Anyone who has enjoyed an ice pop on a hot summer day or pulled out a frozen lasagna to heat up for a quick and easy dinner will be grateful for their home’s freezer. But if you only have a freezer as part of your side-by side, French door, top-freezer, or bottom-freezer refrigerator, you may want to consider adding a stand-alone freezer to your home.

A stand-alone freezer will give you vital storage space for everything from cool treats to re-heatable eats, and you’ll find you save money at the grocery store because you can load up on bulk, freezable items to last you for weeks.

If you’d like to add a stand-alone freezer to your home, here’s what to look for when buying one.

Two types of stand-alone freezer

There are two basic types of stand-alone freezers: chest freezers and upright freezers. You can find freezers from great brands like Danby, Haier, AmanaElectrolux, and Frigidaire, and the type you choose depends on what type of space you have for the freezer and what type of features you’re looking for.

Chest Freezers

deep freezer

Chest freezers are the most common type of freezer, and these are the freezers you’ve been seeing in homes for decades. They range in size from an apartment-sized 3.5 cu.ft. to an extra large 22 cu.ft.

Inside a chest freezer is a wide-open space with removable baskets. Some chest freezer are designed so you can arrange the baskets inside, and there’s a lot of space from the bottom up to stack frozen food.

Upright Freezers

An upright freezer is similar in shape to a refrigerator, and if you’re limited on space, these types of freezers are fairly small and easy to put in a corner. Ranging in size from a mini 3.5 cu.ft. to a large and roomy 20.6 cu.ft, an upright freezer has baskets and shelves designed to hold all of your frozen food.

Consider the location

When choosing between an upright or chest freezer, decide where you’ll put it first. If you have a large basement you may opt for a large chest freezer, but if you’re concerned about space an upright freezer can fit neatly in a closet.

How will you transport your freezer?

stand up freezer

Because of the tall, narrow design, you may find it simple to pick up and bring an upright freezer into your home. With a chest freezer, you’ll have to plan your route before hand.

Check and see if the doors to your space are wide enough to manage a chest freezer, and decide how you’ll tackle the stairs if there are any. Keep in mind that a chest freezer is extremely heavy, so you’ll have to have help moving it in.

Freezer Features

Stand-alone freezers do a single job: they freezer your food and they do it well, but they also come with a few unique features you can choose from.

Compartment Dividers

compartments deep freezerA chest freezer has a deep center to hold the most amount of frozen food, but without dividers and baskets you could be diving down into your freezer every time you’d like to take something out. Thankfully, most chest freezers have customizable interiors with plastic dividers you can move around to suit your organizational style.

An upright freezer can be customized too. They have extra door racks and interior shelves so you can organize your frozen food.

Door Locks

Having a door lock on your freezer means you’ll never worry about whether or not children can access it. Some freezer models also have a pop-out key function that will eject the key when you lock it. That way you’ll know you have your key and it’s locked up tight.

Door alarms

Do you often forget to close the door to your refrigerator? It happens, but if you forget to close your freezer door you could lose a lot of food to quick defrosting. That’s why some models have door alarms to alert you if the door is left open too long.

Soft-freeze makes ice cream easy to scoop

If you’ve ever stored ice cream in a stand-alone freezer, you know that it can get rock hard. Some stand-alone upright freezers like the Electrolux All Freezer have a soft-freeze compartment. It keeps ice cream frozen, but still soft enough to scoop.

Fast freeze to drop the temperature in a hurry

chest freezersCertain stand-alone freezers have a fast freeze function. Fast freeze, found on the Whirlpool 20 cu.ft. upright freezer, drops the temperature by 10 degrees colder than the absolute lowest setting, and that preserves the freshness of food or freezes a large amount of food quickly.

Power-on light

Most chest freezers and some upright freezers have a power-on light on the outside of the freezer. The light lets you know with a glance whether or not the freezer is plugged in and working.

Frost-free freezers

If your experience with stand-alone freezers has always involved manual defrosting because your freezer built up enough ice to make you think you were in the Artic, you might want to take a look at frost-free freezers. They are designed to allow the freezer to work efficiently without layer after layer of frost building up, and you won’t have to defrost them on a regular basis like you would a freezer without it.

Energy Star Freezersenergy star

To keep your food frozen a freezer has to run 24/7, and it can make a dent in your electric bill if you have an older freezer that uses a ton of energy. Now you can find ENERGY STAR models that will use less electricity and are more environmentally friendly than those without this feature.

What will you do with your old appliance?

If you already have a chest or upright freezer and you’re upgrading to a new model, you may want to consider how you’ll dispose of your older freezer. A great option is the Best Buy appliance-recycling program. You can set up recycling at the time of order.

Frozen food can take the work out of your weekly meal prep. Now that you know everything there is to know about buying a stand-alone freezer, you can take the next step and choose the best freezer to suit your home.