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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Compact Refrigerators Reviewed In 2018Last Updated January 1, 2019
№1 – Midea WHS-160RB1 Compact Single Reversible Door Refrigerator and Freezer, 4.4 Cubic Feet, Black
№2 – RCA RFR321-FR320/8 IGLOO Mini Refrigerator, 3.2 Cu Ft Fridge, Black
№3 – Danby DAR044A4BDD Compact All Refrigerator, 4.4 Cubic Feet, Black
Highly popular, French-door models combine the drawer-style freezer of a bottom-freezer unit with the low-clearance doors of a side-by-side unit. This means that you’ll have a full-width, double-door fridge with plenty of storage space. With your refrigerator door effectively split into two, it also means that you won’t be letting quite as much cold air out when you’re opening just one door to grab the milk.
With the high demand for French-door refrigerators, you’re sure to find a huge variety of options, including models with top-of-the-line smart features you won’t find with other styles. You can also upgrade the look of your fridge to match your kitchen or even camouflage itself entirely among your cabinets, but be aware that you’ll likely be tacking a few thousand dollars onto the already steep price tag.
Take care of the foods you love
First, think about the things you like to cook and/or eat, then look for features that take really good care of those things. It’s a safe bet that those are the features you’ll enjoy using the most. Are you a devoted foodie who always wants a variety of fresh ingredients on hand? Many models offer sectional climate controls for the different compartments in your fridge or even dedicated, temperature-adjustable drawers. Do you live off of TV dinners and frozen leftovers? Look for advanced defrosting features designed to help eliminate freezer burn. Love a nice glass of pinot grigio? Look for a fridge with a built-in wine rack.
Consider the water dispenser
One trend that we’ve seen over the past few years: creativity from the water dispenser. GE is been leading the pack here, with French door models capable of dishing out the exact amount of water you want, and even ones capable of shutting off automatically once they detect that your glass, pitcher or pot is full. You’ll even find nifty features in GE’s less-expensive top-freezer models — most notably, ones that come with an “Autofill Pitcher” that’ll fill itself back up whenever you place it back in the fridge.
This GE fridge comes with a special pitcher that fills back up with water whenever you dock it into place.
In general, mini fridges consume less energy than their full-sized cousins. Look for a unit that is Energy Star-certified, which means it consumes the least amount of electricity possible. Most mini fridges run on standard 120-volt A/C electric power. Some are designed for use in cars, vans, or RVs, and these typically come with D/C adapter, allowing the unit to run off of the vehicle’s battery power.
Mini fridges typically rely on two basic cooling systems: compressor-powered or thermoelectric. We recommend fridges with compressor-powered cooling systems (the same system used by regular-sized fridges) since they maintain accurate temperatures better than thermoelectric units.
The Magic Chef
HMBR350SE compact refrigerator features 3.cubic feet of interior space, three easy-to-clean glass shelves, and a convenient can dispenser built into its door. The Energy Star–qualified unit receives 4.out of stars from Home Depot shoppers, who praise the “easy setup,” “perfect size for limited space,” and “constant temperature.” Measuring 32.inches high, the sleek Magic Chef mini fridge has a full-width freezer and a flush-back design. Consumers will enjoy the upfront interior analog controls, which allows easy adjustments to the temperature. The unit comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor. The Sweethome notes that interior storage falls short when compared to the Danby Designer model, though. Available at Home Depot.
EBL Bay AA AAA Battery Charger with AA 2800mAh (Pack) and AAA 1100mAh (Pack) Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries
Outlite A100 Portable Ultra Bright Handheld LED Flashlight with Adjustable Focus and Light Modes, Outdoor Water Resistant Torch, Powered Tactical Flashlight for Camping Hiking etc
There are far more variations in height. Broadly speaking, there are counter height and standard height fridges. The former tend to run around 32-34” so they can fit under a standard 36” countertop. The latter usually range from around 60” to 80”.
Fridges can be Energy Star rated, which means they are 9-10% percent more energy efficient than models that meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard. Most middle to high end fridges will have this certification, but low ends will not necessarily.
Down from panel ready are stainless steel clad appliances, which tend to look and clean up better than painted models, which are how the least expensive fridges are clad.
If you only measure one dimension, make it width—that’s probably the limiting factor for what will fit in your kitchen.
Depth can be a factor if you have a kitchen island or a galley-style kitchen, where you might need a shallower fridge (or at least a fridge with half-width doors that won’t bonk into a fixture when they open completely).
Height can matter if you need to slide the fridge in beneath cabinets, but usually it’s the least-important dimension.
Paying more for a fridge (up to a point) does get you extra capacity, style, and convenient features like an ice maker or shelving flexibility. As best we can tell, paying more does not guarantee reliability, longevity, quiet operation, or better food preservation.
But you can get all kinds of different features, finishes, and designs if you’re willing to pay for them. It’s up to you to decide if you want to spend extra for, say, a black stainless finish that’ll serve as the centerpiece for your super-modern kitchen, or a hot-water dispenser that can make K-cup coffee, or a door-in-door design.
While you’re shopping, remember that fridge prices can swing by hundreds of dollars in just a few days, particularly if you’re shopping at Sears. Keep your eye out for promotional deals—you shouldn’t have to wait more than a couple of weeks for one.
Use the yellow Energy Guide sticker as your reference. The blue Energy Star badge is awarded to so many big models that it’s practically meaningless, yet isn’t awarded to some super-efficient top-freezer refrigerators.
User reviews and Consumer Reports are your best sources for figuring out if a fridge is loud or grating or otherwise obnoxious. We’ve only recommended models with Very Good or better noise scores at CR that weren’t regularly criticized in user reviews.
That said, it’s tough for anyone to guarantee you’ll personally be comfortable with a given fridge. Compressors all hum and whine at their own unique frequencies, and it’s tough to tell which combinations might drive certain people nuts but be totally cool for others. (We run into this same problem every summer when we review air conditioners.) And you can’t learn much in a showroom because the environment is too loud and the compressors are rarely turned on. If you’re the type with sensitive ears, best of luck to you.
Consumer Reports has found that refrigerators with automatic ice makers are more likely to need maintenance than fridges without ice makers. Based on user feedback, common problems include cracked water lines and dispensers that freeze themselves shut.
Ice and filtered water direct from the fridge is just the best. The downsides are that a dispenser usually adds hundreds to the cost of a fridge, and the ice maker takes up valuable space in the refrigerator, and it’s one more finicky feature that might need to be repaired. But if you think that’s all worth the near-magical level of convenience, go for it.
Climate control and food freshness
Don’t get too worked up about this. Does lettuce wilt faster in some fridges than others? Or do blueberries mold quicker? Or do venison steaks get freezer burn sooner? Sure. But the huge majority of fridges do their job just fine. The small variance in performance makes so little practical difference that it’s not really worth obsessing about or paying extra for.
If you’re shopping at Sears, check out the Kenmore 7041It has a larger capacity than the Whirlpool and a neat control panel. The user reviews can be rough, though, and several cite problems with the cooling system and related customer-service dickery (though ratings at Sears tend to be harsher than at other retailers’ sites, and the quality of your service depends on your local Sears branch).
At this price, you can pick from tons of 36-inch-wide side-by-side fridges. Most of them even have through-the-door water dispensers. The GE GSE25HGHWW and Frigidaire FGHS2631PF are both well-liked. The thing is, though, they’re side-by-sides. If you know that’s what you prefer, great. But if you want to be able to fit giant pizzas in the freezer or big platters in your fridge, this isn’t the style for you. French door fridges outsell side-by-sides about to these days, even though they’re more expensive, so take that for what it’s worth.
Care and maintenance
The first step to a trouble-free fridge is buying it from a dealer with a good reputation that you feel will be responsive if you have any problems during the warranty period. They’re responsible for delivery and installation, and if those are mishandled, it can cause problems with the fridge from the get-go. And if you do end up with a faulty fridge, a good dealer tends to be able to resolve the problem much faster than the manufacturer’s customer service—even if you’re under warranty.
As far as a DIY maintenance schedule, we like the advice the Repair Clinic publishes. Their suggested best practices include cleaning your condenser coils, wiping down (or replacing) the door gaskets, cleaning the drip pan, and replacing the ice or water filter.
If you want tips on how to keep your fridge clean and smelling fresh, listen to cleaning writer Jolie Kerr.
We also like most of the tips in this infographic about the best practices for using your fridge, like where different foods should go in the fridge, and which crisper humidity settings work best with various kinds of produce.
This is a review of the best compact refrigerators on the market. If you are living in in a dorm room or apartment, and are tight on space, then all the refrigerators we cover in this review are a perfect match for your needs, as the primary deciding factor while selecting these was space.
Keystone 3.1-Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator with Top-Mount Freezer
EdgeStar CRF150SS-1.Cu. Ft. Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer w/ Lock – Stainless Steel
Sliding Wire Shelves
For providing you ultimate convenience the Haier has designed this super compact refrigerator with two shelves. The upper shelve is wired and it easily slides out. The lower shelf is half in width as compared to the upper one. But when it comes to storage capacity, it can accommodate your vegetables, fruits, bottles and what not within your arms’ reach.
Superb and Quiet Cooling
Haier has engineered this refrigerator with space consolidation features, aesthetics and quiet cooling as well. The efficient compressor provides quiet and excellent cooling. It is capable of quickly bringing food to a low temperature range of 3degrees Fahrenheit.
3degrees Fahrenheit is the safe temperature value that prevents and hinders the bacteria growth inside your refrigerator, thus keeping your food safe, healthy and fresh always. These features makes this included in our best compact refrigerator of 201list.
Slide Out Shelves
What more relief your compact fridge can provide you with its elegant and easy to clean shelves. The RF32comes with totally slide out shelves, thus providing you easy access to your food items. Secondly, the tempered glass has made cleaning of these shelves an effortless job for you. Just few gentle wipes with cleaning sponge, and your shelves are all clean and clear.
RF32by RFC will always deliver you the perfect cooling performance with this compressor cooled mechanism. This innovative mechanism enables the refrigerator to restore cooling and perform accurately well in high outside temperatures.
You will get your food fresh and cold every time you open the fridge, regardless of scorching high temperature, outside.
Not only this, the adjustable thermostat provides you temperature adjustment options and due to these features is included in our Top compact refrigerator of 2018
4) Keystone 3.1-Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator with Top-Mount Freezer
This compact refrigerator with an amazing separate top mount freezer is just perfect for the limited space you have in your dorm room, apartment room or in your office cabin.
Keystone has crafted this one of the bestselling compact refrigerator with truly amazing features.
3.cu. Ft. compact refrigerator by Keystone stands out in the market for its convenience providing features, such as Separate freezer, vegetable drawers, mechanical temperature control system, refrigerator door with beverage storage and last but not the least is low energy consumption.
Read on below to know more about this magnificent appliance by Keystone before you decide to buy.
The manufacturing of this versatile compact refrigerator is done with great care by Keystone to make customer’s life easy. It includes an interior light which lets you enjoy the advantages of this mini fridge in your dimly lit basement room or garage.
This thoughtfully Interior light makes it easy for you to find things in dark effortlessly.
If you want to keep your food fresh and frozen within the limited premises of your dorm room or office cabin. The EdgeStar 1.Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Freezer w/ Lock (CRF150SS-1) will just do the job for you.
CRF150SS-convertible freezer is one of the smallest zero degree freezers available in the market so far. It is great for its storage capacity and can easily be placed in small areas like the kitchen area, game room, and even offices or dorm rooms.
Full-range Thermostatic Controls
The most enticing feature of this versatile model by EdgeStar is the full range thermostat that gives you the freedom to use it as a refrigerator or a freezer according to your requirements. The entire unit can hold most temperatures ranging from 0°F to 40°F. You just need to turn the thermostat to select the appropriate temperature for your application.
Stainless Steel Doors
Another great feature of this 1.Cu. Ft. Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer is its true stainless steel doors. Coupled with the black trim and black cabinet, this is one of the most advanced-looking compact freezer / refrigerator units available.
Whisper Quiet Technology
A silent refrigerator/freezer is an amazing thing to have. Midea has skillfully engineered a whisper-quiet compressor that is virtually undetectable when it cycles on and off. Hence, Midea compact refrigerator-freezer is perfect for tiny homes, dorm rooms, bedrooms, RVs etc. without announcing its presence.
Automatic Defrost System
Frost build up just hampers the cooling efficiency of your refrigerator. But Avanti, has taken care of your all issues. This compat refrigerator comes with Auto defrost mechanism. This system prevents the frost buildup and ensures perfect cooling performance of your appliance.
Some of the features to look in a compact refrigerator are the adjustable shelves, glass shelves, thermostats, ice maker, a root juice tap, freezer, door-mounted dispenser, and interior light.
Think about the budget you are ready to spend on a fridge. Remember, good features and quality will cost more.
Midea WHD-113FSSRefrigerator and Freezer
The Midea WHD-113FSSfeatures a double door meaning you have a separate freezer compartment with its own door. The reversible door makes it able to be placed in many locations. It is perfect for a dorm room, studio or efficiency apartment or any small spaces where you need to keep your food and drinks cold.
There are a separate fruit and vegetable drawer. This compact refrigerator is Energy Star rated; hence, it keeps your electricity bill as low as possible while keeping your food and drinks cool. The door swing can be reversed to fit comfortably in your room layout.
The interior lighting and shelving system is great to keep the contents organized. It works just like a regular sized refrigerator cooling quickly, quietly, and evenly without warm spots. It features whisper-quiet technology so it is virtually undetectable when it is running. This Midea compact refrigerator is an excellent value that will bring years of quiet, reliable use.
SPT RF-244SS Compact Refrigerator
The SPT RF-244SS Compact refrigerator offers the luxuries of refrigeration in a compact design. The flush rear design gives this mini fridge, customizable interior wired shelves and offers space for all kinds of food. The sleek and compact design makes it fit in tight spaces, which makes it ideal for college dorms, small offices, and playrooms.
The stainless steel exterior is durable enough to keep your food cool and well preserved for years. This mini fridge features slide-out wire shelves and a built-in freezer. It includes easy temperature controls and is energy efficient consuming less energy while keeping your foods and drinks fresh and safe.
The shelving has four possible mounting locations for extra customization with sizes that allow you to put items without quickly running out of space. Hence, it is capable of holding large quantities of food within its small compartments. The door has a tall bottle rack adding more storage space. The reversible doors offer versatility.
It offers you convenience
With its compact and small structure, you can place a mini refrigerator anywhere that is convenient foryou. You can put it inside your room, in the garage or place it in the kitchen, so having your own mini refrigerator is more convenient.
It is lightweight but highly functional
This Midea WHS-65LBCompact Refrigerator and Freezer has a weight of around 3pounds, makng it lighter and more portable, an importnat factor if you intend to move it from place to place on occassion. In addition, this mini refrigerator is highly functional because it has a freezer compartment where you can freeze foods and make ice.
It saves energy
This Midea Refrigerator and Freezer enables you to save energy while using it. So, you save money while enjoying al of its great features!
Danby Designer DAR026A1BDD 2.6-Cubic Ft Compact All Refrigerator (The 2nd Round-Up)
If you are looking for a mini refrigerator with a slightly larger capacity, I highly recommend this Danby Designer DAR026A1BDD Compact All Refrigerator. Danby Designer DAR026A1BDD Compact All Refrigerator offers a bit more space to hold food without making the unit larger.
Hold up to cans of 12oz. Ssoda
This Koolatron KWC-Compact Fridge holds up to cans of 12oz. soda, makng it ideal for small, but special occasions where you invite your friends to come over to your house or for a day out in the yard. This mini refrigerator is also ideal if you are working on something in the garage and you just want to grab a cool drink.
This Igloo Refrigerator serves a dual purpose: to keep food fresh and beverages cold by chilling it, and to keep other foods frozen. It has refrigerator and freezer compartments that are sure to be useful in your everyday life.
Gourmia GMF-600 Gourmia GMF600 Portable Can Mini Fridge Cooler and Warmer
Are you looking for a mini refrigerator for holding your hot, or cold beverages? Then, this Gourmia GMF600 Portable Can Mini Fridge Cooler and Warmer is the best one for you!
Traditional mini refrigerator
A traditional mini refrigerator is basically used to cool food and beverages at a single set temperature. This kind of mini refrigerator is cheaper compared to other mini refrigerator types, because it is the simplest one. In addition, this mini refrigerator may be divided into compartments but is still operated on a single cool temperature.
Compact Freezer Refrigerator
Compact Freezer Refrigerator is perfect for small spaces like office, bedroom, and workstation. It is perfect for storing food, cans, and leftovers. You can also enjoy your favorite chilled beverage anytime. Its door is built with a look of modern euro-style with stainless steel. An Adjustable thermostat permits you to set the temperature of the refrigerator. The Compact Freezer Refrigerator also features a reversible door, energy saving manual defrost, recessed handle, and keys with a lock.
SPT Compact Refrigerator
SPT Compact Refrigerator is small in size, but spacious enough to keep your food, leftovers, veggies preserved; it has the capacity of 2.cubic foot. You can set the required temperature as it has an adjustable thermostat system. It comes with a 5-foot long power cord. You can place it in your room, and office, due to its small size it easily fits anywhere. It proffers reversible door with wire shelves. If we look at the appearance of SPT Compact Refrigerator, it looks tremendously good in black color.
Built-in refrigerators may be models that designers specifically made to fit perfectly flush with your kitchen cabinets and counters and may even sport matching panels. Otherwise, these fridges are the models that have the right dimensions to fit into your particular counter size.
Energy Rating and Efficiency
A refrigerator’s energy consumption is a significant factor that you should also consider. Typically, you’ll see those large yellow stickers that display an appliance’s energy guide. Refer to these guides carefully as they will give you an approximate value as to the energy consumed by the device. Take a look at this helpful video for reading and understanding energy guide labels:
A good sign when it comes to energy efficiency is the Energy Star Certification which the government regulates. A refrigerator will only obtain this qualification if it is “at least 15% percent more efficient than the required federal standard.”
Another factor you should never forget to consider is the fridge’s dimensions. Ensure that you accurately measure the fridge you’re planning to buy as well as the area in the kitchen where you will eventually put it. Measure also all the entrances that you’ll have to go through when you bring your new refrigerator home.
Starting off our list of the best refrigerators 201is the LG LFXS24663S. The stainless steel fridge from LG is of the French door variety with its sizable freezer in the bottom drawer. Capacity
This three-door refrigerator sports a total capacity of 24.Cu. Ft. Of this total capacity, LG’s designers have allocated 16.40 Cu. Ft for its fridge while the remaining Cu. Ft. comprises the freezer at the bottom Energy Rating and Efficiency Exterior Dimensions
At the height of 70 inches and a width of 3inches, this French door LG stands tall and slim while its depth of 3inches Is a few inches thicker than counter depth. Conveniences / Extra Features Besides the dispenser is the white LED with touch temperature controls. This same display will also show you relevant information such as internal temperature, and the status of the door alarm and child lock features. Lastly, the much-loved characteristics of a door-in-door is also present with the LG LFXS24663S. With this dedicated window, you can quickly reach for fridge items without opening the fridge itself!
A wrong move I say!
I don’t know if you’ve been making this mistake as well.
But the fact is, a garage refrigerator has huge differences compared to your household refrigerator…it comes designed with your garage environment in mind.
And these are some of the key ways in which it differs from the regular models:
Midea WHS-258CSingle Door Chest Freezer
If looking for the best garage freezer, then the Midea WHS-258Csingle door chest freezer would make an excellent choice. It’s a compact but surprisingly roomy model (with up to Cu. Ft. space).
Ideal for garages with limited space, this unit comes engineered with advanced coil technology which reliably keeps your favorite drinks, foods, etc. frozen- without refreezing and thwarting cases present in other freezers out there.
Inside the fridge, you’ll find a removable inner basket for organized storage, as well as a bottom drain that eases defrosting.
Besides using it as a freezer, you can also use it as a side table for your garage, where you place your drinks and foods on its top. The compact and lightweight design makes it incredibly easy to move it around your garage.
Since it comes with a recessed handle, accessing your stored drinks and foods becomes easy and fast. Add this to the fact that the interior is exceptionally easy to clean and you got a user-friendly freezer for your garage. Highlighted Features:
The main reason why you’re buying that best refrigerator for garage is because you want to enjoy taking cold drinks from the comfort of your garage- not to increase your energy bill.
Therefore, make sure you look for an energy efficient unit that will consume as less energy as possible while conveniently and reliability meeting your needs.
This has something to do with your garage space. If you’ve limited space, you’ve got to look for a more compact model that does not occupy too much workspace. But if you’ve a bigger garage space, then size becomes a non-issue.
True zero degree freezer; Reversible doors; Door bins in both refrigerator and freezer sections
For freestanding installation; True stainless steel doors with black cabinets
Automatic defrost in refrigerator section; manual defrost in freezer section
Who this is for
Mini fridges are great companions for small apartments, dorm rooms, hangouts, and offices. They’re ideal for storing drinks, snacks, daily lunches, and leftovers, but they can also store perishable items for a few days at a time.
However, mini fridges fall short of full-size, all-purpose refrigerators in several key ways. Most minis have no crisper drawer, so produce will lose its fresh taste and texture after a few days. Freezer burn is common, too, and the freezer compartments don’t reach anywhere near the 0 degree Fahrenheit threshold for safe, long-term meat storage.
With a lot of details similar to its competitors, the Danby stood out for its versatile storage. Photo: Liam McCabe
We like the Danby Designer DCR044Amore than other mini fridges, mostly because it has better shelves and a smarter layout, including individual can holsters and a full-width freezer. That means you can store more food and drink more comfortably. Temperature performance is safe and as satisfactory as you’ll find in a mini fridge at this price. It takes up a similar amount of floor space as other models, and it’s relatively short for its size.
Designed with the best shelves and storage of any mini fridge we tested, this Danby model is advertised to have a capacity of 4.cubic feet, in the same range as competing models, but it uses its space better than the rest. We fit 812-ounce cans into the Danby DCR044Acomfortably. The Danby DCR044Ahas other options that most mini fridges don’t, like an egg tray and a slide-out tray under the freezer. You can also raise or lower the individual shelves throughout the interior to adjust for items of different heights.
Individual can holsters, an egg tray, a full-width freezer, and adjustable shelves are the main features that set the Danby DCR044Aapart from other mini fridges. Photo: Liam McCabe
And if you’re looking to store frozen goods, the freezer in the Danby is just as wide as the fridge itself, which is a big improvement on the smaller, partial-width freezers in many other models. Across our testing, it sat squarely within the FDA-recommended temperature range for refrigerators (3to 3degrees Fahrenheit). In the freezer, the usual resting temp was about 9.degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a bit of a problem for long-term storage, but it’s absolutely typical for the mini fridges we’ve tested, and fine for storing frozen meals for a few days at a time.
The Danby DCR044Ahas a full-width freezer, as well as a deli tray. You don’t see those on most mini fridges. Photo: Liam McCabe
In this article
Danby, DanbyDesignerDCR044A2, gadgetry, gadgets, gear, home, MideaWHS-65L, MiniFridge, partner, Sweethome, syndicated, thesweethome, wirecutter
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Compact Refrigerators wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Compact Refrigerators
- №1 — Midea WHS-160RB1 Compact Single Reversible Door Refrigerator and Freezer, 4.4 Cubic Feet, Black
- №2 — RCA RFR321-FR320/8 IGLOO Mini Refrigerator, 3.2 Cu Ft Fridge, Black
- №3 — Danby DAR044A4BDD Compact All Refrigerator, 4.4 Cubic Feet, Black