A chest or Upright freezer can be quite convenient and may even end up saving you money over time, even though a refrigerator freezer may be plenty for storing frozen food for a small family. With enough freezer space, you may take advantage of bulk food discounts, freeze seasonal berries and jams, bake for ordinary occasions and special occasions, prepare meals ahead of time, and order huge quantities of wild game or meat.

What kind of freezer should you get and which will suit your needs the best? Every style of freezer has trade-offs.

Major Differences Between an Upright Freezer and a Chest Freezer

Your unique needs and lifestyle will determine the sort of freezer that is ideal for you. Some people choose having an upright freezer for their regular frozen items while keeping their seasonal game/meat and specialty baked goods in a chest freezer.

Chest Freezer vs Upright Freezer Comparison
 Chest FreezerUpright Freezer
AppearanceLift-up door, baskets, lower to the groundFront-opening door, shelves, stands vertical
Size5 to 25 cubic feet5 to 25 cubic feet
MaintenanceLabor and time-intensive if manual defrostLess maintenance
NoiseLess noisyNoisier
Power UsageUses less energyUses more energy
InstallationLarger footprintSmaller footprint
CostLess expensiveMore expensive
LifespanUp to 14 yearsUp to 14 years


Chest Freezer

At least one wire basket is typically included with chest freezers to help you organize the contents. To better organize the contents of your freezer, separate the various food types using cardboard boxes. To find what you’re looking for, however, requires a lot of bending, reaching, and moving frozen foods in chest freezers.

However, they do allow for large, odd-shaped, or long objects that might be challenging to fit in an upright freezer. There are some models available that have a bottom drawer that can be accessed from the outside of the chest freezer. While this can make a chest model more convenient, it will also slightly reduce capacity and increase cost.

Upright Freezer

The ability to better organize the frozen foods makes it easier to monitor and rotate contents to keep frozen foods current, which is probably the most convenient aspect of an upright freezer. Some upright models have adaptable storage systems with sliding, adjustable shelving, pull-out baskets or bins, and adjustable and removable door storage bins.

All of these features make it simpler to organize and store contents. There are limitations even though an upright is easier to organize. Without removing a shelf to make room, items like large turkeys or long, frozen items might not fit.


Chest Freezer

When you need to access the freezer, you lift a door that is located on top of the freezer. Compared to an upright freezer, they are frequently longer and lower to the ground. Mini-chest freezers, on the other hand, might require less horizontal space and a little more vertical space. Although the majority of chest freezers have a white finish, black and stainless steel finishes are also occasionally available. For mobility, many chest freezers also have caster wheels.

Upright Freezer

A single front panel door on an upright freezer will open similarly to a refrigerator’s door. It will be comparable to a refrigerator in height. Similar to chest freezers, the majority are white, but there are also options in stainless and black stainless. You might even come across a few bright red upright freezers that will give your garage or basement a retro feel.

Upright Freezer is best for appearance.

An upright freezer will blend in with your kitchen or other high-traffic areas of your home because it resembles a refrigerator. Additionally, they come in a wider range of colors than chest models. A chest freezer typically has a more utilitarian appearance and is best used in basements, garages, or other hidden locations.


Although both types of freezers are typically available in 5- to 25-cubic-foot sizes, there are differences in capacity between the chest and upright models of the same size. Additionally, it’s simpler to locate mid-range freezer sizes in stores, though you’ll want to double-check that not all freezers come in self-defrost models.

Maintenance and Repair

Chest Freezer

Although some models of chest freezers have automatic defrost or are frost-free, most chest freezers require manual defrosting, which can take all day or several hours to complete. A manual defrost chest freezer will require less maintenance because there are fewer parts inside of it.

Upright Freezer

Since most upright freezers self-defrost, there are additional internal parts, such as drip trays, drip elements, and hoses, that may require repair in the future. However, if you have an upright freezer, you won’t have to deal with the occasionally difficult task of manually defrosting it.

Upright Freezer is the best for repairs and maintenance.

The majority of upright freezer owners value the ease of use and low maintenance requirements of never having to manually defrost a freezer because the majority of them are self-defrosting.


Chest Freezer

Manual defrost chest freezers are less noisy than upright freezers. However, you will hear some noises if the chest has a strong and fast compressor. Additionally, the liner’s typical expansion and contraction may be audible.

Upright Freezer

Self-defrosting upright freezers are noisier than manual defrosting chest freezers because they cycle on and off continuously. You will repeatedly hear whooshing and whining throughout the day as the freezer cycles. Infrequent noises are also made by the compressor. When deciding where to put an upright freezer, take noise into account.

Chest Freezer is best for noise.

Only manual defrost models of chest freezers will be quieter than upright models.

Power Usage

Chest Freezer

In fact, during a power outage or a household move to a different location, as long as the freezer lid is not open, an unplugged chest freezer can keep the contents frozen for two or even three days, depending on the quantity of frozen food. This is because chest freezers hold their cold temperatures very well thanks to the built-in sidewall insulation.

Upright Freezer

In fact, during a power outage or a household move to a different location, as long as the freezer lid is not open, an unplugged chest freezer can keep the contents frozen for two or even three days, depending on the quantity of frozen food. This is because chest freezers hold their cold temperatures very well thanks to the built-in sidewall insulation.

Chest freezer is the best appliance for saving energy.

A chest freezer with a manual defrost may use half as much energy as an upright freezer with self-defrost. Select a freezer that is Energy Star qualified for the best energy efficiency. The Energy Star rating is available for both upright and chest freezers.


Chest Freezer

Even for a small chest freezer, the footprint is greater than what is required for an upright model due to the width of a chest freezer, which will vary depending on size. You must make sure there is enough room for it to be placed and enough height above the freezer to fully open the door.

To make sure you have a place for it, check the measurements before purchasing. It’s important to note that when selecting a chest freezer, you should take the route to and inside the house, as well as the number of turns or doorways, into account. Even though modern chest models are slightly narrower than they were in the past, it’s not uncommon to need to open a few doors to get one inside the house and beyond. Place a freezer in a dry, level area at all times.

Upright Freezer

A chest freezer has a larger footprint than an upright freezer. When choosing a location for an upright freezer, consider where you would put a refrigerator. It requires space for both its width and height, for the door to swing open, and at least an inch behind it. Think about the door’s swing direction and whether it can be reversed.

Best for Installation: Tie

It depends on how much room you have for a freezer. Both kinds of freezers only need a plug with the right voltage rating and enough room to operate.


Chest Freezer

The chest model of freezer is the most affordable type. A chest freezer is a fantastic value because every inch of usable storage space is available.

Upright Freezer

An upright may be the best option for you if you have the extra money available and enjoy keeping everything in its proper place. Although upright freezers cost about 10 to 15 percent more than chest models, they offer a smaller amount of usable storage space. Capacity and storage systems, as well as convenience features like auto or manual defrost, have an impact on prices. You should check with the dealer to make sure an upright has self-defrost because it can be difficult to tell.

Best in terms of cost: a chest freezer

A manual defrost chest model is more cost-effective to buy and run if all you’re looking for is affordable frozen food storage while limiting energy costs.


Chest Freezer

Compared to upright models, manual defrost chest freezers typically have longer life spans. They are less complicated than an upright freezer because they have fewer parts.

Upright Freezer

Particularly if it’s a manual defrost model, an upright freezer has more parts to wear out than a chest freezer. Over time, the automatic heating elements that cycle on and off continuously can deteriorate.

In conclusion

A freezer—or two—in your home can provide an additional storage option that is worth taking into consideration. When it comes to food storage, both chest and upright freezers are useful tools, but they each have advantages and disadvantages. Based on your financial situation, the amount of space you require, the benefits of self-defrosting and interior organization, and variations in energy efficiency, you must decide between a chest freezer and an upright freezer.

You could choose an all-refrigerator model in place of a refrigerator/freezer in your kitchen to significantly increase cold food storage and keep your frozen foods in one or two freezers of any kind. However, it should be noted that while offering this convenience of food storage, freezers of any style will raise your energy costs.

Top Brands

Hisense : sells chest freezers of all sizes and is renowned for its energy-efficient models with smaller footprints and excellent interior insulation.

Scanfrost : sells both upright and chest. Additionally, it is well known for its elegant double door side-by-side design.