Table of Contents
- What is a Mini Fridge?
- The Ultimate Mini Fridge Buying Guide
- Review Of the 5 Top-Rated Mini Fridges
- 1. Midea WHS-65LB1 Compact Single Reversible Door Refrigerator, 1.6 Cubic Feet
- 2. GE Double-Door Mini Fridge, Freezer, 3.1 Cu Ft, GDE03GGKBB Freestanding
- 3. TECCPO Mini Fridge TAMF33, 4.5 Cu.Ft Mini Fridge with Freezer
- 4. Frigidaire EFR376-WHITE 3.2 Cu Ft White Retro Bar Fridge
- 5. Danby DAR026A1BDD-6 2.6 Cu.Ft. Mini Fridge, Compact Refrigerator
You live in a dorm, or just moved out to your first apartment, or you are a digital nomad enjoying the freedom of working from anywhere in your RV and want to chill or preserve your food for longer. Unfortunately, you realize you do not have the space to accommodate a standard fridge, nor the budget for such an investment. This is where mini-fridges come in.
What is a Mini Fridge?
A mini-fridge is a small freestanding refrigerator that you can use to keep your food fresh and your drinks chilled. It features a couple of shelves and a door storage area. Some models may come with a freezer box which you can use to freeze some foods and a fresh foods section. Mini fridges may have double door designs, while others feature a single door design.
Advantages of a Mini Fridge
As mentioned above, mini-fridges are small and therefore an excellent investment when you have limited spaces. They can fit in tight spaces, such as your RV, tiny kitchens, man caves, office desktop, and your bedroom. All you need to do is to make sure you keep it in a well-ventilated area.
Compact refrigerators are highly affordable and are your go-to option if you are operating on a tight budget. The best mini fridge brands in the market have prices ranging between $150 and $300. With this budget, you can get a quality product that will serve you for years.
The compact and lightweight design of mini-fridges makes them highly portable. If you wish to relocate or reorganize your space, you simply pick up your mini-fridge and put it in your preferred spot. Most models weigh under 50lbs, so it should be easy to move them.
Small refrigerators give you the convenience of bringing excitement and comfort in your living spaces, be it your workshop, office, or bedroom. The fact that you can have your drinks and food anytime you need them is a great relief to many and can be a great time-saver in a working environment.
Another reason you should consider investing in a mini-fridge is its low energy consumption. For instance, some of the best small fridge models in the market consume just about 200kWh per year. This feature saves you in operating costs. Moreover, the low power rating that comes with mini-fridges allows you to run them on power generators and power stations. This way, you can use them in RVs and off-grid locations.
The secret to keeping your home appliance operating as expected is timely maintenance. The good news is that mini-refrigerators are easy to maintain. Their small size means that the interior spaces are easy to access and clean. This way, it will not take much of your time to keep the machine clean and working optimally.
It’s never easy having to repair a fridge that keeps on breaking down.
If product aesthetics is a crucial factor when shopping for a mini-fridge, then you will be spoiled for choices. The top manufacturers in the market have invested a lot of resources in dedicated teams that deliver attractive designs that suit your liking. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a retro model or modern design. There are so many designs to choose from.
The top mini fridge models come in metallic and high-quality plastic construction. Using these materials results in sturdy products that are highly durable and will give you value for money.
Now shopping for the best mini fridge that suits your needs is not a simple task. To achieve this, you will need to study and compare the salient features of the best mini-refrigerators to identify one that suits you. Unfortunately, this is a time-consuming task that may take hours to complete and sap your energy. The good news is that we have done it for you. Below is our review of the five top mini-fridges in the market. We hope that as you read through this review, you will find one model that suits you. We have also included a buying guide that helps you identify the key features you need to look for in a mini-fridge before buying it. Read on to find out.
The Ultimate Mini Fridge Buying Guide
When shopping for small fridges, it is crucial to know what to look for to ensure that you get a product that meets your needs. If you are not careful, you could end up with a mini-fridge that does not suit you. Therefore, to benefit from a mini-fridge, seek to know various ways you can use it. Let us examine some creative ways you can use a mini-refrigerator.
Creative Ways to Use Mini-Fridges
Get More Storage For Homegrown Produce
It is common for people to produce fresh produce such as vegetables, fruits, milk, and eggs from their backyard projects. Sometimes these foods can spoil because of lack of storage, especially when the main fridge gets full. Investing in a mini-fridge gives you extra storage for your fresh produce.
Preserve Your Beauty Products
Most beauty products such as lipsticks, fragrances, nail polish, eye creams and gels, sunscreens, and ant-itch creams break down when exposed to light and high temperatures. If you live in a hot area or during hot summers, you will need to keep these products refrigerated. Now, it’s a good idea to separate your foodstuff from your beauty products. To achieve this, you will need a mini-fridge. You also get the flexibility of storing your beauty products next to your dressing table.
Save Time at the Office
The work environment can be very stressful. This setting can sap your energy and make you unproductive, especially if you have to leave your office to grab refreshments and meals. However, you can change this situation by investing in a mini-fridge. This way, you can have your drinks and snacks to revitalize your body when your energy levels are low. You also get the flexibility of enjoying homemade meals that are healthy and affordable. With a mini-refrigerator in your office, you get to save time that you would otherwise spend to buy food and refreshments from an eatery outside your office.
Enjoy Your Outdoor Trips
One great feature of mini refrigerators is that they are compact in design. They are also lightweight and therefore can fit in your RV. Moreover, their low wattage allows you to use portable generators to run them. This way, you keep your food and drinks fresh and chilled during your outdoor trips.
Improve Your Bar
If you have a bar at your residence, investing in a mini-bar allows you to preserve your cocktail ingredients such as lemons and juices rather than relying on the main kitchen fridge. You can also monitor your stock with ease and know when you need to restock. With this flexibility, it’s easy to entertain your guests of all ages with refreshing drinks.
Keep Allergic Foods Separate
Some foods such as peanuts, milk, and shellfish can cause allergies to people. Acute food allergies can trigger anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. If you have members of your family who are allergic to certain foods, it is wise to keep such foods in a separate refrigerator to avoid the risk of them ingesting such foods by accident. Mini-fridges come in handy in such situations.
How to Choose the Right Mini Fridge For You
Now that you know various ways of using a mini-fridge, it is important to mention that the models available in the market, different in many ways. To get the best mini-refrigerator, you need to know what to look for. Let’s take a deep dive and explore the features that make a great mini-refrigerator.
Important Features and Benefits:
The size of a mini-fridge refers to its dimensions. The length, breadth, and height of the product determine the space the mini-fridge will occupy. The good news is that these compact refrigerators come in small sizes that can fit in tight areas such as desktops, under desks, and corners. Measure your house space and use it to estimate the size of a mini-fridge that will work for you. This way, it will be easy to pick a product that will match your space needs.
Find out how much a mini-fridge weighs before paying for it, especially if you intend to use it for outdoor use or need to place it on a desktop or counter. Light models are easy to carry and install. This is a big advantage, especially if you live alone. You will not need to ask for assistance from friends to move the mini-fridge. Also, it will be easy to get the small fridge in your car when you want to use it for outdoor activities. Light models do not put a lot of pressure on the surfaces they are placed on. This way, you avoid damaging your desk or counter.
The cooling mechanism of a mini-fridge determines its power consumption and noise level. There are three main cooling mechanisms that manufacturers use on mini-refrigerators, namely: thermoelectric, compressor, and absorption. A thermoelectric mini-fridge uses a pump for heat transfer and a fan to create a cooling effect. The advantage of this mechanism is that it is a lot quieter than compressor models, which use a liquid coolant to create a cooling effect. When it comes to absorption mini-refrigerators, they do not use compressors or pumps but rely on a heat source to drive the cooling process. These models are very quiet and ideal for hotels and bedrooms.
Consider how much power a mini-fridge consumes before deciding to buy it. The reason is that the wattage of the mini-refrigerator will have a direct impact on your electricity bill. The best models have a low power rating and are highly efficient. For instance, Energy Star certified models consume less electricity than those that are not. On average, the best mini-fridges in the market consume about 200kWh per year. If the price of electricity in your country is $0.07, then you will spend only $14 on the refrigerator in one year. The power consumption also means that you use a 300W generator or power station to run your mini-refrigerator.
The capacity of a mini-fridge is its internal volume. This determines how much food and drinks you can store in your mini-fridge. Most small fridges have capacities varying between 1.7 to 4.5 cubic feet. To pick a mini-refrigerator that has the right capacity to suit your needs, estimate the volume of foodstuffs you would like to store in the mini-fridge.
Just like any other refrigerator, mini-fridges can get ice buildup. To prevent ice from filling the storage area, manufacturers incorporate a defrost mechanism in the mini-fridge design. Defrost mechanisms can be manual, fully automatic, or semi-automated. If a mini-fridge comes with a manual defrost mechanism, you will need to trigger this process manually by pressing a button in the middle of the temperature dial. However, automatic defrost mechanisms operate autonomously.
During the defrost cycle, the compressor is disconnected to allow the ice to thaw. The water then drains out through a pipe to a collection tray attached to the back of the fridge. The automated defrost feature frees you from worrying about ice accumulation. A mini-fridge with this feature can operate without intervention for a long time, as long as it is connected to a stable power source.
The design of a mini-fridge on the inside affects its storage space. The things you need to look out for include the number of shelves available, the position and size of the freezer box, the design of the door storage, and whether it comes with a crisper. If you wish to freeze some foods, it is advisable to buy a mini-fridge design that has a reasonably large freezer box. The best models in the market come with door storage that can accommodate bottles and a can dispensing feature.
Look out for features that make the mini-fridge easy to use. For example, models that come with reversible door designs allow you to customize how the mini-fridge door will open, either from the left or the right, depending on the space where you want to install the refrigerator. Fridges that come with hind wheels make it easy for you to move them from one place to another.
When operating the mini-fridge at night, you need a lighting system that increases visibility. Also, a clear crisper and glass shelves allow you to know where your foodstuffs are stored with ease. Other features, such as side bottles and can openers, increase the usefulness of the mini-fridge.
Mini-refrigerators come in various styles to suit diverse consumer tastes and preferences. For instance, manufacturers provide designs with multiple shades. This way, you can choose a color that matches your house or office furniture. There are also novelty and retro styles to pick from. With this in mind, you can now shop for a design that will work best for you.
The pricing of a mini-fridge determines its affordability. However, do not use the price of a mini-fridge alone to decide whether to buy or not to buy it. Consider other factors that meet your needs, such as size, portability, capacity, and ease of use. With a budget of $150 to $300, you can get a quality mini-fridge that will give you value for money.
Warranty and Customer Support
The best mini-fridge brands in the market give warranties on their products as a guarantee of quality. This can be anything from one to two years. Also, go for brands that give you reliable customer support when you need it. You may need to read through reviews of previous clients to know how the company handles customer requests to gauge the quality of their support services.
Mini Refrigerator Safety Tips
The first step to operating a mini-fridge safely starts with understanding how the product works. Therefore, before plugging your compact refrigerator into the mains, read the product manual thoroughly to ensure that you know the recommended accessories to use on your appliance.
It is advisable to register your fridge with your manufacturer to make it easy to follow up your warranty in case it fails to operate as expected. Sometimes companies recall appliances because of safety concerns. While such cases are rare, it is wise to always check up your mini-fridge on the manufacturer’s recall list.
Before connecting your mini-refrigerator to the mains, remove all the packaging materials. Assess the place where you want to install the appliance to make sure you have enough space. Check the position of the door to see if you will need to reverse it.
As you install the compact refrigerator, leave sufficient space between the wall and the backside of the appliance. This space allows for air circulation and prevents the fridge from overheating. Ensure that there are no flammable substances around the fridge as they can catch fire because of the hot air from its compressor. Also, avoid trapping the electric cable beneath the min-fridge as this action can damage the cable internally.
Check the power rating of your source of electricity and make sure it matches the recommended voltage for your mini-fridge. Install a power surge protector to guard your fridge against possible fluctuation of electricity which can damage the appliance. If you need to use your mini-refrigerator outdoors, ensure that you do not expose the fridge to direct sunlight or precipitation. When kept in a hot area, the mini-fridge will work extra hard to maintain the required temperature on the inside and thus consume a lot of power. On the other side, wet conditions can cause electric shocks, which damage the appliance and cause serious injuries.
Review Of the 5 Top-Rated Mini Fridges
Media is a global brand with over 50 years of refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioning appliances, and dryers. The company has won various product design awards and stands out among its competitors as a true leader in designing highly functional home appliances. For instance, the Midea WHS-65LB1 mini-fridge comes in a small and compact design that allows you to keep your food fresh at your home, office, or outdoors. It also comes with a 1.6 cubic feet capacity that allows you to store a substantial amount of food for future use.
Its compact size makes it an ideal pick for people who live in houses with limited space. Moreover, it has a reversible door that you can customize to open from the right or left side. This way, you can install the mini-fridge in tight spaces with ease. It measures 17.7 x 18.6 x 19.4 inches and is, therefore, space-efficient for RV and caravan owners. With a power rating of 75W, Midea WHS-65LB1 can be powered by most RV generators and power stations. It is also Energy Star rated, which means it runs more efficiently and quieter with a 42dBA noise level. These features make this mini-fridge an ideal pick for your outdoor life.
Moreover, the Midea WHS-65LB1 is easy to use. It comes with a manual thermostat that allows you to set your preferred temperature between 32 and 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a freezer box that helps you to make ice cubes for your drinks with ease. The fresh food section stays cool at temperatures of 32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Midea WHS-65LB1 comes with one shelf and storage unit. This way, it is easy for you to arrange your foodstuffs. Its design mimics that of a traditional kitchen fridge for intuitive use. This mini-fridge comes with a one-year warranty. This warranty serves as a guarantee for quality to give you value for money.
The General Electric Company is renowned for innovative products ranging from home appliances to jet engines. It’s no surprise that the GE GDE03GGKBB Double-Door Mini Fridge stands out as one of a highly functional kind of mini-fridge. It features a 0.93 cu ft freezer box and a 2.12 cu ft fresh food section with two glass shelves and a clear crisper for your vegetables. It also comes with a can rack, shelve and talk bottle storage on its door. These features allow you to arrange your foodstuffs and drinks with ease.
The double door design which separates the freezer box from the fresh food compartment allows you to conserve energy by only opening the sections you are interested in. For instance, if you want to get your chilled drink, open the lower door without affecting the freezer. This mini-fridge comes in a small and space-efficient design. Moreover, it features recessed handles, which do not take extra space, and thus a great design if you have a small house or want to use it for your yacht or RV.
With over 100 years in operation, the General Electric Company has mastered the art of manufacturing durable products, and the GDE03GGKBB Double-Door Mini Fridge is not an exception. It features solid construction metallic materials for assured durability. Its compressor is energy-star rated and is designed to deliver efficient performance over a long period. This way, you get value for your money.
Using this mini-fridge is hassle-free. Its automated defrosting feature in the fresh foods section keeps your foodstuffs fresh and ice-free for added convenience. In addition, it comes with an interior lighting design that allows you to access its contents with ease at night. The freezer section is also spacious and enables you to store foods in containers for added convenience. This mini-fridge comes with a 1-year warranty.
The TECCPO TAMF33 Mini Fridge features a small design that is suitable for home, office, and bedroom use. You can use it to preserve foodstuffs, drinks, and cosmetics. The beauty of using this fridge is that it comes with a low wattage rating of 70 watts. This energy rating saves you money by using less electricity. It also allows you to use the mini-fridge on low-output energy sources such as portable generators and portable power stations. This means that with the right generator, you can run this TECCPO fridge in your RV.
Its reversible door design gives you the flexibility of installing the mini-fridge in tight spaces. The TECCPO TAMF33 weighs only 48.4 lbs and comes with wheels that make it easy to move. And if you have an uneven floor, don’t worry. The adjustable front legs will help you get your fridge level.
When it comes to the storage area, this mini-fridge has a total capacity of 4.5 cubic feet – 0.49 cu ft for the freezer area and 4.01 cu ft for the fresh food section. This volume is sufficient to store enough food for a small family, and if you are alone, it’s enough stock for several days. This small fridge comes with internal lighting and a clear crisper for added visibility while accessing your foodstuffs. It also comes with additional storage on its door for your canned drinks, long bottles.
Its freezer chamber comes with an easy flip lid which makes it easy to access. In the event of ice accumulation, you only need to press the button at the center of the temperature dial once. Its thermostat has six temperature settings which range between 23 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These settings allow you to pick the temperatures that best work for you.
You don’t have to worry about the noise when using this small refrigerator, especially if you have it in your bedroom, because its noise level is a mere whisper at 37dBA. TECCPO provides you with a 2-year warranty and a guarantee for quality. You also get after-sale customer support services 24/7.
The Frigidaire brand is wholly owned by Curtis International Ltd, which specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of electronics and home appliances. The company has over 25 years of experience and is renowned for high-quality products such as the Frigidaire EFR376 Retro Bar Fridge. This mini refrigerator is designed to suit your home and office needs, especially if you live alone or have a small family.
It comes in a sleek retro design and features a built-in bottle opener for your bar needs. Its low energy consumption feature makes it an excellent pick for your RV needs. The Frigidaire EFR376 comes in seven shades which give you a wide range of colors to pick from. Its compact design allows you to store the mini-fridge in tight spaces and features a pull handle for added ease when opening the door.
This compact refrigerator comes with a 0.2 cu ft freezer box and a 3 cu ft fresh foods section with three glass shelving for added convenience when arranging your foodstuffs. The mini-fridge features additional storage on its door for cans and bottles. Its reversible swing door allows you to customize how it opens depending on the available space. This compact refrigerator comes with a one-year limited warranty for the manufacturer to guarantee you against product defects.
The Danby brand is a 65 years old family-owned business. The company specializes in designing functional products that are suitable for every life stage. For instance, the Danby DAR026A1BDD-6 mini refrigerator comes in a compact and small design that suits students, seniors, and singles. You can also use it in your office or bedroom as it can fit on your desktop or the floor. This compact refrigerator has a volume of 2.6 cubic feet, which can carry a substantial stock of fresh foods and drinks. It also comes with door storage for long bottles and canned drinks.
Its canister beverage dispensing system allows you to organize and access your drinks with ease. The fresh foods section features three adjustable wire shelves, which divide the space into four subsections to give you more storage space. This mini-fridge has an adjustable thermostat that allows you to set its temperature. It is also to defrost automatically and has a drain pipe that expels the thawed water and prevents it from settling inside.
The Danby DAR026A1BDD-6 compact fridge comes with a reversible door that you can customize to open from the right or left side for easy operation, depending on your storage space. Also, its gasket is magnetic, which provides a tight seal that prevents energy loss. The legs of this small refrigerator are adjustable to allow you easy leveling, especially when working with a slanting floor.
This mini-fridge uses R600a refrigerant, which is non-toxic to the environment. It comes in multiple shades of black and white. This way, you have various options to pick from. It also comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of 18 months. Other features of this mini-fridge include an LED-lit interior, a rubber grip door handle, and a scratch-resistant worktop.
The best mini refrigerator to buy is the one that has the right capacity, power rating, efficiency, style, and price that suits your requirements. To get such an appliance, you will need to compare the features of the available models in the market and pick one that works for you.
A quality mini-fridge costs between $150 and $300. There are models that are cheaper, but you need to be careful not to buy a product that will fail in a short time. It is also important to mention that the price of fridges increases with size. Therefore, if you go for a high-capacity mini-fridge, the price may go above $300.
Mini-refrigerators with automatic defrost mechanisms do not need any intervention to thaw any accumulated ice. However, if your model has a manual defrost mechanism, it will have a defrost setting. It could be part of the temperature settings, so all you need to do is turn the dial to defrost mode. In some cases, it’s a separate button that you will need to press. To avoid confusion, read through your product manual.
Most leading brands partner with both online and in-store dealers to distribute their products. For example, Amazon is one of the credible sites where you can buy quality mini-refrigerators. All you need to do is make sure that you work with a credible dealer who will deliver quality products at the right time.
Small refrigerators have diverse power ratings depending on their cooling capabilities and technology. For most models, their wattages range between 50 to 100 watts. The choice of your mini-fridge wattage should be informed by the output of your power source, preferred use, and the size of the mini-fridge. For instance, if you need a mini-fridge for your RV, it’s wise to go for one with low wattage.