stand-up freezer is the first to make it to the list and is also the only self defrost to make the top 5 best overall freezers. Its performance is just that of a chest freezer, although it could have performed better in the noise and power outage department. Of course, if it’s going in the garage, the noise may not be an issue anyways.


5. GE Appliances 5 Cu. Ft. Garage Ready Chest Freezer 

Most affordable.

small white deep freezer sitting on floor with lid open

It probably comes as no surprise, but GE swept the 5th best overall freezer spot making them the absolute best in the industry no matter which style of deep freezer you’re shopping for! Best of all, this 5th highest-rated choice is the most compact and the most affordable of them all at just under 300 bucks!

With 5 cubic feet of interior space, this compact deep freezer can even easily fit inside your basement (without too much trouble getting it down the stairs) for some added extra storage. Plus, it has sleek recessed handles to make it fit seamlessly in any nook you have in mind. If you’re just looking for the perfect compact, reliable, and quiet deep freezer that’s also budget-friendly, this one will check off all the boxes.


So what’s the Hip2Save team verdict on our Deep Freezers Debate?

open deep freezer with food inside

One of my Hip sidekicks love her deep freezer!

“We had a small chest from Costco and just needed a bigger option and recently upgraded to a highly-rated GE deep freezer. I wanted a stand-up, but my husband is a research guru and read that the doors don’t get as cold as a chest. 💁‍♀️

We were also already using the space above our old deep freezer to hang ladders so it just made sense to get a chest freezer again. Plus, it was a little less expensive. I’m for either, though! Such a great way to stock up on meat and frozen items.

If you’re ditching an old freezer too, we sold our smaller one on Facebook in about two seconds while they were so popular at the time!” – Lina


These Hip team members love their stand-up freezers!

“I have always had and loved chest freezers. I’m not short so reaching to the bottom is not a problem and when I started getting hot flashes it was great to lean into it (totally serious!). I was so sad when we moved from Oregon to Oklahoma and couldn’t bring it and when we went to buy a new one, it was hard finding any due to the pandemic.

I stalked websites daily and finally found another one, except it was a stand-up freezer. I figured it was better than nothing so I gave it a shot. We’ve had it for a while now and I have to say I absolutely love it!

To top it off, I think it’s even better than the deep freezer I loved for so long! It’s so much easier to organize and see everything. I crossed over to the dark side or should I say the ‘upright’ side.” – Jennifer


“We have an upright freezer, and I love having it! We originally bought it when we were getting a quarter cow, but that’s all gone now, and we still love having it for all of the extra meat, food items, and bags of ice. I prefer the upright so you can actually see what is in your freezer without having to dig.” – Angie


chest freezer

Which model do you prefer to freeze your food in?

A couple of Hip2Save team members love their stand-up freezers with their easy organization. But Lina’s vote and the Consumer Reports analysis for a chest freezer proved that stashing bulk food in a deep freezer overall can be more affordable and better at keeping foods cold.

Which do you prefer?!


Looking for deals on groceries to fill your freezer? We’ve got you covered!


About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 8+ years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.


Join The Discussion

Comments 83

  1. Kay

    I also have both. Use the chest, it’s half-size, inside as my fridge doesn’t have a freezer, ice and whatever sounds good goes in there, got it off craigslist for like $75 works perfectly. Upright is in garage and holds overflow. Because of the energy savings I prefer the chest. It’s colder, and lid will auto close. I put velcro on chest the first time a kid left door open. I can’t afford to replace that much food. I tend to overstock lol, sales and whatnot. I rarely get freezer burn as I use my food saver all the time.

  2. Carol

    I have 2 uprights, one frost-free and one not frost free. Those are may favorite. I also have an old Montgomery Wards chest freezer from around 1980 and one of the uprights is around 35 years old. When I need to defrost the upright or the chest freezer I put an electric heater a good distance away (for safety reasons) and let it run for a while making the defrosting easier. I also use my shop vac to suck up all the water out of both freezers. Makes the chest freezer much easier to defrost. My daughter and I live together and she saw me trying to get something out of the bottom of the chest freezer. I’m 5’3″ tall. She was afraid of me leaning over and getting overbalanced and falling in. We don’t keep it completely full. Her solution was to put 2 layers of bagged ice in the bottom and it solved the problem of any accidents. Our Ice maker went out and we used most of the ice and then just replaced it when the ice maker was fixed.

  3. Evie

    I hope, in addition to the freezers,all have generators too!

  4. AnneS

    When our house was built 18 years ago I planned to install an upright freezer in the garage. A friend remodeled, went stainless and handed down her top of the line, white GE chest freezer. It has both a power light and an alarm. I break down packages of meat into meal sized portions, wrap in freezer paper and put in a baggie or use my vacuum sealer. I do the same with seasonal fruits and veggies since I do not can. I like being able to fits trays in the freezer so I can freeze items individually and flat. I use shopping bags to organize and close them as added protection against freezer burn. I also keep ice (frozen water bottles) and artificial ice in the freezer. According to my grandparents the ice will increase the time food will keep when the power or freezer fails and in a hurricane you have extra drinking water. Another forgotten trick is to freeze a small container of water, place a coin on top of the ice. If the coin is ever below the surface of the ice you know the power has been off.

    Once a year, in preparation to defrost the freezer I cook from the freezer until it is all but empty. Anything left goes into the refrigerator’s freezer where we keep ice cream, frozen pizza, bread, milk, items I’m going to use right away, etc. Although I did not want a manual defrost or a chest freezer it is OK to manage when not full and there is room to maneuver. My biggest problem is taking frozen food out, setting it on the floor when looking for something then forgetting to put the bag of food back in the freezer. It would help if I had room for a landing place. A shelf or counter, to keep items off the floor would make things easier to see and less likely to be left out to accidentally defrost.

    Just before Thanksgiving 2020 my refrigerator’s freezer, although cold, stopped freezing. Appliances in general are in short supply and hard to find. Since the refrigerator and its freezer maintain safe cold temps (33F to 38F) I gave up finding a replacement for now. What is available is stainless or white and I have black appliances. My hand-me-down, manual defrost, chest freezer is now stuffed to the brim. I live in fear it will quit since it is 20+ years-old. Now that it is totally full it is hard to get to stuff at the bottom. It is a major operation to find anything. Nothing can be moved over. To get to the bottom I have to unpack the entire top layer. It is so cold I wear mittens, fill up the floor around me and often give up before I find what I’m looking for.

    My hand-me-down chest freezer has served me well without issues. It gets colder than a refrigerator freezer. It’s not fancy, freezes food quickly and keeps it hard frozen. My grandparents had chest freezers, my parents upright. I’ve lived with both. I’ve always known when it is time for a replacement, I will get an upright. Uprights are easier to organize, easier to see in and reach items, just easier in general to use and my first choice.

  5. VB Vee

    So….I’m phasing into a freezer downsize. Best Buy has the 3.5 cu ft chest freezer for $114.99. I’ve been emptying out the larger chest freezer and will be able to manage with a 3.5 along with the top of the kitchen fridge/freezer.
    If I can’t take it with me to the new apt….then I haven’t put too much $$ into it. If I can take it, it’ll be small enough to fit into an apartment easily. Thinking about straddling the microwave cart over top of this smaller freezer to save floor space.
    I won’t have the problem of buying too much stuff for long term storage. Buying and storing food for 4-6 weeks is my new goal.

  6. Gary

    We replaced a 38 yo Kenmore upright freezer because the door corroded and began to sag, causing ceiling frost buildup. It still ran perfectly. The new unit is also upright. We lose power frequently and have a generator. We use half gallon milk jugs filled with water in the freezer as “ballast” as space permits, which helps during power outages. A very helpful tip: buy an indoor/outdoor thermometer to monitor your freezer temp. When power goes out never open the freezer and as 48 hours approaches monitor the temp closely and run generator as needed. We’ve never wasted thawed food doing this.

    • Lisa

      Gary, someone taught me this tip…. when they go on vacation or are gone for an extended period of time, he freezes a cup of water, then before they leave for the long trip, he places a quarter on top of the frozen cup of water. When he comes home, that’s the first thing he checks. If the quarter is on the bottom of the cup, guess what, the electricity went out for far too long meaning things unthawed to potentially an unsafe condition.

  7. Patricia Lavenz

    Reminds me I have an upright I am hauling to the road. Works fine but am tired of manual defrost. Time to go.

    • Lisa

      Just an FYI, before “hauling to the road,” you might want to check with your local electricity provider. They might just pay you for it. I’m in the Greater Midwest and our provider will pay $50 as long as it turns on (doesn’t need to get cold… just needs to run).

  8. laurie

    Upright only. I have a bad back and can not bend over well. I have no problem keeping my door items frozen. I have never noticed a difference. I love mine and would get a door one all over again.

  9. shop4mybabies

    small chest freezer paid 200 at costco maybe 10 years ago. use it for our meat, and a bin for my celiac daughter gluten free frozen food. small freezer on fridge we use for ice cream, ice, frozen veggies and lean cuisine type stuff

  10. Steph

    We just had two fridge/freezer combo units for years but recently a family member moved and gave me her old chest freezer. After using it for a few months I don’t know how I survived without one! LOL .So easy and spacious and makes my inside freezer feel less cluttered

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