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Best mini fridges 2020: Small fridges for dorms, beers, or the office

Best mini fridges 2020: Small fridges for dorms, beers, or the office
(Image credit: Getty)

The best mini fridges are suitable for a dorm, chilling beers, or simply for storing your office lunch. 

In this guide, we’ve got some of the best mini fridge brands, energy efficient mini fridges, and small refrigerators that could even be used in an RV.

What should you look for and how much do compact refrigerators cost? Depending on the size, some mini fridges are available for under $50 but the bigger the capacity, the more you can expect to pay. 

Look out for small refrigerators that are energy-efficient such as our top pick, the Haier HC33SW20RB mini fridge. It’s best to look out for the Energy Star certification if you want an energy efficient refrigerator. Models such as the Haier mini fridge also have a freezer and removable shelving so that you can make the most of the internal space. 

If you need an office mini fridge, then the Magic Chef refrigerator has an in-built crisper to keep your lunch fresh. Other helpful features to look for in a mini fridge include a reversible door. This means you can hang the door so that it opens to the left or the right, giving you a lot more flexibility when it comes to arranging your compact fridge in smaller spaces. 

Mini fridges with freezers are extra handy to store ice for cold drinks, and it’s best to opt for a mini fridge freezer that is a full-width freezer, rather than a model that has a small box freezer compartment. 

Finally, if you need a mini fridge for a dorm, take note of how loud a fridge is, as the last thing you want is a loud humming noise keeping you awake at night. 

So, to find the best mini fridge for you just keep reading, or for something bigger, head to our guide to the best side-by-side refrigerators.

1.  Haier HC33SW20RB: Best mini fridge overall 

Haier HC33SW20RB

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Haier HC33SW20RB

The Haier mini fridge is energy efficient and has an in-built freezer.

Energy efficient
Good-size freezer
No interior light
No auto defrost

The space-saving Haier HC33SW20RB mini fridge is relatively inexpensive and only costs an estimated $29 per year in electricity to operate.

You can take out its two sliding glass shelves and arrange them as you please or remove one so you can fit big or odd-size items inside. Also, its door doubles as a useful storage space with two full shelves, two half shelves, and an area that fits a 2-liter bottle. The door’s top shelf includes a canned beverage dispenser with sections to hold each can. Its two lower half shelves can store condiments, while the bottom shelf fits more cans and a tall bottle.

The Haier mini fridge’s door is reversible – you can unscrew it and fasten it to the other side. Since it’s compact and can swing open either to the left or the right, this mini fridge fits in most homes, dorm rooms, and offices.

This Haier mini fridge doesn’t have an interior light or an auto-defrost feature, and it only comes in black. Still, the HC33SW20RB makes up for these shortcomings with its all-around versatility and usefulness.

2. Black & Decker BCRK25W: Best value mini fridge  

Black & Decker BCRK25W

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Black & Decker BCRK25W

The Black & Decker BCRK25W mini fridge is affordable and is Energy Star certified.

Energy Star certified
No auto defrost
Only 2.5 cubic feet

The reasonably priced Black & Decker BCRK25W mini fridge’s interior is only 2.5 cubic feet, but thanks to its design, it still fits a good amount of food and drinks.

The door can hold a two-liter bottle, other drink containers and soda cans as well as food. However, the door's top shelf is a bit short, so it’s best for things like condiments and small jars. You can also store food in the fridge’s full-width freezer, which fits frozen meals, snacks and an ice cube tray.

Measuring only 17.5 x 18.5 x 26.6 inches, you can put this compact fridge on a countertop or in a rec room or dorm room. It weighs just 46.3 pounds, so it's easy to move. The BCRK25W also runs quietly, so it shouldn’t disturb your sleep if you place it in a bedroom. In addition, you can reverse the door – since it can swing to the left or the right, the fridge fits in more places.

The Black & Decker BCRK25W doesn't have an auto-defrost feature. However, it is Energy Star certified.

3. Magic Chef MCBR440S2: Best office mini fridge  

Magic Chef MCBR440S2

(Image credit: Appliances Connection)

Magic Chef MCBR440S2

The Magic Chef MCBR440S2 mini fridge has a crisper drawer, making it great for office lunches.

4.4-cubic-foot interior
Crisper drawer for produce
Comparatively expensive

The Magic Chef MCBR440S2 mini fridge has a 4.4-cubic-foot interior, which is enough room to store plenty of food and drinks.

There’s even a crisper to keep produce fresh, and the drawer is transparent so you don’t have to open it to see what’s inside.

The fridge’s internal light makes it easy to see food on the two glass shelves, which you can arrange in five positions. The freezer extends across the entire top of the appliance, so there's plenty of space for frozen meals and the included ice cube tray. The door has compartments that can hold a gallon of milk, a 2-liter soft drink bottle, and more.

Despite its roomy interior, this Magic Chef mini fridge is compact, measuring 9.5 x 33.1 x 22 inches. You can store it under a counter, in the corner of a den or office, or in a dorm room. Further, the door is reversible – it can swing open to the right or the left, depending on which side you attach it to the fridge. This makes it easier to find a place to set it up.

The Magic Chef MCBR440S2 is a bit on the expensive side compared to other models we reviewed. Still, it is worth the money if you need a mini fridge with lots of storage space.

4. NewAir AB-1200: Best mini fridge for beer 

NewAir AB-1200

(Image credit: Amazon)

NewAir AB-1200

Storing up to 126 canned drinks, the NewAir AB-1200 mini fridge is the best for storing beer.

Glass door 
This mini fridge has room for 126 canned drinks
It is a single-use fridge, designed to only hold drinks  

The NewAir AB-1200 is a stylish black mini fridge with stainless steel trim and a fun glass door. It does one thing very well: It can hold 126 canned drinks and keep them nicely chilled, with temperatures that can go as low as 34 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can store beverage cans on their side or standing upright, and you can re-arrange the five chrome racks to suit whatever it is you’re cooling.

If you choose, you can place wine bottles lying down inside this mini fridge to keep them cool and their corks moist. Dry corks are bad for wine since they can let air inside the bottle, exposing the wine to oxygen and spoiling its flavor. You also can store bottled beer. You get a generous 3.4 cubic feet of interior space with this mini fridge and it operates at a quiet 35 decibels.

5. Koolatron KWCA4: Best portable mini fridge  

Koolatron KWCA4

(Image credit: Amazon)

Koolatron KWCA4

The Koolatron KWCA4 is a novelty fridge that’s fun and great for storing a few drink while you’re on the go.

You can power it with a wall outlet or the DC outlet in your car
It can only be used to chill six cans of soda

The Koolatron KWCA4 is a cute, but tiny bright red mini fridge that holds only six soft drink cans and features a Coca-Cola logo and bear holding a bottle of Coke on the front door.

You can plug this amusing, retro-style little refrigerator into a typical 110-volt AC electrical outlet or the 12-volt DC outlet in your car. Unlike regular mini fridges that use compressors for cooling, this one uses a thermoelectric system with a fan to draw heat out of the device and a set of grilles on the back that keep the interior cool. You can get your canned beverages chilled as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit below the ambient temperature. Even though it uses a fan, this is a quiet machine, and it is certainly a conversation piece.