Chest Freezer Vs Upright Freezer – which is better?

Where would we be without our freezer? If your fridge/freezer isn’t large enough to cope with the demands of your family, and you’re looking to buy a stand alone freezer but you’re not sure whether to buy a chest freezer or an upright freezer, keep reading. In this article we’ll look at all the advantages and disadvantages of upright freezers and chest freezers.

A regular fridge/freezer is an essential kitchen appliance for the busy family. But if your freezer doesn’t have enough space to store all of your family’s frozen food needs it’s time to think about buying a separate freezer. But which is best, an upright or a chest freezer? Let’s look at both types in more detail to find out which will suit your home best.

An Overview Of Both Types

Before we get into specifics, let’s have a quick look at the features of both chest freezers and upright freezers side by side.

Features:Upright FreezerChest Freezer
Size (cubic capacity in feet)3 to 25 cubic feet5 to 25 cubic feet
Height (inches)33 to 72 inches28 to 74 inches
Width (inches)19 ½ to 33 inches28 to 74 inches
Depth (inches)20 to 29 inches21 to 33 inches
Price (approximate)£150 to £600£110 to £ 500

Please note all sizes and prices are approximate and are for comparison purposes only. Other sizes and prices are available.

What Is An Upright Freezer?

An upright freezer has the appearance of a fridge, it stands alone, is upright and has one door that is front opening and has interior shelving. The overall design makes food storage convenient and easy to access. Upright freezers are on the whole easier to clean and have hardly any maintenance at all.

Best Selling Upright Freezers

Bestseller No. 1
CHiQ FSD140D4EU Upright Freezer, 145L, E, 5 Levels, 12-Years Free Warranty on The Compressor,H1250 x W540 x D550, Black, 2023 New
  • ✅ Warranty: 2 years parts and labour warranty and 12 year free warranty on the compressor
  • ✅ Upright Freezers: CHiQ freezer upright offers a spacious 145L capacity while still takes a small footprint(540*550*1259mm). As an ideal extra freezer to kithen, garage, office and dorm.
Bestseller No. 2
Cookology CTFZ273WH 273 Litre Capacity, Tall Upright Freezer, Features LED Digital Touch Display, Frost Free System, Reversible Door and Adjustable Legs with 4 Star Freezer Rating – in White
  • Integrated with a stunning LED display panel, on the front of the appliance is installed with a digital LED display for Temperature control, which is user friendly with a simple touch system.
  • The latest design of no frost systems, means the cool air is circulated evenly throughout the appliance, keeping your foods evenly chilled.
Bestseller No. 4
Willow WTF55WV2 177L Freestanding Tall Freezer with Reversible Door, Adjustable Thermostat, 2 Years Warranty - White
  • 177L Capacity – The WTF55W has a 177L Capacity. The upright freezer contains 4 freezer drawers and 2 glass shelves with flaps – plenty of room to store enough frozen food for a family.
  • Adjustable Thermostat – The WTF55W tall freezer has a built-in adjustable thermostat on the outside which is easy to use. The thermostat may need to be adjusted depending on the environment of where the freezer is kept. This helps you to ensure that your food is stored at the correct temperature, which in turn helps to prevent food wastage.

What Is A Chest Freezer?

A chest freezer is a top opening freezer with just one large open space inside where all of the frozen products are stored. Many have one or two baskets to store the odd item in, but most are just piled inside, on top of each other which can make finding products more of a chore than it needs to be.

Best Selling Chest Freezers

Bestseller No. 1
COMFEE' RCC100BL2(E) 99L Freestanding Chest Freezer with Digital Temperature Control, 4 Star Freezer Rating, Suitable for Outbuildings, Garages and Sheds,Black [Energy Class E]
  • 【D+ Cooling System 】The COMFEE’ chest freezer is equipped with the D+ cooling system. The D-shaped cooling tubes surround the inner cabinet and significantly improve our chest freezer’s cooling performance & efficiency versus traditional freezers.
  • 【Digital Temperature Control 】The thermostat allows the temperature to be adjusted between -30°C and 10°C. Can also be switched to refrigeration mode for use as a fridge,perfect for keeping drinks or snacks cool at big events like parties.
Bestseller No. 2
Cookology CCFZ198WH Freestanding Chest Freezer - 198 Litre Capacity - Suitable for Outbuildings and Garages - Freezer and Refrigeration Modes - Easy Temperature Control - 4 Star Freezer Rating - White
  • CHEST FREEZER RANGE: These freestanding chest freezers are available in a range of sizes, from the slim line 99 litre version right up to the family-feeding 200 litre models. You are sure to find the right size for your needs.
  • REFRIGERATION FUNCTION: Need to double up your refrigeration? The Cookology CCFZ range can easily be switched to Refrigeration Mode, perfect for keeping drinks or snacks cool at big events like parties. The adjustable temperature control makes it easy to adjust the freezer to your needs.
Bestseller No. 3
Russell Hobbs Free Standing Chest Freezer, 300 Litres, Low Noise, Garage Safe, Counterbalance Lid, Front Drain Hole, 1.8m Cord, Castor Wheels, 5 Year Registered Guarantee White, RH300CF201W
  • AMPLE STORAGE – This Russell Hobbs chest freezer is perfect if you're in need of extra freezer space. With an impressive 300L of storage, you can easily store 20 bags of shopping and free up some room in your main freezer
  • PRACTICAL STORAGE – Measuring (H)84.5 x (W)112 x (D)70 CMs, with 2 baskets, it’s easy to keep your frozen produce organised
SaleBestseller No. 4
Fridgemaster MCF96E 54.6cm Chest Freezer - White
  • Fridgemaster MCF96E 54.6cm Chest Freezer - White

What Are The Usage Pros & Cons Of An Upright Freezer?

Frozen Food
Pros Of Upright FreezerCons Of Upright Freezer
Easy access to foodsLess energy efficient
More organisational space (shelves etc)More expensive purchase price
Smaller floor space usageNoisier than chest freezers
Easier to cleanCan cause freezer burn to foods
Auto-defrost (option)Defrost faster in power outage

As you can see, you tend to have more storage organisation with an upright freezer and they take up slightly less floor space, as there are removable shelves, uprights are easier to clean and many have an auto-defrost program which means they’re less labour intensive.

However, these conveniences come at a price, the initial purchase price is higher than a chest freezer, due to the doors, upright freezers are less energy efficient, the air flow can cause freezer burn to some exposed products, upright freezers cost on average twice as much to run as chest freezers annually and in the event of a power cut, an upright will defrost faster.

What Are The Usage Pros & Cons Of A Chest Freezer?

Pros Of Chest FreezerCons Of Chest Freezer
Quieter runningLarger floor space
More energy efficientHarder to organise
Less purchase costMore labour intensive to defrost
Less chance of freezer burnHarder to find products

Chest freezers are quieter than upright freezers when running and the motor runs less on chest freezers because it isn’t constantly heating up to maintain a frost free environment. This means running costs are significantly less and due to the design of the chest freezer there is less air circulation which means there’s less chance of freezer burn on your products.

However, they are more difficult to defrost, harder to find buried food items and are difficult to organise efficiently. Also using a chest freezer is more taxing on the body as it consists of bending to access products. But, it’s easier to store mis-shaped or awkward sized items in a chest freezer but this will cut down on overall storage space to some degree.

Which Type Of Freezer Looks The Most Visually Appealing?

Chest Freezer

When it comes to appearance, an upright freezer tends to look smarter than a chest freezer. Uprights definitely use space more efficiently which can also look better in a kitchen or utility room too. Chest freezers suit more industrial settings like garages etc than uprights which look more at home in kitchens. 

Maintenance & Repairs

As chest freezers don’t have auto-defrost functions, there are less breakable parts on a chest freezer which means they are less maintenance and labour intensive. So upright freezers have the potential for breaking down more than chest freezers purely on a there’s more parts to go wrong basis. However, that manual defrost can be a pain and it is time consuming too.

Which Freezer Is The Quietest?

Both types of freezer will make some noise, the compressor has to make a noise when it’s in operation. However, a chest freezer’s compressor has less work than an upright freezer because the upright often has auto-defrost. Which entails an almost constant running of the motor to maintain that level of temperature needed to keep food frozen whilst also allowing the ability to defrost.

So chest freezers are less noisy than upright freezers.

Which Is More Energy Efficient?

Due to the design of the build, a chest freezer has far more insulation than an upright freezer. Which makes a chest freezer far more energy efficient than an upright freezer. In the event of a power cut, a chest freezer will keep its contents frozen for far longer than an upright freezer.

Which Type Of Freezer Is The Cheapest To Buy?


The winner here is the chest freezer hands down. Not only are chest freezers cheaper to purchase, they also cost less to run – Upto 50% less in  some cases. With between 10-15% more storage area in a chest freezer compared to an upright freezer, the price to benefit ratio is far greater on a chest freezer.

Which Lasts Longer; Chest Freezer Or Upright?

Although the difference is slight, as there are less components on a chest freezer, they last longer than an upright. However, as most will both last at least 10 years, the chances are you’ll be fed up with it long before it needs replacing.

Which Is Better – Chest Or Upright Freezer?

The type of freezer you choose is of course, a personal choice and one not solely decided by price etc. You also have to look at life span, will it fit in your kitchen etc. Whichever type you decide we hope this article will have helped somewhat in the decision process, please let us know in the comments on whether you chose a chest freezer or an upright freezer and why.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s best: a chest freezer or an upright freezer?

A chest freezer is more energy efficient, costs less to buy and to run, but takes up more floor space and is harder to keep organised. 

Which lasts longer, a chest freezer or an upright freezer?

When it comes to how long they last, both chest and upright freezers have a similar life span.

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