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best mini fridges

The Best Mini Fridges in 2021

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

A mini fridge is ideal for vacations, parties, and small kitchens that have a minimalist design. After reading numerous tests on the Internet, our team has published the best models in a list and presented ratings for performance, thermostat, freezer compartment and more.

Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer

Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer
20,924 Reviews
Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer
  • CONVENIENT + LIGHTWEIGHT: The Cooluli Classic 4-liter…
  • MULTIPLE FUNCTIONS + USES: The Classic 4-L is…
  • PERFECT FOR SKINCARE & BEAUTY ESSENTIALS: Store your…
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: The unique semiconductor operation is…
  • AC + DC + USB: The Cooluli Classic-4L covers all your bases!…

AstroAI Mini Fridge 9 Liter/12 Can Portable Electric Cooler and Warmer

 Our Pick
AstroAI Mini Fridge 9 Liter/12 Can Portable Electric Cooler and Warmer
2,843 Reviews
AstroAI Mini Fridge 9 Liter/12 Can Portable Electric Cooler and Warmer
  • MINI FRIDGE 9 LITERS: Store (12) 12 oz cans! Its compact…
  • COMPACT IDEAL SIZE MAKES LIFE EASY: The fridge takes up very…
  • AC 110V / DC 12V ADAPTERS: Two plugs are included for both…
  • COOL TO WARM: Cool up to 32°F (18°C) below ambient…
  • ECO-FRIENDLY ENGINEERING: The semiconductor refrigeration…

AstroAI Mini Fridge 4 Liter

 Our Pick
AstroAI Mini Fridge 4 Liter
27,263 Reviews
AstroAI Mini Fridge 4 Liter
  • COOL TO WARM: Cool up to 32°F (18°C) below ambient…
  • 4 LITERS OF CAPACITY: Store ! (6) 12 oz cans ! medications…
  • AC/DC ADAPTERS: Two plugs are included for both standard…
  • ECO-FRIENDLY ENGINEERING: Semiconductor refrigeration chip…
  • CE, FCC, ETL, RoHS certified; 3 Year Warranty provided by…

CROWNFUL Mini Fridge, 4 Liter

 Our Pick
CROWNFUL Mini Fridge, 4 Liter
5,123 Reviews
CROWNFUL Mini Fridge, 4 Liter
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL MINI FRIDGE: A great small appliance to…
  • COMPACT & PORTABLE: The CROWNFUL mini fridge has a 4-Liter…
  • COOLING AND WARMING: Set the 4L mini fridge to cool or warm…
  • SUPER QUIET OPERATION: The portable electric cooler & warmer…
  • ECO-FRIENDLY & SAFE: 100% Freon-Free and Eco Friendly, ETL…

BLACK+DECKER BCRK25B Compact Refrigerator

BLACK+DECKER BCRK25B Compact Refrigerator
2,312 Reviews
BLACK+DECKER BCRK25B Compact Refrigerator
  • COMPACT & STYLISH – This space saving small refrigerator…
  • LARGE CAPACITY – The 2 removable glass shelves expand the…
  • CONVENIENT FEATURES – A reversible door, leveling legs, and…
  • ULTRA QUIET – Low sound operation (45dB) is perfect for…
  • ONE YEAR WARRANTY – 1 year warranty for parts and labor, and…

RCA RFR320-B-Black-COM RFR321 Mini Refrigerator

RCA RFR320-B-Black-COM RFR321 Mini Refrigerator
12,766 Reviews
RCA RFR320-B-Black-COM RFR321 Mini Refrigerator
  • Your purchase includes One RCA RFR321 Single Door Mini…
  • Fridge dimensions: 17-1/2” W x 18.5/8” D x 31.5/8” H |…
  • Reversible Door makes it easy to fit this in any spot of…
  • Compressor Cooling for ultimate performance even in hot…
  • Adjustable Thermostat and Adjustable lever Feet offers the…

Midea 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator, WHD-113FSS1

Midea 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator, WHD-113FSS1
4,185 Reviews
Midea 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator, WHD-113FSS1
  • Adjustable Temperature Ranges: Refrigerator Compartment 32’…
  • Features Adjustable Legs and a Reversible Door that can Open…
  • Interior Light; Partial automatic defrost
  • Separate Fruit and Vegetable Drawer. Note: The Internal…
  • Full 1-Year . Fresh Food Capacity: 2. 2 cu. ft.

Midea WHS-87LSS1 Refrigerator, 2.4 Cubic Feet

Midea WHS-87LSS1 Refrigerator, 2.4 Cubic Feet
5,225 Reviews
Midea WHS-87LSS1 Refrigerator, 2.4 Cubic Feet
  • Mechanical Temperature Adjustment Ranges From -2′ to 2’…
  • Large Storage Areas Excellent at Chilling Beverages and…
  • Features Adjustable Legs and a Reversible Door that can Open…
  • Energy Saving: Energy Star Rated & Low Noise.
  • Note: The Internal Walls of the Main Compartment are…

Frequently Asked Questions: Mini Fridges

Correct Cooling of Food - Shelf Life & Hygiene

Most foods can be bought fresh or packaged, and then have a use-by date or an expiration date that shows how long they can be kept closed.

Storing many foods is certainly easier and more hygienic because they are refrigerated in the refrigerator, but foods lose their ingredients and nutrients over time.

Trace elements, vitamins and minerals are broken down and lose their effectiveness. In addition, the usual process of decay occurs, which can also cause putrefactive bacteria in certain foods.

In fact, this process can be limited, not only by refrigerating it in the refrigerator, but also by storing the food properly.

Depending on what it is, the products can withstand more or less cold in the refrigerator. Correct storage is therefore the be-all and end-all of a good shelf life.

For the time being, the cool temperature in the refrigerator naturally slows down the entire metabolism of vegetables, fruits and other goods.

The food should be sorted accordingly so that those that can tolerate less cold are classified elsewhere than those that need cold.

The refrigerator and also a mini refrigerator of better quality are mostly divided into different compartments and shelves.

A cooling chamber enables meat, fish, sausage and cheese products to be arranged, the vegetable compartment is intended for storing fruit and vegetables, which is also due to the different temperatures in the refrigerator.

The coldest are refrigerators on the glass plate above the vegetable drawers. The higher the compartments in the refrigerator, the more the temperature decreases.

This is a simple physical process because warm air always rises upwards. The inside of the refrigerator door has the lowest temperature.

The somewhat more sensitive foods such as sausage, meat or fish can therefore be stored on the coldest glass plate above the vegetable compartment.

Dairy products find their optimal temperature in the middle of the refrigerator, e.g. yogurt, milk, cream, quark or eggs. The top compartment in the refrigerator, on the other hand, is suitable for smoked or cooked food, also excellent for cheese.

The inside of a refrigerator door also has various compartments. This is where butter, jams and jams, mustard, ketchup, salad dressing, sauces and drinks are stored.

The arrangement is also important for suitable storage and cooling in the refrigerator. There’s no point in stacking the food or storing it close together.

Above all, sufficient space is used to ensure adequate air circulation and the equally necessary cooling. Older foods can be placed further in front, newer foods further back.

Care should also be taken to ensure that the food is stored in packaging, in a container or in a bowl. This means the longer shelf life, especially when the pack is opened. On the other hand, if the food is stored openly, germs and bacteria form.

Vegetables and fruits that don’t belong in the refrigerator are potatoes, onions, cucumbers, peppers, bananas and citrus fruits. Well suited for storage are salads, cabbage, spinach, carrots, broccoli and apples.

What is a Mini Fridge?

The refrigerator is one of the most important parts of any kitchen. This is a device that is electrically operated and ensures that food can be preserved. The temperature of a refrigerator corresponds to these conditions, is lower than outside, and the temperature can also be regulated.

An important innovation in the “household and kitchen appliances” area are multi-zone refrigerators.

These have different climatic zones inside, which not only influence the temperature and cooling, but also regulate the humidity in the refrigerator.

Inside the refrigerator is cooled by a cooling unit or by evaporative cooling, the temperature being between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. The housing and cooling compartments are thermally insulated, so the energy consumption is still low.

The mini fridge also offers these conditions. Goods and food can be cooled in a smaller space without losing their shelf life. The mini fridge is not only a good alternative to a cool box, but can also serve its purpose in single households or in rooms with less space.

How does a mini fridge work?

The mini fridge works with heat transfer, whereby heat is extracted from the interior and given off to the immediate surroundings. This can be done by compression, absorption or a Peltier element. The most common variants are compressor and absorption refrigerators.

In the case of a compressor refrigerator, a compressor compresses a gaseous refrigerant, which heats up and in the liquefied state releases the heat back into the environment and condenses in the process.

Similar to a heat pump, the evaporation heat is fed back inside and processed in the compressor. A thermostat is then used to set the temperature in the refrigerator to the desired level.

The mini fridge with absorber cooling works with an ammonia-water mixture that separates the two elements through electrical heating, but also through gas or solar heat. The ammonia is then passed on as a gaseous substance, the water as a liquid and the ammonia is liquefied in a condenser via various pipes to the environment.

All of this happens in a hydrogen atmosphere, which in turn creates pressure equalization when the ammonia evaporates. This is what causes the cooling. Depending on which device the mini fridge is, both variants have their advantages and disadvantages.

The absorption refrigerator is noiseless, but has a slightly higher energy consumption. The compressor refrigerator, on the other hand, is a little louder in its action, but again cheaper than an absorber refrigerator.

The Peltier principle is also used in mini fridges and cool boxes, especially when it comes to mobile devices. This is where the mini fridge works, e.g. for the car or the campsite, by a DC voltage of 12 volts.

This mini fridge is also relatively quiet when it is in operation, but fans provide cooling, which is why the device generates a higher noise level. Compared to the other models, however, the mini fridge with Peltier effect requires more energy with a very low output, which in turn only makes sense for mobile use. As a second device for the home, you should choose one of the other two models.

What are the advantages & use cases of a mini fridges?

The possible uses and uses of a mini fridge are very versatile. Mini refrigerators are known from hotels, guest houses, limousines or in offices. Special mini-fridges allow you to cool drinks on their own or serve as a reserve. But modern devices can now do a lot more.

If there is not enough space, the mini fridge can replace the large fridge and allow less food to be refrigerated. It can also be used as a second device to store certain foods or beverages only, e.g. at celebrations or in a room other than the kitchen.

Some apartment situations make a mini fridge necessary, e.g. in a shared apartment, where it is sometimes advantageous to keep the refrigerator in your own room. Using it in an office is similarly advantageous, as there is usually only a small amount of food and drinks to be stored here.

The mini fridge allows space savings and mobility. Many devices also have low power consumption and a high energy efficiency class.

The information on energy efficiency ranges from C to A +, A ++ and A +++. This not only has an impact on power consumption, but also on the environment.

The energy efficiency should be adapted to the energy consumption and the service life of a mini refrigerator.

Likewise, the mini fridge can be used excellently in the holiday home, when camping or in a special party or hobby room, make a trip up to the kitchen unnecessary, store drinks or food for a quick hunger.

The advantage of a mini fridge is not only the very flexible use, but also the price-performance ratio. Compared to other refrigerators or cooling devices, the mini fridge is one of the cheapest models that still works at full capacity.

Some devices that have been specially designed for the car allow not only the cooling of the food, but also the reverse function of the heating process.

The average capacity of a mini fridge is around 40 liters. This is quite sufficient for a certain amount of food, whereby the correct placement and arrangement of the goods allows the space to be used particularly effectively.

What types of mini fridges are available?

In addition to the rough division of the mini-fridges into compressor or absorber units, the models show differences in size, energy efficiency and capacity. In addition, the use of a mini fridge plays a role when it comes to the selection of devices.

Mini fridge with freezer compartment

As soon as the mini fridge is used permanently, e.g. in the office or in a single apartment, or as a second fridge, a model with a freezer compartment is a good choice. Even if the models are small, have a certain temperature, can be compressor or absorber refrigerators, the option of cooling below 0 degrees Celsius, which is extended by the freezer compartment, makes sense.

A freezer compartment even allows ice cream or ice cubes to be cooled, which in turn benefits the storage of drinks and party snacks. The energy savings of mini-fridges with freezer compartments are also higher, as the consumption per cooled volume is higher as soon as it is released into the environment, while the temperature in the inner compartment is all the more cool.

Mini fridge without freezer compartment

These models are the simple versions of a mini fridge and are mostly divided into two to three compartments and offer a storage option on the inner door of the mini fridge. The total capacity is between 20 and 50 liters, the devices can work with compressor refrigerators, absorption refrigerators or with the Peltier effect, which in turn allows the cooling of wine.
Mini-fridges without a freezer compartment are useful if a freezer is already available or the refrigerator is used where a freezer function is unnecessary. The advantage over devices with a freezer compartment is the additional space, as these devices usually offer a continuous compartment that can at most be divided by storage compartments. The storage space allows other storage.

The design of the mini fridge without a freezer compartment is also very versatile, can be very stylish or extravagant in shape and color, but still have comfortable equipment and a high energy efficiency class, as is the case with appliances from well-known manufacturers such as “Coca-Cola”, “Jägermeister” or ” Becks ”offer.

Mini fridge for the car

Anyone who travels a lot in the car and likes to travel independently, e.g. For example, if you are traveling with a tent and backpack, the mini fridge for the car allows you to keep some goods and drinks cool while driving, with the cooling being maintained continuously and not decreasing over time, as in cool boxes. These models are much more effective than a pure cool box in which an attempt is made to transport food using cooling batteries or ice.

The mini fridge for the car works with about 12 volts, so it can be connected directly in the car via the cigarette lighter and serve its purpose even if it does not reach the quality of other mini fridges. In addition to the charging cable for the car, some models also offer the normal mains connection to a socket. This in turn allows the mini fridge to be transported and used after the journey, e.g. on a campsite or in a hotel room.

Mini-fridges of this type are of course much more mobile and usually offer the reverse option in addition to cooling, so that food can be kept warm if necessary. Continuous use is rather rare, so energy consumption is not so important with these models. There are no additional costs when connected to the car battery.

The devices for the car are also available as a compressor refrigerator, as a refrigerator with a Peltier element or in various hybrid models. The compressor variant is switchable, so it is independent of the ambient air and temperature. The cooling takes place evenly, the mini fridge works with a warming and cooling function.

Peltier elements enable a thermoelectric conversion that works as a heat sink. On the other hand, the possibility of cooling is always dependent on the ambient air and can therefore also fluctuate with temperature changes.

How are mini fridges tested?

In our mini fridge test, we tested various models in detail and assessed them according to various criteria in order to select the best devices. The handling, properties of the mini fridge, the noise level, the transport, the structure and the volume of the interior were decisive for a closer evaluation.

Operation

As soon as the mini fridge we tested was switched on, we examined how easy it was to use and which settings were necessary for the mini fridge during operation. Complex operating instructions were therefore not sensible, the components in the mini refrigerator should work without great effort and provide rapid cooling.
Even when filling the refrigerator, the temperature should remain constant or it should be possible to increase it using a controller. The drinks had to be able to cool down within a short period of time and the food had to last longer.

Design

These factors were also a feature of our mini fridge test and were positively received by us. The mini fridge often fulfills the task of an additional device and, thanks to its small size, allows flexible use, e.g. in the basement or in the office.
Some models were able to score with an interesting color scheme and a visually high-quality design, which in turn impressively enriches the office space in everyday work. The stability of the refrigerator, good materials and high quality in the processing of the devices also remained important. A combination of design and functionality were the prerequisites for our test.

Features, Noise & Price-Performance Ratio

The devices we tested should both be reasonably priced and allow suitable performance. The noiseless mini fridge scored particularly well with us, other devices were sorted out by us if the noise level was too high, precisely because the mini fridge is often not in the kitchen, but in another room, e.g. the living room or office, where a noisy ventilation had a negative effect.

The decisive factor for the mini-fridges that we tested and selected was their excellent performance and functionality. The refrigerator provided the necessary cooling within a short period of time and was able to maintain this sufficiently even when filling with food.

Power Consumption

The mini fridge often needs a little more energy and electricity, but we have also found models that provide full performance with little power consumption.

For our test, that was another reason to shortlist the mini fridge.

What should I look out for when buying a mini fridge?

The first thing to consider before purchasing a mini fridge is related to the use and type of device.

The device’s capacity and energy efficiency must be tailored to your own needs.

A single person in a one-person household rarely needs a very large refrigerator and can accordingly get along well with a mini refrigerator.

However, this should then offer different conditions than a mini fridge that is used sporadically or at parties.

If the mini fridge is in constant use, energy efficiency, power consumption, the type of cooling and compression are important. If the mini fridge is in a certain room, it should make little or no noise through the ventilation.

The single with a small refrigerator still needs an ice compartment, since the mini refrigerator is used like a normal device. Others prefer the mini fridge to cool drinks or certain high quality wines. The latter usually have a glass front as a pane, act like a minibar and accordingly also make a good visual impression.

Energey Efficiency

Most modern mini-fridges hardly have any classes below the A class, which in turn differs between one and three plus signs. Even if the acquisition costs for the very high-quality models are higher, the energy consumption when using them shows the savings that other devices with lower energy efficiency do not offer.

If the mini fridge is used frequently and should also cool a lot of food, low energy efficiency can quickly become a cost trap. The electricity costs can be very high after a short time, whereas classes from A + to A +++ save costs.

Volume

Certainly, the size and capacity of a mini fridge are always smaller than the average capacity of a normal fridge. In the end, this is the deciding factor why the mini fridge is purchased, as it mostly serves the purpose of being an additional device, enabling mobility or being used for certain events and applications.

Nevertheless, there are also differences in size between the devices. The volume can be between 3 and 50 liters, depending on the type of mini fridge and the manufacturer’s model. The storage space available depends not only on the actual capacity, but also on the division of the compartments and shelves in the mini fridge. If this is more complex and has an additional freezer compartment, the volume of actual use is reduced.

Very small mini-fridges, e.g. the portable version for the car, allow a very flexible transport due to the size.

Type

The type of refrigerator cooling determines both the price, functionality and performance of the mini refrigerator, as well as the noise level. Compression refrigerators are cheaper to buy, but can be louder because of the ventilation system.

Absorber devices, on the other hand, are a little more expensive, but completely silent. Peltier elements in the refrigerator are used for a certain cooling and are worthwhile for drinks and wines. The type of mini fridge can be selected here according to the frequency and use, also according to the location at which the refrigerator is then set up. Is the mini fridge e.g. in a hobby room, a compression device makes sense despite the noise level, since nobody is disturbed here.

Design

Often the mini fridge should complement the actual fridge when purchased, should be in rooms other than the kitchen or be used for certain occasions. If the mini fridge is used as a minibar, for example, it should of course complement and beautify the room, not transform the living room or office into a kitchen.

Many models are also selected design pieces, available in many colors or innovative shapes. The front can be made of glass or stainless steel, which enhances the visual impression. Design pieces that imitate certain shapes are also funny, such as the Coca-Cola mini fridge in the shape of a Cola can.

The only thing that is important for the purchase is to ensure that the design does not reduce the performance or that more design than functionality is required. The mini fridge should always adequately fulfill its purpose behind the optical effect.

Performance

Ultimately, the cooling performance of the mini fridge is a decisive factor in the purchase. Even if the device is smaller or is only intended for the car, the cooling performance should be balanced and be able to maintain a certain temperature.

Modern devices no longer need to be defrosted, but you should find out before buying whether defrosting is necessary for the desired mini fridge. This has an impact on mobility and use, as well as the longevity of the devices.

Defrosting in the mini fridge

Modern mini-fridges today have a no-frost technology, which means that manual defrosting of a refrigerator is no longer necessary.

In the past, the refrigerator had to do without the automatic process, which in turn required removing the food and goods every time, turning off the electricity and opening the door, which then began to thaw the inside. This was especially necessary with freezer compartments, whereby the thawed water then collected in a bowl or had to be caught in a bucket.

In the case of a mini refrigerator, this process would be less complex, since not only would the interior space be much smaller and easier to empty, but the cooling would not take place at this level, unless the mini refrigerator has its own freezer compartment.

Most of the devices are of more recent origin and therefore have the automatic defrosting system implemented in refrigerators, which has been a standard function in many devices since the 1980s. Thanks to the evaporator of modern devices, a circulating air system works inside the mini fridge, through which regular defrosting takes place independently.

In general, the general compressor heat ensures that the air is very dry. so that no ice forms, as was often the case in old refrigerators on the back wall, which is why manual defrosting was necessary.

The mobile mini fridge can also be equipped with another technology that takes care of the defrosting process using a heating plate. This mini fridge is then able to generate heat and to be used in another form, whereby the energy of the elements is used.

Of course, no oven quality is guaranteed here, so that the mobile car refrigerator is intended, for example, to cool less food and drinks than actually to warm up food.

Mini Fridge Accessories

There are also interesting accessories for the mini fridge in stores. For example, a mini fridge lock is sometimes useful to prevent unauthorized access.

Magnets that enhance the look of the device or serve as a source of information are also nice for the mini fridge.

Alternatively, there is even a mini USB refrigerator, a very small device that can be used anywhere. The mini fridge can be supplied with power at any time via the USB port, e.g. on your own computer or laptop, and a lukewarm drink can be quickly cooled again. These devices are about the size of an average beverage can, so they also look very chic in design.

An additional network cable is always recommended for mobile mini-fridges for the car so that the device can be connected at any time.

Mini Fridge Alternatives

When it comes to mobile use, a cool box can replace the mini refrigerator for the car equally, but, unlike the mini refrigerator, does not always need a power connection, unless it is an electric cool box.

Another possibility is a cool bag for this purpose, whereby flexibility is more important here. The cool bag is easier to transport, much cheaper to buy and its volume can easily replace the cool box. The cool bag, on the other hand, is less stable than the cool box and mini fridge. Some offer an additional power connection for the car.

In addition to the simple mini fridge, wine lovers also appreciate a wine fridge. These are specially designed for proper wine storage, they can be similar in size to the mini fridge, but can also be larger. The wine is stored here under optimal conditions and thus gets its full bouquet.

Last product update on 2021-09-24 | Source: Amazon Affiliate