Upright freezers are pricier than chest freezers, but they're also more convenient to use. They give you better access to your food, and most don't require defrosting. Among upright freezers, we found the best reviews for the Energy Star-rated Frigidaire FFFH17F2QW(Est. $699). It's a fairly simple model without a lot of advanced bells and whistles, but it offers consistent, reliable freezing at a good price.
At 16.6 cubic feet, this freezer offers plenty of storage space for most families. One user reports filling it with half a pig, a quarter of a cow and a 20-pound turkey, plus a bunch of veggies and fruit, with plenty of room still left. A larger version of this freezer -- the 20 cubic foot Frigidaire FFFH20F2QW (Est. $830) gets top ratings from a leading consumer research lab for temperature performance and energy efficiency. Users confirm that it freezes solidly and reliably, and that the door seals so well that you can't open it right away after you close it.
The Frigidaire FFFH17F2QW's basic features include an easy-to-see power-on indicator at the bottom front and a lock with a pop-out key -- an important safety feature if you have small children in the house. Users also love the frost-free operation, interior LED lighting, adjustable shelving and in-door storage, although they miss having a pull-out bin in the bottom.
Most users say they don't mind this freezer's operating noise, but it's not the quietest model, so if you are particularly sensitive to sound, you might want to give it a home in the basement or garage. The Frigidaire FFFH17F2QW has an estimated annual operating cost of $52 or 431 kWh/year, and a manufacturer promise to keep food frozen for over two days in case of a power outage. It's backed by a one-year warranty.
The 15.7-cubic-foot Maytag MZF34X16DW (Est. $599) also draws excellent ratings for energy efficiency from the same consumer research lab, with very good ratings for its temperature performance and noise levels. Users like its adjustable shelving, in-door storage, interior LED lighting and fast-freeze setting.
The Maytag MZF34X16DW also does a good job of insulating if the power goes out; one user says almost everything in the freezer was still frozen solid after more than 60 hours of no power. However, it receives a few too many complaints about sudden failures -- leaving users with a freezer full of thawed food -- to make it into our best-reviewed slot. The addition of a power-on indicator light would help avoid such failures, because users would be able to see if power to the freezer suddenly fails.
This freezer has an estimated operating cost of $56 or 466 kWh/year and a one-year limited warranty. There is a 10-year limited parts warranty on the compressor, but some users report trouble getting the warranty fulfilled and questionable customer service in general.
If you're in the market for a compact upright freezer, the 13.83-cubic-foot Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW (Est. $599) gets excellent ratings from experts and users alike. One expert consumer testing laboratory says the Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW does an excellent job of efficiently maintaining the set temperature, and there's enough space inside to stock at least half a cow and half a pig, or store a lot of frozen goods bought on sale.
This freezer comes with the same basic features you'll find in our best-reviewed Frigidaire FFFH17F2QW: an easy-to-see power-on indicator at the front bottom, a lock that automatically ejects the key, adjustable shelving and an easy-to-operate exterior dial control. Users also like the bright LED lighting on the inside of the freezer and plenty of storage room in the door.
The only downside to the Frigidaire FFFU14F2QW is that its compressor motor is loud enough that most users agree it should be kept in the basement or garage, not put in the kitchen. Its estimated operating cost is $52 or 436 kWh/year.
Elsewhere in this report: