Freezer vs Deep Freezer | Appliance Comparison Guide

freezer and deep freezer comparison

Upright freezers and deep freezers are two kinds of refrigerators that are great for preserving frozen foods.

Despite freezing food at the same temperature, these two appliances have varying features that have sparked the freezer vs deep freezer debate.

So we’re going to delve into the deep freezer vs freezer debate to help you make the right purchasing decision. Let’s find out the differences between an upright freezer and a deep freezer.

Jump to Section


What Are the Main Differences between A Freezer and A Deep Freezer?

The main difference between a freezer and a deep freezer is in their orientation or appearance.

A freezer stands vertically like a refrigerator and has swing doors that open from left to right or vice versa. While a deep freezer is wide, sits horizontally on the floor, and opens like a chest.

The second main difference between a freezer and a deep freezer is in their storage capacity.

A freezer comes with shelves, drawers, and compartments for storing and organizing food and other items so they’re easily accessible. While a deep freezer has no shelves, drawers, or compartments, and this makes it have a larger storage capacity to store larger items and for longer periods.  

To know the best freezer style that’ll suit you and your family’s needs and lifestyle, we’ll look at both freezers individually.

What is a freezer? A freezer, also called an upright freezer, stand up freezer, or fridge freezer, is a kitchen appliance that stands horizontally like a fridge. It is used for freezing and storing food and other items like fruits and vegetables.

Fridge freezers have swing doors that open from either the left or right. And the average freezer can be as tall as 10 – 21 cubic feet and has the capacity to fit 150 liters of food.

There are stationary shelves on the doors of fridge freezers for holding little items (like in refrigerators). There are also pull-out and adjustable shelves for organizing larger frozen foods and other items. And at the bottom of upright freezers, there are drawers and compartments to grant you easy access to ice cream and frozen novelties.

This shelving style makes it easy to reach any item in the freezer: however, it makes them not have enough space to store bulky items.

Despite stand up freezer units being able to keep foods frozen at -18°C (0°F), they are not very energy-efficient. This is because their standing position and the small gaps in their doors make them lose more cold air when they’re opened.

What is a deep freezer? A deep freezer, also called a chest freezer, is a refrigerator that sits vertically and is used to preserve frozen food. They’re mostly rectangular or cube-shaped, and they have lids or lift-up doors that you can open from above.

Deep freezers offer a lot of storage space as they can store items of up to 100 to 510 liters. Their capacities range from 10 to 25 cubic feet. While their depths allow them to be able to accommodate large and odd-shaped items, it makes it difficult and uncomfortable to access their content.

Chest freezers don’t come with shelves: however, some models have wire racks (that move back and forth along a rail), storage baskets, or compartments. Some have their drawers at the bottom for organizing foods and items.

Chest freezers preserve food at 18°C (0°F), and they keep food frozen for a very long time. And they’re more energy efficient; this is because they have powerful side-wall insulators that can keep them cold for a long time, and they don’t lose so much cold air when opened.

What are the advantages of a freezer when compared to a deep freezer?

The advantages of a fridge freezer, when compared to a deep freezer, are that it comes with more shelves for organizing items, saves space, and is easier to maintain.

Better organization and comfort

An upright freezer is designed to look like a regular refrigerator in that it has shelves and compartments for organizing foods and items in the container. And this makes it more comfortable to access items in the unit when compared to a deep freezer. Here's how to use a freezer.

Deep freezers, on the other hand, sit vertical to the ground and don’t come with shelves. Although you may find a wire rack and/or a compartment for arranging its content, you’ll have to bend a lot to reach its content. 

Secondly, because there are no shelves, items are stacked on each other, so it may take a long time or be inconvenient to sort items at the bottom of a chest freezer.

Better appearance

When compared to deep freezers, stand up freezers come in more colors and finishes that make them look flush with the other appliances and fixtures in a kitchen. Its refrigerator-style design also gives it an appearance that pairs well in a kitchen. Whereas, a chest freezer comes in a few color options, mostly white.

Saves space

An upright freezer can fit in the position of a fridge. It has a smaller footprint when compared to a chest freezer: this makes it take up smaller floor space in the kitchen. While chest freezers are wider (even for small units) and have square or rectangular shapes: this makes them take up more floor space.

A 22-cubic foot fridge freezer will take up 2.5 x 2.5 ft of floor space while a chest freezer of the same dimension will use up 2 x 6 ft of floor space.

Easy to clean and maintain

Manually defrosting a fridge can be quite a difficult and time-consuming task: Automatic defrosting also reduces maintenance costs.

The good thing is that most upright freezers are easy to maintain because they are self-defrosting. When set to auto-defrost, the fridge thaws so you can easily wipe it down. This is less stressful and saves you cleaning time.

Deep models, on the other hand, mostly have manual defrost systems: this means you’ll have to thaw and drain the fridge by yourself before cleaning. This is more stressful (especially since you’ll be bending over for a long time), and you may spend hours or a whole day defrosting a chest unit.

What are the advantages of a deep freezer when compared to a freezer?

The advantages of a deep freezer when compared to a fridge freezer are that they provide the user a larger capacity, they’re more energy-efficient and can maintain a stable temperature. They also cost less and have a longer lifetime expectancy.

Larger storage space

Chest freezer have 20% more usable space than upright freezers. When compared to a stand up freezer, deep freezers have larger capacities (plus some modern models come with some baskets for arranging items). You can fit larger and taller items like a 100 lb. pig in a deep freezer whereas, that’s not possible with a freezer.

A 10 cu. ft chest freezer will carry more items and frozen foods than an upright freezer of the same size. Also, deep freezers can carry 100 to 510 liters of items while a fridge freezer will only carry around 150 liters.

More consistent temperature

Chest freezers have more consistent temperatures due to the absence of a self-defrosting system. They can maintain a stable temperature at -18°C (0°F)

Also, because the air circulation in a deep freezer is less than in a fridge freezer, it reduces the risk of foods stored in them having freezer burn.

Less noisy

Deep freezers usually have quieter compressors than fridge freezers. And due to their manual defrost systems, they don’t make as much noise as upright models. Upright models, on the other hand, have automatic defrost systems with cycles that are noisy.

Keep in mind that it’s only manual defrost chest models that have quieter operations.

More energy efficient

When compared to uprights, deep freezers use less electricity and are more energy-efficient than uprights. Also, thebautomatic defrost feature of uprights consumes more energy. A deep freezer will cost around $4 a month to run while a stand up model will cost around $14.

Secondly, cold air escapes faster when you open the door of an upright freezer and there are small gaps that also lose little amounts of cold air. For chest models, they have an airtight locking seal to ensure cold air doesn’t escape: this reduces the amount of energy it takes to keep food cold.

Third, chest freezers come with sidewall insulation to keep food frozen for longer periods. This way, if there’s a power outage, a freezer can still freeze your frozen foods for 2 to 3 days. On the other hand, uprights don’t come with as much insulation, so foods tend to spoil faster. 

Longer lifespan

Deep freezers last longer than fridge freezers. Typically, a deep freezer has a lifetime expectancy of 15 to 20 years whereas the lifespan of an upright freezer is 10 to 15 years.

One of the reasons deep freezers last longer is that they don’t overheat or leak fluids. In addition, their shapes have a role to play in their longevity, and deep freezers are built to last long. Chest freezers also have fewer components – than upright freezers – that can become faulty. Also, the automatic heating in uprights will wear down with time.


Chest freezers cost less than fridge freezers, and they’re more economical as they use less electricity. Usually, a deep freezer will cost around $100 less than a fridge freezer.

A 14 cu. ft chest freezer costs between $500 and $700, and after paying the installation fee of between $100 and $250, the total cost of the chest freezer will amount to $600 and $950.

On the other hand, the price of 14 cu. ft upright freezers range between $600 and $800. Installation costs around $100 and $350, bringing the total cost to around $700 and $1,150.

Deep Freezer vs freezer

Which One Is more Usable in the Kitchen Between An Upright Freezer and A Chest Freezer?

A chest freezer is more usable in a kitchen because of its size, energy efficiency, and ability to preserve frozen food for a long time. However, the usability of these freezer models depends on your needs and living conditions.

If you stock a lot of prepackaged foods like meat and seafood, a chest freezer will be more useful as it’ll cut the number of trips to the grocery store and preserve your food longer than an upright model. You’ll also be able to store large, tall, and odd-shaped items.

But if you don’t cook much, a fridge freezer will be a better option in your kitchen.

Just in case you’re asking, “Is an upright freezer the same as a deep freezer?” An upright freezer is different from a deep freezer.

An upright freezer is shaped horizontally like a standard refrigerator, and it comes with shelves, drawers, and compartments for organizing items, while a deep freezer has a vertical orientation and has more space for storing large frozen foods.

What foods can you store in an upright freezer?

You can preserve the following foods in an upright freezer;

  • Vegetable scraps
  • Pre-processed smoothie ingredients
  • Stew, soup, and casserole
  • Rice, whole grain flour, and other grains
  • Dairy products: milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt
  • Fresh herbs
  • Bread, tortilla, pastry, and other baked items
  • Cooked, uncooked, and cured meat and poultry: steak, minced meat, chops, roast, bacon, ham, chicken, and turkey
  • Ginger
  • Cooked pastas and noodles
  • Ready-to-cook meals: broth
  • Nuts and beans
  • Eggs
  • Frozen dinner: pizza, lasagna
  • Ripe bananas
  • Cookie dough

Here are some of the other best uses of freezers. And you shouldn’t freeze the following foods as a freezer will reduce their quality;

  • Fruits and vegetables rich in water; water melon, lettuce, and cucumber
  • Mayonnaise
  • Raw eggs in their shells
  • Fried foods
  • Foods with crumb base
  • Canned foods
  • Salad greens
  • Cottage and low-fat cream cheese

You can organize food in the fridge freezer by placing them using this arrangement;

  • Door: butter, bread, nuts, and whole grains
  • Top drawer: frozen fruit, ice cream, prepared foods
  • Middle drawer: soups, vegetables, and chips
  • Bottom drawer: meat, poultry, and fish

What foods can you store in a deep freezer?

In addition to the items you can store in a fridge freezer, you can store the following in a deep freezer;

  • Flour: millet, oat, and maida flours
  • Spice powder
  • Dried fruits and nuts: figs, raisins, and apricots
  • Grated coconut
  • Fresh seasonal vegetables: green chickpeas
  • Pulse and dals

Can a fridge freezer and a chest freezer be paired together?

Yes, you can pair a fridge freezer and a chest freezer together in a kitchen. A chest freezer is designed to hold large items for a longer time while a fridge freezer is better suited to carrying smaller items that you’ll use soon.

What are the instances where you can use a fridge freezer and a chest freezer together?

You can organize small items in your fridge freezer while you store larger items like a 100 lb. pig (that can’t fit in a fridge freezer) in your deep freezer.

Secondly, if you or any member of your household has a problematic back, you can store ready-to-use items in a fridge freezer as it’ll be easier to access them. While you can store other foods with more long-term use in your chest freezer.

What are the instances where a fridge freezer and a chest freezer should never be used together?

Both a fridge freezer and a chest freezer are used in storing foods, so if you don’t cook often or stock a lot of pre-packaged or seasonal foods, there’s no point having both refrigerators.

Secondly, if you or any member of your household don’t have back issues, using either of the two freezers will suffice.

What to Consider when Buying A Fridge Freezer or A Deep Freezer

There are different types of freezers that come with appealing features. Some of the features will be worth it while others may be unnecessary. We’re going to find out which of these features matter to you and are worth investing in.

What’s your living condition?

The primary factor that’ll determine if a freezer is a worthy investment for your kitchen is your living condition.

The factors to consider when choosing between a fridge freezer and a deep freezer is the number of people living with you, how often you cook, what you expect to get out of your new freezer, how long you store food, and if you have issues bending over or not.

How much space do you need to install a freezer?

One of the major factors that’ll determine if you’ll use an upright freezer or a chest freezer in your home is the installation space you have for the appliance. Reserving a very small floor space may impact your freezer’s performance as hot air will find it difficult to escape. So consider the space at the back of the unit for connecting it to an outlet.

Consequently, if you have a small kitchen, getting an upright freezer will be the best option as it saves space. And if you’re going with this unit, consider the door swing space, your preference between a right or left-hinged door, and how clear your wall is.

But if you store lots of seasonal foods or larger items, you can get a compact deep freezer (which will still take up more floor space than a stand up model). Keep in mind that as it offers you a smaller footprint, it won’t afford you generous food storage.

How energy-efficient is it?

While a freezer may come with great features for handling your fresh and frozen foods, if it isn’t energy-efficient it’ll cost you a lot more.

Chest freezers are more energy-efficient than upright freezers.

In one year, a 5 cubic foot chest freezer can use around 500 kWh which could set you back another $100. So before investing in a freezer, check the Energy Star rating or power consumption chart to determine if your desired model will save or run down your electricity bill.

How organized are you?

If you love arranging your items by date, kind of foodstuff, reheating time, a fridge freezer will probably be the best unit for you. But if you don’t mind placing things anywhere, a deep freezer won’t give you any arrangement headaches.

Do you often have power outages?

If you live in an area with electricity issues, a chest freezer may be the best for you as they can keep your food frozen for 2 – 3 days without electricity.

Do you need high-end features?

Modern freezers come with features to make your life easier. Some of the features include smart technology, auto-defrost, and shelves for accessing items in the unit.

While these features are exciting, they’ll impact how much you’ll pay for your new freezer. But if all you just want to do is store food, you’ll do great with the basic features.

What’s your budget?

First, chest freezers cost less than upright freezers. But when choosing a freezer, not only do you consider the cost of buying one, you also have to consider the long-term costs.

Getting an energy-efficient model (even though it’s quite expensive) will pay off in the long run. Also, paying for high-end features like auto-defrost will cost you more but they’ll make your life easier.

comparison of freezer and deep freezer

What Are the Best Brands for Freezers?

The 5 best brands making the best freezers are Danby, GE, Avanti, Frigidaire, and EdgeStar.


Danby makes some of the most energy-efficient freezers. Their products are durable and very efficient at preserving food for a long time.


GE is one of the best freezer-making brands. Their products are highly functional and one of their strong selling points is their durability. Generally, their units get lots of positive reviews from raving fans.


Avanti makes all sorts of freezers with appealing aesthetic designs. However, their best features are their efficiency and durability. They’re also designed to take up little space in the kitchen while having enough food space.


Frigidaire is one of the most popular brands making the best freezers. Some of their models are so efficient that they earn 5-star ratings. Their freezers are affordable and reliable.


If you’re looking for quiet cooling, EdgeStar is one of the best brands making some of the best quiet freezers. Their units are portable and can be transported when going on long trips. They’re also highly efficient and have lots of positive reviews.

What Are the Best Brands for Deep Freezers?

The 5 best brands making the best chest freezers are Danby, Avanti, Midea, Frigidaire, Whynter.

Download Free Chart Now!

Your email will be used only to confirm your request and to provide free kitchen information. By submitting your info on this form, you are agreeing to be contacted regarding your service request by means of email. This is no obligation form and doesn’t require you to purchase any service.