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A mini fridge is a must-have for convenience and extra fridge space. But with so many different configurations and sizes, it can be tricky to decide which is the best mini fridge for you.
Most have similar designs and features, however, when choosing the best mini-fridge, you'll need to consider the outside dimensions and interior capacity. Optional features such as freezer compartments, shelving, and reversible doors also play into your decision-making process. For example, our top pick—the RCA Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer—features a reversible door and slide out shelves that make it easy to clean.
Whether you’re looking for a place to store snacks during the day or need a new fridge for your dorm room, here are our top picks for a mini-fridge.
Best Overall: RCA RFR322 Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer
What We Love: Reversible door, adjustable legs, crisper bin
What We Don't Love: Manual defrost
The RCA Single Door Mini Fridge is a suitable choice for any small space. It features a compact, flat back design with a generous 3.2 cubic feet capacity. A separate 0.2-cubic foot freezer chamber allows you to create ice cubes, while the reversible door and adjustable legs make it possible to customize the unit to fit your space.
Featuring two full-width, slide-out interior shelves and a clear crisper bin, this mini fridge provides plenty of storage space without being too bulky. There's even a built-in can dispenser to keep sodas from falling down and exploding. If you are looking for a compact refrigerator with all the features of a full-size refrigerator, this is the best find for you.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 20 x 19 x 33.5 inches | Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet | Weight: 44 pounds
Best Budget: Insignia 2.6 Cubic Feet Mini Fridge
What We Love: Reversible door, adjustable legs, automatic defrost
What We Don't Love: No freezer, small
The mini-fridge by Insignia is ideal for dorm rooms, home bars, or any area where you have limited space. It offers most of the convenience of a regular fridge, but it is just the right size for storing snacks and drinks.
The mini-fridge features a flat back that lays flush against the wall to fit in the tightest spaces. For storage, the refrigerator features a 2.6 cubic feet capacity with three shelves and bottle storage in the door. It has a "freezer area" on the top shelf but is only intended to keep items slightly colder than the rest of the refrigerator, not frozen.
The Insignia mini-fridge is nearly half the price of other mini-fridges that can fit under a counter, but it's worth sacrificing a bit of space if you only need it to store a case of beverages or extra snacks.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 17.7 x 19.1 x 27.6 inches | Capacity: 2.6 cubic feet | Weight: 44.3 pounds
Best Compact: Midea Compact Single Reversible Door Refrigerator
What We Love: Reversible door, adjustable legs, whisper-quiet tech, energy-efficient
What We Don't Love: Manual defrost
The Midea compact refrigerator keeps a variety of drinks and snacks cold when space is at a premium. Less than 20 inches in height, it has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet and fits into small areas like wet bars and office cubicles.
This compact fridge has all the key features of under-counter fridges, such as a reversible door and adjustable legs. It also has a separate chiller compartment to keep items colder than the rest of the fridge but it’s not intended to keep them frozen. The door can hold a 2-liter bottle and about four soda cans.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 17.7 x 18.6 x 19.4 inches | Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet | Weight: 35.3 pounds
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Best Portable: Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer
What We Love: Fun colors and patterns, cooler and warmer, AC, DC, USB cords included
What We Don't Love: No thermostat control, only cools to 40 degrees below the ambient temperature
If a regular mini-fridge is more than you need, consider the ultra-portable Cooluli fridge. This 4-liter fridge can hold up to six 12-ounce cans or a small meal that needs to stay cool or warm on your commute. The inner shelf is removable should you need to maximize space.
The Cooluli mini fridge fits on a desktop, and the top handle makes transporting the appliance even more convenient. It has a beautiful matte finish on the outside and is available in various colors and patterns. The portable fridge is ideal for food, drinks, snacks, skincare products, and medications.
It features a thermoelectric system that allows for easy switching from beverage cooler to food warmer. An AC, DC, and USB cord are all included, and this can also be plugged into a car socket.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 10.25 x 7.25 x 10.75 inches | Capacity: 0.14 cubic feet | Weight: 4.1 pounds
Best With a Freezer: Arctic King ATMP032AEB 2-Door Mini Fridge with Freezer
What We Love: Separate freezer compartment, adjustable legs, crisper drawer
What We Don't Love: Non-reversible doors, manual defrost
The Arctic King features 3.2 cubic feet of capacity with a separate freezer compartment with its own door. The two-door refrigerator is sized to fit in tight spaces and can easily hold full-sized drinks and keep frozen goods solid.
Unlike many mini fridge models, this refrigerator has a separate door for the freezer, which means it's much more energy-efficient. The fridge compartment includes two glass shelves and a full crisper drawer. This is an excellent choice if you're looking for a second refrigerator but don't want to invest in another full-size version.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 18.5 x 19.4 x 33 inches | Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet | Weight: 51.2 pounds
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Best for Beverages: hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler
What We Love: Holds 120 cans or 60 wine bottles, adjustable legs, quiet
What We Don't Love: Expensive, non-reversible door
Ideal for a den or game room, the HomeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler is a stylish mini fridge with a generous 3.2 cubic feet capacity. It features a stainless-steel-framed glass door and soft LED illumination. The beverage fridge, which can hold 120 cans or 60 wine bottles, has a user-friendly LED digital display with adjustable temperature control and auto-defrost function.
The refrigerator does not have a freezer compartment and is only meant for cooling applications. However, it features a powerful compressor and a convection fan that consistently and uniformly circulates air and chill beverages. The digital thermostat can get everything down to 34 degrees. If you are looking for an effective drink fridge with power, capacity, and design that emits very little noise, this won't disappoint.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 17.3 x 18.9 x 33.25 inches | Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet | Weight: 68.3 pounds
Best Design: Galanz Retro Compact Refrigerator
What We Love: Made from metal, available in several colors, adjustable legs
What We Don't Love: Expensive
The Galanz retro mini fridge features 2 cubic feet capacity in the fridge with a 0.95-cubic-foot freezer and is made entirely from metal. The stylish fridge also has an adjustable thermostat, bright interior lighting, and a spacious vegetable crisper.
Inside the fridge, you’ll find removable glass shelves and enough room in the door to store a 2-liter soda bottle. Despite its retro looks, this mini fridge is made with a high-efficiency, low-energy compressor. Available in several colors to match your decor, it makes a fun and stylish addition to any kitchen, shed, or home office.
Dimensions (DxWxH): 23.3 x 19.2 x 35.2 inches | Capacity: 3.1 cubic feet | Weight: 71.4 pounds
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A reversible door, clear crisper bin, and freezer space make the RCA RFR322 Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer (view at Amazon) a top pick for mini-fridges. For those budget-conscious buyers, the Insignia 2.6 Cubic Feet Mini Fridge (view at Best Buy) offers great fridge-only value.
What to Look for in a Mini Fridge
The best size mini fridge depends on your available space or how you want to use it. There are three size categories for the little refrigerators: under-the-counter, midsize, and compact. Popular under-counter refrigerators measure around 33 inches high and are the largest size available for mini-fridges. Many come with a freezer and one or two doors. Midsize mini-fridges are around 24 to 28 inches high. They easily fit under a dining room table, kitchen counter, or office desk.
Compact fridges are typically cube-shaped and measure around 17 to 19 inches high. They are most commonly used for college dorms and easily fit on top of a desk, countertop, or inside of a closet.
Capacity is the available space inside the mini-fridge. Compact cube-shaped fridges will have the smallest capacities, around 1.7 cubic feet and under-counter fridges have the most internal space, up to 4.5 cubic feet.
Some mini fridges have small freezer compartments. Under-counter fridges with two doors and a standard freezer box are more energy efficient. Some one-door and compact fridges have freezer boxes as an option, too, but they are not recommended for long-term storage of frozen goods.
Mini fridges have some features in common with their full-size counterparts. There are door bin storage, wire or glass interior shelves, and defrost settings for when you need to clean. These fridges differ when it comes to reversible doors and adjustable legs, which come in handy on uneven flooring.
How much energy does a mini-fridge use?
Like most home appliances, exact energy expenditure depends on the model and size. "A typical 5.6-cubic-foot mini fridge typically uses 236-kilowatt hours per year,” says Katy Gespass, refrigerator buyer for P.C. Richard & Son. The cost will be dependent on electricity rates, which in turn, vary by region. Her best advice? To turn up the cold air setting so that it’s not frigid. Another tip? "If you’re only using it for special occasions, unplug it when it’s not in use!"
How do you defrost a mini-fridge?
The first step is to remove everything, then unplug it and leave it that way with the door open overnight. If there’s a lot of frost build-up, you can place hot boiled water in the freezer area in a non-temperature sensitive vessel and allow the steam to speed things along. You can also wipe the ice with rubbing alcohol, use a hairdryer, or put a box fan in front of it, then use a towel to catch any remaining water.
The good news is, not all of them have to be defrosted manually. Some compact or mini-refrigerators have a partial Automatic Defrost feature that kicks in every time the refrigerator turns off, Gespass explains. "Melted frost water drains from the cooling coil into a trough on the rear wall of the cabinet, then down the corner to a drain tube at the bottom," she says. "Water then flows into a pan behind the grille, where it then evaporates."
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Debbie Wolfe is a freelance writer and an online shopping pro who spends hours researching and comparing household goods, so you don't have to. She has owned her fair share of mini-fridges and knows how to pick the right one no matter your needs.
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