Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Small freezers combine efficiency, functionality and flexibility. By freezing, they increase the shelf life of food and therefore occupy an essential position in the food processing sector. The compact, free-standing household appliances, find a place everywhere and at the same time offer plenty of storage space for food. Individual features allow the appliances to be adapted to a wide range of conditions.

With our small freezer test 2023 we want to help you find the right small freezer for you. We have compared freezers, compiled the most important features, prepared decision-making aids, listed the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of appliance and collected operating instructions. This should simplify your purchase decision and the handling of your new appliance.


  • Small freezers freeze food and thus increase its shelf life. The freestanding, compact appliances with top loaders usually have a useful capacity of approx. 95 – 110 L (minimum 50 L, maximum 150 L).
  • Due to their volume, they are ideal for 1-person households with high stockpiling or 2 – 3-person households. Large food items can be stored efficiently and in an energy-saving manner.
  • Depending on the intended use, tall or wide, small freezers are used. The appliances are specialised by their quality indicators, as well as some equipment features.

The Best Small Freezer: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a small freezer

What is a small freezer?

A small chest freezer is a small appliance for freezing food and storing frozen food. It is characterised by the fact that it holds 50 – 150 L of usable capacity, is sold freestanding, has no drawers and opens upwards (top loader).

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Freezers are top loaders that offer plenty of space to freeze food. Due to their compactness, they can be used flexibly. For example, they are used to sell ice cream. The appliances are just as essential in private food storage.
(Image source: / Louis Smit)

The compactness of the small freezers makes it possible to use them in different areas:

  • Living area
  • Outdoor (car / caravan / camping)
  • Laboratory

Central to each of these usage situations is their ability to freeze and preserve food. Since the interior of the units is not divided by drawers, larger products can be stored.

How does freezing extend the shelf life of food?

When food is frozen, heat is extracted from it. The water contained in them freezes. This slows down the activity of the micro-organisms that cause ageing. The rotting and spoiling of the frozen food is delayed. Vitamins and nutrients of the food are preserved during this process.

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Small freezers can be used, for example, to place fruit and other foods individually on the freezer tray and freeze them.
(Image source: / Free-Photos)

The Federal Centre for Nutrition recommends a different storage period depending on the type of food. We have compiled some of them for you below:

Food Shelf life refrigerated Shelf life frozen
Curd cheese 2 weeks 10 – 12 months
Semi-hard cheese 2 weeks 2 – 4 months
Goulash meat 2 days 3 – 6 months
Minced meat 1 day 1 – 3 months
Schnitzel 1 – 2 days 6 – 8 months
Chicken 2 days 8 – 10 months
Carp 3 days 2 – 4 months
Soups 2 – 3 days 3 – 6 months
Buns 2 days 1 – 3 months
Pies 1 – 4 days 2 – 3 months
Cauliflower head 4 – 5 days 4 months
Apples 5 months 8 – 12 months

The comparison with the shelf life of the products in a refrigerated state shows how effective preservation by freezing is. All the foods listed can be stored and used longer in small freezers than in refrigerators.

How is the quality of small freezers labelled?

The aim of small freezers is to freeze food and thus make it last longer.

The freezer class, energy efficiency class and climate class are crucial for your appliance to work efficiently.

To ensure that your freezer is of the right quality and can be used in the way you want, you should pay attention to the 3 key figures.

What does the freezer class mean?

Freezer classes (star rating) determine the temperature that can be reached in the freezer. This determines the maximum length of time food can be stored.

Star rating degrees cooling capacity
* – 6 °C short-term storage of frozen food (approx. 1 week)
** – 12 °C medium-term storage of frozen food (approx. 2 weeks)
*** – 18 °C storage of frozen food
**** less than – 18 °C freezing and long-term storage of food

Most small chest freezers have a star rating of 4 stars, making them best suited for freezing and storing food.

What defines the energy efficiency class?

As an aspect of performance, the energy efficiency classes provide information about the respective power consumption of the appliance. Here, the efficiency decreases from A+++ to H at each level. All current appliances have at least the energy efficiency class A+.

The energy label presented can be used to estimate the annual consumption of the freezer. Using an example, we would like to show you the differences that result from this.

Energy efficiency class annual consumption annual costs at a price of 0.29 € / kWh
A+ approx. 171 kWh 49.59 €
A++ approx. 131 kWh 37.99 €

The annual consumption was determined on the basis of a small freezer with a useful capacity of 100 L and in relation to the various efficiency labels. According to our research, small freezers do not achieve the highest energy efficiency class (A+++).

From 01.03.2021, the change to the energy label, which has already been discussed since 2019, is to be implemented. This will simplify the tracking of the labels. All energy efficiency classes will be clarified by the letters A to G. The plus labels (A+, A++, A+++) will thus be abolished.

What does the climate class mean?

The climate classes indicate the temperature of the environment in which the appliance should be operated in order to avoid complications. They must be adapted to your location. In Germany, SN and N are common.

  • SN – (extended standard) Ambient temperature from + 10 °C to + 32 °C (e.g. unheated cellar)
  • N – (Standard) Ambient temperature from + 16 °C to + 32 °C (normal temperature range)
  • ST – (subtropics) Ambient temperature from + 18 °C to + 38 °C
  • T – (Tropics) Ambient temperature from + 18 °C to + 43 °C

Some freezers also function at lower ambient temperatures and can thus also be used in cold garages, for example. The manufacturer’s information will tell you about this.

Which size is right for you?

The size of refrigerators and freezers is specified in terms of their storage capacity in litres. Chest freezers can generally provide 50 – 570 L of usable capacity. The mini-versions take up the smallest specifications and generally have room for 95 – 110 L. The largest appliance in this category offered 150 L capacity.

It is important to match the usable capacity to one’s own needs.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy recommends calculating 20 – 30 L per person if you keep a small amount of food in stock and 80 – 100 L per person if you freeze a lot of things.

Your storage behaviour is therefore decisive.

If you follow these guidelines, small freezers are suitable for 2-3 person households on the one hand and for individuals who store a lot of food on the other.

What is the weight of small freezers?

As soon as the freezer is to be placed on something else or used flexibly, it is important to pay attention to how heavy it is. Small freezers weigh 20 – 30 kg on average.

This makes them ideal for placing on shelves, as well as other appliances. They can also be transported to different places and used there.

What volume can be developed by small freezers?

The volume of small freezers is expressed in decibels (dB).
How important the volume is for your choice depends on how centrally the appliance is to be located.

It is a decisive criterion for the positioning of the appliance and should be found within the manufacturer’s specifications.

Most small freezers are about 40 – 45 dB loud. This corresponds, for example, to soft music or a quiet residential street at night.

What features are important to you?

Small freezers can be customised with individual features. Your preferences and the desired functionality are decisive here.

The appliances can differ in 4 areas:

  • Door: sliding or hinged lid (Small freezers mainly have hinged lids. Some models have a sliding lid instead.
  • Stand: Feet and castors (Height-adjustable feet allow the small freezer to be adapted to different locations. Castors make it easier to transport the appliance)
  • Interior partitioning: number of hanging basket and / or freezer tray (The basket and tray can be hung in the freezer and are used to organise the contents of the freezer. The tray offers space to freeze food individually. This can be used, for example, to freeze fruits, berries or herbs and to make ice cubes / stick ice. The basket is a demarcation of a certain area. Food that is used frequently can be stored here particularly well)
  • Automatic defrosting: MinFrost technology / Low-Frost technology (This technology reduces ice formation in the freezer compartment. The appliance therefore needs to be defrosted less often and energy is saved)

How much does a small freezer cost?

The price of small chest freezers depends on the features, the size chosen and the quality ratings. Different price ranges can be distinguished for the energy efficiency classes:

appliance price range
Small freezers with energy efficiency class A+ approx. 170 – 330 €
Small freezers with energy efficiency class A++ approx. 200 – 420 €

It is clear that small freezers with a higher energy efficiency class (A++) are more expensive overall. The cheapest compact household appliances for freezing and storing food cost about 170 €. The small chest freezer with the highest price has a value of about 420 €.

What are the alternatives to small chest freezers?

Small chest freezers are important, compact household appliances in the area of freezing and storing food. Their small size makes them ideal for small households. In addition to them, the freezer, the freezer section and the freezer compartment also fulfil this function.

The following overview shows the characteristics of the different freezing options.

Appliance Features
Small freezer


No drawers

Top loader



Drawers / Shelves


Freezer compartment Included in refrigerator (This can be purchased free-standing or as a built-in version.)

Depending on size Storage shelves


Freezer compartment Part of the fridge-freezer combination (This can be purchased free-standing, or as a built-in version.)

Drawers / storage surfaces

Front loader

Here it is clear that chest freezers and upright freezers are the only appliances that are not sold in combination with other refrigeration appliances. They differ in their interior design and their door opening. While freezers have their door at the front and are divided by drawers or shelves, small chest freezers have no drawers and are opened at their top.

This is why small freezers can be used to freeze larger foods.

In addition to the drawers and the positioning of the door, the freezer compartment and the freezer section differ from chest freezers in their surroundings. Both are connected to a refrigeration area and are particularly suitable if food is to be kept just as cool, more space is available for household appliances or less frozen food is used.

Compared to built-in freezers, small freezer combinations have the advantage of being energy-saving and efficient, as there is no additional refrigerator section.

Overall, the following advantages and disadvantages of small freezers can be seen:

  • Power-saving
  • Space for large foodstuffs
  • Can be purchased and positioned separately
  • Low order / clarity
  • No substructure / difficult integration of appliances into existing kitchen units possible

Decision: What types of small freezers are there and which is the right one for you?

The basic factors for buying a small freezer are the available space and the amount of storage you want. In this respect, small freezers can be differentiated according to their shape:

  • tall, small freezers
  • wide, small freezers.

Both variants have advantages and disadvantages. So that you can weigh up which type of appliance is right for you, we present them to you below.

What distinguishes a tall, small freezer and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Tall, small freezers are characterised by the fact that they are taller than they are wide.

Therefore, they need little space to be placed and are very suitable for freezing long items. However, the height of the appliances means that food lying at the bottom of the freezer is difficult to reach and can be deformed by other frozen food.

  • Little storage space required
  • Long items can be frozen well
  • Food lying on top of each other / less overview

The majority of existing small freezers are high and angular. Individually, there are tall, small freezers that are round.

What are the characteristics of a wide, small freezer and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Wide, small freezers allow you to place food next to each other to freeze it. This gives a better overview of the contents of the appliance and everything can be easily reached when opening the door. Wide products are easy to store. This width means that the chests require more storage space.

  • Food next to each other / better overview
  • Wide food can be frozen well
  • Much storage space required

Cube-shaped small freezers are very rare.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate small freezers.

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the range of small freezers.

The criteria you can use to compare small freezers include:

In the following paragraphs, we explain what is important in the individual buying criteria.

Size (usable capacity in L)

The size determines how much food can be cooled and frozen. In addition to the available space, the dimensions should be adapted to the storage requirements in order to avoid the following scenario:

As soon as the doors are opened, more warm air flows into the interior of the appliance, which has to be cooled at great expense. The power consumption increases enormously.

Our calculation formulas help you to determine the ideal usable capacity:

Normal use:

20 – 30 L x number of persons = useful capacity

Frequent use:

80 – 100 L x number of persons = useful capacity

Key figures (freezer class, energy efficiency class, climate class)

The quality of small freezers is recorded by the climate, freezing and energy efficiency class.

The quality indicators guarantee the performance of the freezers.

When comparing appliances, it is important to pay attention to the freezer class (4 stars), energy efficiency class (A+ or A++) and climate class (SN, N or lower temperatures).

The meaning of the key figures is explained in more detail in the guide section (in the section “How is the quality of small freezers marked?”).


Depending on the future location of your new household appliance, the noise level plays a more or less important role. This should be taken into account when making your choice.

As a rule, small freezers develop a volume of 40 – 45 dB.


Small freezers differ in the following areas:

  • Door
  • Stand
  • Interior design
  • Automatic defrost

Your preferences decide what is ideal.

The equipment options are described in more detail in the guide section (section “What features are important to you?”).

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Depending on the features of the small freezer, it can be opened in different ways, used flexibly in different ways and the need for defrosting can be delayed. The interior varies in terms of its subdivision. Moulds for making ice cream can be placed on a freezer tray, for example, and you can make your own stick ice cream.
(Image source: / Silviarita)

Facts worth knowing about small freezers.

What temperature should small freezers be?

The optimum temperature in a chest freezer is – 18 °C. This means that mixed foods can be frozen without any problems.

The degree is set with a temperature regulator and can be checked with a thermometer or temperature gauge.

How to freeze properly?

Food should be divided into portions and frozen as fresh as possible. For freezing, the product should be placed in packaging that is impermeable to air and moisture. Freezer bags or freezer-safe containers are suitable for this purpose.

The following procedure is used:

  1. Portion food as early as possible
  2. Seal portions airtight
  3. Freeze

The picture illustrates the packing of portions in bags:

It is particularly important to counteract the penetration of air during the freezing process to avoid freezer burn.

How do you avoid freezer burn?

Freezer burn is caused by air coming into contact with the food during the freezing process. This causes ice crystals and whitish to grey spots to form on the frozen food. The taste and quality of the products is reduced.

Norddeutscher Rundfunk has compiled some tips on how to avoid freezer burn:

  • Remove air from the bag when packing
  • Seal airtight with clamps or film sealer
  • Vacuuming

What can be frozen?

When freezing, the water in the food freezes and slows down the ageing process and the spoiling of it.

However, not everything can be frozen due to the different consistencies of the products. In addition, the shelf life and thawing time of the food varies.

The Federal Centre for Nutrition has compiled an overview that lists the freezing suitability as well as processing, storage and thawing instructions for a great many foods. You can find this in the appendix.

How should freezers be transported?

If possible, freezers should be transported upright to avoid oil from the compressor getting into the refrigeration cycle.

If only horizontal transport is possible, wait 12 – 24 h (depending on the model) to allow the oil to drain back before connecting to the power supply. In case of standing transport, the waiting time is reduced.

Preparation for transport:

  1. Defrost and clean the appliance
  2. Remove removable parts
  3. Secure door and mains cable with adhesive tape
  4. Use fastening straps for transport

How are freezers defrosted?

When defrosting the small freezer, any ice that has formed is removed. This frees up more space in the freezer and less energy is needed to cool the contents. The freezer should be cleaned in this way at least twice a year.

The following procedure is recommended:

  1. Clear out freezer and switch off
  2. Place a bowl with hot water and a baking tray to collect the melted water in the freezer
  3. Close lid and allow ice to thaw for 30 minutes
  4. Remove any remaining ice and use cloths to catch any more melt water

How to dispose of old freezers properly?

If you have decided to buy a new freezer, you can dispose of the old appliance as follows:

  • give to the dealer of the new freezer
  • go to a recycling or reusable materials centre

Proper disposal is required by law and helps protect the environment.

Image source: Ivanov/