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Apartment Size Refrigerators - Small Dorm Size Fridges

Updated on August 18, 2014

When your kitchen space is limited, you need to start looking at compact kitchen appliances if you want to be able to fit in all those modern time saving machines we have come to rely upon. Most of us would find it hard to do without a fridge in our home but many studio apartments, student dorm rooms, etc. are limited in the amount of space available for such large bulky appliances. Fortunately, manufacturers solved this problem a long time ago and produce a wide range of small compact refrigerators which will fit neatly into even the littlest home.

There are two main types of apartment size fridges to choose between which are best suited to different sized apartments or other locations, different types of users, and generally, are suitable for different purposes.

  1. Compact Fridges
  2. Mid-Size Refrigerators

Both will be discussed throughout this article with recommended purchasing choices.

Choosing The Right Size Refrigerator For Your Needs

To choose the right compact refrigerator for your needs you will need to evaluate the amount of space you have available and what you actually require from it. For some purposes, like a boat fridge, you personally might not need anything bigger than something to chill a few beers, whilst others will want a fully functional model for keeping a few days worth of food fresh for home cooking on board.

First of all, if you live in a studio apartment, dorm or basically, you have no kitchen to speak of, then you will probably be limited straight away to the range of small cube fridges or slightly higher capacity compact refrigerators. Square cube and mini fridges are often used in dorm rooms and as office chillers because they are great for a couple of people to store their lunches and a few drinks, or things like fresh milk for coffee etc.

Compact Cube Refrigerators

These ultra compact refrigerators come with reduced internal storage capacities but make a great dorm fridge or caravan fridge. Mini cube or box fridges, if you like, often have a capacity under 2 cu ft which isn't a lot but is good enough to store a few essentials, snacks, sodas or beers. They are also called countertop refrigerators and tabletop fridges as they'll fit easily on a kitchen counter or small table. It should also be noted that these all come without freezers so if you need a frozen food section you'll need to either buy a tabletop freezer too, or opt for a slightly larger compact sized one with a freezer section.

Koolatron KWCXJ6 Coca-Cola 9-Can-Capacity Mini Fridge, Red
Koolatron KWCXJ6 Coca-Cola 9-Can-Capacity Mini Fridge, Red

Holds up to 9 cans. Self-locking with a removable shelf.


Compact Apartment Size Refrigerators

For a more permanent solution you will probably need a larger capacity than that offered by the compact cube type. At double the size and larger, the range of compact apartment size fridges featured below will suit the needs of a typical single person and will probably do good too for a couple with small refrigerating requirements. These mini sized free standing refrigerators are measured between 4 - 6 cu ft capacity and typically have space for 3 shelves of food with door storage and a small freezer section on top.

For apartments and older homes with tiny kitchen areas, a mid-size apartment fridge should suit your needs better. If you rent in a big city like New York, then an one of these is liable to be exactly what you need. These are bigger than mini countertop models, and therefore offer more space for storing food for at least a couple of days worth of meals.

These typically range in size from 6 cu ft up to as large as 16 cu ft but what you can fit in your home will depend upon the space you have available. As these are bigger machines, you need to think more about the amount and type of space you have as the dimensions become more important.

  1. Consider the width and the depth and the aperture into which it will fit. Sometimes it's easy to forget about the depth so be sure to measure both! Also, consider the height too, as overhanging kitchen cabinets can cause problems here. If there is a lot of clearance space above the fridge you might find a tall but narrow refrigerator can give you a lot of storage capacity.
  2. Measure the arc of the door swing. People tend to forget the door has to open and other things like doors and other appliances can get in the way of this. Make sure the door will have room to open comfortably in your chosen location.

Who Might Benefit From Small Fridges

There are many cases in which a small compact refrigerator is a necessity but also a number of cases where making the personal choice to downsize might be equally as beneficial.

If you live in an apartment, or are moving into one, then you will most likely need to downsize your kitchen appliances. Studio apartment refrigerators are smaller and more compact sized fridges designed to take up little space but still provide a place to store and chill foods. It's not just those people who can benefit from these kinds of mini coolers however, as there are a number of other places they are hugely useful.

Renters will appreciate a small model when it comes to moving on to a new rental home when the lease expires or you get sick of your landlord's rent hikes. They're easier to relocate as they'll fit in anywhere you go and smaller they are, the more portable and easier to carry out they are too so no need to break your back lifting it.

Micro fridges for dorm rooms are well worth having if you are allowed them in your room. There's nothing worse than sharing with other people as it often becomes a constant battle to keep your food to yourself and not find it involuntarily shared with the rest of the people you live with whether you like it or not. A small compact refrigerator you keep in your own student dorm room keeps the stuff you don't want to share safe and secure, for that matter, you can even buy a lockable one if people really can't keep their hands to themselves.

This same principle applies to room mates and house sharing. The chances are in a shared house you have a large chiller in the kitchen but you do your grocery shopping separately. In this case, a little fridge in your room, can enable you to keep the things you want to ensure you do not have to share, to yourself.

Compact style models are a useful addition to your RV or camper too where there is limited living space but you still want to take along some of your own food and snacks for the trip. RV fridges and small camper refrigerators are ideal for keeping moderate amounts of food chilled.

A portable fridge is a good accessory for your boat as well, whether you want a boat refrigerator for storing cold beers and bait for a fishing trip, or snacks and drinks for any other kind of leisure trip, an electric food chiller is a welcome addition below deck.

As you can see, these are a versatile and very useful appliance to have on hand no matter where you are.

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