Best Quiet Mini Fridges (Convenient Dorm Bedroom Snacking)
The best thing about going off to college is the fact that you’re finally free to eat and drink what you want. However, most students quickly realize that going outside of their bedrooms when they’re hungry is the last thing they want to do. If you get similarly lazy, why not treat yourself to one of the best quiet mini fridges on the market? There’s nothing like having your snack stash at your fingertips!
Ultimately, quiet mini fridges can save you valuable time and money you would’ve spent going to a vending machine. They’re also incredibly convenient, useful, and even energy-saving, especially in comparison to bigger refrigerators. But dorm rooms certainly aren’t the only areas that could benefit from having one of these. So let’s talk about some other reasons you would need a quiet mini fridge.
It seems that every time the finals roll up, self-care goes out the window. Most students even settle on eating horrifically unhealthy food to comfort themselves in those trying times, or they don’t eat at all.
Well, if you had a mini fridge in your dorm, you wouldn’t get the chance to develop those kinds of eating habits. Instead, you could keep leftovers, meat and cheese for sandwiches, pudding cups, or whatever else you might think of right there next to your bed.
And the fridge doesn’t even have to take up valuable floor space. You can pretty much keep it anywhere — on the nightstand, your desk, or in the closet. Anything goes when the item in question is about 10 by 10 inches deep and tall.
Aside from dorm rooms, there are plenty of other places that would benefit from the addition of a mini fridge. For example, you could keep one in the living room in lieu of a mini bar. Alternately, you could get one for the office to store fruit salads, snacks, and coffee.
Some ladies even get them for their bedrooms to keep their skincare products fresh. They’re also perfect for nurseries if you need to keep temperature-sensitive medication or breast milk at the ready.
And you don’t even have to stick to your home — you can always take your mini fridge on the road with you. Many of them can be plugged into the car, and some can even use power banks. However, figuring out what kind of fridge you need can be tough.
Features to Look for When Shopping for a Quiet Mini Fridge
As always, before I get into my reviews, I ought to establish a baseline for the products we’re looking for. No matter what you need a mini fridge for, there are some basic features you should pay attention to. On top of those, there are all sorts of extra components that can make a mini fridge go from basic to extra in just a few moments. So let’s start with the most obvious one.
You’re probably already aware of the kinds of noises regular refrigerators tend to make. After a while, many of them start making whirring or rattling noises due to different design aspects.
After all, big fridges have several fans that are susceptible to breaking down. And even if they don’t break down, older models might vibrate against the floor due to the strength of the fans.
I’ve previously laid out the steps you can take to reduce the noise your fridge is making. However, if you get a mini fridge, you won’t need to worry about that.
In general, mini fridges are quieter and much less prone to breaking than the regular ones. That’s not to say that they don’t have moving parts as well — they do. Those smaller fans are just typically pretty noiseless, both due to their build quality and due to the units’ less powerful motors.
The trade-off for the quiet operation is pretty obvious. On the one hand, you get a pretty energy-efficient, low maintenance product. On the other hand, you have to make peace with the fact that it’ll probably take a minute for your items to cool to the temperature you want them to be. So how did I decide which products are quiet?
Personally, I like it when companies include some kind of noise measurement, preferably in decibels. However, since that’s not really an industry standard for mini fridges, I had to go by the manufacturer’s product description and user reviews. I’m pretty satisfied with the five units I’ve chosen to review — I’m sure you will be too.
Size and Capacity
If you’re looking for a mini fridge for a dorm, an office, or a bedroom, size probably matters to you — and it should! The smallest models on the market are typically about 10 by 10 inches tall and deep, with a slightly more narrow front side.
On the other hand, you can also get a much larger unit that’s still considered a mini fridge. The largest one on my list is about 25 inches tall, 20 inches deep and 15 inches wide, which is basically the size of a bedside cabinet.
Obviously, most fridges have shelves inside — although they tend to be removable. Still, the shelves usually determine the capacity of the unit by sectioning the inside of the fridge.
For example, the first product on my list has space for two cans on the shelf and four more below it. So the manufacturer says that the unit has a 6-can capacity. Other products may have their capacity listed in bottles, liters, or cubic feet — if they’re on the larger side.
The next thing you’ll need to consider before getting a mini fridge is the reason you need it. I’ve already mentioned several ways people tend to use their units. Whether I’ve managed to guess your intended purpose for the product or not, you’ll need to ask yourself several questions.
The first is, obviously — how big do you need the fridge to be? But since we’ve already talked about fridge capacity and dimensions, we can move right along.
The next pretty crucial question is: do you need the fridge to be portable? If so, you have to consider the size of the fridge before you opt for a certain model.
However, you’ll also need to figure out how you’ll power it. While the bigger units usually have a regular power cable attached to them, most of the smaller ones come with DC and AC power adapters. You could even find ones with USB charging — so you could easily use a power bank and take the fridge on the road with you.
Lastly, whether you’re planning to store food, beverages, medication, or cosmetics in your mini fridge, you should pay attention to the temperature range of the device. The items may go bad if you don’t keep them at the appropriate temperature. Furthermore, in addition to their cooling functionality, some mini fridges also have warming capabilities. Those would be perfect for making a warm meal last in your dorm room.
If you’re a complete pragmatist, you may think that the design of your fridge doesn’t matter. However, I’m not only talking about the outer appearance of the appliances I’ll be reviewing. Even though it would be fun to play around with different colors or images that decorate some of the products on my list, that’s not the only choice you’ll have to make.
Namely, you can also choose your fridge by looking at the build quality and the materials. The materials that were used to make the mini fridge can also influence its weight. So if you’re planning on using the fridge as a portable unit, you’ll want to stick to plastic. Moreover, if you’re eyeing a lightweight and portable device, you should choose one that has a convenient carrying handle.
Even if you’re not going to take your mini fridge on road trips, you should still pay attention to the design of the product. For example, depending on the placement of the fridge, you may need its door to swing open in a certain direction. Many fridges are designed for right-handed people, so they open from left to right. However, plenty of them have reversible doors, so if you’re a lefty, pay attention to that feature while deciding on a fridge.
Reviews of the Best Quiet Mini Fridges
Before I finally get into my reviews, I do need a sensible way to present them. So, this time around, I’ve decided to list the products I’ve found in order of size — or rather capacity — going from the smallest to largest. Without further ado, let’s see what the smallest mini fridge on my list has to offer.
1. Cooluli Classic-4L Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer
Despite its diminutive size, this Cooluli mini fridge is actually one of the most impressive products I’ve come across in my search for the quietest appliance in this category. For one, it’s the only product that comes with a decibel measurement for the amount of noise it makes. According to the manufacturer, the small fan only makes about 28 decibels of noise — which is basically completely silent. If you are looking for a mini fridge to keep in the nursery, you’ve found it!
In addition to being able to keep your items cool, this fridge can also warm them up. On the backside of the fridge, you’ll see a simple switch that will allow you to change between these two modes. There are also three charging ports in the back for AC, DC, and USB charging. You’ll even be able to power the fridge with a 2 amp power bank since it works with an energy-efficient, high capacity 3 amp cooling chip.
The fact that this fridge can only store six cans at a time makes it that much more portable. There’s a single removable shelf inside the fridge, as well as a small notch inside the door that’s great for holding chocolate bars or small medicine bottles.
The fridge is 10.75 inches tall, 10.25 inches deep, and 7.25 inches wide. Furthermore, it only weighs 4 pounds. Given that it has a convenient carrying handle, you’ll have no trouble carrying it around with you if needed.
2. Cooluli Coca-Cola Americana Retro Mini Fridge
The second product from the Cooluli company I want to talk about is this retro Coca Cola-themed thermoelectric mini fridge with a 10-liter or 12-can capacity. Like the previous mini fridge I mentioned, this one also has both cooling and heating capabilities. Whether you want to keep your drinks cold or your food warm, this model will do the job.
Even though the unit doesn’t have USB charging, you can still choose between powering it through an AC or a DC plug in the back. The product is also pretty portable, weighing eight pounds when it’s empty. Additionally, the fridge is 13.4 inches tall, 9.4 inches wide, and 11.4 inches deep — so it should fit pretty much anywhere you need it to. It even has a handle that flips up from its top side.
There are two removable shelves inside the main fridge compartment and a smaller one on the inside of the door. Furthermore, unlike the previous Cooluli product I reviewed, this one opens from left to right. So if you’re a leftie, I’d stick with the first mini fridge on the list.
Finally, the most striking design element of this product is the retro-looking image on the door, with the words “delicious, refreshing Coca Cola” written on a red, white, and blue background.
3. Cooluli Vibe 15-Liter Cooler, Warmer Blackboard Mini Fridge
The last Cooluli product on my list is another compact cooler/warmer unit that can cool down to 30 or warm up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit. The Cooluli Vibe has plugs for both AC and DC power in the back of the device, right under the hot/cold switch.
Like the other products from this company, you’re pretty much guaranteed a quiet performance with this fridge. After all, they all use the same cooling technology.
Since this unit is a bit larger, it would be less convenient to carry it around. However, it’s not impossible — it even has a foldaway handle on top, and it only weighs nine pounds when empty.
Overall, the unit comes in at 14.75 inches tall, 10.5 inches wide, and 12.75 inches deep. Capacity-wise, there are two removable shelves in the main part of the fridge, and two fairly large ones on the inside of the door as well.
Yet, the most interesting aspect of this particular product is its external appearance. The fridge comes in black or white, and it has a dry-erase front. You can use any kind of chalk to write messages or to-do lists on the door — whether it’s a regular stick or a liquid chalk marker. Whatever you do, though, do not use whiteboard markers on it.
4. Midea Compact Single Reversible Door Refrigerator
The Midea mini fridge is the model that resembles a regular fridge the most. At 19.37 inches tall, 17.72 inches wide, and 18.58 inches deep, it’s certainly big enough to store all sorts of snacks. Its 1.6 cubic feet capacity interior is split in half by a removable metal grate shelf. Additionally, it has two shelves on the inside of the door for holding bottles and cans.
I should mention that the door of this fridge is actually reversible. Therefore, it’s one of the few products that would suit left-handed people. It also offers variety when it comes to color. You can get it in all black, all white, or you can choose a stylish combo — black with a stainless steel door.
The same options are available for the 2.4 cubic feet version of the product. There is also a larger, 3.4 cubic feet version that features a freezer compartment and a separate fruit drawer. However, since that product is 34.5 inches tall, I think that’s stretching the definition of the term “mini fridge.”
Unlike the smaller units I’ve described, this one only has cooling capabilities. However, despite its resemblance to a freezer, it can’t be used for storing frozen foods. The adjustable temperature only ranges from 32 to 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Ivation 18-Bottle Thermoelectric Red And White Wine Cooler, Chiller
The final product I want to talk about is this Ivation thermoelectric wine chiller capable of stocking 18 standard-size bottles. With the inside of the fridge clearly visible through the dual-pane smoked glass door, this could be a great addition to any dorm, living room, or office. Whether you use it to store drinks, produce, or something else entirely, being able to see inside your fridge is always a plus in my book.
If you decide to use this product for its intended purpose, its five wavy removable shelves will come in handy. Each is designed to hold three wine bottles — another three can fit at the bottom of the fridge.
As an alternative to these chrome shelves, you can also get the same fridge model with wooden shelves and a stainless steel door. However, if you want to use this fridge for something other than wine aging, you’ll need to get shelves that are a bit sturdier.
The control settings on top of the door allow you to lock the fridge to ensure that the wine inside can age without odors, changing humidity, or UV rays. There’s also a button you can use to turn on the LED light inside the fridge to check out the stock. Lastly, you can set the temperature to anywhere between 54 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
Honestly, you could definitely survive without a mini fridge — but why would you want to? Now that you’ve seen all the different kinds of fridges there are and the many ways you can use them, there’s no reason not to get one. Whether you need it to store pick-me-up beverages at the office, keep snacks in your dorm, or for a road trip — one of the products from my list will surely fit the bill. And best of all — you won’t hear a peep!