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Best chest freezer 2022: Boost your freezer capacity

Helen McCue
3 Mar 2022
Best chest freezer

Running out of space in your freezer? A chest freezer can give a huge boost to your frozen storage - and for less than you might think

Buying a chest freezer is one of the best ways to avoid food waste and keep a good stock of food supplies for a rainy day. There’s something reassuring about having a freezer full of food in case of emergencies like bad weather, and particularly so if you don’t live close to a supermarket.

Having extra freezer space is also a must for batch cooking and baking, as it allows you to get ahead with meals and store them in convenient microwavable portions for when you’re too busy to cook. Likewise, if you grow your own fruit and vegetables, you can make the most of a bumper harvest and make sure nothing goes to waste by creating freeze-able sauces, meals and desserts.

Chest freezers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so you should be able to find one that not only meets your needs for food storage, but also fits snugly into whatever space you have available, whether that’s in the house, garage or shed.

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The best chest freezer: At a glance

  • Best cheap compact option: Bush MECF99W | Buy now
  • Best large-capacity option: Haier HCE519F | Buy now
  • Best for outbuildings: LOGIK L420CFW20 | Buy now
  • Best compact black option: Fridgemaster MCF142B | Buy now
  • Best mid-size option: Hotpoint CS1A 250 H FA 1 | Buy now
  • Best midsize black option: LOGIK L198CFB20 | Buy now

How to choose the best chest freezer for you

How do I work out what volume I need?

A freezer's storage capacity is measured in litres, which isn’t always helpful when you’re trying to evaluate how much space you’ll need. To give you a benchmark, most typical kitchen fridge freezers offer around 100 litres of freezer space. And most chest freezers start at 100 litres, but they can go up to 500 litres. A general rule of thumb is that 100 litres is roughly equivalent to five bags of food shopping. But how much you can actually cram into the space depends on how good you are at freezer Tetris.

What size chest freezer is best?

Sadly, no matter how much extra freezer capacity we want, it doesn’t mean we have the space to accommodate another big appliance. So it’s important to figure out where the freezer will go and buy one that will fit the space. Chest freezers can be as little as 55cm wide, which is smaller than your average 60cm kitchen cupboard; these models are perfect for tucking away under the stairs or in a small utility room. If space is no issue, larger-capacity models can be in excess of 150cm wide, but there are lots of sizes in between, too. Almost all models are between 80 and 90cm high, although the depth can vary between 50 and 70cm, so you’ll need to take this into account too.

Do chest freezers have internal compartments?

Unlike typical upright freezers that have drawers or shelves, chest freezers often consist of one big space. This means when it’s full, getting to the food at the bottom can be tricky. Some come with storage baskets that sit in the top – these are helpful because you can lift out the whole basket, making it easier to see what’s below. Good organisation is key to getting the most out of your chest freezer, so consider investing in tubs or extra baskets and always make sure everything is well labelled.

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Can I keep a chest freezer in the garage?

As chest freezers are usually used as a secondary freezer, many people utilise space in their garage, shed or other outbuildings for this additional food storage. These outbuildings are often not insulated, and the internal temperature can plummet as the weather gets cold. Not all freezers will work in very low temperatures, look out for the optimum ambient or room temperature in the freezer specifications. Most chest freezers work effectively between 10 and 43°C, but if you want to keep it outside your house, you’ll need one that can work in lower temperatures.

The best chest freezers to buy in 2022

1. Bush MECF99W Chest Freezer: The best cheap compact chest freezer

Price: £140 | Buy now from Argos

This Bush MECF99W chest freezer is the perfect size to tuck away out of sight in an empty corner of your home. It offers almost 100 litres of extra freezer space at a wallet-friendly price, but bear in mind that it’s not suitable for outbuildings.

At this price, you don’t get all the bells and whistles such as a digital temperature display or temperature warnings if you’ve left the door open. However, if you get a power cut it will keep food cold for up to 17 hours. It comes with one storage basket that slides from left to right so you can easily access the food below.

If price is your main priority, this simple freezer will do the job and give you extra space for summer ice creams or batch-cooked winter stews.

Key specs – Dimensions: 85 x 54.5 x 49.5cm (HWD); Capacity: 99 litres; Fast freeze: No; Energy rating: F; Freezer star rating: 4; Temperature warning: No; Open door warning: No; Suitable for outbuildings: No

Buy now from Argos

2. Haier HCE519F Chest Freezer: The best large-capacity chest freezer

Price: £579 | Buy now from AO

If you’re looking to maximise your frozen food storage and don’t mind paying a premium, the huge Haier HCE519F is the chest freezer to buy.

The internal light helps you sift through your supplies and the counterbalanced lid won’t hit you on the head when you’re delving to the bottom to retrieve a stray pizza. There’s also a handy LED display, with temperature controls and a fast freeze button.

Despite the generous 519-litre capacity, there’s only one basket supplied, so you’ll need to develop a method of organising your food or you’ll never find what you’re looking for. You’ll also need to make sure you’ve got somewhere to put it because it’s large and can’t go in an outbuilding.

Key specs – Dimensions: 84.5 x 165 x 74.5cm (HWD); Capacity: 519 litres; Fast freeze: Yes; Energy rating: F; Freezer star rating: 4; Temperature warning: Light; Open door warning: No; Suitable for outbuildings: No

Buy now from AO

3. LOGIK L420CFW20 Chest Freezer: The best cheap, large-capacity chest freezer for outbuildings

Price: £380 | Buy now from Currys

With the ability to keep working even when the ambient temperature drops down to -18°C, the LOGIK L420CFW20 is a large chest freezer that’s perfectly suited to a garage, shed or any other outbuilding. It’s cheap considering the large 420-litre capacity, too.

It comes with three baskets to help keep your food organised, and there’s an interior light so you don’t have to take a torch to the shed to find a bag of frozen chips. But you will have to hold the lid up because it isn’t counterbalanced so won’t stay up on its own. There’s no fast freeze function, but there’s a dial to control the temperature, plus a light to alert you if the temperature is too high.

Key specs – Dimensions: 85.2 x 144.8x 72.1cm (HWD); Capacity: 420 litres; Fast freeze: No; Energy rating: F; Freezer star rating: 4; Temperature warning: Light; Open door warning: No; Suitable for outbuildings: Yes

Buy now from Currys

4. Fridgemaster MCF142B Chest Freezer: The best compact black chest freezer

Price: £169 | Buy now from AO

Let’s face it, not many of us are keen on big ugly white appliances. The Fridgemaster MCF142B comes in a smart black finish and is just slightly wider than a standard kitchen cupboard, yet it offers a generous 142-litre capacity.

There’s one basket that sits at the top and can be used to store your favourite foods for easy access. It has a temperature control dial but it lacks other features such as fast freeze, a temperature warning light, an internal light or a counterbalanced lid.

If you decide not to keep it in the house, the Winter Guard technology means it will work in temperatures as low as -15°C so it’s ideal for a garage or shed too.

Key specs – Dimensions: 85.4 x 62.5 x 55.9cm (HWD); Capacity: 142 litres; Fast freeze: No; Energy rating: F; Freezer star rating: 4; Temperature warning: No; Open door warning: No; Suitable for outbuildings: Yes

Buy now from AO

5. Hotpoint CS1A 250 H FA 1 Chest Freezer: The best mid-size chest freezer

Price: £320 | Buy now from Currys

If you don’t need one of the largest models but a compact chest freezer is too small, this Hotpoint model is a great middle ground. The 255-litre capacity will give you plenty of additional freezer space and it’s suitable for outbuildings, so you can put it wherever you like.

It’s not a budget-busting price, but nevertheless it comes with most of the features you’ll need. The Frost Away feature reduces ice formation, so it won’t need defrosting as regularly as some others. The counterbalanced lid and LED internal light combine to make life easy when you’re searching for that missing tub of ice cream, or you can utilise the basket to store smaller items and keep them within easy reach.

There’s a fast freeze function as well as a warning light to let you know when the temperature is too high. And should you experience a power cut, your food will stay frozen for up to 40 hours.

Key specs – Dimensions: 91.6 x 101 x 69.8cm (HWD); Capacity: 255 litres; Fast freeze: Yes; Energy rating: F; Freezer star rating: 4; Temperature warning: Light; Open door warning: No; Suitable for outbuildings: Yes

Buy now from Currys

6. LOGIK L198CFB20 Chest Freezer: The best cheap black medium-capacity chest freezer

Price: £220 | Buy now from Currys

Despite offering double the capacity of our budget compact chest freezer, the LOGIK L198CFB20 is less than double the price. The smart gloss black finish belies its low price, too, so you won’t feel the need to hide it away – unless you want to, as it’s also suitable for use in outbuildings.

The price means you’ll have to forego some features such as a fast freeze function or digital display. And although there’s a basket to keep some foods organised, it lacks an internal light and counterbalanced lid, so it might be a little tricky finding foods lost at the bottom. But with a good capacity at a great price, those compromises are easy to forgive.

Key specs – Dimensions: 85.4 x 80.3 x 55.7cm (HWD); Capacity: 198 litres; Fast freeze: No; Energy rating: F; Freezer star rating: 4; Temperature warning: No; Open door warning: No; Suitable for outbuildings: Yes

Buy now from Currys

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