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9 best mini fridges for compact kitchens

Shopping for a mini fridge? Here are some top-rated options to consider from Amazon, Home Depot and Best Buy.
A mini fridge can help you save space in a compact kitchen or provide storage for overflow food and drinks.
A mini fridge can help you save space in a compact kitchen or provide storage for overflow food and drinks. Best Buy; Amazon

Whether you’re a college student sharing a dorm room, a small-apartment dweller, someone who needs somewhere to stash the overflow, or a party host who loves having numerous cold drinks on hand, a mini fridge can quickly become your favorite companion. Also known as compact refrigerators, mini fridges cost less than a regular fridge, consume less energy and take up a fraction of the space.

LEARN MORE Top-rated mini fridges in 2023 | How to shop for a mini fridge

To help you find a mini fridge that meets your needs, we consulted appliance experts to find out the most important things you should consider when shopping for one. Based on their advice, we compiled a list of highly rated options we believe are worth considering, in a range of price points and styles.

Our top picks

How we picked the best mini fridges

While comparing hundreds of mini fridges being offered on the market today, our experts recommended keeping the following factors in mind:

  • Size. Generally, mini refrigerators range in size from 30 to 35 inches in height, 18 to 24 inches in width and 19 to 26 inches in depth, said our experts. As for capacity, they said they typically range from 1.6 cu ft. to 5.5 cu ft. But there is no “right size” — it will depend on your space and what you are looking to use it for.
  • Design. Different models cater to different needs, said appliance expert Scott Mooers of Doyon’s Appliance in Bedford, Massachusetts. For instance, he said, some models focus more on items being stored horizontally, like wine bottles, while others can be placed on a countertop to house medicine or chilled alcoholic beverages. Some even have microwaves built in.
  • Adjustable shelves. One of the drawbacks of any mini fridge is its limited storage capacity. That’s where adjustable shelving can help. “Most of the larger units offer two shelves or more, and some offer door storage along with shelves that can be removed for taller items,” said Mooers. Others have a reversible door that can open in both directions, allowing you to place the fridge anywhere in your space.
  • Noise. Depending on where you place your refrigerator, noise may be a factor, said our experts. “If noise is an issue, I would recommend finding a mini fridge with an absorption cooling system, which uses low-pressure exhaust gas, rather than electric power to drive the cooling system,” said Mooers.
  • Energy use. Today’s mini fridges use a lot less energy than those from years back. According to Energy Star, the majority of today’s small refrigerators — especially those with temperature-controlled storage — consume between 233 kWh to 310 kWh per year.

Top-rated mini fridges to consider this year

Below is a list of some of the most highly rated mini fridge options across different brands and retailers that meet our experts’ criteria. All fall well below Energy Star’s annual energy consumption standards and are low on noise and offer ample space for storing snacks and beverages. We’ve even included a portable model that can be used when boating or camping.

RCA Mini Refrigerador

This mini refrigerator comes with an adjustable thermostat, built-in freezer and has a reversible door, allowing it to fit in any spot in your room. It also comes in eight different colors, including green, purple and blue. It has an average rating of 4.4 stars from over 16,000 reviews on Amazon.

Size: 17.68"D x 18.5"W x 32.8"H | Capacity: 3.2 cu ft | Weight: 50 lbs | Energy Star certified: Yes

AstroAI Mini Fridge 4-Liter Portable Thermoelectric Cooler and Warmer

This compact tabletop mini fridge can easily hold six 12-oz cans, says the brand, and can be used at home or away when camping or boating. With an adjustable thermostat that ranges from 32 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, it can keep food and drinks both cool or warm. It has a removable shelf and comes with adapters to be plugged into the wall or your car’s power outlet. There’s also a flip-up handle for easy carrying. It has an average rating of 4.4 stars from over 40,000 reviews on Amazon.

Size: 9.45"D x 6.9"W x 10"H | Capacity: 4L, or 0.14 cu ft | Weight: lbs | Energy Star certified: Yes

Frigidaire Retro Bar Fridge

This retro fridge is not only a statement piece but has ample space to hold snacks and drinks. It also has a built-in bottle opener and a can dispenser. Ample door storage can fit a 2-liter bottle, and there are two adjustable slide-out shelves.

Size: 20 x 22 x 35 inches | Capacity: 3.2 cu ft | Weight: 40 lbs | Energy Star certified: Yes

Black + Decker 3.2-Cubic Feet Compact Refrigerator

This compact fridge has one shelf for food storage and two additional glass shelves, making it ideal for dorm rooms, RV campers or small apartments. The door is able to store a 2-liter bottle, and there is also dispenser storage for six 12-oz cans. The fridge comes with a separate freezer tray and adjustable temperature control. It has an average 4.5-star rating from over 1,700 reviews on Amazon.

Size: 17.52"D x 19.29"W x 32.72"H | Capacity: 3.2 cu ft | Weight: 50.7 lbs | Energy Star certified: Yes

Galanz Retro Compact Refrigerator

This retro mini fridge has the look and feel of yesteryear with modern-day technology. It has a glossy colorful exterior and 3.3 cubic feet of storage, which is larger than most of the mini fridges listed here. It comes with two removable glass shelves and added shelves in the door for cans and other snacks. This model has an average 4.6-star rating from more than 1,400 shoppers on Amazon.

Size: 17.6"D x 21.02"W x 35.43"H | Capacity: 3.3 cu ft | Weight: 46.3 lbs | Energy Star certified: Yes

Insignia 2.6-Cubic Feet Mini Fridge

Looking for an affordable fridge for your dorm room? This compact fridge, which has an average 4.5-star rating from more than 7,500 reviews at Best Buy, has three shelves and additional storage for cans and bottles in the door. You can adjust the fridge’s temperature and it comes with a reversible door to fit into any space.

Size: 17.75"D x 19"W x 31"H | Capacity: 2.6 cu ft | Weight: 50 lbs | Energy Star certified: Yes

Whynter Beverage Refrigerator with Internal Fan

This beverage fridge can hold up to 120 cans and has a temperature range of 30–60 degrees Fahrenheit. It has five wire slide-out racks to hold drinks, along with LED lighting, a reversible door and a clear glass front with a stainless-steel rim. Its internal fan-forced circulation results in even temperature distribution throughout the cabinet, says the company. It has an average rating of 4.3 stars from over 3,000 reviews on Amazon. ‎

Size: 18.75"D x 17"W x 32.5"H | Capacity: 3.1 cu ft | Weight: 57 lbs | Energy Star certified: Info not found

Frigidaire 3.3 Cubic Feet Mini Fridge

This mini fridge can cool food to temperatures between 32 and 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit and has a freezer compartment for making ice cubes or freezing smaller food items. The door is reversible (you can choose to open it from the left or right), and the fridge has adjustable legs. It has a 4.3-star average rating from over 1,000 reviews on Amazon.

Size: 18.5"D x 20"W x 34"H | Capacity: 3.3 cu ft | Weight: 40 lbs | Energy Star certified: Yes

Midea WHS-160RB1 Single Reversible Compact Refrigerator

This 4.4-cu-ft mini fridge has several shelves and a compartment for cans of drinks. The fridge can cool food to temperatures ranging from 32 to 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It has both adjustable legs and a reversible door. The fridge also includes a chiller compartment for foods that need a cooler temperature, though the brand says it's not for storing frozen items. It has a 4.5-star average rating from nearly 7,000 reviews on Amazon.

Size: 19.72"D x 21.26"W x 33.86"H | Capacity: 4.4 cu ft | Weight: 52.9 lbs | Energy Star certified: Yes

How to shop for a mini fridge

There are a huge number of mini fridges on the market today, including portable countertop units, freezer models, glass fronts, retro designs and more. Choosing the right one for you depends largely on your space and your needs. Are you looking for a statement piece? A slim, sleek design for a narrow space? Will you be taking it with you on camping trips? As noted above, the key elements of any mini fridge is its capacity, adjustability, noise level and energy use. Here are some other questions our experts say their clients generally ask:

How should I choose a space for my mini fridge?

Electrical Safety Experts, a platform that offers guidance on electrical safety, suggests looking for a firm, hard surface away from a window and not near any heating elements, as direct sunlight and stoves or radiators will make the unit work harder to maintain the required internal temperature. They also recommend making sure there is enough room behind the mini fridge for air to circulate freely. “If you plan to place your fridge next to a wall, you need 2½ inches between the wall and the hinge side of the door so it can swing open,” said Mooers. He also added that if no outlet is available where you want to place it, there are models that offer a USB cable. “These would be the smaller units more for a bedroom that can be used for medicines or drinks,” he said.

Is it worth getting a mini fridge with a freezer?

Freezers in mini fridges come two ways — either inside the fridge or separate, usually on top. The separate unit is able to hold a few food items, whereas the internal unit is usually only large enough to hold a few ice trays. In either case, the freezer is not meant for long-term storage, especially for meat. “The internal freezers may not work as well for ice cream because of the temperature fluctuation,” said Mooers.

What is the advantage of a reversible door?

A reversible door allows you to set the door to open either to the left or the right, so you can place the fridge in just about any space. This is a nice option if you are not sure where you want to place the fridge or if you will be moving it to another location at some point.

Do all mini fridges come with an Energy Star rating? No. Mini fridges that are Energy Star certified are up to 20% more energy efficient than models that meet the federal minimum energy-efficiency standard, according to the Energy Star website. These will have high-performance features such as high-efficiency compressors that create less heat and use less energy, improved insulation that helps food stay cold, and temperature and defrost mechanisms that help the refrigerator operate more efficiently.

What is the best way to clean a mini fridge?

According to our Mooers, the best way to clean your fridge is to empty it out and wipe the entire inside with hot water mixed with a little dish soap, then wipe with clean water to rinse off any soap and dry with a clean towel. Another, food-safe alternative is to mix vinegar and hot water in a spray bottle to break down any grease and grime.

Meet our expert

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

Why trust Select?

Barbara Booth is a Select editor that has published and edited many appliance guides, including 9 best countertop dishwashers, 29 bestselling kitchen gadgets, Bestselling portable washing machines and more. For this piece, Barbara interviewed an appliance expert, thoroughly researched Energy Star criteria and reached out to the experts at Electrical Safety First to understand the standards required for an optimally-performing mini fridge. She also researched dozens of mini fridges on the market that met this criteria. She included mini fridges recommended by experts, along with those that are highly rated and meet expert shopping guidance.

CORRECTION (Aug 31, 2022, 1:30 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled the name of a mini-fridge. It is the AstroAI Mini Fridge, not AstroAL.

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