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Best chest freezers for extra frozen food storage 2024

Is your regular freezer filled to the brim? A chest freezer can be a great option for extra food storage, plus they work particularly well for large families. Here's our pick of the best.

By Gemma Lumley | Last updated Jan 5, 2024

Selection of the best chest freezers

Whether you have a large family, are dedicated to batch cooking, or are an allotment holder looking for somewhere to store your treasures come harvest time, the best chest freezer is an easy way to store frozen food long-term.

If you don’t have the kitchen space for the best American fridge freezer or a tall, upright freezer, a compact chest version could be the answer. However, though they're shorter, these freezers don't compromise on capacity - as they don't have shelves and drawers that take up room, they offer impressive storage space. Some models can also be kept in the garage too, ideal if you want something for occasional use out of the way, for example in the summer for ice creams or in September when you have a glut of veg.

To help you choose the right one for your kitchen or garage, we’ve done all the hard work for you and have spent hours researching must-have chest freezers. Our first port of call was the Mumsnet forums, home to the largest online network of parents in the UK, where we scrutinised the brands our users had tried and tested. Every kitchen guide we produce - covering everything from the best cleaning products to the top oven cleaner to a range of high-quality appliances - starts with recommendations from our trusted army of Mumsnet users. We also analysed suggestions from home appliance experts and evaluated balanced customer reviews on various retailer sites to make sure we're only recommending you the very best.

Here are the best chest freezers 2024.

1. Best overall chest freezer: Hotpoint CS1A250HFA1 Chest Freezer

overall

Price on writing: £330 | Buy now from AO.com

Key specs

Energy rating: F | Dimensions: 69.8D x 101W x 91.6H cm | Capacity: 252 litres | Suitable for outbuildings: Yes | Temperature warning: Yes | Open door warning: Yes | Auto defrost: No

What we love

  • Low frost technology

  • Suitable for outbuildings

  • 10-year parts guarantee

What to know

  • Manual defrost

Our verdict

The Hotpoint CS1A250HFA1 Chest Freezer is a great size for families with an impressive 252 litres of storage space. Chest freezers are commonly used to freeze large batches of food, and the super freeze button on this model is ideal for this purpose. It freezes ambient temperature food 50% quicker, so all the goodness and taste are locked in, and products like chicken fillets will also freeze without sticking together.

One of the main downsides to chest freezers in comparison to upright models is that they can be quite disorganised; while the lack of shelves and drawers does allow for more useable storage space, it makes it a little harder to keep track of what's sitting at the bottom. This Hotpoint freezer solves that issue with a wire storage basket for small, easy-to-lose items and a counterbalanced lid that allows you to search without it falling on your head. It also has a handy interior light so you can see the contents clearly.

As with most chest freezers, it’s manual defrost. However, thanks to the low frost technology (called 'Frost Away' by Hotpoint), it doesn’t need to be defrosted as often, and when you do have to do it, it is much less messy and time consuming. All in all, we love this sturdy and durable freezer, but the real selling point is that it can be used in garages and unheated outbuildings so you can store it wherever you want.

2. Best budget chest freezer: Essentials C95CFW20 Chest Freezer

essentials

Price on writing: £129 | Buy now from Currys

Key specs

Energy rating: F | Dimensions: 85.4 x 54.5 x 47.7 cm (H x W x D) | Capacity: 95 litres | Suitable for outbuildings: Yes | Temperature warning: No | Open door warning: No | Auto defrost: No

What we love

  • Compact size

  • Easily accessible control panel

  • Great value

  • Suitable for garages

What to know

  • Manual defrost

  • Storage capacity is lower than some other options

Our verdict

The Essentials C95CFW20 Chest Freezer is our best buy chest freezer if you’re on a budget, and it is the ideal model if you’re short on space. It is compact, has a small footprint and will look great tucked into the corner of a kitchen, making it a great option for extra storage if you can’t quite fit everything in the best fridge freezer. In classic white, it will suit all home styles and is suitable for use in a garage or an unheated outbuilding.

This fantastic freezer will hold up to 95 litres, and it has a sturdy storage basket to keep all your small items, such as ice pops and small portions of leftovers that may otherwise get lost. In addition, the spacious freezer cavity will hold large or awkwardly shaped products.

If you need to alter the temperature, for a cold boost after the big shop for example, the control panel is on the outside of the freezer, so it’s easy to access. In addition, if you experience a power cut, you can be reassured that your new freezer will maintain its optimum temperature for 16 hours.

Read next: Wanting to kit out your whole kitchen with new appliances? We’ve carefully selected the best dishwasher for your home

3. Best chest freezer for garages: Beko CF1300APW Chest Freezer

Beko CF1300APW Chest Freezer

Price on writing: £459 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Energy rating: F | Dimensions: 86 (H) x 128.5 (W) x 72.5 (D) | Capacity: 360 litres | Suitable for outbuildings: Yes | Temperature warning: Yes | Open door warning: No |  Auto defrost: No

What we love

  • Three storage baskets

  • Large capacity

  • Fast freeze

  • Suitable for outbuildings

What to know

  • Manual defrost

What Mumsnet users say

"Make sure the freezer you buy is suitable for garages, not all of them are. Beko freezers are good for this." (Advice from Mumsnet user Laralana)

Our verdict

The Beko CF1300APW is our best chest freezer for outbuildings as it has an enormous capacity of 360 litres and will operate at temperatures as low as -15°C.

Many consumers complain that chest freezers are tricky to organise. This isn’t an issue with this Beko as it has three sturdy baskets for small items, such as ice creams and the things you use all the time, like frozen onions or peas.

If you require storage for a batch of food prep, the fast freeze function, which freezes items 10% faster, will be beneficial. The nutrition and flavour of your food will be locked in, and it will have less chance to stick together; no more smacking a frozen mass of chicken breasts against a worktop so you can just use one.

This fantastic freezer works hard to protect your food; a red warning light will appear when the interior gets too hot and it will keep at an optimum temperature for 24 hours if your home experiences a power cut. Plus, for more food freshness, you may wish to vacuum seal your food before storing it. Don’t miss our guide to the best vacuum sealer for optimising shelf life.

4. Best chest freezer for flexibility: Indesit OS1A200H2 Chest Freezer

Indesit Freestanding chest freezer: white colour - OS 1A 200 H2 1

Price on writing: £279 | Buy now from Very

Key specs

Energy rating: F | Dimensions: H 86.5, W 80.6, D 64.2 cm | Capacity: 200 litres | Suitable for outbuildings: No | Temperature warning: No | Open door warning: No | Auto defrost: No

What we love

  • You can switch it from a freezer to a fridge

  • 10-year parts guarantee

  • Lockable

What to know

  • Manual defrost

  • Not suitable for outbuildings

Our verdict

The Indesit OS1A200H2 Chest Freezer has a capacity of 204 litres, perfect for big families or Christmas prep. In addition, it has a strong storage basket for small items such as ice pops, so they don’t get lost in the depths and little hands can grab them.

We love the versatility of this brilliant freezer. It can be transformed into an overflow fridge if you need to store wine and beer for a party or plan a family picnic. Alternatively, the temperature can be dropped using the fast freeze feature, a great solution to the warming impact of introducing ambient temperature foods.

Consumer reviewers were impressed by how quiet this freezer is, so your guests won't be disturbed if you’re struggling with kitchen space and need to keep it in a spare bedroom. And if there's a power cut on Christmas Eve and your evening buffet is under threat, have no fear; this clever machine will keep everything safe for up to 36 hours.

Related: Discover the best dish rack and tea towels for all your hand washing needs

5. Best compact chest freezer: Bush BECF99L Chest Freezer

Bush BECF99L Chest Freezer

Price on writing: £169 | Buy now from Argos 

Key specs

Energy rating: F | Dimensions: H85 x W55 x D50cm | Capacity: 99 litres | Suitable for outbuildings: No | Temperature warning: No | Open door warning: No | Auto defrost: No

What we love

  • Great value

  • Compact

  • Quiet

What to know

  • Manual defrost

  • Not suitable for outbuildings

What Mumsnet users say

“I also bought the Bush chest freezer from Argos. Holds lots for the size and is really quiet. Instructions say it is not suitable for a garage or a shed.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user 30daysofflight)

Our verdict

The Bush BECF99L Chest Freezer is compact enough to fit unobtrusively in the corner of any room in the home. You’ll likely buy this freezer as an overflow for Christmas, summer BBQs or family gatherings. Happily, despite its diminutive size, it still has nearly 100 litres of capacity, around three bags of shopping.

Reviewers were thrilled with this fantastic little machine; it is almost silent which is a valuable feature if you plan to keep it in a spare bedroom or the dining room. Of course, as a smaller chest freezer, the contents are less likely to end up in chaos (or even be forgotten for years and have to be thrown away in your kitchen bin!), but the sturdy storage basket, which clips onto the rim, is still helpful for small items.

If you are rummaging around in the bottom of this surprisingly spacious freezer, the counterbalanced lid will allow you to do so without holding the lid. It makes cleaning and defrosting simpler too. Our biggest disappointment is that it can’t be used in outbuildings and has no open door alarm, so just make sure it’s properly closed after use.

Plus, for more compact cooling options, don't miss our guide to the best mini fridge.

6. Best large-capacity chest freezer: Haier HCE519F Chest Freezer

haier

Price on writing: £629 | Buy now from AO.com

Key specs

Energy rating: F | Dimensions: H84.5 x W165 x D74.5cm| Capacity: 519 litres | Suitable for outbuildings: No | Temperature warning: Yes | Open door warning: No | Auto defrost: No

What we love

  • Easily adjustable temperature controls

  • Enormous capacity

  • Counterbalanced lid

What to know

  • Manual defrost

  • Large footprint

  • Not suitable for outbuildings

Our verdict

The Haier HCE519F Chest Freezer is perfect for large families, small businesses and people who love growing fruit and veg. It has an incredible 519 litres of free space, equivalent to 28 bags of shopping.

You’ll need plenty of room for this colossal appliance, and it can't be stored in outbuildings. However, as it runs quietly, it would be an unobtrusive addition to a spare room or an open-plan kitchen. We love this freezer's range of high-spec features, from super freeze and easily adjustable temperature controls to an LED interior light and a lockable, counterbalanced lid.

In addition, this remarkably affordable freezer has a temperature warning light, and if you have a power cut, it will keep your food safe for 17 hours. Are you worried about losing food in the depths of this freezer? No problem; it comes with two generously-sized storage baskets.

Read next: Keep your pots sparkling clean with our pick of the best dishwasher tablets

Is a chest freezer worth it?

“Great capacity for big items (leg of lamb), less vulnerable to sudden defrosting if you have a power cut, and can be filled with as many loaves of bread as you like.” - Mumsnet user LynnThese4reSEXPEOPLE

You should only ever spend what you can afford, but if you have a large family and find yourself cramming food into your existing freezer and never finding anything, a chest freezer will be worth its weight in gold.

A spacious chest freezer will easily hold frozen food in the run-up to Christmas, the glut of apples your neighbour gave you for winter crumbles, and large joints of meat or whole sides of salmon. This will leave room in your kitchen freezer for everyday staples like frozen veg and fruit, meat and fish fillets, and ice cream.

Can I keep a chest freezer in the garage?

A chest freezer's natural home is the garage or an outbuilding attached to your home. However, not all models suit uninsulated spaces as they won’t work effectively under 10°C, and your warranty will be null and void.

If you have limited kitchen space, look out for chest freezers with freezer guards and ones that will work to temperatures as low as -15°C. Beko and Hotpoint are good brands to try as they have a wide range of models with this capability.

Do chest freezers have internal compartments?

Chest freezers rarely have drawers or shelves; they consist of one large space, and you place your frozen foods in one on top of the other and side by side. This can indeed feel chaotic, and when your freezer is full, finding the small items at the bottom can be challenging.

Most chest freezers, even compact models, will have a storage basket that sits over the rim for goods such as ice creams and small portions of leftovers. A large-capacity chest freezer may have two or three of these compartments; it is also possible to buy extras.

“Be completely ruthless about labelling things. NO, you won't remember what the brown stuff is, and even though it looks the same as the other brown stuff, it won't be, and someone will be having gravy for lunch.” - Tip from Mumsnet user LaurieSchafferIsAllBitterNow

“A hint here, from one who has spent far too much of her life rummaging through a chest freezer to find the thing I want: get a few bags for life, one for veg, one for meat, one for bread, one for sweeties etc. Makes it much easier to find anything.” - Advice from Mumsnet user Carolamc

What size chest freezer is best for my home?

This depends on the space you have available. Before you decide on your new appliance, double-check each freezer’s size and the measurements of where it will sit. Remember, models with the same capacity may not have the same dimensions.

If you’re deliberating between two sizes, choose the one with the lower capacity. A nearly full freezer is much more efficient than an empty one as there is less circulating air to cool.

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How long does a chest freezer last?

If you look after your chest freezer by defrosting it when needed and keeping it in an appropriate environment, it can last 15-20 years.

As a reflection of this expected longevity, most appliances will come with a warranty of at least a year, and some high-end models will have a 10-year parts guarantee.

How to choose the best chest freezer for you

Consider these features and benefits before purchasing when searching for a new chest freezer:

  • Capacity: The more you intend to store, the larger capacity you will need. A compact model will have around 90 litres, whereas some garage-friendly freezers will have over 400 litres of storage space. Don’t buy bigger than you regularly use; a half-empty freezer is less efficient than a full one.

  • Size: Even if you need a freezer with a huge capacity, if you don’t have the room, it may not be possible. Check the floor space available, including any required airflow and buy a freezer within those dimensions.

  • Energy efficiency: The new energy rating system, which came into effect in March 2021, is from A-G, and most chest freezers will have an F rating. Checking the annual energy consumption in kWh will give you a better idea of how much a particular model will cost to run.

  • Storage baskets: Chest freezers tend to consist of one big space which can be challenging to organise. If you’re likely to want to store small items or require easy access to everyday items like frozen veg and chopped onions or garlic, look for models that include one or even two wire storage baskets. These will clip over the side of the freezer, elevating them from the potential chaos below. They are also helpful for items that must be kept upright, like open packets of frozen beans or oven chips.

  • High-temperature alarm or light: These will alert you when your freezer gets too warm after cleaning and defrosting or introducing lots of non-frozen foods.

  • Temperature controls: These will be on a control panel that is hopefully easy to access. It will let you drop the temperature when an alert occurs.

  • Super freeze: This is usually a button, though sometimes sensors automatically control it. It delivers a boost of freezing air and will freeze incoming foods quickly, locking in nutrition and flavour and preventing chicken breasts or sausages from sticking together.

  • Counterbalanced lid: When looking for last week’s chilli, defrosting or cleaning, a lid that doesn’t close on you is handy. A counterbalanced lid will stay fixed so you can use both hands.

  • Lockable lid: If your chest freezer is in an unsecured outbuilding, this will prevent expensive joints of meat from being stolen. It is also a good idea if you have adventurous and curious young children who might climb inside and get trapped.

Which brand of chest freezer is the best?

The best chest freezer brand is either Hotpoint, the winner of our overall best title, or Beko, an affordable brand with a wide range of models.

Innovative features, robust materials and energy efficiency are important aspects of a chest freezer. If you choose well, your new appliance could serve your family for 20 years.

How we chose our recommendations

To find the top makes and models, we scoured recent chest freezer reviews on domestic technology sites to see what the experts were saying and what was new to the market, and assessed them against our criteria for what we’d choose for our own kitchens and garages.

We sought out opinions on the Mumsnet forums to discover the chest freezer brands our users had tried and loved. We also looked out for any tips Mumsnetters had for making the organisation of a chest freezer easier too.

From there, we consulted in-depth, authentic consumer reviews and then narrowed down our selection to develop a shortlist of freezers that had won industry awards, expert accolades, and applause from real parents. We also chose the chest freezers that represented the best value for money.

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000, and, in that time, we've investigated, tried, and reviewed thousands of products.

As someone interested in creating an efficient home and providing plentiful, nutritious food for her ever-hungry family, our writer Gemma was determined to provide honest and independent advice on the best chest freezers available in the UK.

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