Best Freezers With Smart Storage Features

Well-designed chest and upright freezers that make it easy to find your food—and perform well in CR's freezer tests

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When it comes to major appliances, freezers are about as no-frills as you can get—basically they’re big empty boxes. And the bigger they are, the harder they are to organize. That’s especially true for chest freezers where your food can get lost in the deep recesses. But even some upright freezers are short on organizational help.

Fortunately, more of today’s models are designed to make it easier to find what you’re looking for, from tiered storage bins in chest freezers to adjustable drawers and shelves in upright freezers. We compared the built-in storage features on some of the largest of our top-performing freezers—those with 10 cubic feet of storage or more—and highlight them below.

Before you shop, decide how much freezer capacity you need and what you’ll be storing. Are you a big warehouse shopper, or do you have a bounty of vegetables from your garden? Maybe you like to cook in batches. Does your family fish or buy large cuts of meat? Or maybe all you need is a place to stack boxes of chicken nuggets and frozen pizza.

More on Freezers & Fridges

“You’ll also want to consider the type of freezer,” says Joseph Pacella, the test engineer who oversees our freezer tests. “Chest freezers usually offer more usable storage space than upright models, but upright models come in self-defrosting configurations, which eliminate the hassle of periodically emptying the freezer to let it defrost.”

If the storage options of the freezer you’re considering aren’t to your liking, manufacturers often sell extra shelves or bins separately. Or you can buy bins designed for refrigerators and freezers at retailers that specialize in home organization.

In addition to testing freezers for how well they hit and hold the recommended temperature of 0 degrees, our engineers measure usable storage capacity, which doesn’t always match what manufacturers claim. Check the features and specs section of our freezer ratings for the deatils.

For more information, read our freezer buying guide and for even more options, check out our full freezer ratings and recommendations.

Chest Freezers

Chest freezers can be more than 30 inches deep, making it difficult to reach the bottom, never mind find what’s there. To tame the chaos, look for models with as many bins and dividers as possible. These four range in capacity from 10.6 cubic feet to 21.5.

Upright Freezers

Designed more like a refrigerator, upright freezers are easier to organize than chest freezers. They’re equipped with shelves and with the contents stacked at eye level or below, it’s easier to take inventory. The five here range in capacity from 11 cubic feet to 16.3.

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.

Home Content Creator Daniel Wroclawski

Daniel Wroclawski

I'm obsessed with smart home tech and channel my obsession into new stories for Consumer Reports. When I'm not writing about products, I spend time either outside hiking and skiing or up in the air in small airplanes. For my latest obsessions, follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@danwroc).