The Best Mini Fridge Buying Guide
Table of Contents
Top Best Mini Fridges Based on Reviews and Price
10 Factors to Consider When Buying a Mini Fridge
Let us consider that you get into your dorm room for the first time. You unpack all those stuff that you have brought in. At this juncture, you find that something is missing in your room. Yes, it is a mini-fridge. Nevertheless, you do not want an appliance that is just a crappy box. You do not want it to barely chill a few sodas, particularly when you plan to share it with a roommate. Now comes the question of what to consider when shopping for this appliance. Let us delve into the top 10 considerations among the many factors that you will have to consider in the process of shopping for the right appliance:
You are looking for a refrigerator for your dorm room. So, you should remember that you have only a small space in your room. Thanks to mini-refrigerators! Compared to the big and huge side by side refrigerators, mini-fridges are designed mainly to help people like you. They are available beginning from an internal volume of one cubic to four cubic feet. You will come across this appliance in square and tall shapes. Of course, this is a small appliance. However, you will have to measure the space available in your dorm.
Also, when measuring the space in your dorm, remember to provide at least three inches of empty space. This space should be between the surrounding wall and the refrigerator. This measurement will ensure that your fridge will remain rightly ventilated. Once you have the measurement, you can decide on the refrigerator with the right dimensions.
2. Fridge Types
As you intend to buy a mini-fridge, you should keep yourself aware of the types available. This knowledge will help you make the right choice as per your requirements:
This type of mini fridge is generally meant for short-term use. It works by using a pump for transferring heat from one side to another. It means that you can even get the warming function with this kind of fridge. As compared to compressor-based refrigerators, this type will operate quite. The reason is that there is no liquid used in the process of keeping things cool inside. You will hear only the sound of the fan from this refrigerator. This noise generally can grow in smaller fridges. The reason is that these units work harder to cope with the smaller space within. However, it will not be louder.
When you go for a compressor-based fridge, it will use liquid that is vaporized and moved through tubes and coils. This happens when the fan blows air through the coils from the compartment of the refrigerator. You will get a low humming sound from this type of fridge. The sound is created by the compressor motor that pumps the vaporized liquid. You might also hear a slight noise from the fan.
Absorption Fridges generally use a source of heat for keeping the foods cold. As compared to the two types discussed earlier this type will have quiet operation. The reason is that there is no motor involved in its operation. This type is commonly used in hotels and it will stay longer as well. Due to its quiet operation, it will not disturb your sleep in a small dormant.
3. Consider the Fridge Doors
Doors are essential aspects to be considered when you buy a mini-fridge. The fridge should have doors that offer better insulation. It will make your appliance to consume lesser power. When there is no proper insulation, some heat will get into the fridge slowly. This will happen particularly when the surrounding temperature is comparatively high.
4. Cleaning Preferences
Shelves in refrigerators generally come in a couple of types. They are smooth shelves and wired shelves. The former is easy to clean, while the latter is hard. The material outside also matters when considering a suitable fridge. In case, you cannot withstand smudges, it is better to avoid stainless steel. Rather, you should go for a unit with a smudge-free finish or white exterior.
5. Consider Style of Refrigerators
As mentioned earlier, different styles of mini-refrigerators are available in the market. Here are the different styles to consider:
- The Cube
This is the most common style popular for its design and size. Also, it allows fitting a lot of food inside as well. This style of mini fridge generally has an interior space of between 28 and 59 liters and can weigh around 30 pounds. This style will be of great help in game rooms, dorms and small offices as you can place them on any counters. In addition to being small, they are affordable as well. The downfall with this style is that it is not well insulated as this style is generally designed to be lightweight and portable. So, this is a less-economical option in the long run.
- The Mid-size:
This style will be a bit larger as compared to the cube style. The interior sizes range between 80 and 96 liters and they come at an average height of 66 centimeters. These dimensions make them the perfect choice for hotel rooms, offices and bedrooms similar to the cube. The difference between the two apart from size is that the mid-size variants will be more energy-efficient as compared to the cube. The reason is its large size. However, they are not more expensive compared to the cube. They are easy to maneuver and compact as well. In this style, you will come across variants with reversible doors, locks and freezer compartments.
- Under the counter
Under-the-counter mini-refrigerators come with an interior size that ranges from 99 and 127 liters. They come with an average countertop size of 90 cms. As they are large enough, they help with energy efficiency to a great extent. However, they are expensive variants. If the need arises, they can be used as additional or back-up refrigerators as well due to the large size. You can find them typically in garages and office kitchens. Counter-high mini-fridges generally come with attractive features. Some of them include the lock mechanisms, lighting, drink dispensers, and freezer section which can be used to freeze beef and pork.
6. Do You Need Beverage and Wine Mini Fridges?
If you have plans to buy the mini-refrigerator just to store drinks, you can go for a beverage refrigerator or wine fridge. These refrigerators are designed can reach the temperature that is suitable for storing beverages against meat and groceries. In general, this type of refrigerator will have a glass door and will have racks that will permit you to store different quantities of drink bottles. This model is ideal for storing both white and red wine. If you have a soda maker, it can perfectly work with these kinds of mini-fridge.
To maximize the taste, both are kept at different temperatures. Some of these variants also come with glass doors that are tinted. The purpose of tinted doors is to prevent UV rays from getting into the fridge and destroying the wine. It is better to ensure that the glass is double-glazed. It will ensure that you can achieve the best insulation as a part of your home bar set.
7. Will a Travel Fridge Meet Your Requirements?
If you are a frequent traveler, then the travel fridge can be your best companion. These fridges can also warm up themselves similar to thermoelectric fridges. Even though they can store both drinks and food, they are mainly designed for travel purposes. These are cheaper and get the power from the cigarette lighter in your vehicle. But, the thing to remember when you use this unit is that you should unplug it when you reach home. Otherwise, it will drain your car’s battery. This style is ideal for long car trips, holidays, and picnics, and camping.
8. Freezer Capacity
Some people think to have just the fridge when opting for a mini-refrigerator. But, you should think about whether you need the fridge alone or the one with the freezer facility.
To identify this, you will have to first identify what will you put frequently in the fridge? Will you place drinks, ice creams, or lunch or all? Will food be vacuumed by a vacuum sealer before storing it? As you need a fridge for your dormant, you will be tempted to go for a low-capacity model. But, remember that too small can sometimes turn out to be impractical.
9. Energy Consumption
If you look for a mini-fridge that is energy-efficient, you should remember one thing. A standard refrigerator will have a condenser and a fan. These parts will help with the dissipation of excess heat.
However, in the case of mini-refrigerators, they generally have only the exteriors to dissipate heat. So, you should enquire about the power consumption before shopping for one.
10. Source of Power and Usage Location
The good thing about mini fridges is that they can fit in any place. Some people buy them with separate freezer for their semi-truck or RV and general outdoor usage. Even, if you plan to use a regular power source that provides the required voltage, it is better to check whether the power source can provide the required power in AMPs for the mini-fridge.
To sum up, besides the price of the mini fridges, considering the 10 factors mentioned above will help you with identifying the suitable mini-fridge for your requirement. Do consider making your shopping from the best brand.