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Best mini fridge 2021: Compact cooling for home or dorm


If a large, freestanding refrigerator takes up too much of your space, a mini fridge that fits on — or underneath — your counters could be a good alternative. The best mini fridges are quiet, affordable, and can hold a variety of refrigerated and frozen items, making them a great option for dorm rooms, studios, and more. After comparing dozens of models, we ranked these mini fridges as the best on the market in 2021.

Midea

Specs: 3.3 cubic feet capacity; 17.7″ D x 18.6″ W x 33.9″ H; 39 pounds; freezer compartment; 32 degrees to 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range; available in stainless steel, black or white; ENERGY STAR rated

This versatile mini fridge features one seamless door that reveals two compartments inside: a large refrigeration section and a small freezer compartment that fits ice trays or a few frozen items. Measuring just under 19″ wide and 34″ high, the compact refrigerator can fit in a variety of spaces. The door can be adjusted to open on the left or right, and the inside of the door has a rack for a two-liter bottle and storage for eight canned drinks.

Pros:

  • Soda can and two-liter bottle racks integrated into the door

  • Available in stainless steel, black, or white 

  • Mechanical temperature control using an easy-to-read dial

  • Quiet operation

Cons:

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RCA

Specs: 3.2 cubic feet capacity; 17.1/2″ W x 18.5/8″ D x 31.5/8″ H; 48.4 pounds; 0.2 cubic foot freezer compartment; adjustable temperature and defrost mode; available in stainless steal, black, white, lime, blue, purple, red, and orange

If a black or white refrigerator doesn’t cut it, RCA’s RFR321 is your best option. Why choose the standard colors when you have options like lime, blue, orange, and purple? The colors aren’t your run-of-the-mill shades either; the mini fridge is finished in a vibrant, glossy hue on all visible sides. Besides color, the 3.2 cubic feet fridge offers ample storage room and efficient cooling. It can keep up to 84 liters cold, regardless of how hot the weather gets, thanks to the model’s compressor cooling for reliable temperature control. 

Pros:

Cons:

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TECCPO

Specs: 4.5 cubic feet capacity; 20.86″ W x 20.59″ D x 32.48″ H; 48.4 pounds: freezer compartment; six adjustable temperature settings ranging from 23 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit; one-button defrosting; ENERGY STAR-rated

When you want the largest storage space that leaves the smallest footprint, TECCPO’s TAMF33 is the top choice. The ENERGY STAR model holds 4.5 cubic feet of space in its glass shelves, crisper drawer, and more. It’s the closest version on this list to a full-size refrigerator, and wheels make it easy to move the unit around. Best of all, the model is one of the quietest, which is ideal for dorm rooms or studio apartments. 

Pros:

  • “Whisper” quiet, starting at 37db

  • Six temperature settings for maximum energy efficiency

  • Integrated wheels for moving ease

Cons:

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Midea

Specs:1.6 cubic feet capacity; 17.7 W x 18.6 D x 19.4″ H; 35.3 pounds; freezer compartment; temperature range of 32 to 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit; 42db sound; stainless steel, black, or white color; ENERGY STAR-rated

If you need a compact refrigerator that can fit on a tabletop or counter, Midea’s WHS-65L is your best option. The single door is reversible to open to the left or right, and it even has a tiny frozen compartment inside. It’s small, but you can still fit a couple of soda cans, a two-liter bottle, and more items in the door alone. You can also remove the single wire shelf inside to free up space for larger items.

Pros:

  • Small, cube design is only 19.4″ high

  • Quiet, energy-efficient operation

  • Includes interior door racks for bottles, cans, and drinks

Cons:

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Euhomy

Specs: 3.2 cubic feet capacity (2.24 refrigerated and 0.96 freezer); 19.4 W x 19.9 D x 33.5″ H; 59.9 pounds; two doors; separate freezer compartment; stainless steel, black, or white finish

One of the biggest drawbacks to most mini fridges is the tiny frozen compartment. If you want frozen space for more than an ice cube tray, Euhomy’s two-door model is the best compact fridge option. The 0.96 cubic feet freezer section is large enough to hold ice cream, frozen meals, and more. The separate doors keep your contents properly refrigerated, without unnecessary temperature loss when you only need to grab a drink or some ice. 

Pros:

  • LED lights in the interior

  • Adjustable glass shelves and a crisper drawer

  • Seven temperature settings

  • Quiet operation due to the automatic noise reduction compressor

Cons:

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FRIGIDAIRE

Specs: 10-liter capacity; 15 W x 11 D x 16 H; 7 pounds; black, white, or pink finish; household electrical wall plug and 12-volt car adapter

Refrigerators for skincare products and cosmetics are a popular item these days, and Frigidaire’s EFMIS170 has an LED-mirrored front that can serve as a makeup mirror. Although the compact fridge includes beauty-related features, it’s still capable of keeping drinks and fresh foods cold. Its small size and carry handle make it easy to take with you on the go; you can even keep it running in your car by using the included 12-volt adapter cable. 

Pros:

  • Available in three finishes

  • Can also heat up to keep contents warm

  • Includes a 12-volt car adapter

Cons:

How did we choose these products?

You can find mini fridges for sale at most big box retailers, home improvement stores, office supply stores, and online. With such a competitive market, it’s challenging to decide which model is best for you. We listed a variety of compact fridges to give you an overview of what’s available; think of these options as “best in class” choices.

To choose the products, several factors were important. Pricing and cubic footage were the top two considerations, so we chose models that were relatively affordable and offered the most storage for the dimensions. The models that performed best included various storage options, such as soda-can racks, adjustable/removable shelves, and more.

Besides capacity and price, noise and temperature levels were also important. After all, most people shopping for a mini fridge will probably spend time sleeping or hanging out near the refrigerator. We looked for quiet models that didn’t output more than a soft hum, so you can forget about the fridge and carry on with your day-to-day activities. In addition, all of the models featured have a dial or temperature control which can be adjusted. 

Once the mini fridges passed our requirements, we still had nearly two dozen models on our shortlist. We chose the best models according to customer reviews, making sure every mini fridge listed above had a near-perfect rating from thousands of customers. 

Which is the right one for you?

Knowing what model is best for you may be the hardest part of choosing a mini fridge. It all depends on what you need to store inside and what space you have available. If you’re simply looking for a fridge that holds a few drinks, any of the models reviewed offer plenty of drink storage options. If you want a model that can hold more than ice in the freezer compartment, most of the reviewed refrigerators can probably hold a small container of ice cream as well. If you’d like to store some frozen dinners, however, the Euhomy two-door mini fridge has the biggest frozen compartment.

Another consideration is color. Most models come in stainless steel, black, and white, which can match your existing appliances. If matching doesn’t matter, black is the lowest-profile option when you don’t want a noticeable fridge in the room. Stainless steel is the most modern finish if you don’t mind the price upcharge. 

FAQ

What is ENERGY STAR?

The US federal government issues the certification to the most energy-efficient appliances available. The goal is to save you money on your utility bills when you choose the most efficient ENERGY STAR model. You’ll find a light blue and white ENERGY STAR logo on certified refrigerators or a yellow card that displays its efficiency (compared to other models) with an estimate of how much it will cost you to run the mini fridge per year. 

Should I choose a one- or two-door mini fridge?

One-door compact refrigerators often have the most capacity for cold items such as snacks, drinks and produce. However, the small frozen compartment contained within most one-door models is often very small and not as functional. Unless all you need a frozen section for is to hold an ice tray, you may be better off choosing a two-door compact fridge. They maintain more even temperatures and give you more storage for frozen goods — at the cost of refrigerated space. 

What is the best mini fridge color?

The color you choose depends on your decor and preferences. Most compact refrigerators come in standard tones like stainless steel, black, and white. You’ll find that white is usually the cheapest color option, while black and stainless steel fridges cost extra. Black may be the lowest maintenance of the three finish options, since it hides dirt, scratches, and dents the best. A stainless steel finish may be the most classic, however, as it works with nearly any decor and is often the most popular tone for appliances in general.



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