Mini Dorm Refrigerator
Mini Dorm Fridge – Dorm Room Refrigerator
A mini dorm refrigerator is an important asset for every college student and more or less a necessity. A compact refrigerator in their dorm room will make them feel more at home. It will store beverages, snacks, milk, leftover food and perhaps even that special treat brought from home. Might even store beer for special occasions.
Mini dorm fridges are no longer generic and simple as they used to be. They now have various options – from adjustable shelves and door mounted can racks to large freezers. Some come in stainless steel, like their higher end big brothers.
Their size range is substantial – larger ones being three to four times bigger than smaller ones- and so is their price range: from below $100 to $300 and above.
Factors to consider when buying a dorm room refrigerator:
Size: Dorm mini fridges range in size from about 1.5 cubic feet to about 5 cu ft. Dorm rooms are usually quite small and good roommate etiquette requires you to use as little space as possible, so do not automatically buy the largest mini cooler you find! Plan on how much food your refrigerator needs to be able to store and buy the smallest mini fridge that will accommodate it. Also, do remember the refrigerator size does not always relate to amount of food it may hold – a well designed smaller fridge may hold significantly more food than a poorly designed larger one. Refrigerator internal organization is also important – adjustable shelves will help you maximize the space available depending on size of items you have stored inside.
Noise: Not only refrigerator size, but noise it makes is also very important, especially since dorm rooms are generally small and you (and your roommate) will be sleeping more or less next to your new dorm mini fridge. Remember the good roommate etiquette mentioned before? It requires you to be quiet when your roommate wants some piece, so this is also true for equipment you use. A noisy refrigerator can be very annoying when it starts making its buzz and hum in the middle of the night perhaps just a few feet (in worst case just inches) away from your (or even worse – your roommate’s) head. Do check the noise a refrigerator makes before deciding on which model best suits you.
Do check our Silent Mini Fridge section.
Features: As with their big brothers, the dorm mini refrigerators can have a lot of features – some important, others just cool, bot not necessary. Decide what features are a must and which ones are optional – you will be able to sacrifice these if needed in order to stay within your budget
- Adjustable shelves – for good internal organization, more or less a must
- Reversible door hinges – enable more placement options and make the dorm fridge more versatile
- Large freezer – depends on how much ice cream & other frozen foods you need to store
- Can rack on the door – for good use of available door space
- Frost free or automatic defrost – saves time and effort, no need for manual defrost
- Gallon door storage – you can save by buying gallon sized milk, juice, etc.
- Spill resistant shelves – will contain those mishaps on the shelve, not on the floor
- Top that doubles as counter top – useful since dorm room space is at premium
- Food separators, vegetable crisper – depends on your needs
- Stylish stainless steel or painted exterior – more a cool feature than a must
Energy efficiency: As with any refrigerator, we advise you to buy an Energy Star rated refrigerator. These have better insulation, better door seals are more energy efficient and burden the environment less. A good Energy Star refrigerator might even use less electricity than a smaller, not Energy Star rated model. They will also keep your food cold and frozen for longer in case of power outage.
Do remember to keep the dorm refrigerator out of direct sunlight and keeping the door closed as much as possible – this will also help save some energy and the environment.
Price: As with any purchase, you need to decide how much you are willing to spend and work within your budget. The reason price is listed last is all of the above factors influence it. If in doubt of how much to spend or being partial to a more expensive (over budget) mini refrigerator, do consider all the above mentioned factors first. Maybe the pricier unit has cool features which you do not really need? Also consider how long you will use the fridge – it needs to last while you are in college, not 10-20 years, so you might go for a slightly less sturdy unit, but do not sacrifice the basic features you need or noise level to save a few dollars.
Here are a few suggestions for the dorm room refrigerator:
|Haier HNSB02 1.7 Cu-Ft Refrigerator/Freezer –
This is a basic, affordable unit that only costs around $80, but it gets the job done. It has a reversible door, half width freezer compartment, slide out wire shelf, door shelves, ice cube tray and manual defrost. A great affordable little dorm fridge.
Danby 1.7 cu. ft. Compact Refrigerator – similar to the above, it has all the same features plus for just $10 more it has:
- full width freezer compartment
- integrated handle
- half shelf design
- gallon door storage
- comes in white or cool black color