Looking for an efficient, spacious, and convenient freezer for your home? Frost-free upright freezers are the way to go. Unlike manual defrost freezers, frost-free upright models eliminate the hassle of chipping away ice buildup thanks to handy automatic defrost technology. Paired with their ample storage capabilities, adjustable shelves and bins, as well as energy efficient operation, it’s easy to see why these freezers are a top choice for many households.
In this guide, we’ll cover how frost-free upright freezers work, key factors to consider when choosing one, and recommendations for the top 5 models currently available. Let’s dive in!
How Frost-Free Upright Freezers Work
Frost-free upright freezers prevent icy buildup on the interior walls through a clever automatic defrost system. A small heating element activates on a regular basis to briefly warm the interior just enough to melt any frost. Fans circulate the air to ensure all areas are evenly defrosted. The water from melting frost is drained through a tube into a tray near the compressor, where it evaporates.
This type of freezer also utilizes a separate, insulated freezer compartment that seals cold air in and warmer ambient air out. The dual compartment design is what classifies it as an “upright” style. It keeps frozen foods below freezing while avoiding freezer burn.
Manual defrosting is a thing of the past with frost-free models. No need to periodically turn off the freezer, remove everything, and scrape ice off the walls. The automatic cycle saves you major time and hassle.
Key Buying Considerations for Frost-Free Upright Freezers
Ready to choose a frost-free upright freezer for your home? Keep these key factors in mind while shopping:
Size and Capacity
Consider how much frozen food storage you need. Frost-free upright freezers range from compact 5 cubic feet models to spacious 33 cubic feet behemoths. Figure out how much space your frozen goods will require. Allow some buffer room too for future storage needs.
Measure the space in your kitchen or garage to ensure the unit will fit. Most frost-free upright freezers are around 60 inches high by 30 inches wide. Depth ranges from 26-35 inches. Make sure you have adequate room for the doors to open fully as well.
Look for adjustable, removable shelves and wire storage bins that allow custom organization. Many models also have slide-out bulk storage baskets for large frozen item storage. Door racks and compartments are handy for small items too.
Variable temperature dials allow customization of freezer temperatures. Look for adjustable controls with temperature readings to ensure consistent freezing.
Opt for Energy Star certified frost-free upright freezers to enjoy lower energy bills and environmental impact. Efficient compressors and insulated doors help reduce energy usage.
Most major brands include at least a 1 year warranty. Higher end models may have coverage for 2-5 years or longer, giving you peace of mind.
Expect to spend $300-$800 for a good frost-free upright freezer suitable for most households. Larger premium models run $1000-$2000+ for heavy duty freezing capabilities.
Top 5 Recommended Frost-Free Upright Freezers
Ready to zero in on the perfect frost-free upright freezer for your needs? Here are our top recommendations across a range of sizes and budgets:
1. GE FUF17DLRWW
- Dimensions: 65″ H x 29″ W x 29″ D
- Capacity: 17 cubic feet
- Features: Adjustable shelving, slide-out bulk storage basket, interior LED lighting
- Pros: Spacious capacity, variable temp controls, energy efficient
- Cons: Heavy at almost 300 lbs, only 1 year warranty
- Price Range: $650 – $750
With generous 17 cubic feet capacity, adjustable storage options, and reputable GE quality, the FUF17DLRWW is a fantastic mid-size frost-free upright suitable for most families. The bright interior lighting and slide-out bulk freezer basket make finding foods easy.
2. Frigidaire FFHN2750TS
- Dimensions: 67″ H x 28″ W x 31″ D
- Capacity: 25 cubic feet
- Features: Store-more slide out basket, interior lighting, door alarm
- Pros: Huge storage capacity, adjustable temps, spacious racks
- Cons: Runs slightly loud, basic temperature controls
- Price Range: $950 – $1050
This jumbo model offers an astounding 25 cubic feet capacity that can tackle even the largest frozen storage demands. Convenient slide-out storage and lighting coupled with quieter 42 dBA operation makes the FFHN2750TS a top frost-free contender.
3. Midea WHS-109FW1 Upright Freezer
- Dimensions: 59″ H x 23″ W x 26″ D
- Capacity: 9.9 cubic feet
- Features: Reversible door, adjustable wire shelves, full one year warranty
- Pros: Compact yet spacious, Energy Star rated, removable storage bins
- Cons: Basic manual defrost drain, minimal temperature settings
- Price Range: $300 – $400
For smaller kitchens, Midea’s space-saving WHS-109FW1 upright freezer offers generous 10 cubic feet capacity in a slimmer build. The adjustable shelves and wire storage racks allow flexible organization. It’s a budget-friendly option backed by a 1 year warranty.
4. GE FUF21DLRWW Upright Freezer
- Dimensions: 65” H x 24” W x 27” D
- Capacity: 20.9 cubic feet
- Features: Interior LED lighting, 2 sliding bulk storage baskets, door alarm
- Pros: Spacious storage, adjustable temp control, adjustable door bins
- Cons: Only available in white, no storage baskets on door
- Price Range: $750 – $900
This Energy Star rated model offers bright interior lighting and ample space for frozen goods. The adjustable wire shelves and two large slide-out bulk storage baskets allow custom organization. It’s an excellent frost-free upright suitable for most families.
5. Kenmore Elite 24.9 cu. ft. Upright Freezer
- Dimensions: 71” H x 30” W x 27” D
- Capacity: 24.9 cubic feet
- Features: LED lighting, adjustable shelves, pizza rack, fast cooling option
- Pros: Huge capacity, adjustable tri-level shelving, door alarm
- Cons: Heavy and bulky, expensive price tag
- Price Range: $1500 – $1600
With nearly 25 cubic feet capacity, adjustable 3-tier shelving, and convenient storage options, this elite Kenmore is one of the most spacious and versatile frost-free uprights available. It’s a top choice for serious frozen food aficionados and families.
Frost-Free Upright Freezer FAQs
Still have some questions about frost-free upright freezers? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
How much electricity do frost-free freezers use?
Generally 500-800 kWh per year. Choosing Energy Star rated models provides maximum efficiency.
How long will food last in a frost-free freezer?
Frozen foods like meats, prepared meals, ice cream can last 6-12 months safely. Fruits and vegetables last 8-10 months before quality declines.
What temperature should a freezer be set at?
Between 0°F/-18°C to 10°F/-12°C maintains proper freezing and food safety. Variable dials allow custom setting.
How often does the defrost cycle run?
Typically 2-3 times per day for 20-30 minutes. Frost-free models require minimal maintenance.
What causes freezer burn in frozen foods?
Freezer burn happens when air reaches food, dehydrating it. Use airtight packaging to prevent it.
How can I organize a freezer to maximize space?
Use baskets, clear bins, and shelves to group similar items. Label containers and rotate stock.
How should a freezer be cleaned?
Unplug and allow to fully defrost. Wash interior walls, shelves, bins with a mild soap and water solution.
When should I replace an old freezer?
If your freezer is over 10 years old, repair costs are rising, energy bills are high, or capacity is insufficient, it may be time for a new one.
What are signs of a failing freezer?
Excess moisture, ice buildup inside, abnormal noises, food spoilage, and temperature fluctuations indicate a freezer may be failing.
Keep Food Fresh and Save Time
Frost-free upright freezers provide exceptional frozen food storage in an organized, spacious, and convenient design. Just be sure to measure your available space, determine capacity needed, and select adjustable shelving and storage options to suit your frozen food storage needs. With minimal maintenance required, you can enjoy fresh food and time savings for years to come.
By taking the time to choose the right frost-free upright freezer for your household, complete with handy storage options and optimal temperature control, you’ll gain amazing frozen food organization. No more wondering “what’s hiding in the back behind the ice?” Get ready to spend less time defrosting and more time enjoying easy access meals and ingredients by investing in one of these outstanding frost-free upright freezers. Your kitchen will certainly thank you!