The mini fridge. Ubiquitous around dorm rooms, dens, offices, basements, garages, and anywhere there’s a television permanently tuned to ESPN. These small companions are where we stash the good beer when our mooch brother comes to town. They allow us to survive away from the family for days on end, acting as a survival mechanism when in-laws descend on our home. They keep our freshness locked in so no one can complain about the scent of our delectable imported cheeses. They are convenient reprieve from long trips all the way to the kitchen while we’re tuned into The RedZone, wondering how we’re going to avoid going to the bathroom.
If you don’t have one, you’re living wrong.
How to Pick a Mini Fridge
Any little ice box will keep your stuff cold. The questions you need to ask yourself when purchasing a mini fridge is “Does it hold cold consistently?”; “How much power does it use?”; “Does it have the organizational features I need?”; and “Can I conceal or lock it?”
The trick with these is not just getting things cold, but making sure they don’t ruin items by heating up and cooling down too quickly or too often. Mini fridges also need to make apt use of their small space by offering better organizing attributes and shelving that devises how to get the more cubic footage into that little box without wasting a centimeter.
When you’re ready to dump your standard cold storage and get serious, the 15 best mini fridges will be here waiting.
Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer
Since heating and cooling are two sides of the same coin, Cooluli decided that there’s no reason you should have to pick. Capable of running off a car battery, this can keep a six pack cool for tailgating, or leave your lunch piping hot all day long. Short on space, but long on ingenuity, you’ll be surprised how often this comes in handy. Purchase: $43
When size isn’t a major factor, and you want a tiny cold cubby to slip under an end table, onto a shelf, or beneath your desk, there’s few as inexpensive as the WHS-65L that is also reliable over the long haul. It includes the most miniscule of freezers, about right for a couple of water bottles, with room for 46 12oz cans in the main body. Purchase: $92
Magic Chef HMBR350SE
Timeless, stainless, and just about 100 bucks, those who are thinking of going with a tiny cube should give this a gander before spending their money elsewhere. It fills that in-betweener gap between the tiny fridges and manageable minis, with a price that’s more than palatable. Purchase: $100
RCA Igloo Platinum
Keeping it classy with glass shelves that have a serious surplus of height options and a fully reversible door for left or right-handed opening, the Platinum brings a lot of extra elegance to the table for a fairly modest investment. You will get a touch of freezer bleed down into the refrigerator, but generally less than most one-door systems. Purchase: $109
The Ontario-based Danby has been making compact appliances since 1947, and are still finding new ways to impress. They tossed a Canstor dispenser in the door right beside a bigger spot for taller sodas or those 40 oz malt beverages no home should be without. Energy efficient and enviromentally sound, it’s a low power draw beauty. Purchase: $140
Midea is a Chinese brand who has proven that they have mastered the art of cooling things down without jacking up the price. Adjustable legs, a reversible door, crisper, separate fridge and freezer sections, and a sleek black finish offer everything you could want at a price that’s college friendly. Purchase: $150
Danby Designer DCR044A2
A smart, sleek shelf system complete with can holders maks the Designer a standout that doesn’t require your own machinations to use the space to great effect. The 4.4 cubic foot layout is a little misleading, as it uses its space more wisely than competitors, giving you lots of clever arrangements, and a full-width freezer. Purchase: $153
That matte black frame avoids making this Keystone offering look like it’s a Martha Stewart cast-off, creating an understated aesthetic that takes class with it wherever it goes. A dual door system keeps the freezer and fridge areas separate, which reduces the tendency of the top to get colder than the bottom; an issue which you find in most all-in-one units. Purchase: $200
While this lacks a little in the way of innovative design, it has a few features that smart buyers will adore. First and foremost, there’s no freezer, leaving zero space wasted for those who want a mini fridge, plain and simple. Secondly, it’s counter-high, allowing it to stand taller and reduce the footprint without sacrificing space. A handy addendum if you find yourself needing a little more cold storage in the kitchen. Purchase: $207
Danby Beverage Center
Commercial grade, the Beverage Center is generally geared toward consistent temperatures from top to bottom and front to back – a bar it clears with room to spare – but it also gives you a handy see-through front that can reduce the energy cost by cutting back on time spent with the door standing open. Purchase: $210
Igloo 3.2-Cu.-Ft. Platinum Fridge
Capable of coming in a range of sassy, brassy colors to camouflage itself against your decor, there’s little special about the Platinum. It just does a fine job of keeping costs low and offering up enough space for most of your basic needs. A 100 can capacity complete with drink dispenser in the door should tell you all you need to know. Purchase: $240
Danby Contemporary Classic Chrome
We understand that looks count when you’re buying an appliance, and those who bend more toward form than function will find that they can have both in buying the Chrome. An excellent fridge that also has vintage flair to spare, it’s retro chic that works better than most modern counterparts. Purchase: $300
Serious hermits who never want to venture out to the ordinary kitchen should jump on this. A crisper drawer, separate freezer with bombproof insulation, and full glass shelves all around give this the feel of a full-sized that’s been shrunk down to size. There isn’t enough good to say. If you’ve got the money, here’s how you spend it. Purchase: $329
Marshall Amp Fridge
You’re going to pay extra for the Jim Marshall logo on the front, but for rockers who need 4+ cubic feet of space to stash their suds, this has everything you could want. The included freezer is high efficiency, the volume knobs go to 11, and you honestly can’t tell it’s not an amp without a close inspection. Purchase: $350
Pricey, but also ingenious, the Basecamp is able to run on either the 12-Volt power from your car, or standard home AC, depending on your needs. You can flee during full blackouts while keeping your steaks fresh and your road drinks ice cold until you reach a place with power. Purchase: $993