Are you planning to buy a new freezer for your fledgling home business? If so, you may have encountered the two types of freezers available in the market: the upright and the chest-type freezer. While they only have one purpose (i.e. to freeze stuff), their differences in design will each have their own sets of pros and cons. Which brings us to this question: what are the pros and cons of a chest type freezer vs. an upright freezer?
Simply put: a chest freezer sits horizontally on the floor, has more usable space, and is cheaper vs. an upright freezer. However, it is bulkier and grabbing items from deep inside the chest freezer will be harder. In contrast, an upright freezer stands vertically, has shelves as partitions, and is more convenient for organizing items. However, they are more expensive and have less usable space compared to a chest freezer.
In this article, we will flesh out the chest freezer vs. upright freezer argument so that you will be better informed before buying a new freezer.
The differences between a chest freezer vs. an upright freezer
Chest freezers are laid out horizontally with their doors opening at the top. They can either come with a solid hinged-top door or a sliding glass door.
Meanwhile, upright freezers stand vertically – they look a lot like regular refrigerators except that they don’t have a fresh-food compartment; it’s just a one big freezer compartment.
Both a chest freezer and an upright freezer have only one job: they keep food fresh. While their function is the same, their differences in design will have implications on the way they do this job. Let’s hash it out further:
Chest freezers have a lot more usable space compared to upright freezers.
As we’ve noted in our best refrigerator buying guide, refrigerators have two declared capacities: the gross capacity and net capacity (sometimes called the storage volume).
The gross capacity is the total volume of the freezer without accessories (shelves, racks, other features) attached. Meanwhile, the net capacity is the volume of the freezer with the accessories and the interior structure accounted for. Why is this important? Look at the layout of a chest freezer vs. an upright freezer:
As you can see, the chest freezer is one big open space with only a wire rack inside of it. In contrast, an upright freezer has multiple shelves that will eat up space inside of the freezer as well as limiting the size of the items that can be stored inside of it.
By the way, these shelves cannot be moved as they function as the upright freezer’s evaporators. As you may have read in our Refrigerator 101 series, the evaporator is the part of the refrigerator that takes the heat off the air.
Winner: Chest Freezer. You will be able to store more and bigger things there compared to an upright freezer.
Due to their slim build, upright freezers are the more sensible choice when the available floor space is limited compared to the wide and bulky chest freezers.
Upright freezers are typically no wider than 250mm, hence they won’t eat into your home’s valuable floor space. Compare that to chest freezers whose widths can measure 1,000mm or even wider.
Winner: Upright Freezer. It’s slimmer architecture allows it to take up less space in in a room.
Because of their built-in shelves, upright freezers are easier to organize compared to chest freezers.
Not only will you be able to segregate your items depending on their type, they are also easier to reach into as an upright freezer’s compartments are shallow. You wouldn’t need to bend down and dig for the item you’re looking for compared to a chest freezer.
Meanwhile, a chest freezer typically only has one compartment for everything. You’ll have to do your best to organize your items on your own. Also, because the chest freezer’s compartment is deep, you’ll have to bend down to look for an item that may be buried under a heap of frozen goods. If you’re older or have lower back problems, you may be better off getting an upright freezer.
Winner: Upright Freezer. It’s built-in shelves make it easier to organize items. You also won’t have to bend your back to look for items because of its shallow architecture.
Chest freezers are more affordable compared to upright freezers. By how much? Well, we’ll take these two 11.0 cu.ft. models from Fujidenzo – one is a chest freezer, the other is an upright freezer:
|FCG 110 PDF SL
For the same capacity (11.0 cu.ft.), you will spend an additional ₱5,500 if you choose an upright freezer over a chest freezer.
This difference in price is mostly due to the more complicated construction of the upright freezer. Instead of having just a few big evaporator coils for cooling like a chest freezer, an upright freezer has a number of small roll-bond evaporator coils that will double as shelving.
Winner: Chest Freezer. They are more affordable upfront vs. an upright freezer.
You will have a lot more choices of models for chest freezers. Meanwhile, there are relatively few upright freezers available in the Philippine market.
For chest freezers, you will have the following choices, each with their own pros and cons:
- Sliding glass top
- Dual function (can be flipped between a chiller and a freezer)
- Dual compartments (two separate compartments for chiller and freezer)
Meanwhile, only solid door upright freezers are available in the market*. Also, there are no dual function upright freezers available in the Philippine market currently.
*Fujidenzo has a glass door upright freezer available. However, they cost a whopping ₱94,950 for a 14.0 cu.ft. model!
Winner: Chest Freezer. You will have a lot more options to choose from compared to an upright freezer.
A chest freezer is not inherently better than an upright freezer or vice-versa; there are only situations where either model will be the better choice for you than the other. Hence, why we listed down pros and cons to make the decision making process easier for you.
The decision between a chest freezer and an upright freezer will mostly come down to budget and space.
A chest freezer us a sensible option especially if you want to store a lot of items but your budget is limited. However, you should get an upright freezer when your floor space is limited. Always weigh in the pros and cons of a chest freezer vs. an upright freezer. Understand how much you are willing to pay for the added benefits of an upright freezer model.
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.