Having a chest freezer at home – whether in your kitchen, garage, or outbuilding – means you can take advantage of those big supermarket sales, because you’ll have the room to buy fresh and frozen foods in bulk, saving yourself money and cutting down on shopping trips to restock the fridge.
Remember the madness of the first lockdown in the UK? Panic buying left supermarket shelves empty and supply chains struggled to keep up.
Though things have calmed down and shops are well stocked (for now), it was a scary reminder of the importance of a well-stocked freezer at home. A chest freezer allows you to store many months of essential foods – fruits, vegetables, fresh meats, and of course – ice cream, so you don’t need to worry about the next stampede of panic buyers.
With the massive storage advantages of these freezers now apparent, it’s no wonder they’re in such high demand. Take a scroll through our curated list of the top five best chest freezers available to buy online, today that will work perfectly in a garage or shed.
1. Russell Hobbs Black 292 Litre Chest Freezer
With a large 293 litres of internal storage space, this Russell Hobbs chest freezer is ideal for medium / large households. To put the capacity into perspective, you could store 16 full shopping bags inside. It has a “Winter Shield” which makes it perfect for the garage, shed or outbuilding where it gets very cold in the winter.
Of course, it makes a great addition to any kitchen with its quality black finish and metal back flame-retardant material.
Thanks to a top-mounted counterbalanced lid, it’s extremely easy to open and close. Within the freezer are handing baskets that let you separate your foods neatly into sections. It operates with a superb A+ energy rating and can be easily moved around on its strong caster wheels.
2. Haier HCE203R Chest Freezer
Built by Haier, this compact yet spacious white freezer is the perfect companion to expand your food storage capacity at home. It has an A+ energy consumption rating that tells you it is energy efficient and won’t use a lot of power. Don’t let the compact size trick you into thinking that it doesn’t have the space that you need though because this freezer can handle any shopping trip.
It has a frost-free system that keeps the inside from freezing and a door that you can lock to keep animals and your kids out. This freezer will keep food cold for up to 37 hours after a power outage because of the microcellular foam insulation and galvanised aluminium coating.
Related: Best Reliable Fridge Freezers
3. Russell Hobbs 99 Litre Chest Freezer
If you have limited space in your home and worry that you don’t have room for a chest freezer, consider this compact Russell Hobbs 99L freezer. Though it has a smaller size to save space, the interior has lots of room for frozen goods. It comes in a deep black finish that helps the freezer match the other appliances that you have.
A small wire basket attaches to the top of the freezer and lets you keep the products that you use most often close to hand – or you can use this for date rotation. Measuring 85 cm by 56.5 cm by 52.3 cm, it’s one of the most compact chest freezers on the market.
4. Zanussi Chest Freezer: ZCAN26FW1
Thanks to the large “OptiSpace” interior and tall sides, this chest freezer is big enough to store tall bottles upright, and other large items. It comes with a five-year warranty that covers the compressor and other parts to give you peace of mind.
Almost all fridge freezers have an interior light that illuminates when you open the door, it’s a handy feature for late-night snacking or when looking for food in low light. Well, Zanussi has added the same built-in light for excellent visibility, even in a pitch-dark room.
Your warranty even covers the cost of having someone come out to refill the gas, should that ever need to be done. The electronic control makes it easy to adjust the settings and get the temperature that you want. You also get baskets that stack on top of each other for organizing and it runs at a quiet 42Db.
5. SIA CHF100B 48CM Freestanding Chest Freezer
Why settle for just the space available in your normal freezer when you can bring home this freestanding unit? It gets good ratings from shoppers who like the 48-centimetre width that helps it save space and the A+ rating that reduces the energy that it uses.
With seven temperature settings, this freezer helps you easily change the tempo and get the inside as cold as you need. Whether you want to clean it out or move it to a new spot, you can use the manual defrost to remove all of the ice inside.
Things to Consider When Buying a New Chest Freezer
Buying the best chest freezer today can save you hassles and frustrations in the future. Before you buy any of the top freezers or look at other models, use our buying guide to make sure that you know what to consider as well as the top features.
Chest freezers that include one or more storage baskets are popular for a few reasons. Many like that the baskets let them keep the ingredients and products that they use regularly close by and prevent them from digging to find what they need. Others like that these baskets help them organize smaller items that would otherwise get lost. If you keep open bags in your freezer, the baskets keep the bags from falling over and spilling the ingredients too.
Chest Freezer Energy Rating
Checking out the energy rating on a chest freezer helps you see how much energy it uses and whether it will affect your power bills. Though the highest rating available is A+++, most of the chest freezers on the market have an A+ rating. Freezers with the highest rating have the smallest impact on your energy bills.
Depending on where you use the chest freezer, you might look for one with a temperature warning. When something happens that affects the interior temperature, this warning alerts you of the problem. While some appliances cause lights to flash when the temperature gets too high, others issue a loud beeping sound.
Cleaning out the inside and getting rid of the ice that builds up is an important part of owning a chest freezer. Some of the top models have an automatic defrost setting. You just need to press one button and come back a little later to find all of the ice gone. Cheaper models often lack this feature and require that you manually defrost them a few times a year.
Counter Balanced Lid
Freezers with a counterbalanced lid help you avoid some of the frustrations associated with putting away your groceries. This type of lid has extra weights inside that keep the lid upright when you lift it. If you choose one with a different lid, it might close on you unless you keep one hand on it.
Power Failure Protection
If you live in an area that frequently experiences blackouts, look for chest freezers with power failure protection. This feature maintains the interior temperature and ensures that foods stay frozen for 24 hours or longer. Some have a light that flashes to let you know the freezer lost power. As long as you keep the lid closed, you don’t need to throw out food after a power failure.
Door Safety Lock
Locking lids are a must-have for those who live in the city or the country. When you lock the lid, you ensure that wild animals and pets stay out, including mice and other rodents. Locking lids are also helpful for families with small kids. You can lock the freezer to keep the little ones out of the ice cream and to prevent them from climbing inside.
Low Noise Chest Freezer
The noise rating of an appliance isn’t as important to some as it is to others. All appliances produce some noise as they run, but those that are louder can interfere with your daily activities. As you look at product descriptions, check the decibel rating. A higher rating means that the freezer will run louder than one with a lower rating does.
Where Will You Put the freezer?
Before buying a chest freezer, think of how much space you have available and how much room you need. Some of the smallest freezers can fit beneath your cabinets or a corner of your kitchen. They have a square shape and measure as little as 54 centimetres tall and wide.
Larger freezers have a rectangular design and give you more room. These models can be 115 to 120 centimetres long or longer. While you might find a bigger freezer tempting, keep in mind that buying one too large can result in wasted space as well as higher energy bills.
Upright vs. Freestanding Models
The top five best chest freezers that we found are all freestanding models designed to work independently of a refrigerator. A chest freezer has a wide or squat base and a lid that you lift. An upright freezer is similar to a traditional refrigerator because it is usually taller and has a door that swings open.
If you have limited space, a chest freezer is the best option for you. Upright freezers require more space in front of the appliance but may have more interior space.
Internal Storage Capacity
In addition to the size, consider the capacity of the freezer. Most of these appliances hold between 100 and 300 litres. Those on the smaller size are suitable for couples and small families. If you have a larger home or want to store enough food for a whole season, go with a larger model. A home with four to six people would benefit from one with a capacity of 220 litres or more.
No matter where you want to use a new freezer, look for one that has interior lights. LEDs are usually better than other lights because they are brighter and last longer. The lights automatically come on when you open the lid to help you see inside.
Temperature Range and Controls
We also recommend looking at the temperature range and features like fast freeze to make sure that the freezer can get as cold as you want. If you keep the appliance in a basement or garage, you want to make sure that the temperature of the surrounding space inside and outside doesn’t affect the temperature inside the freezer.