6 Best Mini Fridges for the Essentials

Best Overall

Danby 2 Door Mini Fridge / Freeze
  • Automatic defrost
  • 87 liters of refrigeration room
  • Minimal organization racks to maximize storage capacity

 

Premium Choice

EdgeStar CRF321SS Dorm Sized Mini Fridge/Freezer
  • Built to free-stand
  • 1-year warranty
  • Work-ready top for small kitchens

 

Great Value

Haier HC27SF22RB Mini Refrigerator
  • Simple design
  • 2.7 cubic feet of storage
  • Built-in freezer compartment

 

There are many reasons that you may want a mini fridge. Small refrigerator units offer the cooling abilities of their larger counterparts, but they don’t take up nearly as much room. They’re great for college students, man caves, parties, garages, offices, and any other areas where room is limited.

The point of this article is to direct you towards the best mini fridge for your hard-earned money. We’ve selected the six best mini fridges on the market, and we’re sure you’ll find one on this list that satisfies your needs. Whether you need the best mini fridge with freezer storage, or if you need the best compact refrigerator, there’s something here for everyone. At the end, you’ll find our comprehensive buyer’s guide, and you’ll see how any particular unit matches up to your needs.

The Best Mini Fridge

Best Overall
1

Danby 2 Door Mini Fridge / Freeze

Key Features
  • Automatic defrost
  • 87 liters of refrigeration room
  • Minimal organization racks to maximize storage capacity
  • Fits on most shelves and counters
  • 24 liters of freezer room
Dimensions19.69 x 18.88 x 33.44Weight54 lbsAdjustable TemperatureYesFreezer compartmentYes

This Danby miniature fridge gives you some of the conveniences that a larger fridge offers, but it can fit into a space that is less than 4' x 2' x 2'. It has an automatic defrosting cycle, and its 87 liters of refrigerator space means that it can hold all of your most necessary food items. It also has 24 liters of freezing space tucked behind its top door. The inside of the refrigerator is mostly left open to increase its storage capability, but it does feature a tempered-glass shelf, and the door has a rack to store cold drinks on. The Danby has a satin-steel finish, and it blends into most decors perfectly. The small dimensions of the Danby, combined with its features that mirror those of a normal fridge, make it great for use as a dorm fridge.

Premium Choice
2

EdgeStar CRF321SS Dorm Sized Mini Fridge/Freezer

Key Features
  • Built to free-stand
  • 1-year warranty
  • Work-ready top for small kitchens
  • Conserves energy
  • Perfect for college students
Dimensions19.75 x 18.75 x 33.5Weight52 lbsAdjustable TemperatureYesFreezer CompartmentYes

The EdgeStar CRF321SS is marketed as a dorm refrigerator, and it's very similar to the Danby. It does have several features that surpass what the Danby can do, but it's also more expensive. For starters, it has the same 3.1 cubic feet of storage space. That equals about 87 liters of refrigeration space, and around 24 liters of room in the freezer. It has two doors, and it has a satin-steel finish. What differentiates it from the Danby is its focus on energy conservation and multi-functionality. It uses a much more efficient coolant, and that helps cut its overall energy cost. It has multiple removable racks in the refrigeration chamber, too. Unlike the Danby, the EdgeStar features a molded top that can be used for food prep.

Great Value
3

Haier HC27SF22RB Mini Refrigerator

Key Features
  • Simple design
  • 2.7 cubic feet of storage
  • Built-in freezer compartment
  • Dual wire racks
  • Adjustable thermostat
Dimensions17.9 x 26.1 x 18.9Weight38 lbsAdjustable TemperatureYesFreezer CompartmentYes

This Haier mini fridge with freezer space is small, well-built, and simplistically designed. It doesn't feature separate doors for its freezer and refrigerator sections, but it has 2.7 cubic feet of storage space, and it has wire shelves to help you with organization. The fridge is large enough to store 2-liter bottles, wine bottles, and other large containers, but it also has enough room to store plenty of cooking ingredients or snacks. The defrost feature is a manual design. So, you'll have to manually activate it when the fridge builds up too much ice in its interior, but it does have an adjustable thermostat. The Haier is fairly inexpensive, and it makes for a great compact fridge for garages or man caves.

4

IGLOO Mini Refrigerator

Key Features
  • Large array of colors to choose from
  • Reversible door
  • Can dispenser
  • 3.2 cubic feet of storage space
  • Adjustable feet
Dimensions20 x 18.5 x 33.5Weight49.65 lbsAdjustable TemperatureYesFreezer CompartmentYes

The IGLOO is one of the best compact fridge options available. It's slightly larger than other options with its 3.2 cubic feet of storage space. The extra room isn't a lot, but it's enough to add a few more snacks or drinks. The door is outfitted with a can dispenser for easier organization of canned drinks, and the main compartment has slide-out shelves for organization purposes. It doesn't have two doors, but it does have a small freezer that takes up the top quarter of the unit. The door is reversible, and it comes in a large number of colors. All of this comes at a very affordable price.

5

Magic Chef MCAR320B2 Mini Fridge

Key Features
  • Has the most refrigeration space
  • Can dispenser
  • Crisper drawer
  • Reversible door
  • Inexpensive and high-quality
Dimensions17.5 x 18.7 x 33.4Weight46.7 lbsAdjustable TemperatureYesFreezer CompartmentNo

The Magic Chef mini fridge is great for storing fresh ingredients and snacks, and it has a can dispenser for your favorite soft drinks. It doesn't have a freezer, but that's not a bad thing. It leaves more room to store foods that only need to be refrigerated. The door is reversible, and it has an adjustment knob to change its internal temperature. Since it doesn't have a freezer, there aren't any defrosting options available. This fridge from Magic Chef has the most refrigeration room available. It has 3.2 cubic feet of storage space, and all of that space is devoted to the refrigeration compartment.

6

Galanz Compact Dorm Mini Fridge

Key Features
  • R600a coolant
  • Freezer included
  • 2.7 cubic feet of storage
  • Adjustable shelves
  • Super affordable
Dimensions21.6 x 20.8 x 26.9Weight44 lbsAdjustable TemperatureNoFreezer CompartmentYes

The Galanz is a small fridge that gets the job done. It doesn't have a lot of special features, but it's affordable, and it has enough great features to make it a competitive option in comparison to some of the options we already covered. It's a rather small fridge. It only has 2.7 cubic feet of storage space. However, its overall size is also very small, and it can fit in the smallest places. In terms of features, the Galanz is fairly bare-bones. It has adjustable racks, a can dispenser, and a freezer section. You can also find it in two different colors.

Mini Fridges Buyer’s Guide

This is the buyer’s guide portion of our guide. Here, you’ll learn about the different features that make a mini fridge the best small fridge for you. Every model features different organization features, storage spaces, and efficiency levels. So, it’s important to know which one is enough to suit your needs without being too expensive.

The next few sections will highlight the most important things to think about when buying a mini fridge.

Fridge Size

Size is one of the most important mini fridge traits to consider. The entire point of a mini fridge is to pack the convenience of a large refrigerator into a more compact unit. That being said, if you get a mini fridge that is too small, you’ll be sacrificing a lot of performance.

The key is to buy the biggest unit that you can fit into the area you want it in. Bigger units have more room for internal parts, and manufacturers typically use that room to put longer lasting parts into the unit. So, it’s better to have a mini fridge that barely fits than it is to have one of the smallest mini fridges that can barely cool a soda can down.

Where Do You Want It?

The best mini fridge for dorm usage might not be the best choice for a garage or office. You have to consider what type of area you are going to use the fridge in. A college student might need a unit that effectively works as several different kitchen tools, and an office worker might just need something to hold his Diet Coke for mid-work refreshment. Consider that before you buy a particular unit.

Glass or Wire Racks

Most mini fridges use glass or wire racks. The best mini refrigerators will have tempered-glass racks, but those tend to be more expensive. That’s due to a number of reasons. First, glass is a lot easier to clean. It contains any spills that occur, and you don’t have to worry about wiping the whole fridge out because a can on the top shelf fell over. Glass shelves also provide more stability to prevent spills from ever occurring.

In comparison, wire racks are made from many pieces of wire being connected. There are a lot of holes in wire racks, and those holes create a few issues. Anything that spills can pour down into the lower levels of the fridge. That makes it a lot harder to clean up. Also, those bars aren’t perfectly level. So, you’ll have some issues keeping finicky objects stable. However, wire racks are a lot cheaper than their glass counterparts, and they lower the overall price of a unit considerably. It’s best to buy wire racks when you don’t plan on storing anything that can spill.

Energy Efficiency and Food Safety

Even the best mini refrigerator units are notorious for being energy hogs. They just require a lot to run. That can be an issue if you live in a dorm or other area that requires energy conservation. To solve that issue, you’ll want to find a unit that isn’t marked as a superconductor or thermo-electric. Those tend to be the least efficient units on available.

You also have to worry about food safety with less efficient fridges. It’s okay to use weaker fridges for storing sodas and snacks, but you’ll need something better to safely store meat. Weaker units aren’t capable of keeping meat at a safe temperature for prolonged periods of time.

Separate The Freezer and Fridge Units

Having separate doors for the freezer and refrigerator compartments might not seem like a big deal, but it is actually quite important. A mini fridge already suffers from a lack of efficiency when compared to a normal fridge, opening the freezer door every time you grab a soda just adds to that issue.

The best small refrigerator units will have separate doors for the two compartments. That ensures that the freezer doesn’t warm up because you opened it to grab a refrigerated food option. However, it’s not necessary if you don’t plan on using the mini fridge for much more than ice cubes and simple snacks, and a single door can save you a little bit of cash. If you’re not going to use the freezer for a lot of important stuff, it may be better to just buy a simple mini fridge.

Your Budget

The budget that you have available to you ties into all of our other categories. After all, you can’t buy features that you don’t have the money for. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for single door mini fridges if you have less than $100. That’s especially true if you don’t need a freezer. They’re just simpler to make than dual-door units, and you can usually pick up a really nice one for cheap.

If you have a little more to spend and need the extra performance capabilities, you can pick up a great mini fridge for less than $200. As you get into the higher price ranges, you’re typically better off buying a legitimate refrigerator.

To determine what price range will provide you with the best performance for your needs, look over our other sections to see what features you can do without. If a refrigerator has less features, it is almost always cheaper.

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