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9 best mini fridges for compact cooling

Looking to set up a mini bar in your master bedroom or keep beers chilled on camping trips? A mini fridge can help with that. We round up the coolest options around.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Feb 1, 2023

Mini fridge in a home office

Whether you’re looking for a bit of extra space to store your shopping or like the idea of keeping drinks cool in your home office, there’s a mini fridge for you. It can also make a great gift for a thirsty teenager wanting a bit of independence to keep drinks, snacks or makeup chilled in their own room. 

Mini fridges can vary quite a bit in size and there are noise and performance considerations to factor in too. To help narrow down your search for a quality compact cooler, we’ve scoured the Mumsnet forums for top tips.  

Here are the best mini fridges to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall mini fridge: iceQ 15 Litre Deluxe Portable Mini Fridge with Window

iceQ 15 litre mini fridge

Price: £70 | Buy now from Amazon

"After having a cheaper one, I wouldn’t have recommended a mini fridge BUT last year I bought this one and love it" - Bananaman123

The IceQ mini fridge is perfect for keeping snacks and drinks cool in a study, guest room or student flat. The 15-litre capacity offers enough room to store up to 15 330ml cans, or a couple of 1.5 litre bottles, and it has a neat frosted window so you know what’s in stock before you reach in.

It wins extra points for portability too, with a carry handle and an adapter to charge it using a 12v cigarette lighter in your car. One thing to bear in mind: it’s not suitable for perishable food or medicines - you’ll need to spend a little bit more for that (see further down our list, if that’s what you need).

Key specs

  • Size: 30.5 x 20.5 x 41cm
  • Capacity: 15 litres

2. Best budget mini fridge: Cristal Mini Travel Fridge 4-Litre 

Cristal 4 litre mini fridge

Price: £30 | Buy now from Argos

This mini fridge is small but perfectly formed with a retro American design. It’s specially designed for drinks rather than food – you can chill six cans to five degrees celsius. And it’s ideal for storing milk for teas and coffees.

It comes with a 12v adapter so it’s a portable option to keep drinks cold at picnics and on camping trips.  

Key specs 

  • Size: 28.2cm x 19cm x 26.8cm.
  • Capacity: Four litres

3. Best mini fridge for kids: Subcold Classic4 Mini Fridge

Subcold mini fridge

Price: £40 | Buy now from Amazon

"We've bought a pink little Subcold one from Amazon for DD. Really pleased with it (but it's tiny!)" - spagbog5

"We got this one for my DD. She said she wanted it as a beauty fridge for her face masks etc, ha ha! Occasionally she’ll put a can of pop in there. It makes a low noise when it’s on. She loves it" - Vickles20

This is a dinky mini fridge with a four-litre capacity that’s big enough for six cans of drink or for budding MUAs to stash skincare products and makeup inside. The colourful pink and blue options have been recommended as gifts for kids on the Mumsnet forums and parents love the fact that they’re nice and quiet (the motor runs as low as 28 decibels). There are options to power it with a standard three pin plug or a USB.

Key specs

  • Size: 25.5 x 19 x 28cm
  • Capacity: 4 litres

4. Best mini fridge for the bedroom: ChillQuiet mini fridge

ChillQuiet mini fridge

Price: £140 | Buy now from Amazon

Some mini fridge motors will buzz away at up to 43 decibels, which obviously isn’t ideal if you’re trying to drift off to sleep nearby. Thankfully this ChillQuiet mini fridge lives up to its name, making it a great option for the bedroom. It uses a large, chilled panel at the back of the fridge to keep things cool, rather than a motor so it really is very quiet. 

With a 24-litre capacity, you won’t be short of space. And it looks a bit like a hotel mini-bar, so it’s ideal if you want to keep something stronger than lemonade in there too!

Key specs

  • Size: 44cm x 46cm x 51cm
  • Capacity: 24 litres

5. Best novelty mini fridge: Koolatron® Coca-Cola® Polar Bear Portable 6 Can Thermoelectric Mini Fridge Cooler

Coca Cola mini fridge

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

"I bought the Coca Cola one on offer. It'll go in my son’s game room as I don't want him to have one in his bedroom. It really is very mini and holds 4 cans" - FelicityFlamingo 

This cute branded fridge is perfect for kids’ bedrooms, games rooms and home bars. It’s easy to move around to wherever you’re likely to want to crack open a cold drink or tuck into a chilled snack. 

There’s room for six cans or four 500ml bottles, and it’ll cool drinks down by 18 degrees celsius below room temperature. It’s lockable too, if you need to keep your precious sugary treats to yourself,

Key specs

  • Size: 18.8 x 26.4 x 29.5cm
  • Capacity: 6 x 330ml cans

6. Best tabletop mini fridge: Russell Hobbs RHCLRF17B mini fridge

Russell Hobbs mini fridge

Price: £75 | Buy now from Amazon

"This one - nice and quiet!" - Howmanysleepsnow

A reliable brand for all things kitchen appliance, it’s no surprise that Russell Hobbs knows how to make a good mini fridge and this one is A-rated for energy consumption. 

Even though it’s compact at 34 x 38 x 42cm, its 17-litre capacity is good for drinks and snacks. We think the tabletop design makes it an ideal choice for an office or as an overflow fridge in your kitchen.

Key specs

  • Size: 38.6 x 42 x 34cm
  • Capacity: 17 litres

7. Best mini fridge for the office: iceQ 43 Litre Table Top Lockable Fridge - Black

iceQ mini fridge

Price: £150 | Buy now from Mini Fridge

This mini fridge performs more like a full-size fridge than some others on our list, with two door racks, a removable shelf and even a mini ice box. With a sizable 43-litre capacity, you could consider using it as an overflow fridge in your kitchen, but it’s the lockable door that makes it a perfect choice for the office or student halls.

Key specs

  • Size: 49.5 x 45 x 45cm
  • Capacity: 43 litres

8. Best mini fridge for travel: Cristal 16l Mini Fridge

Cristal 16 litre mini fridge

Price: £80 | Buy now from Argos

This mini fridge is surprisingly portable despite being able to stash up to 27 cans, five bottles of wine, or an equivalent amount of non-alcohol stuff, if that’s your thing.

It’s A++ energy rated, and the 12v charger means you can take it with you in the car on your next camping trip. Just make sure you don’t leave it running for too long when the engine isn’t on - you don’t want a flat battery.

Key specs

  • Size: 27.4 x 30 x 46.7cm
  • Capacity: 16 litres

9. Most stylish mini fridge: Smeg FAB5RPG5 Mini Fridge – Pastel Green

Smeg mini fridge

Price: £875 | Buy now from Nisbets

The price of this Smeg mini fridge will understandably put some people off, but it wins a place on our list thanks to its trademark good looks and retro styling. It’s a great choice as an overflow fridge for the kitchen – it will hold up to two shopping bags worth of groceries, and has adjustable shelves with 10 settings so you can change it to suit your needs. 

It’s the most energy efficient model on our list (A+++ rated), and thanks to its auto defrost technology, it’s a very low maintenance appliance.

Key specs

  • Size: 72.5 x 40.4 x 57cm
  • Capacity: 34 litres

How to buy the best mini fridge

If you’re looking for a mini fridge, it goes without saying that you’ll want something compact – just make sure it’s big enough for what you need! 

Sizes vary from four litres (enough for a few cans of drink) right the way up to about 10 times that size (enough for a couple of bags of shopping), and everything in between. Bottom line - if you buy something bigger than you need, you’ll be spending more than you have to.

All of these mini fridges will comfortably keep drinks cool, but it’s worth getting something a bit bigger and more powerful if you need to store perishable food – the product description should specify if it’s up to the job. And if you’re planning to use it in the bedroom, check that it won’t be too noisy when the motor is running.

What features are useful to have in a mini fridge?

If you think you might need extra features like an ice box, it’s worth exploring mini fridges at the larger end of the scale. These bigger models tend to have more options for shelves and storage compartments too.

It’s always worth paying attention to the energy efficiency rating too – A+++ is best, and it will mean you’re spending less on running costs and you’ll be kinder to the environment in the process (although a higher rating can mean a higher price tag).

Some mini fridges are portable too so you can take them on long car journeys and on camping trips. 

What is the best mini fridge to buy?

The IceQ mini-fridge is the best mini fridge to buy right now. The 15-litre capacity is enough to store up to 15 330ml drinks cans, and the carry handle and 12v adapter make it portable enough to use in any room of the house or to take with you for on-the-go cooling. 

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which mini fridges discerning Mumsnet users had bought. We compiled a list of mini fridges they recommended, noting how effective they found them, and whether they were particularly good for any certain needs.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which mini fridges had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers’ reviews said about them. 

Having collated all that information, we picked the mini fridges we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.

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