Upright Freezer Vs. Chest Freezer – Which One Should You Buy?
Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.
It’s time to stock up!
We’re sharing the highest-rated & best chest and upright freezers on the market – plus the pros and cons of each. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, tons of people were after a deep freezer to stash all their meat, freezer meals, homemade otter pops (thanks to kiddos being home!), and yes, even all of their dairy.
Now that stores seem to have 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!
Pros and cons 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
- More difficult to organize
- Harder to retrieve items from the bottom
- Larger footprint than upright models
- Manual defrost is the only option which can be time-consuming
Pros and cons of upright freezers
- 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
- 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
Here are the 5 top-rated chest and upright freezers based on Consumer Reports testing:
- Buy it at Lowe’s | $949
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.
Plus, you can assure you’ll have the ultimate organization and presentation each time you open the freezer door with it’s included 2-level basket system and game-changing LED interior lighting. You’ll never forget about food again!
- Buy it at Lowe’s | $649
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 – it’s no wonder our very own recipe blogger, Lina, has this one!
Plus, it still has luxury features like the one above for almost twice the cost with it’s 2 sliding bulk storage baskets and interior LED lighting.
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 which cost less per pound so you either need to be watching for great amazon deals on Ziploc freezer bags or grab a FoodSaver. Then, make sure to date what you put in your freezer.
- Buy it at Lowe’s | $749
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 chest freezers! So if you’re in the market for a great chest freezer, 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 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.
- Buy it at Lowe’s | $719
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. It also tied with the almost identical GE (model # FUF17DLRWW) freezer that costs slightly more but is unavailable.
Nonetheless, 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.
- Buy it at The Home Depot | $399
The only other brand to make it to the top 5 best overall freezers, and it’s not even coming close to its competitors in either stand-up or chest freezers!
While this Frigidaire still has pretty great performance on keeping foods consistently cold and even performing pretty well during a power outage, it bombed in ease of use ratings due to not having any interior or exterior lights to make food more visible. Although, if lights don’t make or break your decision, this one is the most affordable to make the list!
So what’s the Hip2Save team verdict on Chest vs. Stand up Freezers Debate?
✅ Chest Freezers vs. 👎 Stand-up Freezers
“We had a small chest from Costco and just needed a bigger option and recently upgraded to a highly-rated GE 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 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… like during a pandemic. 😅
If you’re ditching an old freezer too, we sold our smaller one on Facebook in about two seconds since they’re so popular right now!” – Lina
✅ Stand-up Freezers vs. 👎 Chest Freezers
“We just bought a chest freezer, but it’s not love. Being short, I can’t really reach the bottom and now with a baby belly, I definitely can’t reach it. LOL! I also feel like I can never find stuff or often forget about foods – I just found a pork butt that I truly don’t remember buying. 😂
We did buy some organizational baskets at the Dollar Tree, which made it slightly better, but they’re so cheap they’ve already broken. So if I could go back, I would have bought a stand-up freezer.” – Alana
“We are a stand-up freezer family all the way! 🙌 We actually used to have a chest freezer and just recently switched as we felt we were missing items at the bottom of our chest freezer. My husband helps to butcher each year and so we have tons of meat at the beginning of the year.
We keep it all organized in bins which we splurged on from The Container Store because we were tired of cheapy ones breaking on us all the time. I love knowing what we have on hand, all beautifully organized, and it really helps me to save on our grocery bill in the long run!” – Amber
“I’m not a fan of chest freezers because regardless of how hard I try, someone (teenage kids & husbands) will always put something on top of it! Toys, tools, etc. It annoyed me so much, I got a stand-up freezer. LOL.
Also, having to grab a step stool to reach inside is a real thing when you’re on the shorter side. There have been a few incidents when my kids were younger and they had the lid close on them. 😂
PLUS, it’s hard to visually organize. I don’t appreciate needing to take everything out to find something. I’m a stand-up freezer person all the way!” – Irene
“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 this year, 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 3 months now and I have to say I absolutely love it!
To top it off, I think it’s even better than the chest 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 a stand-up freezer. It’s so old, it’s not even frost-free, but it’s a solidly built freezer. I did not want to be digging so the upright is definitely my preference. We use the iDesign bins to organize the meats we get from co-op buys and from my husband’s hunting trips. I feel like a FoodSaver and freezer are purchases that go hand in hand.” – Stacy
The verdict? Chest Freezers – 1 vs. Stand-up Freezers – 5
So it’s pretty clear to see our team is totally team stand up freezers! They prove to be the most functional, but Lina’s only vote for a chest freezer proved to have other great qualities such as a more affordable price and keeping stuff more cool.
Which model do you prefer to freeze your food in?
Speaking of freezers, have you made these frozen chocolate-dipped peanut butter banana bites?! 😋🍌