If You Have a Costco Membership, You Need a Chest Freezer: Here’s the Best One to Buy
If You Have a Costco Membership, You Need a Chest Freezer: Here’s the Best One to Buy
If you feel like you’re constantly playing an advanced game of Tetris to close your freezer door, it’s probably time to invest in a chest freezer. Chest freezers are relatively inexpensive appliances that will help you avoid food waste and store more items, so you can make fewer trips to the grocery store.
Compared to upright freezers, the cold air stays inside a chest freezer for longer when the door is open, and it doesn’t escape as quickly. Chest freezers also come in handy for large families, dinner party hosts, hunters, and bakers who need to quickly cool down their baked goods.
The Best Chest Freezers
What to Consider
With constant supply chain shortages, it’s hard for homeowners to know which chest freezer is best to buy: After all, there are fewer options to choose from! Fortunately, chest freezers don’t need repairing as frequently as other major appliance categories. But there are still some things to keep in mind when you’re making a buying decision.
Chest freezers come in capacities as small as 3.5 cubic feet, all the way up to 25 cubic feet. We recommend families stay in the 7 and 16 cubic feet range. In general, a small freezer that’s between 6 and 9 cubic feet should be plenty for a family of three — especially if you have a traditional freezer attached to your refrigerator.
However, if you have a large family or plan to buy meat in bulk, consider opting for a model that’s 10 cubic feet or larger. A good rule of thumb is 1 cubic foot of freezer space for every 35 to 40 pounds of packaged meat. You can also multiply the number of people in your family by 2.5 cubic feet to find an appropriate capacity.
You’ll want to put some serious thought into where you store your chest freezer. Most weigh between 60 and 150 pounds, so you should absolutely measure in order to ensure you have enough space for one. (Don’t forget to measure doorways, too!)
Freezers should be located in a space that’s far away from heat sources and windows to ensure proper efficiency. If you plan to store a freezer in a garage, most manufacturers disclose if the freezer is “garage-ready” — meaning, it can withstand both low and high temperatures.
Features like a power-on indicator light, a safety lock, an alarm when you leave the door open, and an interior light are all nice-to-haves. Some freezers go the extra mile and allow for precise temperature control, but most users will likely keep the freezer at just 0 degrees Fahrenheit — which is what the FDA recommends. You should also pay attention to how many storage baskets are included, since they come in handy for keeping your freezer tidy.
We're here to help you find the best chest freezer that suits your needs and budget constraints, and will keep your existing freezer from overflowing. Shop our recommended models below, and stock up on all the frozen goods you want!
1) 7.0-Cubic-Foot Compact Chest Freezer
This compact chest freezer from Newair is deceptively spacious, despite its small footprint. You only need about 5.5 square feet to stow the Newair, but it holds roughly 255 pounds of meat. The freezer comes in a sleek gray color or all-black design, and it has precise temperature controls between minus 14 degrees and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which you set on a digital display near its handle.
What sets the Newair apart from the competition is its unique Fast Freeze Mode setting, which reduces the time it takes to freeze large amounts of fresh, unfrozen food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends freezing food as fast as possible to maintain quality and help prevent ice crystals from forming.
The Newair also packs a door alarm that goes off if you leave the door open, and a useful LED light so you can find items fast, without having to pull your smartphone’s flashlight out. With a decibel reading of just 42 dBa, it’s likely as quiet as your dishwasher!
If you’re in search of a no-frills chest freezer that’s reliable, easy to set up, and doesn’t take up too much room, the Frigidaire FFCS0722AW is worth a look. Besides its power-on indicator light, it doesn’t pack any additional features such as a door alarm or interior light. However, the Frigidaire does the basics right: It keeps food fresh, maintains a consistent temperature, and isn’t too loud.
I wish the freezer included a second or slightly larger basket. It’s also worth a quick mention that its temperature controls are located at the bottom left of the freezer, so you’ll need to crouch down to adjust them. Despite its basic feature set, the Frigidaire is a decent freezer that’s affordable and reliable.
The GE is an excellent midrange chest freezer that ticks all the boxes of things you’d want in one. For starters, it offers users a generous (but not too large) 10.7-cubic-foot capacity. It’s garage-ready, and can withstand both extremely high and low temperatures. Plus, it includes two storage baskets, while many other freezers on the market only include one.
This option has an adjustable temperature control, an interior light, and a safety lock. Like the Maytag we previously mentioned, the GE FCM11SRWW freezer will keep food frozen for 2 days in the event of a power outage.
Really, the biggest downside to the GE is its more expensive price point, but regardless, it’s reliable, capable, and generously sized.
4) 16.0-Cubic-Foot Chest Freezer
If you have the space for it, the Whirlpool WZC5116LW is an outstanding chest freezer that packs more bells and whistles than the competition. This 16-cubic-foot chest freezer is garage-ready, meaning it can withstand both hot and cold conditions. It’s one of the few models that can convert from a freezer to a fridge, and it comes with two storage baskets to help keep it organized.
If the power ever goes out, you’ll be relieved to know this chest freezer can keep your food frozen thanks to its triple-sealed gasket, thick insulation, and useful Power Loss Assist feature.
Another nice touch? The freezer is backed by a 1-year limited parts warranty.
5) 5.0-Cubic-Foot Chest Freezer
If space is tight in both your home and your existing freezer, the Midea MRC050S0AWW will help you store a few extra frozen goods without taking up too much room. This affordable and best-selling chest freezer comes in three capacities, but we recommend either the 3.5 cubic feet or 5 cubic feet model, depending on how much space you can dedicate.
The Midea — which reaches temperatures between minus 12 and 28 degrees Fahrenheit — includes one hanging storage basket. It has adjustable legs that come in handy on uneven floors to prevent wobbling, and it even has a drain when it’s time to defrost it.
It’s worth mentioning that this freezer shouldn’t be used in a garage, and that it requires an ambient temperature above 50 degrees to run properly. Regardless, it’s extremely quiet and its lid stays open all on its own. Overall, this freezer is quite the bargain, since it’s typically priced below $300.
The Samsung 2-Door chest freezer is the best option for users who want precise temperature control: It’s the only consumer-grade chest freezer I’ve come across that allows you to set two separate temperature settings for each side. Plus, it doubles as a refrigerator. Its interior features stainless steel panels to cool your food faster, as well as maintain consistent temperatures to keep your food fresher for longer.
You’ve probably noticed that most chest freezers do not have automatic defrost cycles. The Samsung is one of the few that won’t require manual defrosting, saving you time, stress, and mess!
It includes eight containers and two deodorizing filters. It even has a useful feature that locks its control panel to prevent accidental button presses.
7) 16.0-Cubic-Foot Convertible Chest Freezer
The WZC5116LW is an outstanding chest freezer with a whopping 16-cubic-feet capacity, so you'll have plenty of room to store all your favorite frozen foods. Even better, it has a price point that’s similar to models half its size. I love that the Whirlpool has a useful setting that converts it from freezer to refrigerator: This definitely will come in handy if you have a dinner party, and need to store fresh foods and drinks!
The Whirlpool includes two large sliding baskets to help keep things more organized, and packs a bright white LED light, which makes it easy to find whatever it is you’re looking for.
If you have curious kids, you’ll be thankful to know it includes a lock, so your little ones won’t accidentally slam the door on their fingers. This option doesn’t have precise temperature controls, and it works best in environments between 32 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you're tired of re-arranging your freezer every time you return from the store, it’s probably time to upgrade to a chest freezer. We found the most reliable models for every space and budget.