Going off to college can be stressful. There is so much to do and so much to buy, it can get overwhelming. But adding the best mini fridge for dorm rooms to your list is something you don't want to forget.
When my son went off to college, I was determined to get the bare minimum and not fall into the "first kid off to college" trap of getting anything and everything because your baby's going away. Believe me; they don't need everything you find on those college checklists. But the one thing I'm glad we did bring along was a mini-fridge.
Even though he had a college meal plan, the cafeteria isn't open at 2 a.m. and buying snacks and drinks from vending machines is expensive. So, having a mini fridge allowed him to have cold drinks and food nearby for those late-night study sessions. (Don't disillusion me, please!)
However, when it came time to actually buying a min fridge, that became an adventure in itself. Who knew there were so many styles and options?
But buying the best mini fridge for dorm rooms doesn't have to be difficult as long as you know what kind of features you need -- and which ones you don't.
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Things to Consider Before Buying a Mini Fridge for Your Dorm
You don't have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on the best mini fridge for dorm rooms, but there are things you should consider before purchasing one.
Do you need one?
The simple answer is: yes.
As mentioned earlier, a mini-fridge is great for late-night study sessions or to grab a quick bite or drink between classes. Not only will it save money, but it's also an excellent way to promote healthy eating.
Instead of spending money on chips from vending machines and super-expensive coffee from the shop around the corner, you can stock up on fruit, yogurt, and water to keep you well-fed and hydrated. Plus, it's a safe way to store leftovers, whether it's pizza or Chinese.
And if you're worried about what to do with it if you're not staying in a dorm next year, you can sell it and get some money back.
Surprisingly, some colleges have strict rules regarding mini fridges. Some colleges allow them if they meet certain standards and size requirements. Other colleges don't allow them at all.
So, before you buy a mini-fridge, check with your college's housing office to find out if there are any rules or requirements.
What about your roommate?
Sometimes roommates will divvy up necessities to bring and share. For example, if you bring a mini fridge, your roommate might bring a microwave.
However, your roommate might want a fridge of his or her own. So, check with your roommate to see what he or she has in mind. But, once again, you'll want to check with campus housing because some colleges will only allow one fridge per room.
Where will you put it?
Sometimes it's hard to tell how much space your dorm room has. Even if you've gone on a tour, you might not have toured your actual dorm. And when move-in day finally arrives, you'd be surprised at how small the room is.
However, mini fridges are compact and can fit under a lofted bed, on a desk, or a dresser. But, if it's going to be shared, it needs to be in a common space. One of the best things we bought to go along with the mini fridge was a wheeled cart.
The fridge sat on a cart, which made it far easier to access, and the drawers on the bottom provided great storage for dry snacks, paper towels, and plastic dishes. Plus, the wheels made it easy to move around as needed. So, it's something you might want to consider when choosing the best mini fridge for dorm rooms.
Choosing a Mini Fridge for Your Dorm Room
There are many features to consider when choosing the best mini fridge for dorm rooms.
Mini fridges come in a variety of sizes. And while the dimensions are important so that you comply with dorm rules and requirements, the storage capacity is just as important.
A mini fridge's storage capacity is listed in cubic feet. The larger the number, the more space it has.
However, some units are more geared towards storing drinks and small food items, while others are spacious enough to store larger items. Some even have drawers for veggies and fruit and even separate freezer compartments that will fit a whole frozen pizza.
But if your floor doesn't have a kitchen with an oven, how will you cook that pizza, anyway?
So, consider your eating habits when choosing the best mini fridge for dorm rooms, so you purchase one that is practical -- and fits your needs.
Many mini fridges have separate freezer compartments that allow you to store a buttload of frozen items. These freezers are so spacious you can store a week's worth of frozen meals from home. Other fridges have freezer or chiller sections that are only big enough to fit a small ice cube tray.
So, think about how you're going to use the mini fridge and whether a separate freezer is really necessary.
Since dorm rooms are usually smaller than you think, a mini-fridge with reversible doors is a great option to consider. Reversible doors allow more flexibility on where you can put the fridge for easy access.
There are also other features to consider before buying the best mini fridge for dorm rooms. Some refrigerators include a lock which may be useful if you have to store medicine in your fridge.
Other models have interior lights, adjustable thermostats, and even fancy features such as auto defrost.
How We Chose Our List
We searched the internet to find out what factors made for the best mini fridge for dorm rooms and why. Then we looked at what the experts had to say (college students!) We also read both positive and negative customer reviews to make sure the mini fridges we chose would be the best fit for your dorm.
Also, we compared prices and evaluated features to give you an unbiased review of the best mini fridge for dorm rooms to make your purchasing decision easier.
The Best Mini Fridge for Dorm Rooms:
Our Top 7 Picks
Although we've numbered our list, this does not signify a ranking.
1. EdgeStar Compact Fridge/Freezer
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The EdgeStar Compact Fridge/Freezer is your fridge away from home. Not only is this two-door mini-fridge sharp looking, but it also has many features of a full-size refrigerator. It just might be the best mini fridge for dorm rooms you can't live without.
The unit has 3.1 cubic feet of storage space, so there's plenty of room to fit everything you need. Plus, it has a separate fridge and freezer so you can keep your cold foods cold and your frozen foods frozen.
So, if you want to keep a couple of frozen pizzas on hand for a late-night snack, you can. The freezer also has a storage rack on the door for small items like a frozen dinner or box of frozen pancakes.
In addition, the refrigerator has one adjustable wire shelf, a slide-out glass shelf, and a crisper drawer. It also has a storage space on the door for big bottles and a can dispenser which holds up to eight cans.
Plus, it has an interior light, so when your roommate is sleeping, there's no need to turn on the overhead light to grab a quick snack or drink.
However, some users claim the unit is loud, which could be way worse than being blinded by the light. So, you might want to test it out first before hauling it along for move-in day.
The fridge also features reversible doors, which gives you greater flexibility on where you can put it in your dorm room. And if your dorm requires energy-efficient fridges, this model is Energy Star rated. This unit is 18.75 inches by 19.75 inches by 33.5 inches.
Amazon customers gave this mini fridge 4.4 out of 5.0 stars.
2. Costway Compact Refrigerator
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The Costway Compact Refrigerator is a two-door unit that has a separate freezer and refrigerator. It has 3.2 cubic feet of storage space between both areas, which gives you plenty of room to store everything you need.
The unit includes a storage drawer in the refrigerator to keep your fruits and vegetables fresh. Plus, the door has a can dispenser and a storage rack to hold that delicious almond milk you love. The freezer compartment has a convenient storage rack on its door as well.
In addition, the refrigerator features two removable and adjustable slide-out shelves, which make grabbing those cheese sticks stuck in the back easier. And the shelves are glass which makes cleaning up spills a breeze.
It also runs quiet and has an interior light so you can score good roommate points. However, the doors are not reversible, so pick a space where you can conveniently open and close the doors.
This unit measures 20 inches by 17.5 inches by 34 inches.
Amazon users rated this mini fridge 4.3 out of 5.0 stars.
3. Colzer Compact Refrigerator
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If you're not planning to stock up on frozen foods, then the Colzer Compact Refrigerator might be your choice for the best mini fridge for dorm rooms. Although this unit doesn't feature a separate freezer door, there is a built-in chiller compartment where you can store small items you need to keep extra cold.
This refrigerator features 3.0 cubic feet of storage space and includes two glass shelves adjustable to eight different levels. Talk about flexibility!
In addition, there are three storage racks on the door to hold cans, water, or even that two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew you need to chug down during your late-night cramming sessions.
Also, the refrigerator has an adjustable thermostat, a reversible door, and an interior light. This unit is 18.7 inches by 17.3 inches by 33 inches.
This mini fridge received 5.0 out of 5.0 stars from Amazon customers.
4. HomeLabs Mini Fridge
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Not only does the hOmeLabs Mini Fridge feature 3.3 cubic feet of storage space, but you can also write on the doors!
So, if you suddenly have a Monday morning epiphany while you're chugging down your orange juice, just grab a dry erase marker or wax crayon and get it all down on your fridge! And you can erase it all off, too -- as long as you only use a dry erase marker or wax crayon, okay?
This mini-fridge features 3.3 cubic feet of storage space, including space on the door for cans and bottles. Plus, it has three removable glass shelves, so if you need more space, you got it.
It also has a small freezer compartment that can hold an ice cube tray or even a few of your favorite ice cream treats.
There's also an adjustable thermostat, but it only has three settings. So, make sure you set it on "max" to keep the freezer compartment cold enough if you have something stored in there.
In addition, the door is reversible, which is super convenient when you're trying to figure out the layout of your room. This unit measures 18.5 inches by 17 inches by 33.5 inches.
Amazon customers gave this mini fridge 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.
5. GE Compact Refrigerator
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The GE Compact Refrigerator features both a refrigerator and a freezer compartment. It has 3.2 cubic feet of storage space so you can store all your favorite foods, drinks, and even some homemade frozen meals your mom made.
It has two removable glass shelves for easy cleaning and a storage drawer to hold all your fruits and vegetables. Plus, the refrigerator door has a can dispenser and two other rack areas to hold bottles and other small items.
The freezer also has a rack storage area on the door.
In addition, the fridge has an interior light so you can find your snacks quickly in the middle of the night without disturbing your roommate. The doors are not reversible, so pick your spot wisely.
This unit is 21.8 inches by 20.3 inches by 34.8 inches.
This mini fridge received a 4.4 out of 5.0-star rating from Amazon customers.
6. Daewoo Retro Compact Refrigerator
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If you're looking for something a little more fun than your standard mini-fridge, the Daewoo Retro Compact Refrigerator is a stylish alternative.
This retro-looking mini-fridge comes in five different colors so you can color-coordinate your side of the room if you choose.
The refrigerator has 4.4 cubic feet of storage space, and its interior is even designed a bit differently than other mini-fridges. The door has storage, but instead of just racks, you get a good-sized bin that is big enough to hold a couple of two-liter bottles of your favorite drink plus a few more things.
There's also another bin at the top of the door that can hold eggs or cream cheese.
In addition, it has two glass shelves, one of which is adjustable. Plus, there's a storage drawer where you can store even more of your favorite foods.
It also has tabletop functionality, which means you can get a matching microwave or Keurig Coffee Maker and put it right on top of the fridge!
The door isn't reversible, but it does have an interior light. But, best of all, it's Energy Star rated, so it cools efficiently while looking cool. The unit is 22.8 inches by 19.2 inches by 36.1 inches
Amazon users gave this mini fridge 4.2 out of 5.0 stars.
7. Della Compact Mini Fridge
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There's nothing fancy about the Della Compact Mini Fridge -- it simply keeps things cool. This single-door mini fridge has 4.5 cubic feet of storage space for all of your favorite food and drinks.
It has removable and adjustable wire shelves as well as integrated shelving on the door for storing cans and tall bottles. It also features a reversible door which allows you to put this fridge anywhere in your room.
Plus, you can keep everything as cool as you want with the adjustable thermostat.
While this unit includes a freezer, it doesn't hold much. You'll be able to keep a small ice cube tray or a popsicle in there, but that's about it. There's also no interior light. However, if all you want is cold drinks and a place to store leftover pizza, this a great option.
This unit has adjustable legs so you can raise or lower its height, but you might want to put it on a stand for easier access. The unit measures 20.31 inches by 22.25 inches by 32.5 inches.
Amazon customers gave this mini fridge a 4.2 out of 5.0 star rating.
Keep Things Cool with the Best Mini Fridge
for Dorm Rooms
Going off to college is stressful enough without the extra worry about what you'll do when a late-night snack craving hits. So, bringing along the best mini fridge for dorm rooms will keep the good stuff right at your fingertips.
You'll save money and eat healthier, too. And before long all that stress and worry will fade away as you get into the groove of your new environment.
What's your recommendation for the best mini fridge for dorm rooms? Share yours below!
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