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Let’s face it — even if you have the best-in-class refrigerator money can buy, you still may be low on freezer space.
Whether you just made a Costco run and are needing more storage for your frozen jumbo shrimp and lobster tails or went a little too hard ordering from one of the best meat delivery services we rounded up, a quality chest freezer can offer more space, can be set up in your basement or garage and will make a world of difference. (Related: Best coolers).
“A chest freezer is a staple in many households these days serving as a secondary storage spot for frozen foods and a way to better organize a kitchen,” Maria Butters, senior director of dry ice at ButcherBox, told the New York Post. “You’ll typically find chest freezers in basements or garages filled with meat and seafood, meal-prepped dishes and fruits and veggies, among other products.”
Ahead, the New York Post Shopping team rounded up the best chest freezers of 2023, ranging from smaller models to ones that are wholly deep. You’ll also want to check out our in-depth FAQ section following our product picks, curated after we tapped into a team full of temperature and refrigeration experts.
Much like your generators and robot lawn mowers, hand-picking the best model for you is a matter of personal preference, budget and what features you’d like. Rest assured our team listed the hottest of the icy cold pack.
And, if you’re instead looking to heat things up, check out our expert-backed guide to the best microwaves we reviewed.
Our top picks, at a glance
- Best Chest Freezer Overall: Midea 7.0 cu. ft. Chest Freezer ($309)
- Best Small Chest Freezer: Koolatron 3.5 cu. ft. Compact Chest Freezer ($200)
- Best Large Capacity Chest Freezer: GE 21.7 cu. ft. Freezer ($1,000)
- Best Chest Freezer for Garages: Danby 7.2 cu. ft. Garage-Ready Chest Freezer ($540)
- Best Budget Chest Freezer: Northair 3.5 cu. ft. Chest Freezer ($140)
- Best Portable Chest Freezer: Whynter 65 Qt. Portable Refrigerator and Freezer ($509)
- Best Energy Efficient Chest Freezer: SPT 3.0 cu. ft. Energy Star Upright Freezer ($356)
- Best Upright Chest Freezer: Frigidaire 6.5 cu. ft. Stainless Steel Upright Freezer ($400)
1. Best Chest Freezer Overall: Midea 7.0 cu. ft. Chest Freezer
- Dimensions: 21.7″ D x 32.1″ W x 33.5″ H
The Midea 7.0 cu. ft. Chest Freezer is our top pick, simply because its durable, an excellent value for the money and its well-thought-out design that includes a hanging wire storage basket for easy access. Even better, you have full rein with adjusting the thermostat — from -12 degrees to -28 degrees Fahrenheit — and you’ll love its ability to store ice cream, frozen food, ice and more, in addition to your everyday refrigerator.
More, its hinge-style door remains open from 45 to 75 degree angles for easy opening. Midea also includes a one-year warranty on the freezer itself and a two-year warranty on the compressor.
2. Best Small Chest Freezer: Koolatron 3.5 cu. ft. Compact Chest Freezer
- Dimensions: 22.3″ D x 20.8″ W x 33.3″ H
The Koolatron 3.5 cu. ft. Compact Chest Freezer is the true definition of ‘small but mighty,’ racking up an impressive 2,000 applauding reviews (and then some) for its included storage basket, space-saving flat back design, stay-open lid and front-access defrost drain.
More closely, the Koolatron model uses 40% less energy than traditional models to save energy and help keep your food fresh for longer. When defrosting or cleaning, the front-access defrost drain will come in handy, too.
Perfect for you home, this model’s rear-mounted hinges prevent the top of your freezer from hitting the wall, along with ensuring a tight seal when closed. For less than $250, it’s worth the price for your apartment-sized space.
3. Best Large Capacity Chest Freezer: GE 21.7 cu. ft. Freezer
- Dimensions: 34.6″ D x 76.2″ W x 35.2″ H
If you’re looking to store a whole lot of frozen food, ice and more, the GE 21.7 cu. ft. Freezer is your best bet. This restaurant-grade option boasts a lockable door to protect your items from children’s reach, along with upfront temperature controls that are easily reachable and even easier to operate.
This Energy Star-rated model has an impressive capacity of 21.7 cu. ft., too, enough to ensure this high-ticket item is well worth the splurge.
4. Best Chest Freezer for Garages: Danby 7.2 cu. ft. Garage-Ready Chest Freezer
- Dimensions: 22.2″ D x 39.9″ W x 33.4″ H
Shop the Danby 7.2 cu. ft. Garage-Ready Chest Freezer — the spacious extra storage hub that’ll save much-needed space in your home (no mini fridges with freezer counterparts needed!) This model is effective in temperatures ranging from zero degrees to 110 degrees Fahrenheit — ideal for your garage space, especially in warmer temps.
Danby equips this chest freezer with an energy-efficient foam-insulted cabinet and lid as well, helping you save on your electric bill and maintain the freshness of your frozen items. For ease of use, you’ll appreciate its front-mounted mechanical thermostat (along with a front-mounted drain) to seamlessly adjust the temperature and drain the unit.
5. Best Budget Chest Freezer: Northair 3.5 cu. ft. Chest Freezer
- Dimensions: 21.2″ D x 21.8″ W x 30.9″ H
Saving you space and your frozen goods from melting and/or going bad, the Northair 3.5 cu. ft. Chest Freezer is perfect for those who simply want a unit that’ll do the job. Namely, it’s one of the most affordable — if not, the most affordable — option on the market, fits a sizeable amount of food and offers a vast temperature range of -4 degrees to 6.8 degrees Fahrenheit to customize freezing.
Northair’s near-2,500 positive reviews nod to the model’s well-made lid that allows you to access the freezer hands-free, holding itself open between 45 to 90 degree angles. With a whisper-quiet compressor and noiseless door-opening mechanism, it’ll serve you (and your wallet!) well.
6. Best Portable Chest Freezer: Whynter 65 Qt. Portable Refrigerator and Freezer
- Dimensions: 18.3″ D x 28″ W x 21″ H
The Whynter 65 Qt. Portable Refrigerator and Freezer is your mini fridge, but better. Its maneuverability is second to none and, because of its convertible charm, can easily be adjusted to full-freezer mode or full portable refrigerator.
More than 1,500 shoppers love its versatile design and addition of two removable wire storage baskets for even more flexibility. Whether you use it for camping or for your backyard soiree (hello, ice cream station!) its dual-powered supply cords can be used simultaneously with both AC and DC power; so, if your AC fails, your DC will continue to power the unit at large.
Additionally, this portable freezer features a ‘Fast Freeze’ mode that rapidly cools to -8 degrees Fahrenheit that’ll automatically show on its LED temperature display. However, temperature can be adjusted to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s also one of the best models for cleaning, thanks to its stainless steel side handles and built-in drain plug.
7. Best Energy Efficient Chest Freezer: SPT 3.0 cu. ft. Energy Star Upright Freezer
- Dimensions: 13.5″ D x 14.3″ W x 8.5″ H
This space-saving chest freezer is not only compact for your smaller space but it’s also Energy Star-rated to help you conserve energy on a budget. With manual defrost settings and a mechanical adjustable thermostat, we love its flush-back design to save even more space. What’s better than that?
You’ll also appreciate its ultra-quiet operation — a feature shoppers appreciate with this less-than-$450 model. Whether positioned in your basement or in your home’s bonus room, you’ll have gelato on demand (or ice, or your favorite Trader Joe’s frozen meals).
8. Best Upright Chest Freezer: Frigidaire 6.5 cu. ft. Stainless Steel Upright Freezer
- Dimensions: 21.3″ D x 22.2″ W x 55.9″ H
For a chest freezer that stands tall and looks pretty (especially with its stainless steel exterior, like some of our favorite washer dryer combos), the Frigidaire 6.5 cu. ft. Stainless Steel Upright Freezer is a no-brainer for your basement, garage or other storage area. It’s backed by more than 2,000 gleaming reviews for its space-saving design — thanks to its flat back and recessed door handle — that makes it extra suitable for corners and tiny locations against your wall.
This model also features one of the most iconic designs we’ve seen. With reversible doors, you can arrange your door to open either to the left or to the right, depending on your preference, storage needs and room configuration.
FAQ on chest freezers
Ahead, our team of temperature and refrigeration experts explain what to look for when shopping for a chest freezer for your home, among other information to note.
What are the benefits of using a chest freezer?
Above all else, a chest freezer is great for keeping your main freezer space organized.
“Because chest freezers can serve as a savings account, so to speak, you can stock up on items to limit the number of times you shop for or get household staples delivered to your home,” Ron Stubbs, senior director of food quality, science and safety at ButcherBox, told The Post. “Chest freezers typically run at colder temperatures which helps to protect the food.”
Chest freezers are also a great way to elongate the shelf life of products like meat and seafood. “Our customers love keeping an inventory list taped to the inside of their chest freezers which serves as a great way to organize the space, but also allows them to quickly know what is on hand to prepare and what they need to stock up on for their next ButcherBox order or next trip to the grocery store,” Butters also adds.
Who may use a chest freezer?
Everyone can use a chest freezer, so long as space is available. “They are often used by individuals and families that purchase large quantities of food,” Butters notes.
What temperature is best for a chest freezer?
“A chest freezer should be set to zero degrees Fahrenheit in order to inactivate any bacteria, yeasts and molds,” Stubbs advises.
More, freezing at temperatures zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower will also help retain vitamin content, color, flavor and texture of the food you’re storing in your chest freezer.
What different types of chest freezers exist on the market?
Chest freezers come in a variety of sizes to fit your storage needs. “Some chest freezers are ‘convertible’ and can be used as either a freezer or a refrigerator,” Stubbs notes.
How do chest freezers differ from mini fridges with freezer compartments?
“Chest freezers are typically able to reach lower temperatures and maintain those lower temps more efficiently than a freezer compartment in a mini fridge,” Butters explains. “As a bonus, the defrost cycles of chest freezers will be less likely to cause condensation in your home or apartment than the mini fridge option.”
More, a chest freezer will also preserve your product (keeping it at a safe to consume temperature) in the case of a power outage for much longer than a mini-fridge, “due to the types of refrigerants used and the capacity of the systems inside the unit,” she adds.
Is there a difference between a chest freezer and a deep freezer?
According to Butters, there’s really not a major difference between a chest freezer and an upright freezer.
“In the case of an upright freezer, you’re able to open the door and reach in for your product,” she says. “For a chest freezer, the opening is on top of the unit and you reach down to access the frozen products.”
What to look for when shopping for a chest freezer, according to an expert
First and foremost, you should consider the size of the area you’re working with and what electrical power options are available in the space to ensure you can properly use your new freezer when you bring it home.
“Energy Star ratings should be available on any of these products so you can make a selection that aligns with your utility consumption goals,” Butters adds.
Check out the New York Post Shopping section for more content.