Best Mini Fridges
It’s that time of year again! The summer fun is settling down and the kids are going back to school… which means it’s time to take a look at the mini fridges that will make your college student’s life much easier!
Mini fridges aren’t just for college kids, though. Some are designed for on-the-go use. You read that right. That means some mini fridges are so compact that they can be used in a car! If you haven’t had enough of traveling and going on vacations, those portable mini fridges will keep you hooked.
While we were mostly interested in dorm-friendly options, travel-friendly mini fridges quickly found a spot on our favorites page, too. Even better, some of them can be used to keep food warm! Talk about versatility!
|Brand/Model||Key Features||Ratings||More Information|
|Cooluli 4L Cooler & Warmer|| Holds about 6 cans
Measures ~10 x 8 x 11 inches
Weighs about 3 pounds
| 5 out of 5
For more information, click here!
|Haier HC32TW10SV|| Holds 6 cans in dispenser PLUS food
Has a freezer
Measures ~22 x 20 x 35 inches
Weighs about 60 pounds
| 4.9 out of 5
For more information, click here!
|Danby DAR026A1BDD-3|| Holds 6 cans in dispenser PLUS food
Measures ~20 x 18 x 27 inches
Weighs about 47 pounds
| 4.4 out of 5
For more information, click here!
The Marvels of Mini Fridges
If you’ve never had a mini fridge of your own, you’ve probably seen plenty of them in hotel rooms and dormitories. They’re so handy.
You can store leftovers, drinks, and more in them. Depending on your budget and storage needs, you can get one tiny enough to carry or one large enough to hold a week’s worth of leftovers as well as drinks.
Some mini fridges even have a cool little feature that keeps out uninvited guests, using locking mechanisms that only the owner can undo. These options are great for the workplace as well as dorm rooms. Excited to eat your takeout from yesterday but worried your coworker will get to it first? Lock it up!
Not too interested in security features? Take a look at the technical specifications. Most mini fridges use very little energy and are quieter than full-sized options.
If you live in an apartment or a house with roommates (or a few family members), mini fridges are usually quiet enough to keep in a room. That means your roommate can’t steal your soda or candy bars in the middle of the night anymore!
There are so many good reasons for getting a tiny fridge that it’s almost ridiculous! Did you know there are even models that are designed to hold a 2-liter or one drink?
- How much do you want to spend?
- Some models can be purchased for less than $50 while other, more luxurious models may cost close to $500.
- We found, on average, that the $100-200 price range has the most promising options. That being said, one of the best ones we found costs less than $100! It’s just a bit smaller than some people would like.
- How much (and what) do you want to store in it?
- As we mentioned earlier, some models exist that can only hold one drink or appropriately-sized plastic container.
- Some can hold two 2-liters or 6 canned sodas while others can hold a whole 12-pack as well as three sandwiches.
- Need some serious storage space? Certain models can hold 84 canned drinks at one time!
- Think about what you want to keep in the mini fridge and how much of that thing you want to store in it at one time, as that should determine the size you get.
- Don’t care about keeping drinks in it at all? A 6-can mini fridge can usually hold 2 or 3 entree-sized containers full of food.
- Do you like having ice with all your drinks? Look for a model that has a freezer compartment. Some even come with an ice cube tray, making your life that much easier.
- How much space are you working with?
- This might seem like a silly question at first, but in places like dorms and offices, size does matter.
- In general, you can expect mini fridges to be anywhere from 1.5 cubic feet in size to well-over 4.5 cubic feet. Obviously, there will be smaller and larger options, but this is a good average to keep in mind.
- Most apartment-dwellers seem to prefer options that are around 3 cubic feet in size, as it can hold multiple drinks and leftovers without taking up much space in their room.
- Dorm-dwellers will probably prefer or require the smaller models that only hold a handful of things at a time.
- Do any features in particular matter to you?
- Some models are more environmentally friendly than others, which can make or break a sale in certain states.
- Does it need to be lightweight or does it need to weigh enough to not be knocked over easily? (If you have pets or small children, a weighted option might be best, so they can’t topple it over onto themselves).
- Is portability key to you? A few of the ones that can be taken across the country in a car can run on power banks and car chargers… It amazes us that some 110V mini fridges can function on a 12V charger!
- Do the designs and colors matter to you? For those of you that don’t want to throw off the theme of the room, you should look into models that offer a variety of color choices. The standards seem to be black, white, or stainless steel. Some companies boast more options (like cow-print or floral-print), though.
- How easy should it be to clean? Are you (or the foods you eat) pretty messy? Do you want to be able to take a wet-wipe to it and be done with it?
- How important is temperature control to you? There are models that make it easy to adjust temperature settings while others may only have one setting.
- Do you want it to have lighting? In the middle of the night, you might not want to turn on your bedroom light to make sure you’re getting the drink you desire. At the same time, you might not want to disturb your dorm-mates with a bright, white light coming from the fridge during quiet hours.
Now that we’ve gotten an idea of what it is we’re looking for, let’s discuss our favorite mini fridges!
Our Favorite Mini Fridges
- This Cooluli Cooler & Warmer is our favorite pick because of its efficiency and versatility.
- It’s great for college students, office workers, and home-use simultaneously because, as its name implies, it can keep things cool or warm depending on your needs.
- Clearly, it’s meant to function similarly to a cooler and a warming bag or box. It’s not the most powerful thing in the world, but it does what it’s supposed to pretty darn well!
- It can be used with a power bank, a 12V car charger, or a standard 110V plug.
- If you know when your lunch break will be, just allow 30 minutes for the temperature change to take effect. Your cold lunch can now be heated in the very same container!
- This is one of the quietest models on the market because it doesn’t use a compressor like most refrigerators do. It uses a fan instead.
- This means there is no option for ice or frozen food storage.
- It’s lightweight, weighing about 3 pounds while empty.
- It measures approximately 10in. x 8in. x 11in.
- Can hold at least 6 standard-sized canned drinks or two 2-liter drinks.
- This Haier mini fridge is superb! We can’t get enough of it!
- It isn’t portable like our previous option, as it weighs 60 pounds and has a freezer as well as a refrigerator section.
- It is one of the best 3.2-cubic-feet mini fridges we’ve come across. It measures approximately 22in. x 20in. x 35in.
- This is ideal for college students, condominium-dwellers, or even a hungry, hard-working teen still living at home.
- It can hold 6 canned drinks in the designated dispenser as well as two 2-liters in the door.
- There’s plenty of shelf space for food, too! Worried about keeping fruit and veggies? Don’t be, it even has a crisper!
- Have you noticed the freezer yet?! It has its own door, making sure your frozen food stays ice-cold!
- Talk about plenty of storage space! This would’ve easily been number one on our list if it didn’t weigh a lot more and cost a bit more than our primary choice.
- It could be hard for some people to move and might be too large for some dorm rooms… but, boy, does it do what it’s supposed to… and it does it so well!
- We love the stainless steel design because it’s easy to clean and goes with many different decors.
- Are you still a bit hesitant? It has a 1-year warranty for parts and labor as well as a 5-year warranty for the sealed system.
- This Danby mini fridge is awesome, affordable, and just the right size for anyone in a small space.
- It’s a 2.6 cubic-feet fridge measuring approximately 20in. x 18in. x 27in.
- Weighs a little less than 50 pounds.
- Has a sleek, black design.
- There are other design and sizing options, whether you want something smaller or larger, which we are fond of.
- There is a 1.7-cubic-feet model, a 3.2 cu.ft. choice, and a 4.4 cu.ft. alternative.
- Can easily hold 6 or 8 canned drinks in the door as well as it can store food.
- Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a freezer, so no ice or ice cream can be stored in this.
- Doesn’t have a crisper specifically for veggies and fruits, either, but we don’t mind. Chances are unless you’re a super-healthy, slightly-wealthy college student, you probably won’t want to keep a lot of raw ingredients in it anyway.
- Doesn’t use a lot of electricity and is an Energy Star choice.
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to mini fridges but these few quickly found well-deserved spots in our hearts. They’re all affordable, incredibly efficient, and space-saving options compared to their full-sized counterparts.
As always, we’re glad you decided to look at mini fridges with us and we hope you find something you like!