Whether you are replacing an outdated freezer or adding a stand-alone freezer to increase storage space, you will want to know how big the typical freezer is. We’ve researched both refrigerator-freezers and stand-alone freezers to get the answer for you.
Typical freezer sizes range between:
- Compact: 3 - 5 cubic-feet
- Small: 6 - 9 cubic-feet
- Medium: 10 - 18 cubic-feet
- Large: 18+ cubic-feet
Keep reading, and we’ll discuss different types of freezers and how much food storage capacity is available in each. You will learn how to pick the right size freezer for your home.
How are Freezers Measured?
Freezers are measured by cubic-foot, a unit used to measure volume. To determine freezer capacity, measure the height, width, and depth of the freezer’s interior. Then, multiply those measurements together to get the cubic-foot.
If you have measured in either centimeters or inches, convert those numbers into units of feet before multiplying. Try this handy cubic-feet calculator for a simple conversion.
The general rule of thumb for understanding freezer capacity is that one cubic-foot holds approximately 35-pounds of frozen food. Note that because frozen foods do vary in size and shape, your total freezer capacity may be slightly more or less.
How Much Does a Five Cubic-Foot Freezer Hold?
Compact five cubic-foot freezers are available either with refrigerators or as stand-alone, chest and upright freezers. This freezer size will hold a capacity of approximately 175-pounds of frozen food.
Top-freezer refrigerator models typically provide between four cubic-feet and five cubic-feet of freezer capacity. These models tend to fall on the smaller end of standard refrigerator dimensions, ranging between 28 and 32 inches wide, 61 and 66 inches tall, and 28 and 34 inches deep.
Compact chest and upright freezers, between three cubic-foot and five cubic-foot capacity, use minimal space to conveniently boost your frozen food storage in addition to that of a refrigerator with a freezer.
How Much Does a seven Cubic-Foot Freezer Hold?
A seven cubic-foot freezer falls within the small freezer size category. It can hold as much as 245-pounds of frozen food. Small-sized freezers are available on refrigerators with a freezer models and as stand-alone, chest and upright freezers.
Both types of side-by-side and bottom-freezer refrigerator models can provide ample space, between six cubic-foot and nine cubic-foot of freezer capacity. These fridges tend to fall on the larger end of standard refrigerator dimensions.
Side-by-side models have a refrigerator on one side and a freezer on the other. Dimensions range between 32 and 39 inches wide, 65 and 71 inches tall, and 29 and 31 inches deep.
Bottom-freezer refrigerators can have either a top door or French doors. Dimensions range between 29 and 36 inches wide, 67 and 70 inches tall, and 29 and 34 inches deep.
If you already have a relatively large refrigerator, but the freezer seems to be overflowing, adding a small chest freezer to your home will help to manage frozen food storage. Small chest freezers can be either top-loading or upright.
What is a Good Size Freezer?
There are several factors to consider before purchasing a freezer. Let’s take a closer look at how to decide which type and size of freezer might work best for your home.
How Will You Use the Freezer?
When it comes to frozen food, everyone has a different strategy. Do you tend to:
- Just freeze the basics; ice cream, cubed ice, frozen pizza, frozen vegetables, and TV dinners?
- Freeze large portions of home-cooked foods like soup, lasagna, and chili for later use?
- Buy in bulk, to stockpile frozen foods when the price is right?
- Hunt or fish and freeze your freshly butchered meats?
- Order large portions directly from the farmer; quarter cow, whole pig, or lamb?
- Bake large batches of homemade bread or desserts to keep frozen?
- Add seasonal vegetables to the freezer from your garden?
Compact and small freezers work well for the basics. If you find your refrigerator’s freezer has gotten jam-packed with essentials, consider getting a stand-alone chest or upright freezer. You will double your storage space with minimum space requirements.
If you like to stock up on frozen food, you will quickly outgrow a refrigerator with a freezer. Consider getting a medium to large chest or upright freezer. A ten cubic-feet chest freezer can accommodate 350-pounds of food. That’s plenty of storage for a quarter cow, with room to spare for frozen vegetables and casseroles.
How Many Mouths to Feed?
The size of your freezer will largely depend on the number of people you typically serve. Consider roughly 1.5 cubic-feet of freezer space per person. So, a family of four might use a minimum of six cubic-feet of freezer space. This is the typical size of the larger refrigerator/freezers.
Depending on your food preparation and storage habits, you might want to go bigger by getting a small to medium, stand-alone freezer to avoid overfilling your refrigerator’s freezer.
Where to Store the Freezer?
Size matters when you need to dedicate a permanent location in your home to freezer space. Refrigerators with freezers are generally standard sizes that accommodate most kitchen cabinetry layouts. But, stand-alone freezers can take-up quite a bit of space.
Chest freezers are slightly larger than narrower, upright freezers. You will need to consider door clearance for each; chest freezers open from the top and upright freezers open vertically similar to a refrigerator. Both require ample ventilation, approximately 1 to 2 inches gap around the exterior between adjacent walls and furniture.
The storage location of your freezer should also be convenient to use. For instance, if you freeze foods long-term and rarely visit the freezer, you might consider locating it in the basement, laundry room, or garage.
But, if you use the freezer frequently, you might consider locating it nearby the kitchen. A compact freezer, for instance, can fit neatly beneath the counter.
Just remember to measure your intended location, and then measure again to be sure that the exterior dimensions of your new freezer will fit. Try to find a place near an easily accessible electrical outlet.
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