Freezer Finder: Choosing the right chest or upright freezer for your home

We’ll help you find the best upright or chest freezer for your home.

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Best Standalone freezer

Best Rated Standalone freezer Brand: Hisense

With top scores across the board, including for performance, internal layout, cleaning and maintenance and value for money, Hisense is the clear winner for the best standalone freezer.

Quick facts about comparing freezers:

  • A separate freezer can come in very handy for big families or anyone who likes buying or cooking food in bulk.
  • The most important factor you'll need to consider before you buy is size, both in terms of the amount of food storage space you need and how much floor space you have for a freezer.
  • Upright freezers can range anywhere in price from $250 to $3,000, while a chest freezer could set you back anywhere from $250 to $2,000.

Pros and cons of separate freezers

Pros

There are a number of reasons why a separate freezer could be a smart investment:

  • More storage space.A separate freezer will give you 140 litres (or potentially a whole lot more) extra storage space for your frozen goods, making them extremely useful for anyone who has a lot of mouths to feed.
  • You can buy in bulk.Want to save money by buying in bulk or by simply stocking up on meat, veggies and frozen foods when sales are on? A standalone chest or upright freezer will give you the room you need to keep everything fresh for longer.
  • Plan ahead.If you like cooking a whole week's worth of meals in advance, a separate freezer allows you to store them safely and conveniently.

Cons

However, there are also a couple of reasons why you might decide you don't need a separate freezer:

  • They take up space.You'll need to have sufficient floor space available, preferably somewhere easy to access, if you want to buy a freezer. You'll also need to leave room for air to circulate around the freezer and for the door to open, so some homeowners may not have enough room to spare.
  • Cost.Freezers are big appliances and require a decent investment – even the very smallest models are around $250. Running a freezer will also increase your annual electricity costs.

What types are available?

Freezers are generally split into two categories:

Chest freezers

Chest freezers have a door that opens at the top – just like a treasure chest – and offer one large compartment for your frozen goods. Sometimes referred to as deep freezers, they tend to be more affordable than upright models and more energy efficient. They also offer more storage space.

The amount of wide-open space available makes them a good choice for storing big cuts of meat and other large items, but it can also mean you'll need to spend a lot of time bending over and digging around to find whatever you're looking for. However, some models come with baskets and dividers to help make the storage space more practical.

Finally, while a chest freezer will do a better job than an upright freezer of keeping everything frozen, if there's a power outage, these models need to be manually defrosted – which can be a hassle.

Upright freezers

Upright freezers look a lot like your traditional fridge/freezer combo, with the obvious difference that they only have one door instead of two. They don't require as much floor space as chest freezers, plus they come with adjustable shelves and in-the-door storage so that you can better organise all your items.

The design of upright freezers makes it a whole lot easier to access the frozen goods inside, and most are frost-free so you don't have to go through the hassle of manually defrosting them.

The downsides are that they're a little more expensive than chest freezers, less energy efficient, and not as good at accommodating larger items.

How to compare freezers

Before you start shopping around for a new freezer, make sure you know exactly what you're looking for. How much floor space do you have? How much storage capacity do you need? What's your freezer budget?

Answering these questions will help narrow down your choices and help you understand what type of freezer you want. You can then start comparing a range of suitable freezers to find one that's right for you. Factors you'll need to compare include the following:

Size

Consider how much floor space you have in your home and whether the freezer you want to buy will fit. Remember that you'll need to leave sufficient space for proper ventilation as well as enough space to fully open the freezer door, so check the manufacturer's specifications to find out exactly how much room is required.

Capacity

How much storage space do you need for frozen items? Chest freezers generally range in size from 140 litres to more than 700 litres, while most upright models can hold anywhere between 175 and 500 litres.

It can be hard to grasp just how much storage space these figures equate to in the real world, so it's worth heading to your nearest appliance store and physically looking into these freezers to work out how much storage capacity you need.

Ease of access

Upright freezers generally make it easier to search for and find whatever you're looking for, whereas chest freezers often require you to rummage around through piles of frozen goods before you find those fish fingers you were looking for.

Storage organisation

Check what accessories and attachments are included to help you organise and separate your frozen goods. Upright freezers come with shelves (which are usually adjustable if you need to make room for larger items) and drawers as well as additional storage on the back of the door. Some also come with plumbed-in ice makers for when you're fixing a cold drink.

Many chest freezers now come with hanging baskets and even compartment dividers to help you arrange your frozen goods for easy access.

Energy efficiency

Check out the energy star rating and annual consumption figure to get a better idea of how much power it will use. The higher the star rating, the less energy it consumes.

Remember to factor energy usage into your equations when comparing the prices of different models. While a fridge that is more energy efficient may have a slightly higher price tag, it could end up costing less in the long run.

Integrated freezers

If you want your kitchen to have a streamlined, modern look, there are special freezers available that can be integrated into your cabinetry. However, these are more expensive than traditional freezers and more difficult to install.

Additional features

  • Warranty Check the length of the manufacturer's warranty and what it covers. Most models come with a warranty of one to three years.
  • Controls Are the temperature controls easy to access and adjust, but at the same time protected from mischievous or curious kids?
  • Frost-free Many modern upright freezers now use frost-free technology, so you don't have to worry about regular defrosting.

    Manually defrosting a freezer is a pain, but it's the only option available on chest freezers, so look for a model that has a drainage system to make the process a little easier.

  • Fast freeze Many upright models offer a rapid freezing function for when you want to freeze items as quickly as possible.
  • Soft freeze Available on some upright freezers, this feature lightly freezes food to help raw meats and seafood stay fresher longer and allows you to cook the food without needing to defrost it. It can also ensure that your ice cream comes out at just the right temperature to eat instead of so rock hard that you're in danger of bending your spoon.
  • Temperature alarm Some models constantly monitor temperature levels and will sound an alarm if the temperature inside the freezer becomes too hot.
  • Lighting Interior lights will help you find whatever you need in your freezer, which is particularly helpful if you're searching for a midnight snack or if you will keep the freezer in your garage.
  • Door lock Some models come with a lockable door if you want to keep kids out of the freezer or simply want to ensure that the door is properly shut so that no cold air can escape.
  • Wheels Wheels on the base of the freezer make it easier to move around if you need to get to the controls or maybe just clean behind and underneath it.

Best rated freezer brand award breakdown

Total Score Overall rating Value for Money Cleaning & maintenance Internal layout Performance
Hisense 8.43 4.6 4.68 4.5 4.36 4.56
Haier 8.11 4.49 4.51 3.91 4.11 4.34
LG 8.05 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.36 4.47
Westinghouse 8.02 4.38 4.19 4.17 4.19 4.51
Fisher & Paykel 7.91 4.33 4.18 4.18 4.14 4.33
Samsung 7.88 4.26 4.21 4.24 4.26 4.42
Miele 7.86 4.42 4.25 4.08 4.25 4.33
Other 7.64 4.07 4.36 4.07 4.25 4.25
Data: Finder Retail Brand Survey, 2020, Kantar. Metric out of 5 stars unless indicated. Methodology and more info. Kantar logo

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