Best Mini Fridges: Top 5 Brands Most Recommended For College Dorms

When packing up the car for that trip to college, it’s important to bring along some essentials. Every dorm room needs the basics. The best mini fridges are the perfect solution for food and drink storage in a small space. Simply plug it in, let it chill, and fill it up with your favorite foods and beverages. Mini fridges also come in lots of different designs and colors to match your dorm room setup.

Going to college doesn’t mean you should sacrifice healthy eating habits. In fact, a recent study from the University of British Columbia Okanagan suggests poor dietary habits established during college can contribute to future health issues years and even decades later — including obesity, respiratory illnesses, and depression.

“We know many students consume high-calorie meals along with sugary foods and drinks and there is lots of evidence to show those kinds of eating behaviors can lead to obesity,” Dr. Bottorff says in a university release. “These are not the only habits that lead to obesity, but they are important and can’t be ruled out.”

So, remember to pack healthy snacks when heading to college. Even if you aren’t going to a university, you can still put a mini fridge to good use including keeping drinks and treats cool in a home office or garage. 

Here at StudyFinds, we’ve put together a list of the top brands from ten expert websites, to find the best mini fridges for college dorms. As always, we want to see your own recommendations in the comments below!

College dorm desk
College dorm desk (Photo by Jose Fontano on Unsplash)

The List: Best Mini Fridges, According to Experts


1. GE Double-Door Compact Refrigerator

Food Network crowns this 3.1-cubic-foot mini fridge from GE its overall best, highlighting the separate freezer compartment “to keep foods frozen solid, so you can safely use it to store meats and poultry or a supply of frozen dinners. There’s even a shelf on the freezer door to stock with ice cream or bags of frozen peas.”

GE Double-Door Compact Refrigerator
GE Double-Door Compact Refrigerator (

It also has removable glass shelving and an interior light. Good Housekeeping adds, “the refrigerator includes a clear crisper drawer and shelving and a can rack on the door.” 

However, as The Spruce points out, “this appliance does manually defrost, meaning you’ll need to chip away at ice buildup once it’s become 1/4-inch thick, a good indicator that it’s also time to clean the freezer.” 

2. Midea Compact Refrigerator

USA Today gives the Midea compact refrigerator “Best Dorm Fridge” honors, spotlighting “the design of its can dispenser rack, which lets you load cans in from the middle as well as the top. It also runs quietly, making it great for dorm rooms.”

Midea Compact Refrigerator
Midea Compact Refrigerator

It features 3.1 cubic feet of storage space. “In addition to its three in-door compartments and two shelves, this fridge has a drawer for storing fresh produce,” adds This Old House.

“The Midea unit has adjustable legs and reversible doors you can customize to open from either the right or left side, depending on what fits your space best,” according to Reader’s Digest. Keep in mind, this refrigerator’s temperature settings need to be manually calibrated for optimum use.

3. hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler

If you’re looking for a mini fridge that’s specifically designed to hold lots of cans, here’s a solid option. It “has a 3.2 cubic foot capacity and can store up to 120 full-sized cans, making it a great choice for use as a beverage cooler. The shelves are adjustable and removable, so while it’s initially set up to accommodate cans, the space can be adapted and customized as needed,” notes Futurism.

hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler
hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler

This refrigerator also features a glass door, adjustable thermostat and auto-defrost. Food & Wine points out, “the white LED interior light illuminates the contents making it easy to see at night or if you use this in a movie room. It also can go underneath a counter if you want to make it look like a built-in dupe. The powerful cooling system is capable of cooling the unit down to 34°F.”

“Easy touch temperature controls make it simple to use, and it even has a memory function to restore preset temperatures if it gets unplugged or there’s a power outage,” adds Men’s Health. One potential drawback? Some reviewers mention it runs a bit loud.

4. RCA Mini Refrigerator

Here’s a mini refrigerator from RCA that’s a hit with reviewers. The single-door design features an integrated freezer and a capacity of 3.2 cubic feet. “Our research showed this mini fridge and freezer uses more of its space for fridge storage than similar models, allowing you to hold more drinks, produce, and other refrigerated items,” according to This Old House.

RCA Mini Refrigerator
RCA Mini Refrigerator

Forbes points out, “what really gives this mini refrigerator an edge is the modern design. An invisible door handle gives the fridge a sleek look that makes it look a little sharper than you’d expect in this price range.”

“This model comes in black, white, and stainless steel but is also available in a rainbow of colors, making it a fun choice for a dorm room or child’s room,” suggests Futurism.

5. Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer

Rounding out our top five is a tiny but mighty, budget-friendly product by Cooluli. This completely portable mini fridge can easily live in your car or on a desktop. “It has a 4-liter/six-can capacity that makes it convenient for masks, moisturizers, and more,” according to The Spruce

Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer
Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer

This lightweight device is available in several colors, with a wattage of 110 volts / 12 volts in the car. “What makes it ideal for road trips is that it can be powered through your car‘s DC adapter or a USB port; there’s also an AC cord for indoor use. It also has a handle built into the top for easy toting,” notes Good Housekeeping.

Food & Wine suggests it’s a “great gift for someone going off to college, a skincare enthusiast who likes to store their beauty products in a fridge, or for a loved one’s desk at work to store snacks. There are a million ways to use it, and the price is right.” However, with a max cooling temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s not meant for storing perishables.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.  

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About the Author

Melissa Kraus

Melissa is a freelance writer, based out of New Jersey. She has over two-decades of writing, editing, and producing experience for Radio, TV, and Digital Media.

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