How to Choose the Best Mini Fridge for Your Bedroom

Mini fridges are a practical addition to college apartments, dorm rooms, small apartments, home bars, garages, and offices. They offer convenience and additional storage for drinks and snacks. When choosing a mini fridge for the bedroom, consider the size, features like a freezer or shelves, noise level, energy efficiency, and design. Proper placement is crucial to ensure safety and functionality. Several options are available, ranging from compact mini fridges to larger models. Stocking your mini fridge with sleep-friendly foods like avocados, tomatoes, and turkey can satisfy late-night cravings without compromising sleep quality.

My mini fridge was, quite frankly, my favorite thing about my bedroom in college. The convenience of reaching over from my desk to grab an energy drink during a study session, or being able to keep a stash of my favorite sparkling waters without having to worry about taking up space in the communal refrigerator, made lugging it up three flights of stairs so worth it. 

Mini fridges are a great addition to college apartments or dorm rooms as they’re affordable, energy-efficient, don’t take up much space, and provide additional storage for your drinks and snacks. But they’re also convenient for small/studio apartment owners, home bars, garages, and office spaces. They can even save new parents a few trips to the kitchen throughout the night. 

If you’re in the market for a bedroom mini fridge, keep reading to learn more about how to choose a mini fridge for the bedroom that best suits your needs, where to put it in your bedroom, and as a bonus, some healthy, sleep-friendly foods to stock it with.

How to choose a mini fridge for the bedroom

While choosing a small, compact appliance such as a mini fridge doesn’t seem very complicated, there are a few things to consider when purchasing one, especially for your bedroom. Here are a few tips to follow when shopping for a bedroom mini fridge. 

Size and dimensions

Mini fridges can be categorized into four sizes: miniature, small, medium, and large. Miniature fridges are the smallest type of fridges, measuring up to 15 inches in height. They can be used solely for skincare or they can be used to hold four to six cans of your favorite beverage. 

Small mini fridges measure between 15 to 30 inches in height and about 18 inches in depth. Both sizes are perfect for people who are looking for something that can fit on their countertops, desks, or side tables, but the small size is best for those who’d like additional storage for drinks and snacks.

Medium and large mini fridges provide enough storage for drinks, groceries, and leftovers, but they do take up more space in your dorm or bedroom. A medium mini fridge would measure between 31 to 40 inches in height and about 20 inches in depth. This size can fit up to one week’s worth of food and drinks for one person. 

On the other hand, a large mini fridge measures 41 inches (or more) in height and 20 inches in depth. This fridge size provides the maximum amount of storage a mini fridge can offer, comfortably fitting two people’s groceries, leftovers, and drinks. 

Features

While most people shop for a mini fridge that simply keeps their things cold, there are other features you may want to consider to best cater to your wants and needs. These include:

  • Freezer or no freezer? Depending on whether you choose to use your mini fridge solely for drinks, food, or both, it’s important to consider having a freezer. This could be a necessity for your food, but it could be a waste of space (and money) if you only stock your fridge up with drinks. 
  • Drawers and/or shelves? Shelves can provide optimal storage for drinks (especially if you can shift them up or down and remove them for taller items), while drawers can provide easy storage for ingredients like produce, meats, and dairy. Some mini fridges offer door storage as well, while others come with neither drawers nor shelves as they’re meant to store items, like wine bottles, horizontally.
  • Does it make noise? A mini fridge in your bedroom can easily turn into a nightmare if it sounds like a motor and disrupts your sleep. Look for a mini fridge with an absorption cooling system, which uses low-pressure exhaust gas instead of electric power and compressors.
  • Is it energy-efficient? Believe it or not, small fridges can waste as much energy as a standard fridge. While a majority of mini fridges today use 310 kWh or less, according to Energy Star, still consider the Energy Star rating (which shows that a product meets federally mandated guidelines regarding energy efficiency) when shopping for a mini fridge. This will ensure your small appliance is saving energy and saving you money. 

Design

Although it’s important to have a mini fridge that functions well, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice aesthetics. From bright colors like red and teal to minimalist logos and fun door handles, you’ll be sure to find a mini fridge design and colorway that suits your sleep space. 

Adjustability

Most mini fridges have a temperature dial that you can adjust to make the fridge colder or warmer. It should have settings from one to seven (sometimes up to five), with one being cool and seven being the coldest. Though not a necessity, the temperature dial can be useful for cooling your drinks and food to your ideal temperature (if the initial temperature wasn’t doing so already) or can help prevent your things from reaching a freezing point.

Price

Depending on the size and features they have to offer, mini fridges can range between $50 to $300. However, some larger and more technical mini fridges can go up to $1,300.

Where to put a mini fridge in the bedroom

The best spot to place your mini fridge in your bedroom is ultimately up to you and what works with your space. However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure wherever your mini fridge goes is safe and secure. 

Consider these three rules:

  1. Find a spot with a flat and hard surface. Placing your mini fridge on a flat surface ensures it’s stable and won’t fall over. Otherwise, a fall can easily damage the mini fridge and be dangerous for whoever is around.
  2. Keep away from the window. Direct sunlight can warm or overheat your refrigerator, causing it to use more energy to keep the elements inside cold and, over time, cause it to worsen its efficiency and lifespan.
  3. Allow space for ventilation. Lack of proper ventilation will cause heat to trap, which can affect mini fridge efficiency and lead it to eventually fail. Not to mention, little to no ventilation can be a fire hazard.
  4. Bonus tip: Place your mini fridge as far away from your bed as possible, especially if it makes noise, so it doesn’t disrupt your sleep!

The best mini fridges for your bedroom

Cooluli Mini Fridge

  • Dimensions: 7.7″D x 10.2″W x 10.5″H 
  • Total capacity: 4 liters 
  • Price: $49.99
  • Energy Star certified: N/A

The Cooluli mini fridge is the perfect option for office desktops or dorm rooms. Not only is it small and compact, weighing 4 pounds and holding up to 6 beverage cans, but it also has multiple power sources, including AC, DC, and USB.

It contains an inside shelf and a door shelf as well as a handle on top for portability. Its cooling capacity is 45ºF below ambient temperature, but it also has a warming capacity of up to 144ºF. The Cooluli comes in seven colors, so you’ll be sure to find one that fits your sleep space!

Frestec 1.6-Cubic Feet Mini Fridge

  • Dimensions: 16.7″D x 17.8″W x 19.8″H 
  • Total capacity: 1.6 cubic feet 
  • Price: $124.99
  • Energy Star certified: Yes

Frestec’s fridge is also very mini (but it’s mighty). With additional space for small foods and beverages, this mini fridge can still save you space anywhere you choose to use it. It has one adjustable inside shelf and two door shelves, along with a detachable door seal.

Its thermostat knob can be adjusted from 0 to 6, reaching temperatures between 28ºF to 50ºF, and it has a defrost button in the center. It has a reversible door hinge and adjustable feet for easy access in any space. Not to mention, this mini fridge comes with a light-degree freezer for ice cubes. The Frestec comes in eight colors, including blue, green, and red.

Insignia 2.6-Cubic Feet Mini Fridge

  • Dimensions: 17.7″D x 19.1″W x 27.6″H 
  • Total capacity: 2.6 cubic feet
  • Price: $119.99
  • Energy Star certified: Yes

If you’re looking for a mini fridge with enough space for some groceries and drinks while still comfortably fitting in a small space, Insignia’s got you covered. This mini fridge has three adjustable shelves and several organizing compartments for beverages on the door. I

t also has a reversible door hinge. Its cooling capacity is 55ºF below ambient temperature, while its warming capacity is up to 110ºF. Unfortunately, this mini fridge only comes in black and white, but it’s still worth the price!

Galanz Retro Compact Refrigerator

  • Dimensions: 17.6″D x 21.02″W x 35.43″H 
  • Total capacity: 3.3 cubic feet 
  • Price: $266.55
  • Energy Star certified: Yes

Galanz’s compact mini fridge is the ideal pick for someone looking to store a week’s worth of groceries. This fridge has two adjustable shelves, several organizing compartments for small snacks and beverages in the door, and a chiller (.39 cubic feet). 

Its cooling capacity is 32ºF to  47ᵒF below ambient temperature, while the chiller’s cooling capacity is 27ᵒ F to 37ᵒF. This model has a glossy finish and comes in blue, teal, and red.

Insignia 4.3-Cubic Feet Mini Fridge with Top Freezer

  • Dimensions: 20.5″D x 19.1″W x 43.4″H 
  • Total capacity: 4.3 cubic feet 
  • Price: $229.99
  • Energy Star certified: Yes

Whether you’re storing leftovers, groceries, and beverages for one or you and your roommate, this affordable mini fridge and freezer duo can handle it. Insignia is back at it again with another mini fridge option, except this one offers optimal space for more than just snacks and a few cans or bottles.

This mini fridge comes with two inside shelves, one drawer, and additional storage compartments on the door. Its cooling capacity is 55ᵒF, while its maximum operating temperature is 110ᵒF. The freezer section has a swinging door and comes with one inside shelf and one door shelf. The mini fridge comes with a dial for temperature control, and a reversible door hinge. Unfortunately, it only comes in stainless steel.

These late-night snacks can help you sleep better:

How to stock your bedroom mini fridge

Now that we’ve covered all things mini fridges, you may be wondering, “What should I put in there?” If you’re a late-night snacker, here are a few of the best sleep-friendly foods to stock in your mini fridge to satisfy your hunger without compromising your Z’s. 

  • Avocados: Avocados are a good source of magnesium, which aids in relaxation, and potassium, which improves sleep efficiency. 
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain lots of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that’s associated with less difficulty falling asleep. 
  • Turkey: Turkey has tryptophan, which impacts the serotonin and melatonin levels in your body. (Side tip: You can add some avocado, tomato, and turkey to a slice of whole wheat toast for a filling bedtime snack!)
  • Tart cherry juice and tart cherries: Tart cherries are rich in melatonin, which is a hormone our bodies naturally produce to go to sleep.
  • Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese is a good source of calcium and sleep-inducing tryptophan, which increases melatonin levels. 
  • Kiwis: Kiwi is high in vitamin C, a nutrient essential for healthy sleep, and has been shown to improve sleep quality in adults.
  • Strawberries: Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and melatonin, which overall promote healthy sleep.
  • Milk: Milk also has tryptophan, which can be metabolized to melatonin. 

FAQs

Can I put a mini fridge in my bedroom? 

You can put a mini fridge in your bedroom, especially if you’d like additional storage for your drinks and food without compromising space or extra cash.

Are mini fridges safe in bedrooms?

Mini fridges are safe in bedrooms, however, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure wherever your mini fridge goes, it won’t fall or overheat. This includes placing your mini fridge on a hard, flat surface, avoiding direct sunlight, and giving it space for proper ventilation.

Do mini fridges use a lot of electricity?

According to Energy Star, a majority of mini fridges today use 310 kWh or less. Still, when shopping for a mini fridge, consider its Energy Star rating to ensure your small appliance is saving energy and saving you money.

Is it worth it to have a mini fridge in your room?

If you live in a small space, would like some extra storage space for your food and drinks, and/or are on a budget, a mini fridge could definitely be worth the purchase. 

Wondering what to sip before bed to improve your shuteye? Here are the best drinks for better sleep.

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