7 Best Mini Fridges for College Dorms (2020)

About the Author: Hi, I’m Prof Chris. I’m a university teacher and I run things around here. You can learn more about me here. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

My top Pick

Frigidaire Retro Bar Fridge Refrigerator

Check the price
on Amazon.

My pick as the best mini fridge for college students is this Retro Bar Fridge from Frigidaire. I love the look of it and it gets a ton of complements. It’s got enough space for necessities for a single person in their dorm or would work as a secondary drinks fridge.

There comes a time when you realize that you just need your own mini fridge.

That time came for me in my 2nd year at university. I was sick of dorm mates’ friends coming into my house and drinking my beer. So I took matters into my own hands and got myself an awesome mini fridge to keep in my room.

So if you’re ready to buy a mini fridge, here’s a review of the best mini fridges to help you decide just what you want.

The best mini fridges for college are:

Fridge

Quick Overview

1. Frigidaire Retro Bar Fridge Refrigerator My Rating: 8.5/10 (My Top Pick)
My Top Pick. You can’t go past the awesome retro look of this fridge – would fit in really well in a dorm room. Go to my Review
2. Galanz GLR35RDER Retro Mini Fridge My Rating: 8.5/10
A nice and well build mini fridge with a classy design. Choose your color. Go to my Review
3. Igloo IRF26EBBK Dry Eraser Board Refrigerator My Rating: 8/10
A mini fridge with a fun idea: it doubles up as a dry erase board. Every time you run out of an item, add it to your list immediately! Comes with pens and eraser. Go to my Review
4. Vremi Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler My Rating: 7.5/10
A very popular mini fridge with see-through door for displaying your beverages for visitors. Go to my Review
5. Antarctic Star Beverage Refrigerator Cooler My Rating: 7.5/10
A quality small refrigerator for displaying beverages and storing under a desk or in a cupboard. Go to my Review
6. Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler My Rating: 6.5/10
A nice tiny fridge for storing just the essentials. Go to my Review
7. RCA RFR321 Mini Refrigerator My Rating: 7/10
An elegant, simple mini fridge that comes in multiple different colors. Go to my Review

Best Mini Fridges for College Students

1. Frigidaire Retro Bar Fridge Refrigerator

Quick Review: You can’t go past the awesome retro look of this fridge – would fit in really well in a dorm room.


Check the price
on Amazon.

I love the retro design and it gets a ton of complements from everyone who sees it. It’s got enough space for necessities for a single person in their dorm or would work as a secondary drinks fridge (3.2cu ft.). You can also tack on a bottle opener on the side of the fridge for convenience!

Why this Fridge:

  • Awesome Design: I love the retro look and feel!
  • Screw Free Construction: You’ll receive the handle and go “but where’s the screw?” Don’t worry – it’s designed to snap in, which saves a ton of time.
  • Comfortably holds a Case of Beer: The answer everyone’s after: Yes, it’ll hold a full case of beer. Although, I also use my 3.2 cubic foot fridge for milk, vegetables and you know … healthy reasons.

Keep in Mind:

  • Those Amazon Reviews: Keep an eye on the star rating. Over 75% of people gave it a 4 or 5 star review, meaning the vast majority of buyers were happy with the purpose. There are some very vocal negative reviews, but the vast majority were happy. 
  • No Light: You would hope that an internal light would be included in a fridge like this one, but my assumption is they excluded it to save precious space in a small fridge.

2. Galanz GLR35RDER Retro Mini Fridge

Quick Review: A nice and well build mini fridge with a classy design. Choose your color.


Check the price
on Amazon.

A very classy looking mini fridge with a lot of internal space. The handle doesn’t actually ‘turn’, you just pull it top open up. I appreciate that there’s an internal light inside this one, which makes it stand out against its direct competitor (the Fridigaire Retro – see above). However, at the time of writing it does come in at a slightly higher price point as well.

Why this Fridge:

  • Choose your Color: Choose between red, sky blue and black.
  • Small Built-In Freezer: You can fit frozen products in the small freezer compartment at the top. It’s good enough, but not a substitute for a real dedicated freezer on its own.
  • Good Shelf Space: This one has a great amount of shelf space for a single person for all their cooking needs (oh, and your alcohol, too).

Keep in Mind:

  • Price vs. Competitors: I was not able to get this at a lower price than the direct competitor, although I acknowledge that it does have some additional features that the Fridigaire Retro doesn’t have.

3. Igloo IRF26EBBK Dry Eraser Board Refrigerator

Quick Review: A mini fridge with a fun idea: it doubles up as a dry erase board. Every time you run out of an item, add it to your list immediately! Comes with pens and eraser.


Check the price
on Amazon.

This fridge comes in two sizes and includes a built-in freezer. But the main drawing card of this fridge which makes it stand out from the rest is that it operates as a dry erase board. It comes with two pens and an eraser so you can get started writing reminders, writing out your shopping list, or taking study notes on it right away.

Why this Fridge:

  • Write on your Fridge: You can use the neon pens and dry erase marker to write messages and reminders on the fridge. You could even incorporate it into your study routine!
  • Dry Erase Markers and Eraser Included: You’ll get a pink and a green pen, as well as an eraser, so you can get started writing on the fridge immediately!
  • Choose your Size: Pick between a 2.6 or 3.2 cubic feet fridge. The 2.6cu option is a middle size between the tiny fridges and larger fridges on this list – and could be a compromise if you can’t decide between the sizes!

Keep in Mind:

  • Freezer is Average: It’s a common complaint about mini fridges, but it’s true in this case, too: don’t expect your freezer section to keep things frozen. It’ll be colder than the fridge section but by no means perfect.

4. Vremi Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler

Quick Review: A very popular mini fridge with see-through door for displaying your beverages for visitors.


Check the price
on Amazon.

This is a really cool mini fridge for displaying your beverages. It’s great to have in your dorm room when you want to offer your friends a beverage. But, one thing that concerns me is that it might not look so great when you’ve got it packed with sauces, leftovers, milk, etc. – it’s not as appealing of a look!

Why this Fridge:

  • Great for Displaying Beverages: It can be great for house parties where the beverages are neatly displayed in a classy way for guests to access.
  • Great Shelf Space: I love how much shelf space is in this fridge – enough for stacking four levels of beer!
  • Digital Thermostat: I love that there’s a digital display that always tells you what the temperature is.

Keep in Mind:

  • See Through Display can get Old: If you’re storing leftovers, milk, salad, dressing sauces, etc. in the fridge, the see through front ends up being a downside. You’re just displaying your mess to the world!

5. Antarctic Star Beverage Refrigerator Cooler

Quick Review: A quality small refrigerator for displaying beverages and storing under a desk or in a cupboard.


Check the price
on Amazon.

This is a good option if you’re really low on space. It fits inside a cupboard or under a desk. You can pull it out for when you want to display beverages. Or, you can keep it hidden away when you’re storing those ugly condiments and leftovers!

Why this Fridge:

  • Fits in a Small Space: I love that you can squeeze it into your cupboard or under a table to make it an inconspicuous addition to your dorm room.
  • Great for Displaying Beverages: I love the see-through front so you can display your beverages for guests.
  • Good Temperature: It does a good job of keeping beverages cool.

Keep in Mind:

  • Quite Small: It’s not quite big enough for someone who likes to cook. You’ll have to take out the trays if you want to keep a gallon of milk in there, and you might have just enough space for a six pack of beers and some leftovers.

6. Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler

Quick Review: A nice tiny fridge for storing just the essentials.


Check the price
on Amazon.

This tiny fridge will fit a 6 pack perfectly. Or, you could keep a small bottle of milk or some leftovers from last night’s dinner in there. It’s also very good at keeping things cool which is more than can be said about competitors in the 4L size range. It’s my pick for fridges at this size.

Why this Fridge:

  • Affordable: While it’s the smallest fridge in the range, it’s also the most affordable. So if you’re tight on cash and don’t need to cool all that much, here’s your fridge.
  • Fits anywhere: At 11 inches high, this fridge will be stored anywhere in your closet or even under your bed!
  • Warming Capacity: You could also turn this to a warming function, which can keep things warm at 122ºF-144ºF.

Keep in Mind:

  • Just the Basics: You won’t be able to store cooking supplies or even a gallon of milk in here. This is for just a small milk, a 6 pack of beer, or some basic leftovers.

7. RCA RFR321 Mini Refrigerator

Quick Review: An elegant, simple mini fridge that comes in multiple different colors.


Check the price
on Amazon.

This fridge is one of the most popularly purchased item on Amazon. It has a built-in freezer section (although I never trust mini-fridge freezers) and adjustable shelf heights. There are a mix of reviews online about it, but note that the significant majority of online reviews are positive – so chances are you’ll like it!

Why this Fridge:

  • Choose a Color: The choice between 7 different colors is great. You can choose the color that matches your dorm room perfectly.
  • Reversible Door: Change the side the door opens on if it opens awkwardly within your space.
  • Can Dispenser: There is a dedicated can dispenser in the door, which is great if you’re an avid drinker of coke, soda water or (of course) beer.

Keep in Mind:

  • Door Setup Annoys me: I don’t particularly like the an dispenser option – it’s fun, but sometimes I just want nice clean shelf space that’s versatile and can be used for anything. That’s my personal preference though.

What to Look for in a Mini Fridge

1. Size

Typical sizes for mini fridges are 3.2 cubic feet, 2.6 cubic feet, 1.6 cubic feet and 4L:

3.2 Cubic Feet: These fridges usually stand about hip height (34 inches high) and are a comfortable position for sitting things on top like a plant or books. These will fit enough goods in them for a single person who likes to cook. They also usually have a small freezer area, but the freezer in mini fridges is not usually reliable unfortunately.

2.6 Cubic Feet: These fridges usually stand about 27 inches high and should be enough for you to store your milk and a few days’ supplies. They will also usually store at least a 24 pack of beer and some wine.

1.6 Cubic Feet: These ones are very small and can be stored in a closet easily. They’re usually used for only storing drinks or necessary basics like some milk or some leftovers that you want to store for a few days. A 1.6cu fridge won’t be enough if you like to cook your own meals.

4 Liters: A 4-Liter fridge will just fit a six pack of beer, a small bottle of milk, or your lunch. They’re great as a small mobile fridge that you can hide away on a shelf in your cupboard.

2. Internal Light

An internal light is a nice touch for a mini-fridge, but it’s not always included. That’s because a light will unfortunately take up precious space within the fridge itself. But if an internal light is important to you, make sure you check to see if it’s included before hitting that buy button!

3. Price

You’re looking at around about $50 for the small 4L fridge and around $150 – $180 for the larger 3.2 cubic feet fridge..

4. The Door

It’s nice to have a door that can hinge on both sides of the fridge. In a small dorm room, you’ll find that you might need to change the side on which the door hinges in order to avoid having the door bumping into things. Not all mini fridges give you the option of which side to hinge the door.

5. Design

There are a few design considerations to look out for:

Retro Look: The retro design is very popular for fridges these days. I really like this look and selected it for my pick as the the best mini fridge for college students.

Glass Door: Some mini fridges have see-through doors. This can be great for displaying drinks to guests at a party, but it’s not all that good when you’re displaying half-empty condiment containers, tupperware full of leftovers, and half-empty milk bottles!

Final Thoughts

I hope this list of the best mini fridges for dorms has been helpful for you! Personally, I love the retro look of some of the 3.2 cu ft. fridges on the market. You’ll be looking at paying $150 – $180 for this sort of fridge. To save money, you’d have to drop down to a 2.4 cu ft. or 1.6 cu ft. design, but you’ll be really tight on space.

Good luck on your college journey!

– Prof. Chris

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