College life is all about being on the go, which means Digiorno pizzas, Hot Pockets, cups of fruit and, of course, copious amounts coffee are your best friend. This automatically makes a mini fridge one of the most important appliances any incoming freshman can have (in addition to a microwave and coffee maker, perhaps). Even if you have a communal fridge, you may want a separate place to stash your stuff, in case that one is too crammed to fit your latest grocery haul…or you can’t trust your roommates not to eat your lunch. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top-reviewed dorm room refrigerators, from a mini fridge with a freezer that can fit into even the smallest spaces to a retro-inspired Frigidaire that’ll impress everyone on your floor. (And of course, we’ve also included some guidelines of things to consider before you haul one to school.)
The 10 Best Dorm Room Mini Fridges That Will Fit in Any Nook
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The Best Dorm Room Refrigerators at a Glance
- Best Overall Mini Fridge: Frigidaire Retro Mini Fridge
- Best Mini Fridge For $100: Insignia Mini Compact Fridge
- Best Mini Fridge With Freezer: InsigniaMini Fridge with Top Freezer
- Best Mini Fridge Without a Freezer: Frigidaire Retro Dry Erase Fridge
- Best Mini Fridge For Drinks: Whynter Beverage Refrigerator
- Best Mini Fridge For Produce: Costway Compact Refrigerator
- Best Compact Mini Fridge: Galanz Retro Compact Refrigerator
- Best Retro Mini Fridge: Marshall Fridges Mini Fridge with Freezer
- Best Desk Mini Fridge: Frigidaire Mini Retro Beverage Fridge
- Best Mini Fridge With Glass Door: SmartFridge by Minibar Systems
How to Choose the Right Dorm Room Refrigerator
- Size: Take a look at your school’s housing policy to find out what dimensions are acceptable (many schools require ones that are 5 cubic feet or smaller, though some max out at 3.5 feet). You’ll also want to factor in where you might place it, once you consider the major furniture that’s provided—and that you’ll be bringing with you.
- Type: There are four types of fridges you should be aware of: portable mini fridges, which are tiny and easy to pick up; freestanding fridges, which are typically larger and fall between 3 cubic feet and 4.5 cubic feet; under-the-counter fridges, which range in size but can be squeezed under tables and desks; and countertop fridges, which are more suitable to be propped somewhere higher.
- Freezing capacity: When looking for a dorm room refrigerator, it’s important to remember that those freezers are not meant for long-term storage. Odds are, your mini fridge is best for compact spaces, so you want to look for a freezer capacity that doesn’t exceed 0.4 cubic feet.
- Style: In the age of TikTok, aesthetics are king—and it’s no secret that retro appliances are the name of the game right now. The Frigidaire and Marshall options from this list can add a pop of nostalgia to your room. (May seem frivolous to some, but a mini fridge can be used to complement your dorm room decor.)
Best Overall Mini Fridge
- Dimensions: 19" D x 20.5" W x 35.5" H
- Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet (.25 cubic foot freezer)
- What We Like: available in four colors, flush-back design, adjustable feet, bottle opener on the side can hold utensils
- What We Don't Like: plastic handles
- Standout Review: “The fridge works well and is very cute. We received several compliments when moving it into a dorm room. Nice splash of color. We also appreciated the separate freezer and fridge doors. Being in a dorm room, it was important that the freezer be big enough for a pint of ice cream, and it was.”
Great for placing in cramped spaces or uneven surfaces (thanks to its adjustable feet), this sleek refrigerator can liven up even in the most uninspired of dorms. The silver pull-handle and ornamental details give it a retro vibe, plus, it has a built-in side bottle opener, so you don’t need to rummage for utensils to crack one open.
Best Mini Fridge For $100
- Dimensions: 19.3” H x 17.3” W x 18.3” D
- Capacity: 1.7 cubic feet
- What We Like: adjustable thermostat temperature, chiller compartment, two-liter bottle rack, reversible door
- What We Don't Like: no freezer compartment
- Standout Review: “Just the right size [to] store drinks and lunch leftovers. Gets plenty cold—enough to freeze drinks if turned up too cold—and having all the space for food and drinks is great. Very quiet operation. [Makes] a great dorm fridge.”
While this mini fridge doesn’t have a freezer per se, it does have a chiller compartment to store anything you want to keep extra cold (and a customizable temperature from 32 to 39 degrees). Aside from its compact, cube-like shape, its best feature is the two-liter bottle rack. It frees up major shelf space, and there’s no rummaging around or playing Tetris with your groceries any time you need a refill.
Best Mini Fridge With Freezer
- Dimensions: 33.4” H x 19.1” W x 20.5” D
- Capacity: 3 cubic feet (0.9 cubic foot freezer)
- What We Like: customizable thermostat, adjustable shelves, bottle can rack, freezer compartment, double doors, ice cube tray included
- What We Don't Like: stainless steel shows fingerprint smudges easily
- Standout Review: “Got here intact, fast and working in perfect condition. It makes a little noise when the cycle is on (but it's not that bad unless you are sleeping close to it). I set the thermostat to seven (max), thinking it wouldn’t make things too cold…boy, was I wrong—it froze all my water, and that was the fridge, so you can imagine how cold the freezer is. The little door locks are also airtight, so the temperature from the freezer does not leak into the rest of the fridge.”
Simple, sleek and straightforward to operate (down to its adjustable thermostat), this fridge offers a whopping three cubic feet of storage space without using a lot of energy (thanks to its Energy Star certification). It’s specifically designed for tight spaces, with a top freezer that’s perfect for storing meat and your favorite pints of Serendipity—and the adjustable shelves make it easy to house larger grocery items (with enough room for your almond milk and your roommate’s 2 percent).
Best Mini Fridge Without a Freezer
- Dimensions: 16" D x 20" W x 30" H
- Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet (0.2 cubic foot defrosting compartment)
- What We Like: dry erase board front, reversible doors, separate chiller, automatic defrost button, mechanical adjustable thermostat
- What We Don't Like: chiller is not separate from the fridge
- Standout Review: “This refrigerator can handle a 24-pack of soda, along with 10 bottles of water and a few bottles of wine with room to spare. Love the [chiller] compartment and the storage on the inside of the fridge. The chalk front is also a great detail.”
If you’re looking for something with spacious storage that isn’t an eyesore, this Frigidaire is your best bet. Aside from its 20-inch width and 30-inch height, the fridge has four separate storage compartments on the reversible door, which you can customize to open to the left or right. Add to that, the fact that it includes a mechanical adjustable thermostat, a separate chiller compartment—which features a defrost button that works with a push of a button—and a dry-erase front door (that your friends will definitely abuse).
Best Mini Fridge For Drinks
- Dimensions: 20.5'' H x 17” W x 18.75'' D
- Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet
- What We Like: can fit up to 62 cans, stainless steel trimmed glass door, manual temperature control, reversible glass door with a lock
- What We Don't Like: not ideal for food storage
- Standout Review: “The temperature seems to be very consistent. I was looking for something that would fit under my window unit AC and this little fridge is perfect. I also like that the door can be locked.”
If you know you’re going to be leaning on the dining hall for all your meals but need your water, cold brew and energy drinks handy, opt for this refrigerator cooler that holds up to 62 cans. Plus, if you’re looking to keep your drinks separate from your roommate’s (who plays dumb every time your stash disappears), this is a great solution: It includes a lock with two sets of keys.
Best Mini Fridge For Produce
- Dimensions: 19"D x 19.5"W x 34"H
- Capacity: 3.2 cubic feet (1 cubic foot freezer)
- What We Like: crisper drawer, cools quickly, adjustable glass shelf, ice tray included, customizable temperature, extra-large capacity
- What We Don't Like: can get noisy
- Standout Review: “This easily fits three or four regular pizza boxes in the freezer and adjustable height shelves and multiple storage spaces means fitting an 18-beer-bottle case, along with other food. Plenty of space for a young adult…Keeps items frozen in the freezer. The fridge gets a little cold. Sometimes there's a thin film of ice on bottles, but you could just turn the temp up a little to fix that.”
For hardcore fruit and vegetable lovers, this one’s for you. This compact pick by Costway comes with a crisper drawer, so you can enjoy your Trader Joe’s goods (or farmers market haul, if your campus has one) for as long as possible. It also comes with a separate freezer compartment and includes an ice tray so you can keep drinks cool on the go or while chillin’ in your room.
Best Compact Mini Fridge
- Dimensions: 17.6" D x 21.02" W x 28.15"H
- Capacity: 2.5 cubic feet (0.39 cubic foot chiller compartment)
- What We Like: compact but stores a wide range of items, retro look, low-energy compressor, separate chiller, manual temperature control
- What We Don't Like: chiller is not separate from the fridge
- Standout Review: “LOVE this little fridge! It fits on the counter, making it just the correct height to be really usable. The freezer compartment is big enough to store several frozen meals for when I forget to bring leftovers. Keeps lots of sodas in the door for easy access.”
At less than 18 inches deep and 28 inches tall, the beauty of this mini fridge is that it not only takes up very little space, but it can hold a deceptive amount of food. It comes with a removable, slide-out glass shelf, which allows you to organize the fridge according to your needs. It also features additional storage by the doors and has a freezer compartment that can be used for storing frozen foods or making ice cubes.
Best Retro Mini Fridge
- Dimensions: 32.3'' H X 19.7'' W X 22.4'' D
- Capacity: 4.4 cubic feet
- What We Like: looks like a Marshalls speaker, adjustable/removable shelves, manual thermostat, internal freezer, ample storage, reversible door, internal lightbulb
- What We Don't Like: expensive
- Standout Review: “Absolutely love this fridge! Everyone that has come by to hang out asks where we got it from and thinks it's the coolest thing. It looks just like an amp. It also keeps the drinks chilled really well.”
This refrigerator earns style points for its unexpected, vintage-inspired look. It’s designed with Marshall’s signature black FRET cloth, white piping, tunable knobs, brass finished faceplate and the iconic white logo (though, sadly, it doesn’t double as a functioning speaker). As for the fridge itself, it has a mechanical temperature control, three branded glass shelves, 2-liter bottle storage, 12-ounce can storage on the door (reversible) and an internal freezer that comes with an ice tray.
Best Desk Mini Fridge
- Dimensions: 9.84" D x 7.09" W x 10.35" H
- Capacity: 4 liters
- What We Like: can chill six 12 oz. soda cans, lightweight and easily moveable, retro design, switch allows it to go from cooling to heating, reversible door
- What We Don't Like: water accumulates inside
- Standout Review: “This little thing is not only super cute, but it works perfectly. I have it on my office desk shelf, and I can't really hear at running. I also love that you can take this in your car—it has a cord that will hook up to your car’s adaptor…You can fit four 16.9-ounce water bottles in there.”
Ideal for chilling your vitamin C serum or your orange juice, this mini fridge can be propped right on a shelf, desk or table and still get the job done. It’s also quiet, so you don’t have to worry about being distracted by an annoying hum while you study. The cherry on top? It goes from cooling to heating with just the flip of a switch (so you can use it as a makeup fridge/warmer, too).
Best Mini Fridge With Glass Door
- Dimensions: 21'' H X 17'' W X 21'' D
- Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet
- What We Like: silent compressor technology, LED control panel, adjustable temperature, snooze and quick cool options, automatic defrost
- What We Don't Like: no freezer component
- Standout Review(s): One person writes, “It’s very quiet. The light only turns on when it’s opened so it doesn’t disturb anyone with unnecessary light.” Another reviewer adds: “Fantastic. Compact, extremely quiet and cools VERY WELL.”
Sure, it’s a splurge. But this ‘smart’ refrigerator has a lot going for it—an adjustable LED temperature control, automatic daily defrosting, a triple pane glass door—but its best feature is the quiet compressor technology, which makes this baby virtually silent when it’s running. It also features reversible doors, so if the best spot is an awkward corner that won’t let you open the door on the right side, you’re just seconds away from a switch—rather than having to redo your entire floor plan.
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Sydney Meister is PureWow’s Assistant Lifestyle Editor. Along with covering the latest interior design trends and home hacks, she writes about everything from relationships to travel, must-have wellness products and what's happening in the world of celebrity design. Before PureWow, Sydney worked for various interior designers across NYC—primarily as a content creator focusing on trend forecasting and reporting. She's a go-to resource when it comes to interior styling tips and product recs to keep your home looking au courant (hint: it's time to ditch the modern farmhouse look).
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