The Best Mini Fridges for Every Space and Budget

Outfit your college dorm, garage, tiny home or workspace with one of these top-rated machines.

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July 08, 2021

When you think of a mini fridge, you probably think about shopping for college. And while a mini fridge is absolutely essential for dorm life, these pint-sized machines can be used for so much more at home. They’re great for a guest house or mother-in-law suite. They’re convenient for storing sports drinks and water easily within reach in the garage or home gym. Many homeowners have also started to add a mini fridge to the basement or garage apartment to create a kitchenette for Airbnb and other home rental income. And for those living in a tiny house, the mini fridge is the fridge.

There are a lot of choices and a lot of features to consider when shopping for a mini fridge. The most important thing to note is the temperature. Though they look similar, a beverage chiller and a mini fridge have different cooling settings and a beverage chiller will not keep perishable food at a cool enough temperature to safely store and consume. Other important factors include size, which is measured in cubic feet, and the option to have a freezer component. But you can skip the research because we’ve done the work and combed through the world of mini fridges for you. Take a look at our roundup below for a list of the best of the best, from the quietest model to the best option on a budget to a mini fridge that’s actually cute.

Best Overall Mini Fridge for Dorms + Beyond

On the sliding scale of features vs. budget, this Midea mini fridge hits the sweet spot for all-around value. It’s just over three cubic feet, which is fairly large for a mini fridge. It’s less than $230 (with free shipping for Amazon Prime members). And it has two separate doors which are reversible, so, if you move or change dorm rooms, you can change whether the doors open from the left or the right depending on your space — genius.

Best Mini Fridge With a Freezer

This EdgeStar mini fridge is one of the more expensive models in our roundup, but, if you plan on storing several frozen meals or a couple of pints of ice cream, it’s worth the investment. Mini fridge freezers are typically sad little boxes with a sad little flap with only enough room for maybe two ice pops, but the EdgeStar has a huge freezer. It also features a separate freezer door that actually keeps items ice-cold, unlike those sad little freezer flaps.

Best Large-Capacity Mini Fridge

It’s an oxymoron, but there are some great jumbo mini fridges out there. These not-so-small appliances are perfect for rental suites or a guest cottage where you need to create a small kitchenette. One of the best we found is this Frigidaire model. At a whopping 4.5 cubic feet total, this thing can hold a 12-pack of soda and a full gallon of milk with tons of room to spare. The fridge itself is 3.9 cubic feet and the small freezer with flap closure is .6 cubic feet.

Best Budget Mini Fridge

Right now, you can score this Insignia compact fridge for less than $100 at Best Buy. We rarely see mini fridges — even the small ones — drop below $100, so, if you need one now is the time to snag it. At just 1.7 cubic feet, this is one of the smallest mini fridges, but it still has enough room for a six-pack of soda and a small carton of milk.

Best Quiet Mini Fridge

If you’re in a dorm or a tiny house and you’re sleeping close to a mini fridge, you don’t want to buy one that makes strange sounds or a loud humming in the night. Enter the Smad Mini Fridge. This compact machine is made with “low-noise technology” and is praised by light sleepers on Amazon. It’s so quiet that the company issued a statement on the product page to clarify that the fridge is in fact running even if you can’t hear anything!

Best Small Mini Fridge

Of course, all mini fridges are small, but if you're looking to go as small as possible, Short this teeny, tiny fridge from Midea can sit on a desk or stack on top of another appliance such as a beverage chiller or dorm dresser even. You could even place it on your kitchen counter and it wouldn’t be an eyesore as it comes in brushed stainless steel.

Best Mini Fridge for Dorms

While any of the mini fridges in this list would make great dorm fridges, this 3.2 cubic feet fridge, a good average size, from Igloo boasts an extra fun feature for dorms. While the design may be basic, the door is actually a dry erase board so you can leave reminders to yourself or roommates, jot down notes or just doodle.

Best Mini Fridge With Two Doors

A mini fridge with a separate freezer door is super handy because you can grab what you need from each compartment without letting all the cold air out, but the extra drawer usually comes at a higher price. However, we found this two-door model from Walmart for less than $150!

Best Retro-Style Mini Fridge That’s Actually Cute

Instead of a basic white box, why not have fun with a 50s-inspired, throwback-style fridge? There are so many adorable, retro-style refrigerators on the market, but we love this 3.1 cubic feet fridge from Galanz because unlike other brands it features a separate freezer door and little more space. Plus, it comes in a few fun colors if neutrals aren't your thing.

Best Multipurpose Mini Fridge

Let your coffee table double as a refrigerator. Available in white and black, this next-level coffee table from Sobro may be pricier than a traditional mini fridge, but it features a pull-out drawer to keep your snacks and drinks perfectly chilled, four USB ports for charging, two outlets, Bluetooth speaker system, LED lights and a touch screen control top. Food and a fully charged phone at the ready? You might never leave the couch.

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