White, open Maytag® chest freezer filled with food.

What is a Deep Freezer?

When you think of a deep freezer, you’re probably imagining a standalone appliance designed to store frozen foods. These freezers can be upright with a swinging door or a chest freezer with a lid that opens from the top. Deep freezers keep food frozen at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, or -18 degrees Celsius.

The term “deep freezer” used to mean an appliance with colder temperatures and a faster freezing process than fridge freezers. Today, deep freezers and fridge freezers often cool to the same temperature and at a similar pace. Now the name “deep freezer” is associated with reaching down into a deep chest freezer, and storing foods for long periods of time. Learn how long food lasts in the freezer. Read on to learn more about a deep freezer vs. a freezer, and what is considered a deep freezer today.

Open, empty chest freezer next to open and empty upright freezer. Open, empty chest freezer next to open and empty upright freezer.

Are Deep Freezers and Chest Freezers the Same?

Yes. A chest freezer is a kind of deep freezer. A deep freezer is simply an appliance solely designed for freezing food that does not include a refrigerator compartment. By this definition, both chest freezers, like these chest freezers from Maytag, and upright (or standing) freezers, like these Maytag® models, can be considered types of deep freezers.

Open, upright deep freezer next to partially open, Maytag® side-by-side freezer compartment. Open, upright deep freezer next to partially open, Maytag® side-by-side freezer compartment.

Deep Freezers vs Regular Freezers: is there a Difference?

Deep freezers and regular freezers share their defining feature: keeping foods frozen at a temperature of about 0 degrees Fahrenheit or -18 degrees Celsius. The most obvious difference between the two is that fridge freezers are always part of a multi-purpose appliance, while deep freezers exclusively freeze foods. Read more about what sets them apart from each other below.

Deep Freezer vs Fridge Freezer Differences

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Fridge freezers offer less capacity than deep freezers, typically ranging in size from 4 to 9 cubic feet, while the average deep freezer capacity ranges from 5 to 22 cubic feet.

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Fridge freezers typically include features like ice makers, while deep freezers exclusively freeze foods.

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Deep freezers usually provide a less structured space for larger items and have fewer shelves and bins; especially chest freezers. However, upright deep freezers can offer similar organization features to a fridge freezer.



Unlike fridge freezers intended for everyday use, deep freezers often feature locks to limit access.

Why You Might Need a Chest or Vertical Deep Freezer

Deep freezers are relatively inexpensive to purchase and operate, making it possible for consumers to save money on groceries, food preparation and travel. Whether you choose a chest or upright freezer, take a look at 5 reasons why a deep freezer may be worth the investment for your family.

Sale Shopping:

Deep freezers let you stock up on your family’s favorites while they’re on sale, stretching your grocery budget even further.

Bulk Items:

Feeding a large family is easier when there’s plenty of room to store ingredients and leftovers. Deep freezers come in a variety of sizes to fit your space and give you anywhere from 5 to 22 cubic feet of additional storage capacity for frozen items. 

Hunting Storage:

Deep freezers offer the ultimate in both capacity and wide open storage space. This makes it possible to preserve large animal game like deer and turkey.  

Less Frequent Shopping:

Families who live in rural areas or are looking to cut down on travel can shop less by stocking up on their family’s most-used grocery items. 

Holidays and Entertainment:

Entertaining dinner parties and holiday gatherings is easier with space to store a wide variety of large, ready-to-heat dishes and platters.

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