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The 5 Best Mini Fridges in 2017

Updated on December 27, 2017
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Living in hot and balmy Florida, Paul understands the importance of reliable refrigeration for keeping drinks and food cold.

The Magic Chef MCBR170BMD is perfect for bedrooms, offices spaces, garages, or college dorm rooms.  It features a separate freezer compartment, reversible door, and full range temperature control.  Its flush back design saves space.
The Magic Chef MCBR170BMD is perfect for bedrooms, offices spaces, garages, or college dorm rooms. It features a separate freezer compartment, reversible door, and full range temperature control. Its flush back design saves space.

Living in Florida, as I do, I fully understand the need to have easy access to refrigeration. A lukewarm bottle of water, soda, or beer just doesn't do the trick if you are feeling overheated.

A good compact refrigerator is an excellent device for keeping drinks cold and preserving food in limited spaces, or as an addition to a main fridge in another area of the house or building.

They are great for use in dorm rooms, bar areas, bedrooms, garages, office spaces, dens, man caves, and anywhere else where refrigeration is required.

The unit will:

  • Keep your drinks cold and refreshing.
  • Chill food snacks and preserve them for longer.

When searching for a mini fridge to buy, things to look out for include:

  • The capacity of the unit. This dictates how much it will hold.
  • Is it an all refrigerator, or does it also have a freezer?
  • Is it energy efficient?
  • Does the price offer value for money and suit your budget?

Below are my recommendations for the best mini fridges currently available.

This Danby compct fridge offers excellent value for money.  This all refrigerator is ideal of student dorm rooms, bedrooms, garages, and office spaces.  The Danby is Energy Star compliant.
This Danby compct fridge offers excellent value for money. This all refrigerator is ideal of student dorm rooms, bedrooms, garages, and office spaces. The Danby is Energy Star compliant.

#1 Best Mini Fridge: The Danby DAR017A2BDD

Ideal for a student dorm room, bedroom, garage, or office space, the Danby DAR017A2BDD is an excellent compact all refrigerator with 1.7 Cu. Ft. capacity.

This energy efficient unit features CanStor beverage dispenser, tall bottle storage, and a scratch resistant work top.

The shelves are removable to provide versatility, and there is a reversible door hinge, enabling left and right hand opening.

The Midea WHS-65LB1 is a quiet operator at a very affordable price.  Energy saving and environmentally friendly, the unit has a reversible door-left or right swing for convenience and racks on the door for versatility.
The Midea WHS-65LB1 is a quiet operator at a very affordable price. Energy saving and environmentally friendly, the unit has a reversible door-left or right swing for convenience and racks on the door for versatility.

Best Affordable Mini Refrigerator: The Midea WHS-65LB1

Featuring efficient, environment-friendly technology, the Midea WHS-65LB1 is another affordable unit.

This compact refrigerator has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet, and features a reversible door to enable left or right opening.

This energy-saving unit is perfect for a bedroom, dorm room, office space, garage, or leisure area. The Midea HS-65L is also quiet, which is essential if you are sleeping in the same room.

A General Electric "Monitor-Top" refrigerator.  Introduced in 1927, these units got their name because they were thought to resemble the gun turret on the 1860s ironclad warship, USS Monitor.  This was the first fridge model to see widespread use.
A General Electric "Monitor-Top" refrigerator. Introduced in 1927, these units got their name because they were thought to resemble the gun turret on the 1860s ironclad warship, USS Monitor. This was the first fridge model to see widespread use. | Source

A Brief History of the Domestic Refrigerator

  • 1755 - Artificial refrigeration begins when Scottish professor William Cullen designs his new cooling machine.
  • 1913 - Refrigerators for home use are invented by Fred W. Wolf of Fort Wayne, Indiana. They consist of a unit mounted on an ice box.

  • 1918 - William C. Durant launches the Frigidaire Company and begins mass-production.
  • 1920s - Ice cube trays become a more and more common feature.
  • 1927 - General Electric launch the "Monitor-Top", the first unit to see widespread use, with over a million produced.
  • Early fridges used either sulfur dioxide, or methyl formate as their refrigerant. Sulfur dioxide is damaging to the eyes and may cause blindness, skin burns and lesions. Methyl formate is highly flammable, also damaging to the eyes, and toxic if inhaled or swallowed.
  • 1920s and 30s - Freon takes over as the main refrigerant used in units. It is safer and less harmful to humans than sulfur dioxide and methyl formate.
  • 1940s - Freezer compartments become more common.
  • 1950s and 60s - Automatic defrosting and automatic ice making features are developed.
  • 1980s - The refrigerant freon is found to be environmentally harmful and subsequently banned.
  • Modern fridges are typically constructed from steel, copper, polystyrene, ABS, and polypropene plastic.

The Scottish professor William Cullen is considered to be the father of artificial refrigeration.  He designed a small refrigerating machine in 1755. Although it was fully functioning, Cullen's cooling machine had no practical use at that time.
The Scottish professor William Cullen is considered to be the father of artificial refrigeration. He designed a small refrigerating machine in 1755. Although it was fully functioning, Cullen's cooling machine had no practical use at that time. | Source

More Top-Rated Compact Refrigerators!

Below are three more top-rated mini fridges that are worthy of consideration. All offer excellent value for money, energy efficiency, and versatile storage, and would be perfect for a bedroom, college dorm room, leisure or exercise area, garage, or office room.

Ideal for college dorm rooms, bedrooms, bar areas, and any other area that requires compact refrigeration, the Magic Chef MCBR170BMD has a capacity of 1.7 cubic feet and full range temperature control.  The door is reversible.
Ideal for college dorm rooms, bedrooms, bar areas, and any other area that requires compact refrigeration, the Magic Chef MCBR170BMD has a capacity of 1.7 cubic feet and full range temperature control. The door is reversible.

Flush Back and Full Range Temperature Control: The Magic Chef MCBR170BMD!

With a reversible door and adjustable leveling legs enabling left or right opening, the Magic Chef MCBR170BMD has a capacity of 1.7 cubic feet and full range temperature control.

The flush back design reduces the amount of space taken up by the compact refrigerator.

Perfect for use in a bedroom, bar area, dorm room, or any other location requiring compact refrigeration, the Magic Chef MCBR170BMD also has a separate freezer compartment and manual defrosting.

With a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet combined with a compact design, the Sunpentown RF-171W is a great option for those requiring compact refrigeration in an office area, dorm room, or bedroom.  It also functions effectively when placed on a counter-top
With a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet combined with a compact design, the Sunpentown RF-171W is a great option for those requiring compact refrigeration in an office area, dorm room, or bedroom. It also functions effectively when placed on a counter-top

Affordable and Versatile: The Sunpentown RF-171W!

Another affordable option, the Sunpentown RF-171W has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet and is an excellent choice for use in an office, or college dorm room, it also works well when placed on a counter-top.

This unit has multiple storage options, including: a removable food shelf; a door rack for tall bottles; and a freezer section with an ice-cube tray.

The reversible door ensures versatility, and the adjustable thermostat enables accurate temperature control.

The flush back design of the Sunpentown RF-171W saves space. This compact unit measures 18-1/2 by 17-1/8 by 20 inches.

How a Fridge Works

Fridges work in cycles and have five main components: the refrigerant (such as R134a); a compressor; the condenser coils; the evaporator coils; and an expansion device.

1. The refrigerant (also sometimes called "coolant") vapor is restricted by the compressor, increasing its pressure. It is then pushed into the condenser coils, which are on the outside of the fridge.

2. When the hot gas in the coils encounters the cooler temperature of the room air, it turns into a liquid.

3. The pressurized liquid refrigerant then cools down as it flows through the evaporator coils inside the refrigerator.

4. The air inside the fridge is cooled down as the refrigerant absorbs the heat from inside the refrigerator.

5. The heat makes the refrigerant turn back into a gas, which flows into the compressor, and the cycle begins again.

A compressor and fan-assisted condenser coil.  The refrigerant (or coolant) is a a specially designed chemical that alternates between being a cool liquid and a hot gas.  It is these special properties that are used in the refrigeration process.
A compressor and fan-assisted condenser coil. The refrigerant (or coolant) is a a specially designed chemical that alternates between being a cool liquid and a hot gas. It is these special properties that are used in the refrigeration process. | Source
The Haier HCR17W has a capacity of 1.7 Cubic Feet, which is split between refrigeration and freezing.  It has 2-liter bottle storage, and is perfect for dorm rooms, bar units and other locations that need compact refrigeration.
The Haier HCR17W has a capacity of 1.7 Cubic Feet, which is split between refrigeration and freezing. It has 2-liter bottle storage, and is perfect for dorm rooms, bar units and other locations that need compact refrigeration.

Tall Bottle Storage: The Haier HCR17W!

Perfect for bedrooms, bar units, dorm rooms, and any other place that requires compact refrigeration, the Haier HCR17W is a fridge/freezer with 1.7 cubic feet capacity.

The Haier features 2 liter door bottle storage, which makes it an excellent place for storing and cooling juice containers, soda bottles and other 2 liter drink containers.

The refrigerator has a full-width shelf which slides out to offer easy and convenient access. There are also half-width door shelves offering additional storage space.

© 2015 Paul Askew

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    • Marina7 profile image

      Marina 3 years ago from Clarksville TN

      Great hub!!

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