What Are the Best Portable Fridges for Your Dorm Room?

Late nights of studying require food and beverages for hungry college students.  For those who are living in the dormitory, a mini fridge will be your best friend when you get hungry or thirsty during the odd hours when you cannot get out and buy something to eat.

Personal dorm fridges are relatively inexpensive compared to many other college related costs. Unless your university has a refrigerator as part of the furniture, you will need to put this on your freshman shopping list.

What to Look for in a Personal Dorm Fridge

When I was in college, my roommates and I rented a brown dorm fridge.  That was the only option, and it matched our standard beige furniture. Today, lucky college students have many more color choices than I did.  

Before purchasing your fridge, you need to see what size is permitted inside your room. While these compact refrigerators are also more energy efficient than older versions, they will have to meet your university’s standards.  Check to see what they are before purchasing one.

You will also want to see how flush they are to the wall.  If it juts out too far, it will be taking up precious space in your tiny room.


Check out the kind of shelving comes with the unit you are buying.  Glass shelves lay flat and food containers will not wobble on them.  This I know from experience, as I have a small refrigerator in my garage, and things do not lay flat like they do in my kitchen refrigerator.

Make sure it is easy to clean, as you know that spills will occur.  Shelves should come out easily and surfaces wiped down with a cleaner or soap and water.

Think about what you will be storing in it.  Do you need an actual freezer or is a simple refrigerator enough?  Do you need space for frozen meals you want to microwave or are you just using it for leftovers and beverages.

Last, see how the door swings open.  Look for models that have reversible doors that can be hung on either side.

Personal Dorm Fridge-1.7 Cubic Feet

The typical dorm fridge is 1.7 cubic feet.  Some versions come with a tiny freezer that can fit a few frozen meals or some ice cube trays, while others have no freezer at all.  If you are buying it for your room, see if your roommate wants to chip in with you to buy it.  Be aware that if you do this, someone has to own it over the summer break.  

Compact and Easy to Place

Haier HCR17W 1.7 Cubic Feet Refrigerator/Freezer, White
Amazon Price: $161.39 Buy Now
(price as of May 5, 2016)
This budget friendly appliance is highly rated by those who have purchased it. There is just enough space for the cold drinks you need and some healthy snacks.

2.5 Cubic Feet and Larger Dorm Fridges

If you want to put in the financial investment, there are larger dorm fridges for students. These are perfect for students who no longer are on the university meal plan and have to cook for themselves.

Follow the same guidelines in selecting this larger item as you would the 1.7 or 1.8 cubic foot size.

For Those Who Eat on Their Own on the Weekend

Danby DAR259BL 2.5-Cu. Ft. Designer Compact All Refrigerator, Black
Amazon Price: $216.98 Buy Now
(price as of May 5, 2016)
This larger model can hold more food so that students can be off the university meal plan and eat in their rooms. This can be a money saving and waistline saving option.