Compact Refrigerator Reviews to Help You Find the Right One for You
The compact refrigerator comes in a wide variety of configurations. From the dorm refrigerator to the mini refrigerator (or mini-fridge) and the under counter refrigerator or counter height refrigerator they have a number of functional applications.
Usually limited in their capacity and power range, these refrigerators are terrific alternatives when you just need a little space for basic food items. They come in handy for everything from game rooms, to outdoor bar-b-ques, to office refrigerators. They’re reasonably inexpensive and relatively easy to move from room to room, making them almost portable refrigerators!
- TIP: Don’t expect much freezer capacity from these smaller units. There is usually just a “token” freezer with enough space to freeze a few ice cubes or chill a Snickers Bar.Though if you truly need extra freezer storage space then why not check out a Compact Freezer.
So how do you know which is the right model for your needs? There are a few things you're going to want to consider before purchasing your compact fridge:
How much space are you going to need? A compact fridge can vary greatly in the amount of space they have available. Some have up to 10-15 cubic feet while most others are anywhere from 1.5-5.5 cubic feet.
Compact Refrigerators vary greatly in their durability from manufacturer to manufacturer. Consider how much you'll be using the fridge and how long you need it to last. The compressors in these units have on average about a 7-10 year life span. Some last much longer than others, so shop around.
Consider how you're going to be using your new compact fridge. Is it going to be in a dorm room? A game room? Is this going to be a primarily in your car as a car refrigerator?
- Are you using it professionally (such as in a restaurant setting)? Ask yourself whether or not you'll be using it to store a number of food items, or just to keep a six pack of beer at a nice frosty temperature.
The main reason is that many of the more inexpensive smaller refrigerators might suit your needs just fine. If you intend to use the compact as a secondary refrigerator or even as a primary fridge, keep in mind you'll want to be sure you find the highest quality model you can (we feature some below).
Not every refrigerator manufacturer makes a compact model. And, even though there are many top manufacturers who do produce these units, don't assume that they are the best ones on the market.
In our tests, only a couple of manufacturers really stood out above the rest as far as the quality of their product. Many of the features were the same across the board, but there were a few units that had features like automatic ice makers, slide out and adjustable spillproof shelving and even a couple that had separate temperature humidity controls. The four top manufacturers were:
- Avanti: We were pleasantly surprised with both the vast selection and high quality across all of their various types of smaller sized refrigerators.
- Danby: One thing you notice about a Danby refrigerator is that they understand their product more than most. Many full size refrigerator manufacturers simply redo a bit of their full size features in a compact package. Danby rethinks the concept of the compact fridge and is truly one of the most innovative compact refrigerator manufacturers on the market.
- Norcold: When it comes to compact refrigeration, there are some companies that just do it better. The Norcold models we tested performed wonderfully.
- Whirlpool: Across the board, Whirlpool had some of the best performing models in this category. See our list of favorites.
12 Volt Refrigerator: Looking for the perfect refrigerator to take in your rv, camping, on your boat or to get off the grid? Then a 12 volt is just what you need.
Apartment Refrigerator: Need actual storage space but don't have enough for a full size, this article will help you figure out if you need an apartment refrigerator.
Car Refrigerator: Need a refrigerator that will work in your car as well as will work plugged into a wall, then a car refrigerator will take care of your needs especially when tailgating.
Compact Freezer: For more freezer space without having an entire full size freezer, then a compact refrigerator freezer might be what you need most.
Compact Fridge Freezer: This is a perfect model for someone who needs a refrigerator that has enough freezer space to store more than a ice cube tray.
Dorm Refrigerator: Want to know more about the dorm refrigerators on the market, this article will help you find the right one for your needs.
Mini Personal Refrigerator: The perfect choice for just enough space to store food for a meal or two -- great for an office or an entertainment room.
Small Freezers: Need to find the perfect small freezer to help with your lack of freezer storage space? No worries. This article will help you figure out which style and brand will best suit your needs.
Small Refrigerators: There are so many different types of small refrigerators, why not take a look to see what you need.
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