Last updated: August 8, 2021

Welcome to our big mini fridge test 2021. Here we present all the mini fridges we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

In this way, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best mini fridge for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a mini fridge.




Summary

  • Basically, a distinction can be made between a normal home or table refrigerator, car refrigerator and outdoor refrigerator. Or between a simple refrigerator and a fridge-freezer combination.
  • You can buy mini fridges in most electronics shops, department stores and also in some supermarkets. Nowadays, buying via the Internet is particularly popular.
  • The noise level of a mini fridge is comparable to that of a conventional domestic fridge. However, an absorber operation guarantees absolutely noiseless cooling.

The Best Mini Fridge: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a mini fridge

What are the advantages of a mini fridge over a conventional size fridge?

The advantage of a mini fridge is, as the name suggests, its convenient size. A small fridge allows you to take it with you wherever you need its cooling function. Since a mini fridge is also not particularly heavy, it is also no problem to change its location depending on your preferences.

Some mini fridges also have an extra connection for the car. This means you can always have cool drinks during long car journeys.

The areas of application of a small refrigerator are very versatile due to its optimal transportability. In addition to possible cooling in the car, you can also take a mini fridge to your office without any problems and enjoy your drinks there.

On particularly hot days, it is also very well suited for storing your provisions at campsites or at bathing areas in general. If you prefer to keep your minibar at home, you can also use it for garden parties to save you the trip from the garden to the kitchen.

The main advantages of a mini fridge are its space-saving size and its versatility.

The noise level of a mini fridge is comparable to that of a conventional domestic fridge. Absorber operation, however, guarantees absolutely noiseless cooling. (Humphrey Muleba / UNSPLASH)

What does a mini fridge cost?

Mini fridges can be found in all price categories: From very cheap car fridges in the two-digit range to luxury fridges in the four-digit range. We think these prices are by and large reasonable if you choose a model whose size you can make the most of.

The classic minibar for the home is already available for around 100 euros. Depending on the size, interior fittings and energy class, the prices also rise. The average mini fridge, as used in the catering industry, can be found in a price category of around 300 euros. Very expensive and classy products that are also suitable for installation are offered at a price of up to 2000 euros.

Did you know that refrigerators heat up rooms?

Refrigerators cool their interior by transferring heat from the interior of the refrigerator to the environment outside. The different way heat transfer works also distinguishes the different types of refrigerator systems (compressor, absorber and refrigerators with Peltier element).

Car fridges and camping fridges with a 12v connection are generally cheaper than minibars for the home. The cheapest appliances can be had for as little as 35 euros. With increasing size and additional equipment, the prices here can also rise to around 170 euros.

For professional garden fridges, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. Due to the special equipment, which also enables winter operation, the prices rise. On average, an outdoor refrigerator costs about 2000 euros.

Type Price
classic minibar approx. 100€-400€
car fridge approx. 35€-170€
outdoor fridge approx. 1000€-3000€

Can I also rent a mini fridge?

Yes, you can rent a mini fridge in most major German cities.

If you only need the mini fridge for a few days, you can also rent it. This option is definitely a lot cheaper than buying a refrigerator.

How much noise does a mini fridge make and is a fridge with a compressor or absorber more suitable for me?

When buying a minibar, you can basically distinguish between a built-in compressor and a refrigerator with an absorber. Both technologies have specific advantages and disadvantages.

Nowadays, production focuses on a cooling function that is as quiet as possible. However, the noise of a built-in compressor can sometimes be perceived as annoying.

This is especially true if the minibar has to compensate for a large temperature difference and the cooling capacity is thus stressed in a special way.

However, the compressor can also be perceived as annoying in an environment without ambient noise, such as in a bedroom. Its cooling capacity is considered particularly effective. It is rather insensitive to slanting and its power consumption is considered relatively low.

If noiseless cooling is desired, you should go for a minibar with a built-in absorber. This type of cooling is considered to be particularly quiet to silent. However, the absorber refrigerator is less effective at cooling, which can prove problematic when the ambient temperature is particularly hot. Its power consumption is usually higher than that of a compressor.

Depending on the place of use, you can therefore opt for a noisier, more effective compressor cooling system or a noiseless, less effective absorber cooling system.

Here is a general comparison between a refrigerator with an absorber and one with a compressor.

Refrigerator with absorber Refrigerator with compressor
Noisy Quiet or silent
Effective cooling capacity Less effective
Insensitive to slanting position More sensitive to position
Low power consumption Higher power consumption

Decision: What types of small refrigerators are there and which is the right one for me?

Mini refrigerators are basically very versatile. Depending on the preferred place of use, three types can be roughly distinguished:

  • House or table refrigerator for the home
  • Outdoor refrigerator for the garden
  • Car fridge

These types differ in their handling and functionality. They each have their own specific advantages and disadvantages.

To find the right minibar for you, it is crucial where you want to place it and how much space you have available. In the following, we would like to help you find out which mini fridge is best suited for you.

We will introduce you to the different types of mini fridges and explain all the advantages and disadvantages.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a small home fridge?

The big advantage of a small home fridge is its versatility. Since these fridges are very easy to transport, you can easily move them around as you like. However, the feature of a minibar can also be a disadvantage in some circumstances, for example when more space is needed.

Minibars for the home make it easier for you to plan and realise larger parties and celebrations, as you can refrigerate large quantities of drinks. If you want to integrate them permanently into your household, a small fridge is particularly suitable for the office or bedroom.

Advantages
  • Space-saving
  • Easy to transport
  • Versatile
  • Easy to use
Disadvantages
  • Space is quickly exhausted

Mini-fridges are particularly advantageous for single households and student flats, as the ratio of demand to storage space can be optimally adjusted. The mini fridge does not take up much space and is easy to handle. It is available in a wide range of designs and colours. The interior design is also very variable.

The small domestic refrigerator is the classic form of all mini refrigerators. It is available in a variety of sizes and designs that you can adapt to your needs.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an outdoor refrigerator?

The great advantage of an outdoor refrigerator is its good adaptability to outdoor conditions. It is very weatherproof due to its special insulation.

With a refrigerator in the garden or on the terrace, you can have drinks or wine quickly to hand at a garden party. This way, you don't have to go to the kitchen.

The outdoor refrigerator is weatherproof in a special way. Special insulation may even make it suitable for use all year round. In principle, a garden refrigerator can be used at temperatures from 0 to 40°. However, it must be switched off if there is a risk of frost.

Advantages
  • Weatherability
  • Special insulation
  • All-year-round
  • Usability
Disadvantages
  • Attention: Frost

Different versions of the outdoor refrigerator make it possible to optimally meet your needs. With a single-door garden fridge, you have all your drinks bottles within easy reach. Dividing the refrigerator into two drawers makes it possible to store ice individually and to separate contents in a useful way. A viewing window looks classy, for example, when expensive bottles are being chilled.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a car fridge?

With a car fridge, you can always have cool drinks on longer journeys. It is also particularly easy to transport due to its practical size.

The special advantage of an electronic cooler is its dual AC / DC operation. A 230v connection allows it to be plugged into the mains. With an additional 12 V connection, you can also easily transport the cooler in the car.

The cooling may take some time to reach the right temperature. It would therefore make sense to pre-cool the car fridge in the socket beforehand. The cooling system is very quiet and does not disturb during the car journey.

Advantages
  • Good transportability
  • Convenient size
  • Dual connection
Disadvantages
  • Attention: car battery
  • Duration until cooling point
  • Mounting in the car

When using the fridge, make sure that the ignition is running before you start using it, otherwise you may have problems with the car battery. When driving, make sure it is securely stowed. Fixing it on the back seat or in the boot would be a good idea.

The car fridge also offers you a range of possible uses. It is very suitable for longer car journeys, such as holiday trips. A handle allows you to easily transport the cooler to campsites or festivals.

The car fridge is a special form of mini fridge. Thanks to its additional 12V connection, you can also enjoy cold drinks while driving.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate mini fridges

With the following criteria, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate a mini fridge. This should make it easier for you to decide whether a particular product is suitable for you or not.

These are the criteria:

  • Dimensions, volume and weight
  • Temperature range and temperature regulation
  • annual energy consumption and energy efficiency class
  • Noise emission
  • Colour and design
  • Features
  • Functions

The following paragraphs will go into more detail on what these buying criteria are and how you can classify them

Dimensions, volume and size

One of the first things you consider when making a purchase will certainly be the most important dimensions (height, width, depth) and the volume of the minibar. These will tell you how much space is available and where you can place the refrigerator.

Mini fridges are available in a wide range of sizes. There are very small refrigerators with only 4 litres that you can place on your desk because of their size and weight. There are also very large refrigerators with up to 50 litres, which you are more likely to place in living rooms.

Car refrigerators are usually smaller than home refrigerators and outdoor refrigerators. They have a volume of around 4 litres, in which you can store just under 6 cans of drink, up to 32 litres.

Mini fridges for the home and outdoor fridges do not differ so much in size. They start at around 15 litres. Larger editions reach a cooling capacity of about 82 l. These refrigerators are then no longer clearly distinguishable from a normal household refrigerator.

Depending on the type of use, you can choose from a variety of mini fridges that are best suited to you.

The main criteria are where you place your minibar and how much you want to refrigerate in it.

Temperature range and temperature regulation

The possible cooling temperature is another important criterion when deciding which mini fridge to buy. Effective cooling is essential, especially if you want to use the minibar outdoors. Good cooling makes it possible to compensate for a warm outside temperature and to set the cooling point below it.

Did you know that chilled pasta is healthier when reheated?

When you put leftover pasta in the fridge to cool after cooking, the normal starch it contains changes to resistant starch. This is similar to dietary fibre and means more work for the body. For this reason, they keep you full longer and can therefore be considered healthy (like wholemeal pasta).

In addition to good cooling, it is an advantage to be able to set the cooling function manually. It often happens that the coldest level of a cooling system is not needed. In many cases, climate control can save a lot of electricity costs.

Effective cooling combined with manual temperature adjustment to keep electricity costs low are therefore other important factors that influence a purchase decision.

Annual energy consumption and energy efficiency class

At a time when discussions about saving energy are the order of the day, it makes sense to consider ecological factors as well. To avoid energy guzzlers, you should pay attention to the different energy classes when buying.

The classes are listed on a scale from A+++ to D. A indicates the class that is best. A is the class that saves the most electricity, and D the class that saves the least. Since most appliances have now reached class A due to European standards, further differentiation has been made with the help of "+" indications.

When buying a mini fridge, you should choose an appliance that uses as little electricity as possible and has particularly good energy efficiency.

Noise emission

Refrigerators can be distinguished between noiseless absorption cooling and noisier compressor cooling.

The specific advantages and disadvantages of these two types of cooling were explained in more detail earlier in the guide. However, as this point is particularly important, the most important contents will be briefly summarised again here.

The volume of a mini fridge is given in dB. Although noise is perceived differently from person to person, less than 40 dB is recommended for a refrigerator. Minibars with built-in compressor cooling are more likely to be perceived as disturbing.

If you want to install your refrigerator in the bedroom and you generally want silent cooling, you should go for an absorber refrigerator. Although this generally consumes more electricity, it is also considered to be particularly quiet.

When buying, you should therefore think about where you want to place the minibar beforehand. Noise is perceived as annoying, especially in a silent environment.

When buying, you can choose between a compressor cooling system with noise and a noiseless absorber cooling system.

Colour and design

In addition to the hard facts, subjective factors such as the look of the mini fridge also play an important role when making a purchase. Often the colour or a special design can be the deciding factor.

For customers with an eye for detail, manufacturers make a special effort to meet these specific wishes. Mini fridges are therefore available in all possible variations and in all colours in order to be able to offer the right minibar for every customer.

Mini fridges can be bought in most electronics shops, department stores and also in some supermarkets. Nowadays, buying over the Internet is particularly popular. (Devin Rajam / UNSPLASH)

Especially the mini fridges for domestic use are often offered in creative variations. If you want a mini fridge that not every household has, you can go for particularly unusual designs.

For example, the demand for the Coca-Cola minibar is particularly high. But you can also go for fan fridges, such as the AC/DC fridge. If you are a more classic type, a retro mini fridge might be worth considering.

Not all mini fridges come in different colours. However, striking and varying colours are particularly eye-catching. It is therefore advantageous to have as wide a selection of colours as possible or different designs to choose from.

Features

The features of a mini fridge include the number of compartments, a freezer compartment and a door compartment. These factors enable a particularly advantageous division of the available volume.

When buying, it is important to consider which of these factors will be needed during use. Full equipment makes sense, for example, if the minibar serves as a substitute for a refrigerator. However, if the cooling is only to be temporary, a minibar without any equipment could be used.

Depending on how you want to use your mini fridge, different equipment is most advantageous for you.

Functions

Special functions of a mini fridge include a 230 V socket, an extra 12 V socket, a gas connection and a heating function.

The 12v connection makes it possible to transport the minibar in the car. These connections are more common in mini fridges. A gas connection and a heating function are criteria that are found much less frequently.

With the help of the heating function, a manual distinction can be made between cooling and heating. If, for example, warm food is to be kept warm, this function can be very advantageous. The heating function can also have some advantages in winter.

The gas connection is one of three possible connection types for mini fridges, along with the socket and the 12v connection. An additional gas connection enables even more mobile transport than a 12v car connection.

Facts worth knowing about mini fridges

Which groups of people need a mini fridge?

A mini fridge is basically suitable for all groups of people who want convenient access to drinks.
However, if we consider the most common places where a small fridge is used, a mini fridge can be the best solution for the following people:

  • Singles and students
  • Party Tiger
  • Night people
  • Travellers
  • Workers

Students and singles: If you live alone in your flat and don't need much space for your drinks and food, buying a smaller fridge would be worth considering for you. It offers enough space for your weekly supply and there is also room for enough provisions for the party weekend.

Party tiger: If you're only looking to use your fridge to chill beer, wine or other drinks, you can also go for a minibar. Depending on where your people are gathered, you can set up your mini fridge. Your cold drinks are always at hand.

Night people: If you want to enjoy your cold drinks at night, you can save yourself a trip to the kitchen by using a minibar. Most refrigerators are now so quiet that they don't disturb your sleep.

Travellers: If you are a person who travels a lot, you can get a mini fridge for your car. With the help of a 12v plug, the cooling function also works outside your four walls. A carrying handle helps you to transport your mini fridge to your desired destination.

Workers: Especially on hot workdays, it's an advantage to have your chilled drinks at hand as quickly as possible. You can also set up a mini fridge in your office without any problems.

Which products are suitable for a mini fridge?

Basically, you can refrigerate anything in your mini fridge that has room in it.

Depending on the special occasion, a small fridge is suitable for all kinds of food and drinks. From grilled meat for a barbecue to beer for a weekend party, you can store everything in your minibar.

Besides food, you can also use your mini fridge for other products that need cool storage.

For example, you can also store your nail polish and other beauty products. You can also conveniently store medicines in small refrigerators.

Image source: schum45 / 123rf.com

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