The 5 Best Mini Fridges to Suit Any Space and Need

Maximize your food storage space with our top choice, the GE Mini Fridge With Freezer, and other standout units.

In This Article

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BLACK+DECKER BCRK32V Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer
Amazon

Whether you're in need of extra space in your refrigerator, equipping a dorm, or wanting to stash cold beers in your game room, a mini fridge makes a big difference thanks to its small footprint. With around two to five cubic feet of storage space, these appliances use less energy than full-sized fridges. Indeed, capacity and overall size were two factors we considered when looking at the top mini fridges on the market, in addition to their configuration and features. Another factor that narrows the search is whether a unit is a compressor or thermoelectric model. This list consists of compressor units, as these maintain cooler and more consistent temperatures. Our research led us to name the GE Mini Fridge With Freezer as our top pick. Whatever you're looking for, be it a built-in option or one made for wine, you'll find the best mini fridges for your needs below.

Best Overall

GE GDE03GGKBB 3.1 cu. ft. Freestanding Double-Door Mini Fridge

4.5
ge-mini-fridge-freestanding-double-door-black

Courtesy of Lowe's

Pros: It includes a separate freezer, plus a crisper to keep produce fresh. Level legs help stabilize it.

Cons: Though removable, the shelves are not adjustable.

Our top pick is the freestanding GE Mini Fridge with Freezer, a compact but sturdy model that features separate doors for the refrigerator and freezer. The refrigerator section has two glass shelves that can be removed to make more space. A clear crisper drawer controls the airflow around fruits and vegetables, allowing your produce to stay fresher longer. Cans and tall bottles can be stored in the door, designed with a built-in can rack to free up space on the main shelves. The freezer section keeps cold air in and allows frozen foods and ice to stay solid. All in all, it has much of the same functionality as a full-sized unit and would make a useful addition to a dorm room, rec room, or office.

Price at time of publish: $409

  • Dimensions: ‎20.1 x 18.75 x 33.4 inches
  • Capacity: 3.1 cubic feet
  • Finishes: Brushed stainless steel, black, white
  • Energy Star Certified: Yes

Best Value

Black+Decker Compact Refrigerator BCRK32V

Black+Decker Compact Refrigerator BCRK32V

Amazon

Pros: It's a quiet appliance. The door hinges are reversible.

Cons: It has no crisper drawer, and the freezer space is small.

The sleek design of the Black+Decker Energy Star Refrigerator With Freezer makes it look like a high-end designer model, but it costs notably less. Its performance and capacity also hold up to more expensive units. Offering 3.2 cubic feet of storage, it includes a separate freezer section and ice tray. The glass shelves are adjustable and removable, so you can play around to find a configuration that suits your needs. The door is designed to hold six 12-ounce cans and a two-liter bottle, with an additional storage shelf for smaller items like condiments or yogurt. This fridge features leveling legs and a reversible door, so you can ensure that it fits in your space.

Price at time of publish: $272

  • Dimensions: 19.29 x 17.52 x 32.72 inches
  • Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet
  • Finishes: Black, gray, white
  • Energy Star Certified: Yes

Best Built-In

Cafe Built-In Dual-Drawer Refrigerator

Cafe Built-In Dual-Drawer Refrigerator

Home Depot

Pros: Its top-notch features include soft-closing drawers and an alarm that goes off when a door is left open.

Cons: It costs a lot more than the average mini fridge. Sealing the drawer shut takes a bit of a push.

If you're planning to install a mini fridge into your kitchen, let it be the Café Built-In Dual-Drawer Refrigerator for its luxe features like soft-closing drawers and a stainless steel interior. Each large-capacity drawer has an adjustable divider that can help you keep it organized and maximize storage space. The LED interior lighting lets you see contents clearly, and the doors have alarms that sound if a drawer is left ajar. An added bonus is Sabbath Mode, which disables the fridge's lights and sounds to comply with religious observances. Design enthusiasts will be pleased to know that this elegant freezer comes in three base colors with five hardware options, so you'll be able to match just about any existing kitchen decor.

Price at time of publish: $3,299

  • Dimensions: 34 x 24 x 26 inches
  • Capacity: 5.7 cubic feet
  • Finishes: Matte white, matte black, stainless steel
  • Energy Star Certified: Yes

Best for Wine

Wine Enthusiast 32-Bottle Dual Zone MAX Compressor Wine Cooler

wine-enthusiast-32-bottle-dual-zone-max-compressor-wine-cooler

Amazon

Pros: It has a large capacity for wine bottles, plus removable shelving and accurate temperatures.

Cons: Its LED lighting seems dim, and it's made for freestanding use only.

Professionals know and trust Wine Enthusiast for its reliable products, like this freestanding cooler that can hold up to 32 standard Bordeaux bottles. It's outfitted with four scalloped wire racks to hold wines in place. With two temperature zones that can be set between 41 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit, you can store age-worthy reds in one section and ready-to-drink whites or sparkling wines in the other. The glass door lets you keep an eye on what's inside, and the LED interior lighting allows you to see bottle labels better. Wine aficionados will appreciate that it holds its temperature very well and gives off very minimal vibration, which is a major consideration for proper wine storage. Compared to similar fridges, this model performs better in a larger range of ambient temperature, allowing your bottles to remain at a constant temperature even if the room it's in gets close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Price at time of publish: $549

  • Dimensions: 33.4 x 19.6 x 16.9 inches
  • Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet
  • Finishes: Black
  • Energy Star Certified: No

Best Retro

Smeg FAB5U Mini Refrigerator

Smeg FAB5URWH3 Mini Refrigerator

Amazon

Pros: It's compact and quiet. Choose between a left- or right-hinge door.

Cons: Some may find it too small. The doors are not reversible.

If you want a fridge that stands out as an accent piece, the glossy Smeg Mini Refrigerator weds '50s-inspired looks with modern features. The small and stylish Italian-made unit packs in two easy-to-clean glass shelves and two inside the door for tall bottles, condiments, and more, with LED lighting to illuminate it all. Its adjustable thermostat can be set between 35 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit to keep contents extra cool, and it features automatic defrosting. Choose between hues that nod to the design's retro roots (cherry red and seafoam green) or modern neutrals, and between a left-handed or right-handed hinge.

Price at time of publish: $1,259

  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 15.9 x 29.1 inches
  • Capacity: 1.5 cubic feet
  • Finishes: Black, cream, white, red, green
  • Energy Star Certified: No

Conclusion

Choosing a mini fridge means considering how much space you need, what kind of configuration works best for you, and how ambient temperature may affect the machine's ability to stay cool. We found that the GE Mini Fridge with Freezer offers a top-tier combination of freezer and fridge function as well as thoughtfully designed storage, all at a fair price point.

Factors to Consider

Overall Size

Consider where you plan to use the mini fridge. Oftentimes, freestanding units require a little bit of clearance around the sides, top, and back for proper air circulation, and some require additional clearance for a hinge or for the door to swing open. When taking measurements, be sure to keep your clearance needs in mind.

Capacity

Once you've figured out the fridge's external dimension needs, go for maximum internal capacity. Mini fridges can range in size from compact models with under 2 cubic feet of storage to more spacious units with around 5 cubic feet. If you're planning on storing tall bottles (like wine or large bottles of water), be sure the fridge has enough internal space to accommodate them.

Configuration

If you're going to use a mini fridge mainly for beverages, pick a model that has adjustable shelves or built-in racks to accommodate bottle and can sizes. If you'll also use your mini fridge for produce, you'll want to pick a version that includes a crisper drawer so to keep it fresh as long as possible. Other features to consider include door storage and whether or not you want a freezer space. If you want to store frozen foods or ice cube trays, opt for a model that has a freezer section with a separate door to ensure that its contents stay frozen.

Features

Most mini fridges are fairly simple in design, but details like adjustable temperature control, partial auto-defrost, reversible door hinges, and adjustable leveling legs can be great to have.

Compressor vs. Thermoelectric

All of the fridges on this list are compressor models, which have a more powerful cooling capacity than thermoelectric versions. Thermoelectric coolers are easily affected by ambient temperature and can only cool to about 25 degrees Fahrenheit less than the temperature of the room they're in. If you're searching for a fridge that will keep a consistently cold temperature, a compressor type offers the best performance.

The Research

Our product reviews expert researched the topic and, drawing on her own expertise in kitchen tools and cutlery, scoured the market for the best options available. She selected options based on performance, value, and ease of use.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How many watts does a mini fridge use?

    It will depend on the manufacturer and cooling capabilities, but most mini fridges use between 50 and 100 watts per hour. For comparison, a standard fridge averages anywhere from 350 to 780 watts per hour.

  • How do you defrost a mini fridge?

    Generally, you can empty the fridge entirely and unplug it, propping open the door and lining it with a towel to catch any excess moisture during the defrost period. Depending on the ambient temperature of your room, you should expect it to take an hour or more. For best results, consult your fridge's manual for model-specific instructions.

  • How long should a mini fridge last?

    This can depend on the quality of the materials used and the durability of the compressor. On average, you can keep a mini fridge going for up to 10 years.

Our Expertise

This piece was written by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, a Los Angeles-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content. After a stint at Williams Sonoma Headquarters in San Francisco, she now researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.

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