When Freezers Are Sold Out, Consider a Second Refrigerator

·2 min read

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If you’ve tried to buy a freezer during the past month, you’re probably all too aware that it’s almost impossible to find one.

“The last six weeks saw significant panic buying of freezers,” says Nish Suvarnakar, Consumer Reports’ market analyst for refrigerators and freezers. “What makes it worse is that retailers haven't been able to replenish their stock with new models, which don't arrive until the middle of summer.”

Consumer Reports searched for freezers at a host of national, regional, and online-only retailers, including AJ Madison, BrandsMart USA, Best Buy, Costco, Home Depot, Lowe’s, P.C. Richard & Son, and Sears. Though we found a handful of models still available at AJ Madison and Best Buy, most freezers were listed as either out of stock or backordered to late May into August.

If you want a freezer now, you might consider purchasing a second refrigerator instead. Top-freezer models cost about the same as a full-sized freezer and are typically smaller and more affordable than other refrigerators, such as side-by-sides and French-doors.

That makes them a smart choice for a second fridge assigned to the garage or basement. In terms of capacity, the freezer compartments of the biggest top-freezer fridges in our ratings have about the same space as a small chest freezer, or about 6 cubic feet. And as a bonus, you get plenty of extra cold storage for fresh foods and beverages.

Just remember that there's no need to hoard food during quarantine. And there's a difference between hoarding and preparing. If you need help figuring out what and how much to buy, see our guide to what you need when you're quarantined at home.

Below are the best top-freezers with large freezer compartments from our refrigerator ratings, arranged in order of most to least freezer capacity. They carry prices ranging from $700 to $900 and are made by Frigidaire, Insignia, Maytag, and Whirlpool.

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