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Chest Freezer vs. Upright Freezer

Deep freezers can help you de-clutter the freezer on your standard refrigerator. When deciding whether to invest in a chest freezer or an upright freezer, there are many variables to consider. From the amount of space you have available to store your freezer to the amount of food you plan to keep in the freezer, you'll find a variety of options with different advantages and limitations to consider.


  Chest Freezers Upright Freezers
Capacity* Comparable Comparable
Food storage More storage Less storage
Amount of floor space needed More space needed Less space needed
Energy efficiency More energy efficient Less energy efficient
Door seal More tightly sealed Can be tightly sealed
Organization Less organized More organized
Ease of access More difficult to access food Easier to access food

*Refer to the Freezer Buying Guide for more specific dimension, capacity and cost ranges.

Advantages of Chest Freezers

  • More food storage — Chest freezers offer more storage space because there are fewer shelves and compartments. Additionally, items can be stacked on top of each other, utilizing more of the space available.
  • More energy efficiency — These freezers are significantly more energy efficient than upright freezers, as most are equipped with a manual defrost instead of automatic defrost.
  • Tightly sealed — Because of gravity's effect on the top door, chest freezers stay more tightly sealed.

Limitations of Chest Freezers

  • Space — Chest freezers can use more floor space than upright freezers, so you'll need to ensure you have enough room to store your freezer.
  • Can become cluttered — With fewer storage compartments and shelves, you won't be able to organize food items easily. Additionally, chest freezers often have multiple layers of frozen food stacked to the top.
  • Limited access — Shorter people may find themselves unable to reach items near the bottom of a chest freezer and other people may have trouble bending into the freezer to acquire frozen food.

Advantages of Upright Freezers

  • Space — upright freezers are taller, so they can maximize vertical space in your garage or basement.
  • Easy to organize — Because of the shelves and bins that upright freezers often have, you can arrange food neatly, making it simple to locate food items in your deep freezer.
  • Accessible — More people will be able to reach food without having to bend down or reach deep into the freezer.

Limitations of Upright Freezers

  • Less food storage — Upright freezers store less food than chest freezers. Not only do the shelves and compartments take up space, but the front-facing door also makes it difficult to stack items in snuggly.
  • Less energy efficiency — These models often use an automatic defrost, which regularly defrosts the freezer, using more energy. Additionally, there is a higher chance that the door might not seal tightly enough, which can waste energy.
  • Less tightly sealed — Unlike chest freezers, uprights cannot rely on gravity to close the door tightly. The seal won't naturally close as well, so it's important to ensure that you close the door firmly.

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