Your Best Guide To Buying Chest Freezers in the UK
Looking to Buy a Chest Freezer?
Whether you're looking for a chest freezer suitable for the garage or a large capacity deep freezer, you'll be pleased to know that we've partnered with leading online retailers to keep you informed of all the chest freezer best buys! We've researched the market and hand picked the best ones available from top UK freezer retailers.
We've also got the latest news, recommendations and reviews of the best models on the market and our powerful search facility will enable you to quickly locate the right one. We've tracked down all the best deals from the UK's top retailers so you don't need to!
Most Economical Freezers
The ever-rising cost of electricity is always on peoples minds these days, but do you know how much each household appliance actually uses? It might surprise you to know how little a chest freezer uses despite being on all the time.
Even so, there are quite wide variances between models. Here are a couple of helpful graphs for annual usage - longer green lines means more expensive! Costs based on 1 kwh (that's 1 unit of electricity) priced at an average of 15p.
Need a Cheap Chest Freezer?
Argos Budget Model
If you need a second chest freezer or maybe just need a small unit for occasional use then look no further than this Argos Value unit.
It's priced at around £120 so one of the cheapest chest freezers you can buy, but you still get 100 litres of space!
A great value, compact unit with some good user feedback.
Beko's Silver Lining
Snazzy in Silver
Beko have finally done what no other manufacturer hsa so far - produced a chest freezer in a colour other than white!
This model is technically identical to the CFA1100 in white so you get an internal light and lockable lid. It will also work down to minus 15 degrees so ideal for keeping in the garage.
If you need to keep it indoors though, the snazzy silver paintwork will no doubt add a touch of style to your kitchen or utility room!
Questions and Answers
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the questions we've been asked by site visitors recently. Some questions are asked quite often so we thought we'd share our answers with you in the hope that it will help your chest freezer buying quest!
Q: Is the Iceking CFAP200 chest freezer frost free?
A: In common with the vast majority of chest freezers, the CFAP200 is not frost free and will need periodically defrosting manually.
Q: Is it ok to house a chest freezer in a cupboard? A: Provided there is good airflow around the chest freezer - particularly at the back and the top. A lot of heat is generated by the freezer and so there needs to be adequate ventilation to allow the hot air to escape.
Q: I would like to order an IceKing CFAP200 but it is out of stock. Is this just a temporary hold-up in supply or is it permanent?
A: Iceking are deservedly popular models and they often go in and out of stock at the Co-Op. Our advice is to keep check their site every few days.
Q: I need a small chest freezer which can go down to minus 30 deg C. A: Most domestic freezers can only go down to -18c, or maybe slightly lower with a fast-freeze feature.You will probably need a commercial unit for -30c such as those from specialist suppliers to the catering or retail trade.
Latest Appliance Trends
Black Fridge Freezers
When it comes to stylish innovation, sadly chest freezers aren't really in the forefront. We are starting to see a few silver ones coming through, but as most units are usually tucked out of the way in a garage etc, maybe this is understandable.
For real style and colour you need to look to fridge freezers. In recent years there has been an explosion of colour as consumers seek ever more choices for their kitchen appliances.
Black is a very elegant choice and like white, will fit most kitchen situations, albeit with a touch more style. Here are some of the best and most popular black fridge freezers on the market right now.
Premium Freezer Brands
Liebherr: A Sign of Quality
If you've ever wondered why some chest freezers are much more expensive than others, then this short, interesting video by premium brand Liebherr will leave you in no doubt.
They explain how their StopFrost system works which not only means the freezer will hardly ever need defrosting, but also makes the freezer quieter than most and hugely economical. In fact some of their freezers are A+++ rated which is a very rare accolade indeed.
If you are looking for a solid, dependable and economical chest freezer to last for years, then take a look at Liebherr.
Get Value for Your Money!
Cheap Chest Freezers
Money is tight, even for life's necessities so we've researched the market for you and found the top 5 cheap chest freezers.
We've chosen models at different sizes so there's bound to be one to meet your needs whether it's an additional overflow freezer to your main one, or a big deep freeze for the whole family.
Freezer Review Roundup!
Looking to Buy a Small Chest Freezer?
A small chest freezer can be extremely useful as a backup to your main deep freezer, or if you simply don't have the space or requirements for anything more substantial.
We take a look at 5 popular small freezers that are great value for money and all offer something different in their own little way!
Icetech in Administration
Icetech, which produced chest freezers under the Norfrost name and which went into administration in April, has been acquired by Ebac - the market leader in the European Water Cooler Production market, based in the North East.
Norfrost was founded in 1972 and had their factory in a small village in the Highlands of Scotland. They confounded their critics by becoming a successful manufacturer of chest freezers exporting all over the world.
However, in recent years, sales haven't been too good and Norfrost was bought out in 2005 and renamed Icetech. The recent collapse of Comet, a major retailer of their products, seems to have been the last straw which called in the receivers last month.
Ebac have purchased the rights to the Norfrost name and will continue to make chest freezers, albeit at their factory in County Durham, with the Scottish plant being closed down bringing that eventful chapter to an end.
Brand New Range
Bosch Launches a Trio of New Freezers
Premium brand Bosch has just revamped it's freezer range and come out with 3 new models to replace their earlier GTM range, including an A++ rated super efficient model. Bosch won the best large home appliance brand in the prestigious Which? awards for 2011.
Great spec includes a lockable lid and an interior light. Two wire baskets are supplied and the unit runs quietly.
We Like: A fairly high price but great quality and specification.
If you want the same high quality and high specification but need a bit more space then this model adds a useful extra 60 litres.
We Like: A good blend of features and generous storage.
Identical to the GCM28AW20G this model adds super efficiency to the mix - in fact it uses 25% less electricity.
We Like: One of the most economical freezers on the market.
New Year 2013
New Year - New Freezer!
With rising food prices and another year of potential financial uncertainty it might be a wise move to invest in a chest freezer. not only will you have food more readily available, but you will be able to bulk buy frozen meal deals and 2 for 1 offers and keep them fresh for months! Here are 3 popular models to consider:
A basic no-nonsense model from Chinese maker Haier (one of their partners is premium brand Liebherr!)
We Like: An excellent budget choice for the smaller household or for small spaces.
A consistent best seller, Ice King happily approve of their freezers being used in a garage so no worries on that front.
We Like: Excellent specification such as roller feet, light and lockable lid.
At the premium end of the market but still quite keenly priced, this deluxe model will perform reliably for years to come.
We Like: At just 38 decibels one of the quietest freezers around.
New This Autumn
Great Value New Models from Hotpoint, Zanussi
Two new medium sized models are now available from two of the top freezer manufacturers and both have stand out features as described below. Both available now from retailers at competitive prices.
A great spec on this new unit not only includes a lockable lid and an internal light but Hotpoint claims an 83 hour food safe time (if there is a powercut). This is twice as long as many equivalent freezers.
More from Haier
Haier Scores A++ With the BD-271
Hard on the heels of the recent models from Haier, is the BD-271 which is their first model rated A++ (as opposed to just A+). This extra plus indicates extra energy efficiency.
In fact, despite having a capacity of 271 litres, the annual energy usage is just 179kwh which is the same amount of power that a freezer almost half the size would use.
Some of this efficiency is due to the effective insulation and this also helps keep food fresh for up to 75 hours in case of a powercut which is a useful feature that could save you £££.
It also runs quieter than a lot of equivalent models and of course there is an interior light and a lockable counterbalanced lid.
Chest Freezer News
Haier Launches New Freezer Range
Haier, the Chinese multinational that offers a vast range of well designed consumer electronics and white goods, has increased it's exposure in the UK refrigeration market with a trio of new chest freezer models.
A no nonsense entry level chest freezer ideal for fitting into small spaces.
We Like: A good budget priced entry level freezer
Ideally suited as a secondary freezer or as a main freezer for a small family.
We Like: Good sized unit that is well priced and quite economical
A lockable lid and interior light are useful extras with this large capacity unit.
We Like: Economical running costs for it's size
John Lewis Chest Freezer Range
Did you know that John Lewis have their own brand of chest freezers? They are actually made for them by Electrolux but this is no bad thing.
There are 4 models in the range from the entry level 100 litre model to the top of the range 400 litre beast, so there is one for every purpose. All their freezers are OK to be kept in a garage or outbuilding.
Of course, John Lewis are renowned for their superior customer service and a good example of this is the 3 year warranty supplied with all their appliances. Plus free delivery and setup - and they'll even take away all the packaging for you!
Although you pay a slight premium for these models over some rivals, it is not excessive and we think the extended warranty and excellent service more than makes it worthwhile!
King of Ices
The Iceking Range from the Co-Op
If you are looking for a medium to large sized deep freezer then consider the popular Iceking range which is exclusively available from respected online retailer the Co-Op Electrical Shop who offer free delivery and a range of optional extended warranties at sensible prices.
Like all Icekings, this has been approved for use in a garage or outside building - great news! Has 177 litres of usable space and is A+ rated for energy use.
We Like: Lockable lid and roller feet are nice touches.
A middle range model with a top-level spec: interior light, lockable lid, A+ energy use, roller feet - plus free delivery where you can choose your time slot!
We Like: Nearly 300 litres of space and two wire baskets supplied.
A huge 360 litres of usable space and 3 useful baskets to help keep everything organised. There's also a lockable lid and a handy interior light.
We Like: Very high spec yet great value and free delivery.
Chest Freezer Buying Advice
Choosing An Energy Efficient Model
With electricity prices at an all time high, and set to rise further in the future it makes sense to consider just how energy efficient your home appliance are.
This is particularly true of refrigeration appliances like fridges and freezers which are always connected to the mains.
The electricity consumption of home appliances is typically measured in Kilowatt Hours (kwh) and quoted as an annual figure: eg 200 kwh per year. As 1 Kilowatt Hour is 1 unit of electricity, a freezer requiring 200 kwh per year will use 200 units: at an average 12p per unit that's around £30.
This doesn't sound like a lot over a year but it's always worth looking at the energy rating of a freezer when purchasing a new model, especially large ones that can easily use 400+ units per year.
Premium brands such as Bosch or Liebherr are more expensive to buy but generally have much lower energy usage mainly due to superior insulation. This better insulation also has a bonus as it will protect the contents for much longer in the case of a power cut.
Focus On ...
Hotpoint Chest Freezers
Hotpoint was formed in 1911 in California - the name is derived from the hot point of an electric iron, one of their first product ranges. Today, Hotpoint is part of the Indesit group and make a wide range of popular white goods including cooling and washing appliances. There are currently 3 models in the range:
With 104 litres of usable space, this entry level model is A+ rated for energy use also has a counterbalanced lid and high temp warning. One basket is supplied.
We Like: A good quality unit from a well-known name.
This mid-range model has 223 litres of storage and economical running costs thanks to it's good insulation - also means a foodsafe time of 50 hours.
We Like: Well specified with an interior light and lockable lid.
A large capacity model with 287 litres of space. Excellent insulation means low energy bills, quiet running and food is safe for up to 54 hours in a powercut!
We Like: Like all Hotpoints, comes with a 5 year parts warranty.
We've Updated Our Reviews
We are currently making some improvements to offer even more information on all products featured, which we hope will be useful when considering your next freezer.
We have already updated all product information so that you can accurately compare like for like including important features such as energy consumption and noise levels.
We have also started to introduce customer feedback so you can see what people do and don't like about each model - chest freezer reviews by customers themselves carry a lot of weight! Don't hesitate to contact us and let us know about your freezer - your advice will help other future purchasers.
A Bit of Fun
Frezzer - Don't You Mean Freezer?!
We've noticed that a few people are typing frezzer or chest frezzer or even just frezer lately when surely they mean freezer or chest freezer? OK, we digress, it's a common mistake to make especially in today's rushed environment, and let's not even mention text speak!
Ideal Freezer Food!
We have been most impressed with this new idea from Birds Eye: Prepared vegetables in steam bags which you simply microwave straight from the freezer.
Each pack contains 4 x 135g portions of mixed veg (there are 3 varieties available) sealed in a special microwaveable bag.
Of course each portion provides 1 of your 5 a day fruit and veg requirements. We love the simplicity of it and the fact that there's no extra washing up or food wastage!
We have noticed most supermarkets have a "2 bags for £3" offer so it's pretty good value too.
It's 3-2-1 Go with Zanussi!
Popular right now is this Zanussi ZFC321WA deep freezer. It's not difficult to see why. With over 200 litres of usable space it can pretty much take all that the average family will throw at it (or rather in it!)
On top of that, there is a nice chunky handle, a useful interior light and best of all Zanussi specifically say that it is suitable for keeping in your garage. So that perennial question clearly answered by the manufacturer themselves!
Hints and Tips
Get The Most From Your New Chest Freezer
Here are some simple and straightforward tips to make sure that you get the most out of your new appliance - it's not always a case of just chucking all your shopping into it!
- There is a limit to how much can be frozen within a 24 hour period. Don't exceed this as it can raise the temperature possibly leading to a partial thaw
- Only freeze top quality, fresh clean food
- Try to prepare food in small portions so that is can freeze more rapidly; this will also help when thawing out as you only need to thaw the amount required
- Wrap food to be frozen in cling film or foil, and make sure that the package is as airtight as possible
- Transfer your shop bought frozen food into your freezer as quickly as possible to prevent partial thawing
- When filling your freezer, try not to keep the lid open too long.
- Don't put fizzy drink cans or bottles into the freezer as the containers will explode and possible damage the appliance
- Frozen liquids like ice lollies and ice cubes can cause skin damage if you handle them too quickly after removing from the freezer. Allow a couple of minutes before touching or consuming them.
- When positioning your freezer, make sure the plug socket is easily accessible in case of an emergency and you need to switch the unit off
Award Winning Liebherr
Not content with producing the world's first A+++ rated chest freezer, Liebherr, the German appliances to construction to industrial machinery group, has just picked up another award for their corporate promotional video - making 5 in total now!
The short film features their products in use, and desite the wide range of industries they work in, things move seemlessly along.
It's no doubt helped by the specially written musical score, which itself won an award for Best Film Music at the Jerry Goldsmith Music Festival in Spain.
Focus on Haier
Worlds No. 1 Refrigeration Brand
You'd be forgiven for thinking that Haier is a German brand - in fact it is a large Chinese multinational that offers a vast range of well designed consumer electronics and white goods.
There is a German connection however - it partnered with premium maker Liebherr when developing it's range of refrigeration products, and their expert assistance coupled with Haier's rigorous commitment to quality means well-designed products at affordable prices.
Haier has only been in the UK since 2007 but is a popular brand worldwide and was the No. 1 best-selling brand for refrigeration products in 2010 with 6% of the market. It was also no.1 for Laundry products last year.
The Haier BD-203GAA is a good mid-range chest freezer that is A+ rated, has over 200 usable litres of storage and a very good 37 hour food safe time in case of a power cut.
Lighting Up Time
3 Chest Freezers with Internal Lights
There's nothing worse than going out to the chest freezer at night and having to scrabble around trying to find something in the dark or dimly lit garage. Here is a quick review of 3 sensibly priced chest freezers that provide some internal illumination to help you find that bag of chips!
An A+ rated chest freezer that has a good capacity of 167 litres and low running costs, using just 197kw of electricity per year. Counterbalanced lid means it won't slam shut on you and internal lid is a great help. Good value right now.
Approved by Zanussi for use in a garage or outbuilding, this model features a useful 210 litres of usable space and is A+ rated for energy. Counterbalanced lid and interior light are welcome features.
Packed with features, this Ice King Freezer has nearly 300 litres of space, a lockable lid and roller feet to help you position it. Two removable wire baskets help you organise things and of course the internal light is most useful. Great value for money and available exclusively from the Co-Op.
Are You Looking for
Chest Freezers Suitable for the Garage?
An often asked question is "Can I use a chest freezer in a garage or other unheated outbuilding?" The answer, according to most manufacturers is actually no. They usually only design their refrigeration appliances to operate down to about 10 degrees celsius. This is fine most of the year but of course temperatures can dip below this in winter.
We all know that many people do keep their fridges and freezers in garages and experience no problems at all - sometimes this may just be down to luck!
Some manufacturers know that many people have limited indoor space and claim that their chest freezers suitable are for the garage or indeed any other type of outbuilding. Zanussi and Ice King confirm that their products can be used in a garage or shed while Beko go a stage further and claim their products are designed to work down to -15c degrees.
How It Works
The Magic of Refrigeration
Have you often wondered how your chest freezer works? Just how can it maintain temperatures as low as -18 degrees for an average running cost of about 50p per day?
We realised the need for refrigeration back in prehistoric times when people would gather ice in winter and store it in cool, dark caves or insulated dugouts for when the warmer weather arrived.
Luckily things have advanced a bit since then, although the basic principle of keeping items cool in an insulated container remains. Read more about the history and workings of refrigeration on this very informative Wikipedia page.
Liebherr Takes Energy Saving To New Level
First A+++ Rated Chest Freezer
Liebherr, the German refrigeration experts, have recently launched their GTP2356 chest freezer in the UK. Part of their Premium product line, the GTP2356 uses 60% less energy than an A rated unit and is packed with advanced features.
Despite a healthy 200 litre capacity, it uses just 117 units of electricity per year. This is around half the usage of rival makes, so over a 10 year period you would save well over £100 in electricity costs. It also has a freezing capacity of 23kg in 24 hours, 50% higher than most rivals.
It's not difficult to see how it achieves this. Superior insulation (which also makes it one of the quietest running freezers on the market) is matched to advanced electronic controls, including a digital temperature display integrated into the handle. An innovative StopFrost feature reduces the amount of defrosting required.
It's certainly a premium product, and not just in name, and it's first-class efficiency credentials truly make one of the best chest freezers you can buy - at a price of course!
Top Tips On ...
Disposing Of Your Old Chest Freezer
If you are purchasing a new chest freezer you may be wondering how on earth to dispose of the old one, particularly if it's no longer in working order (even the best chest freezer will give up eventually). Well, a number of retailers have a recycling service that can take the old one away when they deliver the new one.
Argos, Sainsburys, Comet and The Co-op charge around £9.99 for this service, while Currys and Dixons go to the top of the class as their service is free!
It's important to prepare for this though: make sure the old freezer is unplugged, emptied and defrosted before the delivery. Also ensure there is a clear path so both the new freezer and the old one can be moved with the minimum of fuss.
If you need to dispose of the freezer yourself, then visit this handy website: Recycle-More Just enter your postcode and it will highlight on a map the location of your nearest recycling depot that will accept old freezers.
Here is a quick summary version of our exclusive buying guide
Why buy a Chest Freezer?
A chest freezer is an extremely useful appliance these days - with the cost of food rising, being able to bulk buy and store for months at a time is a real boon for hard-pressed families.
Things to look out for:
A Freezer in the Garage?
If you're looking for a freezer suitable for the garage, look out for models specifically designed for use in unheated outbuildings. Most makers don't recommend it (though most people do it and suffer no harm!).
Measured in litres, the Net Capacity is the total usable space available for your frozen food.
The energy rating (A - G) and consumption (kWh) give an idea of how economical the freezer is to run (it's running 24/7 remember). The best appliances are rated A+ or even A++.
Measured in decibels (dB), this tells you how noisy the freezer is - useful if you will be keeping it indoors.
Food Safe Time
How long frozen food in the freezer is safe for in the event of a power cut.
This system freezes food quicker while still retaining flavour and texture. Can be a manual switch or automatic system (more expensive models).
A lockable lid is a useful security feature if the freezer will be kept in the garage or other outbuilding.
A counterbalanced lid means it will stay open at a set angle and won't slam shut.
A front drain is more accessible and makes defrosting easier. Some also use special crystal bags to absorb moisure and limit frost build up.