A mini fridge can serve many purposes; they can be used in RV’s, used to complement the main fridge in your house, or as substitutes for refrigerators in college dorm rooms, as a badge of pseudo-adulthood if you will. However, like the badge of pseudo-adulthood mini fridges aren’t exactly full sized (adult) fridges and are not a good option for storing uncooked meat or fresh produce for longer than a few days (plus pizza boxes don’t fit). However, mini fridges work best for short-term food storage and are ideal for drinks and snacks.
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In this article we delve into the best mini fridges for all budgets that will keep your food and beverages cold, while adding storage and saving space.
Here is a list of the Best Mini Fridges
Which Mini Fridge is Right For You?
There are two different ways a mini fridge functions. Most mini fridges keep their contents cold by removing heat with the help of a circulating gas running along tubes behind the storage unit, also known as a compressor-powered cooling system. Other mini fridges use a heat sink with a powered fan embedded behind the storage section, also known as a thermoelectric cooling system. The latter is quieter than the former but also less efficient.
Therefore, when picking the best mini fridge it is crucial to consider your exact needs. It is important to consider size, portability, storage space, freezer space and power consumption.
Of course, all mini fridges are smaller than a regular sized unit but they still range in size from small enough to fit under a desk to up to half the size of regular refrigerator. When picking which fridge is best for you it is important to consider the weight of the fridge and how portable it is. If you’re looking to use one for traveling you’ll want a much lighter weight fridge than if you’re looking to use your mini fridge as a replacement for a standard fridge in a college dorm.
Storage space is another key aspect to consider when deciding which fridge will best suit your needs. Portable fridges can range from one cubic foot of storage space to up to six cubic feet of storage space. If you’re looking to simply keep a few cans cold then a cube fridge is ideal; if you’re looking to store extra snacks or daily lunches you’ll need to opt for maximum storage space. Pick one with the capacity for what you aim to keep in it and no bigger.
Mini fridges are ideal for keeping things cold but are not as good at freezing foods. Often, freezers found in mini fridges are too small to be useful and usually they are powerful enough to keep a frozen item frozen, but not strong enough to freeze a room temperature item. If you’re looking to keep frozen foods frozen choosing a portable fridge with a small freezer area is a good option, but if you’re looking to freeze unfrozen things than it is best to opt for a separate mini freezer.
Lastly, smaller refrigerators consume less power than big ones but power consumption varies from model to model. Certain models are specifically energy efficient and have features that let it save on energy without being under powered.
Below we review the best mini fridges in three different price ranges that take into account each feature mentioned above, so that you can find a fridge to suit all your needs.
Culinair Af100s Compact Refrigerator
The Culinair Af100s Compact Refrigerator is a 1.7 cubic foot fridge with a 48-liter storage capacity. This fridge is 22.5 pounds and perfect for nurseries, bedrooms, dorm rooms, bars, and offices. It features built in thermo-electric technology, an interior light and uses an internal fan for air circulation, making it ultra quiet.
This model comes with auto-defrost and boasts seven different levels of thermostat. However, the coldest setting will cool to 51°F, which makes it ideal for beverages but not cold enough for food items like milk or meat.
The highlight of this fridge is that it has a reversible door that allows you to install it on either side so you can open it from the right or the left. It also offers a flush back design, adjustable leveling feet, and two-liter door bracket.
Culinair Af100s Compact Refrigerator Video Review
If you’re looking for a compact refrigerator that’s easy and energy efficient while budget friendly, the Culinair Af100s is a great choice for you.
The RCA RFR180 is a 1.7 cubic foot compact fridge with 7 cubic feet of storage space. It offers a well laid out interior for maximum storage capability and features integrated door racks, ideal for fitting bottles and cans. This model has a single removable shelf in the main area helping you maximize space.
In addition, it comes with a small freezer perfect for keeping little frozen treats or ice cubes.
This model ranges in temperature from 30°F to 48°F making it safe for food storage and perfect for beverages.
Like the Culinair Af100s, it is lightweight coming in at 33.3 pounds and provides a flush back design, adjustable thermostat, and reversible door, allowing you to open it from the right or left side.
The best part of this model is that its compressor cooled, meaning it will stay cool no matter what the outside and inside temperature is. This makes it ideal for any indoor space like the bedroom or office but also perfect for any outdoor space like in the garage or on the porch.
If you’re looking for a small fridge with maximum storage capacity at an affordable price than this reliable model is right for you.
Even though the Midea WHS-65L is the most compact mini fridge at 1.6 cubic feet it doesn’t skimp on important features. This unit weighs in at 35.3 pounds and is surprisingly spacious.
It provides a storage capacity of 45.3 liters and can hold up to 46 12-ounce cans. To augment its storage space it offers door storage plus one adjustable and removable wire rack shelf.
This model comes with a very precise manual temperature control so you can keep your refreshments at the right temperature. It’s separate freezer compartment ranges in temperature from 10°F to 21°F; perfect for ice cubes or short-term storage of frozen meals. The fridge area has a temperature range of 32°F to 50°F, making it cold enough to store regular food items too.
Furthermore, it features adjustable legs and a reversible door perfect for fitting it in any small space, like under a desk or between a night table and bed.
It uses a manual defrost cooling system making it ultra quiet and is ENERGY STAR certified.
Overall, if you need a very compact fridge that’s still big on features, this low price option is an excellent choice.
The Sunpentown RF-244SS is energy star certified and weighs in at 37.9 pounds; with 2.4 cubic feet of storage this model offers a bit more space for the price. You can easily stock up on TV dinners and bottles without quickly running out of room. It even features built-in racks on the door to hold cans, tall bottles and other small items.
This model comes with two slide-out wire shelves offering four possible mounting locations for added flexibility.
Moreover, it boasts a seven-inch wide freezer fitted in the top-right corner and a tray to collect any leakage while defrosting is in progress. It has an adjustable thermostat that offers 3 levels of temperature and the freezer can maintain its own temperature at less than 15°F.
This fridge combines a reversible door, flush rear dimensions and interior temperature control, giving you all the basic necessities for cooling and preserving food. This unit is optimal for dorm rooms, RV’s or small kitchens and can be installed under the counter or on the counter top. If you’re looking for a replacement to a regular sized fridge then this affordable and well-built model is an ideal fit for you.
Danby Designer 4.4 cu ft Compact Refrigerator
The Danby Designer DCR044A2 compact fridge offers 4.4 cubic feet of storage space but boasts an amazing inner design that really gives you maximum storage capacity.
Inside you’ll find optimal door storage including a set of eight individual can holders that can even accommodate 16-ounce tallboy cans and a special egg tray that can hold nine eggs.
In addition, the Danby has a slide-out tray under the freezer which serves as the drip tray during the defrost cycle, but can also be used to keep deli meats and cheeses. Furthermore, the freezer is just as wide as the fridge itself giving you maximum frozen storage capacity.
What’s more, this model comes with two and a half glass shelves that are adjustable so you can fit all sized food items.
Danby Designer 4.4 cu ft Compact Refrigerator Video Review
The appliance is controlled by an accurate mechanical thermostat and simple semi-automatic defrosting system. The temperature range for this fridge is 35°F to 38°F, while the freezer, has a usual resting temperature of about 9.9°F. This ENERGY STAR certified fridge is perfect for long-term storage of any food item while the freezer is best for short-term frozen food storage.
This 57.8-pound model is more than a full inch shorter than the next-best competitor making it a perfect choice for those looking to save space while amplifying storage. It’ll fit comfortably beneath a bar shelf or countertop and is a good choice for those looking to use their mini fridge as the main way to store food at safe temperatures.
The Magic Chef HMBR350SE $160
The Magic Chef HMBR350SE offers 3.5 cubic feet of storage space and weighs in at 50.9 pounds.
This model also has a very well designed interior, equipped with an inside light. It features 3 glass shelves that efficiently utilize the capacity by providing storage for both larger and smaller items. On the door you will find extra storage space including additional shelves and a can dispenser. Plus, this unit also features a full-width freezer compartment.
The Magic chef offers seven different temperature settings with an upfront interior analog control to easily make quick adjustments. There is an independent refrigerator cooling system so the freezer and fridge can be adjusted separately.
Once again, this ENERGY STAR certified fridge is ideal for long-term food storage while the freezer is adequate for short-term food storage only; reaching temperatures of 35°F to 38°F and 10°F respectively.
If you’re looking to use this mini fridge in your dorm room or RV this lighter weight model comes in handy.
The Haier HNSE04 is a small mini fridge with lots of space that cools quickly and efficiently via its compressor system. It weighs 55 pounds and provides 4 cubic feet of storage.
Inside you’ll find three full-width glass shelves that divide the interior into four compartments for storing beverages and food. There is also more storage space provided on the door, with one full-width and two half-width wire shelves, a tall can dispenser that can hold up to six cans and room for two 2-liter bottles.
Moreover, this model includes a half width freezer that contains an ice cube tray with additional space for freezing smaller items such as personal pizzas and popsicles. A thermostat dial beside the freezer compartment allows you to adjust the cooling temperature. If you’re looking to use a compact fridge as your main unit then this model with its reversible door, flat-back design and adjustable leveling legs is a compact yet spacious option that won’t break the bank.
The 4.5-cubic-foot Frigidaire FFPS4533QM encompasses every aspect that users value in a mini fridge. This ENERGY STAR certified model is the only mini fridge that performs well at both chilling food and freezing it for long term use. This is due to its separately insulated full-width freezer compartment that comes with its own door. The freezer compartment is large enough to hold a single, adjustable shelf and since it's fully separate from the refrigerator compartment there’s no worry about items placed on the top shelf of the fridge experiencing freezer burn.
Moreover, this model boasts an auto-defrost function, which can be hard to find on mini fridges, and interior lighting.
Inside the main fridge area there are two adjustable glass shelves and an enclosed crisper bin perfect for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh. On the door you will find storage that includes a full-width door rack, one half width door rack and two can dispensers to give ample storage flexibility.
Furthermore it features single knob controls inside the refrigerator that make it easy to select temperatures ranging from 32°F to 50°F and are separate from the freezer controls.
Since this mini fridge weighs in at 87 pounds it’s not ideal for traveling but is perfect for holding food in a dorm or teenager's room, stocking ice and cold drinks for a bar, or even functioning as a standalone fridge for a small kitchen or rental unit.
All in all this reasonably compact, quiet fridge, which keeps food consistently cold is a worthy investment for those looking to use it for any of the reasons mentioned above.
The Marshall Fridge
If you’re in the market for a practical mini fridge with a fun design then look no further. The Marshall fridge is outfitted with authentic Marshall parts and styling including a gold control panel, black cloth, white lettering and a Jim Marshall signature. On this Marshall amp look-a-like you’ll also find the power and standby switches, along with control knobs included on the facing. While they don’t actually control anything they’re still labeled presence, bass, middle, treble, master, and preamp, adding impeccable detail to this already cool design.
Yet this mini fridge isn’t just fun it’s also functional; with a storage capacity of 4.4 cubic feet, it weighs 57 pounds making it light enough to be portable and compact enough to fit in small spaces.
It includes two leveling legs and a stability bar to keep it stable on any surface and comes with a reversible door for both left- and right-hand use. The door opens as one piece revealing a small upper freezer with 0.4 cubic feet of storage. The freezer unit is not that spacious, but the rest of the mini fridge is.
Marshall Compact Fridge Video Review
Inside the main compartment you’ll find two glass shelves with spill protectors. One of the shelves is full size, while the other is half size. Both glass shelves divide the main storage compartment into three sections. There are two racks built into the door, the lower rack holds 2-liter bottles, while the upper rack holds cans. On top of that is another convenient storage section that can hold at least eight cans.
The Marshall Fridge uses a well-hidden compressor unit for cooling, giving the fridge a nice flush-back design and produces only 40 dB of noise.
On the whole if you’re looking to add an ENERGY STAR compliant mini fridge to your rec room, dorm or RV, this mini Marshall amp fridge is everything you need design wise as well as food storage wise.
Overall, our pick for best mini fridge is the 4.5-cubic-foot Frigidaire FFPS4533QM with it’s separate freezer compartment, it incorporates every feature of a regular fridge and isn’t terribly expensive. However, The best appliance works best when it’s properly suited to your individual needs. Whether you want to take one traveling or keep one in your room, every fridge listed above will do an excellent job of keeping refreshments cool and meeting the main requirements of size, portability, storage space, freezer space and power consumption. We hope this article has helped you keep it cool!