Mini Fridges: A Complete Buying Guide

Mini-fridges are convenient creations that are designed to make life easier, keep foods and drinks at the perfect temperature, and they come with amazing features to guarantee that every compact fridge meets the needs of the customer.

Compact fridges come in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. They come with features that range from necessary, such as a deadbolt lock, to luxurious features like a Bluetooth speaker built-in to the door. It can be hard to pick the perfect one, but this guide will tell customers everything that they need to know, from things to take into consideration before buying to cool fridge features that they will enjoy.

Exterior Color Should Coordinate with the Rest of the Room

Color is an important thing to consider with any appliance, including mini-fridges. There are the standard black, white and stainless steel colors that most appliances come in available. Customers can also browse through products that will add a pop of color to the room, like this purple one. If purple is a bit too feminine, there are colors for the guys as well, like a beautiful sky blue mini fridge. RCA has a line of mini fridges available on Amazon in bright, brilliant colors. Other brands specialize in specific themes, such as Coca Cola mini fridges. Consider the current décor of the room to find a mini fridge to complete the look.

Mini-Fridge Freezer Space is Important

Customers often consider the refrigerator space available in a compact appliance, but freezer space is a necessity that should be thought about. Compact fridges may only contain a small freezer compartment that cannot be used, or they might have a full-width freezer that can be used to store groceries. It is wise to determine what products will be going into the freezer compartment to ensure that there is ample room.

Freezer Performance

Having a full width freezer chocked full of groceries will be pointless if the food does not stay frozen. Therefore, it is important to consider how well the freezer will function. Compact refrigerators that have one door are known for having freezers that do not keep foods frozen properly because the temperature is too low, or cold air is lost when the fridge door is opened. Keeping a thermometer in the refrigerator and a separate one in the freezer compartment is a great way to see how well the freezer is working.

Separate Temperature Controls

Shoppers that are interested in utilizing the freezer compartment in their mini-fridge are encouraged to shop for appliances that have separate temperature controls for the fridge and freezer compartments. Having two temperature controls will guarantee that food in the freezer remains frozen while food in the fridge will be at a comfortable, safe temperature.

Separate Doors for Fridge and Freezer

Consumers that are serious about their freezer functioning well should opt for mini-fridges that have two doors. These products often come with separate temperature controls, larger freezers and they eliminate the hassle of cold air being lost from the freezer every time a person gets something out of the fridge.

Mini-Fridge Storage Needs

Mini fridges can be purchased in various sizes. Larger products have the potential to replace the kitchen fridge. Smaller products with dimensions that do not exceed twelve inches can become a desktop decoration while simultaneously keeping cans cold. Because of the variety available, it is vital that customers consider what they are going to use the compact fridge for before browsing through products.

Individuals that need ample storage for beverages will enjoy a thermo-electric portable mini fridge. Additional freezer space will not be necessary, and shelves in these products are often removable so that customers can maximize the space that they have available.

Consumers that are searching for additional food storage space are advised to opt for a larger model with a separate freezer area to guarantee that they can safely store holiday dishes, extra meats, or extra beverages for game day. These are the ideal option for families that consistently must re-arrange the fridge to accommodate more food.

Some may have a certain spot in the fridge that is designed to hold a 2 liter bottle of pop or a built-in can dispenser, and others might provide a few shelves with a crisper drawer. The different compartments determine what can fit in the mini fridge, so it is important to consider what it is going to be used for before buying one to guarantee that everything fits properly, and that it has those cool built-in storage features that will come in handy.

Shelving

The shelves are an important part of any fridge. Glass shelves are always a great idea due to the plethora of benefits that they bring with them. If something spills on a glass shelf, that spill will be contained to that single shelf. They are easy to remove and easy to clean. On the other hand, glass shelves can wind up cracked or broken, and their durability has limits that wire shelves do not.

Wire shelves have their benefits and drawbacks too. These shelves are harder to clean when compared to glass shelves because each individual wire part must be cleaned, and they do not contain spills the same way that glass shelves will. If something spills, it will spill on the shelf underneath of it, and spread throughout the inside of the fridge. These are also not a great option for smaller items, like a cheese stick. These can slide through the wires, and groceries will not sit evenly on wire shelves.

The one area where wire shelves outshine their glass counterparts is durability. These shelves can hold more weight without cracking or breaking. The worst thing possible is that they will bend, and it’s going to take a lot of weight for that to happen. Wire shelves will last longer than their glass counterparts, and they will continue to look spectacular provided that they are cleaned regularly.

Mini Fridge Dimensions

The dimensions of the compact fridge are of great importance. Products that are going to be stored in a specific place, such as in a previously purchased cabinet or underneath of a desk will need to be a specific size. To find the perfect sized minifridge, customers will need to measure the area that the compact fridge is going to go, and then find a product that has slightly smaller dimensions to guarantee that it fits properly.

Stand Alone Fridge vs. Fridge in Cabinet

One of the ways that customers are guaranteeing that their mini fridge is not an eye sore is by purchasing products that are designed to be installed inside of cabinets. These mini fridges are more lightweight and are conveniently sold in the same sizes as most standard cabinets. Then, the color doesn’t matter because the product will be hidden from view.

Stand alone mini fridges are a great option as well. These mini-fridges can be sat on the floor, and do not require a cabinet or other accessory. Because they are built to stand on their own, stand alone compact refrigerators are often more durable and sturdier than other products.

Mini Fridge with A Lock

A mini-fridge with a lock is a necessity for anyone that wants to keep everyone else out of their things in the fridge. Parents that are trying to keep the kids out of the fridge, people that do not want dorm mates to get into the energy drink stash or anyone that has a compact fridge in a public place will appreciate being able to lock the fridge.

These products come with a lock that is already installed in the door and a key that can be used to turn the deadbolt styled lock. The only disadvantage to owning one of these products is that most of these small fridges come with one key, so customers will have to order a spare.

Consider Different Features

Some mini fridges, like the cube style ones, are basic. They have the built-in shelf, the basic door storage and a small freezer compartment. Other compact refrigerators can have more elaborate features, such as a Bluetooth speaker, a warming function or cool storage features, such as a crisper drawer. Browse through blogs to learn about different features available, and to decide which one is right for you.

Energy Efficient

Everyone should try to be more energy efficient to help preserve the planet for future generations, and to enjoy a lower utility bill. One way that customers can do this is by making smart decisions regarding new mini-appliances. Compact refrigerators can consume a large amount of energy if they are not designed to be energy efficient.

Consumers that need something other than a thermo-electric mini-fridge are advised to search for products that are Energy Star certified. This certification means that the product has been tested, and definitely uses less energy than products that do not have this label. Read product descriptions carefully to determine how energy efficient a model is before purchasing it.

Thermo-electric compact refrigerators remain known for using the least amount of energy, but these products come with their own list of pros and cons. Due to the cons, these models are not able to meet everyone’s needs. It is important to research thermoelectric appliances before purchasing one.

Thermo-electric Mini-Fridges

Thermo-electric compact fridges come with a list of advantages and another list of disadvantages that customers need to know in order to decide whether these products will be right for them.

The primary advantages of purchasing a mini fridge with this technology is that they are all energy efficient, customers often enjoy that they do not produce an excessive amount of noise, and more of these options are portable.

On the downside, thermo-electric mini fridges create temperature control by the Peltier effect. This means that when the electrical current flows in between two different things, it creates a cooler side and a warmer side. This sounds cool, and it is perfect or keeping a 12 pack of pop cold, but it’s not the best idea for customers that want to keep meats and other food items that must stay at a consistent temperature in them.

The temperature can fluctuate between warm and cold, meaning that meats might not stay at a safe temperature. They can get too warm, which causes bacteria to grow. Then, they can get cold again so when a person opens the fridge, they will feel that the meat is still cold and think that it is okay to eat, resulting in food born illnesses.

Read Policies

Two of the most common places for mini fridges are dorm rooms and offices. Unfortunately, many colleges and offices have certain policies regarding mini fridges.

Some dorms allow students to have mini fridges, but dorms that have had infestation problems in the past may have stricter rules regarding these. Students may be required to use a shared kitchen area instead of having their own fridge or microwave in their dorm. Certain universities also have size requirements that must be followed, or they require that mini fridges be energy efficient or they are not allowed in the dorm to save on the electric bill. Therefore, it’s important to ask about rules and regulations before getting your new college student their own mini fridge.

Offices often have the same outlook that dorms do. They may not allow mini fridges due to higher utility bills or previous infestation problems. Larger buildings may have certain size requirements, or prefer that employees keep mini fridges out of site because they think it will look unprofessional. Every building will have a different policy. One college or office may allow them while another one will not. Ask before ordering a mini fridge to make sure you don’t waste money.

Product Reviews Are Important

Reading product reviews before buying a mini fridge is a great idea. Customers that have a good experience may not leave a review, but customers that have a bad experience want to let other consumers know the problems that they had so that they do not go through the same thing.

Read the product reviews, from the five-star reviews to the one-star reviews. This can help customers discover whether the fridge is worth the money, if they should expect potential problems with the fridge later, and whether the mini fridge can keep foods cold or not.

It’s important to look at product reviews carefully, though. If a product only has one review, it can’t be considered an accurate description of what a customer’s experience with the fridge will be. That one person may have had a horrible experience, but they could be one in a million. If a product only has one review, take it with a grain of salt. If a product has a thousand reviews, customers are more likely to discover more about the product before buying it.

Amazon has a great feature that allows potential buyers to see whether the review was left by a person that purchased the product. If a person bought it before they left a review, it will say verified purchaser by their name. This eliminates the possibility of fake five-star reviews and helps consumers learn about products from unbiased customers.

Product reviews will not always say every problem that a fridge has, but they are a great way to find out likely problems to save you time and money.

Shipping Costs

Shipping costs are another important thing to consider before purchasing a mini fridge. Some websites, like Amazon, have a minimum purchase amount and offer free shipping. If the product costs more than $35, which most mini fridges do, a customer can more than likely get the product shipped to them for free.

Not all websites and shopping platforms offer that same option, however. Some stores charge shipping based on the weight of the product, which can get expensive when ordering something heavy like a mini fridge. Other stores have a flat shipping rate. Look up the shipping rates for the website or store before ordering anything from them to save time and hassle. There is nothing worse than getting to the check out page to discover that shipping is going to cost more than the product does.

Mini fridges are a great option for home use, college bound teens and for offices. They can save a person from leaving their man cave to go to the kitchen, they can make a home office the perfect place to relax and work, and there are so many options that everyone can find something to suit their needs. Customers are encouraged to remember these tips when selecting a mini-fridge, and to browse through plenty of products to discover the perfect mini fridge to meet their needs.