Upright vs Chest Freezer – Our Top 5 Deep Freezer Options Will Last a Lifetime

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Learn the difference between upright vs chest freezer and which to buy.

steaks and beef in white deep freezer chest

Need more cold food storage and can’t decide between an upright vs chest freezer? We’re explaining the pros & cons and the best models to buy!

white chest deep freezer sitting in garage

Pros of Chest Freezers:

  • 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 of Chest Freezers:

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

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

Pros of Upright Freezers:

  • Smaller footprint than its equivalent size in the chest freezer.
  • Easier to organize with vertical shelving
  • Typically has adjustable shelves and bins
  • Option to use manual or self-defrost
  • Come in different finishes such as slate or stainless steel

Cons of Upright Freezers:

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

Here are the 5 top-rated freezers for 2024:

graphic collage of top 5 deep freezers

Hip Tip for long trips: Before long trips, freeze a cup of water with a quarter on top and place it in your freezer. If the quarter is at the bottom upon return, it suggests a prolonged power outage and potential food safety issues.

1. Garage Ready 21.7cu.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

We especially love the sliding baskets at various levels, so finding food is easier than ever. You can be assured you’ll have the ultimate organization and presentation each time you open the freezer door. It also features bright, self-illuminating LED interior lighting, easy-to-use temperature controls, and a key lock on the outside.

2. GE Appliances 10.7cu.ft. Chest Freezer with Manual Defrost

Best overall value.

white chest freezer sitting in garage with lid open

This top-rated deep freezer offers the best price when comparing upright vs chest freezer options. You’ll surely get the best bang for your buck, and it’s ultimately why our recipe blogger, Lina, opted for this freezer over all others on the market.

You’ll get 10.6 cubic feet of space and many luxury features, such as two lift-out sliding bulk storage baskets, temperature controls, LED interior lighting, and the GE Power Outage Promise that your food will stay frozen 48 hours after a power outage.

Hip Tip: Watch for hot deals on Ziplock freezer bags or grab a FoodSaver so you’re better prepared to stock up on big meat packs that cost less per pound. Be sure to date what you put in your freezer!

3. GE Appliances 5cu.ft. Garage Ready Chest Freezer 

Most affordable.

Small white chest freezer on garage floor next to red toolbox

It probably comes as no surprise, but GE swept the best overall price for this compact freezer. Their freezers are the absolute best in the industry, no matter which style of deep freezer you’re shopping for! We love this freezer if you’re looking for the most affordable and compact option on the market.

With five 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.

4. GE Appliances 15.7cu.ft. Garage Ready Chest Freezer 

Best longevity

upright freezer with door open

You can easily store a year’s worth of meat in this 15.7 cubic feet deep freezer. Plus, in the event of a power outage, food remains frozen for 48 hours, and the exterior light and alarm alerts you if there’s been a temperature change. 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 4 sliding bulk storage baskets, an exterior key lock, and bright LED lighting that automatically turns on if the door is left open.

5. GE Appliances 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

Garage Ready Frost Free Upright Freezer$748 (regularly $899) 

This stand-up freezer is the highest-rated and the only self-defrost freezer to make our top 5 best overall freezers. Its performance is just that of a chest freezer, making it a solid choice if this is the style you’re after. It’s equipped with a fast freeze feature called Turbo Freeze that restores the set temperature for optimum food freshness, and its defrost water drain allows for easy defrosting. The glass shelving and drawers make storage easily accessible and sleek. This stand-up also features a key lock, self-illuminating LED lights, and an alarm if the door is left open.

So what’s the Hip2Save team verdict on our Upright vs Chest Freezer debate?

open deep freezer with food inside

One of my Hip sidekicks loves her deep freezer:

“We had a small chest from Costco and just needed a bigger option and upgraded a couple of years ago 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 quickly which helped with the cost of a new one.” – Lina

Here’s what a Hip team member said about their stand-up freezers:

“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

Which model do you prefer to freeze your food in? Let us know in the comments below!

We’ve got deals on groceries for days…

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 68

  1. Babbs12345

    We have one of each. The chest freezer stores the large meat purchases and is located in the basement storage room. We buy half a cow every year and pork on and off. We also buy bulk bacon and other things when I find deals. The upright is located in the laundry room on the main floor. It holds all the connivence foods and such that I don’t want to get lost in the chest freezer. Plus we don’t have room in the chest freezer a few months every year when when get a new beef. The beef takes up almost the whole chest freezer. The upright has pizzas, fries, ice cream, popsicles, shredded cheese, frozen veggies, etc. We use to only have a chest freezer and the upright has saved us money with things not getting lost and allowing us more room for the bulk meat to be stored.

    • Kelly Poteet

      We have had both types of freezers. My husband and I like the upright type. It’s easier to find what your looking.

    • ToriSC

      Omg I don’t know why I thought I only was allowed 1. I’m going to have to do this.

  2. Nicole

    My old chest freezer was perfectly sized to fit milk crates. I had 2 stacked on top of each other so I could lift the top one out to get something from the bottom. I now have a stand up freezer and love it. I bought clear plastic bins to help organize. I’m also slightly neurotic about wasting food so I use the Out of Milk app to log all of the meat in my freezer with dates. This way I use all the oldest things first when meal planning.

    • Erin

      Brilliant! I was going to say that chests are such a pain but now I’m going to check whether milk crates will fit! I literally just reorganized my fridge’s freezer with storage baskets. I can’t believe it never occurred to do the same with the chest! 🤦🏽‍♀️

    • AMFC4292

      I use milk crates in my deep freezer also but I heard of another hack I thought I would share (but haven’t tried yet). Use the reusable grocery store bags and fill them with a certain product (beef in one, chicken in another, etc) and then you have an easy way to pull out the items you need!

      • ella

        That’s a great idea to use the grocery bags. I have been using stackable recycling bins that have a fold down handle. It so easy to grab the handle and lift one bin out to get the one underneath, but I have a smallish chest freezer and can only fit 2, so I can use the grocery bags in the other half of my freezer.

      • AJ

        I was just going to say that grocery bags work great! Milk crates don’t fit in mine but the bags are a game changer!

      • Holly K

        A friend told me about the reusable bags hack when I bought a small chest freezer last year. It’s not working well for me. Last week, I re-organized the food, moving the newer items to the bottom, and finding quite a few things I’d forgotten I had. My freezer is not deep enough for two bags stacked, but deep enough for a couple of layers on top of the bags. I think it works better for families, because they use more food and rotate more often.

  3. Melinda

    We have both. One thing about the upright is that it was easier for the kids to accidentally leave open a crack, causing everything to thaw. We ended up putting a lock on it and moving the things they would be going in for (ice cream) to the chest.

    • Mel

      Yes, my kiddos have forgotten to close the door all the way a few times, and the same thing has happened. If I catch it soon enough, the food is fine. We’ve had all the food wasted at a few times.

    • lauriefriedman

      We JUST had an incident like this a few weeks ago – luckily it was caught before we lost anything more than a little ice cream 😢. My mom suggested a brilliant “hack”- if you lock it up after every use you remember to double check that it’s shut tight and if something shifts and pushes something towards the doors, it can’t open. We’ve attached the spare key to the handle with a pipe cleaner so it doesn’t fo amywhere and so far, so good!

    • Nancy

      ours has an alarm on it and it has come in handy several times

  4. Tawana

    I just purchase a small upright chest freezer yesterday from Menard that we put in the basement. Storage for meat and vegetables. I got a new refrigerator this month but it is smaller than the previous one so I can not put a lot of food in the freezer part.

  5. Lisa K.

    After decades (literally) of using a chest freezer, we finally upgraded last year to an upright, frost free freezer and it’s truly one of the best investments we’ve ever made! It is so much easier to see what you have stored in it, and less food goes to waste for that reason. And the contents really came in handy with the meat shortages earlier in the year.
    If your budget can afford it, I would recommend an upright freezer hands down!

  6. H

    I Have both – I do put meats in the reusable bags in the chest freezer. The upright is vertically convenient- but with the reusable bags- the chest freezer isn’t bad at all

  7. Ashley

    For people worried about the door being left open on an upright I wanted to point out that there are models that have an alarm that will sound if the temp goes above a certain point. Our freezer is in the garage and the alarm is loud enough to hear in the house. It has literally saved our bacon numerous times!

  8. Lolas93

    I have a small chest freezer that I got off Craigslist for $25 about 7 years ago. We now live in an RV and I made sure that moved with us!

  9. SunnyP

    I have a large chest freezer. After years and years of not knowing what’s at the bottom I finally bought a flat magnetic dry erase sheet and several colored dry erase markers. I write down everything I put in and erase when I take something out. I color code the markers for beef, chicken, pork, turkey, and misc so that things are easy to spot at a glance. I also keep the meat separated by type. That has helped me keep better organized.

    • Peaches

      I love that idea!

  10. paul

    I wish we had an upright. The chest freezer is a real pain, because it’s so hard to get anything that’s not on top. The Refrigerator has a side-by-side setup and I’d much rather that convenience in the main freezer. Still, I can only hope that the chest freezer lasts as long as the one my mom used to have. She bought it in 1983 or 1984 and it lasted until the big flood that hit Louisiana in 2016. Not one issue, until it spent a week under 4 feet of water.

    • VB Vee

      They sure don’t make them like back in the day. My son has an old 19 cu ft Montgomery Ward chest freezer that still works. Only issue is….the inside of it has been steadily cracking and now the yellow insulation is hanging all out. He had to grab it in just the right place and squeeze to get it to close. Then set a lot of stuff on the top to keep the lid down. Even with all that….it still was reliable. Burned a lot of Kilowatts…but was dependable.

  11. PrincessMom

    I’m finally going to be getting a freezer this year and plan to do an upright. We researched and saw that chest freezers are “better” but I don’t think it’ll really save money if things get stuck at the bottom and forgotten about until they can’t be used anymore. Plus, I just won’t use it if it’s not easy to use. With an upright, I can organize things in a way that we can see what’s in there and easily get to what we want.

  12. VB Vee

    My preference is a chest style. I bought a 7.5 cub ft because I have a son who frequently drops by the stash his freshly caught fish. I did not like the smell of having fish in the top of our fridge/freezer unit. He’s since filled it to the top with other misc stuff. So….I bought a smaller 5 cub ft for the regular stuff I buy. I have a good supply for those L/XL/XXL storage bags Dollar Tree use to sell.
    I portion out bulk meat, wrap in serving sizes…then put them in the Dollar Tree Storage bags via meat type. Makes it easy to put them into the bottom and get them out of the freezer. And easy to see what is inside because they are clear. I put boxed items such as tv dinners and breads on top of the stacks of bags. I wanted an upright as I am aging. But I find lots of space goes un-used because of the preset shelf positions. And I don’t want to overload the shelves like I tend to overload fridge shelves. And have had items fall out of the top of the fridge/freezer….barely missing my twice broken toe. My compromise is using large storage bags for easy organizing. I also bought a wheeled metal shelving unit that I raised the lower shelves to higher positions so I could slide the smaller freezer under and have just enough room to open the top of the freeze door. Gives me more flexible use of the wall height. Easy to pull the shelf unit out if needed. However, after looking at the image of the #3 freezer shown above, I am considering putting the smaller freezer on a flat wheeled wood dolly so I can just roll the freezer out versus moving the shelving unit.

  13. Laura villotta

    Door freezer.. I choose never to dig for my food. Open the door and grab what u need. Mine is very well organized. I have had mine for over 10 years.

  14. KA

    We’ve had chest freezers in the past and that’s what my Mom and Mil have always had. We’ve all had issues with the lid liner detaching and also the lid not closing good if you accidentally put too much in it or you put off the defrosting longer than what you should. Also the lost food at the bottom was always a problem!!
    We currently have 2 uprights. One is self defrosting and the other isn’t. It’s nice not having to defrost the one but also be aware that when the self defrosting comes on, the freezer does warm up a little….not so much it thaws the food though. It is harder to stack things in an upright so it won’t fall out when you open the door. That’s the reason some chose to use bins. It’s also true that food on the door doesn’t get as cold either, so that’s where I put stuff like rice, flour, corn meal, seeds etc. If you can afford one with an alarm, I would recommend it, if not I think most do come with a lock that can be useful. Although there are pros and cons for both, I definitely prefer the upright freezers.

  15. Tammy

    I have both — I personally LOVE my upright 21CF — stays way more organized and items are much easier to find — one of the cons I cannot agree with above is that items are more likely to get freezer burnt in the upright — my experience is that items do not get lost in the upright so are more readily used and accessible!!

    The only thing I can recommend a chest freezer for is 1 product — meat (beef) etc. Although even with that you need to remove everything and rotate your product (unless of course it is purchased all at the same time

  16. Evie

    It is hard to find a freezer because all know how bad it will get! Lots of things are still in short supply.
    I prefer canning, even though I have a generator. Do not know how long electric will be available or gas for the generator.

  17. Allison

    My husband and I purchased a small chest freezer when we first got married. A year or two later, we had some bad weather that fried ours and we didn’t notice it for several days. We were able to call Sears, where we’d bought it, and they gave us the value of our freezer in SYWR points, and we were able to go buy a LARGER deep freezer with the points! Plus, they gave us a $500 gift card to cover what was in our freezer that we lost. All that to say…. we love our chest freezer 😂 It currently has over 100lbs of meat in it 🍗 🥩

  18. Betsy

    We got a smallish chest freezer about 10 years ago on Craigslist. Best $100 we ever spent! I would be lost without it!

  19. Haley

    We have an upright deep freezer and I love it! My main hack is to make food as flat as you can. I have a vacuum sealer and I use it to make things like chicken thighs, soup/chilis, and pork flatter and “store-able.” I also buy ground beef in 1-pound bricks rather than the family packs- when it goes on sale it’s the same price and I don’t have to divvy it up myself.

  20. Amy

    We have a big chest freezer in the garage, and I love it. We do occasionally lose things at the bottom and frequently set things on top that get in the way, but I just can’t beat the amount of space. I also love having everything laid out across the freezer and mostly visible. Ours came with big plastic section dividers, so i made a map for the top that specifies where each type of item goes (meat, veggies, ice cream, etc). It works really well for us, and I had zero worries about running out of food when the pandemic started.

  21. rwild1

    I’ve had both. Stand up all the way!

  22. shop4mybabies

    If i had a larger house i’d get a nice stand up, as is the costco chest freezer fits perfectly at the end of my kitchen counter as a counter extension. it was a great deal at 169 and i’ve had it 10 ish years.

  23. Niki E

    My husband and I purchased a new stand up the last week of February and am thankful for it. The one we purchased as a vaccume seal and it keeps things in the door frozen better than our other stand up we have had several years. As a family of 7 in our house we have to have 2 freezers.

  24. Hannah

    I did a great deal of research and had decided on a Fridgedaire upright freezer. Only problem was that it was $800. I had been using the freezers at work to store some venison and needed to get it out. I decided to get a small chest freezer that was under $200 but still big enough for my needs as a single person and a dog whose food is frozen. Anyway, I found the store brand chest freezer marked down and then stacked a 5% discount with my store card, and got it for $105. I was able to fit it in my SUV and set it up by myself.

    I would highly recommend that regardless of which you purchase, make sure it has an indicator light for power on the outside. The chest freezer is a little more difficult to organize but Dollar Tree has solid plastic baskets that fit perfectly. I can put four across in the bottom. If you’re on a budget, a decent size chest freezer is a no-brainer. The small inconveniences are worth the cost savings.

  25. Sherri

    I have a Whirpool upright freezer…
    My Mom had a chest freezer… But now she got herself a upright freezer (yea)
    She said its alot easier for her to manage…
    I just love mine… I keep everything stocked and in rotation…

  26. Faith

    Just a reminder that Lowes sells scratch and dent Freezers. We got our $1,500 custom order Upright freezer, marked down to $600. It is very large and we were really happy with the price. I just wanted to share.

  27. Ann

    I have had both types. There is nothing that I prefer over one or the other. However, I do like that the upright freezer has a keylock on it.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How cool! Thanks for commenting, Ann!

  28. Emily

    Upright all the way! We had a large chest freezer and it was more of a pain to find stuff even with baskets. The upright freezer is so much easier to see everything. We actually got rid of the chest freezer and I will never own one again. We buy our beef and pork from my brother-in-law, so our freezers are always full and it is so much easier to find and see what you have in an upright.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      SWEET! Thanks for letting us know you have liked the upright best!

  29. Jessica

    Our upright is actually kid friendly because for one they can reach most everything and in regards to the door not shutting all the way… yes, this can be true but ours makes loud beeps just like your refrigerator inside would if the door is ajar. Ours is about 10 years old so I’m sure the newer ones would probably have something similar.

  30. SaverChick

    I have a chest freezer but long for an upright. When I get a bigger house, I will definitely opt for an upright freezer. My old one died about 3 years ago but I finally replaced it in December 2019–right before the pandemic struck. Both me and a family member bought one at the same time. They were already getting hard to find at that time. While I love having one, it’s such a pain digging down into the freezer–which I actually need to clean out right now, smh.

  31. Michelle Stadel

    Chest or Upright? How about another refrigerator/freezer? That’s what we did. I researched and researched on chest vs upright, but when it came time to buy we decided to get another fridge, and I love it. We bought one with the freezer on top because we already have a side by side. It is so nice that I can stick whole pans of food in the fridge or a flat of peaches or extra milk, etc. It is especially helpful during the holidays. And, the freezer space is just enough.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      YES! I love that idea too, Michelle! I have an extra fridge in my basement and LOVE it! Thanks for taking a moment to comment!

    • Michael

      We have a full sized side by side in the kitchen, an 18 cubic foot refrigerator freezer in the basement (Kenmore circa 1995 that came with the house) and a 17 cubic foot upright in the basement as well. With a family of 6, we go through some food.

  32. VB Vee

    Well…..since my previous July 30, 2020 comment, I am going to get an upright. The chest model has served me well. I find that I tend to leave stuff unchecked in the chest freezer. Even having everything sorted in bags, I don’t take time to go into the freezer that much. I’m using the top one of the fridge/freezer a lot. So much so…. things are getting outdated in the chest one and having to be tossed. And many days I just don’t want to cook. I need a way to organize boxed tv dinners and what not so they can be easily accessible.
    Should be moving in a few month. If the new apt allows stand alone freezers, I’ll be getting an upright to take advantage of the vertical space. More cubic footage without needing a lot of floorspace.
    That’ll be after I get a washer dryer unit. Will be great to have an in-apartment laundry hookup.

    • Marianne

      I used a Food Saver, it helps keep the food longer and a regular freezer does too. The freezer connected to the refrigerator goes through defrost cycles, I have to defrost my small upright freezer myself.

  33. Sarah

    Sorry if this has been commented on already, butis there a chest model that can be stored in the garage? We live in the hot triple digit desert and our other freezer didn’t survive in the garage.

  34. witoldyna

    Had both, prefer stand up freezer. Things can get lost in the chest freezer. Unfortunately now stand up freezers are nowhere to be found

  35. Marianne

    I love my upright freezer, it is a small one, but works for two people, in addition to the freezer on the refrigerator. I could not live without it, bought it at Sears, over 10 years ago. Do not like chest, you have to dig to get things on bottom, if you can even see them!

  36. Megan

    We have a smaller upright and I love it!!!! It is probably over 15 years old at this point so I am concerned about how much longer it is going to last.

  37. Carol

    We have an older upright in the basement that we use for newly purchased meats and the vegetables we froze from csa. There is a specific shelf for each type of meat and bins for the vegetables. We cycle older food up to our newer chest freezer, which is in the garage off the kitchen. It’s really convenient and I use it a lot. I organize that using multi use grocery bags, all different, and again, each type of meat goes in a specific bag, and one for vegetables. My biggest issue is when I put off marking things out on my inventory list. I will forget that I removed something. I’m trying to be diligent, but…

  38. Mary W

    I have owned both and vote for upright as my preference. My next one will be a self defrosting model. Now I’m wondering, how did I ever live without my FoodSaver machine!! Food stays perfect in the vacuum sealed bags for more than a year!

  39. Carol

    I love the upright freezer!! Also, if You are wondering about manual or frostless options—The manual defrosting freezers keep food fresh longer because they do not take the moisture out of your frozen foods… The frost free freezers (which are wonderful) foods do not have near as long freezer life especially your vegetables(which can be frozen for years if properly done). So this is one thing to consider when purchasing. I defrost my upright 1-2 times yearly—Also gives me this time to organize and restock.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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).

  46. 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.

  47. 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

  48. Roxie

    I’ve had both and I will never buy another upright freezer. The food tends to get freezer burn quicker. I don’t like having to dig in the chest freezer but organizing makes things easier. I do also buy the commercial brands. Reviews on certain sites say the chest freezer is better as Lina mentioned. I don’t worry anymore about my meat.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Great to hear you’ve had success with the commercial brand chest freezers, Roxie. Sure appreciate you taking a moment to share about your experience with each! 🥰

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