Compact Refrigerator (With or Without Freezer) Buying Guide
Should you choose a refrigerator, a freezer or a freezer? There is no right answer to this question because different families have different needs, preferences, and designs. Sometimes, in order to have several advantages at once, people stop to buy a compact refrigerator and freezer! And then you might get confused because there are so many different options on the market. While it can be tempting to choose the one with the lowest price and move on, it helps to be specific in your selection process. You will need to understand your needs and find an appliance that meets those needs (also read about the best mini fridges on the market in our article Best Small Chest Freezer On The Market).
Compact Fridges’ Types
Compact refrigerators come in five basic types, allowing you to choose one that best suits your needs. The following summarizes the five major types of refrigerators and their most suitable use.
1. Cube Minis
This type of compact fridge is perfect for small spaces. They can easily fit on a countertop, or under a desk. They are generally between 1.5 to 2.1 cu ft on the inside and weigh between 25 and 30 pounds. However, many of them have poor insulation and cannot be expected to do more than cool a few drinks and snacks. Some are not efficient enough to keep meat to the proper temperature and they will not replace a standard refrigerator.
2. Mid-Sized Refrigerator
These units can store a little more than the cube, but they are also a bit more expensive. They range in size from 2.7-4.7 cu ft. They have more shelving and sometimes a freezer compartment. The cooling efficiencies of these refrigerators differ significantly from model to model.
3. Counter Refrigerator
You will sometimes see these in stores sitting on top of countertops. They are typically over 5 cu ft in size, have more freezer and shelf space, and some contained crispers. These are popular for people in condos and work as well as standard refrigerators at keeping food at the correct temperature, including meat.
4. 2-Door Compact Fridge
These are simply a smaller version of standard refrigerators. They have a separate freezer can department, has auto-defrost, removable shelves, and precise temperature controls. These can hold considerably more items than smaller compacts.
5. Travel Fridge
Travel refrigerators are small refrigerators that use an alternative power source such as batteries, or the ability to be plugged into a car cigarette lighter. These are only meant for short distances and will place a strain on your vehicle’s engine.
Additional Features to Look For
These are the main types of small fridges, but you need to look around because some of them have additional features that may make them more suitable for your needs.
The first thing to look out for is refrigerator storage capacity. The capacity of these compact refrigerators ranges from as little as ten-twelve cubic feet, so make sure that you have enough room for all your food and drinks. Also consider the size of the freezer. If you need a lot of space to store frozen food, then this may be a concern for you.The next thing to look out for is the freezer’s temperature. Many small refrigerators have a frost free freezer, which means that the cold air is emitted from the back of the freezer, rather than a fan. This helps keep your food and drinks fresher for longer periods of time, but it also means that you’ll need to keep opening the door to allow the air to circulate.
1. Separate Freezer Compartment
The two main types of freezers in mini-fridges are those that are within the interior space of the refrigerator and those that have a separate freezer like a full-sized refrigerator. Those that are within the interior of the refrigerator can cause unevenness in temperature, with colder areas next to the freezer compartment. They are often okay for making ice but may not keep food frozen adequately. Those with a separate freezer work just like a standard refrigerator and often keep food colder, as well as promote even cooling throughout the rest of the refrigerator compartment.
2. Compressed Power
Today’s refrigerators work by circulating pressurized coolant around the compartment, rather than by drawing air across coils. The coolant is pressurized and sent through tubes in the walls, absorbing heat as it moves through them. Those that have a compressor may not be as energy-efficient as other types of cooling systems.
3. Reversible Door
Some of them have hinges that allow the door to be opened from either the left or right. This can be an excellent option for small spaces, or if the refrigerator is in a situation where it will be moved frequently, such as in a dorm room or office.
4. Locking Door
Some people use this type of fridge to store medication, sensitive, or dangerous materials. Therefore, some of these models come with a locking door to keep these items out of the wrong hands.
5. Amount of Space
A fridge with less than three cubic feet of space could be considered a mini-fridge. Meanwhile, fridges with more than four cubic feet of space are larger. You should take the storage capacity and the dimensions of the appliance into account. Measure the space that you’re going to put down the refrigerator so that you know the exact dimensions you’re working with. There’s nothing more frustrating than buying the perfect fridge–only to discover it doesn’t fit in your living space.
You should also judge the amount of space you’ll need to store food. How many frozen foods do you typically have? What about frozen desserts or ice cube trays? How much fresh produce will you be storing in the fridge?
6. Shelving and Drawers
Similar to the concerns about storage capacity, you should take into account the number of shelves and drawers that the fridge has. Also important is whether or not the shelves can be removed. Not only is this helpful for overall fridge cleaning, but it allows you to customize your fridge space to better suit your needs.
Storage drawers will be a concern if you intend to keep a large amount of fresh produce. If the amount is significant, you might want to invest in a fridge that has two separate drawers for fruits and vegetables. One often-overlooked aspect of refrigerators and freezers is their door storage capacity. Some doors come with the capability to store multiple soda cans, whereas others have large numbers of additional shelves. You’ll need to assess the types of items you’ll be storing and make a decision based on these factors.
7. One Door or Two
Some refrigerators come with one door. When you open this door, you’ll be able to access both the refrigerator and the freezer compartment. In these cases, the freezer tends to be a small compartment built into the overall refrigerator. These types of refrigerators are not ideal if you have a large number of frozen goods to store.
A two-door refrigerator will have separate doors for the refrigerator and freezer compartment. This can help with energy efficiency, and it also helps the freezer to operate independently of the refrigerator. Many compact refrigerators will come with reversible doors. These doors can be opened from either the right or the left because they feature reversible hinges. They’re ideal when you live in an area with questionable amounts of space.
8. Cooling Capability of the Freezer
Most fridges will come with some kind of cooling component, which allows them to cool objects efficiently even when external temperatures are high. Depending on the refrigerator’s design, though, the freezer may not have this capacity. Some refrigerators have a chilling compartment that keeps items colder than they would be in the normal fridge compartment, but it’s not sufficient to store frozen goods or ice. In addition to making sure the freezer is large enough for your goods, you should make sure that it can keep them at an ideal temperature.
9. Adjustable Thermostats
Some items have a particular temperature requirement for their storage. In these cases, it can be helpful to invest in a refrigerator that has an adjustable thermostat. This allows you to control the internal temperature of your refrigerator and freezer. You should also see whether there is a manual or automatic defrosting capability. Many refrigerators will come with automatic defrost, while freezers will have to be defrosted manually. If a refrigerator only has partial defrosting capabilities, it will need to be manually defrosted every few months.
10. Adjustable Legs
Some refrigerators will come with adjustable legs. These can help you control the height of the appliance. They also increase maneuverability, which is ideal when you’re dealing with tight corners and small living spaces. Conversely, fridges without these legs can be more easily slid over the ground and into position. The type that’s right for you will vary depending on the floor plan of your living space.
11. Energy Efficiency
It’s a good idea to search for models that have been certified with Energy Star. An energy-efficient model will save you money on your monthly power bill. In addition, energy-efficient models tend to be quieter than other appliances.
Steps for Choosing the Best Refrigerator
Follow these steps to narrow down the best appliance for you:
Measure the area where you are going to install the device. The area of this area should match the area of the base of the refrigerator you are going to buy, remember to allow an extra couple of inches on each side.
Сonsider the free space in the part of the room where the refrigerator door will open.
Gauge whether you need adjustable legs for easier maneuvering, or whether you’ll have an easier time sliding a flat-bottomed appliance into place.
Give yourself an estimate of the amount of food you’ll be placing in your refrigerator.
Estimate how much of this is fresh produce that will need to be stored in a drawer.
Decide whether you need special features such as can holders in the door or an ice-maker.
Gauge the amount of freezer space you need to have, as well as the place where it should be located – above or below. It will depend on how often you have to bend over for fresh vegetables in the cool section.
Decide whether you need to store frozen food and ice, or whether a chiller compartment will be adequat.
Look up the energy efficiency ratings of the appliances you’re considering.
Seek appliances that can accommodate your necessities while fitting into your ideal budget.
Consider delivery, perhaps if delivery is not included in the price, you will need an extra person to carry and set up the fridge.
Compact Refrigerator witn Freezer
We’ll explore the best compact refrigerator and freezer combinations on the market right now. Then, we’ll help you narrow down your choices with a comprehensive buyer’s guide.
Interior Light, 2-Liter Bottle Storage, Can Storage, Leveling Legs, Never Clean Condenser
1 Year Limited
Energy Star Rated, UL Energy Certification
This model of appliance, made by Midea, is a refrigerator and freezer with a double reversible door. It comes in three colors: white, black, and stainless steel. The fruit and vegetable drawers have been separated. The main compartment does have walls that taper slightly toward the back.
It is Energy Star rated for efficiency and it has a separate freezer compartment. The refrigerator features adjustable temperature ranges. You can change the refrigerator compartment from 32F to 50F. The freezer compartment can be adjusted from 11.2F to 5F. Also featured are adjustable legs, an interior light, and partially automatic defrosting. Check price at Midea.com, Walmart.com, Sears.com.
Adjustable temperature ranges for both the freezer and refrigerator
Separated fruit and vegetable drawers for easier sorting
Adjustable legs and reversible door can open on either side
2. RCA RFR322-B RFR322 3.2 Cu Ft Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer – Best Multi-Purpose
RCA 3.2 Cubic Feet SPECIFICATIONS
18.5 x 17.7 x 32.8 inches
0.2 cu. ft
Metal (can stick magnets)
R134a, 1.77 Oz/50g
Adjustable thermostat and adjustable lever
A low-energy consumption compressor, that can cool food quickly using lower energy
2 detachable shelves
This refrigerator comes with a compact capacity of 3.2 cubic feet. Even when the temperature outside is more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, this compressor manages to cool. It’s an environmentally friendly refrigerator. The freezer is capable of holding two trays of ice cubes with room to spare in the back.
The appliance features a low energy consumption design that helps to cut down on your monthly power bill. It also has a built-in can holder in the door, as well as an invisible door handle. The adjustable legs allow you to fit the refrigerator even into tight spaces. You can also remove and slide out the shelves when you need extra room. Check price at Rca.com, Lowes.com, Walmart.com, Homedepot.com.
Environmentally friendly design consumes a small amount of energy
Sleek silver appearance has an aesthetic appeal
Able to fit into tight spaces using the adjustable legs
3. Euhomy Mini Fridge with Freezer – Best For Dorm
Euhomy Mini Fridge SPECIFICATIONS
19.4 x 19.9 x 33.5 inches
3.2 Cubic Feet
Refrigerator Fresh Food Capacity
3.1 Cubic Feet
0.1 Cubic Feet
Adopts advanced 3D refrigeration technology and supports 7 temperature settings
0.98 kilowatt hours per day
A one-year warranty service
This model of appliance, designed and distributed by Euhomy, has 3.2 cubic feet of space. It’s perfect for use in a dorm room or small apartment. The freezer is truly zero degrees, despite however warm the outside temperature is.
You can engage in a freestanding installation. The stainless steel doors are reversible. The refrigerator section has automatic defrosting capabilities, although the freezer section requires manual defrost. The shelves can be slid out. Check price at Euhomy.com, Walmart.com.
Perfect for use in dorm rooms and small living areas
Environmentally friendly and energy-efficient design consumes less power
Automatic defrosting in the refrigerator section
Shelves slide out to allow more space
Freezer requires manual defrosting
Not a huge amount of space in the freezer compartment
Video: Euhomy Mini Fridge with Freezer 3 2 Cu Ft Compact Refrigerator with freezer Review
Full-width (12.8 inches wide x 4.3 inches tall) with Ice Cube Tray
2 removable glass shelves
Additional Door Storage
Fits six 12 oz. cans (like soda and beer), small containers on the top shelf, and 2 liter door storage for taller bottles
Low Sound Operation
R600a Refrigerant, No Ozone Depletion
ENERGY STAR rated
This refrigerator comes with a storage capacity of 3.2 cubic feet. This particular model is stainless steel, although white and black models are also available.
The combination refrigerator and freezer feature an adjustable thermostat along with compressor cooling capabilities, allowing for maximum performance even in hot temperatures. The flush back design saves space with an acrylic construction. There’s a built-in dispenser for cans along with a door basket for two-liter bottles. Check price at Blackanddecker.com, Homedepot.com, Lowes.com, Walmart.com, Sears.com.
Available in black, white, and stainless steel colors
Space-saving design made from acrylic material
Built-in can dispenser and door basket
Vegetable drawer designed to keep vegetables crisp and fresh
Reversible, for either left or right-handed opening
Integrated door shelves, and two wire shelves, CanStor beverage-dispensing unit, 2-liter bottle storage
12-month warranty on parts and labor with handy in-home service
Energy Star Rated
This refrigerator-and-freezer combination from Danby has 3.1 cubic feet of space. This particular model is available in stainless steel. Danby has other appliance models available with a variety of colors and amounts of space.
This appliance is compliant with Energy Star ratings. The spotless steel finish on the door prevents smudging, making it ideal for professional areas. The freezer is full-width and has a total loading capacity of ninety-two liters. Integrated door shelving has the capability for tall bottle storage. There’s a user guide available for people who are just learning about the options and features of the appliance. Check price at Danby.com, Homedepot.com, Lowes.com, Walmart.com, Ajmadison.com, Abt.com, Appliancesconnection.com.
Significant amount of freezer space
Slide-out removable shelving
Stands on its own
Stainless steel avoids smudging
Included user guide to help people navigate the different features
Video: Danby DCR031B1BSLDD 3.1 cu. ft. 2 Door Compact Refrigerator Review
6. Midea WHS-65LB1 – Best Under-Desk
Midea WHS-65LB1 SPECIFICATIONS
17.72 x 18.58 x 19.37 inches
1.6 Cubic Feet
Electrical Requirements (v/Hz)
From -2′ to 2′ Celsius (32′ to 35.6’fahrenheit)
Min/Max Frozen Food Section
Door Material Type
Reversible (Allows for Right or Left Opening)
Whisper-quiet compressor, noise level 42.0 dBA
Energy Efficient And Affordable
Cools quickly, efficiently, and evenly without warm spots
Convenient racks on door, separate chiller compartment, 2 wire shelves, adjustable legs
1-year parts & labor
Energy Star Rated, UL+CSA
This small refrigerator is a bestseller mostly because it is lightweight and easily fits under a desk. This choice is preferred by those who work in an office.
It has a small freezer, but it is too small to even fit standard ice trays into. However, it is perfect for keeping lunches and a few snacks under your desk. Check price at Midea.com, Walmart.com, Sears.com.
Video: Midea WHS 65LB1 Compact Single Reversible Door Refrigerator Review
7. Midea WHS-160RB1 Single Reversible Compact Refrigerator – Perfect for Any Kitchen
Midea WHS-160RB1 SPECIFICATIONS
19.72 x 21.26 x 33.86 inches
4.4 Cubic Feet
– 32ᵒ to 35.6ᵒ Fahrenheit
Door Material Type
Reversible, for either left or right-handed opening
Separate freezer compartment, Adjustable legs, 3 wire shelves, 2L bottle door rack
Very quiet and CFC free
1 Year Limited
Another beautiful design by Midea, this appliance has a carrying capacity of 4.4 cubic feet. This particular model is black, but white and stainless steel versions are also available. The refrigerator has been rated according to Energy Star guidelines, and the walls of the main compartment taper slightly toward the back of the refrigerator.
This refrigerator features mechanical temperature adjustment capabilities that range from 32F to 35.6F. There’s a chiller compartment that can keep specified items cooler. The large storage areas can chill beverages and produce, although they cannot be used to store frozen foods or make ice cubes. The reversible door can open from both the left and the right. It has a very tiny freezer, but it will fit two ice cube trays comfortably. Check price at Midea.com, Walmart.com, Appliancesconnection.com.
8. Bossin 3.2 CU. FT Compact Refrigerator 2 Door MIni Fridge
Bossin 3.2 CU. FT Compact Refrigerator SPECIFICATIONS
19.09 x 20.08 x 33.46 inches
3.2 Cubic Feet
Gray stainless steel
Refrigerator compartment 32′ to 50′ F / Freezer compartment 3′ to -1’F
Door Material Type
Reversible, for either left or right-handed opening
Tray x 1 ; ice cube tray x1; Ice shovel x 1 Removable glass shelf x 2
Quality assurance service for one year
This combination refrigerator and freezer are designed by Bossin. It’s available in stainless steel and has a carrying capacity of 3.2 cubic feet. The two-door design allows you to access the freezer and refrigerator compartments separately.
The refrigerator features an interior light to allow you to easily find what you’re looking for. The appliance is rated by Bossin and includes an adjustable thermostat control. The door hinges are reversible, so the fridge can be opened from both the left and the right. Overall, the item weighs 44.1 pounds.
Separate refrigerator and freezer compartments
Adjustable temperature controls allow you to maintain your ideal temperature
Interior light in the refrigerator
Not a huge amount of freezer space
Smaller amount of refrigerator space than some other models
Fits two cans or small containers on the top shelf, and liter or taller bottles and containers on the bottom shelf
A reversible door, leveling legs, space saving flat back design
8 inches wide x 2 inches tall, ice tray included
Low Sound Operation
R600a Refrigerant, No Ozone Depletion
Adjustable Thermostat Control
32 degrees Fahrenheit at the lowest setting
Warranty Information (Parts&Labor)
1 year warranty for parts and labor, and 2 year warranty for compressor part
Energy Star Rated
This appliance has only one door rather than two. It’s one of the smallest refrigerator and freezer combinations on this list, with only 1.7 cubic feet of space. This mini-fridge is available in black coloring, though there are similar models in stainless steel finishes.
The fridge features a full-width glass shelf that can be slid out. Also included is a full-width and half-width storage shelf for the door. The can storage area can store two aluminum cans. The freezer compartment is half the width of the refrigerator and comes with an ice cube tray. Also featured are a recessed door handle and a flat-back space-saving design. Check price at Blackanddecker.com, Walmart.com, Lowes.com.
Built-in can storage in the door
Slide-out shelf in the main compartment
Built-in shelves in the door
Freezer compartment includes an ice cube tray
Compact size makes it perfect for dorms and other small living areas
Too small to support a large or medium-sized kitchen
Only one door to access both the refrigerator and freezer compartments
Allows to access the freezer or the refrigeration compartment
For optimum cooling performance
Built in lamp, adjustable thermostat, two removable glass shelves, storage drawer, can dispensers, transparent sterile fruit and vegetable box
This compact refrigerator comes with 3.2 cubic feet of space. The small freezer is positioned on top. There are two doors, allowing you to access the refrigerator and freezer separately. 2.2 cubic feet are allocated to the refrigerator, while 1 cubic foot is allocated to the freezer.
The appliance comes with fast cooling technology, which will cool all food evenly and quickly. Ice will be kept frozen while foods are perfectly chilled. There is a crisper drawer included that has the capability to keep both fruits and vegetables fresh. The one glass shelf can be removed or adjusted for easier cleaning and storage of taller items when need be. Check price at Costway.com, Walmart.com, Homedepot.com, Sears.com, Lowes.com.
2-door capability allows you to access the refrigerator and freezer separately
1 cubic foot of space for the freezer, 2.2 cubic feet of space for the refrigerator
Separate crisping drawer for fruits and vegetables
Can storage in the door
One removable glass shelf
Powerful and quiet energy-efficient performance
Potentially small amount of freezer space if you have a large number of frozen goods
1 full width and 1 – 1/2 width removable wire shelves, Tall bottle storage, CanStor® beverage dispensing system, Scratch resistent worktop, Smooth back design
Warranty Information (Parts&Labor)
18 months parts and labour coverage
Energy Star Rated
This unit was the one we picked as our editor’s choice because it has only one job and it does it well. Danby fridge is only 1.7 cu ft, but space is designed well. It fits easily on a countertop or under a desk.
Also, it has a manual thermostat and a reversible door. It runs quietly, and the best part is that it is Energy Star rated, so it will not run up your electric bill. Even though this one does not have a lot of bells and whistles, we like the way space was designed on the inside. Check price at Danby.com, Walmart.com, Homedepot.com, Ajmadison.com.
Reversible door that opens for left-handed or right-handed entry
Powerful compressor and internal air-cooled system
For even temperature distribution throughout the cabinet
3 slide-out wire shelves – Top shelf: 15 can capacity, Second shelf: 25 can capacity, Third shelf: 25 can capacity, Bottom gate: 25 can capacity
Warranty Information (Parts&Labor)
One year limited warranty
Energy Star Rated
This refrigerator can hold 90 standard soda cans and has shelving specifically designed for that purpose. Also, it has a temperature control with a minimum range that is perfect for keeping pop and other drinks at the right temperature. Whynter BR-091WS has an interior light to help you see what you are grabbing at night.
3.EdgeStar CRF150SS-1 1.1 Cu Ft Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer – Best Rated
EdgeStar CRF150SS-1 1.1 Cu Ft SPECIFICATIONS
18.5 x 18 x 19 inches
1.1 Cu. Ft.
The most value for medical use, to keep medicines, vaccines, and samples at a steady, constant temperature well below the industry standard
Modern euro-style door with recessed handle; Built-in Security Lock meets the standards of many local health departments, two keys included
Freezer Temperature Range
5° F ~ -11.2° F
Refrigerator Temperature Range
32° F ~ 50° F
-20°C (-4°F) under room-temperature conditions
And tested to meet compliance standards
For use in pharmacies or laboratories
Warranty Information (Parts&Labor)
One (1)Year Parts & Ninety (90) Days Labor
Energy Star Rated
This model is extremely compact and will fit literally anywhere. This one was designed to have an adjustable temperature that allows it to use it as either a refrigerator or a freezer. As a freezer, it tended to build up frost a little bit of frost quickly than other compact models. It is locking and has two keys, making it perfect for storing medications or other things that need to be secure.
In our opinion, it would be a great idea to get two of these and stacked one on top of the other. It ran quietly and did not seem to produce much heat. Because you do not have the space taken up by an internal freezer, this gives you a lot more space on the inside. Check price at Lowes.com, Walmart.com, Edgestar.com.
There you have it, a compact or mini refrigerator can be a great addition to your home, office, dormitory room, or RV. Even though most of them have similar features and appear to be similar, we found that there were vast differences in their performance and ability to do what they are designed to do.
Even though it would seem that having an internal freezer would make it more convenient, we found that in most cases an internal freezer created cold spots and reduced the space significantly. For this reason, we thought that the Danby DARO17A2BDD was the best one on our list. This just feels like a good, sturdy refrigerator and keeps the evenest temperature of those that we examined. We liked that it is well-designed and makes great use of the internal space. The models in this review all make an excellent choice. You just need to decide which one suits your needs the best.
Best Mini Fridge (Cooler) – Buyer’s Guide
Some people searching for a “mini-fridge” – that can mean “compact refrigerator” and small cooler also.
Spaces are getting smaller, and many people find that they do not need a full-size refrigerator. There is a group of refrigerators that are made for this purpose. They are smaller than a standard refrigerator but do not quite qualify as a mini-fridge because they are not as portable. The type of refrigerators in this review falls into a different category. These refrigerators are designed for their small size and portability. They can easily serve as an additional refrigerator for a dormitory, office, or on the road. They are also perfect for an RV or garage.
Here are a few of the main characteristics that are common in this group of refrigerators.
1. Size and Capacity
It is important to understand that small refrigerators differ from standard ones. A mini model is usually between three and 5 cubic feet in capacity. It is usually 1.6 cubic feet or even less. These are designed to do not much more than keep a few pop cans or beers cold or hold an office lunch.
2. Both Cooling and Warming Modes
The advantage of these refrigerators is that this group of refrigerators can both cool foods and keep foods warm at the same time. Most of them operate with a simple flip of the switch to go between cooling and heating modes. One caveat when purchasing a mini cooler is to make certain that the switch is not located in a place where it can be accidentally flip from one mode to the other unintentionally. One, and important thing to keep in mind is that you should not place flammable materials near the motor and fan of the unit because these items could catch fire. Some units will tend to overheat if plugged into long. You should regularly check the unit to make certain that is that it’s not getting too hot. Caution should be taken to ensure that foods are kept at the proper serving temperature to prevent spoilage.
One thing to consider is that they often have smaller motors and may not work as efficiently as larger models. Many of them can only cool a certain number of degrees below or warm above ambient room temperature. This means that when cooling, it will work less efficiently and may not keep food at a proper temperature when used in higher temperature environments.
The same goes for heating food. If it is used in a cooler environment, the food may not get up to a proper temperature. In our review, we found that some units work better in this respect them others. It is certainly something that you will want to review and understand before purchasing a compact unit. When using it, it is always a good idea to keep a thermometer inside to assure that your food is at the proper temperature and to prevent unintentional food poisoning.
3. Energy Consumption
One of the features that review typically look for when evaluating appliances is Energy Star ratings. This means that the appliance has been certified for the lowest energy consumption possible for the type of appliance. None of the units included in this review were Energy Star rated. This is because, in this category of the refrigerator, the power consumption is considered to be too low to be of concern. Most of the units in this review used about the same amount of electricity as the old incandescent light bulbs.
For regular use when plugged into a wall outlet, this amount of power consumption is negligible. However, it becomes more important when you are using the units in a car, boat, RV, or when connected to a power source such as solar. One of these will units can quickly drain your battery.
We found that the various units reviewed had different warnings about when and how to use them. It is important to read these warnings before use. For instance, some of them said that they should not be plugged in continually and operated for a long period of time. Others indicated that they should not be plugged in when a vehicle is first started to avoid power spikes. This is something that you will want to know about the particular model that you are considering prior to purchasing it.
4. No Freezer
This category of foragers differs from the next larger size of a mini-refrigerator. They do not have a freezer and are not intended to be used to keep food frozen. Because many of these units are smaller and are more likely to be affected by ambient temperatures, they cannot be trusted to keep food frozen for an extended period of time. They were not designed to be a freezer.
5. Ability to Maintain Temperature
Many people choose this type of refrigerator because they want to replace their cooler when traveling. There are many advantages to doing this. For one, you do not have to worry about ice and your food becoming wet or soggy. You do not have to worry about changing the ice and keeping it fresh. You also have a little more reliability in terms of knowing that your food is kept at the proper temperature to avoid spoilage.
However, this size of the refrigerator is not as reliable in terms of keeping the food at the proper temperature as larger size models. For one, simply due to their compact size they do not have as thick of insulation as larger models. Another factor is that they do not have as large of motors. The motor must struggle more when it is fighting against temperature extremes. This can put more strain on the motor and cause it to burn out quicker too. Maybe you need a bigger one?
Because of these two factors, these units will not hold temperatures as well as larger units when there are fluctuations in the ambient temperature. Most of them work at least better than an ice chest for traveling and outdoor use. However, they cannot be compared to larger refrigerator units in this respect. They should be considered more like a powered cooler than a refrigerator. However, in a situation such as an office or dormitory where the indoor temperature remains fairly constant, these can be an excellent solution for small space food storage.
When purchasing a mini-refrigerator, you need to take into consideration whether you will be using it for travel or as an extra refrigerator in an office or other space. If you will be using it for travel, of course, portability and the ability of the unit to be plugged into a car cigarette lighter are of utmost importance. If you will be using it in a more permanent inside situation, the ability to remain plugged in for longer periods of time is an important consideration.
Mini Fridge FAQ
Are Mini Fridges Worth It?
The biggest problem with large refrigerators is that they take a lot of space and are not portable at all. So, whenever you need something out of them, you have to run to your kitchens. But if you have a fridge in your bedroom itself, you can take anything you want whenever you need it without having to walk to the kitchen.
Apart from the space advantage and portability, there are several other advantages of having mini-fridges such as they are cost-effective, they require less maintenance, etc.
So, yes! Mini fridges are definitely worth buying if you’re on a budget and want to have space benefits.
Is it safe to leave a mini fridge on?
Similar to regular size fridges, mini-fridges need to run the whole day i.e 24 hours but you don’t need to leave them on all the time. If you do so, it may result in a short circuit or an electric fire. So, it’s very important to look after them. Always switch them off when you need to take or keep something in and out.
How long do mini fridges last?
The simple answer to this question is mini-fridges come with a common lifespan of 6 to 14 years. Basically, the life of your mini refrigerator will depend on its quality and manufacturer. If you’re planning to get a mini-fridge for yourself then look for something that’s neither too expensive nor too cheap. Find a middle ground and get a decent, cost-effective refrigerator. Also, check out the user reviews before buying a fridge for yourself.
Another thing to look for is the warranty for the refrigerator. It should come with at least a 1 to 2 year warranty period during which you can get it repaired or replaced in case of any damage.
Are mini-fridges safe in bedrooms?
Yes. Mini fridges are completely safe to have in bedrooms. There is no possible danger of keeping them inside. However, there are some other reasons due to which some people don’t prefer keeping them in their bedrooms. The first reason is the rise in air temperature due to refrigerators inside the bedroom. The main culprit is the fridge’s motor that generates heat and rise the air temperature. But this can be easily controlled using fans and air conditioners.
Another annoying problem in keeping the mini-refrigerators inside rooms is the annoying noise they generate which can disturb your sleep.
Do mini fridges leak water?
Because of frost buildup, mini-fridges do leak a lot of water if you don’t take care of them. The frost buildup usually takes place mostly when the fridge is full and there is no room for air circulation. But you can easily prevent it by not stuffing the fridge to the fullest and leaving enough space for air to flow.
Do mini fridges make noise?
It depends on the model and brand of mini refrigerator you go for. But the good thing is, most of the good quality mini-refrigerators are quieter as compared to the regular-sized fridges. These can be easily kept inside the bedrooms without worrying about the noise they make.
Let’s look for our top mini-fridges. The following provides a quick comparison of the mini coolers that will be featured lower.
1. Cooluli Skin Care Mini Fridge for Bedroom – Editor’s Choice
Cooluli Mini Fridge SPECIFICATIONS
10.25 x 7.25 x 10.5 inches
0.14 Cubic Feet, holds up to six 12 oz. cans
AC 110V/0.4 A DC 12V/3A USB 5V/2A (ECO-mode) 48w max
40ºF-45ºF below ambient temperature
The thermoelectric cooler and food warmer works by transferring heat from one side of the device to the other along with electric energy
100% Environmentally Friendly
No compressors, cryogen, refrigerants, or freon
The unique semiconductor operation, powered by EcoMax technology, is energy-efficient and ultra-quiet – only 28 dB
To store food, drinks, beer, snacks, breast milk, insulin, skincare and medications
AC + DC + USB
AC and DC power cords are included for indoor or outdoor use, plus it comes with a USB cord for ultra-flexibility
Aluminum & Plastic
This cooler could be called a micro-fridge. It is small enough to fit between the front seats of a car. It is highly portable and it does something more than just keep things cool. With the flip of a switch, it can become warmer too. It keeps foods about 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than ambient temperature and can warm food to between 122-144 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a great refrigerator if you do not need much room.
The best thing about this fridge is that it can be used with an AC/DC adapter, USB, or using a car cigarette lighter adapter. Check price at Cooluli.com, Lowes.com, Homedepot.com.
Three ways to power it
Both cools and warms
May be too small for anything other than to replace an ice cooler
1 Wire Shelf, 12V DC Power Plug, 110V AC Power Plug
32°F below ambient temperature
up to 150°F
Thermoelectric technology, free of CFC’s and refrigerants
This mini refrigerator is great if all you want to do is to keep a few cans cold or some sandwiches. It can switch from cooling to warming with the flip of a switch. It can hold cans up to 32 degrees Fahrenheit below ambient temperature and can warm foods up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It was designed to be eco-friendly. It can be plugged into a wall outlet and with a car cigarette adapter.
It was manufactured with semiconductors that are CFC and refrigerant free. Check price at Walmart.com, Homedepot.com.
Keeps pop or beer cans reliably cold
Both cools and warms cold
Lightweight and portable
Can be taken on the road and plugged into a car cigarette adapter
This fridge is designed more like a powered cooler than a refrigerator. The door is similar to a top lid on a cooler. Housmile holds 7 liters of food or beverages. Also, it can work well as a car cooler. It also works as a warmer so that you can keep food warm until you reach your destination. It can be used with a 12V car adapter. This one is easy to carry with a handy strap. It cools perfectly and can warm foods up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It does not have warmer and cooler spots like a cooler that uses ice. Should not be used in a battery with a 24 V car battery. Check price at Wagan.com, Homedepot.com, Walmart.com, Staples.com, Sears.com.
Handy carrying strap
No hot or cold spots
Great travel cooler
Have to take tray out of top to reach items in the bottom
AC 100-Volt to 240-Volt/0.8 Amp; DC 12-Volt/7 Amp; 80-Watt Max
Free of refrigerants and Freon
Easy Temperature Adjustment
Digital thermostat and easy-to-read display
Convenient, lightweight, compact and perfectly portable, built to North American electrical standards
For cooling/warming anything from beer, wine, food, snacks, drinks, breast milk, insulin, beauty/skincare products, medications, and more
1-year limited warranty
The Concord-20LDX Thermo-Electric Cooler/Warmer Mini Fridge is the epitome of efficiency and style. It features a 20-liter capacity, an easy-to-read digital display, a sleek profile, and recessed carry handles.
This Cooluli Fridge has a retro design and is a little larger than many portable coolers. This refrigerator is advertised for holding more than 18 cans of pop, but it could easily hold a little bit of produce and a gallon of milk. It is small enough to be portable, but sturdy and reliable enough to be used as a dormitory or extra refrigerator anywhere. This one easily flips from cooling to warming with a touch of a button and performs both well. It is not Energy Star rated, but the maximum energy consumption is 80w.
This Cooluli model works as well as other smaller versions by the same company. We love its retro lines and vintage color. You can transition from warming to cooling with a simple flip of a switch. It can plug into a wall or cigarette lighter of a car. The power cord of this model is long enough to reach the backseat of the car. It comes with a 6-foot long car adapter.
The one thing we found out is that you should not start the car with the refrigerator plug-in because this can cause it to overheat and potentially start a fire. Check price at Cooluli.com, Walmart.com.
Plugs into a wall or car cigarette lighter
Long power cord
Works well in both heating and cooling mode
Perfect as a travel refrigerator
Must keep fan clean and free of debris or it can overheat
Warms up to 150°F in an ambient temperature of 75°F
100% Freon-Free and Eco Friendly; cETL approved
120V, Hot: 42W, Cold: 51W
The eraser door is great for writing notes, leaving messages or using just for fun
1 Year Limited
This is a really small unit and is perfect if you have portability in mind. This fridge can hold approximately six cans of pop or other beverages. Also, it works well in both cooling and warming modes and can be easily transformed with the flip of a switch. It has an easy carrying handle and fits comfortably between the front seats of a car. So this is a great little refrigerator force storing small items.
One thing that we liked about this unit is that it is 100% Freon free and is an environmentally friendly design. Check price at Chefman.com, Walmart.com, Sears.com.
Works well in heating and cooling modes
Sturdy carrying handle
Taller drink bottles and water bottles do not fit
May be too small for some uses
Cooling and warming ability depend on ambient temperature
Many people are choosing to use mini-fridges to replace travel coolers. Others are using them as a spare refrigerator at the office, in dormitories, or when they need an extra little bit of space and do not want to walk to the main refrigerator. Anyway, mini-fridges have a lot of advantages and we hope, that our Guide will help you to choose the best for you.