Some live in dorms and rooms with very limited spaces. With this, owning multiple appliances in such a condition can be problematic as they mean an additional footprint in your small world. This is the reason why compact units are getting more and more popular among students and tenants.

The size, however, isn’t the sole thing you should look for in a mini-fridge. Yes, you do need a compact body, but you also probably need a spacious space inside that will allow you to store a considerable number of food items. Further, there are questions to ask. Do you need a freezer? Or do you just need the whole space inside for non-freeze goods? If you are looking for a roomy freezer, there is nothing better than a unit that has a separate door for it just like GE GDE03GGKBB.

Also, it is important to check the arrangement of shelves on the back door of the fridge. You might probably want one with multiple layers of shelves and dispensers. In that case, we suggest Midea MRM31A4ABB. Each inch of its space is designed primarily for storage and it doesn’t come with a freezer. The good thing about it is that you can use it for a wide variety of goods.

If you are looking for units like the ones mentioned above, we have the best options for you among the thousands of mini-fridges in the market.

With the help of SolidSmack Household Appliance and Tool Research Team, we shortlisted 15 leading models on Amazon. After rigidly reviewing and weighing their features with our in-house experts, we got our hands to 10 items that promise the most enticing set of features. By personally checking their internal storage layout and testing their cooling performance for three days, we give you our honest review. To know more about them, dive in and check their best highlights during our 3-day test:

Best Mini-fridges Comparison & Rating

Mini-fridges

Features

GE Double-Door Mini Fridge, Freezer, 3.1 Cu Ft, Black, GDE03GGKBB Freestanding Compact Refrigerator
  • 3.1 cu. ft. capacity
  • double-door fridge
  • .93 cu. ft. freezer
  • 3.1 cu. ft. capacity
  • 4 spacious rooms
  • tilting shelves
Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM Retro Bar Fridge Refrigerator with Side Bottle Opener, 3.2 cu. Ft, Moonbeam
  • 3.2 cu. ft. capacity
  • 0.2 cu. ft. freezer
  • 2 adjustable shelves
BLACK+DECKER BCRK17W Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, 1.7 Cubic Ft., White
  • 1.7 cu. ft. capacity
  • 0.33 cu. ft. freezer
  • 18.5 x 17.52 x 19.5 inches
Midea MRM14A4ABB All Refrigerator, 1.4 Cubic Feet, All Fridge Black
  • freezer-free unit
  • 1.4 cu. ft. capacity
  • tilting shelves

1. GE GDE03GGKBB

GE Double-Door Mini Fridge, Freezer, 3.1 Cu Ft, Black, GDE03GGKBB Freestanding Compact Refrigerator
Specifications:
99% Overall

Brand

GE

Storage Capacity

3.1 cu. ft.

Door

2

Freezer

Yes

99%
performance & quality
98%
storage
98%
features
99%
value for money
Pros:
  • Has a total of 3.1 cu. ft. capacity!
  • Excellent storage layout.
  • Has recessed handles which make the unit more compact.
  • The best cooling performance and ultimately silent motor!
  • Offers unrivaled value for all the features it offers.
Cons:
  • The can dispenser consumes too much space.
Final Take:

GE GDE03GGKBB might not have the advanced and smart features of huge-sized refrigerators in the market, but its performance can be compared to what they have. 

GDE03GGKBB is a double-door fridge that comes with a freezer. The alluring side? It is a separate section from the refrigerator section! With this, you can organize frozen goods much easier. It has a .93 cu. ft. capacity which is enough to handle a good number of frozen meals and a pint or two of ice cream.

On the other hand, its refrigerator section has a 2.12 cu. ft. capacity which can cater to a considerable number of food items. When we saw our unit, we were even amazed that it offers a crisper drawer despite its size! Both backs of the doors are also turned into shelves. There is a section for small-sized canisters and tall bottles and a dispenser for canned drinks. The space consumed by the latter is not that impressive, as it could have been just used for some condiments or more canisters. However, given that we’re looking for a unit fit for dorm needs, this will do.

As for its performance, we were truly blown away. After allowing the unit to rest for 8 hours, we started the test, and guess what: within an hour, it managed to produce ice cubes and both sections already reached the desired temp we were aiming for! Even better, its motor is extremely silent, as if it wasn’t working at all. Yet, once you see the light of the refrigerator working and feel the cool temperature, you’ll realize that this is one exceptional product! All that being said, you can certainly bet your dollar when it comes to the reliability and performance of this bad boy.

2. Midea MRM31A4ABB

Specifications:
98% Overall

Brand

Midea

Storage Capacity

3.1 cu. ft.

Door

1

Freezer

No

98%
performance & quality
98%
storage
97%
features
98%
value for money
Pros:
  • Available in black, stainless steel, and white.
  • The recessed handle gives it a more compact design.
  • The best storage layout, making the interior outrageously spacious.
  • Door shelves can be tilted.
Cons:
  • The adjustable wire shelves are not so rigid.
Final Take:

Midea MRM31A4ABB might not have the freezer sections of other models we reviewed but it can be a true winner in a lot of ways.

It has a total of 3.1 cu. ft. capacity which is just the same as what GE GDE03GGKBB. However, due to the absence of the freezer section, the entirety of its exterior is generously divided into 4 spacious rooms that will allow you to place tall jars and even one-layer cakes. Also, there are 3 wire shelves that you can slide out to make your adjustments according to your preferences.

On the other hand, the storage layout of the back of its door can’t be compared to any model on the list. Every inch was planned perfectly well. Compared to other units that consume a huge portion of space for a can dispenser, Midea MRM31A4ABB boasts multiple shelves where you can place cans, jars, and bottles. We also love the can section (can also be used for jars) that has shelves that are slightly tilted. Further, there is a shelf that can handle two tall bottles of wine and if you want to have more space for two more bottles, it can also be tilted! Genius! With all this, it’s really spacious more than what we expected.

On the other hand, its internal temperature is also one of the best. From the top to the bottom shelf, we got the same temperature reading. It also reached the ideal 33.8°F within an hour and maintained it all throughout our test. And despite its great cooling performance, its motor is relatively quiet!

3. Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM

Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM Retro Bar Fridge Refrigerator with Side Bottle Opener, 3.2 cu. Ft, Moonbeam
Specifications:
97% Overall

Brand

Frigidaire

Storage Capacity

3.2 cu. ft.

Door

1

Freezer

Yes

97%
performance & quality
97%
storage
97%
features
97%
value for money
Pros:
  • The magnetic door is powerful.
  • Sports a retro look.
  • Very affordable!
  • Comes with a freezer.
  • The storage layout gives you more freedom due to the absence of the crisper.
Cons:
  • The can dispenser consumes too much space.
  • The handle is purely for aesthetics only.
Final Take:

If you want the same storage capacity as the GE GDE03GGKBB and go a little different in aesthetics, the retro bar look of the Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM is a must-have. It is available in 7 colors and can give an instant nostalgic effect to any kitchen.

Besides the classic build of its body, it also comes with a silver handle which gives an additional touch to its old look. And while we weren’t really pleased when we realized that it is made of chrome plastic, the rest of its body is designed purely for practicality. This includes the addition of a side bottle opener, making it handy for those who intend to use it as a personal fridge for beverages.

Inside, it has a 3.2 cu. ft. capacity. However, compared to the GE GDE03GGKBB we reviewed earlier, its internal freezer is much smaller with a 0.2 cu. ft. capacity. The rest of the refrigerator, on the other hand, is very spacious. We were told that the bottom section is meant to serve as a section for vegetables and fruits but since it doesn’t enclose the space with an actual crisper drawer, it can double as a place for tall bottles and canisters. There are also two glass shelves with heights that can be adjusted and the entire back of the door is turned into shelves and dispensers, as well. And with the same sentiment as what we have with GE GDE03GGKBB, we wish these sections were maximized to cater to more content.

On a positive note, the fridge can get incredibly cold. Within an hour after we had plugged it in an outlet, its freezer already produced cubes of ice. The caveat, however, is the fact that its motor isn’t the best in terms of the noise level. At 10 feet, we were able to hear it hum though it wasn’t that loud. After all, for the price tag it has, we think this is a small tradeoff to have.

4. BLACK+DECKER BCRK17W

BLACK+DECKER BCRK17W Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, 1.7 Cubic Ft., White
Specifications:
94% Overall

Brand

BLACK+DECKER

Storage Capacity

1.7 cu. ft.

Door

1

Freezer

Yes

95%
performance & quality
94%
storage
94%
features
94%
value for money
Pros:
  • Available in black, silver, and white.
  • Leveling the legs is easy.
  • Great interior storage layout.
  • There is a recessed door handle which makes it more compact.
Cons:
  • The freezer is just 2 inches tall.
Final Take:

For those who live in rooms with very limited space, BLACK+DECKER BCRK17W can be a lifesaver. It might look small outside, but its interior comes with all the important details you need to store beverages and even frozen goods.

BLACK+DECKER BCRK17W has body dimensions of 18.5 x 17.52 x 19.5 inches and a capacity of 1.7 cu. ft. Despite this, it still comes with a freezer section that is 8 inches wide and 2 inches tall. It offers 0.33 cu. ft. capacity and can fit a frozen meal or two. It isn’t as large as the one we saw in Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM or GE GDE03GGKBB, but the fact that it offers one despite its limited storage capacity is already a bonus.

We are also pleased with the removable glass shelf that will allow you to expand storage spaces for tall content. We were able to fit a good number of canisters and bottles when we tried it and we can say that it is rather spacious. The back of the door also offers additional space and we think its layout is pretty practical. There is a designated place for small jars and a spot for extra-tall bottles. With all this, we really applaud its layout which maximizes every inch of its interior.

On the other hand, it is exceptionally silent. When we turned the thermostat dial at max settings, the motor only gave out a maximum of 30 dB while its motor hummed.

The temperature is also very satisfying. It offers a maximum of 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit and when we tried it for the freezer, it managed to freeze ice cream cones effectively within 30 minutes. Nonetheless, it showed no effects on the food items outside the freezer section and they still remained decently cold.

5. Midea MRM14A4ABB

Midea MRM14A4ABB All Refrigerator, 1.4 Cubic Feet, All Fridge Black
Specifications:
94% Overall

Brand

Midea

Storage Capacity

1.4 cu. ft. 

Door

1

Freezer

No

94%
performance & quality
95%
storage
93%
features
94%
value for money
Pros:
  • Very compact but the internal storage layout is spacious.
  • Extremely quiet!
  • Reliable temperature system.
  • Great bang for the buck!
Cons:
  • The adjustable wire shelves are not that rigid.
Final Take:

If you love Midea MRM31A4ABB as much as we do but need a shorter unit that you can chuck under a desk or a bed, the smaller Midea MRM14A4ABB is what to have.

It employs the same freezer-free internal storage layout as its bigger sibling. This allows you to use the entirety of the space freely for items like fruits and canisters. The back of the door also comes with two tilted shelves that can be used both for cans and jars. Lastly, there’s a tilting shelf that can cater to up to four bottles.

Further, Midea MRM14A4ABB has the same cooling performance as MRM31A4ABB after it reached our 33.8℉ target temperature easily. Its dial is located at the right bottom section of the refrigerator. However, compared to MRM31A4ABB, we noticed that it was much quieter and we weren’t even able to determine if it was working or not without checking the temperature. That said, we can confidently suggest it as a bedroom unit.

Best Mini-fridges - Buyer's Guide

shelf setup

It is important to know how much space you need. If you frequently find yourself consuming lots of bottled and canned beverages, consider a model offering numerous shelves.

foods

All fridge units can handle bottled drinks, but not all can store fresh meat. So, it is important to know the kinds of food items you are planning to store in order to determine whether you need a freezer or not. On the other hand, if you are planning to store fruits and vegetables as well, look for those that have crisper drawers in them.

body dimensions

Besides the storage space you need, this decision should also depend on the space available in your place. Cube-shaped models that are usually 2 cu. ft. or less can fit anywhere. You can place it under a study table or beside your bed. However, placing 2-door models in such places can be awkward.

price

It is no secret that more prominent brands cost higher than others. However, if you think it specifically offers the features and details you need, it is better to spend extra dollars than to settle for a purchase that doesn’t meet your standards.

Best Mini-fridges - FAQs

Can I plug in the refrigerator right after delivery?

During delivery, refrigerators experience shaking movements that can disturb the system inside including the fluid responsible for the cooling process. In this case, it is important to let everything settle before plugging them in. To be safe, give them at least 4 hours before use.

How often should I defrost my refrigerator?

While most latest models now automatically do the defrosting process, there are still units that employ manual defrosting. In this case, defrost the refrigerator whenever you see around a quarter of an inch of ice build-up.

How long does a refrigerator last?

The best thing about refrigerators is that they can last for at least 13 years, as reported by the National Association of Home Builders. However, this still depends on the quality of the unit and how you take care of it.

Author

Santi Bongco is an editor at SolidSmack which is the leading site for 3D CAD, robots, cool product designs, and other technologies. For the past seven years, he taught robotics and developed innovative 3D printer ideas with his students. He also helped in developing some innovative digital ideas and products for various digital marketing businesses and big companies in Asia. Now, aside from exploring buffet restos in California, he enjoys leading groups of our in-house experts in trying some of your favorite products and electronic brands to write insightful reviews for you. PS: He loves reviewing appliances and taking them home to personally ‘try’ them.