Always popular with college and university students as a dorm fridge, a little fridge is just what the doctor ordered for small spaces with a lack of counters space. You may find a little fridge in the office break room, in an office cubicle, on a rec room counter, in a teenager’s room, in a doctor’s office, in the garage or shop, in the basement, used as a dorm refrigerator, or just about anywhere else you might think of placing one. The key is that they can be located in so many places because they are so small.
Don’t let the size of a little fridge fool you. Many come with a built-in freezer section and even at less than 2.0 cu. ft. they can still keep plenty of drinks and food cold. Some come with door storage as where you can put tall bottles like soda, energy drinks, or milk.
There are definitely some things to consider when buying a mini fridge:
What qualifies as a little fridge? It’s all about perspective. If you’re comparing one to your home refrigerator, most small refrigerators could be called a little fridge. In the refrigerator world, a little fridge is generally less than 2.0 cu. ft., but I’m sure some would take issue with that classification. If you want it on your counter top or desk, less than 2.0 cu. ft. should be your size of choice.
Fridge-Freezer or All-Refrigerator
There are two choices for the configuration of a small refrigerator. First, you can buy an all-refrigerator which has no freezer section. That’s a good choice if you will never need to store any frozen foods. You get to use all of the space that would have been taken up by the freezer section for keep more food and drinks refrigerated.
If you want a limited capability to store frozen foods like small pizzas, then having the small freezer section can be very helpful. Ultimately you will have to decide, but the most popular small fridge has a small freezer section.
In general, you won’t find auto-defrost on a little fridge. That’s because it takes energy and space and small refrigerators are so compact that it’s not really that big a deal to defrost them.
Want to see more compact refrigerator choices? Be sure to see our other articles about some of the best!
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Get a small fridge with a reversible door. You may know where you want to place the little fridge today, but what happens when you need to move it in the future. It will be very frustrating if the location you’ve chosen makes it inconvenient to open the door. The good news is that most come with reversible doors.
Leveling legs are a great feature that allow you to make the fridge level no matter what the location. Usually they consist of screw-in feet that can be adjusted up and down to make the fridge level.
Most mini fridges come with at least some storage in the door. The configuration can be important, especially if you like to get tall bottles of drinks to save money. If you buy tall drinks like soda, energy drinks, or orange juice, then make sure the door can be configured to accommodate these taller bottles.
Separate Chiller Compartment
Fresh meats and other perishables are part of a healthy diet and are more popular than ever with college students and other young people. Some small fridges come with a separate compartment specifically designed to chill meat and other perishables to keep them fresh longer.
Whether it’s automatic or manual, you need to be able to adjust the temperature on a mini fridge, particularly one with a built-in freezer compartment. That’s because keeping the fruits and vegetables happy at the same time as the frozen pizza or ice cream, can be a delicate balancing act. In most cases there will end up being some compromise, but the adjustable thermostat will make sure you have a fighting chance of setting the temperature to one you can live with.
In a crowded room with the TV on you won’t be able to hear a mini fridge in operation. On the other hand, if it’s next to your bed in the dorm room, it could actually make it difficult to sleep. So depending on your use and placement, noise might not be important to you. If it then you will want to pay attention to how noisy it is before you buy.
I get the impression that all small refrigerator manufacturers think their small fridges are quiet. The truth can be something quite different. The only reliable way to tell which models are quiet before you buy is to read reviews about each one. You will find that if a little fridge is noisy it will definitely show up in the reviews. According to plenty of accounts, the model we’re recommending in this article is one of the quiet ones.
Compared to a full-sized refrigerator, a little fridge sips electricity. That being said, who doesn’t want to save money? With that in mind, choose a compact refrigerator that is Energy Star-rated which means it should save you energy and money compared to models that aren’t.
The cabinet of the fridge will most always be either black or white. The door can vary in style and color. For colors, there are actually several choices. You will find silver, stainless steel, white, and black are the most popular, but you can also get red, woodgrain, and specialty fridges like vintage designs and logo fridges like Star Wars and Cola Cola.
We searched consumer sites, customer review sites, forums, retail sites, and manufacturer sites to find the most popular, best-rated little fridge we could find.
Take a look at our choice and see if it’s the best small refrigerator for your needs!
Whether you need a small fridge for a dorm room, office cubicle, rec room, shop, or other place where space is at a premium, the Midea WHS-65LSS1 1.6 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Compact Refrigerator and Freezer is a very popular and highly-rated choice. It’s definitely a little fridge measuring only 18.58 x 17.71 x 19.31 inches, but it also has some nice features that make it very flexible. It has a half-width freezer for pizzas and other frozen goods, a separate chiller compartment for fruits and vegetables, and storage in the door for tall bottles. The only thing it doesn’t have that we would have liked to see is an interior light for those midnight raids. So you will have to turn on the light or bring a flashlight. Here’s what you need to know about this fridge-freezer from Midea.
Little Fridge Features
- 1.6 cu. ft. cube-style small refrigerator and freezer with a stainless steel-faced door
- Mechanical, adjustable temperature control lets you maintain the perfect temperature for your needs
- Two front leveling legs, a recessed door handle, flat back, and a reversible door let you locate the fridge right where you need it
- Separate half-width freezer compartment for frozen pizzas and other frozen foods
- Separate half-width chiller compartment next to the freezer will keep fresh meats and other perishables fresher longer
- In-door storage can accommodate 2-liter bottles and other tall bottles and has convenient racks for other items
- Low-noise operation
- One wire shelf
- Dimensions are 18.58 x 17.71 x 19.37 inches and it weighs in at 33 lbs.
- Energy Star-rated
- Full 1-Year limited warranty along with a 2-Year compressor warranty
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