Mini fridge & small fridge : Guide & Comparison 2024

One of the most common items of everyday equipment is the fridge. To keep food, drinks and other products cool, refrigeration is essential. For this reason, many manufacturers have developed and offer a wide variety of shapes and sizes of refrigerators. This article focuses on mini fridges and small fridges.

They are designed for people who have little space at home, who like to camp or who want to have access to food and refreshments at their desk. In the following paragraphs, I’ll explain the different types and the criteria for choosing them.

The best mini fridges of the 2024


What is a small fridge ?

A small fridge is a compact refrigerator that performs the same functions as a normal fridge. It is capable of keeping food and drinks cold. However, it is much smaller, both in height and volume. Mini fridges have a capacity of between 1.7 and 4.5 cubic feet. They are usually square or rectangular in shape. Whether or not there is a freezer compartment depends on the model.

How does it work ?

In refrigerators of all sizes there is a compressor, a condenser, an evaporator, an expansion device and a thermostat. The compressor circulates the refrigerant throughout the system and increases the pressure in the hot part of the circuit.

The condenser removes heat from the refrigerator during the cooling process. You can see that the rear of the refrigerator is hot for this reason. The component that cools the elements of the refrigerator is known as the evaporator.

mini fridge in a bathroom for guidance and comparison

Thanks to evaporation, the fridge changes from a liquid to a gaseous state, creating an ideal environment for storing food products. In addition, a capillary tube – a tiny piece of tubing – acts as an expansion device.

The thermostat regulates the cooling, ensuring that the temperature remains constant. The compressor is switched off when the sensor detects that the interior of the refrigerator has reached the desired level of cooling. If it detects excess heat, it switches the compressor on and restarts the cooling process.

What are the different types of mini fridges ?

There are different options for small mini fridges. Find out more about each one to see which one is best for you.

Cubic Small fridge

Although not exactly portable, the cube-shaped tiny mini fridge can be transported and assembled independently. The height and width of this type of mini fridge are not very different. This explains why it has the appearance of a cube.

This explains why it looks like a cube. Models with absorption cooling technology are ideal for campers, hotel rooms and dormitories. They are not very noisy and can run on a 12-volt power supply.

Example of a small cubic refrigerator for orientation and comparison

Mini-bar fridge

If you often have guests at home, a small fridge is ideal, as it is specially designed to hold drinks. It sits flush with the worktop, but is also suitable for hotel rooms. There are various small refrigerator available in different designs.

Some are equipped with glass doors that allow you to see the stored products. There are models that can accommodate all categories of beverages, but also some that do not.

Mini cellar

It is now possible to have a small cellar in the kitchen, whether you live in a flat or a house. A mini wine cellar is a kind of mini fridge in which a large number of bottles can be stored. The bottles are arranged horizontally on a series of shelves known as wine racks.

However, the main purpose of a mini-cellar is to keep the wines at the right temperature for consumption, i.e. between 10 and 12°C for white wines and between 16 and 18°C for red wines.

Portable small fridge

These types of coolers are very small and take up little space. Most mini-portable fridges use thermoelectric technology to provide efficient cooling and heating. They consume a minimal amount of electricity.

And they can be plugged in almost anywhere, as long as there is a power outlet available. For this reason, they are just as suitable for the office or bedroom as they are for travelling by car. They can be used to store cans of beer and soft drinks and can be powered from the vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket.

Small portable fridge installed next to the bed in a bedroom

Medium-sized refrigerator

The only difference between a medium sized mini fridge and a mini cube fridge is that medium sized small fridges are larger and require more electricity. In terms of size, this model is twice as tall as it is wide. These appliances are usually equipped with several shelves and a freezer compartment, and use compressor technology for refrigeration.

How to use a compact refrigerator ?

I’ll give you some practical tips on how to use a little fridge properly and make it last for a long time.


When you pick up your mini refrigerator, place it on a flat surface and make sure it does not tilt in any direction. Avoid placing it where it will be exposed to direct sunlight and make sure it is away from any heat generating appliances such as a water heater, oven or cooker.

Do not place the appliance too close to the wall. This will block air circulation and prevent the hot coils from cooling. As a result, the efficiency of the mini-refrigerator will be reduced.

Starting up

When you switch on the mini fridge for the first time, always set it to a medium temperature. You can always adjust the thermostat later, so that you get the right temperature for the food and drinks stored in the fridge. A knob is used to adjust the temperature of the refrigerator. It often resembles a cabinet lock and is characterised by a series of numbers from 0 to 10.


To keep your compact fridge in perfect working order, you need to maintain it properly.

The correct operation and maintenance of small refrigerators

If you notice that your mini fridge has frost in the freezer, defrost it. To defrost your small fridge you’ll need a large towel and a bit of patience. Leave the door open and place the towel underneath the appliance to absorb the moisture.

Make sure there is never any mould inside the fridge and take the time to clean it thoroughly at regular intervals. Wash the seals with soapy water to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle.

Spend some time cleaning the coils once a year. To do this, it is necessary to switch off the mini refrigerator. The refrigerator will only work properly if the coils are free of dirt and dust.

What are the advantages ?

The advantages of buying a compact fridge are many. Here are some of them:

Highly practical

Transporting a large fridge from one place to another is no mean feat. A small size fridge can be placed anywhere thanks to its small size and weight. It can be placed both indoors and outdoors, as long as it has access to a power socket.

Saving space

Mini fridges also have the advantage of taking up less space. This is an ideal solution, especially if you have a small kitchen. This way you can furnish and decorate the room accordingly.

Economical price

In principle, a refrigerator small size is more affordable than a standard fridge. If you’re on a tight budget but still want something that works, this is exactly what you need. What’s more, some budget models have the same features as conventional fridges.

Small fridges at reduced prices

Low energy consumption

Many people worry about the economic impact of using household appliances. But these mini mini fridges are equipped with an energy-saving system. The result: lower bills.

Conservation of beauty products

For cosmetics lovers, compact refrigerator are one of the most popular household appliances. They are a safe place to store beauty products and maintain their durability. If you store your cosmetics in the shower, the heat and steam from the shower can alter the look, smell and effectiveness of your beauty products.

Preserve allergenic foods

When it comes to the health of a loved one, dealing with food allergies can quickly become a challenge that should not be ignored. Although foods containing allergens may be placed on a shelf of their own, they will almost always be next to other foods in the fridge. Allergenic foods can be stored in a personal fridge, in addition to the regular fridge, to avoid cross-contamination.

What are the disadvantages of a small fridge ?

The advantages outweigh the disadvantages, but there are some weaknesses to consider. You may not be able to fit everything in a mini-fridge.

You may have to remove some items stored in the mini fridge to make room for other items you need more of. Finally, you may not be able to fit large containers in the refrigerator or freezer.

Comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of small fridges

How to choose the best mini fridge ?

The following are the main features to take into account when choosing a small fridge:


Before buying a personal refrigerator, it is essential to determine the exact dimensions of the space available. It must fit perfectly in the space available. If you choose this option for your bedroom, office or camper van, chances are that you will not have enough free space.


A small fridge usually has a capacity of around 100 litres. There are smaller versions that resemble mini-bars and usually have a capacity of between 24 and 42 litres.

Mini fridges of 1.5 cubic feet or less can only hold small items, such as cans of beer or yoghurt pots. It’s rare to find a mini fridge of this size with a freezer.

With a 1.5- to 3-cubic-foot model, larger products can be stored. The personal chiller is likely to have a freezer area large enough to store at least one or two items.

Larger little fridges measure one square metre or more. They usually have a large enough freezer section, shelves and a storage compartment.

The design

When it comes to matching the small fridge with the décor, design is a key factor. In fact, several mini fridges are available in a wide range of colours, making it easy to choose. Black and white fit in well with almost any decor.


Most mini-refrigerators have an aluminium outer frame, which is lighter than steel. It also has excellent corrosion resistance.

Materials used in the construction of small fridges

The latest models on the market are mostly made of plastic, which is easier to recycle and much lighter than aluminium combinations, thus protecting the environment.

The condenser and compressor pump coils are mainly made of copper. This is the most practical material for conducting electricity and heat.


It is essential to consider the subdivision of the refrigerator compartment and the number of shelves and drawers it has. Most compact refrigerators have only one or two shelves and a bottle holder. Some have a freezer compartment with a capacity of between 10 and 15 litres.

Noise level

Don’t forget to check the noise level of your tiny mini fridge, especially if you want to place it in the bedroom. Some of these small, compact fridges are actually noisier than conventional appliances. The noise level is expressed in decibels (dB). It should never exceed 45 dB to avoid annoyance.

Energy consumption

As with any electrical appliance, it is important to consider the power consumption. A letter from A to G is used to represent the energy consumption of a mini fridge. Choose a small fridge with an A or A++++ energy rating. With an A++++ rating, you can save up to 60 percent on electricity costs, which will significantly reduce your bills.

Cooling system

There are three refrigeration systems for mini-fridges:

Small mini fridges with a Peltier module are the most common and are defined as ‘2-in-1’, i.e. capable of generating both cooling and heating. In fact, this type of small refrigerator is based on thermoelectricity. This method consists of producing temperature changes using electricity.

The Peltier module is the component responsible for cooling and heating. A mini compressor refrigerator uses the same technology and principle as a conventional refrigerator. The liquid contained in the compressor is vaporised and distributed throughout the fridge, cooling the food and beverages present.

Mini fridge: control of the cold and temperature

The absorption models transport the heat from the inside of the fridge to the outside by simple evaporation. This system has the advantage that no noise is produced during the cooling process. It is the best option if you are thinking of buying a silent mini fridge. The only drawback is that the temperature can’t drop below 10°C.

Other considerations

Choose a model with a freezer if you want to store frozen food. Obviously, you won’t be able to fit much in it, but you can use it to make some ice cubes.

If you want a freestanding freezer, you can choose a medium-sized mini refrigerator with two sectional doors. Choose a door with a lock: it will prevent guests or children’s prying hands from taking products from the small size fridge without your consent.

For easy defrosting, choose a little fridge with an automatic defrost option. To make it easy to find the food or drink you want to consume, make sure your appliance has LED lighting.

Which are the best brands of mini fridges ?

Mini fridges are available today in a wide range of brands. Some manufacturers offer larger models that also include a freezer. Others offer superior refrigeration systems that consume less electricity.

guide to the best brands of mini fridges


The Klarstein brand was founded in 2005 and is a subsidiary of the German company Chal-Tec GmbH. Whatever your needs, you can be sure that the company has the equipment you need to feel at home. In fact, it offers appliances for the kitchen, laundry and even home ventilation.

Nowadays, the brand is known all over the world and also distributes its products to the four corners of the world. The Klarstein mini refrigerators stand out. They are also known as mini-bars. They have a capacity of 25 to 32 litres. They can be placed in a playroom or simply in a recreation area away from the kitchen, but can be used in many different situations.

With a Klarstein wine cooler, you don’t need sophisticated equipment or sommelier skills to store your favourite bottles of wine. It provides a humid environment and temperature control to maintain the highest level of flavour while eliminating bacteria, so you can enjoy your wines without worrying about spoilage.

The reviews and tests on the Klarstein small fridges are generally favourable, as the company’s products live up to their description and the price is reasonable for the level of quality.

Reviews of the Klarstein mini fridge


Smeg is an Italian company that manufactures household appliances. It was founded in 1948 by Vittorio Bertazzoni and is based in Guastalla, near Reggio Emilia in the province of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy. Tests carried out repeatedly during the production process prove that Smeg goes to great lengths to guarantee the durability and reliability of its products.

SMEG offers a range of refrigerators and freezers in different sizes to suit any kitchen. Depending on the model, the appliances can offer state-of-the-art technologies such as anti-bacterial systems, fast freezing or even a zero-degree section, as well as being highly energy efficient.

Smeg’s most popular product range includes small vintage fridges. They are striking for their finely detailed finishes and bright colours. Their iconic handles and rounded corners bring the aesthetics of the 1950s into your kitchen.

SMEG also offers portable small refrigerators with a classic design and modern technology. All of them are equipped with a separate fridge and freezer. The refrigerator section has several height-adjustable shelves, a drawer for fruit and vegetables and a tray for large bottles. The freezer has two drawers and an ice cube tray.

The Small built-in fridge freezer range from SMEG is an excellent choice for those who appreciate individuality and have a ready-made kitchen cabinet. To buy a SMEG refrigerator you need to set aside a considerable amount of money.


AstroAI focuses on home and automotive equipment. Its aim is to offer customers a complete range of practical products so that they can enjoy the best possible experience. The manufacturer offers very small refrigerators. They are available in different colours, such as blue, pink, white and black. They are usually 25.5 cm long, 17 cm wide and 24 cm high and have a capacity of about 4 litres.

AstroAI mini fridge test and review

Its design has been specially conceived to make it easy to carry, thanks to a portable wrist strap. Moreover, given its size, it will not take up too much space. The brand’s small refrigerators are characterised by the Peltier module, which allows you to heat and cool food and drinks. They are equipped with two independent electrical systems, which operate at 12 V and 220 V, and come with a set of connection cables for use at home and in the car.

How much does a small fridge cost ?

The price of a mini fridge varies depending on the brand and the features it offers. High-end models can be expensive, up to 250 euros. However, there are more affordable entry-level models, with portable models costing around 100 euros.

Where can I buy one ?

Most small fridge manufacturers supply their products to retailers rather than selling them direct. It’s always a good idea to visit reputable online shops, such as Amazon.

However, mini fridges are available in every appliance shop. It is good to know, however, that sometimes the supply is limited and the price can be higher.

Where to buy a mini-fridge

Overall opinion

Compact fridges have revolutionised the household appliance sector. They offer interesting possibilities for furnishing the kitchen, the office, the bedroom or the car. What’s more, they come in many shapes and sizes to suit everyone’s needs. I think Smeg is the best brand to buy a design mini fridge.

Questions about mini fridges

The most frequently asked questions from internet users are listed in the Frequently Asked Questions section.

How much does a small fridge cost?

The price of a small fridge varies depending on the brand, some are reliable, others are not, but it also depends on the materials used in its manufacture, the capacity and the relevant accessories. In any case, the cost can range from 90 to 250 euros or even more.

How to choose a mini fridge?

There are several factors to consider when choosing a tiny mini fridge. There are different types of mini frefrigerators, so you need to decide which one is right for you. Determine which products you want to keep refrigerated, for example food, drinks or beauty products. This will make your choice easier. The size and volume of the product are other crucial factors, as you should consider the space available and the amount of products you want to store when making your decision.

How much does a small fridge consume?

The energy consumption of a mini fridge depends on its power. The more powerful the model, the more energy it consumes. Also, since the appliance is constantly plugged in, it consumes electricity continuously to keep the products fresh. As a rule, a small refrigerator consumes between 35 and 70 watts. Before you make your decision, take a close look at the energy label on the small refrigerator. The most energy-efficient class is A+++.


As can be seen, the advantages of using mini-refrigerators are manifold. It is therefore essential to take care of them in order to keep them in perfect working order. However, it is up to you to decide which type of mini fridge is right for you. Remember to take into account the factors mentioned above.


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I'm a fan of interior design. It's no surprise that I've fallen in love with branded mini fridges, which are as practical as they are decorative! Through this blog, I'm sharing my best advice on how to buy with peace of mind, so don't hesitate to contact me if you need any further help!

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