Which mini fridge is best?
While a mini fridge won’t replace your full-size refrigerator, it certainly can be handy for keeping food and drinks cold. These compact coolers are ideal for dorm rooms, garages, guest bedrooms and general use when space is tight.
Of course, you’ll need to pick a fridge with enough space and features to suit your purpose. The Black and Decker Mini Fridge With Freezer is roomy and efficient, making it a great choice for when you need additional cold storage.
What to know before you buy a mini fridge
Type of mini fridge
Mini fridges have many purposes. While some are nearly the size of a small refrigerator, others are quite small and work best for cooling the odd six-pack. It’s best to select the right type of mini fridge based on your needs.
- Cube: Compact and efficient for very small spaces
- Beverage: Can only hold and cool beverages, not safe for foods prone to spoiling
- Travel: Small, lightweight and offers better portability
- Undercounter: Comes with separate freezer compartments
- Wine: Built specifically for wine storage
The size of your fridge is directly related to its purpose.
- 1.5 cubic feet or less can handle up to a case of 12-ounce cans. This size has very little storage space in the door, and it does not usually include a freezer space.
- 1.5-3 cubic feet: A fridge of this size holds up to 60 12-ounce cans and may provide freezer space. It is often too short to hold a gallon of milk or an upright 2-liter bottle of soda.
- 3 or more cubic feet: This is the most versatile size and often comes with a separate freezer, room in the door and a higher capacity.
Door and rack space
Some mini fridges don’t have enough depth in the door to store gallon jugs or 2-liter bottles. Additionally, the smallest options only have one rack to organize what’s in the fridge. Think ahead about what you plan on storing and select the appropriate interior organization. This may be a combination of door storage, small drawers and adjustable racks.
What to look for in a quality mini fridge
A reversible door allows you to open your fridge from the left or right. You can adjust it as needed, which helps if you move it and have to change the orientation. This is a critical feature when space is tight.
A separate freezer creates its own temperature zone for icy cold popsicles and even long-term storage of foods that are prone to spoiling. If you require freezer space, look for a fridge that has a separate compartment with a door and separate temperature controls.
These compact fridges work hard to cool their contents, but this can reflect in your electric bill. While the cost of operation can add up, some models are more efficient than others. Look for Energy Star certification for the most efficient mini fridge.
Adjustable racks allow you to better organize the contents of your fridge. It also makes it possible to accommodate taller items.
How much you can expect to spend on a mini fridge
The price varies widely depending on the size of the mini fridge and any additional features. You can expect to spend between $50-$300.
Mini fridge FAQ
How accurate are the temperature controls?
A. If you want more accurate temperature controls, purchase a larger mini fridge. Mid-sized refrigerators have temperature controls that are similar to their full-sized counterparts and often include freezers that actually keep the contents frozen.
What should I use a mini fridge for?
A. You don’t have to live in a dorm room to benefit from a mini fridge. Other uses include:
- Housing overflow food storage
- Providing safe storage of food for people with allergies
- Cooling food and drinks while camping
- Storing lunch at the office
- Separating medicine storage from the main fridge
How do you set up a mini fridge?
A. Setting up your mini fridge is straightforward.
- Unbox your fridge and wipe down the interior and exterior with a general kitchen cleaner.
- Let your fridge stand upright for at least 4 hours before plugging it in.
- Keep it at least 5 inches away from the wall to allow air circulation behind the refrigerator, making it more energy-efficient.
- Once you have plugged it in, let the fridge cool for 3 hours or more before stocking it with food and drinks.
What’s the best mini fridge to buy?
Top mini fridge
What you need to know: This is a solid mini fridge from a trusted brand.
What you’ll love: It features 3.2 cubic feet of space in the fridge and a separate freezer compartment. You can easily adjust the temperature gauge, too. Its quiet operation makes it perfect for even the smallest spaces, and it comes in three colors.
What you should consider: It is not the best option for long-term food storage.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top mini fridge for the money
What you need to know: The retro styling of this mini fridge brings a fun and funky touch to your decor.
What you’ll love: This is the perfect option to store overflow sodas, fruit and drinks. It has a 4-liter capacity, and its compact size makes it portable. Choose from six fun colors.
What you should consider: It’s pretty loud, and it’s not the coldest fridge option.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This mini fridge is perfect for dorm rooms or guest spaces.
What you’ll love: It offers 1.6 cubic feet of cooling in a compact box. The door is reversible, making it easy to adapt to any space. It is very energy efficient and has adjustable legs, and comes in four colors.
What you should consider: The freezer compartment is only a little colder than the fridge area, so it may not be cold enough for frozen items.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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