Best Mini Fridges Reviewed & Rated for Quality

Mini fridges are something that has been around for quite some time now and is perfect for nights out on the boat, when you move into the college dorms, to keep at the office, or even as a nice addition to your kitchen, to put things in, that won’t fit in the main refrigerator. Also, in a world of tiny spaces and everyone downgrading to a tiny house, these are seeing an increase in popularity once again.

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Cooluli
  • Cooluli
  • 5 out of 5
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Danby 4.4 Cu. Ft.
  • Danby 4.4 Cu. Ft.
  • 4 out of 5
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  • Energy Star Compliant
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Danby 3.3 Cu. Ft.
  • Danby 3.3 Cu. Ft.
  • 4.2 out of 5
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  • Scratch-Resistant Worktop
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At the moment, the most popular use for this product is to put in dorm rooms, when the offspring leave the nest and head off to college. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one. They come in handy for the office, the media room, and many people even use them to just hang out in the garage with their friends and have drinks at the ready.

There are so many makes and models on the market today, that it can be hard to find the right one to suit your needs. That is why this buying guide was made, to put all of the top products in one place, so you can choose the right one for you. So, without further ado, read on below to find out what the first mini fridge on the list is! 

 

10 Best Mini Fridges

 

1. Cooluli

1. Cooluli
This Cooluli Mini fridge is both an electric cooler and a warmer with the capacity to hold up to six can drinks. It has a thermoelectric system for switching back and forth between cooling and heating at the flip of a switch. The mini fridge is quiet, portable, and lightweight. It's the perfect size for dorm rooms, nurseries, or for taking your lunch to work and keeping it warm until it's time to eat.
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Has a Thermoelectric System
This features a thermoelectric system that makes it simple to switch from cool to warm when you need too. All it takes is a simple flip of a switch and you are ready to go.

Features a Carrying Handle
If you have ever tried to struggle with a mini fridge, trying to carry it up a flight of stairs or even to the car before work, you know how cumbersome it can be. This features a sturdy carrying handle for easy transport. It's also compact, so it can travel with you anywhere, including in the car with the kids. No more having to stop to buy cold drinks! You have them right there waiting for the kids to ask!

Cost and Value
The ability to switch this mini fridge from heat to cold is enough to make it worth the cost. It also has low energy consumption, which is good for your pocket, as well as the environment. The price is reasonable for the features you get with this handy little portable fridge.
Pros
  • Works as a cooler and a warmer
  • Sleek design
  • Easy to transport
  • Low energy consumption
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Some users report it doesn't cool anything that will spoil
  • Some users report it breaking down in the first couple of weeks

2. Danby 4.4 Cu. Ft.

2. Danby 4.4 Cu. Ft.
The Danby DAR044A5BSLDD compact fridge is 4.4 cubic feet with a spotless stainless steel door and a scratch-free worktop. It also has the Energy Star rating of approval, which is good for your energy bill and reduces your carbon footprint on the earth as well. This compact fridge is a perfect addition to any family kitchen.
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Smudge Free Door
This features a smudge-free door that is perfect if you have little ones around. It is designed to keep fingerprints and smudges to a minimum, meaning you don't have to spend all of your time cleaning the door.

See Through Veggie Crisper
Another great feature of this is the clear veggie crisper that comes with it. It is see-through, so you can always see what you have inside and it's roomy, so you can store veggies and fruits if you wish.

Cost and Value
When you want quality, you have to be willing to spend a little more than usual. This product is roomy, has an elegant design, 2 full shelves, one half shelf and a veggie crisper to recommended it, making it well-worth the money spent.
Pros
  • Sits perfectly under most countertops
  • Compact
  • Smudge-free door
  • Scratch resistant worktop
  • Keeps drinks very cold
Cons
  • Some users complain that it doesn't keep the temperature correctly
  • Poor customer service

3. Danby 3.3 Cu. Ft.

3. Danby 3.3 Cu. Ft.
This Danby 3.3 Cu. Ft. mini fridge comes in five color choices and features glass shelves, interior lighting, hidden reversible hinge, and a scratch resistant worktop. It's extremely roomy and the perfect addition to the main fridge in your home. It is also a great mini fridge to put in an office to store drinks and lunches.
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Available in 5 Colors
This will work anywhere that you need it and won't detract from your decor since it's available in five different colors. It's available in black, spotless steel, white, red, and silver. You should have no problem matching the decor wherever you decide to put it.

Energy Star Certified
This product has the Energy Star seal of approval, meaning that it's not only environmentally friendly but helps to save you money on your electric bill as well. That is always a good thing!

Cost and Value
This energy-efficient 3.3 Cu. Ft option is a great buy for the price. It gets its value from being Energy Star certified and roomy at the same time. This fridge will make a great addition to anyone's kitchen, office space, or garage.
Pros
  • Energy Star Approved
  • Holds a decent amount of cans
  • Stylish look with glass shelves
  • Whisper quiet
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Lack of customer service appalling
  • Doesn't keep cool

4. Chefman

4. Chefman
This Chefman portable compact fridge is for personal use and has a 4-liter capacity. It works for cooling and warming and can hold up to six 12-oz cans at a time. It is also perfect for keeping yogurt, fruit, small cartons of milk, cheese, juice and other things on the removable shelf that is included. The perfect mini fridge to carry for home or office. Not only is it freon free, it is also environmentally friendly as well.
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100 Percent Freon-Free
Keep your family safe and do your part to protect the environment with this personal cooler. It is 100 percent freon-free, making it the perfect choice for everything from dorm rooms to backyard BBQ's.

Cooling and Warming Feature
This doesn't just keep your drinks cold, it can also keep your lunches warm. The cooling features cool down to 32 degrees F. and the warming feature goes up to 140 degrees F. This is easy to change from cold to warm with just the flick of a switch.

Cost and Value
If you are searching for a small, portable, lightweight, option that is easy to carry for personal use, then this isn't a bad price for you. The value comes that it is 100 percent freon-free and eco-friendly as well!
Pros
  • Eco-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Portable and easy to carry
  • Includes plugs for home and car
  • Super quiet
Cons
  • Some users complained that the fan is nosy
  • Doesn't keep things as cold as it claims to 

5. Black and Decker

5. Black and Decker
This Black and Decker option is the perfect choice for a dorm room. It is small enough to be placed in the corner of a room or on a small table where it's out of the way and only noticed when needed. It comes with adjustable shelves, a single door, and a freezer compartment with an ice tray included. It also has storage space and an adjustable shelf that is removable. It's 1.7 cubic feet and comes in white, black or a brushed metal finish.
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Adjustable Thermostat
This mini fridge features an adjustable thermostat that makes it easy to keep the fridge the right temperature all of the time. Keep it just the perfect temperature to store your ice cream in the dedicated freezer section of the fridge.

Plenty of Storage
The 1.7-foot cubic storage in the fridge can be put to full use by adjusting the shelf the way you want it to be, to hold everything from drinks to that care package your mom sent you from home.

Cost and Value
With its roomy interior, the dedicated freezer space and adjustable shelf, the money charged for this fridge is a steal. Add in that it's got the Energy Star seal of approval and you have a winner when it comes to value and cost.
Pros
  • Adjustable shelf
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Affordable
  • Runs smoothly
  • Cools well
Cons
  • Some users complain that it won't fit a 2-liter bottle
  • Too noisy to keep in an office or nursery

6. EdgeStar

6. EdgeStar
This product is actually a fridge and a freezer. It's a dorm sized 3.1 cubic feet and has a separate freezer door to it. There are door bins in both the fridge portion and the freezer, giving you extra storage for everything for your drinks to your ice cream. It has a true zero degrees freezer and is stainless steel with black cabinets. This is perfect for dorm rooms or garages.
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Automatic Fridge Defrost
This product features an automatic fridge defrost, so you don't have to manually defrost it when the need arises. This means that the refrigerator part of the fridge doesn't have to have the ice build-up manually removed.

Slide-Out Shelves
The shelves in this fridge slide out for easy cleaning and to make more room if needed. This is the perfect choice for a dorm room, where you want your snacks and drinks, but have little room to store them or a full-sized fridge.

Cost and Value
With the automatic defrost and slide out shelves, this is just what the professor ordered. The price is reasonable and the fridge looks expensive and will make a great addition to dorm rooms everywhere!
Pros
  • The fridge comes with reversible doors
  • There's an automatic defrost for the fridge portion
  • Great for a small area
  • Very affordable price
  • Has an impressive look
Cons
  • A bit too noisy for being able to sleep with it in the room
  • Some users say the mini fridge was damaged on delivery 

7. Pepsi Gourmia

7. Pepsi Gourmia
The Pepsi Gourmia is a thermoelectric cooler that can keep your food warm or your drinks cold. It works for home, office, dorm, car, boat, or anywhere you think a mini fridge would make the cut. It's compact, portable and has the adorable Pepsi logo on the front and comes in a Pepsi can shade of blue. It's the perfect complement to any day, anywhere, anytime.
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Compact and Lightweight
This product is compact, so it can fit anywhere, easy to carry because it is lightweight and capable of holding up to six 12 oz cans of your favorite beverage.

Helps You to Go Green
This was made with thermoelectric technology, which means it has none of those CFC's and refrigerants that some fridges have. This means it's good for the environment, reduces the carbon footprint on the earth and helps you go green at the same time. That's a win-win, no matter how you look at it.

Cost and Value
This cooler is capable of warming and cooling the food and drinks you want to take with you on the go. For what it does and the fact that it uses thermoelectric technology to help save the planet, makes it well worth the price asked.
Pros
  • Has a nice design
  • It is solidly constructed
  • Great price for the money
  • Takes up very little room
  • Keeps drinks and milk cold
Cons
  • Some purchasers complain that stuff needs to be pre-cooled or preheated for the mini fridge to do its job

8. Magic Chef

8. Magic Chef
The Magic Chef 4.4 cubic foot fridge comes in stainless steel or black and is perfect if you need a fridge at the office, in your dorm, or even in your garage when you're working. It also features a push-button defrost, interior lighting, glass shelves and a freezer compartment that is full width.
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Removable Glass Shelves
This product features two glass shelves that are removable. This means it is easier to clean, including the shelves as well. If you need more room, simply take a shelf out and store it for later.

Push-Button Defrost
Gone are the days that you have to manually defrost and chip away at the ice. This product comes with push-button defrost, making cleaning and defrosting a breeze.

Cost and Value
With the push-button defrost capability and the removable glass shelves, this makes the grade for value and affordability. Add in the sleek design that will fit almost anywhere, and this one is a keeper.
Pros
  • Has an excellent layout
  • High-quality
  • Energy Efficient
  • Full-width freezer works well
  • Durable
Cons
  • Doesn't work under the counter
  • Freezer doesn't work well

9. RCA

9. RCA
The RCA 1.6 to 1.7 cubic foot cooler is perfect for saving space and still having the fridge room you need at home, the office, a dorm room, or even the garage. It features an adjustable thermostat, a reversible door, and a door basket for extra storage.
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Door Basket
The door basket that comes with this is capable of holding 2-liter bottles and the fridge comes with an ice cube chamber with a tray as well, so that you have ice whenever you need it.

Reversible Door
This features a reversible door, which means it can be opened from the left or the right, giving added convenience to this bright orange mini fridge.

Cost and Value
For cost and value, this is reasonably priced. The reversible door, the compact design and the ice chamber make it well-worth the money.
Pros
  • Price is affordable
  • Works well
  • Very quiet
  • Cools well
  • Doesn't get hot
Cons
  • Some consumers reported it being a weird rust color, instead of orange
  • Some customers reported it making a loud clanking noise when the compressor turns on 

10. hOmeLabs

10. hOmeLabs
The hOmelabs beverage fridge and cool is perfect for anyone who loves to keep a ton of beverages cool. It features a glass door and the fridge holds up to 120 cans of your favorite beverage. This modern beverage cooler is perfect to keep in a bar, garage, or even in the office, so you can chill a variety of beverages from sodas to energy drinks.
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Adjustable Removable Shelves
This product comes with adjustable shelves so that you can maximize your space if you need too. The shelves are also removable, just in case you want to take them out and store a few of them when you need more space.

Modern Design
The modern look of this option can't be beaten anywhere else. It will look right at home, no matter where it's put and match any type of decor.

Cost and Value
The capacity to hold up to 120 beverages makes this cooler well-worth the money that is being asked. Add to that the adjustable shelves, and this mini fridge is one that will last you for years.
Pros
  • Sleek modern design
  • Gets cold quickly and then stays consistent
  • Very quiet
  • Shelves are made of a sturdy metal
  • Affordable price 
Cons
  • Some customers report it not holding the amount of beverages specified 

 

The tiny house movement is making a move on society as well and as stated above, people are downsizing and moving into these tiny homes. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good, or make a whole lot of sense to put a full-sized refrigerator in a tiny house, so a mini option, also known of as a compact fridge, works well for them. If you are moving into a tiny house and want to go with a mini version, you may need a bigger one in the shed out back, then this buying guide is for you as well. However, there are some things to consider before snatching up the first one you come across.

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Mini Fridges

When it comes to choosing the best one to meet your needs, there are quite a few things you should take into consideration. In this guide, the metrics used included durability, appeal, and design, whether it was environmentally friendly or not, how much noise it made and the amount of space it would take up. One thing to take into consideration when choosing is the type you are looking for. They come in different types, models, and designs so that you can personalize yours  and get the one that works best for you. Making sure that it has a good safety rating and is energy efficient are also things you will want to look for.

When on the hunt, whether it’s to put in a dorm room or the corner of your bedroom, these are the things to consider and the metrics that were used to pick the very best options out there for you and your needs.

Types

There are many different types out there to choose from, so you will want to take every one of them into consideration before you make a final choice. The cube mini fridge is the most common and takes up the least amount of room. They usually average around 25 to 30 pounds and are short enough that they can be stuffed into tiny spaces. This option is also one of the least expensive on the market today.

Another type to consider is the drinks mini fridge. These are designed to hold only drinks and snacks and are often used on boats, in offices, and out in garages. These usually hold about 12 drinks at a time and are great for people who want to keep their drinks out of the main refrigerator and within easy reach.

The travel or portable option is also a common one and sold quite often. They travel with you or lightweight and can hold a few drinks or snacks as well.

The choice of the type of mini fridge you choose should be determined by what you are going to be using it for. If you travel a lot, the travel one will probably be your best bet, but if you are running a bar or meet your friends in the garage for drinks every weekend, then the drinks option might be the one you’re looking for. The cube is best when it’s left in one place, but can be moved if need be, of course.

Environmentally Friendly

The world has finally realized that being environmentally friendly is the only way to save the planet for the future of the children to come. Most of the top-rated products are approved by Energy Star and are environmentally friendly. When searching always look for the Energy Star label so that you too can reduce your carbon footprint on the earth.

Noise

One of the biggest things to look for when you are choosing is how quiet or how noisy it is. Remember, many of these will be used in bedrooms, office buildings, and dorm rooms. That means you want one that is quiet when it is running and when the compressor kicks on as well. The top-rated options on this list are usually super quiet and can be used in any room of the house. Read the reviews carefully on any of the products you are considering to ensure there are no loud noises are bangings coming from the fridges at any time, day or night.

Space/Size

One of the most important things to look for is the size you are considering. The first thing you need to do is consider the size of the space you will be putting it in, then found the one that will fit that space. The top-rated ones on this list come in a variety of sizes and will fit in almost any location. It’s a good idea to measure the space that you are thinking of putting it in before you go out and decide which one to purchase. It’s better to be safe than sorry when choosing any type of small appliance.

Appeal and Design

Even though most options are put in out of the way spaces, it’s still important to get one that you are happy with and that is visually pleasing to the eye. Luckily, most top-rated products come in a variety of colors and sizes, so that you can find one that matches the decor in your dorm room, your office, or even on your boat if it pleases you too.

Durability

The last thing on the criteria list was the durability of the products that were reviewed. As with any small appliance, you want one that is durable and will last you a good long time. The top-rated on the list have lasted people for many years and are still going strong.

Features

Everyone has different features that they want and in today’s modern world, there are many that you can choose from. The top-rated products have removable and adjustable shelves, often come with wide width freezers and ice cube trays. Many of them come with automatic defrosts and holders to keep small things from falling out. The choice of features is up to you, just make sure you get some good ones!

Reversible Doors

Some of the top-rated options come with doors that have hinges that allow them to open to the right or the left, according to the space it is in. This might not be that big of a deal in an office setting, media room or even in your garage. However, in a dorm room where you might be moving it from place to place, you need to know that the door can be opened no matter where it is located. The choice of whether to purchase one with reversible doors should be determined by where it is going to be in the present and in the future. Thinking ahead can save you from having to buy a whole new one in the near future.

Price

One of the main considerations you want to take into account when searching is the price. They range in price from around $40 to upwards of $200. The type  you buy and other features are what determines that price point. If you want just a basic one with no frills, it is certainly going to be cheaper than one that features all the bells and whistles. Deciding which features you truly want and which ones you can truly do without is a good way to determine the price range you are willing to go with. Try creating a budget, then looking at the products on this list to start making a final decision.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to defrost?

It usually only takes overnight to defrost. Make sure that you unplug the unit before you start the defrosting process. Once you have done this, take all of the food out and let it defrost. The next morning wipe up any water that is present and plug the unit back in. If your option has an automatic defrost, then you do not have to unplug it.

Q: How long will it last?

Compact refrigerators usually last around 14 years on average. This is, of course, determined by how well you maintain it and the construction of it as well.

Q: Do they use a lot of electricity?

While these do use a lot of electricity, most people don’t notice because it only averages out to about $5 a month to operate for most compact fridges. If you purchase one that has the Energy Star approval, then it is going to be more energy-efficient and cost you less on the electric bill every month.

Q; How often should you defrost it?

It is recommended that you defrost it about every three months. It’s also a good idea to keep a fresh box of baking soda in the back to ensure freshness and to eliminate odors between cleanings.

Q: How long does it take for it to cool down?

Most well-made options will only take around four hours to cool down after it is plugged in. However, for safety’s sake and to ensure that it is at the right temperature, it’s best to wait for 24 hours after plugging it in to put food or drinks inside.

Q: Do you need to unplug it before moving it?

It is recommended that you not only unplug but also defrost it before moving it. Unplug it at least 24 hours before moving, defrost it, dry it, and then load it up for the move. Don’t forget to mop up and dry out the water, or you could be in for a stinky surprise when you open the door aftfrr plugging it back in.

Q: Will it make the room you’re in hotter?

While a mini fridge will heat up the room you’re in, it is such a small amount of a warm-up that you shouldn’t even notice it. If you keep your thermostat on the same setting, it shouldn’t make a difference at all.

When it comes to finding a mini fridge for your dorm, office, nursery, bedroom, or even just to take with you out on the boat or on long trips in the car, it’s important to do your research carefully to determine what is the right one for you. There are so many different makes and models out there, and yes, even design and color choices that it may take you quite a bit of time to make a final decision. This buying guide was designed to make that process easier for you by reviewing, rating and discussing the metrics needed to help you make the right choice.

Do your research, follow the metrics above and you will soon find yourself the proud owner of a functional mini fridge that cools well, and in some cases warms too! Happy hunting mini fridges!

Sources

  1. The DIY Experts Network, How to Pick the Perfect Mini Fridge
  2. Quick Fix, Top 9 Interesting Facts About Your Fridge That You Might Not Know
  3. Wikipedia, Refrigerator
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