There are times when you want to keep your food for later because you have already stuffed yourself far too much and can’t take any more. It’s better than throwing it away entirely and wasting it. There are also times when you might want to enjoy a cool beverage, but unfortunately, it has run hot after all this keeping it outside in the heat. All of these situations call for a nice fridge.
How To Buy The Best Mini Fridge? (Check list)
There are many things to consider before you buy a mini-fridge. This includes the technology being used, the size, the energy efficiency, the noise, the carbon footprint, and many other factors. Make sure to check on all of these before you invest in one.
We all want things fast and a few of us don’t want to spend time researching and learning about the technologies. Well, that’s not a problem at all. If you are in hurry, check the best-rated mini fridges of 2020. Alternatively, you check down the below checklist and find the models which are highly suitable for your cooling needs.
Though this is not the foremost thing, a control over temperature is most certainly desirable in any fridge. This helps overcome the effects of heat and humidity on cooling.
The entire point to a mini-fridge is that it should better suit your spatial needs while being small enough to be able to fit where you want it to. Make sure that you check out the places where you’d like to keep your fridge as well as all your requirements before you purchase one.
Another thing which mini-fridges are especially good at is being light. Now this allows you to not only shift your fridge as you see fit, but this can also be handy when you’re taking the fridge somewhere altogether.
- Storage space
You should look for a fridge which offers a storage size that is enough to suit your requirements and has slightly more space to spare for expansion and special cases. It’s better to have something and not need it but overdoing it is mostly wasting what you have.
Insulation is the best friend of a fridge. It helps the fridge cool faster and better and helps it overcome ambient temperature. However, it is also the fridge’s worst nemesis when the freezer gets frosted. A good insulation also means longer times to defrost in addition to lesser energy expenditure.
Some fridges specialise in portability including the travel fridge and the cube fridge. However, having a portable fridge isn’t only limited to travelling as you can save up a lot of money and effort on transporting it to your new location whenever you decide to shift.
Nothing special here. Cheaper is better as long as you’re getting all the features you’re looking for. But don’t settle for a cheap mini fridge which doesn’t have the features and isn’t from a reputed brand.
Different Mini-Fridges are suited to different purposes. It is best to go for a beverage fridge if all you want to do is keep your drinks cool. Wine is best stored in a Wine Cooler. A cube fridge or a travel fridge is best for portability. At the same time, you’ll require something with a freezer if you want to make ice for yourself.
- Energy Efficiency
A good fridge should spend less energy in cooling more efficiently. This means less power consumption and also means less electricity bills for you to pay.
- Gas Emissions
A good fridge produces as few greenhouse gasses as possible during its operation. This differs from fridge to fridge and can include a wide variety of gases. Most eco-friendly fridges are stamped with the Energy Star approval.
- Technology used
Different technologies used have different effects on the mini-fridge, the power consumption, and the environment. There are currently three technologies available, Thermoelectric cooling, Compressor aided cooling, and Absorption based cooling.
- Noise and heat dissipation
Fridges can make a ton of noise. This is especially so if the fridge is smaller. Thermoelectric fridges tend to make the most noise, followed by compressor fridges. Absorption model fridges make no noise but they can extremely expensive.
Needless to say, a warranted product is always much more preferable than one without warranty in case anything goes bad. Furthermore, customer service is just as important. Make sure that both of these are available in your region for the fridge that you’re purchasing.
- Your local laws
Sometimes, a fridge that you may purchase may not follow a law or two specific to your place. Always read up before buying a fridge unless you’re willing to secretly break the law and get away with it and order accordingly.
. But most of the time, you either don’t have the money for them, or they’re just far too huge to accommodate in your current place. That’s where a mini-fridge comes into the picture.
They are cheaper AND they take up far lesser space as compared to most other conventional fridges. That sounds like a win-win situation, yes? However, while mini-fridges do lessen the space that they occupy, they do so at the price of various features which large refrigerators have. As a result, there are different mini-fridges built for different purposes and that’s exactly what I aim to cover with this article.
I’ll gladly guide you to the best mini-fridge sorted according to every purpose which I have painstakingly checked and tested across countless hours at the expense of my own money. Not to say that the cost hurt me too much; I am sorta rich and have tons of free time. However, I would be really grateful if you could purchase said fridges from the referral links which I have placed below to give me some returns on the time which I have invested here to help you pick the best fridge and generate some pocket change in the process. Also, let me know how I’ve helped you reach a suitable conclusion and which model you finally ended up purchasing.
What is a Mini-Fridge?
Mini-fridges are simply fridges, but smaller in size. However, that’s just how things are at first glance. While they do appear to be tiny little fridges, you’ll see a world of difference upon closer inspection. In their endeavor to make themselves smaller, they end up losing a lot of the features and benefits of conventional fridges. In fact, most of the time these features are selectively added to the mini-fridges to let them remain functional while making sure that they don’t too large or cumbersome to serve the primary purpose of a mini-fridge: size and portability.
That being said, there are some features that simply cannot be put in place without making the fridge large, and here is where the distinction in purpose comes into play. Different mini-fridges are built for different purposes. Some are meant to save you space while others are meant to help you store more food while being lesser in size. Some are meant to be carried around during trips and picnics. Wine coolers are especially dedicated to wines. The list goes on and on.
The following is a list of fridges which I have compiled as the best to suit the most different purposes. You can go ahead to make a better choice if you see one. However, most items in this list can be adapted to multiple purposes on their own. After all, what is a mini-fridge suited to just one purpose? Some of them can’t be helped, of course, like Wine Coolers and Beverage Fridges. However, for the rest, they can suit most purposes pretty well. Take a good read and select the one which you think would suit your purposes the best. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!
Which is the Best Mini-Fridge for me?
It should be clear by now, that not just any mini-fridge is going to be the best for you. Unlike fridges, which just differ in features as such, mini-fridges are designed with a very specific purpose in mind. As a result, selecting one which suits your requirements requires a little amount of thought behind it. Needless to say, you need to be aware of how you’re going to use it. You’ll also need to know where you’re going to keep it. Otherwise, it might get a little difficult to fit and use your new mini-fridge. Once you’re done figuring that out, you can read the following sections to understand what to look for when you’re going for a fridge with specific purposes in mind. Kindly consider buying one of the following to support me unless you have a better model in mind.
1. Best in Space Economy: Cooluli Infinity
Cube fridges are meant to be the most space-efficient fridges available. The only things that are smaller than them are travel fridges. However, Those are meant for short term use. Cube mini fridges like the Cooluli Infinity are meant to be used constantly and are meant for the long run. This means that these fridges have more space and stronger cooling capacities as compared to Travel Fridges.
The mini-fridge comes in two variants which offer 10 liters and 15 liters of storage space. It doesn’t take up much space and can be put up on a shelf or desk to keep food and drinks cool or warm. One impressive feature of this fridge is that it has one switch toggle which enables it to go from cooling to warming. You don’t need to manually open the fridge and adjust the thermostat each and every time.
The fridge doesn’t have the best insulation, but it provides sufficient insulation to keep food cool or warm. It is based on Thermoelectric cooling technology which makes it a little noisy. However, given that it is larger in size, the noise isn’t too loud and is more or less tolerable. It has two input modes, DC and AC and can be switched between either of them using a switch given on the fridge. It does, however, consume larger amounts of energy and release heat around it using its two equipped fans. As a result, you might want to place it somewhere it doesn’t affect other equipment around it.
- Comparatively larger storage size.
- It isn’t too large in size.
- It can both cool and warm contents inside.
- Available in two sizes.
- Comparatively inexpensive.
- Low noise when operating.
- It can be used on either AC or DC.
- One switch change from cooling to warming.
- 1-year warranty.
- Improperly insulated and subject to ambient temperature.
- Thermoelectric Technology uses quite a lot of energy.
- Not suitable for storing or freezing ice.
- Portable, but it might be a little difficult to carry it around.
- Storage space might be lacking if meant for more than one person.
- Cannot warm food.
2. Best for Office or Dorm: Midea WHS-65LB1 Mini Fridge with Freezer
The Midea WHS-65LB1 is easily the best value for money in my opinion. It isn’t too large to occupy too much space while being sufficiently large to satisfy most expectations of a mini-fridge. Needless to say, it simply can’t be compared to a full-fledged fridge. However, there are parts of this fridge that more than satiate the needs of any person looking for a mini-fridge for their dorm room or office. It also has a freezer so that you can freeze your own ice when necessary.
The mini-fridge is about 1.6 cubic feet large on the inside. It provides ample space for most needs including storing fruits and snacks for consumption later. It also has a freezer where you can keep your frozen cuts, ice cream, and freeze some ice. It takes a little longer than usual to do so, but it does manage to make ice.
It features a mechanical thermostat that can be used to adjust the temperature of the freezer and keep it between 32 to 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The peculiar numbers are primarily because it was made keeping the metric scale in mind where it ranges from -2 to 2-degree celsius. Even though reading it might prove to be a little difficult, it still does the job properly in any case. Defrosting, however, has to be done manually.
The mini-fridge also features a reversible door which enables it to be opened from the left or from the right. This proves especially handy when you’re looking to fit it into smaller spaces as it can be adjusted to open from any side, becoming more accessible. It also features a removable shelf to accommodate even larger items. It comes with a one year warranty, which is quite sufficient to cover the tenure of its operation.
- Large Storage Space.
- Sufficiently small to fit almost anywhere.
- Good insulation.
- Separately insulated freezer section.
- Thermostat Control.
- One-year warranty on parts, two on the compressor.
- Suitable for storing and freezing ice.
- Very low noise.
- Removable shelf to accommodate bigger items.
- Reversible door for additional accessibility.
- Not light and small enough to be portable.
- All defrost operations must be done manually which can mean turning off the fridge.
- Cannot warm food.
3. The Best in Storage space: Costway 2 Door mini-fridge
The Costway 2 door mini-fridge is huge, to say the least. At least as far as mini-fridges are concerned. This is one fridge which will make sure that it is at least incredibly difficult for you to run out of storage space. While this makes the fridge very cumbersome and less portable, it sure does provide for all the storage space you could ask for from a mini-fridge. The fridge itself isn’t terribly large and can fit inside a common household. This fridge is the perfect choice for bachelors or two to three people sharing one single mini-fridge in a dorm room.
The fridge also comes with a plentifully large freezer section with its own thermostat control which can preserve cold cuts and ice cream and even make ice for you. It is based on compressor technology, so you can expect little to no noise. Being a two-door model, one of the biggest advantages of this fridge is that the top and bottom halves are well insulated, making it even more efficient. Defrosting won’t get in the way of using the refrigerator section anymore.
Both of these doors are reversible and both sections have their own lights installed. It comes with removable glass shelves which makes it easier to clean spills. However, it also insinuates the fact that the glass needs to be handled with care. It comes with a one-year warranty on all parts and a two-year warranty on the compressor.
- Huge storage space.
- Different removable shelves for easy arrangement and assortment.
- Glass shelves for ease of cleaning spills.
- Good insulation.
- Freezer section with separate insulation.
- Thermostat control to maintain the temperature of the refrigerator section.
- Capable of making ice.
- Energy efficient due to compressor technology.
- One-year warranty on parts, two-year on the compressor.
- Low noise.
- Reversible doors for ease of access.
- Not meant to be portable.
- Takes up a significant amount of space.
- All defrost operations are manual which might include turning off the fridge.
- Cannot warm food.
- Relatively Expensive.
- Glass shelves subject to breaking if not handled with greater care.
4. The Best Mini Fridge For Beer and Soda: Danby Beverage Center
The Danby beverage center is best suited to storing a lot of drinks. A beverage center is basically a fridge for beverages and drinks where you can keep them as cool as you prefer. This is no exception. The best part about this fridge is that it is available in a variety of models to accommodate most needs. It comes in one 52 can, one 60 can, one 76 can, and two 120 can capacity variants. All of these have their own dimensions and you can simply select the one which suits your needs the best.
The fridge features a three-grade temperature control system efficient at finely controlling the temperature anywhere between 39 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit. This is not only enough for most beverages but also enough to store most edible items. This fridge is also based on a compressor technology making it and cost-effective in the long run.
The best part about this fridge is that it can range from anywhere between mid size to under-the-counter. The larger sizes are best suited to dorm rooms and public places or parties while the smaller sizes are better for personal use and can also be taken along with you on a trip. It also has a clear tempered glass door and an internal light so that you can see what’s kept inside with ease. It also has removable shelves.
- Available in multiple sizes.
- Good cooling capabilities to keep your beverages chilled.
- Three Grade thermostat.
- Well isolated.
- Clear display.
- Removable Shelves.
- Internal lighting helps see in the dark.
- Energetically efficient.
- It might be too large if larger variants are taken.
- Not too portable, especially with larger variants.
- Cannot warm food.
- Cannot freeze water into ice.
- Relatively expensive.
5. The Best Small Fridge for Cooling Wines: Ivation Wine Cooler
When it comes to Wine, they can’t be treated and cooled like other beverages simply because of their sensitive nature and delicate taste which can easily get spoilt with the temperature they are kept in. Hence, wine coolers are separate refrigeration devices for those who wish to store and preserve their wines. These are generally under-the-counter sized mini-fridges, just like the Ivation wine cooler.
The wine cooler features two zones for both white and red wines wince they are both best consumed and stored at different temperatures. The top zone meant for white wine can be set anywhere between 46 to 64 degrees fahrenheit. The bottom zone meant for red wine can be set anywhere between 54 to 64 degrees fahrenheit. Both of these zones have their own thermostat controls which can be set using the touchscreen. These are smart thermostats which will automatically account for outside temperature which may influence the temperature inside the fridge. It can also lock the setting for your current temperature and make adjustments accordingly.
The fridge also has a measure to introduce humidity into the chambers in order to keep the cork from drying out as well as a tight seal to avoid exposing the wines to external factors. The door is a smoked tempered glass which is not only strong but also blocks the UV lights from sunlight, preserving your wine as well as letting you see inside the cooler.
The technology used, however, can prove to be expensive and inefficient in the long run. However, Wine Coolers generally do use Thermoelectric cooler systems to ensure that the Wine doesn’t vibrate and that the drink inside the bottle remains undisturbed so that it can acquire better characteristics.
Finally, the fridge also features an LCD Display panel which displays the current temperature of both zones so that you can adjust for them accordingly.
- Two zones for White and Red Wine.
- Thermostat Controls for both zones.
- Thermoelectric cooling to avoid vibrations and let the wines settle.
- Smoked glass panel to avoid exposure to UV Light.
- Well isolated.
- Introduces humidity to the chamber.
- Touchscreen and live temperature display panel.
- Not meant for freezing water into ice.
- Quite heavy and not so portable.
- Larger in size.
- Not meant to heat anything inside of it.
6. Best Portable Refrigerator: Chefman 6 Can Mini Fridge
Travel fridges are usually meant to be extremely portable and capable of carrying some snacks and drinks with you for a road trip or picnic so that you can enjoy them warm or cool once you reach your destination. They aren’t meant for long term use but serve a good function for the time they are being used. They are also meant to be smaller and lighter to enable people to carry them around. The Chefman travel fridge isn’t an exception.
The fridge is quite small in size and offers up to four litres of space. The fridge itself measures 10” x 9.5” x 7” which makes it suitable to be kept by your desk to store drinks for later or to be taken along with you on a trip elsewhere.
The fridge is smaller and hence, isn’t best suited to freezing operations. However, the fridge can sufficiently cool content inside of it up to 35 degrees Fahrenheit from the ambient temperature. Similarly, it can also heat items inside of it beyond 75 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the ambient temperature. All operations are silent even though the fridge is dependent on the weather outside to cool or heat food.
The mini-fridge is also quite portable and can also be used in conjunction with an AC charger on the car. It is also a thermoelectric model, meaning that it consumes a lot of energy. On the bright side, there’s no need to defrost this fridge if it ever freezes. It also makes a low humming sound when being used which might be problematic to some people. Even if this may not seem as impressive as the others, the fact remains that it is infinitely better than using an icebox to cool your drinks. And that can’t even keep your food warm. This can do both.
- Small in size.
- Extremely portable.
- Can be used with a car charger.
- It can keep the contents inside cool or warm.
- 1 year warranty.
- It doesn’t have much storage space.
- Cannot freeze ice.
- Not properly insulated and dependent on ambient temperature.
- It consumes a lot of energy. May drain car battery dry if used with the car turned off.
- Noisy operation.
These were all the mini-fridges that I found to be the best for different purposes after extensive hours of testing each and every one of them. Hopefully, it will give you sufficient information to purchase the instant pot which you would find the most use for. Kindly consider buying them from the affiliate links here and helping me out through a small commission which won’t cost you anything extra.
Why Should You Buy a Mini Fridge?
If you’ve ever wanted to save your snacks for later or simply store beverages to consume later, a fridge is a compulsory addition to your inventory. However, there are cases when you wouldn’t exactly want a large fridge. The two most common reasons would include either a lack of space and too much expense behind something that you’re not going to use that often. In either case, the solution is a mini-fridge.
It solves the problem of space quite obviously by being smaller than the large and cumbersome fridge which you generally see in most households. And as far as functionality is concerned, it can perform most of what you want from it while not letting much go to waste. You can easily keep one in your dorm room or your office and enjoy some snacks or drinks whenever you feel like it without having to worry about it going bad over time or having to throw it away.
There are also a few mini-fridges that are especially suited to specific purposes. For example, beverage fridges can be used as public beverage dispensers or even as a stock for a bulk purchase of your favorite drink. Wine coolers are necessary if you’re enthusiastic about your wine and wouldn’t want to spoil its taste and texture. Travel fridges are necessary for traveling around for longer durations with snacks at your disposal seeing how they are especially designed to be used with car batteries in addition to being used on normal DC power. Furthermore, most mini-fridges are available in various different sizes to suit most of your size requirements.
Now, these are a few valid reasons why you might want to purchase a mini-fridge. Your reasons behind purchasing a mini-fridge might be different. However, if you don’t think that your needs align with any of these reasons, then you probably don’t need a mini-fridge. However, in case you might think that you’ll be better off with a mini-fridge than a larger fridge, you’re probably thinking right. It’s better to utilise something smaller to the fullest than to leave something greater underutilised.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mini Fridges
A mini-fridge can be kept anywhere. There are travel fridges which are meant to be taken on short trips and picnics with some snacks or drinks to cool. As long as your fridge has proper insulation, sunlight and other factors should not affect it. Refrain from keeping Wine Coolers in the sun unless they are tinted to avoid spoiling wine as an exception to this statement.
A mini-fridge typically lasts around 14 years on average whereas most other fridges last 17 years on average. There is hence, not much of a difference in longevity as compared to the difference in price point.
Mini fridges don’t make a lot of noise. Thermoelectric fridges generally make a low humming noise which is the sound of the fan dissipating the heat from the back of the fridge. Similarly, compressor fridges may let out a slight vibrating noise because of the motor inside. Otherwise, Absorption fridges are more or less noise free.
Thermoelectric and Compressor fridges can be laid on their back easily. However, absorption fridges need to be kept upright at all times for them to function properly. Even if such an event was to occur, it is best to keep the fridge upright for twenty-four hours or at least the same amount of time spend by it lying down before operating it.
Travel Fridges and other Cube Fridges are usually meant to be used with the AC current fed from the car battery. However, they do consume a lot of energy. While it won’t matter much while the car is running, it can easily be fatal for the car’s battery if the fridge is left running with the engine turned off.
In order to defrost a fridge, if it doesn’t have the option for a defrost feature, simply switch it off until all of the ice melts and turns into water. Drain out all the water and simply plug it in and turn it on again. Any wet insulation should dry itself out as the fridge continues operation.