Person taking food out of an open chest freezer

Freezer buying guide: How to choose the best deep freezer for your family

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. Use this buying guide to get started on your shopping journey.

Are deep freezers worth it?

If you buy foods in bulk, have a large family or can’t say no to the frozen foods section, deep freezer options are 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 and drawbacks 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.

Open white upright freezer Open white upright freezer

Upright Freezers: Pros and Cons

Upright freezers have a vertical orientation with a door that swings open like a typical refrigerator. Discover the pros and cons of Whirlpool® Upright Freezers to determine if it’s the right option for you.

Pros of upright freezers

  • Interior shelves and drawers make it easy to organize and access food

  • Automatic defrost options

  • Typically take up less floor space than chest freezers

  • Available in white and stainless steel finish


Cons of upright freezers

  • In some models, shelves are not adjustable to modify storage

  • Automatic defrost options may be louder than freezers that require manual defrosting

  • Generally more expensive

Shop Whirlpool® Upright Freezers

Open white chest freezer Open white chest freezer

Chest Freezers: Pros and Cons

Chest freezers have a horizontal orientation with a lid that opens from above and offer plenty of interior space for supplemental food storage. Before you explore Whirlpool® Chest Freezer options, consider the pros and cons of these models.

Pros of chest freezers

  • Large capacity models available

  • Cold air remains at the bottom of the interior when lid is opened

  • Tends to keep foods frozen for long periods of time during power outages
  • Some models can be converted into a refrigerator to adapt to storage needs1


Cons of chest freezers

  • Models without storage bins can be difficult to organize

  • Most models require manual defrosting, which can be time consuming

  • Stainless steel finishes not available in these models

Shop Whirlpool® Chest Freezers

How to choose the best deep freezer for your family

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

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

Step 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 of time without power due to the tight gasket seal on the lid

White chest freezer in a garage White chest freezer in a garage

Step 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 would 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 labelled “garage-ready.”   

White Whirlpool® Upright Freezer White Whirlpool® Upright Freezer

Step 3: Determine what size chest or upright 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 actually quite straightforward. 

There are four basic sizes of 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 model. 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

Step 4: Explore freezer features

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.

What should I look for when buying a freezer?

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

  • Storage capacity - 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 extra appliance

  • Automatic Defrost - 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 to keep your food organized and easily accessed

  • 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 - drives temperatures down cooler with the push of a button, cooling down large amounts of food

  • Garage-ready - freezers 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 the rest of your kitchen

Open chest freezer Open chest freezer

Step 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 can cost between $700–$2,500. If you're looking for an appliance deal, browse Whirlpool® Freezer sales.

Shop 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 to find the right fit for you.

Get more with a Whirlpool account

Sign in for special savings

Discover more buying guides and tips from Whirlpool

Gold home heartbeat logo over image of a tablet with Whirlpool blog page displayed in the background Gold home heartbeat logo over image of a tablet with Whirlpool blog page displayed in the background

home heartbeat

Ready for more tips, home hacks and appliance guides?

1. Available in Whirlpool® Chest Freezer model WZC5216

Was this article helpful? Pass it on