Size and Capacity
Freezers help you shop less, save money and prepare food in advance – but only if you have enough storage space.
Freezers often differ in terms of their external dimensions and how much they can hold, so we’ve put together some information to help you make the right choice.
Capacity vs Size
It’s important to remember that the external dimensions and internal capacity of a freezer are two different things.
Larger types of freezer usually (but not always) offer a larger capacity. Some models have thinner walls and insulation which means you can fit more food in without the appliance itself getting bigger.
A 50-150 litre freezer could easily store a week’s worth of food for a small family.
The available storage space in a freezer is measured in litres.
A 50-150 litre freezer could easily store a week’s worth of food for a small family. Medium-sized families may find a 100-300 litre freezer a better fit, while a large household, or one that likes to bulk buy and freeze, would benefit from a 300+ litre freezer.
There is also a difference between the gross capacity of a freezer (the total internal space, ignoring the compressor, drawers, etc.) and the net capacity, which represents the usable space. Even then, you’d never completely fill a freezer to the brim as you need some room to rummage around and find things!
Storage capacities are useful for comparison as long as you’re comparing like with like.
If you have plenty of vertical height available, an upright freezer is ideal.
Sometimes called tall freezers, these designs usually reach between shoulder and head height. They offer a large amount of storage, ranging from 150-300 litres, so are perfect for medium to large households.
Most models are 60-70 cm wide, 60-65 cm deep and 130-190 cm high. If you choose one that’s over 170 cm tall, it’s worth checking how easily you can access the top drawer. Narrower models are available if you still want the freezer in the kitchen but don’t have a lot of room for it. These measure around 55 cm wide.
Although they can have a generous capacity, upright freezers take up a relatively small amount of floor space so they’re easier to fit into your kitchen. If you have an upright fridge, you can easily find a freezer of similar size to install next to it. Some manufacturers even offer matching pairs.
Chest freezers are ideal for large households who like to have plenty of frozen food.
They are horizontal, top-loading models, available in a range of capacities from 100 litres up to a whopping 510 litres.
Chest freezers don’t have any drawers, so offer a lot more useable space than upright freezers, and can hold big or awkwardly shaped items such as a frozen turkey.
Some chest freezers have storage baskets to hold smaller items that you use regularly, such as chips or ice cream. They are suspended over the main compartment which helps to keep your freezer organised and your favourite items within easy reach.
Chest freezers are ideal for large households.
Undercounter freezers are ideal if you don’t have much room in your kitchen or utility room.
They save space by fitting underneath your counter tops. This means every model is under 90 cm high, but it’s still a good idea to measure the space you have just in case. Most models are 60 cm wide and 50-60 cm deep, but compact versions are available at less than 55 cm wide and 50 cm deep.
This type of freezer has a smaller capacity, usually between 50 and 100 litres. They don’t hold as much as an upright or chest freezer, but are ideal for smaller houses, couples or people who live alone.
Mini freezers are perfect for storing a few frozen essentials, like ice or ready meals.
They are miniature versions which are kept on a work surface in your kitchen or bar.
Capacity wise, these models can hold between 30-40 litres of food and usually come in at around 50 cm high, 45 cm wide and 45-50 cm deep.
Not many brands make this style however, so you may have to shop around.