There’s a huge number of reasons that you might need a compact refrigerator and freezer. Maybe you need storage space for food in your bedroom or dorm housing. Maybe you have a small apartment that needs its appliances updated. Regardless of your reasoning, it’s important to find a refrigerator that meets all your needs. You’ll sacrifice some space by buying a compact size, so you’ll need a compact refrigerator that uses its space in the best way for you.
- Best Compact Refrigerator Freezer Combo
- 1. Midea WHD-113FSS1 – Amazon’s Choice
- 2. Igloo 4.5 Cubic Feet – Frugal Refrigerator/Freezer
- 3. EdgeStar CRF321SS Fridge/Freezer – Best For Dorm
- 4. Danby DCR032C1BSLD Compact Refrigerator – Editor’s Choice
- 5. RCA-Igloo Two-Door Refrigerator/Freezer Combo
- 6. Midea WHS-160RB1
- 7. Whirlpool Compact Refrigerator Freezer Kitchen Appliance
- 8. Cool CCR26W – Best Commercial Compact Refrigerator-Freezer Combo
- 9. Costway 2-Door Compact Refrigerator
- 10. Best Under-desk Compact Refrigerator: Midea WHS-65LB1
- Best Compact Refrigerator Without Freezer
- 1. Editor’s Choice: Danby DARO17A2BDD Compact Refrigerator Without Freezer
- 2. Amazon’s Choice: Whynter BR-091WS Beverage Refrigerator with Lock
- 3. Best Rated: EdgeStar CRF150SS-1 1.1 Cu Ft Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer
- Compact Refrigerator (With or Without Freezer) Buying Guide
Best Compact Refrigerator Freezer Combo
|Name||Capacity ft||Dimensions, in||Amazon|
|3.1||18.5 x 19.4 x 33||$194.76|
|4.5||22.2 x 23 x 33.8||Check on Amazon|
|3.1||19.8 x 18.8 x 33.5||$250.99|
|3.2||17.6 x 18.7 x 32.7||$162.78|
|3.2||22 x 20 x 34||$158.70|
|4.4||19.7 x 21.3 x 33.9||$178.79|
|3.1||19.2 x 21 x 33||$229.29|
Commercial Cool CCR26W
|2.6||17.5 x 19.3 x 25||$160.99|
|3.2||20 x 17.5 x 34||$209.99|
|Midea WHS-65LB1||1.6||17.7 x 18.6 x 19.4||Check on Amazon|
1. Midea WHD-113FSS1 – Amazon’s Choice
This model of appliance, made by Midea, is a refrigerator and freezer with a double reversible door. It comes in three colors: white, black, and stainless steel. The reversible door is able to open from both the left and the right. The fruit and vegetable drawers have been separated. The main compartment does have walls that taper slightly toward the back.
We like this one because it is Energy Star rated for efficiency and it has a separate freezer compartment. This means that the refrigerator portion keeps more even temperature throughout.
We also like that the freezer and refrigerator have their own adjustable temperature ranges.
In our tests, we found that the temperature was fairly consistent throughout the entire refrigerator portion of the unit. This one was a little taller than most compacts, but it was still narrow enough to fit into small spaces.
2. Igloo 4.5 Cubic Feet – Frugal Refrigerator/Freezer
This refrigerator comes with a compact capacity of 4.5 cubic feet. Even when the temperature outside is more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, this compressor manages to cool. It’s an environmentally friendly refrigerator. The freezer is capable of holding two trays of ice cubes with room to spare in the back.
3. EdgeStar CRF321SS Fridge/Freezer – Best For Dorm
This model of appliance, designed and distributed by EdgeStar, has 3.1 cubic feet of space. It’s perfect for use in a dorm room or small apartment. The freezer is truly zero degrees, despite however warm the outside temperature is.
4. Danby DCR032C1BSLD Compact Refrigerator – Editor’s Choice
This refrigerator-and-freezer combination from Danby has 3.2 cubic feet of space. This particular model is available in stainless steel. Danby has other appliance models available with a variety of colors and amounts of space.
5. RCA-Igloo Two-Door Refrigerator/Freezer ComboThis refrigerator comes with a storage capacity of 3.2 cubic feet. This particular model is white, although stainless steel and black models are also available. The two-door configuration allows you to access the refrigerator and freezer separately.
6. Midea WHS-160RB1
Another beautiful design by Midea, this appliance has a carrying capacity of 4.4 cubic feet. This particular model is black, but white and stainless steel versions are also available. The refrigerator has been rated according to Energy Star guidelines, and the walls of the main compartment taper slightly toward the back of the refrigerator.
It is a little bit wider (19.7 x 21.3 x 33.9 inches) than other compacts and may not fit in every space. Overall, we felt this was a sturdy unit and gets the job done.
7. Whirlpool Compact Refrigerator Freezer Kitchen Appliance
This combination refrigerator and freezer is designed by Whirlpool. It’s available in stainless steel and has a carrying capacity of 3.1 cubic feet. The two-door design allows you to access the freezer and refrigerator compartments separately.
8. Cool CCR26W – Best Commercial Compact Refrigerator-Freezer Combo
This appliance has only one door rather than two. It’s one of the smallest refrigerator and freezer combinations on this list, with only 2.6 cubic feet of space. This mini fridge is available in white coloring, though there are similar models in stainless steel finishes.
9. Costway 2-Door Compact Refrigerator
This compact refrigerator comes with 3.2 cubic feet of space. The small freezer is positioned on top. There are two doors, allowing you to access the refrigerator and freezer separately. 2.2 cubic feet are allocated to the refrigerator, while 1 cubic foot is allocated to the freezer.
10. Best Under-desk Compact Refrigerator: Midea WHS-65LB1
This small refrigerator is a bestseller mostly because it is lightweight and easily fits under a desk. This choice is preferred by those who work in an office.
However, it is perfect for keeping lunches and a few snacks under your desk.
Best Compact Refrigerator Without Freezer
|1.7||20.1 x 17.7 x 20.1||$129.49|
|2.5||18.5 x 17 x 25||$229.11|
|1.1||17.8 x 18.5 x 19.2||$189.00|
1. Editor’s Choice: Danby DARO17A2BDD Compact Refrigerator Without FreezerThis unit was the one we picked as our editor’s choice because it has only one job and it does it well. This refrigerator does not have a freezer, which we feel is an advantage because it does not have uneven cold spots created by the freezer.
It fits easily on a countertop or under a desk. Also, it has a manual thermostat and a reversible door. It runs quietly, and the best part is that it is Energy Star rated, so it will not run up your electric bill. Even though this one does not have a lot of bells and whistles, we like the way space was designed on the inside.
2. Amazon’s Choice: Whynter BR-091WS Beverage Refrigerator with Lock
This refrigerator falls under the category of being designed for a specific purpose. This refrigerator can hold 90 standard soda cans and has shelving specifically designed for that purpose. Also, it has a temperature control with a minimum range that is perfect for keeping pop and other drinks at the right temperature.
Whynter BR-091WS has an interior light to help you see what you are grabbing at night. As far as refrigerators designed specifically to hold pop, we felt that this was the best one on the market it was also Amazon’s choice. It had consistent cooling throughout, even with loaded to full capacity.
This would make a great unit for those who sell cold drinks at events. Another thing that we liked about this refrigerator is that it comes with a cylinder lock that has two keys. We think the glass door makes a nice display.
3. Best Rated: EdgeStar CRF150SS-1 1.1 Cu Ft Convertible Refrigerator or Freezer
This model had to make the list for one reason. It is extremely compact and will fit literally anywhere. This one was designed to have an adjustable temperature that allows it to use it as either a refrigerator or a freezer.
We tried this one both as a freezer and as a refrigerator. We found it to work as designed in both capacities. As a freezer, it tended to build up frost a little bit or frost quickly than other compact models. However, it works well in both refrigerator and freezer modes.
In our opinion, it would be a great idea to get two of these and stacked one on top of the other. It ran quietly and did not seem to produce much heat. Because you do not have the space taken up by an internal freezer, this gives you a lot more space on the inside.
Compact Refrigerator (With or Without Freezer) Buying Guide
When you’re buying a compact refrigerator and freezer, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. There are so many different options available on the market. Though it might be tempting to pick the one with the lowest price tag and move on, it’s helpful to make your selection process more refined. You’ll want to understand your needs and find an appliance that meets those needs.
Compact Fridges Types
Compact refrigerators come in five basic types, allowing you to choose one that best suits your needs. The following summarizes the five major types of refrigerators and their most suitable use.
This type of compact fridge is perfect for small spaces. They can easily fit on a countertop, or under a desk. They are generally between 1.5 to 2.1 cu ft on the inside and weigh between 25 and 30 pounds. However, many of them have poor insulation and cannot be expected to do more than cool a few drinks and snacks. Some are not efficient enough to keep meat to the proper temperature and they will not replace a standard refrigerator.
These units can store a little more than the cube, but they are also a bit more expensive. They range in size from 2.7-4.7 cu ft. They have more shelving and sometimes a freezer compartment. The cooling efficiencies of these refrigerators differ significantly from model to model.
You will sometimes see these in stores sitting on top of countertops. They are typically over 5 cu ft in size, have more freezer and shelf space, and some contained crispers. These are popular for people in condos and work as well as standard refrigerators at keeping food at the correct temperature, including meat.
2-Door Compact Fridge
These are simply a smaller version of standard refrigerators. They have a separate freezer can department, has auto-defrost, removable shelves, and precise temperature controls. These can hold considerably more items than smaller compacts.
Travel refrigerators are small refrigerators that use an alternative power source such as batteries, or the ability to be plugged into a car cigarette lighter. These are only meant for short distances and will place a strain on your vehicle’s engine.
Additional Features to Look For
These are the main types of small fridges, but you need to look around because some of them have additional features that may make them more suitable for your needs.
- Separate Freezer. CompartmentThe two main types of freezers in mini fridges are those that are within the interior space of the refrigerator and those that have a separate freezer like a full-sized refrigerator. Those that are within the interior of the refrigerator can cause unevenness in temperature, with colder areas next to the freezer compartment. They are often okay for making ice but may not keep food frozen adequately. Those with a separate freezer work just like a standard refrigerator and often keep food colder, as well as promote even cooling throughout the rest of the refrigerator compartment.
- Compressed Power. Today’s refrigerators work by circulating pressurized coolant around the compartment, rather than by drawing air across coils. The coolant is pressurized and sent through tubes in the walls, absorbing heat as it moves through them. Those that have a compressor may not be as energy-efficient as other types of cooling systems.
- Reversible Door. Some of them have hinges that allow the door to be opened from either the left or right. This can be an excellent option for small spaces, or if the refrigerator is in a situation where it will be moved frequently, such as in a dorm room or office.
- Locking Door. Some people use this type of fridges to store medication, sensitive, or dangerous materials. Therefore, some of these models come with a locking door to keep these items out of the wrong hands.
Amount of Space
The amount of space available will be one of the first and primary concerns that you’ll need to consider when buying a compact refrigerator. Generally, the amount of space available will be measured in cubic feet. A fridge with less than three cubic feet of space could be considered a mini-fridge. Meanwhile, fridges with more than four cubic feet of space are larger.
You should take the storage capacity and the dimensions of the appliance into account. Measure the space that you’re going to put down the refrigerator so that you know the exact dimensions you’re working with. There’s nothing more frustrating than buying the perfect fridge–only to discover it doesn’t fit in your living space.
You should also judge the amount of space you’ll need to store food. How many frozen foods do you typically have? What about frozen desserts or ice cube trays? How much fresh produce will you be storing in the fridge?
Shelving and Drawers
Similar to the concerns about storage capacity, you should take into account the number of shelves and drawers that the fridge has. Some will come with two to three shelves, while others have only one. Also important is whether or not the shelves can be removed. Not only is this helpful for overall fridge cleaning, but it allows you to customize your fridge space to better suit your needs.
Storage drawers will be a concern if you intend to keep a large amount of fresh produce. You’ll want a drawer designed to keep vegetables crisp and fruits fresh, as leaving these items in the main compartment of the fridge can cause them to spoil. How many vegetables and fruits do you buy on a weekly basis? If the amount is significant, you might want to invest in a fridge that has two separate drawers for fruits and vegetables.
One often-overlooked aspect of refrigerators and freezers is their door storage capacity. Some doors come with the capability to store multiple soda cans, whereas others have large numbers of additional shelves. You’ll need to assess the types of items you’ll be storing and make a decision based on these factors.
One Door or Two?
Some refrigerators come with one door. When you open this door, you’ll be able to access both the refrigerator and the freezer compartment. In these cases, the freezer tends to be a small compartment built into the overall refrigerator. These types of refrigerators are not ideal if you have a large number of frozen goods to store.
A two-door refrigerator will have separate doors for the refrigerator and freezer compartment. This can help with energy efficiency, and it also helps the freezer to operate independently of the refrigerator. If you live in a hot area, however, you’ll need to make sure that the freezer compartment is capable of keeping objects frozen even in high external temperatures.
Many compact refrigerators will come with reversible doors. These doors can be opened from either the right or the left because they feature reversible hinges. They’re ideal when you live in an area with questionable amounts of space.
Cooling Capability of the Freezer
Most fridges will come with some kind of cooling component, which allows them to cool objects efficiently even when external temperatures are high. Depending on the refrigerator’s design, though, the freezer may not have this capacity. Some refrigerators have a chilling compartment that keeps items colder than they would be in the normal fridge compartment, but it’s not sufficient to store frozen goods or ice.
In addition to making sure the freezer is large enough for your goods, you should make sure that it can keep them at an ideal temperature.
Some items have a particular temperature requirement for their storage. In these cases, it can be helpful to invest in a refrigerator that has an adjustable thermostat. This allows you to control the internal temperature of your refrigerator and freezer.
You should also see whether there is a manual or automatic defrosting capability. Many refrigerators will come with automatic defrost, while freezers will have to be defrosted manually. If a refrigerator only has partial defrosting capabilities, it will need to be manually defrosted every few months.
Some refrigerators will come with adjustable legs. These can help you control the height of the appliance. They also increase the maneuverability, which is ideal when you’re dealing with tight corners and small living spaces. Conversely, fridges without these legs can be more easily slid over the ground and into position. The type that’s right for you will vary depending on the floor plan of your living space.
It’s a good idea to search for models that have been certified with Energy Star. An energy-efficient model will save you money on your monthly power bill. In addition, energy-efficient models tend to be quieter than other appliances.
Steps for Choosing the Best Refrigerator
Follow these steps to narrow down the best appliance for you:
- Measure the dimensions of the area that you intend to install the appliance
- Gauge whether you need adjustable legs for easier maneuvering, or whether you’ll have an easier time sliding a flat-bottomed appliance into place
- Give yourself an estimate of the amount of food you’ll be placing in your refrigerator
- Estimate how much of this is fresh produce that will need to be stored in a drawer
- Decide whether you need special features such as can holders in the door
- Gauge the amount of freezer space you need to have
- Decide whether you need to store frozen food and ice, or whether a chiller compartment will be adequate
- Look up the energy efficiency ratings of the appliances you’re considering
- Seek appliances that can accommodate your necessities while fitting into your ideal budget
There you have it, a compact or mini refrigerator can be a great addition to your home, office, dormitory room, or RV. Even though most of them have similar features and appear to be similar, we found that there were vast differences in their performance and ability to do what they are designed to do.
Even though it would seem that having an internal freezer would make it more convenient, we found that in most cases an internal freezer created cold spots and reduced the space significantly. For this reason, we thought that the Danby DARO17A2BDD was the best one on our list. This just feels like a good, sturdy refrigerator and keeps the evenest temperature of those that we examined. We liked that it is well-designed and makes great use of the internal space.
The models in this review all make an excellent choice. You just need to decide which one suits your needs the best.