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Chest and upright freezer reviews

Is an upright freezer the way to go, or is a chest model the true treasure?
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Chest freezer

Test results for three chest freezers and three uprights from $499 to $2029

Upright or chest? When it comes to freezers, both have their pros and cons. Getting items out of an upright model is convenient and easy, but they’re expensive to buy and to run. They tend to be frost free (all on test are), so they have a defrost cycle, and a fan to circulate the air, so they can be drier and their temperatures will generally fluctuate more than in a chest freezer. This adds to the energy use as well as the fact that the cold air falls out every time you open the door. However, the solid front drawers help minimise these shortcomings.

By comparison, a chest freezer needs to be manually defrosted periodically, has no fan, and the internal temperatures tend to be relatively static, allowing food to last longer – providing it’s set at or below -18°C. Cold air doesn’t escape as much as it does with uprights, so they cost less to run. They also require you to be fit and flexible to reach deep into the body to get items out. For the vertically challenged, the larger deeper freezers can mean you may end up in storage yourself!

We assessed the freezers on:

  • Their temperature performance
  • How energy efficient they are
  • How long they take to both cool down and warm up

Models tested

  • Fisher & Paykel E210L
  • Fisher & Paykel E388LW
  • Haier HCF148
  • Westinghouse WCM2100WC
  • Westinghouse WCM3200WC
  • Westinghouse WFM3600WB-L

Looking for a partner for your freezer? Keep an eye out for our upcoming fridges test for matching pairs to the three uprights on test.

Did you know?

Does your frozen food suffer from unsightly white or grey spots? This is freezer burn due to dehydration and oxidisation, and will tend to happen more in a frost-free freezer due to the moving air. To keep your frozen food in optimum condition, wrap it well, leaving no air gaps, to prevent freezer burn. This is also good practice for storing food in a chest freezer.

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