Besides freezer repair needs, maintenance and looks, when it comes to performance, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between chest freezers and upright freezers but there things to think about when considering both. Each freezer option provides different benefits, as well as some concerns, depending on your lifestyle and living situation. West Coast Chief Repair offers some insight into the differences between chest freezers and their upright brethren.


The most obvious advantage to the chest freezer is the price. Most chest freezers are more affordable than upright freezers of the same size. In addition, when you purchase a chest freezer you get more usable space per square inch than you do with an upright freezer, which means more bang for your buck.

One of the downsides of chest freezers is that, while you get every inch of use, they require a lot of bending and shuffling things around to find the contents you’re looking for. Chest freezers often require stacking of items to get the most items in place; this can make for a time consuming, sometimes frustrating process just to find the item you want.

Another downside can also be a benefit. Chest freezers are often manual defrost. This means that you need to unplug your unit and empty it in order to let frost build up melt away. The reason this becomes a benefit is that when you have power outage, chest freezers can often keep food frozen for 2-3 day after the event, as long as you keep your lid closed.

The bottom line: you get more usable space for your money at the expense of convenience.


While upright freezers tend to be more expensive and have less usable space (a difference of about 10-15% on the same size units), upright freezers are much more convenient to use. Like your refrigerator, upright freezers allow you to place items in easy to reach places, without the need for bending and sorting. This is a major draw for many people, as our home appliance needs are often designed around making lives easier.

Also, most upright freezers have an auto defrost feature, which makes frost build up a non-issue. While this feature is certainly convenient, it is also comes with the disadvantage of increased energy usage and often an inflated sales price. If defrosting is an area of concern for you, this feature may be worth every penny.

Choosing between a chest freezer and an upright freezer is a matter of lifestyle and what is important to you. Knowing these key differences can better help you decide which is right for you and your family.