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Freezer Buying Guide

With the right freezer, you’ll make fewer trips to the store while saving time and money. Take a moment to consider your food storage needs and space constraints to find the freezer that’s a perfect fit for your home.

chest freezer stocked with groceries

Types of Freezers


  • Doors open horizontally, like a refrigerator
  • Highly organized space
  • In-the-door storage
  • Adjustable shelving
  • Easy access to food



  • Door mounts along the back edge of the chest with a vertical swing for a tighter seal
  • Holds more food per square foot
  • Less likely to cause freezer burn

Freezer Capacity

Freezers come in four basic sizes:

     Compact = 5 cubic feet

     Small = 6-9 cubic feet

     Medium = 12-18 cubic feet

     Large = 18+ cubic feet

Good to Know

Multiply the number of people in your family by 2.5 cubic feet to help determine your food storage needs.

Questions to Ask Yourself

What are my food shopping habits?

If you buy in bulk, a freezer is an excellent choice — one cubic foot of freezer space accommodates approximately 35 pounds of food.

What are my food preparation habits?

If you prepare and freeze foods when they’re fresh or in-season, you’ll benefit from a freezer. Farmers, gardeners and hunters all need freezer storage space.

How much space is available in my home?

Freezers should be located in a convenient space that is far from heat sources, including sunny windows, to maintain efficient operation. The space you have available, as well as the width of doorways, may impact the size of the freezer you are able to buy.

Freezer Features

Frost-free Freezers prevent freezer burn by automatically defrosting about once a day. During the defrost cycle the internal temperature doesn’t change more than 2 degrees, so frozen food is not affected.

Temperature Alarms monitor freezer temperatures around the clock and sound when they rise above optimal freezer conditions.

Freezer Locks limit access to your freezer, protecting children and other at-risk family members.

Interior Lights make it easy to see the food you need.

Power-On Lights let you know the freezer is working without opening the door, increasing energy efficiency.

Soft-Freeze Sections make serving ice cream and other soft items easier.

Good to Know

Don’t ignore the size of your home's entry doors when considering the size of the freezer you want to buy. Also, note the size of the freezer's doors and clearance needed in the space available.

Energy Savings

Advances in insulation mean today’s freezers consume less energy than older models. Check the ENERGY STAR® rating on your freezer of choice. Learn more about ENERGY STAR freezers.

Good to Know

Any frozen food that reaches 40 degrees for more than 2 hours should be discarded.