Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (2024)

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (1)

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Along with freeing up space in your refrigerator, investing in a chest freezer may help save you trips to the supermarket. Chest freezers tend to cost less than upright freezers and are designed to accommodate larger or bulky items. With a chest freezer, you can stock up on gallons of ice cream and stash away slices of your homemade pizza without worrying about maintaining food quality long-term—chest freezers do a better job of staving off freezer burn than their taller counterparts. Otherwise, they offer comparable capacity, and there are models designed specifically for the garage, built to withstand extreme temperatures.

While there are benefits aplenty, there are also potential compromises to consider (less organizational space than upright models is one) so it’s a good idea to have a complete understanding of the product before you buy. That’s where we come in. Our buying guide breaks down all the need-to-know details and highlights the differences in models from major brands, so you can make an informed decision on the best chest freezer for your home.

The Best Chest Freezers

What to Consider

Location

Most of our recommendations are intended for general use and are ideal for the basem*nt or garage. We also included freezers that work well in kitchens and other living spaces, with ultra-quiet operation and color selection, and one portable model designed for RVs, camping, or tailgating. If you’re planning to install your chest freezer in your garage or another unheated area, such as a shed or barn, it’s important to select a “garage-ready” model. This means that the appliance is able to handle wide fluctuations in ambient temperature.

Capacity and Size

Start off by figuring the size you realistically need for your household. Small chest freezers are 3.5- and 5-cubic-foot models; mid-range models are typically 7 to 10 cubic feet; and anything above 10, all the way up to 20 cubic feet or more, is considered large. Around 2.5 cubic feet of freezer space per person is a good way to estimate how much space you need.

The tradeoff of having a large chest freezer versus an upright freezer is that it occupies more square footage. While small and some midsize freezer chests have comparable footprints, models that are 10 cubic feet and up can span five feet or more. Most are about 33 inches and slightly less deep.

Features

Chest freezers typically include at least two removable storage baskets to keep smaller items at the top and within easy reach, and some larger models have additional baskets below as a way to organize space. An interior LED light is a definite plus, as is a temperature control panel on the front of the freezer.It’s also helpful to have a power-on indicator light, and some models come with detachable wheels and have leveling legs. If there are young children in the house or if the chest freezer is in the garage, a safety lock is a must. Keep in mind that almost all chest freezers have manual defrost, though that's one reason that chest freezers are more energy efficient than upright freezers.

How We Selected

Our thorough research and selection process included looking at chest freezers made by reputable companies with a track record of producing high quality products, including GE, Frigidaire, and Midea. I personally own a freezer unit from GE (though it’s an upright model), and I took my own experience into account. The chest freezers we write about span different sizes and price points, and we considered key features like interior lighting, storage baskets, power-on indicator lights, front-panel temperature control, and whether models are garage-ready, all weighed against cost.

1

Best Overall

Midea Chest Freezer 5.0 Cubic Feet

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (3)

Pros
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (4)Stay-open lid
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (5)Removable storage basket
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (6)Two-year compressor warranty
Cons
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (7)Not garage-ready

Midea’s five-cubic-foot chest freezer offers solid value for the price. Along with a streamline design, it features a hinged lid that stays open in two positions and easy access front temperature control at the base. Inside, there’s a removable storage basket to hold items that you reach for most.

We appreciate Midea’s two-year warranty on the compressor, which is more generous than other top brands, and a one-year warranty on other parts. It isn’t garage-ready, but that’s in line with other models of this size.

Key Specs

Dimensions21.7 x 24.9 x 33.5 in.
Capacity5 cu. ft
Garage-Ready?No
Pros
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (9)Professional build
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (10)Digital thermostat and auto defrost
Cons
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (11)Not Energy Star-certified

Saba’s stainless steel freezer looks and performs as well as you’d hope, considering its price tag. The under-counter deep chest freezer is designed for commercial use, with self-closing double doors and a top that doubles as a prep station—but we recommend it for anyone looking for high-end features, most notably digital temperature control and auto defrost.

Other highlights include the locking casters and adjustable shelving, but this one may be costly to run compared to other chest freezers we cover as it isn’t Energy Star-certified.

Key Specs

Dimensions48.9 x 29.5 x 34 in.
Capacity12 cu. ft.
Garage-Ready?Not listed

3

Best Garage-Ready

Frigidaire 14.8-Cubic-Foot Chest Freezer

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (12)

Pros
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (13)Large capacity
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (14)Locking lid
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (15)Interior LED light
Cons
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (16)Wheels don’t come attached

If you want a secondary food storage space in your garage—or another unheated area of your home—this large chest freezer from Frigidaire maintains its set temperature, even as the ambient temperature fluctuates. Because the interior is so spacious, it comes with two hanging baskets to help organize your food, and they can slide from side-to-side, allowing you to reach items underneath.

This garage-ready freezer has several additional features that make it convenient to use. An interior LED light lets you see what’s inside, and the lid includes a lock for safety. Plus, the key automatically pops out after use, so you’ll never forget it in the lock. The large freezer does come with caster wheels, but they aren’t attached upon delivery—you’ll need to install them yourself, if desired.

Key Specs

Dimensions55.75 x 29.56 x 32.5 in.
Capacity14.8 cu. ft.
Garage-Ready?Yes

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4

Most Capacity

GE 15.7-Cubic-Foot Chest Freezer

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (17)

Pros
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (18)Extra-large capacity
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (19)Upgraded removable storage baskets on two rails
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (20)Front controls and interior LED light
Cons
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (21)No detachable wheels
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (22)No levelers

GE’s 15.7-cubic-foot garage-ready chest freezer is a larger version of the model we chose for out top pick, with more capacity and storage flexibility.

It features four heavy-duty plastic baskets that slide on two rails set at different heights—a smart organizational system that allows you to customize space to accommodate items as needed.

The chest freezer is Energy Star-certified, and other highlights include an interior LED, front temperature controls, and a power-on indicator light, plus a safety lock. But unlike Frigidaire’s chest freezer models, GE’s don't come with levelers or detachable wheels.

Key Specs

Dimensions28.5 x 65 x 33.4 in
Capacity15.7 cu. ft.
Garage-Ready?Yes

5

Best With Temperature Alert

Whirlpool 9-cu ft Chest Freezer with Temperature Alert

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (23)

Pros
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (24)Energy Star-certified
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (25)Converts from freezer to fridge
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (26)Garage-ready
Cons
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (27)Alert isn’t audible

It’s incredibly frustrating when you don’t realize your freezer isn’t working—not until all its contents are spoiled, that is. To prevent this from happening, this large garage-ready Whirlpool chest freezer has a temperature alert. Basically, there’s a red light that illuminates when the freezer isn’t at its set temperature, letting you know that something might be wrong with its operation.

This unit also has a convertible design, which allows you to use it as a refrigerator by simply flipping a switch. It’s one of the few Energy Star-certified chest freezers out there today, and it comes with two organization bins to keep your food within reach.

Key Specs

Dimensions28.7 x 36 x 39.2 in.
Capacity9 cu. ft.
Garage-Ready?Yes

6

Best for Small Spaces

Midea 3.5-Cubic-Foot Mini Freezer Chest

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (28)

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (29)

Now 20% Off

Pros
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (30)Removable storage basket
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (31)Two-year compressor warranty
Cons
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (32)Not garage-ready

This Midea 3.5-cubic-foot freezer chest is a smaller version of our best overall pick above. Along with an excellent price point, it comes with many of the same features, including a removable hanging storage basket, an auto-holding hinged door, plus a thermostat that dips to 28 below.

There’s also a two-year warranty on the compressor and a one-year warranty on other parts that comes attached. The biggest drawback is that it isn’t garage-ready, though that's common among deep freezer chests this size.

Key Specs

Dimensions19.5 x 21.5 x 33.5 in.
Capacity3.5 cu. ft.
Garage-Ready?No

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7

Best for the Kitchen

Northair 3.5-Cubic-Foot Chest Freezer

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (33)

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (34)

Now 34% Off

Pros
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (35)Small footprint
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (36)Ultra-quiet noise rating
Cons
  • Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (37)No interior LED light

Basem*nts and garages are common places for chest freezers. But if you’d prefer to have one in the kitchen or anyplace else in your living space, quiet operation is key.

This chest freezer has an ultra-quiet noise rating of 39 decibels, and there’s an adjustable thermostat on the front panel. Other top features include two removable wire storage baskets and a lid that stays open in two positions, so you can comfortably rummage around and find what you’re looking for.

It’s available in white, black, or red to coordinate with your other appliances, though no interior LED light is a drawback.

Key Specs

Dimensions21.18 x 21.77 x 30.94 in.
Capacity3.5 cu. ft.
Garage-Ready?No

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (38)

Rachel Klein

Senior Commerce Editor

Rachel Klein is a Senior Commerce Editor for Popular Mechanics, where she writes about everything from garden hose reels and patio furniture to mesh wifi systems and robot vacuums. She started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and was a travel editor for more than a decade before she started testing and reviewing luggage, noise-cancelling headphones, and other travel-related products. Fast-forward another five years and her area of expertise includes home decor, appliances, tech, and outdoor adventure gear. In her spare time, you'll find her planning her next trip, reading historical fiction, and seeing as much art as she can squeeze into a weekend.

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (39)

Camryn Rabideau

Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product reviewer specializing in home, kitchen, and pet products. In her four years as a product tester, she's tested hundreds of items firsthand, and her work appears in publications such as Forbes, USA Today, The Spruce, Food52, and more.

Buy in Bulk and Save Money With the Best Chest Freezers (2024)
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