Table of Contents
- What are the Benefits Of Buying a Standalone Freezer?
- Types of Freezers
- How to Determine the Right Freezer Size
- Features to Look For In a Freezer
- Review of the 5 Top-Rated Freezers/Fridge With Freezers Currently Available Online
- Best Compact Chest Freezer: Arctic King 5 cu ft Chest Freezer
- Best Mini Freezer: Euhomy Mini Freezer Countertop
- Best Budget Upright Freezer: MIDEA MRU07M2AWW Freezer
- Best Convertible Upright Freezer: Galanz GLF11UWEA16 Convertible Freezer/Fridge
- Best Upright Freezer For Small Commercial Kitchens And Large Households: KoolMore 29″ 1 Door Stainless Steel Upright Commercial Reach-in Freezer
- Final Word
A standalone freezer provides extra storage space for your bulk groceries. The best freezers will freeze your fresh foods quickly and keep them safely frozen for as long as it takes. Learn what the best freezer reviews teach about buying freezers.
Due to different circumstances, the freezer space in your refrigerator somehow gets smaller and smaller. And since freezers on regular refrigerators can only hold so much, most people gravitate towards a dedicated, standalone freezer.
As you will discover, expanding your freezer storage doesn’t have to cost you the earth. You can find a good quality, reliable standalone freezer at a very approachable price. But just as there are more than a few features to keep in mind as you shop, you have other options other than the regular choice of an upright freezer.
We considered our personal experiences buying freezers, researched extensively, and read 100’s of freezer reviews on the leading appliance retail websites to find out what different user groups look for in a freezer. The result of that is this extensive new freezer review guide.
Freezer Reviews from RefrigeratorHQ
Did you know that there is a lot more to keeping our frozen food delicious than just popping it in the freezer? In fact, you may be keeping your freezer at the wrong temperature without even realizing it!
Companies like Amazon and Home Depot often have incredible deals on large appliances – like freezers – on Black Friday, so you can freeze your Thanksgiving leftovers without a worry.
What are the Benefits Of Buying a Standalone Freezer?
Strictly speaking, it depends on your needs. If you already own a regular refrigerator and don’t buy your food in bulk, you will find a stand-alone freezer to be of limited necessity. But if you are a family of four or more, a stand-alone freezer will reassure you of safe food storage space to use as the need arises.
Save Money On Groceries
Buying in bulk can cut your grocery bill quite significantly. Most edible foods and products can be frozen for long-term storage without much effect on their taste and freshness. So you can take advantage of sales at your favorite stores and stock up in bulk for extra savings.
Buying your groceries in bulk also means fewer shopping trips. By some calculations, a secondary fridge will save you 60 hours worth of extra shopping trips per year. But it’s not just the time you save that’s worth talking about; fewer shopping trips also mean you spend less on gas, savings that can make a real difference in your finances.
If you work a busy job, you may struggle to find time to cook every day. A freezer will allow you to prepare freezer meals that will only need heating up on days you are too tired or haven’t got time to cook a meal from scratch. You will not have to rely on restaurants or fast food, which are either expensive or not as healthy.
Preserve Seasonal Produce
Do you grow your own food? A secondary freezer provides extra storage that allows you to harvest excess produce at peak freshness so you can freeze and enjoy it through the winter when growing conditions aren’t ideal. Even if you don’t grow your own food, some foods are also cheaper when you buy them in season. Perhaps you are a hunter or a fisherman? With extra frozen storage, you can stock up for the off-season.
Now that you know how much a secondary freezer will benefit your household, you need to establish what type of freezer will be the most appropriate for you.
Types of Freezers
To make sure you are buying the right freezer for your needs, you must critically analyze the options available to you. That calls for a review of the types of freezers that you can buy. As you do that, pay attention to energy consumption, the space available for the fridge, and your overall food storage needs.
Upright freezers resemble traditional refrigerators that stand free and upright. Taller rather than wider, to a moderately tall person, upright freezers stand between the shoulder and head height. These freezers take very little floor space, even though they need space in front of them as the doors swing outward to open. Their small footprint makes them a great option for small kitchens and cramped apartments.
Since they take up very little space, freestanding freezers give you the flexibility to choose where to place them. And because they stand upright, they can more easily blend in with your kitchen cabinets, giving your kitchen a more seamless, ordered appearance.
The upright configuration is practical, convenient for retrieving food, especially when you compare it with chest freezers. With doors that open horizontally and adjustable shelves that run the full height of the unit, it’s easy to organize and locate items in a freestanding freezer. Some also come with extra storage space in the doors.
Another convenient feature of upright freezers is their automatic defrost functionality. You don’t have to deal with the tedious chore of manually defrosting the freezer.
That said, there are weaknesses of upright freezers you should be aware of. For starters, that auto defrost function does mean your freezer consumes more energy and makes a bit of noise.
While the adjustable shelves make it easy to keep things tidy in the freezer, they let in more warm air from outside when opened, which makes it harder to maintain a cold temperature. All those shelves also eat into your total storage space.
Chest freezers have a box shape and a low, waist-high profile, with a top lid that opens up to reveal hollow storage space. Some people call them deep freezers, perhaps because you have to reach deep inside to retrieve items.
Much wider than upright freezers and without drawers and shelves, chest freezers offer more usable storage space than upright freezers. Though you don’t get adjustable shelves, removable baskets that slide horizontally offer more accessible storage for your smaller items.
Chest freezers are a practical choice for large households that need more frozen storage for their bulk groceries. Since they are roomier, these freezers make it easier to store large, odd-shaped items that would otherwise not fit in an upright freezer.
Unlike upright freezers, chest freezers can maintain a cold temperature for longer without power. In the event of an extended power cut, the freezer will keep your frozen meats and treats well preserved for up to two days. That’s more than enough time to arrange a backup power plan.
While a chest freezer will take up more floor space, its low profile gives you placement options an upright freezer won’t. For example, you can easily fit it under a window without blocking ventilation or obstructing that garden view. Friendlier on your pocket, chest freezers are cheaper than upright freezers and use less energy.
What you will find less desirable about chest freezers is that they are harder to organize and access items. You have to bend down and rummage through other groceries to find items buried deeper in the freezer, which may be too taxing if you have a bad back.
Since they do not automatically defrost, chest freezers are prone to ice build-up. To keep this at a minimum, avoid opening the freezer too frequently. Still, at some point, you will have to manually defrost and clean the freezer, which can take a whole day.
For those not sure if they need a standalone freezer but do see some benefit of having one on hand, a convertible freezer/fridge may be what you need. With the same configuration as an upright freezer, this is a hybrid cold storage solution that switches between freezer and refrigerator modes depending on current needs.
We can also talk of a fourth type of freezer:
Undercounter freezers are designed to fit under countertops but have an upright configuration. With a low profile similar to chest freezers but with a small footprint, under-counter freezers are an ideal choice if your kitchen is particularly short on space.
Since they are so compact, you even have the choice of a freestanding under-counter model that you can take with you when you move houses or an integrated or built-in model that will blend in with your cabinets. Built-in models may also spot drawers instead of upright-style doors.
After all, is said though, under-counter freezers have one critical weakness. They have low capacity, thus, will not hold much. As a result, they are not a realistic option for people who store groceries in bulk.
If you prefer a portable freezer that you can travel with on your camping, hunting, or fishing trips, you should look into portable freezers. They have the same configuration as chest freezers but are a lot smaller and more affordable.
Now, let’s consider what size of freezer you need?
How to Determine the Right Freezer Size
In terms of performance and reliability, there is not much to choose between the different freezer brands and models. So there is no point in being particularly picky on your choice of brand unless you have a personal favorite. What you have to get spot-on is the size of freezer you buy.
It’s stating the obvious, but the freezer you buy has to have enough space for your groceries and fresh produce. You are probably buying one because the one on your refrigerator has proven to be inadequate, so be sure it has all the space you need.
How your freezer performs also depends on how well you can match its size to your needs. To perform at peak efficiency, freezers have to be relatively full at all times. The more unused space there is in the freezer the more warm air it will let in and the harder it has to work to maintain a cold temperature.
Matching freezer capacity with the size of household
The right size of freezer depends on how many people there are in your household. On average, one person will store up to 87 pounds of groceries in the freezer, which takes up 2.5 cubic feet of freezer space. So multiplying the number of people in your household by 2.5 cubic feet will give you an idea of the size of freezer you need.
Going by that formula, a four-person household will need a 10 cubic ft. capacity freezer. With standard freezer models available in capacities between 5 and 25 cubic feet, that family should be able to find a freezer that meets their combined food storage needs.
As you decide on freezer size, remember to check the dimensions to make sure the freezer will fit your space, remembering too that you need to leave some space so enough air can circulate around the freezer.
Most households’ needs will fall within the 10 – 18 cubic feet range. But take manufacturers’ advertised capacity with a grain of salt as they seldom factor the space taken up by the shelves.
We find that there is some benefit to slightly overstating total freezer space needs. If you are a hunter, you know there is always a chance for the odd big kill. The same applies to a fisherman or backyard farmer, for whom a bigger catch or particularly bountiful growing season may require more freezer storage.
Features to Look For In a Freezer
The best freezer for you must maintain a safe and consistent temperature whatever the room conditions are, meet your budget, and have enough storage space. For the sake of your pocket, the freezer has to be energy-efficient, too. Of course, you want the freezer to freeze food quickly and efficiently, running quietly.
Even though they don’t boast the level of premium features you find on freezer compartments on refrigerators, standalone freezers do have a few notable ones, some of which are must-haves.
As you shop, you need to be able to tell apart features that make your freezer more functional and effective at preserving your groceries from the gimmicky ones. Looks, though deceiving at times, are, of course, not to be overlooked.
Here are the freezer features we consider to be essential:
- Safety lock
A safety lock will help restrict access to the freezer, especially for children who often don’t need a valid reason to take a look inside. Chest freezers especially are a safety danger as they are big enough for toddlers to fall into.
- Power-on light
An illuminated power-on light is the easiest way to tell at a glance that your freezer is running. An issue as simple as a blown fuse can be the reason your freezer stops working without you knowing it. If that happened you could lose some groceries to spoilage.
- Interior light
Interior lighting makes it easier to see inside your freezer, especially at night or where the freezer is in a poorly lit room. An interior light is useful whether you are organizing or retrieving things.
- Temperature alarm, open door alarm
For upright freezers especially, a common issue in households with toddlers is that the door tends to be left open too frequently. That lowers the temperature in the freezer and creates unsafe storage conditions for some groceries. An open door alarm will sound an alert so you can close the door before your food starts to thaw.
A temperature alarm alerts you if the freezer starts to warm, which can be due to a fault. This gives you time to attend to the issue before your food starts to spoil.
- Leveling legs and adjustable shelves
We combined these two because we feel they are more useful for upright freezers. Adjustable shelves are impractical for chest freezers, where the best organization aids are dividers and sliding storage baskets.
Adjustable shelves on upright freezers create room for tall and large items that would otherwise not fit between built-in shelves. As for chest freezers, make sure there are at least two storage baskets.
Leveling legs help balance upright freezers on uneven floors. They aren’t as useful but are a nice-to-have feature on a chest freezer. If your chest freezer is going to live in a garage where temperatures fluctuate with weather conditions, it will also be advisable to buy a garage-ready model.
Review of the 5 Top-Rated Freezers/Fridge With Freezers Currently Available Online
Best Compact Chest Freezer: Arctic King 5 cu ft Chest Freezer
If you have a lot of produce to preserve or you prefer to buy your groceries in bulk, a chest freezer is your best bet. This Arctic King 5 cu. Ft. offering is our pick for the best budget chest freezer.
Not the largest chest freezer you will find, this chest freezer is just the right size for a small family that needs the reassurance of readily available storage. It is deep enough to guarantee sufficient storage space while not taking up as much floor space as you would expect a chest freezer to.
Chest freezers have a commercial feel that some may not prefer for their kitchens, but this one is nicely compact and sleek. The dark color lends it a touch of sophistication.
Looks are nice, but you aren’t buying the freezer to display it for your visitors’ admiration. It still has to perform, which this one does quite impressively, judging from the freezer reviews we have read. The freezer works right out of the box and we find the conveniently placed defrost drain to be a thoughtful addition that simplifies cleaning.
However cold a freezer is, we still like to check the numbers, particularly the price and the energy consumption. Both look good to us. The price is very competitive, while at 218kW per year the energy consumption is nothing to scoff at.
Best Mini Freezer: Euhomy Mini Freezer Countertop
Sometimes the freezer compartment on your refrigerator is just too small. So instead of splashing on a large, expensive refrigerator just so you can get more freezer space, it may make sense to buy a mini freezer instead. It is certainly cheaper and gets you the extra storage you need for your frozen groceries.
The Euhomy countertop mini freezer’s 1.1 cubic feet of capacity may be all the extra storage a person with a primary refrigerator needs. Small enough to sit on a countertop, this freezer is also the perfect size for a dorm room or small apartment for which there would not be enough space even if you could afford a larger freezer.
Relative to its small size, the Euhomy countertop freezer uses a powerful, energy-efficient compressor that ensures impressively uniform temperature from top to bottom. Your foods freeze quickly and evenly.
The designers of this freezer positioned the thermostat at the back, which freed up more space inside. The result is an interior that is more spacious than you would expect for such a small freezer. So small and light, the freezer is also quite easy to move, whether cleaning or moving houses.
Best Budget Upright Freezer: MIDEA MRU07M2AWW Freezer
For the average size family, a large 22 cubic feet upright freezer may give the kitchen a crowded look if you already have a similarly sized refrigerator. It may also be too much extra storage than you need. In that sense, a couple of extra cubic feet of freezer space may suffice. That is what this Midea upright freezer gets you.
This freezer comes with 3 cubic feet of storage space, which is sufficient extra storage for a small to mid-sized family. Compact, the freezer takes up very little space and blends in nicely whether it’s in a home kitchen, office, or dorm room.
The interior is nicely partitioned with wire shelves so you can easily organize your groceries. At the bottom is a basket with the capacity to hold 105 lbs worth of food and which is perfect for small items that could be difficult to arrange on the shelves above. You can easily set your preferred temperature, thanks to manual temperature control.
There is a convenient manual defrost setting that makes it easy to clean the freezer. On the exterior, we like that the door is reversible. A freezer door that can open to the right or left fits more kitchen layouts.
With so much to like about this freezer, it is no wonder that it is a hot seller on Amazon, where it has thousands of glowing, 5-star reviews.
Best Convertible Upright Freezer: Galanz GLF11UWEA16 Convertible Freezer/Fridge
With a large family-sized freezer, you never know if you need all the extra storage until you have the freezer sitting in your kitchen or garage. But what if your needs are seasonal and some months of the year the freezer just sits there underused?
A convertible freezer is an answer. Since it switches between freezer and fridge modes depending on your needs, this option makes a lot of sense for people with intermittent frozen storage needs. We found the Galanz 11 cu. Ft. upright convertible freezer/fridge to be one of the best options in this class.
Amazon reviews for this freezer prove that convertible freezers are not a gimmick. This one converts seamlessly between the two modes, thanks to electronic temperature control.
In freezer mode, temperatures range between -8 degrees and 5 degrees F, cold enough to freeze a bottle of water solid in three hours. When you switch to fridge mode, temperatures adjust between 33 degrees and 45 degrees F, which is cold enough to keep food safely chilled.
The Galanz convertible upright freezer/fridge looks right at home in the kitchen, garage, or office, which is an ode to its stylishly unassuming design, pristine white finish, and spacious, well-organized interior. We like the long streamline-style grab handle that, however, does not come attached.
The interior is bright and cheery, with fabulous organization options. You have a crisper drawer right at the bottom and four fully removable glass shelves. If you have a tall bottle that can’t fit in one of the door storage bins, simply remove one slide-out shelf and your problem will be fixed.
This is a tall freezer that should be a pain to move and position, but that’s not a challenge, thanks to two wheels that serve as the back feet. Simply tilt the unit back and push gently to move it across the room. Uneven floors aren’t much of an issue either as the two front legs can be adjusted so the freezer can stand perfectly straight.
Best Upright Freezer For Small Commercial Kitchens And Large Households: KoolMore 29″ 1 Door Stainless Steel Upright Commercial Reach-in Freezer
As far as freezer capacity goes, the 10 – 18 cubic feet range is the sweet spot for most households. But what if yours is a larger household, or you hunt or produce your own food and need more storage than the average household?
You may have to shop the commercial section of the freezer market. The same is true for delis and cafeterias. Though an entry-level commercial freezer, the KoolMore 29 inch, 1 door commercial upright freezer in stainless steel offers an impressive 23 cubic feet of internal storage space. You can fit a whole cow and a hog in there.
As you would expect for a commercial freezer, this one benefits from a sturdier build. It doesn’t need to be extravagantly stylish, and it isn’t. Yet for its easy-to-clean 430 stainless steel exterior and practical design, it doesn’t look too shabby. The door opens to three deep, adjustable shelves that make it impossible to miss anything.
There is a lot more to admire about this upright freezer. Not least of these is the self-closing door with a recessed handle that ensures your food and ingredients remain fresh.
We are big on cleaning convenience and find the sturdy casters to be fabulously convenient as they make it easy to move the freezer. The front two casters have a locking mechanism that ensures the freezer stays in place once positioned.
If you are a household that likes to shop in bulk and freeze a lot of things, a dedicated freezer is a much-needed appliance. If you run a small catering or food-service business, it is a must-have. For everyone else, a bit of extra storage for whenever you may need it never hurts. Here’s hoping this new freezer review guide has helped you find the best freezer for your needs.
When well-maintained, modern standalone freezers can last as long as 20 years. On average, though, they will last roughly 12 years. Chest freezers typically last longer than upright freezers.
Though they have less usable storage, upright freezers cost more to buy than chest freezers of the same advertised capacity. One of the reasons for the higher price is they have more convenience features, like adjustable shelves and door bins that improve organization and automatic defrost that promotes air circulation, ensuring uniform freezer temperature.
Chest freezers have more usable storage space than upright freezers, which is important if you buy groceries in bulk. Because their design allows them to trap more cold inside, chest freezers are more suitable for long-term storage.
Upright freezers, on the other hand, have a more practical layout that is perfect for short-term storage, with adjustable shelves and door bins that make them easy to organize. So your choice depends on your space needs and whether you need short or long-term storage.
The older a freezer gets, the less efficient it gets. Door seals wear down, allowing cold air to escape, warming the freezer, and forcing the compressor to work overtime. Newer models also benefit from better compressors and cooling coils, improved insulation, and more energy-efficient designs.
Freezers perform best when they are full. If the freezer is full it means there is less space for warm air to get in when you open the freezer. A warmer freezer has to use more energy to cool back down. However, running your freezer empty will not damage it.