Refrigerators

We Picked and Reviewed the 5 Top-Rated Bar Fridges

Not to be confused with beverage or wine fridges, a bar fridge is a general purpose appliance; Similar to a full sized fridge they store beverages as well as eatables and snacks. They’re significantly smaller than their full sized counterparts though, and as a result they’re more portable. Think of it this way – If a regular fridge is like a PCc or workstation a bar fridge would be a laptop. If you own a portable mini bar fridge, you’ll never have to worry about your weekend getaways, ever again.  

Their relatively smaller size also means they consume less energy. This makes it significantly easier to use them on the go, even if it means running your portable bar refrigerator in the back of your vehicle if you decide to go camping! College dorm rooms, family get togethers, road trips, the possibilities are endless.

While people usually use these mini fridges to store food and drinks, they can also be used to store things like medicine and even makeup.

Bar Fridge Buying Guide

How to Choose the Right Bar Fridge For You

Dimensions

There’s little merit to buying the best reviewed, top of the line mini fridge if it’s too large to accommodate by your home bar setup or in the back of your car. You wouldn’t want too small a bar fridge to the point where it can barely store your beverages and eatables.

Dimensions for such compact fridges generally start around 20 – 20 inches and are typically 16+ inches deep. The dimensions increase with an addition in features. Small bar fridges that come with a freezer would be a tad bit taller and double-door models are generally 30 – 20 inches and 20+ inches deep. When purchasing a fridge for your needs we highly advise you pay attention to the dimensions and pick something that fits your needs.

Types

Thermoelectric: Thermoelectric units are more power efficient and generally quieter than their compressor tech using counterparts. They use what is called the Peltier Effect to keep food and beverage cool. Essentially, they use electricity to keep the inside of the fridge cool and dispel the warmth to the environment outside. They tend not to work very well in hot and humid tropical climates and may be better suited to generally moderate to cool climates. These fridges are excellent choices when it comes to usage in the short term to medium term. 

Absorption fridges are a subset of Thermoelectric fridges. They can run off of gas, AC or DC current. They function without a motor and are therefore very quiet. This makes them ideal for noise sensitive workplaces as well as environments like hotel rooms. 

Compressor fridge: The compressor acts as the “core” of a refrigerator. They use electricity to turn gas back into a liquid and keep the refreshments and liquids cool. This process however, is subject to a large degree of noise generation, at least when compared to the other fridge options. They can get colder than thermoelectric and absorption units and usually last longer too. Their ability to handle heavy loads also makes them ideal for commercial use.

Power Usage

Generally speaking, Thermoelectric units have the least power consumption, Compressor using units sit in the middle of the pack and absorption units drain the most amount of electricity. Do not overlook power consumption and efficiency while making your purchase decision. Any money you try to save on a lower end model of any of the three types could eat a hole through your pockets before you know it by way of electricity bills.

What Features Should I Look For When Buying a Bar Fridge?

Temperature Types (Single vs Dual Zoned)

This feature is going to be most commonly applicable to people that want to use their bar fridge to store alcohol, especially wine and beer in some cases. With Wine particularly, different types of wine require different temperatures for preservation and taste. Unlike Fridges with single temperature zone control, dual temperature zone control fridges are more versatile and can maintain different temperatures in different zones of the fridge, thereby keeping your reds and your whites in pristine condition at the same time!

Portability

Thermoelectric fridges are your best bet if you decide to travel with your mini units. They consume much less energy and are easy to power on the fly. Compressor using fridges are more suited to set up in new places where you need a reliable, long lasting refrigerator. That being said, they can still be used while you travel, as long as you have a power source and you know what you’re doing.

Safety Tips

Safety should always be of paramount importance while operating an electrical appliance. The following are a few pointers to keep in mind while using your home bar fridge.

  • Always plug your fridge directly to a wall power source. Strictly never use an extension board or adapter.
  • Storing heavy items on top of the fridge, Paper or other flammable substances in close proximity, and untrusted power sources are all fire hazards. The chances of your fridge catching fire however are generally extremely low.
  • As the seasons change, make sure to adjust the temperature of the fridge. ​​warmer temperatures can encourage the rapid growth of bacteria that may cause consumers to fall sick.

Review of the 5 Top-Rated Bar Fridges

1. Danby DAR044A6BSLDBO 4.4 Cu.Ft. Outdoor Mini Fridge

Manufacturer, color, materials: 

Danby’s Outdoor Mini fridge is the first one on our list. It is a pretty high end, top of the food chain bar fridge made of Stainless steel. It has a ‎freestanding form factor. It has a smooth, ‎Spotless Steel finish that gives it a premium look.White interiors with LED lighting, 3 glass shelves, and a rubber-grip ergonomic door handle give this mini fridge a nice retro touch. 

Dimensions, Weight, and Capacity:

The Dimensions for this fridge are ‎21.31 x 20.75 x 33.06 inches. It has a fresh food capacity of 4.4 Cubic Feet. It weighs around 68 pounds. According to customer reviews, the freezer can struggle to fit large form ice trays so keep that in mind while making your purchase.

Voltage, Temperature range: 

The Danby mini fridge uses around ‎120 Volts.

Other features: 

IP4X resistance, Durable, Outdoor rated, Adjustable Shelves -This mini fridge has all the bells and Whistles you would expect from a high end bar fridge. The mini fridge uses an environmentally friendly R600a refrigerant to keep the food and beverage cool while also keeping its carbon footprint low.It is scratch resistant as well so you don’t need to worry about the steel coloured exterior showing signs of wear over time. Waterproof electrical housing, UV protected plastics, IPX4 rating for water ingress protection for safety and 4 castors featuring stainless steel ball bearings for rust-resistance make this a perfect pick for an outdoor use bar fridge. It’s Dial Temperature Control system is straightforward and easy to understand and use. 

Note: If possible, still keep it away from sunlight.

SUMMARY

Danby DAR044A6BSLDBO 4.4 Cu.Ft.

Pros

  • Good capacity
  • Locking Mechanism to prevent theft
  • Outdoor rated
  • Environment friendly
  • Loads of extra features

Cons

  • Loud compressor
  • Relatively high power consumption
CHECK PRICE

2. NewAir Beverage Refrigerator Cooler

Manufacturer, color, materials: 

Number 2 on our list is NewAirs Beverage cooler. It has a compact, freestanding form factor. It comes in an all metal chassis with a glossy finish. It has three design versions- an all black finish, a black with stainless steel finish doors, and a vibrant, limited edition design print. It’s limited edition design is black and gold. This design includes the names of beers from around the world on it. It would look absolutely gorgeous at any home bar or games room setup. It has an exceptionally good price to performance ratio of any mini bar fridge.

Dimensions, Weight, and Capacity: 

It’s dimensions are 18.6 x 18.5 x 33.3 inches, which means this fridge is a little bit on the smaller side. This is reflected in the relatively lower capacity of 3.4 cubic feet.  It’s SplitShelf configuration however, provides five sturdy fully modular shelves that help maximize the storage space to be able to fit a whopping 21 six-packs of standard cans in a compact footprint that saves floor space!

Voltage, Temperature range: 

The NewAir mini fridge uses 110 volts and can cool all the way down to 32°F(0°C). Trying to get the temperature this low usually comes at the cost of a compressor having to work harder, which could mean slightly more noise. At regular use, it’s compressor functions at a relatively quiet 35dB. This makes the NewAir mini bar fridge an ideal pick for homes, offices, dorm rooms and more.

Other features: 

It has a powerful compressor and fully modular shelves so storing beverages that come in all shapes and sizes should be no problem at all. Durable stainless steel doors and LED lighting add stylish finishing touches to the unique design. It has a reliable and extremely useful electronic locking mechanism built in.

Some positive reviews claim ‘we can barely hear it when it’s running’ and ‘keeps drinks cold, you can easily change the temperature, and the light inside is helpful’.

Note: One potential issue you could face while trying to install this fridge however is the rear vent. It makes it challenging to build this fridge into a kitchen counter as heat dissipation can become a problem.

SUMMARY

NewAir Beverage Refrigerator Cooler

Pros

  • Stunning design
  • Powerful Compressor
  • Adjustable shelves

Cons

  • Not designed to store snacks
  • Doesn’t come with auto defrost even at this price range
CHECK PRICE

3. Whirlpool 5.1 cu. ft. Undercounter Refrigerator

Manufacturer, color, materials: 

Fingerprint resistant stainless steel. Modular door installation. Bright LED interior lighting. Every component part of this mini fridge screams high end. It has a solid stainless steel build and finish, with classy looking all dark grey interiors. It has a premium looking, minimalistic design. It would fit right in at a modern design home or at a high end pub or bar in an uptown locality. As a result of it’s premium finish and exceptional build quality it has a pretty high asking price.

Dimensions, Weight, and Capacity: 

The Whirlpool 5.1s dimensions are 25 x 25 x 35 inches. This is one of the taller mini fridges on this list so make sure that if you wish to install this into the counter you take its height into account. It has a very high capacity for a mini fridge, at 5.1 Cubic feet. It’s smart design and depth permits more than regular storage for this kind of form factor.

Voltage, Temperature range: 

It offers a range of customized temperature selection, anywhere from 41°F to 64°F.

Other features: 

It’s modular door can be installed on either side for space management. It can be used both indoors and outdoors. It doesn’t have a ton of extra features, but the Whirlpool 5.1 mini fridge has one thing going for it. Exceptional quality. It nails all the basics and has very reliable performance.

Note: According to the Whirlpool team, for best performance, do not install the beverage center behind a cabinet door or block the base grille as this could cause issues.

SUMMARY

Whirlpool 5.1 cu. ft. Refrigerator

Pros

  • Adjustable Door Storage
  • Great for indoor or outdoor use
  • Auto Defrost

Cons

  • No ice maker & Fruit basket
  • Expensive
  • No dual zone at this price range
CHECK PRICE

4. Kalamera Mini Fridge 24” Beverage and Wine Cooler

Manufacturer, color, materials

The Kalamera Mini Fridge comes in 3 primary options. The 96 can capacity, a 154 can capacity, and the one we’ve reviewed today, a 120 can + 16 bottle capacity. It comes in a compact, freestanding form factor with a white matte finish. It can also be installed under a counter. Its reversible door and adjustable feet make it a flexible option for different home, kitchen or bar environments. It has a solid stainless steel build with white LEDs inside. Its double layered tempered glass helps stabilize temperature levels inside the cooler and keeps the glass from fogging.

Dimensions, Weight, and Capacity: 

It’s dimensions are 23.8 x 22.4 x 33.2 inches. It’s design flexibility allows multiple creative ways in which it can be installed. If the 120 can model is a little too big for your cabinet or a little too compact for your taste, you can always choose from one of their other models as well. It’s pretty heavy however, at 104.5 lbs with a 120 can + 16 bottle capacity.

Voltage, Temperature range: 

It uses 110 volts and has a temperature range of 38°F – 50°F. The built in temperature memory function allows you to restore the set temperature in the cooler after it is back on from being turned off or a loss of power, which keeps your drink cooler and from going bad with increasing temperature.

Other features: 

It’s loaded with a ton of useful features like temperature memory functions, Whisper-quiet Compressor, UV and carbon filter and adjustable shelves. The reversible doors are always going to be a plus as well. It’s racks are relatively very easy to remove, clean and fit back. It has an automatic defrost function so you don’t have to worry about defrosting this cooler manually. The Auto defrost function is set to trigger once every 6 hours or so.

SUMMARY

Kalamera Mini Fridge 24” Beverage Cooler

Pros

  • Adjustable design
  • Temperature memory function
  • Adjustable shelves
  • UV filter glass
  • Carbon filter

Cons

  • Could be cooler
  • Can’t store food/Snacks
  • Heavy
CHECK PRICE

5. MagicChef 44 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Manufacturer, color, materials: 

The last cooler on our list is the MagicChef dual zone cooler. It can be either built in or freestanding. It comes with a stainless steel chassis with a smoked look tempered glass door. It also has a version that stores 50 bottles instead of the 44 that you can consider if you need the extra space, or, you can also opt for the version with a whopping 154 cans capacity. Either way, you can go wrong with one of these units.

Dimensions, Weight, and Capacity

The fridges dimensions are 23.4 x 24.4 x 34.4 inches. Like our number four entry, the Kalamera mini fridge it’s pretty hefty at 104.7 lb. This weight doesn’t permit much portability. It’s capacity is 44 bottles. Due to it’s design it will be hard to store anything besides bottles, unless you decide to opt for the version that permits can storage instead.

Voltage, Temperature range: 

The Magicchef cooler uses 115 Volts. The lowest this cooler can go to is 41F. It’s digital thermostat controls are simple and can be used for easy operation of the 2 zones.

Other features:

The Magicchef cooler has dual zone cooling for higher degrees of individualistic temperature control for different parts of the fridge. This helps regulate the temperature inside the chassis separately for different zones in order to keep different types of beverages at their own ideal temperatures. 

In addition to the dual zone cooling system, it has 6 removable shelves, Adjustable Racks and an LED Temperature Control system. It’s adjustable and removable chrome shelves make it easier to pick out cold bottles from the mini cooler instead of having to remove them out one after the other manually.

SUMMARY

MagicChef 44 Bottle Dual Zone Wine Cooler

Pros

  • Dual Zoned
  • 6 Shelves
  • Frost Free

Cons

  • Cannot store snacks
  • Doesn’t get very cool
CHECK PRICE

FAQs

Where do you buy a bar fridge?

You can buy a bar fridge online from any established E – Commerce site pretty easily. (Amazon, HomeDepot, Bestbuy, etc) You can also buy a bar fridge offline at any major retail store. Doing so might help understand the dimensions and internal capacity a little better.

How much is a bar fridge?

Bar fridge prices can vary from a little over a 100 dollars for a low end, usually less spacious and power efficient fridge, to well over 1000 dollars for a relatively high end bar fridge.

What temperature should a bar fridge be set at?

It depends. Certain aerated drinks like coca – cola can be stored at anywhere from 2° – 26°(35.6° F – 78.8° F), while most other beverages like beer or wine should ideally not be stored at a temperature of over 12°C(53.6° F). 

Your small bar fridge should ideally have the same kind of cooling settings as a full sized refrigerator, a dial from 1 – 5 or 1 – 7. Usually, the higher up you go on the dial, the colder it gets.The FDA recommends keeping your refrigerator at or below 4° C/ 40° F, and your freezer at -18° C/0° F. This should help you keep your food, snacks and groceries fresh and your beverages cool. For makeup and beauty products,make sure the fridge doesn’t run under 32ºF so these products don’t end up freezing.

How many cubic feet is a bar fridge?

Regular bar fridges range in size from 50L to around 150L. These mini fridges can however offer as little as 2 cubic feet of storage and apartment-size appliances Usually come with an internal cooling capacity of up to 5.5 cubic feet.

What is the lifespan of a bar fridge?

The Average lifespan of small bar fridges are 8 – 12 years. This will vary between products and models based on their robustness, usage, build quality and how frequently these mini fridges are serviced.

How many beers can a bar fridge hold?

A litre of fridge space can hold approximately one drink. This means that a mini fridge that is around 60L Should be able to hold 60 beer cans, while a 90 litre fridge Should be able to hold around 85 – 90 cans. This can vary based on the type of fridge and its dimensions, and the make of the beverage cans as well.