Difference Between Chest Freezers and Upright Freezers

A chest freezer or an upright freezer are your two primary options when purchasing a freezer for your restaurant. However, these two types of freezers differ significantly beyond their configuration, which is either vertically or horizontally.

You can store many items in an upright or hard top chest freezer, which will be helpful for commercial purposes and perhaps cost-effective in the long term. For example, both will effectively preserve your meal preps or stockpile large meat orders. Again, though, there are significant distinctions to take into account.

Chest Freezers - Elanpro

We’ll explore the upright freezer vs chest freezer to make the best purchase. But, first, let’s compare and contrast the two types of freezers.

Chest Freezer vs Upright Freezer


Specs Chest Freezer Upright Freezer




Cost Less expensive More expensive
Cooling Technology Direct Cooling Technology Frost Free Cooling
Floor Space Requires more floor space Needs less floor space
Energy Efficiency More energy efficiency Less energy efficiency
FIFO System Challenging to organize Easier to organize
SKU Inventory Lots of space to maintain inventory Ease of SKU management



You can easily distinguish both the freezers from one another right away. If we talk about deep freezer, they have a horizontal position on the floor and are deep. It includes a lift-up door and basket instead of shelves. It may be perfect for storing food items, but digging through previous food will be a task.

On the other hand, an upright freezer, similar in size to full-sized refrigerators, stands vertically, as its name suggests, and has internal shelves.


In comparison to upright freezers, chest freezers are less expensive. In addition to convenience features like auto or manual defrost, size and storage units impact prices.

Despite costing more than chest models, upright freezers offer less functional storage space. In the long term, you save money because chest freezers use less electricity than upright versions. On the other hand, upright models require far less floor space than chest freezers, which do require space.

Cooling Technology

Direct cool technology is installed in the chest freezer. This technology flows the cool air through convection— the process takes place naturally, and no outside assistance is taken. However, this doesn’t let you regulate temperature distribution, which leads to uneven cooling.

In addition, in the case of direct cool technology, manual defrosting is required to remove the ice accumulated on the interior surface of the freezers.

On the other hand, upright freezers are equipped with frost-free cooling, which distributes cool air uniformly with the help of hidden cooling coils and electric fans throughout all the shelves. This technology prevents ice accumulation in the freezer, eliminating the need for manual defrosting.

If you are looking for both technologies in one freezer, then definitely go for Elanpro upright freezer designed with both direct and frost-free cooling.

FIFO (first in first out) System

The FIFO system is more efficient to manage in an upright freezer than in a chest freezer. This is because chest freezers are harder to organize using the FIFO system, and it takes more effort to locate the items at the end. On the other hand, an upright freezer allows complete visibility of the products kept in the back, making it simpler to rearrange and declutter periodically.

Elanpro | Upright Freezer

Floor Space

Because chest freezers are short and wide, they take up more space than vertical freezers. Hence, it’s crucial to make sure you have enough space. In addition to this, they also require space above them to lift the top door conveniently and an accessible electric plug.

On the other hand, upright freezers have a smaller footprint and require less floor space. However, an upright freezer’s door must have adequate space to swing open freely. Additionally, the freezer cannot be positioned flush against the wall behind it, and there must always be at least an inch between it and should have a socket nearby.

Energy Efficiency

A deep chest freezer is more energy-efficient than an upright freezer, requiring 10% to 25% less electricity, helping the environment, and not putting a hole in your pocket. This is because chest freezers are integrated with sidewall insulation, which helps retain their frigid temperatures effectively and consumes the least energy.

On the other hand, the vertical doors of upright freezers are designed with uneven spaces, increasing the energy required to maintain the frozen state of your meals.

Chest freezers also have the advantage of keeping food frozen for two to three days during a power outage. However, in that situation, an upright freezer can preserve the food for only one day. However, Elanpro offers you A++-rated upright freezers that consume less energy and are energy efficient.

SKU Inventory

A scannable code called a stock-keeping unit (SKU) enables merchants to track inventory movement. SKUs offer sales statistics and automatically track the stock data.

Upright offers flexible shelving which allows SKUs to be stored as per the pack size by rearranging the shelves. On the other hand, the chest freezer lacks the organized space required to maintain inventory according to SKU. 

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