Whether you're minimizing your grocery trips during the pandemic or just stocking up on your favorite frozen foods while they're on sale, there's a good chance that the freezer portion of your fridge is too small for your needs. That's where chest freezers come in handy. Unlike upright freezers (which open from the front like refrigerators), chest freezers are cube- or rectangle-shaped appliances that open from the top.
Once you invest in a chest freezer, you'll be able to store tons of food in bulk (think: a practically endless supply of meat, vegetables, soup, and ice cream). Plus, they're perfect for anyone who prefers to batch cook and freeze bulk portions for a later date.
Since there are so many different models available, we scoured the internet to find the best chest freezers that are actually worth buying. No matter what type you're looking for, there's bound to be a top-rated option on this list that fits your needs.
These are the 7 best chest freezers of 2021, according to thousands of reviews:
Two things you'll want to consider when shopping for chest freezers are where you will put the appliance and approximately how much food you'll store in it—both of which will help you determine what size to go with. The most popular chest freezer on Amazon comes in sizes ranging from 3.5 to 7 cubic feet, while larger models designed for garages can be as spacious as 24.8 cubic feet.
Keep in mind that most chest freezers aren't self-defrosting, so if you notice frost building up over time, you'll need to manually defrost it by unplugging the appliance, opening the door, and allowing any ice to melt on its own. But there are a few additional features that make some models stand out, like storage baskets for organizing smaller items, interior lights that make it easy to find exactly what you're looking for, or wheels that allow it to be moved around as needed.
Keep reading to learn more about the best chest freezers you can buy online from brands like Frigidaire, GE, and Midea.
With an average 4.5-star rating from over 4,800 shoppers, Midea’s chest freezer is the top-rated and best-selling model on Amazon. It’s available in three different sizes—3.5, 5, and 7 cubic feet—and has mechanical controls that allow you to adjust the temperature between 10.4 and -11.2 degrees Fahrenheit (labeled as “min.” and “max.” on the freezer). One feature shoppers especially love is that the lid stays open on its own—no need to hold it open with one hand while you unload your groceries. “It cooled down immediately and has been keeping everything inside frozen solid since being plugged in shortly after being unpacked,” wrote a customer. “It runs silently and gives off no heat whatsoever… This freezer now enables me to purchase more frozen foods and meats on sale that I used to have to avoid because I did not have the room in the refrigerator freezer.”
To buy: from $250; amazon.com
One of the most affordable options on Amazon, this chest freezer from Danby is a great value because it offers 3.8 cubic feet of storage space for just $250. Customers who live in small homes and apartments said they were able to stock up on all sorts of frozen food essentials thanks to this chest freezer. It cools down quickly (in under an hour, according to one reviewer) and is nearly silent while operating. Plus, the manufacturer offers a five-year warranty. “I had it mostly filled with meats and fish during the recent ‘public safety power shutoff’ perpetrated by PG&E in California,” said one shopper. “I had a gallon bag of ice cubes on the top layer in the freezer. After 38 hours with no power, the ice had not melted at all.”
To buy: $250; amazon.com
If you’re planning on putting an extra freezer in your garage, one of the most reliable options out there is this GE chest freezer that’s designed to work in spaces with extreme temperatures. With an ample 15.7 cubic-feet capacity, the chest freezer has plenty of room to store bulk batches of food. It also comes with a lock and key for added security, plus four sliding baskets that make it easy to organize your frozen food and find smaller items (like tubs of ice cream) quickly. Reviewers say they appreciate that the freezer warns you if it detects temperature changes, which comes in handy if the power goes out. “As of today, I’ve got over 300 pounds of meat in it with some room left to spare,” said one shopper. “[It] runs super quiet, stays very cold in my hot garage, and I really like the alarm should it begin to warm. What more could you ask for?”
To buy: $720 (originally $799); wayfair.com
This multifunctional chest freezer by Whynter can operate with both a standard wall outlet and a vehicle’s lighter socket. The dual-use appliance functions as either a freezer or a refrigerator thanks to its wide temperature range of -6 degrees to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and the fast-freeze setting will quickly cool it all the way down. It can hold up to 85 quarts of food and drink, which is the equivalent of 120 cans. “I have used it to keep drinks and lunches cold daily at work and for two weekend camping trips in my RV,” wrote a customer. “It runs so quietly that it’s hard to even hear it running inside of the RV. I’ve used it as a freezer for ice and ice cream and it has no problem staying at 0 degrees on either 12V or 120V and just the same results while set at 34 degrees for daily use.”
To buy: $629 (originally $760); amazon.com
At just 3.5 cubic feet, Northair’s small chest freezer is the perfect option if you’re tight on space. With seven pre-set temperature options, it’s easy to adjust between -4 and 6.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, it comes equipped with two wire baskets that secure to the top of the freezer for easy access. “It is compact but holds a lot of food and keeps it frozen. I even tested it by putting hamburgers on top of other items in one of the baskets and the meat froze solid,” a customer wrote. “It is also very quiet. The only time I hear a slight noise is when the motor kicks on, and that is only if I am near it when that happens.” Thanks to the freezer’s relatively small dimensions (roughly 31 inches tall by 22 inches wide) and manageable weight (about 50 pounds), customers said they were able to carry the package into their homes without needing an extra person.
To buy: $240; amazon.com
This energy-efficient chest freezer by GE is similar to our top pick for garages, except it’s compact enough to fit inside your home. According to the EnergyGuide label, which lists an estimate of how much energy an appliance uses, this freezer should only cost about $30 a year to run. It has 7 cubic feet of storage space, and multiple reviewers say it’s the perfect size for storing extra frozen meals for a family. The freezer comes with two baskets for easy organization and a convenient power light on the outside (which confirms it’s functioning without the need to open the lid). “We've now had this chest freezer for a few months and it's doing all that we could hope for,” said one person. “It’s quiet, seems to be quite energy-efficient (we hardly even noticed an increase in our very modest monthly electric usage), and takes up very little space. All in all, a great buy.”
To buy: $295; wayfair.com
One of Home Depot’s top-rated chest freezers, this extra-large appliance by Frigidaire is perfect if you’re looking for a bigger option. It has a capacity of 24.8 cubic feet, so it’s spacious enough to store all the frozen food you could dream of. In fact, one customer said they were able to fit about 700 pounds of meat with “plenty of room to spare.” Another wrote: “This freezer is amazing! No frost in it, a lot of space to organize my frozen items, and it is on six caster wheels, which I love! I can move my freezer from one place to another even though it is more than half full. I’m still working on organizing my garage, so the ability to move it around is a great plus.” Plus, it comes with plenty of other smart features, like a built-in safety lock, removable caster wheels for easy transport, and interior LED lights.
To buy: $854 (originally $949); homedepot.com