Unsure which small freezer to buy? We make your decision easy with our reviews and comparisons of the top models available right now. Find out which freezer stands out from the crowd in our big guide.
Making a success of life in a small home means making the most of every inch of space possible. In today's article, we take a close look at the top performing mini freezers on the market, so you can squeeze every little bit of usable space out of your kitchen.
We've scoured the internet for the top performing small upright freezers that cover a range of budgets. There are Energy Star accredited models that are economical on energy use and even those that can switch between fridge and freezer modes.
We're confident that you'll find the perfect tiny freezer for your home with our guide anyway.
Start off by taking a quick look at what's on offer in the comparison table, before reading the in-depth reviews that follow. We get into the performance stats of each model and tell you exactly what we think of each one and why. We definitely have a favorite and one that we recommend over all others.
If you're a first-time buyer then you might want to start off with our comprehensive buyer's guide. Here we break down the terminology and explain the key features that you should be looking for in a solid miniature freezer.
The Top Small Freezers Compared
We've ordered the models in the table from largest down to smallest.
Click on the images to see the latest online price.
Mini Freezer Reviews
Here's where we go into more detail. Besides telling you the specs that make these models stand out in a crowded market, we also give our honest opinion about which are best in certain areas or in specific scenarios.
We'll start with our absolute favorite and the one we'd choose over all others. This tiny freezer is the complete package of energy saving performance and smart design, it just so happens to be one of the smallest freezers available.
Whynter CUF-110B Energy Star * Tiny House Huge Ideas Top Pick *
Capacity: 1.1 cubic feet
Annual Energy Use: 215 kWh
This little space saving gem from Whynter is the pick of picks when it comes to miniature freezers. Besides being tremendously small it also boasts the prized trophy of electrical appliance greatness: an Energy Star Certificate, to back up Whynter's energy-saving claims.
Measuring just 17.75" D x 18.75" W x 19.5" H this is one the most compact freezers on the market today. It's the perfect choice for any small space where ice cold storage is required. Designed to take up the absolute minimum of space, it features clever engineering like a reversible-swing door (with a recessed handle) and flush back that allows it to fit snugly against a wall.
It offers 1.1 cubic feet of cold storage space, which is actually fairly remarkable when you see how small the actual footprint of this freezer is. The interior features a recessed shelf with a removable wire tray, offering two layers of storage. On the lower level, there is also a temperature control dial that offers a temperature range from -10° to 2°F. It also gives the option to turn the system off when a manual defrost is needed.
Underneath the hood, this freezer is really well put together. It's one of the few freezers around of this size to be Energy Star rated. This award means that it has been assessed as being a very energy efficient appliance. Besides saving energy and being better for the environment this also has the added benefit of saving you money on electricity bills over the course of its lifetime.
Its estimated yearly energy use (a figure given by the Federal Trade Commission) is 215 kWh. If your electricity was to cost the national average of 12 cents per kWh, then this freezer would cost $26 a year in energy costs. Find me a more energy efficient freezer than this and I'll be shocked.
Despite boasting a powerful compressor that manages to work incredibly efficiently, this little freezer manages to perform its job pretty quietly too. It produces a noise level of less than 42dB, which to put into perspective is around that of a library (check out a noise comparison chart). Noisy freezers can be a real source of frustration in the home, but thankfully the Whynter CUF-110B won't get on your nerves.
All this comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Bottom Line: If you're looking for the top mini freezer on the market then this is it. It's energy efficient, quiet, and so small that you'll barely notice it's there. It's actually very good value for money too.
Whynter 210SS *The Best "Large" Miniature Freezer*
Capacity: 2.1 cubic feet
Annual Energy Use: 228 kWh
In our compilation of the best small freezers around, we've chosen the very smallest available (1.1 cu. ft capacity) and also what would be deemed as the biggest of the small upright freezers (3.2 cu. ft capacity). Our next recommendation fits nicely between these two markers.
The Whynter 210SS holds that middle ground and offers a great size alternative in the marketplace. As you can see in the image, the 2.1 cubic feet of storage space that this freezer offers is pretty generous.
Like most space-saving freezers it comes with a reversible swing door and flush back so that it fits cleanly against the wall. It also has the standard lockable door (key operated).
The standout feature of this model is the Energy Star rating. Like the smaller Whynter CUF-110B that we discussed earlier, this miniature freezer has been certified as being one of the most energy-efficient devices in its class. With an annual energy use of 228 kWh it compares very favorably with similar freezers. In fact, when comparing the relative capacities and power usages of our recommended 5 models it could be said this freezer is the most energy efficient relative to its size. For just a 6% increase in power use, it gives almost double the storage capacity of the 1.1 cubic foot capacity freezers.
Bottom Line: Now it's not the smallest mini freezer out there, but it's not far off. It is, however, very energy efficient and a great piece of engineering. This is a great alternative to the tiny 1.1 cubic foot models.
EdgeStar Convertible *The Best Dual-Use Fridge/Freezer Convertible*
Capacity: 1.1 cubic feet
Annual Energy Use: 215 kWh
The EdgeStar Convertible is a unique entry among our recommended miniature freezers. It's actually dual use as a freezer or refrigerator, giving double the cold storage options.
Measuring just 17.75" L x 18.5" W x 19.25" H, it's actually a fraction smaller than the Whynter CUF-110B model that we first reviewed. We're talking fractions of an inch here, but I guess those margins could prove decisive.
That's not the only area where the Edgestar Convertible is similar to the Whynter model either. It too has a reversible door with a recessed handle, an integrated lock, temperature control dial, and removable wire shelf.
In fact, these models are so similar that looking at them you'd be hard pushed to notice a difference. However, there is one big difference. And that's the dual operation that we mentioned before. This EdgeStar freezer is able to work perfectly well freezing food with an operating range of -11.2 to 5° F or simply cooling it as a refrigerator, with an operating temperature range of 32 to 50° F. The modes of use are easily toggled between using the dial found in the interior. This gives it a much greater scope for use than a dedicated freezer.
Next, let's talk about energy use. Freezers are notorious for being a big drain on power, so how does this one compare? Well, it does very well actually. It too is Energy Star rated as being an energy efficient appliance. In fact, so much so that it gives exactly the same impressive figures as the Whynter model. To recap, that's a yearly energy use of 215 kWh and a corresponding annual bill of just $26.
Bottom Line: If you need the ability to freeze or refrigerate then this is the model for you. It's energy efficient and absolutely tiny.
Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet
Annual Energy Use: 272 kWh
This freezer from Danby is a monster compared to the last few. Now, that doesn't make it large by any means, as it's still definitely a small freezer and measures just 22.5" L x 20.7" W x 32.7" H. The last few are just exceptionally small, making this 3.2 cubic foot capacity freezer seem abnormally large.
With around 3x the capacity of the last two models, this freezer has two shelves and ample cold storage space for a small home.
It doesn't have the Energy Star efficiency rating like the other two but possesses some pretty solid energy use figures. Rated at 272 kWh of annual energy use and $33 in yearly energy costs, it's not power hungry by any means. The increase in energy use corresponds to the capacity being almost triple the smaller models.
Though bigger than the other models on our list of recommendations, it features the same space-saving design ideas. The reversible handle gives extra options with regards to the point of installation, and the recessed handle doesn't take up any extra space.
Like most appliances like this, it comes with a 12-month warranty with the option to extend.
Bottom Line: The biggest of the small space-saving freezers. It offers a very usable sized capacity but maintains a small footprint in the kitchen.
Magic Chef Upright
Capacity: 3.0 cubic feet
Annual Energy Use: 270 kWh
At 3.0 cubic feet of storage capacity, this small upright freezer is one of the largest of our choices. It actually comes in a variety of sizes ranging from 2.4 - 3.5 cu. ft but the statistics mentioned here all relate to the 3.0 model.
With total dimensions of 22" L x 20.3" W x 32.1" H, its floor footprint isn't all that much bigger than the smallest freezers, but vertically there's a big difference in size.
With an annual energy power use of around 270 kWh it's on the higher end of the scale of our recommendations, which is no real surprise given its large capacity. It ranks 4th out of our 5 picks for energy use.
It comes with the standard reversible door, recessed handle, and removable wire shelves.
Bottom Line: This model gives you great options in terms of size. Rather than standing out in any one area, it performs steadily in each. A reliable and trusted freezer.
In this section, we go over the key takeaways from our findings and give our final opinion on which compact freezers are worth your money.
If you need the absolute smallest freezer out there then there's only one model for you. You need the Whynter CUF-110B Energy Star.
It's tiny and also the most energy efficient in its class.
Best Mini Freezer = Whynter CUF-110B Energy Star
If the CUF-110B is just too small for you, then the Whynter 210SS is an excellent option. It has almost double the capacity but remains extremely energy efficient.
Best Small Freezer = Whynter 210SS
We assure you we aren't sponsored by, or this post is in any way a paid endorsement of Whynter's products. This guide has been independently researched and written according to our opinions only. It just so happens that their two products are the best out there in their class.
If this is your first time buying a freezer then don't miss this section as you can check out the key features that separate the good from the average.
The capacity of a freezer is the usable volume that it possesses. Basically, how much food you can stuff into it. This is very different from the size (see the next part) which is the amount of space that it will take up in your kitchen.
The capacity of a freezer is measured in cubic feet (the symbol is cu. ft or ft3).
It's sometimes hard to envisage a volume measurement like this, so a simple cubic foot is illustrated in the diagram below.
The tiniest of the tiny freezers have a volume just larger than this and measure 1.1 ft3 (see the Whynter Energy Star & EdgeStar Convertible). The largest model we have included in our recommendations measures 3.2 ft3 (the Danby) which is considerably larger in both its capacity and the space that it takes up in the home.
Just remember that having the same capacity doesn't necessarily mean that two freezers will have the same dimensions. Different manufacturers use different tricks that minimize the floor space their products take up.
The freezer dimensions are always given in inches. This is the actual footprint that it will take up in the home.
If space is really tight in your home then there are a couple of things to note about sizing a compact freezer for installation:
1. At the back of the freezer lies a compressor. This is the part that does the job of cooling. The compressor needs a bit of space for ventilation as it tends to get pretty hot. For this reason, you should never position your freezer pressed up against the back wall. You need to give it an inch or so of space. You need to factor this into your measurements and add an inch or so to the length dimension of a freezer.
2. It's all very good squeezing an appliance into a space but it needs to be easily accessed too. Allow for the swing of the door in your measurements. Thankfully, these devices come with reversible doors as standard, that allows an extra option here.
A common feature with tiny freezers is a lockable door, usually operated with a key. However, this feature isn't standard and you'll find the bigger they get the less likely it is to have this ability.
Another common feature that we touched upon in the last section is the reversible door. This allows the door to be mounted on either side of the structure. This allows a bit of flexibility with regards to installation.
Freezers are notorious energy users that waste a lot of energy as heat emitted from the compressor. However, thankfully recent government guidelines have driven a real effort in improving energy efficiencies of household appliances like them.
Electrical appliances are now required by law to meet certain efficiency standards and display a special label outlining its performance under testing. You can see an example label taken from the Federal Trade Commision website below.
The very best performers that testing deems the most energy efficient appliances display an Energy Star badge (in the bottom right corner).
Remember that besides being better for the environment, a more efficient appliance will save you money on bills too.
Tiny House Huge Ideas Top Tip
The money that you will pay in energy bills over the course of a freezer's lifespan will dwarf what you pay upfront to buy it.
It's likely that you'll make more savings over 10 years by buying a more expensive but very efficient model, than buying a cheap freezer that is less efficient.
These small, compact freezers need to be manually defrosted. That means emptying them, turning them off, and removing ice/frost that has accumulated. This usually needs to happen when the frost exceeds about 1/4" in thickness.
Energy Saving Tips for Small Freezers
To make sure you don't use more energy than absolutely necessary, take a quick look at these simple bits of advice. They'll save you energy and also money.
- Be careful not to open the door too frequently during humid weather. The damp air may add ice to the interior of your freezer. The more ice and frost that accumulates in your freezer, the more inefficiently it will perform.
- Check the ventilation is clear every so often. These devices need a bit of air circulation behind them.
- When adding food to the freezer make sure that it has cooled to room temperature first.
- As we touched on before, ice and frost reduce the energy efficiency of a freezer by making it use more energy to maintain its temperature. Keep an eye on the amount of frost and ice. If it exceeds 1/4" in thickness then it's time to clean.
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