Do you have a small refrigerator? If so, congratulations! You have done your part in promoting two of mankind’s greatest accomplishments: controlling the elements on a small scale and taking a device that was originally large and making it tiny. But if you don’t have a small refrigerator, what are you waiting for? Owning the appropriately sized counter depth refrigerator can do wonders for any dorm room, apartment, or even full-sized home. Think of all the extra space! Or how handy it will be at parties and holiday celebrations! What’s that? You’re running out to buy one right this second? Hold on there, ice cowboy! Here are a handful of things to think about before purchasing that sweet new small refrigerator.

Interior Shelving

When shopping for a mini refrigerator, take a good, hard look at the shelves inside. Most small refrigerators come with one of two types of shelving – glass or wire racks. While wire racks may play into a cooler, sleeker look (especially when paired with a glass exterior door), it may be worth forgoing style for practically. Why do we recommend glass shelves? First, smaller items are prone to slipping through the gaps in a wire rack. A glass shelf will ensure that items of all sizes can be stored safely. Secondly, it is much easier to contain and clean spills on a glass shelf. Spills that occur on a wire rack are notorious for trickling down, which that will likely upset the other foods and beverages in your fridge. Moral of the story? Go glass.

One Door vs. Two Door

Midea WHD-113FB1 Full-Size Double Reversible Door Refrigerator and FreezerCredit: AmazonIt’s the age-old question of refrigeration – do I go one door, or two? Here’s a rundown. While a one door unit will often provide a small freezer alcove within the main storage area, two door models allow for a completely separate freezer unit. While cool (get it?), the separate freezer area will eat into your refrigerator space. Haier HNSE032BB 3.2 Cubic Feet Refrigerator/FreezerCredit: AmazonOn the other hand, in Defense of the freezer: A separate freezer – removed from the comparatively tropical climate of your refrigerator – will freeze your food items for effectively. The Prosecution: Unless you live off a diet of Bagel Bites and Ice Pops, it probably makes more sense to maximize your fridge space…and visit a doctor. The Verdict: You be the judge. And the jury. And the stenographer.


Koolatron CR48W Kool 48-Quart-Capacity Thermoelectric FridgeCredit: AmazonPros: First, thermoelectric refrigerators are often smaller than other models offered, so they work well if you are short on space. Second, they are often less expensive, so they work well if you are short on cash. Third, they are usually lighter than other styles of undercounter refrigerator, so they will work well if you are short on muscles. Cons: Thermoelectric refrigerators are notorious for not keeping food chilled at an appropriate temperature. This can lead to perishable food items going bad. Suggestion: Unless you are planning on storing only beverages in your small refrigerator, do not go thermoelectric. Otherwise, you might find yourself short on snacks.

The Paradox of Size

Fun fact: Despite being bulkier and taking up more precious space, larger refrigerators of the mini variety are often more energy efficient than their even mini-er cousins. Also worth noting: the comparatively larger appliances in this size class typically perform better. It may be worthwhile to spend a few minutes reading through refrigerator reviews online. If you can find a smaller model that is consistently reviewed well, go for it. Otherwise, always err on the larger size.

The Features and Warranty

Analog features usually come standard on most miniature refrigerators. Quite frankly, this is really the only feature you need. However, if you are interested if neat, super-fancy add-ons (we’re talking humidity controlled crispers and such), expect the price of your appliance to increase. It may also be worth taking a few moments to understand your appliance’s extended warranty. If you’re going to be putting some miles on your fridge (college students, we’re talking to you), it may make sense to purchase the warranty.

A small refrigerator is a worthwhile addition to any home, apartment, or dorm. We wish you years filled with chilled beverages, delicious leftovers, and far left corner mystery dishes from God knows when. Enjoy!