Upright Freezer Vs. Chest Freezer

If you buy food in bulk, you might want to consider buying a freestanding freezer to supplement the storage capacity of the freezer unit in your refrigerator. Freestanding freezers come in two types, uprights and chests, each with advantages and disadvantages. Which type you choose depends on several issues.

Advantages of Upright Freezers

These freezers resemble refrigerators in appearance, with single doors hinged on the side. Upright freezers take up less space than chest freezers, and they come with interior shelves, racks and bins that make organizing food easier. They are available in manual or self-defrosting models.

Disadvantages of Upright Freezers

According to both Consumer Reports and Consumer Search, upright freezers are more expensive to buy and to operate than chest freezers. When you open an upright freezer, you lose a lot more cold air than you do when you open a chest freezer, so uprights aren't as energy efficient as chest models. They also won't keep food cold as long if your power goes out.

Advantages of Chest Freezers

Consumer Reports states that this type of freezer is less expensive than an upright version, costs less to run, and will hold cold better in a power outage. These freezers also come in manual or self-defrosting versions, though manual defrosting models are more common.

Disadvantages of Chest Freezers

On the other hand, chest freezers do take more room than chest freezers. In addition, organizing food inside a chest freezer can be challenging, and retrieving food from the bottom can be difficult.

Making the Choice

When you're picking a freezer, Consumer Reports suggests that you should first consider how much food you plan to freeze and how long you want to keep it frozen. These questions will help you decide how much capacity you need in a freezer. Next, think about how often you have power outages in your area often. If it happens quite a bit, a chest freezer is a safer way to store your food than an upright.

Other Issues

Regardless of which type of freezer you choose, decide whether you want a manual or self-defrosting model, and to assess the convenience of the controls on the models you consider.