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Different Types of Mini Refrigerators in the Market




The first refrigerator looked very simple, it was just about chilling food and prevent bacterial growth. Back then, It was just about cooling back then. However, once people started using refrigerators and made it an essential kitchen appliance, there came different models in different sizes, capacities, shapes, colors, and build quality.

A similar thing has been a case in the mini-refrigerator industry too! Just like different types of refrigerators came in the market after acceptance of a refrigerator as an essential kitchen appliance even mini-fridges solved a lot of problems and got accepted by people and then it started coming in different styles, models, configuration after people started using them and gave them space inside their rooms, dorms, small offices.

My main motive with this post is to educate people about the types of mini refrigerators available in the market. I won’t just share the different types, but I’ll also share the place where they are most suitable that way choosing the right style for your purpose would become even easier. So shall I begin?

Are you in search for buying a mini fridge without learning about the technologies, different sizes, and purposes? Do you trust me with the buying decision? Consider checking out my buyer’s guide that helps you choose the best mini fridge for your needs.

There are 4 types of mini refrigerators based on the size and 3 types of them based on the technology used to run them. That doesn’t mean there are 7 different types, it means that the mini-fridges are available in 4 different sizes, but these 4 sizes have a different cooling mechanism which powers them.

Mini Refrigerators (Based on Sizes)Mini Refrigerators (Based on Technologies)
1. Portable Mini Fridges (12V refrigerators)1. Thermoelectric Mini Fridges
2. Cube Mini Fridge2. Compressor Mini Fridges
3. Mid-Size Mini Fridges3. Absorption Mini Fridges
4. Under-the-Counter Mini Fridges

Above was a tabular view of the different types of mini-refrigerators in the market. I didn’t categorize them based on the “features” such as lock, freezer, glass door, glass shelves, separate freezer compartment, etc. Now, that you know, I’ll be explaining all of them in detail which will help you know the type and its suitability.

1. Portable Mini Fridges

Portable Mini Fridge – Being used to store soda-cans inside a car!

Suitability: Best for trucks, road trips, small-offices, and dorm rooms

As their name says, the portable mini-fridges are known for “easy portability” these type of refrigerators are very small in size and come with very limited space. They also don’t consume much electricity (as less as 12v) and that’s why they are perfect for travel needs. Due to their size, people consider when going for long road trips, in the dorm rooms, and even for small offices.

Majority of the portable refrigerators use the thermoelectric technology to provide optimal cooling and heating. Yes, you read it right, “cooling and heating.” For those who don’t know about the mechanism, there’s a pump which sucks out the heat from inside the fridge. The best thing about it is, it can also be set to work in the opposite (means you can use it as a heater also.)

2. Cube Mini Fridge

Cube Mini Fridge
Cube Mini Fridge
  • Compressor Model Suitability: Office spaces, Bedroom, Dorm rooms
  • Absorption Technology suitability: Office spaces, Bedroom, Dorm rooms, Hotel rooms, Trucks, Camps

The Cube-sized mini refrigerator is small in size but is larger than the portable mini-refrigerators. They are not really portable, but one can move it around and place it without help from others. The dimensions of these type of refrigerators (Width x Depth x Height) is around 17 x 18 x 19 (inches) where the Width and the Height don’t have much difference. That’s why it looks like a cube.

They come with more space than a portable refrigerator, they also consume more electricity than the portable or 12v refrigerators. You can store food items, drinks, water in this. However, make no mistake of storing “frozen-food” in such refrigerators because a majority of the models don’t come with support for freezing. However, recently companies have started understanding the importance of freezing in refrigerators of this size and you should surely find a few models that come with a built-in freezer.

These type of refrigerators come with a compressor and absorption technology, unlike portable refrigerators which come with thermoelectric technology. The compressor technology is similar to the one used in other large-sized refrigerators (Top-freezer refrigerator, side-by-side, french-door, etc.)

There are a few models which come with Absorption technology for cooling which means that they won’t make much noise and can work on less power (12v.) The ones with absorption technology are highly suitable for camping, truckers, hotel rooms, bed-rooms, dorms. However, cooling using this technology isn’t as powerful as compressor, but when you want the energy consumption to be less, you can opt for the models which are powered by the Absorption technology.

3. Mid-Size Mini Fridge

Mid-Size Mini Fridge for Office
Mid-size Mini Fridge being used in a small office

Suitability: Office spaces, Bedrooms, Dorm rooms, Home-Bar

A mid-size mini-refrigerator is smaller than the “Under-the-counter” mini-fridges but are larger than the Cube-size models and portable refrigerators. They function similar to the cube-size mini-fridges, except for the fact that they are large in size and consume more electricity. In most of the models, the capacity is above 3 cu ft. When it comes to the dimensions, the height in this style is double than the width.

They use the compressor technology for cooling and come with many shelves and separate freezer compartment. You can store food items, beer, wine (if its a wine cooler), and frozen-food (as most of the models of this size come with a separate freezer.) However, since there’s a freezer which requires high-electricity to work at -18 Fahrenheit (for freezing or preserving frozen food) the electricity consumption will be more than the cube-sized refrigerators.

Also Read: Best Mini Fridge for Small Office Spaces

If you prefer a separate freezer compartment, you can opt for the 2-door mid-size mini-fridges which comes with two sections (1 section would be used for freezing, 1 section would be used for chilling food, beer, and other things.) Most of the people who opt for this style, generally prefer the models which come with a standalone compartment for freezing.

4. Under the Counter Mini Fridges

Under the Counter Mini Fridge
Under the Counter Mini Fridge

Suitability: Home, Mini-Bar, Bedroom, Bars, RV

This type of mini-fridge comes with a high storage capacity just like the mid-size mini-refrigerators and are generally a choice for people who have a mini-bar in their home. It also is a choice for a lot of pubs which serves drinks such as whiskey, wine, beer or chilled-soda cans.

There are different types of under-the-counter mini-fridges, For instance, there are mini-beverage coolers which can cool any sort of beverage. You can store wine in a few of the beverage centers, However, Wine enthusiasts generally prefer a dedicated wine cooler.

Before buying this, you must keep a note of the beverage you would be preserving and buy the one which is suited for that beverage. Although whiskey, beer, and soda cans don’t require any special treatment, Wine and a few other beverages might. There are a few models which support all-beverages, but make sure that they suit your needs.

The article finally comes to an end, I’ve described 4 different types of mini-fridges, the places where each type is highly-suitable and also added pictures which can help you understand more about the model. Besides, I’ve also mentioned the dimensions, things you can store and everything which should make choosing the perfect type for your needs easier than ever!


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Robert D Harder

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

I'm an engineer who has repaired more than 1700 refrigerators. I love mini refrigerators and that's the reason why I started Mini Fridge Advisors to give advices in regards to these lovely small fridges

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