Person taking food out of an open chest freezer

Freezer buying guide 2024: How to choose the right deep freezer

When shopping for a new chest or upright freezer, there are several factors to consider to ensure you’re making the best decision for your home. Whirlpool brand offers a variety of deep freezers with numerous features to help you freeze food in larger quantities. Before buying a freezer, use this guide to research the types of freezers to determine which one can best fit your household needs.

Are deep freezers worth it?

If you buy food in bulk, have a large family or can’t say no to the frozen foods section, deep freezer options are often a worthwhile purchase. With more storage capacity than the typical refrigerator freezer, deep freezers are also a great option for families without nearby grocery stores who need to store more food for longer periods of time.

The term “deep freezer” refers more to the appliance’s capacity rather than its freezing temperatures, and is an umbrella category for chest and upright freezers. While both chest and upright models offer supplemental storage space for your frozen foods, keep in mind there are benefits to each option. Understanding how to organize your freezer can also help you get the most out of your freezer, no matter which option you choose.

Types of deep freezers

Both upright and chest freezers work well to store frozen items when you run out of room in your refrigerator’s freezer. There are a few differences between the two types of freezers, so read on to find out which one can be most beneficial for your home.

1. Upright freezers

Upright freezers have a vertical orientation like a typical refrigerator and offer convenient in-door storage and built-in shelving. They’re a great option if you need to access frozen foods frequently, since items can be stored within reach and tend to be more visible—there’s little bending down to dig for food. An upright freezer also tends to take up a smaller floor footprint.

Discover the advantages of Whirlpool® Upright Freezers to determine if it’s the right option for you.

Upright freezer benefits

There are many benefits to upright freezers, including:

  • Interior shelves and drawers for organizing and accessing food

  • Automatic defrost options

  • Smaller footprint than chest freezers

  • Available in white and stainless steel finish

Shop Whirlpool® Upright Freezers

2. Chest freezers

Chest freezers have a horizontal orientation with a lid that opens on the top. They are ideal for larger households or if you stock up on seasonal sale items. Chest freezers generally have more food storage capacity per square foot, partly because they don’t typically have shelving. This also allows for more room to accommodate bulky items that may not fit in your refrigerator’s freezer.

Before you explore Whirlpool® Chest Freezer options, consider the advantages of these models.

Chest freezer benefits

There are many benefits to chest freezers, including:

  • Large capacity models available
  • Cold air remains at the bottom of the interior when lid is opened
  • Food tends to stay frozen for long periods of time during power outages
  • Some models can be converted into a refrigerator to adapt to storage needs1

Shop Whirlpool® Chest Freezers

A Whirlpool® Chest Freezer and Whirlpool® Upright Freezer A Whirlpool® Chest Freezer and Whirlpool® Upright Freezer

Chest vs. upright freezers: Which is better?

The type of deep freezer that works best for you depends on your family’s needs and where you plan to place it in your home. An upright freezer takes up less floor space and the built-in shelving can make it easier to organize. A chest freezer has greater storage capacity and can hold more bulky items.

Things to consider when choosing a deep freezer

Each household has different needs and factors to consider when shopping for a new deep freezer. Follow this guide to explore which option is right for your home.

Aerial view of an open white chest freezer Aerial view of an open white chest freezer

1. Consider how you plan to use the deep freezer

Understanding how you will use a supplemental freezer will help you determine which configuration will be the best fit for your home. 

  • Buying in bulk: Chest freezers offer ample interior space for storing large quantities.

  • Meal prepping: Upright freezers have shelves like a typical refrigerator to help organize food containers.

  • Freezing home-grown produce: Both chest and upright freezers can help you save some of your garden produce for enjoyment year-round.

  • Preparing for a power outage: If you live in an area with frequent power blackouts, chest freezers can typically keep food frozen for longer periods without power due to the tight gasket seal on the lid.
White chest freezer in a garage White chest freezer in a garage

2. Find a place for your deep freezer

Before you buy a deep freezer, be sure that your home has the space to accommodate the appliance. For proper air circulation, freezers need 1-3 inches of space on all sides. Chest freezers take up more floor space due to their horizontal orientation, so homes with less floor space might benefit from an upright option.

It is also important to compare a freezer’s dimensions with the measurements of your home’s doorways, as the appliance will need to be able to pass through doors for installation. If you plan on installing your deep freezer in your garage, the appliance must be labeled “garage-ready” to withstand fluctuations in outdoor temps. 

A closeup of frozen items in a Whirlpool® Freezer A closeup of frozen items in a Whirlpool® Freezer

3. Determine what capacity deep freezer you need

To make sure your freezer is working optimally, it is recommended to keep it at least two-thirds of the way full most of the time. Choosing the best-sized freezer to buy for your needs may seem like a guessing game, but it’s quite straightforward. 

There are four basic sizes of deep freezer capacity: 

  • Compact: 5 cu. ft.

  • Small: 6-9 cu. ft.

  • Medium: 12-18 cu. ft.

  • Large: 18+ cu. ft.

A very simple way to determine which size is right for you is to multiply the number of people in your home by 2.5 cu. ft. For example, a household of one to two people would likely benefit from a compact size, while families of six or more should opt for a large capacity freezer. It is also recommended to consider what food you plan to store in your deep freezer, and how much of it. If your family hunts deer or buys large portions of meat, you would likely need a freezer with a medium or large capacity regardless of your household size.

Key locking a chest freezer Key locking a chest freezer

4. Review features available in modern deep freezers

Select modern upright and chest freezers now have an array of features to really make your new freezer work for you, like Automatic Defrost, Fast Freeze, LED interior lighting and more.

When you’re shopping for a new deep freezer, consider the following features:

  • Storage capacity: This is important for large families and any family with a steady surplus of frozen foods.

  • Energy efficiency: ENERGY STAR® Certified options can typically lower overall energy costs for this appliance.

  • Automatic Defrost: This helps reduce frost buildup so you can avoid emptying out your freezer to manually defrost.

  • Locking: Keep your food secure with a key locked door or lid.

  • Interior organization: Shelves, storage bins and drawers help keep your food organized and easily accessible.
  • Interior lighting: Proper lighting makes it easy to find frozen items.

  • Temperature alarm: Alarms let you know when the freezer’s temperature rises to ensure the proper freezing environment.

  • Fast Freeze: This feature drives temperatures down with the push of a button, cooling down large amounts of food.

  • Garage-ready: These freezers are built to maintain their temperatures in a non-temperature controlled environment. 

  • Style and design: Match your new freezer with your other appliances by choosing a similar finish to match the rest of your kitchen.
Open chest freezer Open chest freezer

5. Consider how much you want to spend on a freezer

The cost of a deep freezer can vary depending on the type and size of the appliance, as well as the variety of features offered. Typically, chest freezer prices can range from $500–$1,500, while upright freezers generally cost between $700–$2,500. If you’re looking for an appliance deal, browse Whirlpool® Freezer sales.

Shop all Whirlpool® Deep Freezers

If your refrigerator freezer doesn’t have the room to hold it all, a Whirlpool® Chest or Upright Freezer is sure to come in handy. Shop the full line of innovative freezers from Whirlpool brand to find the right fit for you.

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Ready for more tips, home hacks and appliance guides?

1. Available in Whirlpool® Chest Freezer model WZC5216