Compact Refrigerator

While full size refrigerators are of course often a necessity, and incredibly useful for storing foods and other items which need to be kept cold, they are not always what everyone needs.  They are often times too large, too expensive, and have a storage capacity which is bigger than what some consumers may require.  A compact refrigerator is an excellent space saving and cost effective solution.

Just like the larger variety, compact fridges come in a variety of types and with many different features.  They also come in a few different sizes as well.  Typically compact refrigerator sizes range from as small as 1.1 cubic feet to around 6 cubic feet.  And there are many situations where these fridges are your best choice.

The Top Benefits of Compact Refrigerators:

Less Expensive

Since they are smaller in size compact refrigerators are cheaper to buy which of course makes them the ideal choice for students, people in temporary living situations,   or anyone on a budget who does not require the amount of space that full size options offer.

And since they are inexpensive there is no reason to buy a used compact refrigerator since you can get all the benefits of purchasing new for only a few more dollars.   Their modest size also means they use less electricity to run which can save you quite a lot of money both monthly and long term.


Not being as large means they are also lighter in weight which makes them highly portable. You can reposition virtually all sizes without a problem and easily bring smaller models with you when you move to a new dorm, apartment, or house without any hassle or having to pay someone to do it for you.

Compact units can also be carried into another room or up flights of stairs without having to worry about hurting yourself or damaging your floor trying to do so.

Compact Refrigerator



Fit In Spaces Larger Ones Can’t

Not everyone has the space for a full size fridge and that can really give compact models a big advantage.  They can be used in small spaces such as under desks, tables, inside of cabinets, on countertops, in closets, and under raised beds.  Really just about anywhere there is a few feet of space will work perfectly.

The Most Common Places To Use Them

In The Dorm

Since they are inexpensive, portable, and can fit in small spaces they are the top choice of students living in dorm rooms.  In fact because of this they are sometimes referred to as “dorm refrigerators.” Most students have a meal plan and don’t cook the majority of their food so they don’t need to have as much fridge space.

But of course the larger sized compact refrigerators can accommodate those that do or can be shared by multiple roommates. Many students who share houses choose to have their own personal small compact refrigerator in their room especially if they have roommates who like to eat other people’s food or simply just for the convenience of always having one close by.

Compact Refrigerator


At The Office No Matter Where That May Be

Break rooms and small offices are another place where these fridges excel. They can keep employees sodas, water, milk for coffee, and other beverages cold plus lunches they bring from home.  If you decide on a model with a freezer like the Frigidaire compact refrigerator shown below busy workers will be able to conveniently store frozen entrees that they can simply heat up in a microwave instead of having to rush out of the office for lunch which gives them more time to get work done or an extra few minutes to relax.

With more and more people working from home online, these types of fridges are also becoming very popular in the home office as well.  Having cool drinks and food in your home office means you won’t have to leave the room and possibly be distracted from your work by chores that need to get done in the house or by other family members.  Many people use one in conjunction with a microwave and countertop water cooler so they can stay in their home office all day.

Compact Refrigerator

Your Business

Having cold drinks for your customers is always a nice gesture and one that can go a long way especially on a hot day. Of course it also shows you care and it always pays to make a good first impression.  You can also use your compact refrigerator as a way to sell drinks and snacks or maybe even ice cream if it has a freezer.

In The Man Cave

The man cave can be an essential part of male life and when having the guys over to watch a game or play poker having cold drinks within reach is a must.  There’s nothing worse than missing out on the last point, play, goal, or hand because it was your turn to run to the kitchen fridge.  Having a compact refrigerator will guarantee you’ll be there for all the action and with plenty of ice and tasty beverages.   Many guys keep theirs right next to the sofa so they don’t even have to get up to grab a refill.

Compact Refrigerator


In The Bedroom

Not having to leave your bedroom, or maybe even your bed depending how close you place your fridge, in the middle of the night to get some water or a snack can be very handy. A compact refrigerator in the bedroom is also ideal for the elderly or disabled who can’t walk up and down stairs every time they need something from the fridge and is often used to store their medicine as well.

Teens that need their own space or roommates sharing an apartment or house could also really benefit from having one in their bedroom as well.

Different Types For Different Needs

Just because they are smaller doesn’t mean they lack variety of features and designs, in fact far from it.  There are different types for different functions, spaces, and needs.  Here are the best options to check out:        

A Compact Refrigerator With Freezer

Most consumers, but not all, prefer their fridge to also have a freezer. Compact refrigerator freezers typically come in two different types single and double door.  The smallest are in single door fridges and are chiller compartments which are simply a plastic ledge that is attached to the ceiling of the fridge.

These can normally only hold one or two ice cube trays or maybe ea frozen dinner or two. However, that might be all you need.  Some chiller compartments are the full width of the refrigerator it simply depends on the model.



For more freezer space you’ll need to consider a two door compact refrigerator with freezer. The most common have a separate top mounted freezer and a fridge below. These have much more room items to be frozen and for this reason are often the top choice for small offices, people who will be sharing a fridge, or doing more cooking.

Of course they are great for keeping things like frozen dinners, ice cream, and more ice cube trays than smaller freezers can handle. Some two door refrigerator with freezer combinations are side-by-side.  These are divided in half length-wise with a fridge on one side and a freezer on the other.

This is actually the most popular setup with larger fridges and many people prefer their compact versions this way because the freezer will have multiple shelves as opposed to one large open space which can make organizing much easier. Just keep in mind that when purchasing one that you will have two doors that open in opposite directions so they will need a slightly larger space.

Compact Refrigerator

A less common two door option but the one which is the most energy efficient is a compact refrigerator with freezer on the bottom. These are normally less expensive than side by side units but cost more than ones with a top freezer.

The main advantage of these is that you won’t have to reach far down to get to the lowest shelf or compartment of the fridge section since it is higher up everything is more accessible. The freezer being lower down is not a problem since it is not normally used as often.


A Compact Refrigerator Freezer

For those who want a unit that can be used as either a fridge or a freezer depending on their needs there is an answer. A compact fridge freezer gives you the option of using it as either one but not both at the same time. These are also popular with consumers who like to have beverages like beer and sodas kept at a cooler temperature than when in conventional fridges since you can normally adjust the temperature down to zero degrees Fahrenheit.

This double use makes them a good value since you can always go from fridge to freezer in the future or today if you want, it leaves it up to you to decide.


Compact Refrigerator

A Compact Refrigerator Without Freezer

Not everyone who is looking for a compact refrigerator has the need for a freezer. This is often the case if you already have a full sized refrigerator with a freezer or a separate freezer unit like a chest freezer. They are particularly popular with consumers who just want one for storing beverages.

And because there isn’t a freezer to take up any space they often have more shelves and space. Usually a compact refrigerator without freezer is cheaper both to purchase but also in terms of electricity because they use much less.

Compact Refrigerator



A Glass Door Compact Refrigerator

Another alternative without a freezer is a glass door compact refrigerator. Why would you want a glass door? So you can see what’s inside of course. These are ideal for anyone who sells beverages or chilled snacks in a small shop. Customers can see what’s inside without having to open the fridge door first, which can save a lot of electricity.

Many models look very modern in style and are very attractive. They are incredibly popular for beverages such as beer and of course soda and water too. A large number of glass door compact refrigerators are actually marketed as beverage coolers and can fit a surprising amount of cans and bottles.

They usually also will have adjustable temperature settings which can go lower than normal which can be a huge plus for certain types of drinks. This variety of fridge makes a fantastic father’s day or birthday gift for any husband, boyfriend, or dad with a man cave.

But of course they since they work for food as well are just as good in a dorm, under the counter, or in an office. Most will have LED lighting to help you clearly see what’s inside and a often a lock which can be really handy if you are keeping alcohol inside and have young children in the house or are using it in a shop.

Compact Refrigerator


A Compact Wine Refrigerator

Not everyone who loves to drink wine has the luxury of having their own wine cellar to keep their wine at just the right temperature and humidity. And keeping wine in your normal refrigerator can easily degrade its taste and quality which can end up being a huge waste of money. Wine needs to be kept at a constant temperature which can’t be accomplished in a conventional fridge due to its being opened and closed on a regular basis.

In fact each type of wine has its own temperature range and humidity level that allow it to mature and taste its best. Wine that is stored at temperatures that are too warm can cause premature aging and likewise at a temperature which is too cold the cork can shrink letting in oxygen which can ruin the wine.

This shrinking  of the cork often occurs in standard fridges as well since they are incorrectly stored upright which allows the cork to dry out thus letting in air and spoiling the wine.

Compact Refrigerator


The simplest, least expensive and most efficient way to guarantee the quality of your wine is with a compact wine refrigerator. Unlike much larger units these are made to fit in small places but still accommodate quite a few bottles stored on their sides like they should be.

They have a glass door so you can see inside, protect against vibrations, and most have LED lighting. You can also program the temperature of a compact wine refrigerator to the exact one you need for the type of wine you are storing. Some units even have different zones which allow you to keep different types at different temperatures at the same time.

A Desktop Refrigerator

The most compact and portable of all types, are what are known as desktop refrigerators. These are really small and made for keeping a few cans of soda (usually a maximum of six if laid on their sides), cool drinks, or milk for your coffee at work. All can be plugged into a wall outlet and some even to the cigarette lighter socket in your car when driving.

Compact Refrigerator

Questions To Keep In Mind That Will Help You Choose The Best Compact Refrigerator

As you can you see there are many types of compact refrigerators to choose from. However, keeping a few things in mind will help you to pick the correct one for your needs.

What And How Much Will You Be Keeping Inside?

How much storage space you need will greatly influence the size and model you need. Before you purchase think about what you’ll be keeping in your fridge. For just some snacks and drinks a small fridge will do but most consumers like to be able to fit essentials like a container of milk or juice.

And when there are multiple people sharing a fridge going with something still compact but a little larger is a good idea. There’s usually not that much of a price difference in sizes so if you’re unsure and have the space choosing one that has more room is probably a good idea.

Do You Need A Freezer?

If you don’t you’ll have more room for refrigerated items but if you plan on keeping any frozen goods be sure to pick a unit that has adequate freezer space. Many university students actually overlook the benefit of being able to keep frozen meals inside their freezer and end up choosing a small compact refrigerator with no freezer.

If you do need one also think about what style you like: freezer on the top, on the bottom, or a side by side model?

Compact Refrigerator


Do You Have Space Limitations?

Where you will be keeping your fridge will also be an important factor. Look at your space accurately and asses what size refrigerator can actually fit in the space you have. Don’t forget you can always use items like a compact refrigerator cart which can support a small fridge on top and offers drawers for storage underneath if you have a really cramped space. Under counters, on top of them, and in shelving units also work well for many models.

How Portable Do You Need It To Be?

While all compact refrigerators are much easier to move than full size options, small units can be very lightweight, carried easily by most people, and simply placed in the seat or trunk of car when moving. Many people really like the fact that they can move their fridge at any time and to anywhere without having to ask for help.

Larger fridges will require a few people to move. This may not be a factor for you if you plan on leaving your fridge in one place or room for a long period of time.


Compact Refrigerator

Do You Want Frost Free Or Manual Defrost?

Whenever the fridge or freezer door is opened air comes inside. Since air contains water, the water from the air trapped inside quickly cools and sticks or freezes to the walls, containers, and foods. Frost free compact refrigerators will automatically defrost the fridge or fridge/freezer for you several times per day. This type will cost a little more but save you the hassle of defrosting the fridge yourself.

Manual defrost units are cheaper since require you to unplug and defrost the fridge when ice buildup begins. However  like with the GE compact refrigerator shown pictured below because of their smaller size this usually is not too much of a pain, and many people prefer manual defrost units as they like to give their refrigerator a good thorough cleaning after it’s been defrosted.

Compact Refrigerator


Do You Need A Lock?

Sometimes you need to keep others out. If you have roommates, siblings, or coworkers you who like to raid your fridge without asking, customers who might take items without paying, or are storing alcohol and have curious kids in the house a locking compact fridge is probably a smart idea. This is a common feature that many units particularly ones made specifically for beverages come with but can also be found on other types as well.

If you already own one a fridge which doesn’t lock and decide later on that you would like to have a little more safety for your food there are kits you can buy with peel and stick anchors pads that allow you to attach a padlock and require no drilling. A compact refrigerator with lock doesn’t usually cost anymore than other types so it can really be worth having the option of being able to lock it up if you need to.

What Color Should You Choose?

Fridges can be a fantastic way to add a splash of color to a room particularly in small spaces but also in larger ones as well. Using one to match your current color scheme is a popular way to go and manufacturers offer colors like blue, green,  pink, orange, purple, and red compact refrigerators to help you do so or to make a bold statement if that’s what you want.

Compact Refrigerator


The most popular are white, black, and stainless steel. Of course a white compact refrigerator will give you a more traditional look but since it is a neutral color will always look good no matter what the dominant colors of your room are. This can be an advantage if you plan on moving in the future. Black also is neutral and is often used to match black kitchen sinks, microwaves, and ovens.

The silver color of stainless steel can look very modern and very upscale. Usually a stainless compact refrigerator will have a silver steel front and black sides. Because this is considered such an attractive combination many glass door fridges use it as well, with the stainless steel framing the glass and the black sides providing contrast.

How Much Electricity Does It Use?

How much electricity a unit uses can vary.  Look for one that has a high energy rating compared to the price. Top brands will have better insulation and typically require less energy to stay cool. If you want to know how much it will cost to run for an average year check the energy guide label that comes with it.


Answering these questions will choosing your compact refrigerator a simple and easy process. And of course be sure to check online for the best prices and biggest discounts. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a unit for an extremely small space, one only  for wine, or just to function as an extra fridge there are many compact options to fit your space and meet your demands.

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