The Best Mini Fridges of 2022

To enjoy cold food and beverages from a compact, convenient mini fridge, choose the model that suits your style, space, and budget.

By Donna Boyle Schwartz and Glenda Taylor | Updated Apr 29, 2022 10:49 AM

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The Best Mini Fridge Option

Photo: homedepot.com

A mini fridge keeps food and beverages cold while taking up only a fraction of the real estate of a traditional refrigerator. Many people rely on these compact machines for supplementary storage, whether for beverages in a finished basement or for perishable pet food in the garage.

Mini fridges cost less up front and consume less energy than full-size units, so they’re a great way to save money in the long run. We selected the best mini fridges based on in-depth research into specifications, features, and customer reviews. We scoured the market to bring you a list of top favorites in each category.

  1. BEST OVERALL: GE Double-Door Mini Fridge with Freezer 3.1 Cu Ft
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: BLACK+DECKER Mini Fridge with Freezer, 1.7 Cubic Ft.
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Cafe 5.7 cu. ft. Built-in Dual-Drawer Refrigerator
  4. BEST WITHOUT FREEZER: Danby 4.4 Cu Ft Mini All-Refrigerator
  5. BEST FOR DORMS: FRIGIDAIRE 1.6 Cu Ft Compact Dorm Fridge
  6. BEST FOR OFFICES: Antarctic Star Wine Cooler Beverage Refrigerator
  7. BEST FOR BEVERAGES: NewAir Dual Zone 15 in. Built-In Wine Cooler
  8. BEST DESIGN: KUPPET Retro Mini Refrigerator 2-Door Compact
  9. MOST PORTABLE: AstroAI Mini Fridge 6 Can Thermoelectric Cooler
The Best Mini Fridge Option

Photo: homedepot.com

Types of Mini Fridges

While all mini fridges will keep perishable food from spoiling or beverages chilled, their various sizes and designs let you choose a model best suited to your needs and lifestyle.

Countertop 

These diminutive boxes typically contain only a cooling compartment, but some exceptions include a tiny freezer. They’re portable and designed to hold just enough drinks and food for one or two people. Countertop mini fridges come in various styles, some designed with a retro look to resemble a vintage refrigerator.

If you want a mini fridge for a work cubicle, bedroom, or college dorm room, consider the portability and convenience offered by one of these units. A countertop fridge usually has a single cooling temperature and either an on-off switch or no switch at all, starting to cool as soon as it’s plugged in.

Freestanding

With more space than a counter fridge but not enough room to qualify as a standard model, freestanding mini fridges are often the choice for break rooms and dorm rooms. Some include small freezer compartments, and most have adjustable temperature dials.

Though they might be short enough to fit beneath a counter, freestanding mini fridges are not designed for permanent installation like a built-in fridge. Use these convenient refrigerators to chill full wine bottles or to pack full of other beverages and snacks that you can enjoy on your own or share with company.

Built-In/Undercounter

Though most mini fridges are freestanding on a floor, table, or countertop, under-the-counter models are usually installed in a finished kitchen. They typically top out at around 30 to 35 inches high to fit beneath a countertop. They’re often compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design because the fridge is at a level where those with mobility issues can easily use it. Widths range from a narrow 6 inches up to about 36 inches, depending on available space.

This type of mini fridge comes with a full range of temperature-control features and is comparable in quality to full-size built-in refrigerators. They’re not budget appliances (they often cost more than a standard refrigerator), are not considered portable, and might require professional installation to blend in with the cabinetry.

Portable

While it may seem like a given that a mini refrigerator is portable by nature, most people would be surprised by the hefty weight of one of these appliances. For this reason, you can get a compact mini fridge that is specifically made for portability.

Portable mini fridges typically have removable glass shelves and an adjustable thermostat, like many mini fridges, but they lack the space for a crisper drawer or freezer. Some products have built-in handles or locking wheels on the base of the fridge so that it’s easier to move, though there are also units that feature a reversible door, allowing users to choose the best place for the mini fridge, regardless of the direction the door opens.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mini Fridge

Weigh a number of different factors as you shop for the best mini fridge: interior and exterior size, storage capacity, organization, number of doors, energy consumption, and accessories. It’s also necessary to consider the size, capacity, and portability of the best mini fridges to find the right product for your home.

Size and Capacity

Given that there are multiple types of mini fridges, it’s only natural to expect them to come in various sizes and capacities.

  • Countertop mini fridges typically range in height from about 17 inches to 21 inches, in width from about 18 inches to 22 inches, and in depth from about 17 inches to 22 inches. This gives them an average capacity of 1.5 cubic feet to 1.8 cubic feet.
  • Freestanding mini fridges will normally have a greater size and capacity than countertop models, so you can expect to see a range in height from 30 inches to 35 inches, a range in width from 18 inches to 24 inches, and a range in depth from 19 inches to 26 inches. They will usually have a total capacity that falls between 3 cubic feet and 4.5 cubic feet.
  • Built-in and under-counter mini fridges can come in a wide variety of sizes, so the expected height, width, and depth may vary significantly between products. On average, they have a capacity of about 1.5 cubic feet to 7.5 cubic feet. Height ranges can fall between 30 inches and 35 inches, while the width of these products may be just 6 inches to 36 inches. The depth follows this trend of wide size ranges with an expected measurement ranging from 20 inches to 35 inches, depending on the product.
  • Portable mini fridges need to be small enough to pick up and move around, so they generally have a small capacity of between 0.2 and 0.5 cubic feet. They do not normally exceed 12 inches in height, width, or depth, allowing these products to fit comfortably in the car or under your desk.

Power and Energy Consumption

Mini fridges typically rely on two basic cooling systems: compressor-powered or thermoelectric. Fridges with compressor-powered cooling systems (the same system used by regular-size fridges) maintain accurate temperatures better than thermoelectric units. There are solar-powered fridges available, but these are rare, and most are expensive built-in units.

In general, mini fridges consume less energy than their full-size counterparts. An Energy Star–certified unit will consume the least amount of electricity possible. Most mini fridges run on standard 120-volt A/C electric power. Some, designed for use in cars, vans, or RVs, come with a D/C adapter, allowing the unit to run off of the vehicle’s battery power.

Freezer Component

If you need a fully functional freezer, it’s best to stick with a standard refrigerator or purchase a stand-alone option. One-door mini fridges may have a small freezer box in the main compartment, but most can’t maintain accurate freezing temperatures (especially when powered by thermoelectric systems) because they lack thermostats. Plus, most freezers in one-door fridges are too small to be of much practical use.

Two-door mini fridges, which have a separate freezer, generally keep frozen food colder and, therefore, safer to eat. These two-door models typically have a thermostat mounted in the interior, so they maintain better temperature control than single-door models. Keep in mind that mini fridges don’t usually include an ice dispenser.

Additional Features

Mini fridges are available in a wide variety of colors and finishes, including black, white, stainless steel, wood grain, and novelty looks. You can match the fridge to surrounding appliances for a seamless look, or let it stand out as an accent. Additionally, certain extras can make a mini fridge more appealing compared to other units. Keep these other fridge features in mind while shopping:

  • Temperature control: This is a common feature on most mini fridges. A simple dial or a more advanced digital control panel allows you to set the temperature of the fridge.
  • Defrosting system: Don’t worry about having to manually defrost the mini fridge before it can be moved. A built-in defrosting system helps to automatically keep the mini fridge frost-free during operation.
  • Beverage dispenser: The ability to draw water straight from the fridge is normally associated with full-size appliances, but some mini fridges can come with this convenient feature.
  • Shelves and bins: Most mini fridges include shelves and door bins that can hold anything from soft drink cans to 1-gallon milk jugs, depending on size. These components are adjustable in some models to optimize storage.
  • Lockable doors: Some mini fridges come with doors that include a locking mechanism. This feature might be beneficial in a high-traffic, multiuse environment like an office or dorm.

Our Top Picks

Below, our guide features mini fridges in a variety of sizes and configurations from the top refrigerator brands on the market. Explore this curated list of countertop, freestanding, built-in, and portable models to find the best value mini fridge for your home, office, dorm room, or other location.

Best Overall

best mini fridge ge
Photo: amazon.com

Get this impressive double-door mini fridge by GE that is designed with the same functionality as a standard fridge, just on a smaller scale. It boasts a dedicated freezer space where users can keep ice cream, waffles, or other frozen foods, and it features a crisper drawer in the refrigerator section to keep fruits and vegetables fresh.

The freestanding mini fridge measures 20 by 18.75 by 33 inches with a total interior capacity of 3.1 cubic feet. The handles for the fridge and freezer are recessed, ensuring that they do not cause the mini fridge to stick out at all. The refrigerator part of this appliance is frost-free, so users won’t have to defrost this portion of the mini fridge before moving, but the freezer will need manual defrosting to avoid leaking water from melting ice and frost.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Freestanding
  • Dimensions: 20 by 18.75 by 33 inches
  • Capacity: 3.1 cubic feet

Pros

  • Dedicated freezer space
  • Crisper drawer for fruits and vegetables
  • Recessed handles to reduce the exterior size
  • Frost-free fridge section

Cons

  • Freezer requires manual defrosting

Get the GE mini fridge at Amazon, Walmart, and The Home Depot.

Best Bang For The Buck

Best Mini Fridge Options
Photo: amazon.com

At 19.5 inches high by 17.5 inches wide and 18.5 inches deep, the BLACK+DECKER Mini Fridge may be the right choice for tight quarters. The door handle even recesses into the top of the door to minimize space requirements.

In addition to 1.7 cubic feet of storage, this BLACK+DECKER model features a small freezer tray at the top, enough for a few small items such as ice cream bars. The fridge temp can be adjusted to as low as 33.8 degrees. It’s available in three finishes, including black, silver, and white.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 19.5 by 17.5 by 18.5 inches
  • Capacity: 1.7 cubic feet

Pros

  • Reversible door position
  • Adjustable leveling legs
  • Compact fit with a recessed door handle
  • Temperature adjustable

Cons

  • Restricted height makes it difficult to store tall beverages

Get the BLACK+DECKER mini fridge on Amazon and at Walmart.

Upgrade Pick

Best Mini Fridge Options
Photo: amazon.com

The built-in Cafe mini fridge looks great, with a sleek, stainless steel exterior that highlights almost any kitchen. It also features two pullout drawers with a combined capacity of 5.7 cubic feet to keep food and drinks cold. This mini fridge measures 33.875 by 23.875 by 26 inches, and the drawers are designed with a soft-close function that prevents them from slamming.

The mini fridge has a built-in door alarm that helps to reduce unnecessary energy use and prevents the contents from going bad by signaling to the user when the door has been left open for too long. Additionally, this mini fridge has a Sabbath mode to prevent accidental use during religious observances that automatically turns off all electrical activity when the drawers are opened.

Users can turn this feature on or off depending on their individual preferences, and the drawers and shelves can also be adjusted to the user’s ideal arrangement. Just keep in mind that this mini fridge does not have a freezer function.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Built-in
  • Dimensions: 33.875 by 23.875 by 26 inches
  • Capacity: 5.7 cubic feet

Pros

  • Innovative pullout drawer design
  • Door alarm signals if the door is left open
  • Sabbath mode prevents accidental use during religious observances
  • Adjustable shelves and drawers

Cons

  • Lacks a freezer function

Get the Cafe mini fridge at The Home Depot and Best Buy.

Best Without Freezer

best mini fridge danby
Photo: walmart.com

This Danby mini fridge combines a large interior storage area with a compact exterior size. Standing just under 33 inches tall, the Danby has 4.4 cubic feet of refrigeration capacity and is Energy Star–rated for efficiency.

Interior features include a convenient beverage dispenser, a mechanical thermostat, and a push-button defrosting system. There’s a full-width freezer, adjustable shelves, and space for tall bottles. The freestanding fridge is available in five finishes, including vibrant red.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Freestanding
  • Dimensions: 21.3 by 20.75 by 33 inches
  • Capacity: 4.4 cubic feet

Pros

  • Removable glass shelves for adjustable storage space
  • Built-in soda can storage
  • Crisper drawer in the base of the fridge

Cons

  • Cannot be used to make ice cubes

Get the Danby mini fridge at Walmart and The Home Depot.

Best for Dorms

best mini fridge CuFt
Photo: amazon.com

This countertop mini fridge is an excellent addition to a dorm room or a small apartment with a compact size of just 18.25 by 20.5 by 20.25 inches. It has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet, and the front door of the mini fridge is specifically made to be used as a dry-erase board. This convenient design allows users to quickly leave notes for roommates or partners or even simple reminders for themselves.

Additionally, the mini fridge comes with a built-in bottle opener on the side of the fridge, as well as a reversible door, allowing users to set up the mini fridge in the best possible location, regardless of the way the door typically swings. Just keep in mind that the compact size limits the amount of space for tall beverages and bulky food items, like pots or reusable containers.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 18.25 by 20.5 by 20.25 inches
  • Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet

Pros

  • Built-in bottle opener on the side of the fridge
  • Dry-erase front door for notes
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Reversible door design

Cons

  • Limited space for tall or bulky items

Get the FRIGIDAIRE mini fridge on Amazon.

Best for Offices

best mini fridge antarctic
Photo: amazon.com

If you’re looking for a countertop mini fridge for the office, consider the Antarctic Star Beverage Refrigerator. It boasts 3.2 cubic feet of cold storage, a clear-glass front so all can see the contents without opening the door, and a soft blue LED light on the inside so you can choose a drink even if the lights in the room are off.

The temperature adjusts from around 40 degrees to 61 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for keeping sodas refreshing or wine slightly chilled. The Antarctic Star fridge runs quietly so as not to disturb workers’ concentration. It comes in four sizes, ranging from 1.6 cubic feet to 4.4 cubic feet.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Freestanding
  • Dimensions: 17.5 by 18.75 by 31.5 inches
  • Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet

Pros

  • Comes in increasingly larger sizes
  • Designed to hold tall cans and bottles
  • Transparent front door for convenient item retrieval
  • Reversible door

Cons

  • Not suitable for freezing beverages or making ice cubes

Get the Antarctic Star mini fridge on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best For Beverages

Best Mini Fridge Models NewAir Fridge
Photo: amazon.com

If your home lacks a good place to keep beverages cool, this NewAir built-in mini fridge may be the answer. The mini refrigerator has enough space to hold up to 29 full-size wine bottles, and the interior capacity is about 7 cubic feet. The exterior of the mini fridge measures 22.6 by 33.75 by 29 inches, and it has a sleek, stainless steel finish.

Another great feature of this mini fridge is that it has been designed with two different cooling zones, allowing users to keep ice wine nicely chilled while storing a full-bodied red at a more optimal temperature in a different part of the fridge. The shelves inside the mini fridge have been designed specifically for wine bottles, and the interior lights up with a powerful LED light, making it easy to see and retrieve the correct bottle.

Just keep in mind that this mini fridge cannot function as a freezer, and it isn’t a great choice for food storage.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Built-in
  • Dimensions: 22.6 by 33.75 by 29 inches
  • Capacity: 7 cubic feet

Pros

  • Two distinct zones for optimal cooling
  • Made specifically for wine bottles
  • Digital temperature control panel

Cons

  • Cannot be used to make ice
  • Not intended for food storage

Get the NewAir mini fridge at Walmart and The Home Depot.

Best Design

best mini fridge kuppet
Photo: amazon.com

The freezers on two-door mini fridges hold more and work better than the tiny ones you’ll find in some single-door models. If you’re looking for a mini fridge/freezer combo, this KUPPET could fit the bill. At 19.1 inches wide by 21.9 inches deep by 33.5 inches high, this mini fridge can fit nicely in a garage workshop, basement rec room, or student’s dorm room.

The fridge features 3.2 cubic feet of total storage space, 0.93 cubic feet in the freezer compartment, and 2.24 cubic feet in the refrigerator. The freezer maintains a 32-degree temp, while the fridge chamber remains around a steady 50 degrees. It’s available in bright red or black and has shiny chrome handles.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Freestanding
  • Dimensions: 19 by 21.85 by 33.5 inches
  • Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet

Pros

  • Impressive aesthetic design
  • Dedicated freezer
  • Crisper drawer
  • Built-in can storage rack

Cons

  • Unreliable temperature control

Get the KUPPET mini fridge on Amazon.

Most Portable

best mini fridge astroAI
Photo: amazon.com

For cooling power that won’t take up a lot of desktop or trunk space, check out this AstroAI model that holds up to six 12-ounce beverage cans. The tiny single-door fridge has a removable shelf if you’d rather stock it with yogurt or other items instead of cans. It plugs into an electrical outlet or the 12-volt cigarette lighter in your car.

In cooling mode (a heating mode keeps foods warm), the mini fridge will keep drinks refreshingly cold, but be aware that if it’s plugged into a cigarette lighter, you must keep the vehicle running so the fridge won’t drain the car battery. The portable fridge comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, pink, blue, and a lighter blue.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Portable
  • Dimensions: 9.65 by 7.25 by 10.75 inches
  • Capacity: 0.3 cubic feet

Pros

  • Compact size and built-in handle
  • Power through the car cigarette lighter
  • Includes heating mode to keep items warm on long trips

Cons

  • Very limited storage of just 0.3 cubic feet
  • Vehicle must be running to power fridge

Get the AstroAI mini fridge on Amazon and at Walmart.

Our Verdict

Get extra refrigerated storage space with the impressive GE Double-Door Mini Fridge, which comes with a dedicated freezer. Or opt for a smaller, countertop product like the BLACK+DECKER Mini Fridge, which is ideal for keeping food and small beverages at the perfect temperature.

How We Chose the Best Mini Fridges

Extensive research into a wide number of mini fridge products, as well as significant time spent examining the top features of these products, helped to select the top mini fridges based on the size, capacity, type, style, and overall quality. Mini fridges fall into four categories that each have distinctive sizes, capacities, and styles, so it was necessary to inspect and find top options that could represent each type of mini fridge.

The size and capacity of a product related directly to the installation of the mini fridge but also to the items that could be kept cool inside the mini fridge. The limitations of some models, like bulky exteriors or disorganized interiors, dropped their overall appeal to the average person, while some interesting style choices, like bright, vibrant colors or retro handle designs, helped other mini fridges stand out from the crowd. Our final consideration was the quality of the products; there is no point in having a fridge if it fails to keep the contents cool.

FAQs

Q: How do you defrost a mini fridge? 

Mini fridges that include freezer compartments tend to develop frost over time, which can affect the taste of the food. Some models come with a self-defrost button, but if yours doesn’t, defrost it by removing the contents, unplugging the unit, and placing a thick towel on the bottom of the fridge compartment; then leave the door(s) open for at least 8 hours. When the frost has completely melted, wipe down the fridge’s interior and plug it back in to cool.

Q: How many watts does a mini fridge use?

Newer mini fridges that are Energy Star–rated (look for the Energy Star logo) may use as little as 100 to 200 watts of electricity. Less-efficient mini fridges may use double that amount.

Q: How much does a mini fridge cost to run?

The exact cost will depend on the fridge’s quality, how efficient it is, and the going rate for electricity in your area, but, in general, expect to pay between $27 and $47 per year to run the fridge.

Q: How do you fix a mini fridge that won’t get cold?

First, check to ensure the unit is plugged in and that the circuit breaker hasn’t flipped. Then, check the temperature adjustment dial to ensure it’s at the right temp. Frost buildup can make a unit run poorly, so defrost it if necessary. If these steps don’t help, consult your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer.

Q: How do you clean a mini fridge?

Wipe down the interior of the fridge with a rag dampened with plain warm water. Avoid spraying cleaners into the fridge, which can leave a chemical smell that affects the food’s taste.