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Why would anyone need a mini-fridge? Well, let me ask you the opposite, why wouldn’t you? Although it’s mostly advertised as a perfect gift for women and girls since it’s a perfect device for storing breast milk and cosmetics, I would say it’s an equally perfect gift for a grown man. If you ask me, I can’t imagine a fishing day without a mini-fridge and six-pack of beer.
There is a whole bunch of mini-fridges on the internet, and I’ve made a list containing 5 best of them, which means the most affordable, most reliable, and most spacious mini-fridges. Although my choice is Crownful mini-fridge, pay attention to the first and the last devices on my list since they offer some extra features considering the rest of the competition.
1. Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and WarmerWe’ll start the list with this nice looking and environmentally friendly mini-fridge, which is Amazon’s choice for a skincare fridge. It doesn’t mean you need to use it for storing skincare products only, just that some users found it very suitable for taking care of temperature-sensitive skincare products. If you take a look at the Amazon product page, you’ll find it comes in different color variants and some of them, especially the pink one, would make a nice and fancy addition to a girl’s outfit. The nice matte finish on the outside gives it even more elegancy and makes it a perfect fit for home, office, dorm, and hotel room.
When it comes to functionalities, it’s actually both: thermoelectric cooler and warmer. With just a flip of the switch, you can change it from beverage cooler to food warmer with a cooling capacity of 40ºF-45ºF below ambient temperature and warming capacity of 122ºF-144ºF. It’s recommended to wait about 30 minutes before making a switch from one to another. It comes with multiple power adapters: AC/DC adapter which can use 110V when being used indoor, or 12V when you plug it into a car cigarette adapter. Another option to charge it is using a 2A power bank with a USB cord. When it comes to USB charging, we must mention that, while connected to the source of power via USB cord, the mini-fridge can operate in ECO mode only.
Also, it’s not recommended to connect it to the computer, since it might not get enough power to function properly. So you must get a power bank.
It’s very easy to use but to carry, too, since it has a carry handle on the top and a magnetic self-lock latching door. Since it’s made of high-quality plastic it is sturdy, yet lightweight. Also, it’s really easy to keep it clean – simply wipe it down.
- USB adapter
- Almost noiseless
- Wide temperature capacity
- Some users report it builds up condensation
2. AstroAI Mini FridgeThe next mini-fridge on our list is the bestseller in the category. Besides the price range, it has many similarities with the Cooluli Mini Fridge. Just like the previous one, it comes in multiple color variants, looks very nice and it’s very easy to use. Also, it’s Freon-free, which means it’s environmentally-friendly.
It works as both – the cooler that cools up to -320F and the warmer that warms up to 1500F. When it comes to charging, it comes with an AC 110V power plug for indoor use, and DC 12V plug, which easily fits an in-car cigarette lighter/charger. So unlike the previous one, you can’t charge this fridge via USB.
The removable shelf is probably the most obvious difference between this and the previous mini-fridge. Removable shelf makes it especially suitable for women and girls who want to keep their stuff, like skincare products, breast milk, cosmetic food, and drink, uncluttered and tidy.
- Quiet technology – 25dB
- Some users reported the mini-fridge generates condensation
- It might be bigger on the inside
3. CROWNFUL Mini FridgeThe look of the Crownful mini fridge has blown my mind. I’ve simply fallen in love with this stylish black design, which, when carrying it with me, makes me look like some super-spy from Hollywood movies, James Bond, for example, although I never put anything but a six-pack of beer in it. So, yes, it’s my favorite on this list. Why? Well, as I said, it looks nice, large enough for a six-pack of cans, convenient to carry, reliable, and affordable.
Like the previous one, it comes with a removable shelf, so you’re free to carry all the stuff that demands a certain temperature, that are smaller than 12oz cans. Like the rest of its competition, it’s noiseless, thanks to the brush-less high-grade fan motor. Also, it’s Freon-free. It will keep things cool up to 320F under the ambient temperature or keep them warm up to 1490F. You can switch it from cooler to warmer with the simple flip of a switch.
When it comes to charging, it comes with an AC 110V plug for indoor use, and DC 12V plug for use in the vehicles.
- Noise-free operation, I can freely say silent
- Freon-free – eco-friendly
- Stunning design
- It could have a more space
- Some users are reporting issues when charging it in the car
4. Chefman Mini Portable Eraser Board Personal FridgeThe Chefman’s mini-fridge looks like a safe, and I like it. Another cute, but at the same time a useful feature is that you can write notes on it. Yeah, it is the eraser board. This is especially useful if you’re keeping it in your bedroom, somewhere near the bed. You know how a lot of things come to one’s mind when he or she is trying to get some sleep? Well, on this mini fridge you can write down your to-do list for tomorrow.
As with the rest of the competition, it’s able to keep cool or warm items you put in it. The only thing to have in mind is that you need to unplug the fridge from the power before switching from cool to warm. When it comes to charging, like most of its competitors, it comes with a 110V cord for indoor use and a 12V plug for use in cars or other vehicles. Also, six 12oz cans will perfectly fit into it – it’s not just advertised, there is a clear image displaying it on Amazon. It comes with a removable shelf, for storing smaller items than cans, and it’s Freon-free.
- Eraser board
- Some users are reporting it’s pretty noisy
5. Gourmia GMF668 Thermoelectric Mini FridgeThis glossy mini-fridge is, as advertised, made to chill. The fact that lies behind this claim is that it comes with a built-in Bluetooth speaker. That means you can connect it to your iPhone, Android, or any other compatible smart device and stream the music while you enjoy your drink, and it’s of the same price range as the rest of the competition. Having that in mind, it doesn’t aim to be noiseless.
When it comes to other features this device has to offer, it’s almost the standard in the category. It comes with 110V and 12V adapter for indoor and car charging; a removable shelf makes you easier to organize smaller items; has a self-locking door and carry handle.
All in all, it’s a decent looking device which does what is supposed to do, with the addition of a Bluetooth speaker which will probably be more interesting for the younger population (and the rest who feel young).
- Bluetooth speaker
- It gets really cold
- Some users reporting the speaker generates static noise in the background
Mini Fridge vs. Refrigerator?
The purpose of the mini-fridge is not to replace the refrigerator. These two devices are complementary. The mini-fridge is made to keep warm things warm, and cool things cold. For example, it’s not supposed to cool down or warm up the milk, it simply needs to keep the temperature of the product you’ve put in it. Simply, if you want your items to be warm, they need already to be warmed up – the same goes for cold. So, you need to have realistic expectations.
What to have in mind when purchasing the mini-fridge?
The lowest possible temperature depends on the ambient temperature. You MUST have this in mind. Also, you need to make sure that the back of the fridge is at least five inches away from a wall, or some other surface. Otherwise, you’ll hardly keep your items cold.
Since mini-fridges are portable devices, most people who purchase it, will probably be forced to keep them in the places where they sleep, like, for example, the cabin. Having that in mind, you need to consider purchasing as a noiseless fridge as possible.
You’ll going to take the fridge with you and you don’t want to get out of the power. For example, the cosmetics worth 200$ that needs to be in a cold place could get ruined, and I’m sure you don’t want that. That’s why you need to have in mind – the more charging options for the mini-fridge, the better ( wall power outlet, car charging plug, USB cord ).
Yeah, I’m aware it’s a ‘mini’ fridge, but it needs to have enough place to fit at least 6 12oz cans. Most of them aim to fulfill that promise, but in reality, you’ll need to squeeze your stuff in it, exposing them to damage. You don’t want a mini fridge where half of its size takes the motor fan!
Cooler and warmer
Most of the mini-fridges are operating in both modes, as coolers and warmers. What you need to have in mind considering this is that you can’t abruptly switch from one to another. You need to leave the device for at least 30 minutes before switching from cooler to warmer.
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Last update on 2023-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API