best mini fridge

Do You Have The Best Mini Fridge?

Whether you live in a big city, a dorm room, or occupy a small office space, finding the best mini fridge can be a good way to save space. A mini fridge is, as the name implies, a small fridge. A fridge with less than 5.5 cubic feet of space, to be more precise. Maybe the office or communal kitchen is just too far away for when you want to grab a cold one. Maybe you want to bring some fresh food along for a family picnic on the weekends.

Mini fridges have some, or all, of the functionality found in regularly sized fridges. Some can keep drinks and snacks cool, whilst others can hold fresh meat and other produce. There is even a mini fridge that can keep your food warm as well as cool it down.  Finding the best mini fridge requires you to think about what exactly you need it for. That’s why we put together this guide for you — we like to make things simple!

There are plenty of reasons to get yourself a mini fridge, and in this guide, we’ll cover all the essential information you need to know. We’ll also provide you with some suggestions on what we think makes the best mini fridge. Whether you’re the owner of a hotel that needs cost-efficient mini-fridges for your guests or a student looking for convenience during your time at college, there’s a mini-fridge for everyone.

What to think about when buying a mini fridge

Before you jump online or go to the store to get your hands on a mini fridge, there are a few questions you should consider. What will the mini fridge be used to store? Certain mini fridges are only cool enough to store snacks and drinks, but not actual meat. Meat needs to be kept at a certain temperature in order to prevent poisonous bacteria from forming.

You also need to consider where the mini fridge should be stored, or whether you want a portable one. Not all mini fridges are the same size, and what might be good for an office might not be practical for a picnic.

How much are you willing to spend on a mini-fridge? Smaller ones cost less up-front but are less energy efficient in the long run — and vice versa.

Small mini fridges have less air inside them to circulate, which means the fans will work harder to cool it down — and ironically this heats up the mini fridge so it consumes more power.

How big should your mini fridge be?

Mini fridges can contain anywhere between 1.5 to 5.5 cubic feet of food, snacks, and beverages. Knowing what you want to keep in the mini fridge will help you find the best mini fridge for you. However, knowing where you want to keep it, and how much space you have, will also impact your decision when it comes to buying a mini fridge. Use some measuring tape to find out if a given mini fridge you’re looking at will actually fit in your office, dorm, or car.

Should your mini fridge have a freezer compartment?

The majority of mini fridges will come with a small internal freezer compartment. However, these are usually only good for freezing ice cubes — and not all do this well, either! Internal freezer compartments are usually not good for distributing temperature evenly or proportionally. If you’re planning on storing food that needs to be frozen it is better to look for a mini fridge with a separate freezer compartment.

What is compressed power?

As mentioned earlier, not all mini fridges use the same amount of energy. Traditional refrigerators have coils on the back, which they draw air over to prevent them from overheating. This system is pretty energy efficient, but not practical for small spaces. Mini fridges using compressed power, on the other hand, uses coolant liquid to keep the walls of the fridge cold. This makes it possible to store them in small confined spaces, but also takes up more power.

Should you get a reversible door?

Having a reversible door on your mini fridge is practical if you plan on moving it around. Reversible doors can be opened from both the left and the right, but this usually comes at an extra cost.

Should you get a locking door?

If you’re not the only one with access to your mini fridge, you might want to consider having a lock on the door. This is particularly practical if you’re storing medication and don’t want your children to be able to access it.

The three types of mini fridges

You will come across three different types when shopping around for the best mini fridge. These are the compressor, thermoelectric, and absorption models. Each of them come with their own pros and cons, and some are more suitable for one type of content than another.

Compressor mini fridges

This is perhaps the most common type of mini fridge and is similar to it’s larger kitchen-based counterpart. Compressor mini fridges cool down the contents by using a system of coils through which coolant is vaporized and transported around. They also have a refrigerator compartment with fans that blow cold air through the coils. The liquid and the fans generate a small amount of noise, which you’ve probably noticed on larger fridges.

Thermoelectric mini fridges

Thermoelectric mini fridges work very differently than compressor mini fridges. There are no coils and no liquid involved. Rather, thermoelectric mini fridges pump hot air from one part of the fridge to another in order to cool down the contents. The advantages of this type are that it is both quieter than the compressor fridges and can also be used to keep content warm. The drawback is that it is not suitable for long-term use or for storing anything but drinks and snacks.

Absorption mini fridges

Absorption mini fridges are very different from the compressor and thermoelectric fridges. This type cools down the contents by vaporizing liquid ammonia. It is often spotted in hotels and in remote areas, and for good reason. It can be powered by battery or gas, which makes it ideal for camping in the wild. Finally, it is also much quieter than the compressor and thermoelectric fridges, which makes it ideal for hotel rooms where people are sleeping.

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Mini fridge sizes

The size of your mini fridge will again depend a lot on what you want to use it for — and where. You can get a small, portable mini fridge weighing no more than 25 lbs with room for a few items if you plan on traveling. However, you can also get larger mini fridges for more permanent solutions in your workplace or college.

The travel mini fridge

The travel mini fridge is the smallest in the family and, as the name implies, is ideally suited for traveling. They are very lightweight and portable, which unfortunately also means a lack of insulation that makes them energy inefficient. They can, however, be powered with a 12v battery or even through your car’s cigarette lighter.

The beverage mini fridge

Similar to the travel mini fridge, the beverage mini fridge is particularly well suited for beverages and small snacks. They usually come with racks to hold the drinks in and are perfect for a man cave.

The wine mini fridge

The wine mini fridge is slightly bigger than the beverage mini fridge but also has other features. This kind of mini fridge can usually hold both red and white wine at different temperatures so that they have the optimal taste when you take a bottle out.

The cube mini fridge

The all-time favorite mini fridge is the cube model. It is popular because it combines a small size and portability with a lot of storage and affordability. A cube mini fridge can typically hold 28-59 liters and weighs 25-30 pounds. The only drawback of the cube fridge is that it is not very economical. The lack of insulation makes it lightweight but also uses up a lot of energy.

The mid-sized mini fridge

The mid-sized mini fridge is almost twice as big as the cube version and can hold 80-96 liters of contents. Their size makes them ideal for more permanent locations like hotel rooms or offices. The drawback is that there is a higher initial cost of purchasing them. Since they are larger than cube mini fridges, however, they are more energy efficient and will save you money in the long run.

The counter-height mini fridge

The second-largest mini fridge model is the counter-height fridge. This version can typically contain 99-127 liters of contents and are often found in small apartments with too little space for a regular fridge. The temperature is even enough to keep all kinds of food and is more energy efficient due to its size. Counter-height mini fridges usually have a decent freezer compartment as well.

The two-door mini fridge

The largest mini fridge model is the two-door fridge. The second door is for the freezer compartment, which leaves a lot more room for contents in both compartments. In addition to the added storage and energy efficiency, two-door mini fridges typically come with more bells and whistles than the counter-height mini fridges.

Which one do we think is the best mini-fridge?

Reaching a consensus in our office was difficult, so we had to opt for a top 10 list of the favorites! Check them out here:

Best Mini Fridge #1: Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer

Get it in two days with Amazon Prime, at your doorstep.

Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer (4 Liter / 6 Can): AC/DC Portable Thermoelectric System w/ Exclusive On the Go USB Power Bank Option (White)

Best Mini Fridge #2: Danby DAR026A1BDD-3 Designer Compact All Refrigerator

Get it in two days with Amazon Prime now.

Danby DAR026A1BDD-3 Designer Compact All Refrigerator, 2.6-Cubic Feet, Black

Best Mini Fridge #3: Keystone KSTRC312CB Compact 2-Door Refrigerator/Freezer

Get it in two days with Amazon Prime.

Keystone KSTRC312CB Compact 2-Door Refrigerator/Freezer, 3.1 Cubic Feet, Black

Best Mini Fridge #4: Chefman Mini Portable Compact Personal Fridge

Get it in two days with Amazon Prime.

Chefman Mini Portable Compact Personal Fridge Cools & Heats, 4 Liter Capacity Chills Six 12 oz Cans, 100% Freon-Free & Eco Friendly, Includes Plugs for Home Outlet & 12V Car Charger - Black

Best Mini Fridge #5: Kalamera 15” Beverage cooler

Get it in two days with Amazon Prime.

Kalamera 15” Beverage cooler 96 can built-in Single Zone Touch Control

Best Mini Fridge #6: Ivation 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Red And White Wine Cooler

Get it in two days with Amazon Prime.

Ivation 12 Bottle Thermoelectric Red And White Wine Cooler/Chiller Counter Top Wine Cellar with Digital Temperature Display, Freestanding Refrigerator Smoked Glass Door Quiet Operation Fridge,Black

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