The 6 Best Freezers You Can Buy in 2022
By Corrie Pelc
Even though the standard kitchen refrigerator comes with a freezer, many times it’s not enough space. Whether it’s because you have a small army to keep fed at home, or you’re a couponing diva who stocks up on frozen foods when they’re on sale, sometimes you just need a standalone freezer in your home.
If you’re looking for an extra freezer, there are plenty of options out on the market today. Here’s a look at what we consider the best standalone freezers you can buy in 2022.
Best Overall Freezer: GE FUF17DLRWW Garage Ready Frost-Free Upright FreezerIf you’re looking for a highly-rated and reliable upright standalone freezer, this is it.
Best Chest Freezer: GE FCM16DLWW Garage Ready Chest FreezerThe chest version of our best overall standalone freezer for 2022.
Best Freezer for Small Spaces: Midea WHS-109FW1 Upright FreezerAn Energy Star-efficient compact standalone freezer perfect for small spaces.
Best Freezer for Large Families: Frigidaire FFFC25M4TW Chest FreezerKeep your extended family’s tummies happy with a freezer that can fit all their favorite food.
Best Budget-Friendly Freezer: Koolatron KTCF155 Compact Chest FreezerAn Energy Star-rated, budget-friendly chest freezer for extra food storage.
Best Splurge Freezer: Gladiator GAFZ30FDGB Upright Rolling Garage FreezerThe Bentley of the standalone freezer offering lots of bells and whistles.
How to Buy a Standalone Freezer
When purchasing a freezer, there are a few questions you need to think about to make sure you purchase the one that’s right for you:
- Upright or Chest? Standalone freezers come in two basic models. Upright freezers are vertical and look almost like a standard refrigerator, with a door that opens to the side. Chest freezers are more squat and horizontal, with a door that hinges open on the top. Upright freezers offer more shelving for organizational purposes, while chest freezers are deeper and can sometimes stay colder than an upright because cold air floats to the bottom. Your available space may also determine which type of freezer works best for you.
- How Much Freezer Space Do You Need? Generally speaking, freezers come in five sizes:
- Large: Over 18 cubic feet
- Medium: Between 12 to 18 cubic feet
- Small: Between six to nine cubic feet
- Compact: Five cubic feet or less
- What Features Are Important to You? Today's freezers come with many more features than the one your grandma used to send you into the basement to fish around in for an ice pop. Some are convertible freezers, which means you can switch it over to a refrigerator instead of a freezer if you find you need that extra space more. Some come with a temperature alarm that sounds if it is not hitting the correct temperature to keep your food frozen. And other models are Energy Star rated, helping you save money on your electricity bill by saving power. So take the time to get to know the features available out there, and narrow down the ones you can't live without.
Test Factors We Considered When Picking the Best Freezers
So which standalone freezers are best? Here are the test factors we used when compiling our list:
- Price: There are freezers available at every price point for every budget.
- Type: What type of standalone freezer is it — upright or chest?
- Dimensions: The depth, width, and height of the freezer. This is helpful in determining where it fits in the home and how much space it takes up.
- Storage Capacity: How many cubic feet of storage does the standalone freezer have? This determines how much food can fit in the freezer.
- Defrost: How is the freezer defrosted — manual or auto-defrost? Some of today’s freezers use the term “frost-free” defrost, which is another way of saying it has an auto-defrost system. Freezers without auto-defrost generally need to be manually defrosted once or twice a year, when there’s at least a quarter-inch of ice accumulated on the inside walls of the freezer.
- Storage: Does the freezer offer any types of storage, such as bins or shelving?
- Lighting: Does the freezer have an interior light and/or exterior light? This is helpful for the user if the freezer lives in a dark garage or basement.
- Alarms: Will the standalone freezer sound an alert if its temperature raises too much or if the door is left open?
- Child-Safe Lock: Does the freezer have a safety lock to ensure a child does not get stuck inside?
- Energy Star Rated: Is the standalone freezer Energy Star rated for electricity savings?
- Colors: What colors is the freezer available in?
- Warranty: Does the manufacturer back their freezer?
Now that we’ve covered the test factors we considered, let’s take a look at our choices for the best freezers of 2022:
Best Overall Freezer: GE FUF17DLRWW Garage Ready Frost-Free Upright Freezer
When it comes to standalone freezers, our overall top pick for 2022 is the GE FUF17DLRWW Garage Ready Frost-Free Upright Freezer. "Garage ready" means this freezer is not negatively impacted by how hot or cold it gets where you put it — its compressor will continue to run smoothly whether the ambient temperature around it is 110 or 0 degrees Fahrenheit. This Energy Star-rated upright freezer boasts 17.3 cubic feet of space and includes six shelves and sliding bins for plenty of storage and organization possibilities. The freezer has a lock with a key for protection and safety, as well as exterior electronic temperature control so you can adjust the temperature inside without opening the door. The GE FUF17DLRWW Garage Ready Frost-Free Upright Freezer also has interior LED lighting, a door ajar alarm, and a Turbo Boost option for an extra blast of cold air to quickly freeze foods back up.
- Built to stay cold and work well in ambient temperatures from 0-110 degrees F
- Energy Star rated
- Lock with a key for protection and safety
- Only available in white
- Door swings open to the right and is not reversible, which may impact where you can put it in your home
Best Chest Freezer: GE FCM16DLWW Garage Ready Chest Freezer
As the GE Garage Ready Upright-Freezer was our overall top pick for freezers, it's no surprise the chest freezer version is our best chest freezer for 2022. The GE FCM16DLWW Garage Ready Chest Freezer offers many of the same perks as the upright version, including the ability to reliably work and keep everything frozen solid in ambient temperatures of up to 110 degrees F. This makes this freezer a great pick for those who live in warm climates and want their standalone freezer in the garage. The 15.7 cubic foot chest freezer comes with four sliding baskets for storage, as well as a second-level rail so you can place the baskets at different heights. Easily see all your food with bright interior LED lighting, and keep everything protected with an included lock and key. The Energy Star-rated GE FCM16DLWW Garage Ready Chest Freezer also has a power "on" light outside the unit and a visual temperature alarm that alerts you if the temperature inside the freezer gets too warm.
- “Garage ready” for ambient temperatures up to 110 degrees F
- Four sliding baskets can be placed at various heights
- Visual temperature alarm that alerts you if the temperature inside the freezer gets too warm
- Only available in white
Best Freezer for Small Spaces: Midea WHS-109FW1 Upright Freezer
The Midea WHS-109FW1 Upright Freezer is an Energy Star-rated compact standalone freezer that offers a lot of conveniences of larger freezers in a smaller footprint. Offering three cubic feet of storage space, the freezer only weighs 57 pounds and is easy to move around. The freezer has a reversible door, which means you can have it open either to the left or right depending on your space's needs. The unit's two shelves and one removable wire drawer still let you stay organized, and its adjustable temperature control can be toggled between -11.2 to 10.4 degrees F. Designed to operate very quietly, this Best Freezer for Small Spaces also has a child lock (available in the black model only) and adjustable legs.
- Energy Star-rated
- Only weighs 57 pounds
- Operates very quietly
- No interior lighting or temperature alarms
- Manual defrost
Best Freezer for Large Families: Frigidaire FFFC25M4TW Chest Freezer
Store enough food for your large, hungry family with the Frigidaire FFFC25M4TW Chest Freezer. The freezer is available in two sizes — 19.8 or 24.8 cubic feet — with both including two slide plastic baskets with color-coordinated clips to help with organization. Regulate the cold inside through the exterior dial temperature control and easily see everything with bright LED interior lighting. The Frigidaire FFFC25M4TW Chest Freezer features optional caster wheels to help you move it to wherever works best for your home. And the freezer has a safety lock with a pop-out key, so you'll never have to worry about leaving your key behind.
- Available in two sizes
- Two sliding baskets come with color-coordinated clips
- Safety lock with pop-out key
- Manual defrost
- No temperature alarms
Best Budget-Friendly Freezer: Koolatron KTCF155 Compact Chest Freezer
Budget-conscious shoppers, rejoice — the Koolatron KTCF155 Compact Chest Freezer will give you five cubic feet of freezer storage space for only about $200. This Energy Star-rated standalone freezer comes with a cooling system designed to keep foods between 32 and -11.2 degrees F. The chest freezer's door seal is designed to stop cold air from leaking, and the interior wire basket helps with organization. An external drain plug allows for easy water drainage during manual defrosting, and the freezer has outside temperature control so you can manage the coolness inside without needing to open the lid.
- Only around $200
- Energy Star rated
- Outside temperature control for managing coolness inside without needing to open the lid
- Manual defrost
- No interior lighting or temperature alarms
Best Splurge Freezer: Gladiator GAFZ30FDGB Upright Rolling Garage Freezer
If money is no object, then you'll definitely want to check out the Gladiator GAFZ30FDGB Upright Rolling Garage Freezer. First off, you don't even have to use the door handle to open it — instead, use the stainless steel step-to-open foot pedal on the bottom of the freezer. This 17.8 cubic foot freezer holds a ton of frozen foods, and all can be perfectly organized with the included three shelves, six door bins, and two bulk drawers. Through the freezer's internal temperature control you can set your own temperature setting or choose from three pre-set temps — soft serve (for perfectly servable ice cream), assorted, and deep freeze. Never worry about manual defrosting with this unit, thanks to its frost-free auto-defrost system. And the Gladiator GAFZ30FDGB Upright Rolling Garage Freezer adds a touch of elegance to your garage or home with its black matte door and hammered granite cabinet.
- Stainless steel step-to-open foot pedal allows you to open the freezer hands-free
- Lots of organizational tools
- Three pre-set temperatures or set your own
- Not Energy Star-rated
- No temperature alarms or child-safe lock
How to Take Care of Your Freezer
Freezers are an investment, and if taken care of, will last for many years to come. Here are some top tips on keeping yours running perfectly:
- Read Your Owner's Manual: Our number-one tip is to take the time to read through the owner’s manual. You’ll learn all about your new freezer and the best way to keep it in tip-top shape.
- Keep It Clean: Even if your standalone freezer is tucked away in the basement or garage, make sure to keep it clean both on the inside and outside. Dirt and grime on the inside can lead to bad smells, and outside can possibly affect any vents or cooling mechanisms. Use a soft cloth and soapy water to clean the outside, and clean the inside while it’s defrosting or a few times a year when it's empty. You can also use baking soda to cut down on any bad smells on the inside—just set a shallow bowl filled with a scoop of baking soda on the bottom of the freezer.
- Keep An Eye On the Temperature: Always keep a close eye on the thermostat to make sure your standalone freezer is staying at the right temperature. You want foods to be cold enough to stay frozen, but not so cold that they develop freezer burn.
- Defrost As Needed: Unless you have a frost-free freezer where defrosting is not necessary, a few times a year you'll need to empty out the freezer and defrost it. Ice that builds up on the inside walls of the freezer can poorly affect the freezer’s efficiency, and it takes up storage space you could be using for more food. A good rule of thumb is when there's at least a quarter-inch of ice build-up inside the freezer, it's time to defrost.
Do you have a freezer that thaws your heart every time you look at it? Tell us about it in the comments below!