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
WILLOW WTF55W Freestanding Upright Freezer 168L Capacity Mark-Proof Finish Reversible Door Cheap To Run Energy Efficient Adjustable Thermostat 2 Years Manufacturer Warranty Energy Rating F
  • Energy Efficient – The Willow WTF55W has an energy rating of F, which is high up on the energy scale (the equivalent of A+ on the old energy scale) and means that it costs less to run than many other fridges. It also helps to keep your carbon footprint to a minimum.
  • 2 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty – All Willow products now come with a 2 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty as standard.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Cookology CTFZ160WH 160L Tall Freestanding Upright Freezer, 5 Large Freezer Drawers, Adjustable Temperature Control and Legs, Reversible door and 4 Star Freezer Rating - In White
  • Brought to you by Cookology, this upright Freezer is freestanding and combines good looks, outstanding performance and extraordinary value - exactly what our customers have come to expect with a Cookology appliance.
  • This Freezer has been developed with a metal back instead of the traditional plastic or foil backing. You get a 4 star **** Freezer rating, because it can maintain a temperature of -18℃ which makes it safe for long term storage of suitable frozen foods.
SaleBestseller No. 3
CHiQ FSD140D4EU Upright Freezer, 145L, E, 5 Levels, 12-Year Compressor Service, 126cm Tall, 54cm Wide, Black, 2023 New
  • ✅ Warranty: 2 years parts and labour warranty and 12 year compressor warranty
  • ✅ 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.
SaleBestseller No. 4
Cookology CTFZ163IX Tall Freestanding Upright Freezer 163 Litre, 143cm High and 55cm Wide with 5 Large Drawers and Reversible Door - In Inox
  • This Freestanding Freezer from Cookology has a capacity of 163 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.

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

SaleBestseller No. 1
Cookology CCFZ99WH Freestanding 99 Litre, Chest Freezer Suitable for Outbuildings, Garages and Sheds, Features a Refrigeration Mode, Adjustable Temperature Control and 4 Star Rating - In White
  • The Cookology Freestanding Chest freezer has a useful 99 litre capacity and is ideal if you require additional frozen storage space. Ideal for Outbuildings, Garages, Sheds and Utility Rooms. Also features a freestanding door for easy access to your frozen goods.
  • Includes Refrigeration Function - Need to double up your refrigeration? The Cookology CCFZ range can be switched to Refrigeration Mode, perfect for keeping drinks or snacks cool at big events like parties.
SaleBestseller No. 2
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.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Russell Hobbs RH198CF3003 198L Freestanding White Chest Freezer with 5 Year Warranty, Adjustable Thermostat, 4 Star Freezer Rating & Suitable for Outbuildings & Garages
  • 198L CAPACITY - Space for up to 11 bags of food shopping, so you can stock up on freezer essentials and batch-cooked meals
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT - With an F energy rating, this freezer helps to keep costs and your carbon footprint to a minimum
Bestseller No. 4
Fridgemaster MCF96 95 Litre Chest Freezer
  • 96 Litre Capacity
  • Suitable for Garages & Outbuildings

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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