Freezers: Buyers' Guide
If you’re looking for a brand new freezer but are feeling a little lost with such a huge variety available, all with techy features and special selling points, fear not as we’re here to guide you through the online freezer buying process and get you clued up on all the information and advice you need to make an informed buying decision.
Once you've worked your way through our buyers' guide you'll know everything you need to know about freezers; head over to our price comparison pages (there's a button, top left of the screen) and begin to compare prices and deals from a variety of online retailers; after that, all that’s left to do is click and buy – good luck!
Type of freezers
Chest freezers Chest freezers are brilliant if you have plenty of space, for example in a utility room or garage. They’re large and have a top-opening lid and are perfect for bulk freezing, especially in circumstances where you have a large family or tend to bulk buy your food shopping. Chest freezers are somewhat less practical than upright freezers as their compartments and sections are usually limited.
Upright freezers Upright freezers are more common than chest freezers and are usually much narrower and taller than a chest freezer, meaning they can conveniently be stored with the rest of your kitchen appliances.
Built in A built-in freezer has a panel on the front that hides the freezer, integrating it into the rest of your kitchen. This is the best freezer for you if you like a neat appearance and won’t need to move your freezer around. If you’re likely to need to change the position of a freezer you may find a freestanding model more convenient.
Fridge freezer A fridge freezer is the perfect option if you want a convenient, space saving solution for cooling and freezing food. Fridge freezers come in a range of sizes, some with a bigger fridge than freezers and vice versa. Consider your needs before when comparing sizes and styles – do you tend to freeze or cool most of your food?
Size and volume
Consider the space you have in your kitchen or utility room – and be sure to note down measurements – before deciding which is the best freezer for you. Some freezers are designed to be stored under work surfaces whereas others may be taller to give more floor space.
If capacity is important for you, a chest freezer may be your best choice. If you have very limited space why not look into mini freezers, which are small and compact?
Bear in mind that some freezer models also need additional space at the back to allow for the cooling functions at the back to work properly. It’s also important to leave a few centimetres on either side to ensure air circulation and ease of cleaning.
The storage capacity of a freezer is normally given in cubic feet and gives you an idea of how much space you will have for foodstuffs. Chest freezers usually have the most space – ranging from about 3.5 to 15 cu.ft – followed by uprights, and then the smaller under-counter units and mini freezers.
Freezing capacity indicates the amount of food the freezer can freeze per24 hours. This is shown in kilograms. A standard upright freezer generally has a freezing capacity of 10-12kg, and a six drawer tall upright about 20kg.
If your new freezer will be taking up camp in an open plan kitchen, the noise emitted may be an important factor in your buying decision. Noise levels are measure in decibels – anything under 40 is considered a reasonable level and anything nearing 50 would be considered noisy.
- Reversible doors This is a great feature for modern kitchens, perfect if you’re likely to be moving your freezer around.
- Temperature Most freezers will have a thermometer so you that you’re able to keep an eye on the temperature. Top models – and even some cheaper models – will have this on the outside rather than inside.
- Fast freeze Freezers keep food at -18 C and fast freeze at -26 C. Fast freeze is the optimum temperature for fresh food to retain its nutritional value and works to freeze food faster. This can also be of benefit when warmer foods are introduced into the freezer.
- Frost free Some freezers feature a frost free feature, meaning no defrosting is necessary and your food tastes better with better nutritional value.
- Auto defrost Auto defrost is a godsend if, like us, you can’t think of anything worse than having to defrost your freezer. It works by periodically heating your freezer and using a blower fan to keep moisture out and circulate air.
- Shelves/fixtures Some freezers may only have shelves, storage baskets or drawers. Most have a combination of all three, making it ideal to separate food groups such as salad, dairy and sauces. Storage baskets and drawers are convenient; you can pull them out and food is clearly visible. Runners supporting the drawers all the way out make access extra easy.
- Temperature warning light Warns you when the temperature in your freezer is too high.
- Counter-Balanced lid Stops the lid of a chest freezer from falling shut, making access easier and safer.
- Lockable lid Can be found on chest freezers to prevent little (or big!) hands from getting access to all that yummy food.
- Bacteria Guard Bacteria Guard is a system of anti-bacterial enzymes contained within the shelves and walls of certain freezers to destroy bacteria on food.
After central heating, fridges, freezers and fridge freezers are the biggest consumers of energy in the home.
The majority of freezers will be A rated for energy efficiency and performance. Some manufacturers also have top of the range fridge freezers that are are A+, A++ and A+++ graded, designed to achieve 10%-30% reduction in energy consumption compared to A-rated models.
Often the more expensive the model the the more energy-saving features there’ll be, such as automatic door closing and thicker insulation. Cheap freezers may also have energy saving features such as these; bear in mind annual running costs and the way you pay for your local electricity supply may also affect the cost of your new freezer.
What do I do with my old freezer?
It is essential to dispose of your old freezer in an environmentally friendly way, particularly as old freezers may contain CFC gases that are harmful.
Some retailers will dispose of your old freezer when you buy a new one, or alternatively ask you local council for details of how to dispose of your old model.
Having narrowed down your search for the best freezer to suit your needs refine your search further on our shopping pages with the settings in the left column.
By narrowing down type, energy efficiency and features, you can begin to compare models and styles.
Select keywords or choose your budget to make sure you’re getting the best freezer on sale to match your needs, be it a cheap chest freezer for all the family or a space-saving mini freezer. Click on the latest deals and you'll be transferred to independent retailers' sites where you can compare prices and offers. Be sure to compare online retailers’ delivery options and costs and be sure to check out reviews of the models you’ve shortlisted.