Best Freezers of 2021

You can count on these chest and upright models from Consumer Reports' tests

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testing freezer
Project leader Joseph Pacella places temperature sensors inside a freezer in CR's test lab.
Brian Finke

Tired of trying to stuff those 4-pound bags of Costco frozen berries into your fridge’s freezer compartment? No space for all those tasty frozen entrées and appetizers from Trader Joe's? Maybe it’s time to buy a standalone freezer.

Consumer Reports' latest freezer ratings cover more than 50 freezers in a wide range of sizes and prices. And the scores vary significantly, with the best rating a 91 out of a possible 100 and the worst getting only a 14. Below are the best freezers from our tests.

We test freezers under normal and adverse conditions. (If there's ever a power outage, you want a model that keeps your food frozen for as long as possible.) To see how well a freezer maintains food at a constant temperature on a day-to-day basis, we pack each model with boxes of frozen spinach and measure the internal temperature of the cavity in 15 different places over the course of six weeks. But that’s just the beginning.

More on Freezers

To simulate a power outage, we raise the temperature in the test chamber to 90° F, then unplug the loaded freezer for nine hours. “We test them in a warm room because summer is often when the power goes out,” says Larry Ciufo, who analyzes our refrigerator test data. In the best freezers, the temp rises by just a few degrees. But the worst show a temperature spike of 25° F more, which means food can start to thaw.

Freezers come in two styles: chest and upright. If you’re planning to put yours in a basement or another out-of-the way place, consider a chest freezer. Just keep in mind that they can be as big as a small sofa. Consider an upright model if you’re putting the freezer in your kitchen. Some uprights are available in different finishes that you can match to your kitchen suite. (Chest freezers usually come in basic white.) For more on the pros and cons of each type, see our freezer buying guide.

Best Chest Freezers From CR's Tests

Chest freezers don't come with a self-defrosting feature, which means you’ll have to take the food out periodically to defrost your freezer manually. These deep freezers can also be difficult to organize, especially the larger ones.

The Best Upright Freezers

Some upright freezers come with a self-defrost feature, so you don’t have to take everything out to defrost it. In our tests, the self-defrosting models perform better than manual-defrost models. Uprights usually cost more to run than chest freezers.


Mary H.J. Farrell

Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.