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
Cookology CTFZ163IX Tall Freestanding Upright Freezer 168 Litre, 143cm High and 55cm Wide with 5 Large Drawers and Reversible Door - In Inox
  • This Freestanding Freezer from Cookology has a capacity of 168 Litres, with 5 Large Freezer drawers that can hold up to 9 bags of shopping. Making it an ideal addition to any Kitchen or Utility Room.
  • Main Features - Adjustable temperature control, Reversible hinged door to accommodate for any Kitchen or space and also Adjustable legs to ensure it is even, wherever it stands.
SaleBestseller No. 2
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. 3
Russell Hobbs RH55FZ143 168 Litre White Freestanding Upright Freezer with 5 Drawers, 143 cm Tall & 55 cm Wide, Adjustable Thermostat & 40 Decibel Noise Level, 2 Year Warranty upon Registration
  • 168L CAPACITY - Store up to 9 bags of food shopping in this slimline, yet spacious freezer
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT - With an F energy rating, this freezer helps to keep costs and your carbon footprint to a minimum

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
Fridgemaster MCF96E 54.6cm Chest Freezer - White
  • Fridgemaster MCF96E 54.6cm Chest Freezer - White
Bestseller No. 2
Cookology CCFZ142BK Freestanding 142 Litre Capacity, Chest Freezer for Outbuildings, Garages and Sheds, Features a Refrigeration Mode, Temperature Control and 4 Star Freezer Rating - In Black
  • 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.
  • Available in classic white or modern black, these freezers feature slimmer hinges and discrete temperature controls so that they always look good.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Abode ACF99W Freestanding White Chest Freezer 99L Suitable for Garages & Outbuildings with Removable Wire Basket & Counter Balance Lid, Adjustable Thermostat (White)
  • AMPLE STORAGE – This Abode chest freezer is perfect if you're in need of extra freezer space. With an impressive 99L of storage, you can easily free up some room in your main freezer
  • COMPACT & PRACTICAL – Measuring (H)85 x (W)55 x (D)50 CMs, this appliance features adjustable feet and a reversible door, so it can fit into any home and be effortlessly moved around to suit your style
Bestseller No. 4
COMFEE' RCC100BL1(E) 99L Freestanding Black Chest Freezer with Adjustable Thermostats, 4 Star Freezer Rating, Suitable for Outbuildings, Garages and Sheds
  • 【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.
  • 【Built-in Door Hinge】 - The unique built-in door hinges reduce our freezer’s exterior size by 10% without reducing its capacity. The COMFEE’ Chest Freezer looks slimmer & more elegant than standard freezers.

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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