It’s hard to believe it’s back to college time and your student is going to need a college refrigerator. Your brilliant boy or girl is about to leave their summer job or summer fun behind and head back to college. Either this isn’t their first rodeo and their already set with most everything they need or they are freshmen and you’re preparing to buy a whole lot of stuff to meet their needs! Either way, you’re looking for a college refrigerator to give them a place to store cold drinks and snacks.
Even if your student is on a meal plan, plans to eat out a lot, or has plenty of care package support from home, there is nothing better than being able to grab a cold drink or snack while you’re studying without having to take the time to go to a soda machine. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a student these days who could survive without having a small refrigerator in their rooms. In many cases, on a tight student budget, that college refrigerator will save them a lot of money over eating out for midnight meals and snacks. It also gives the ability to make healthier choices over what’s offered in the typical vending machine.
Interested in learning about other compact refrigerators? Be sure to see our other articles about some of the best!
- Haier Compact Refrigerator: Best Haier 2-Door Small Fridge Freezer
- Tiny Refrigerator: Top Rated All Refrigerator Mini Fridge
- Compact All Refrigerator: Top Rated Stainless Steel Mini Fridge
- Personal Fridge: Top Rated Personal Mini Cooler Brings Cold Drinks to You
- Compact Refrigerator Without Freezer: Top Rated All-Refrigerator Mini Fridge
- Minifridge: Top Rated Mid-Sized Compact Refrigerator
- Igloo Refrigerator: Compact Refrigerator Sparks Romance
- Daewoo Refrigerator: Best Looking New Retro Style Compact Refrigerator
- Small Office Refrigerator: Top 5 Best Rated Compact Office Refrigerators
- Compact Refrigerator with Lock: 4 Top Rated Lockable Mini Fridges
- Danby Compact Refrigerator: Big Storage Spotless Steel All Fridge
- Little Fridge: Most Popular Compact Refrigerator and Freezer
- Stainless Steel Mini Fridge: Top 5 Best Rated Compact Refrigerators
- Vintage Refrigerator: Best Classic Compact Retro Refrigerators
Believe it or not, some colleges don’t permit personal refrigerators or microwaves in dorm rooms. Most colleges have strict requirements on college appliances including the size and power of microwaves and refrigerators, to help save energy and for safety reasons.
You may not know, but there is a simple option for many colleges and universities called the MicroFridge with SafePlug. A MicroFridge features a combination of a 700-watt microwave oven and a 2.9 cu. ft. mini-refrigerator/freezer. It is available in two models and can be purchased or rented. I actually rented one for my daughter in her first year of college and it was a lifesaver. It was so inexpensive and easy. They deliver and pick up the fridge. Your college student just has to take care of and clean the fridge and microwave. MicroFridge does everything else. It was a great experience for us. To find out more information about a MicroFridge, go to the MicroFridge site Here.
We have also created a table of the microwave and college fridge requirements for the top 100+ highest-ranked colleges and universities in the United States. The information came from our research on the websites of each of the institutions. It includes the name of the school, a link to the school’s policy on microwaves and refrigerators if available, whether the school allows MicroFridges, and a brief summary of the requirements we were able to glean from the policy and standards documents we found.
We got the names of the schools from a ranking provided by U.S. News & World Report plus we added some additional colleges that are listed on CollegeRefrigerators.com as supporting the use of personal MicroFridges.
See our table now at Back To College Residence Microwave-Refrigerator Policies Table.
We found that about half of the colleges in the table either allow or have an arrangement to rent or buy a MicroFridge for your student’s room.
If you’re more interested in purchasing a personal college dorm refrigerator for your student, we searched college forums, social media, manufacturer sites, consumer sites, retail sites, and customer review sites to find the most popular and highly rated compact refrigerators.
Take a look at our list and see if one of these small refrigerators is the best compact refrigerator for your student!
One of the most popular all-refrigerators you can buy, the Danby Designer DAR026A1BDD Compact All Refrigerator, 2.6-Cubic Feet, Black is a very popular compact refrigerator with the performance and features you expect in an appliance that won’t bust your budget. Small enough to fit just about anywhere in a dorm room, it can be placed on the floor or even on a countertop. You’ll appreciate its automatic defrost functionality that keeps your student from having to chip ice if the unit freezes over. Storage touches include Danby’s innovative CanStor beverage dispenser and tall bottle storage in the door and two and one half wire shelves in the main compartment. Its scratch-resistant worktop is perfect for holding your student’s microwave, printer, or other college necessities. Using newer R600A refrigerant, it has an Energy Star rating and is better for the environment. This is an excellent refrigerator for dorm room, office, den, rec room, and more.
College Refrigerator: Features
- 2.6 cu. ft., compact, refrigerator
- Danby’s 3rd generation, unique CanStor beverage dispenser and tall bottle storage in the door keep your beverages cold and organized
- Scratch-resistant worktop hold a microwave or printer or can be used as a work surface
- Adjustable, mechanical temperature control lets you set the perfect cold temperature
- Additional storage touches include two full-width and one half-width adjustable, wire shelves in the main compartment
- You get important full flexibility in placement thanks to a reversible door, leveling legs, integrated door handle, and smooth back
- Automatic defrost means low maintenance
- Energy star rating
- R600A refrigerant is eco-friendly
- Dimensions are 17.6875W x 20-1/16D x 26.9375H inches and it weighs 50.22 lbs.
- 18-Month limited parts and labor
- Plenty of room for food and beverages
- Innovative storage and organization
- Stylish design
- Automatic defrost is a nice feature
- Complaints of damaged units
- Poor location for thermostat control
- Interior is not lighted
The Haier HC27SW20RV 2.7 Cu. Ft. Refrigerator Freezer in Virtual Steel is a stylish, compact fridge/freezer, perfect for small spaces like dorm rooms. It boasts two full-width wire shelves in the refrigerator compartment and some convenient storage touches in the refrigerator door. It has a full-width freezer compartment inside the fridge for all your favorite frozen food like ice cream, frozen vegetables, meats, and more. The refrigerator is perfect for storing fresh fruit, milk, juice, and other snacks for a hungry college student to enjoy. You have full temperature control using the manual, adjustable thermostat. Whether it’s for your college student, the office, game room, or rec room, you will enjoy having the ability to keep food cold and right at hand.
- 2.7 cu. ft., compact refrigerator with freezer
- 2.5 cu. ft. fresh food capacity and 0.2 cu. ft. freezer capacity
- Refrigerator door has an integrated can dispenser that stores 6 standard beverage cans, built-in tall bottle storage, and an additional short, full-width shelf for small items
- Full-width freezer compartment with ice tray
- Manual, adjustable thermostat
- Dimensions are 27-3/8H x 18-7/8W x 17-7/8D inches and it weighs 36 lbs.
- 1-Year limited manufacturer’s labor and parts warranty along with a 5-year limited sealed system warranty
- Plenty of refrigerated storage space
- Additional door storage is convenient
- Stylish design and materials
- Quiet operation
- Small freezer section
- Some complaints that top shelf fridge items freeze
The COSTWAY 3.2 Cu. Ft. 2-Door, Compact Stainless Steel Fridge Freezer is ideal for smaller spaces like a dorm room, teen’s bedroom or office. It is sized perfectly to keep drinks and small amounts of food cold and in a convenient location. It features a separate freezer for storing frozen treats or packages of meat that has its own door for better performance. Storage touches include one full shelf, one shorter shelf, a vegetable crisper drawer in the refrigerator section. The refrigerator door has an integrated can dispenser, a small shelf at the top for small items, and tall bottle storage in the bottom. The refrigerator cools quickly, quietly, and evenly without warm spots and the freezer keeps ice frozen solid and food perfectly chilled.
- 3.2 cu. ft., 2-door, compact, stainless steel refrigerator and freezer
- 2.2 cu. ft. refrigerator section cools quickly, quietly, and evenly
- 1.0 cu. ft. separate freezer with its own door can freeze down to 5 degrees F and gives you convenient freezer access without opening the refrigerator door
- The adjustable glass shelf can be configured to make room for taller items and is easy to clean
- Crisper drawer keeps your fruits and vegetables fresh
- Easy-access manual thermostat controls temperature accurately
- Temperature range is 5 to 50 degrees F
- Unit weighs 52 lbs.
- Spacious layout with plenty of storage
- Separate freezer performs well
- Stylish design
- Value priced
- None noted
Another very popular compact refrigerator for dorm rooms, the EdgeStar 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Fridge/Freezer in Stainless Steel delivers outstanding features, stainless steel durability, and ice cold performance making it an excellent choice for any student. The highly desirable separate refrigerator and freezer compartments make adjusting the temperature for proper freezing and refrigerator temperatures much easier and give you a true zero-degree freezer. With dual reversible doors, a flush back, and recessed handle, you get the ultimate in placement flexibility. Even though it’s a compact refrigerator-freezer, it has automatic defrost that makes maintenance much easier, a feature usually found on larger home models. Storage and organization features include two individual glass shelves, a convenient fruit and vegetable crisper compartment, an adjustable wire shelf, tall bottle storage in the refrigerator door, and other door storage and organization compartments in both doors.
- 3.1 Cu. Ft. compact fridge freezer with two doors
- Separate freezer and refrigerator compartments make it easier to control the temperature in both compartments and provide true zero-degree freezer capability
- Adjustable manual, mechanical thermostat
- Automatic defrost in refrigerator section
- Single adjustable wire shelf
- Two easy-to-clean glass shelves
- Vegetable crisper bin
- In-door storage bins in both refrigerator and freezer compartments
- Can storage and dispenser and tall bottle storage in the refrigerator door
- Refrigerator compartment has interior lighting
- Energy Star rating
- Reversible doors and flush back design make placement easier
- Dimensions are 33.5H x 18.75W x 19.75D inches and it weighs 52 lbs.
- 90-Day labor and 1-Year parts warranty
- Durable, quality construction and materials
- Good looking stainless steel doors
- Separate refrigerator and freezer sections ensure both are kept at the proper temperature
- Quiet operation
- True zero-degree freezer section
- Can holder in-door is not removable
The Danby DAR033A6BSLDB 3.3 Cu. Ft. Mini All Refrigerator in Spotless Steel, by Danby, the leading refrigeration and specialty appliance company, is a very highly rated and popular compact refrigerator model. At first glance, you can’t help but notice its unique recurved door, its clean styling, and its modern look that’s sure to fit into just about any dorm decor. It has a useful worktop that can be used to hold a microwave oven, printer, or essential college accessories. You get plenty of space and organization touches including an innovative CanStor beverage dispenser and tall bottle storage in the door and adjustable, removable tempered glass shelves in the main compartment. Maintaining the proper temperature is easy using its adjustable mechanical thermostat and maintenance is just as simple thanks to automatic defrost. This stylish, perfectly-sized compact is an excellent choice for dorms, small apartments, offices, cubicles, or anywhere you want to store cold food, but only have a tight space to do it in.
- 3.3 cu. ft. compact all-fridge
- Simple, retro-style, refrigerator door is made from spotless steel that shows fewer fingerprints and is easier to clean than stainless steel
- Two full and one-half adjustable and removable tempered glass shelves give you the flexibility to store and organize easily
- Built-in CanStor beverage dispenser stores up to 8 standard 12 oz. cans within easy reach right in the refrigerator door
- Easy-access, fully adjustable, mechanical thermostat
- Easy maintenance thanks to automatic defrost system
- Easy-grip rubber gripped handle
- Convenient, extra-bright white LED interior light
- Recessed handle, smooth back, and reversible door let you place the fridge where you need it
- Additional workspace or storage space is available on the scratch-resistant worktop
- Energy Star rating
- Eco-friendly R600a refrigerant
- Dimensions are 17.68W x 20.43D x 33.07H inches.
- 1-Year parts and labor limited warranty
- Stylish design
- Quiet operation
- Solid value
- Plenty of organized storage
- Must solidly close the door for it to stay closed
- Some complaints that it doesn’t get as cold as desired
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What do you think of these dorm fridges? Which college dorm fridge are you planning to buy? Please take a moment to leave a comment below.
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A compact refrigerator is a dorm room essential these days and that can make your student’s life much easier. We sincerely hope that this article has provided you with valuable information that helps you choose the best college refrigerator for your student!