A freezer is one of the most valuable appliances to have in your kitchen.

It can help you to stock up on food so that you don’t have to rush out and buy food when you need it at the last minute, while also helping you store foods that need to remain frozen, such as ice cream and ice cubes. But, you don’t need to buy a large freezer.

How much freezer capacity do you really need?

You should aim to have 1.5 cubic feet of freezer space for every person in your household, so a family that consists of four members will need a freezer that’s at least six cubic feet.

A chest freezer can come to the rescue to give you what your household needs as you can find chest freezers that range from 10 to 25 cubic feet. However, there are some important drawbacks to consider. So, with that in mind, let’s explore if you need to buy a small chest freezer.

What To Know About Small Chest Freezers

Small Chest Freezer Russell Hobbs

Chest Freezer Pros

  • Chest freezers usually have approximately 20 percent more usable space than what you’ll find in an upright freezer.
  • Air won’t circulate through a chest freezer as much as it does in other freezers. This prevents freezer burn on your food, which can be annoying as it alters the taste and texture of your food.
  • Chest freezer temperatures are consistent because these freezers don’t have self-defrosting systems in place.
  • During a power outage, a chest freezer will keep your food frozen for longer periods of time than what you’ll experience with an upright freezer. This will preserve your food for longer.
  • Chest freezers are cheaper than upright freezers.

Chest Freezer Cons

  • It’s not always easy to organise items in your chest freezer as opposed to upright freezers because of a lack of shelves.
  • These freezers take up more floor space, which can be a problem if your kitchen is small.
  • When trying to retrieve items from the bottom of the freezer, you’ll have to stretch and bend, which can be uncomfortable.
  • These freezers are more difficult to defrost. They need to be unplugged, drained, and then cleaned. By comparison some upright freezers can defrost themselves.

Are Chest Freezers Energy-Efficient?

Energy Efficient

One of the best things about chest freezers is that they are more energy efficient than upright freezers.

This is because of some important factors:

  • Chest freezers have airtight locking seals. This keeps the food you’re storing inside them fresh and frozen. These seals mean that the appliance can use less energy to keep the food cold.
    By comparison, upright freezer models have small gaps in their door mechanisms, which means that there’s an energy loss experienced.
  • Chest freezers can keep your food frozen for up to three days if the power goes out! That’s thanks (again) to the seals on the outside rim of the chest freezer.
    By comparison, upright freezers are only capable of keeping items frozen for about a day if there’s an outage.

Tips For Buying A Chest Freezer

Tips For Buying A Chest Freezer

Ready to take the plunge and buy a chest freezer?

Here are some important things to consider.

Check Its Measurements

If you want to purchase a chest freezer, it’s important that you ensure you take the freezer’s measurements before it gets delivered to your home. This is because chest freezers are large and wide, and they might not always fit properly through the doors of your home.

Consider the path that you’ll have to take through your home to install the freezer in your kitchen so that you’re sure that it will fit.

Consider Its Cubic Feet

Chest freezer capacity is measured in cubic feet. Generally, small chest freezers will be up to 10 cubic feet and are ideal if you’re living with a partner and/or you have a child.

If you have more household members than that, it’s a good idea to move up to a medium chest freezer as that will give you between 12 and 18 cubic feet.

Look for Its Legs

Since you’re going to have to manually defrost your chest freezer from time to time, it helps if the model you want to buy has adjustable legs.

Other features that will make defrosting and cleaning your chest freezer easier include an easy-access defrost drain and smooth instead of textured interior walls.

Extra Features Are Worth Considering

While you don’t necessarily need a lock for your freezer door because of how this freezer is designed, with its door closing downwards instead of to the side, an interior light is always useful as it will help you to find what you’re looking for when you open the freezer door.

A low decibel rating is also worth considering. If your freezer is going to be in an area of the home where you want to reduce noise, it’s worth checking for a low decibel model.

Check for an Energy-Efficient Appliance

This is important no matter what kind of freezer you have. It will ensure that the appliance works effectively without wasting electricity.

However, the good thing about chest freezers is that they’re already much more energy efficient than other freezers as a result of how they’re designed.

When it comes to energy efficient labels, it’s important to remember that smaller freezers will be more energy efficient than larger ones, even if the larger ones have a higher energy label.

So, that means a small A+ rated freezer will still be a better choice over a larger A+++ model, especially if you don’t need the extra freezer space.

How To Organise A Small Chest Freezer

Organized Chest Freezer Wire Baskets

If you’ve decided you want to purchase a small chest freezer for your home, it’s worth knowing how to organise foods in it so you can make the most of the space you have at your disposal.

Here are some tips.

  • Use bags for different food items. While you might think of using metal baskets in a chest freezer, these can potentially damage the freezer surface. Why not use canvas bags instead? These make it easy to organise different food according to different categories, and as the bag empties it collapses so you will save space. Just make sure that the bags have a flat bottom so that they will stand upright.
  • Make use of a whiteboard. Prevent food from spoiling at the bottom of your chest freezer by attaching a white board on the freezer. This will enable you to have a quick inventory of what’s inside it at all times, but just remember to update it regularly.
  • Put labels on containers. Whether you’re using slide drawers or bags to store your foods in your chest freezer, it’s always good to label the foods. You can do this by putting labels on the drawers or bags themselves, such as “vegetables” or “meat” so you know what’s in them.
  • Be sure to put what you need on top. The last thing you want to have to do is reach all the way into a chest freezer to retrieve last night’s curry. So, always make sure that you organise food according to what you’ll need first. Leftovers should be as close to the top as possible. Food that takes longer to expire can be put closer to the bottom. Just make a note on your whiteboard of expiry dates so that food doesn’t go to waste!

By organising the foods that are inside your freezer with the above tips, you’ll be able to make the most of this valuable appliance.

Related Questions

Small Chest Freezer Questions

How long do chest freezers last?

Chest freezers have a pretty long lifespan of between 15 and 20 years, while upright freezers will only last for up to 15 years.

This is because chest freezers don’t overheat or leak.

How often should you defrost a chest freezer?

Generally, you can defrost your chest freezer once or twice a year to prevent ice from building up. However, if you see that the ice buildup is thicker than about ¼ inches, you should go ahead and defrost it to keep it clean and working effectively.


If you’re looking to buy a freezer, you might want to consider a chest freezer. It can save some space in the home while being cheaper to purchase. There are some important things to know about small chest freezers, though.

This is why in this article we’ve looked at the pros and cons of this freezer type as well as featured information about how to shop for the best chest freezer on the market that will fit into your kitchen and your lifestyle.


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