Whether it’s in a pantry, den or dorm room, a small fridge can come in handy!
A mini fridge is a great way to store drinks and snacks in a family room or rec room, or to store lunches brought from home in an office. If there’s room and the school lets you, they’re great for making dinner and late-night snacks. The size, features, and how well they keep food cool vary, though. We’ve put together a list of models that keep food at safe temperatures and come in different sizes, so you can find one that fits your needs.
Since it was first published, this article has been checked for accuracy, pricing, and availability. We stand by our choices for the best mini fridges.
How We Picked
Our Top Mini Fridge Picks:
- Best Overall: GE Double-Door Compact Refrigerator
- Design Statement: Magic Chef 3.2 Cu. Ft. Retro 2-Door Refrigerator
- Best Value: Magic Chef 1.7 cu. ft. Mini Fridge
- Best for Dorm Rooms: Frigidaire 1.6 Cu Ft Compact Dorm Fridge with Dry Erase Board
- Roomiest Compact Fridge: Galanz 4.3 C Ft Compact Refrigerator
1. Best Overall: GE Double-Door Compact Refrigerator
Our top pick is this 3.1-cubic-foot model with two doors, one for the fridge and one for the freezer. Since the freezer is in a separate part of the fridge, it can keep food solidly frozen, so you can use it to store meats, poultry, or frozen dinners. Even the freezer door has a shelf where you can put ice cream or bags of frozen peas.
There are two glass shelves and a crisper drawer for fruits and vegetables in the fridge. But the crisper doesn’t have controls for humidity, so you can’t count on it to keep greens fresh for more than a week. There’s a can dispenser and two shelves, one for tall soda bottles and the other for condiments, on the door of the fridge.
This model has an Energy Star rating, which means it will be easy on your electric bill. It comes in black, white, and a shiny finish that looks like stainless steel but doesn’t show smudges or fingerprints.
2. Design statement: Magic Chef 3.2-Cubic-Foot Retro 2-Door Refrigerator
This model looks like a 1950s fridge because it has a curved shape and chrome latch handles. But it has the kind of temperature control you’d expect from a unit made in the twenty-first century. On top, there is a separate freezer with a shelf on the door. Two glass shelves and a big bin for fruits and vegetables will help you keep things in order in the fridge. The door has a big shelf and a small shelf, as well as a way to get soda pop cans out.
This Magic Chef has a rating from EnergyStar. You can get it in red or aqua as well as black and white to make an even bigger design statement in a game room or college dorm.
3. Best Value: Magic Chef 1.7-Cubic-Feet Mini Fridge
If you just want a small fridge to store fruit, drinks, and maybe cheese in the den and don’t want to spend a lot of money, this square one is your best bet. It will keep things like yogurt, cut up melon, and a lunch salad safe and cool, but it won’t freeze them. It has a wire shelf in the main compartment and shelves on the door. There is a small freezer compartment that can be used for a bag of ice or to keep ice cream soft enough to scoop, but meat or poultry shouldn’t be kept there for more than a day.
This model has the EnergyStar label, and it should only cost about $25 a year to run. You can get it in either black or white.
4. Best for Dorm Rooms: Frigidaire 1.6 Cubic-Foot Dorm Fridge
This small fridge fits easily in a dorm room and has a bottle opener on the side. There is one wire shelf in the main space. There are shelves on the door that can hold a 2-liter bottle, as well as soda cans or jars of peanut butter and jelly. On top, there’s a small freezer space where you can make ice cubes or keep a frozen meal cold for a day or two.
EnergyStar means that the fridge is one of the best for the environment, which should make your student happy. It comes in black, blue, red, coral, and moonbeam colors.
5. Roomiest Compact Fridge: Galanz 4.3 C Ft Compact Refrigerator
If you have a lot of people over or just like to keep a lot of drinks on hand, you may want a bit more space than a mini fridge usually has. The Galanz is bigger than most and has three glass shelves for cold items. On the door are two small shelves, one for tall soda bottles, and an eight-can dispenser. The freezer doesn’t have its own door, but the door to the mini is bigger than the door to most other freezers. It will be useful if you need a lot of ice or frozen treats for a party, but you shouldn’t keep meat or other foods that go bad quickly for more than a day.
You can choose black, an imitation stainless steel finish, or black stainless steel.