Upright vs Chest Freezers – 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 with a new deep freezer!
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 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!
Pros and cons of chest & deep 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 that can be time-consuming
Pros and cons of stand up & 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
- Easy to leave open by accident (not as kid-friendly)
Here are the 5 top-rated freezers based on Consumer Reports testing:
1. Get the most space with the top-rated GE FCM22DLWW Chest Deep Freezer.
- Buy it at The Home Depot | $999
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 its included 2-level basket system and game-changing LED interior lighting. You’ll never forget about food again!
2. Get the most bang for your buck with the GE FCM11PHWW Chest Deep Freezer.
- Buy it at Best Buy | $539.99
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 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 Ziploc freezer bags or grab a FoodSaver. Then, make sure to date what you put in your freezer.
3. The GE FCM16DLWW Chest Freezer can store up to a year’s worth of meat.
- Buy it on Wayfair | $719.10
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. The GE FUF14DLRWW Freezer is the highest-rated stand-up deep freezer.
- Buy it at The Home Depot | $799
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.
5. The GE FCM5SKWW Freezer is the most affordable & compact choice.
- Buy it on Wayfair | $240.22
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 250 bucks!
With 5 cubic feet of interior space, this compact deep freezer can even easily fit inside your basement for some added extra storage. Plus, it has sleek recessed handles to make it fit sleek and 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 marks.
So what’s the Hip2Save team verdict on our Deep Freezers Debate?
Two of my Hip sidekicks love their chest freezers!
“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… 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
“I have both types of deep freezers and love them, but ultimately favor the chest deep freezer more. I feel like things get lost in both of them from time to time so organization is key. I do like that the upright is easier to sift through BUT I also love that I can pile stuff into the deep freezer in bulk. When I dig through my upright one, it often feels like an avalanche in there so rooting through the chest freezer is so much easier for me.” – Lisanne
These Hip team members love their stand-up freezers!
“We are a stand-up freezer family all the way! 🙌 We actually used to have a deep 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 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 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 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
“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?
It’s pretty clear our team loves their stand-up freezers! They proved to be the easiest to organize, but Lina and Lisanne’s votes for a chest freezer proved that stashing bulk food in the deep freezers is easier and overall they can be more affordable and better at keeping foods cold.
Which do you prefer?!
Speaking of deep freezers, have you made these frozen chocolate-dipped peanut butter banana bites?! 😋🍌