Best Compact Refrigerators

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 28, 2017
Have no opportunity to set a conventional fridge? It's not a big deal! Compact fridges offer the same functions but do not take as much space. In our review, you'll find the best cooling units to suit your daily needs. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
CAPACITY
SHELVES AND TRAYS
TYPE OF DEFROST
CONVENIENCES
EXTRAS
POWER CONSUMPTION
DESIGN
DIMENSIONS
Warranty
 
PROS

Has an inside lighting. The temperature inside each of the compartments can be set within the range of 34-60°F, which is considerably more than it is in many other models. The fridge is Energy Star rated and super quiet in operation.

CONS

For a compact fridge, it is quite bulky. 

OUR VERDICT

This refrigerator is perfect for limited areas such as small kitchens, rooms, and dormitories. That the refrigerator and freezer sections have separate doors make its maintenance very convenient. 

detailed parameters
CAPACITY
3.1 cu. ft.
SHELVES AND TRAYS
2 x glass shelves, 1 x vegetable crisper, 1 x door shelf for 2-liter bottles, 1 x CanStor, 1 x door shelf for butter, 1 x freezer shelf
TYPE OF DEFROST
Fridge: Auto defrost Freezer: Manual defrost
CONVENIENCES
Adjustable thermostat, Slide out adjustable shelves, Door shelves for beverages
EXTRAS
Energy Star Rated, Separate freezer, Interior light
POWER CONSUMPTION
270 kWh per year
DESIGN
Stainless steel refrigerator, Flush back design, Glass shelves
DIMENSIONS
33.5" x 19" x 19.75"
Warranty

12-month

PROS

As compared to the rest of the models on the list, this one is the most energy-efficient. Can easily substitute for a traditional full-size fridge without hitting on your electricity bills. 

CONS

The freezer can't be sealed tight so the cold air from it spreads to other foods and beverages in the main compartment.

OUR VERDICT

The relatively small dimensions of the refrigerator and its capacity are perfect for the use by one person, while a minimalistic and stylish appearance allow the unit not to stick out in the interior of your room.

detailed parameters
CAPACITY

1.7 cu. ft.

SHELVES AND TRAYS

2 х full-width slide-out wire shelf, 1 x bottle door storage (2 liter), 1 x half-width freezer compartment, 1 х door storage for cans and dairy products

TYPE OF DEFROST

Manual defrost

CONVENIENCES

Adjustable thermostat, adjustable shelves, door shelves for beverages

EXTRAS

Recessed Door Handle, Space Saving Flat back Design

POWER CONSUMPTION

200 kWh

DESIGN

Black, Material: Steel

DIMENSIONS

17.9" x 19.4" x 18.9"

Warranty

12-month

PROS
The appliance is fitted with full-width wire shelves for food storage. 1.6 feet cord is great for convenient maintenance. The fridge is very durable and has a scratch-resistant worktop.
CONS
The device is deprived of a freezer. The shelves for beverages are not removable.
OUR VERDICT
Since this inexpensive mini fridge is equipped with a comfortable control, it is perfect for busy people like students, office workers, and barmen.
detailed parameters
CAPACITY
2.6 cu. ft. Also available: 1.7 cu.ft. 3.2 cu.ft. 4.4 cu.ft.
SHELVES AND TRAYS
3 x slide out shelves, 4 x door shelves for cans (up to 8), 1 x door shelf for beverages, 1 x door shelf for milk food
TYPE OF DEFROST
Fridge: Auto defrost
CONVENIENCES
Mechanical thermostat, Integrated door handle, Reversible door, Adjustable shelves and leveling legs
EXTRAS
Energy Star compliant, Scratch-resistant surface
POWER CONSUMPTION
253 kWh per year
DESIGN
This stainless steel fridge is available in two colors: Black and White
DIMENSIONS
20.1" x 17.7" x 27"
Warranty

18-month

PROS

The interior design of this model, which is focused on accommodating drinks in cans and bottles of various shapes and sizes, makes it a convenient solution for storing a huge variety of beer and other drinks.

CONS

The door glass may weep because of the large difference of inside and outside temperatures.

OUR VERDICT

The Phiestina PH-CBR100 is perhaps the best chiller solution for creating a mini bar in a man lair. Thanks to this refrigerator, you will always have a can or a bottle of chilled beverage at hand.

detailed parameters
CAPACITY

3.5 cu.ft.

SHELVES AND TRAYS

6 x removable wire shelves for bottles/cans, 1 x nonremovable shelf

TYPE OF DEFROST

Frost Free

CONVENIENCES

Digital Controls, Compressor cooling system, blue LED lights, Removable Shelves

EXTRAS

Glass door, adjustable legs

POWER CONSUMPTION

210 kWh

DESIGN

Color: Stainless Steel, Material: Stainless Steel

DIMENSIONS

15.6" x 33.1" x 22.8"

Warranty

12-month

PROS
The fridge has high-quality portable shelves that can provide perfect storage of your food/beverages. A good combination of quality and price. Its front door is a real Dry Erase Board!
CONS
A less energy-efficient fridge compared to the others.
OUR VERDICT
The appliance can be used as a mini-bar in small dorms, offices, and even playrooms. You can write messages to your sweetheart or stick notes for your kids on the front door.
detailed parameters
CAPACITY
3.2 cu. ft.
SHELVES AND TRAYS
2 x glass shelves, 1 x can storage, 1 x door shelf for bottles (up to 2 liters), 2 x door shelves for cans and small bottles, 1 x lower compartment with a divider
TYPE OF DEFROST
Fridge: Manual defrost
CONVENIENCES
Adjustable thermostat, Reversible door, Adjustable shelves, Adjustable Legs
EXTRAS
Separate freezer, Erase Board Dry
POWER CONSUMPTION
326 kWh per year
DESIGN
Stainless steel black mini fridge
DIMENSIONS
20" x 18.2" x 33.2"
Warranty
12 month

What Is a Compact Refrigerator?

A compact refrigerator is a small cooling unit with rather small capacity to fit tight kitchens, dorm rooms and hotels. Refrigerators of this kind are widely popular among students, barmen and hotel managers who need to save some space and yet, set a fridge. Despite compact dimensions, these refrigerators are high-performing and provide sufficient cooling capabilities for proper food storage. So, if you need one, you’re lucky to have come to our website. We’ve selected 5 best compact refrigerators for you to choose the one you need.

If space is not an issue for you, you may also be interested in reading our other reviews on side-by-side refrigerators, french door refrigerators or built-in refrigerators. These are full-size refrigerators that can house in plenty of food, enough for most average and big families.

What Features to Compare

Dimensions and Capacity

If you need a fridge for office use or you’d like to set one in a dorm room, it’s got to be pretty compact, so the smaller it is the better. However, the capacity will be smaller too, so you need to reach a compromise. The average capacity of compact refrigerators varies between 1.6 and 4 cu.ft.

Conveniences

The next aspect which is worth your careful consideration is convenience of use which is primarily predetermined by shelves and drawers of a fridge. Consider the number of shelves, their width and telescopic options. To be able to put a big bottle of water (or any other drink), the shelves in the main compartment should be removable. Pay attention to a freezer compartment (if provided). Isn’t it too small or too big, leaving you very little space for food storage? A defrost option as well as a thermostat are important features to take into consideration too. The first would release you from extra care while the other one would help maintain the right temperature in the compartments. The other things that facilitate usage greatly are reverse doors and adjustable legs. 

Design and Extras

A design of the fridge may also be important, therefore, we’d like to draw your attention to a few peculiarities. The market offers a wide choice of colors to match any kitchen interior, yet a white color is still rated higher and more popular among customers worldwide. Most modern refrigerators are made of stainless steel so they serve for years and resist corrosion well. Care of stainless steel fridges is simple as a pie. All you need is to regularly wipe its surface with a damp cloth. Pay attention if a fridge is marked with the Energy Star label. If it is, it won’t consume as much energy as those which aren’t labeled. Some other useful perks modern compact refrigerators are equipped with a LED backlighting, Dry Erase Boards, and so on.

 

 

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EdgeStar CRF321SS

A Bit of Everything

The first on our shortlist is a compact fridge by EdgeStar. To begin with, this 3.1 cu. ft. compact refrigerator is large enough to keep plenty of food. It's the best choice for dormitory rooms or small offices. EdgeStar compact fridge turned out to be quite easy-to-use. The manufacturer has equipped it with all the necessities and let's make out what's inside of this fridge!

  • Two shelves made of durable tempered glass ensure heavy food storage. Besides, one of them is adjustable.
  • One slide-out crisper;
  • One door shelf for 2-liter bottles;
  • One shelf for cans storage;
  • One door shelf for butter or yogurt;
  • One freezer shelf.

So now you see how much food you can keep in this compact freezer! Next, we'd like to highlight its convenient door shelf where you can store up to 5 cans. If you take a can from the bottom, the upper one will just go down in its place. On top of that, an adjustable thermostat allows you to choose the necessary temperature mode for keeping foodstuffs fresh (34-60° F).

Review of EdgeStar CRF321SS Compact Fridge/Freezer

Design for Everyone

This quality 2 door compact refrigerator is made of stainless-steel with a glossy finish. Obviously, it'll ideally match most interiors. The shelves are manufactured from tempered glass. As for a freezer, it is really huge, being ideal for storing meat, fish, ice cream, etc. The next little thing we’d like to emphasize is a LED backlighting inside this EnergyStar compact refrigerator. The fridge is EnergyStar certified and its energy consumption of 270 kWh per year proves it. 

EdgeStar CRF321SS Compact Fridge/Freezer in the use

More Products to Consider

If you want to remove unpleasant odors from your fridge, we highly recommend getting a refrigerator deodorizer.

Hope's Perfect Stainless Steel Polish is an incredible solution for keeping the outside of the fridge all clean and shiny.

Detailed review of EdgeStar CRF321SS Compact Fridge/Freezer

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
EdgeStar 3.1 Cu. Ft. Energy Star Fridge/Freezer- CRF320SS
EdgeStar CRF321SS
EdgeStar CRF321SS
 

Haier HC17SF15RB

A Compact Practicality

Though it is quite prudent always to have some foods in store, it is far not always necessary to have a lot of food and drinks cooled. Moreover, using big refrigerators is impractical and inconvenient in many cases. The problem of keeping fresh an amount of food and drinks just enough for a small company was effectively solved by the Haier company. With their HC17SF15RB model, they introduced one of the most compact refrigerators to the market. Despite its long name, this refrigerator offers a 1.7 cubic feet storage volume in a compact casing with the height being the largest of its dimensions at just a bit smaller than 20 inches point and the other two dimensions being approximately the same. A nearly equal size distribution along the unit dimensions and its 30-lbs weight make relocating the refrigerator an easy task for two people if need be.

Review of Haier HC17SF15RB 1.7 Cubic Feet Refrigerator/Freezer

Simple Operation and Use

To keep things not only compact but also easy for users, Haier equipped their HC17SF15RB model with a mechanical control. Actually, the single knob is the only control the refrigerator has and the only one you’ll need for using the device. The control dial enables an eight-position thermostat adjustment (from "1" to "7" with an additional "0" position) for keeping the needed temperature inside this fridge. This food and drinks refrigerator has a manual defrost, which is the simplest and most obvious solution for such a relatively compact device of its type. However, the two full-width slide-out fresh food shelves and the half-width door storage provide enough flexibility as for using the model inner space. The door storage allows you to keep 2-liter and other tall bottles with your favorite beverages. If you need to keep a couple of your foodstuffs or drinks extra cool you can use the half-width freezer compartment.

Haier HC17SF15RB 1.7 Cubic Feet Refrigerator/Freezer in the use

No Excess Design Elements

This 1.7 cu.ft. model by Haier has a black finish and features a flat front side, which serves as the door. The door is hinged on the right and has a recessed handle. With an overall modern and practical design, the refrigerator can easily blend with any interior and combines especially well with dark colored furniture and elements of the environment.

Detailed review of Haier HC17SF15RB 1.7 Cubic Feet Refrigerator/Freezer

Haier HC17SF15RB
Haier HC17SF15RB
 

Danby Designer 2.6 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator

Open. Take. Shut

Despite the fact that it has no freezer, this 2.6 cu. ft. compact refrigerator is enough to keep all the necessary food that doesn't require freezing. Accordingly, Danby Designer DAR026A1BDD is the right fridge if you're not going to freeze any meat or fish. Besides, it's more appropriate for one person but, of course, you can store food for two persons. Speaking of conveniences, we'd like to focus your attention on:

  • three slide-out shelves;
  • four door shelves for cans;
  • one door shelf for large bottles;
  • one door shelf for yogurt.

In comparison with the other models, here the can storage is very simple. You don't have to pull bottles, all you need to do is open the door, take some cans out and then shut the door. Auto defrosting is another important feature for ease of maintenance. An adjustable thermostat allows setting the fridge temperature according to your needs. Since the fridge has a reversible door, you can install it either on the right or on the left side. The manufacturer has equipped this compact refrigerator with adjustable leveling legs to provide extra stability on any surface.

Review of Danby Designer 2.6 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator

Good-looking and Reliable

This attractive black compact refrigerator will definitely suit any interior. Importantly, the fridge is made of durable steel ensuring long service life. As for the surface, it's scratch-resistant and impervious to wear and tear. The next essential feature is that the device consumes 253 kWh per year, allowing you to save money! We believe Danby compact refrigerator is perfect for a country house or an office where there is no need to freeze food.

Danby Designer 2.6 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator in the use

More Products to Consider

If you are gearing up your new kitchen, we have a great review of the best knife sets that might interest you.

Detailed review of Danby Designer 2.6 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
0:02 / 5:55 Unboxing The Danby 4.4cu Mini Fridge
Danby Designer 2.6 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator
Danby Designer 2.6 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator
 

Phiestina PH-CBR100

A Transparent Design

What can be better than to have a variety of your favorite beverages at hand? Exactly, having all them cool! The Phiestina PH-CBR100 compact refrigerator glass door allows you to see what’s inside the fridge as well as the inside temperature, which is very convenient. With the stylish blue lighting, taking your drinks from the refrigerator is not an issue even at night. Though, the CBR100 looks modern and aesthetic not only on the inside as it sports a slim external design with sharp lines and a stainless steel handle. The vertical steel handle on the left of the windowed door provides the convenience of the door opening and shutting, which is superior to that a recessed solution would have provided. Indeed, for a door of nearly 34 inches in height and almost 16 inches in width, a short handle is not an option. As for the design itself, the dark finish of the unit case combines well with its stainless steel flat door. This Phiestina cooling device goes very well with big pieces of furniture and tables owing to its comparatively small width and elongated design.

Review of Phiestina PH-CBR100 Beverage Cooler

Nearly Four Cubic Feet of Coolness

With the PH-CBR100, you get the cooled space enough to store up to 106 beverage cans. With that, you are free to change the default shelves configuration. For example, if you need to cool down some drinks in tall bottles you can easily remove any of the six removable wire shelves to free up some space inside the refrigerator for bigger bottles. However, this beverage chiller provides many options not only in terms of shelves combinations but also in regards to temperature selection. The implementation of digital controls enables a quick setting of the storage temperature within the range from 38 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with the LCD showing the current temperature value. Owing to such a temperature range, you can get your drinks lightly chilled or deeply frosted, choose whatever you like.

Phiestina PH-CBR100 Beverage Cooler in the use

Run Quiet, Run Cheap

The PH-CBR100 drinks chiller features an energy-efficient compressor cooling system. Indeed, the manufacturer advertises the estimated yearly cost of operating this chiller at lower than $23 point. That is not all about this system, though. This cooling solution by Phiestina runs whisper-quiet so it will neither distract you from your work nor from enjoying your book, music or simply having a rest with a can of your favorite chilled drink.

Detailed review of Phiestina PH-CBR100 Beverage Cooler

Phiestina PH-CBR100
Phiestina PH-CBR100
 

Igloo 3.2 Cu. Ft. Erase Board Compact Refrigerator

Nice "Housemate"

Igloo Eraser Board Refrigerator is a compact refrigerator with dimensions of 20'' x18.2'' x 33.2''. If you own a hostel or a small motel, we'd like to advise paying particular attention to this device since it takes very little space. Considering the fridge capacity (3.2 cu. ft.), it's enough to keep foodstuffs and beverages for two persons. This stylish mini fridge boasts:

  • 2 adjustable glass shelves;
  • 1 door shelf for bottles (up to 2 liters);
  • 1 ice crisper;
  • 2 door shelves for dairy products;
  • 1 can storage;
  • 1 lower compartment with a divider for vegetables and fruit.

All these conveniences ensure easy maintenance, allowing you to enjoy fresh and tasty food anytime. Just like most fridges, this one is equipped with an adjustable thermostat (7 temperature settings). A reversible door and adjustable leveling legs are another important features that make this fridge very convenient in use.

After all, this Igloo compact refrigerator will suit any small premise, and note that many customers buy it for dormitories as it's also a nice ''housemate''! Apart from compactness and ergonomics, there is another feature which we would like to cover further in the review. 

Review of Igloo 3.2 Cu. Ft. Erase Board Compact Refrigerator

Now You Can't Forget!

No wonder that black refrigerators are very popular nowadays as they suit any interior. And under the black coating, this fridge boasts a steel construction that provides durability and long service life. Note that this fridge has a small freezer which capacity is enough for an ice cube tray and some frozen fruit. Speaking of energy efficiency, Igloo refrigerator consumes 326 kWh per year.

But the distinctive advantage of this 3.2 cu. ft. compact fridge is its unique surface that allows users to draw on it with special markers. For example, if you run out of milk, you can make a note on a fridge so as not to forget to drop in a shop and get some on the way home. Furthermore, the markers and a cleaning sponge already come in a set. The best present for a student!

Igloo 3.2 Cu. Ft. Erase Board Compact Refrigerator in the use

More Products to Consider

Although this might sound weird, but if you live in a dorm, getting a refrigerator door lock and a padlock can be a sensible thing to do in order to secure your food from the roommates.

Detailed review of Igloo 3.2 Cu. Ft. Erase Board Compact Refrigerator

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Igloo Eraser Board Refrigerator - - Review
Igloo 3.2 Cu. Ft. Erase Board Compact Refrigerator
Igloo 3.2 Cu. Ft. Erase Board Compact Refrigerator
 

Sources:

1. Pam Barclay Refrigerator Buyer’s Guide, Compact Appliance. April 30, 2014.

2. Maintenance Tips for your Refrigerator, RepairClinic.

3. Mini Fridge Buying Guide, ConsumerSearch. July 2016.

4. Martin Holladay Choosing an Energy-Efficient Refrigerator, GreenBuildingAdvisor. May 18, 2012.

5. Refrigerator Buying Guide, Lowe's.

6. How to Maintain Your Refrigerator, the balance. May 31, 2015.

7. Mary Levitski How to: Maintain a Clean Fridge, Styleathome. April 5, 2006.

8. What Should I Consider When Buying a Compact Refrigerator, wiseGEEK.

9. 3 Ways to Defrost Food Safely, StillTasty.

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