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Best Mini Refrigerator For The Money  
Everything You Need to Know to Get a Great Mini Refrigerator at a Great Price
Top Five for the Money (Based on our Frugal5 Formula)
How do we pick these products? We spend many hours doing unbiased research to only give you the highest rated products at the best price. We first come up with a list of features, which you can see below, that we feel the majority of people will need. We then look for the highest quality products with these features and only show you the top five with the best value. Our mission is to provide you with the best five options based only on the facts. Don't see the product you were thinking about getting? Click here to calculate it's frugal score.
Midea 1.7cf Refrigerator BlackMidea 1.7cf Refrigerator WhiteMagic Chef MCBR240W 2.4 Cubic Feet Refrigerator, WEnergy Star 2.6 Cu. Ft. Compact RefrigeratorHaier HCR17W 1.7 Cubic Feet Refrigerator/Freezer,
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Product Rating
Average Price
Cheap ($75)
Cheap ($60)
Cheap ($119)
Cheap ($132)
Cheap ($111)
Frugal5 Score
Additional Info
1.7 cubic feet
1.7 cubic feet
2.4 cubic feet
2.6 cubic feet
1.7 cubic feet
Features Needed
Adjustable Door Storage
Freezer Compartment
Reversible Door Hinge For Left And Right Hand Opening
Unit That Fits Space Requirements
Features Not Needed
Adjustable Shelves
Automatic Defrost
Crisper Sections
Humidity Control
What You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

Mini refrigerators can be handy for keeping beverages cool when you run out of space in your main refrigerator. They also make great appliances for small apartments and dorms. But shopping on a budget doesn't mean you have to compromise quality. If you understand the features you need and those that just add cost without offering real benefits, you’re well on your way to a great deal.

Energy Efficiency and Mini Refrigerators are Mutually Exclusive

Understand that mini refrigerators are limited by their size in some of the features and energy efficiency compared to the standard-sized models. They are small, so manufacturers struggle to include enough insulation within the unit to offer energy efficiency. You’ll get improved efficiency choosing a model that includes a separate freezer compartment. This gives you more diversity in food items you can store while allowing you to open the fridge without losing energy in the freezer section. A freezer compartment adds very little to the cost while offering a lot in the way of benefits.


The question of size is the next one to address. How small should your mini fridge be? If you want it for a college dorm, find out what the size restrictions are. If for your den or office, check the space available there. Your best bet is to get the largest mini fridge you can within space confinements. The more space you have, the more room you have to store food. More space also offers greater energy efficiency since there is more room for insulation within the unit. Mini refrigerator sizes range from 1.7 to over 5 cubic feet. Most dorms will be limited to 1.7 cubic feet. Offices can fit larger models, but will usually be fine under 3 cubic feet.

Features Suited to Your Needs

Once you have decided on the purpose and size, the next step determines the features you need in the model of your choice. It’s smart to get one that has a reversible door because you never know where you’ll use the unit next. This year’s dorm may be totally different from the one you move into next year.

Door storage is handy, but not always standard in these units. Look for adjustable door storage, usually consisting of a wire bar that can be tilted to accommodate items as large as a 2-liter bottle. While not an absolute necessity, it's a handy feature.

Unnecessary Features That Add Cost

High-end frills add to the price of compact refrigerators. Features such as humidity control, crisper baskets, can dispensers and auto defrost drive up the price without offering much benefit.Think about the basic functions you need and look for those to score the best price and quality. The more bells and whistles you add, the more items you have that can break down as well.

Brands and Pricing

Haier and Midea are the most popular with consumers, offering affordable compact refrigerators. A less widely known brand, Magic Chef, has done a great job with a model nearly identical to Haier’s offerings. Expect to pay between $60 and $135.

Features You Need
Adjustable Door Storage, Freezer Compartment, Reversible Door Hinge For Left And Right Hand Opening, Unit That Fits Space Requirements
Features You Don't Need
Adjustable Shelves, Automatic Defrost, Crisper Sections, Humidity Control
What You Should Pay
Between $60.00 - $132.25
Top Of The Line Price
Over $1,500.00