A kitchen with a mini fridge

What to Look for When Purchasing a Mini Fridge

Mini Fridge Buying Guide

This mini fridge buying guide unravels the mystery of shopping for mini refrigerators. Also referred to as compact fridges, undercounter refrigerators, and beverage centers, these appliances have one thing in common: convenience. Sure, they keep refreshments cold and save space, but isn’t the primary reason for buying one to have chilled snacks and drinks within reach?

Advice on Choosing a Mini Fridge

Before shopping for a mini fridge, consider placement and storage. Where will you put the unit? A dorm room, man cave, or media room? What will you store inside? Food, drinks, or both? Use this best small fridges advice checklist to find out how to pick the best mini fridge for your needs.

Consider the Size and Capacity

Mini fridges come in a range of sizes and capacities. Before you make your purchase measure the width, depth, and height placement, leaving a one-inch clearance for air to flow around the back and sides. As for capacity, mini fridges vary from 1.7 cubic feet up to 5.5 cubic feet. Make sure you know how much interior space you’ll need.

Choose the Right Type

Mini refrigerators come in three models: tall, two-door, and cube-shaped.

Tall: These appliances offer more room for storage, with a capacity between 3.5 and 5.5 cubic feet. Often referred to as undercounter refrigerators, they feature many shelves and compartments.

Two-door: The average interior capacity of these models is 2.6 cubic feet. They have separate compartments for chilling and freezing foods and drinks, and often feature an adjustable thermostat for controlling the temperature.

Cube: These cubed-shaped units offer sufficient storage for rooms that are short on space. The smallest model has a 1.7 cubic foot capacity.

Select the Interior Layout

Adjustable shelves and bins allow you to arrange the space to suit your needs. Glass shelves provide more stability than wire shelves, and a door-mounted dispenser offers space to stack cans.

Opt for Features

Energy Star Certified: Appliances with this classification use a minimum of 20 percent less energy. Check the rating to save money on your electric bills.

Door type: Think about your preference for a solid or glass door. You’ll have a choice between swing and sliding doors, as well as doors or lids. If you need to control your inventory, opt for doors with mounted locks.

Select a finish: Pick a color and finish that complements the room’s décor.

Decide on a Brand

There are dozens of refrigerator manufacturers. Here’s a look at some of the best brands.

Samsung: As an innovator of technological advancements, Samsung offers a line of compact refrigerators. With an 18–20 cubic foot capacity, they are bigger than a mini fridge, but they have a slim profile, so they don’t take up much space.

KitchenAid: A household name since 1919, KitchenAid is known for making reliable products that last for decades. The line-up includes under-counter models with glass or stainless steel doors.

Turbo Air: This manufacturer consistently tops the list as one of the best brands due to its high performing, energy efficient appliances. Most Turbo Air units come with swivel casters for easy portability.

Summit: Known for producing quality products, Summit brand offers units full line refrigerators, including mini and counter height appliances.


You have a wide range of mini fridges that you can choose from. Still, if you focus on the suggestions above, you should have no problem picking the best mini refrigerator for your space. Keep in mind, the cubic feet total indicates the amount of storage space you will have. In the end, the purpose of buying a mini fridge is to keep your favorite foods and drinks on hand to avoid running back and forth for refreshments.