Most homes have a giant refrigerator, which includes a freezer. However, when you want to keep drinks and food cool for the summers, an additional refrigerator can be handy. Compact refrigerators, or mini fridges as these are also known, can just that – compact and small in size. You can fit one underneath the slab, close to the living area, or even in the bedroom. Today, compact refrigerators come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and therefore, selecting one is always confusing. In this post, we will guide you on selecting the best compact refrigerator for your home.
Knowing the choices
By compact refrigerators or mini fridges, we are just considering the ones that can be used in a standard place, excluding those that are meant for traveling. Thermoelectric Fridges run on the car battery, for example, and have been not counted for this post. Usually, refrigerators are categorized by size and function, which can differ with brands. In case of mini variants, some are designed to keep food and drinks cool, while others are also great for storing meats and veggies. Many small refrigerators don’t come with a freezer segment but can have room for ice trays; some just have trays for keeping stuff. Before you go ahead and compare the choices, consider your requirements.
- Why do you need a compact refrigerator?
- Where do you want to place it?
- Do you need a freezer section?
- How much space is available?
- What features do you expect?
Ask these questions and consider the factors below to understand what may work best for your home. Some people get mini refrigerators for workplaces, as well.
Don’t miss the basics
There are certain pointers that you must consider while selecting a best compact refrigerator. These aspects can mean different things to different people, but here’s a quick list.
- Usually, refrigerator capacity is measured in litres. In case of compact ones, the smallest ones start at about 40 litres, and some of the big one can have a capacity of about 100 litres or more.
- Space available. Keep in mind that the refrigerator should have enough ventilation, which is at least two inches from all sides. Since compact designs are often fitted in small areas, measuring the available space is a good idea.
- Energy star rating. This is usually rated between 1 to 5, with 5 being the most energy-efficient. While compact refrigerators look compact but power consumption is not always less, which is why you may want to check the rating. Always get the best ENERGY STAR certified product you can find.
- Need for freezer space. As mentioned earlier, some of the compact models don’t have a freezer, while others have fixed room for ice trays. The ones that have a freezer section usually tend to be expensive and bigger. Two door models are better for freeze requirements.
- Every mini refrigerator is designed for a purpose, so check what it works best for. For example, there are refrigerators that are exclusively designed to store wine at the right temperature.
- Shelves included. Mini refrigerators can have two to three shelves depending on the size, while the extreme compact ones often have distinct segments. The shelves are usually made of wire or glass, and the latter is better for prevent spills. Toughened glass shelves are also very durable.
- Check noise level. If you intend to place the fridge in the guest room or bedroom, you need a model that doesn’t make a lot of noise.
- Products often come with additional features, such as automatic defrost and quick ice, which may add to the price but also matter to some people.
- The brand. Honestly, brand does make a difference. Eventually, you wouldn’t be replacing the compact fridge anytime soon, so get something that’s reliable and meant for performance.
- Finally, the warranty on the product is important. Most brands have 1-year warranty for the regular parts and mechanical components, with better service and warranty for the compressor.
Top three choices
Finding the best compact refrigerator might not be the easiest task for sure, but we have shortlisted top three choices below for your help.
If you are looking for something within $150, this 2.6 cu.ft. All Refrigerator from Danby is a good choice. This Energy Star compliant fridge comes with door shelving, which can be used to keep tall bottles, while the worktop is scratch resistant. It also has a White LED interior light. All in all, Danby is known for its classic line, and this product ensures you have the right extra fridge with you.
In case you need a two-door model that’s slightly bigger, this model from Haier is a decent fit for homes and offices alike. It has a True-Freezer compartment, so you can easily store frozen foods. The shelves are made of glass, and you get 1-year warranty on parts and labor, while a 5-year warranty is applicable on the sealed system.
Bigger than the Haier one, this product from Magic Chef is a steal under $150. You can get a smaller variant of this, but this size is ideal for homes we believe. There’s a push button for defrost, while you also set a complete freezer compartment. The shelves are made of glass, and there is door shelving, as well. The interior light is decent. What we love the most about this one is the stainless-steel finish of the door.
Compare the choices, consider the features and find a compact refrigerator that fits the needs of your home/workplace as an extra appliance. Some brands do have the choice of extended warranty, while others can offer excellent service, in case repairs are needed. You can also check online reviews to find the best compact refrigerator for your budget, but even the top-rated ones shouldn’t cost more than $300.