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What's behind our freezer Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 42 models in freezers to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall Score is based on temperature performance, energy efficiency, ease of use, and noise.
  • Temperature performance
    Temperature performance combines results of several tests that measure how closely the manufacturer's recommended settings matched the ideal temperature at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and how well a model kept optimum temperatures in all parts of the freezer despite constant changes in room temperature ranging from 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Energy efficiency
    Energy efficiency reflects energy use for the usable volume (our measurement) based on average energy costs.
  • Power outage
    Power outage is the freezer's ability to stay cold after the electricity goes out.
  • Noise
    Noise level is measured when the compressor started up and during steady running. Subjective judgments by a panel of listeners supplemented our noise-meter readings.
  • Ease of use
    This assesses features and design including layout, controls, and lighting.
  • Energy cost/yr.
    Energy cost is estimated cost in dollars, based on the current year's average national electricity rate. Your cost will vary depending on the rate for electricity in your area.


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Recommended freezers

Recommended freezers are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Before you go shopping for a freezer, decide whether a chest freezer or an upright freezer would better meet your needs. Then choose a model based on size, capacity, and energy efficiency. If you're looking for information about freezers, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ freezer reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our freezer buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and freezer reviews to help you choose the best freezer for your needs.

Freezer buying guide

Stand-alone freezers used to be all about utility, with no-frills designs and an open-box interior that made it a challenge to keep foods organized. Those bare-bones freezers are still available--and many of them do well in our Ratings--but we're also seeing a lot of improvements to the look and functionality of freezers. That might be important if you want your freezer to hold a variety items, from trays of homemade to lasagna to five-pound bags of frozen veggies from the warehouse club, or if you plan to keep the freezer in a living area, as opposed to a dark corner of the basement or garage. Whatever your needs, our Ratings of dozens of new freezers should lead you to the right model.

Start by derciding whether a chest freezer or an upright freezer is a better fit. Then choose a model based on size, capacity, storage features, and energy efficiency. Here are the key points to guide you through the decision process.

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