Are you off to university? Or looking for something to keep your drinks and food in at the office? Even looking for something to furnish a hotel room or keep beverages in behind a bar? Then you’re in the right place. This is a guide on how to buy mini-fridges taking into account all factors and looking across a wide range of styles, types and cost.
Things to Think About
Before buying a mini fridge you must think about which style and type would suit you best by considering where you plan on putting it and what you shall be storing in it. Will it be in a bedroom, office or garage? Will you store food and drink or only drink? If you’re unsure about the different types and styles, then I’m here to help.
Type of Mini-Fridge
This fridge is perfect for short-term use. A Thermoelectric fridge works by using a pump to transfer heat from one side to the other, meaning it has a warming function too. As there is no liquid used in the process of keeping the fridge cool, it is much quieter than compressor fridges. The only noise you can hear is the sound of the fan, which on smaller mini-fridges can grow as it works harder to cope for the smaller space within. But it is not the loudest of the fridges. Click to buy a Thermoelectric fridge.
You will see most of these in kitchens as larger fridges. These use liquid which is vaporized and moved through coils and tubes as the fan blows air through the coils from the refrigerator compartment. There is a small amount of noise; a low humming sound. This is because of the compressor motor which pumps the vaporized liquid. Plus, there may be a slight noise from the fan. It is not recommended to be kept in bedrooms or near to your bed. Click to buy a Compressor fridge.
Like the Thermoelectric, it uses a source of heat. As there is no motor, there are a lot quieter than the two above. There are often used in hotels and if you’re looking for something long-term, this is perfect, especially in a place where you sleep because of how quiet it is. Especially as there are some Absorption mini-fridges that are meant to be completely silent. Click to buy an Absorption fridge.
This is the most commonly used mini-fridge because of its size and design that allows you to fit a lot inside. They typically have an interior storage space of 28 to 59 litres and can weigh up to 30 pounds. They are easy to move and great for places such as university dorms, game rooms or offices and are small enough to sit upon counters. Because they’re small, they are also inexpensive. Which is good news if you’re not looking to spend that much. However, there is a downfall to Cube Mini-Fridges. They are not well insulated as they were designed to be portable and lightweight; this makes them a less economical choice in the long run. Click here to buy a Cube Mini Fridge.
This is another common mini-fridge though larger than the Cube. Their interior size ranges from 80 to 96 litres and they have an average height of 66 centimeters making them perfect for bedrooms, offices and hotel rooms, like the Cube. The difference between the two, aside from their size, is that the Mid-Size mini fridges tend to be more energy efficient due to the fact they are larger; however, that does make them more expensive than the Cube. Yet, they are still compact and easy to manoeuvre as they’re still light. You can also find versions with freezer compartments, locks and reversible doors for you lefties. Click to buy a Mid-Size Mini Fridge.
Under the Counter
These are the largest type of mini fridges. Their interior size ranges from 99 to 127 litres and are the same height of an average counter top (90 centimeters). Due to their large design, they are the most energy efficient but obviously the most expensive to buy. They have a huge storage space, allowing them to act as an additional or back-up refrigerator if need be. They are typically seen in office kitchens, garages, man caves and occasionally in bedrooms, but due to their size they are sometimes seen as too big. Counter High mini fridges can come with features such as drink dispensers, lighting, lock mechanisms and a freezer section.
Beverage and Wine Mini Fridges
You can also get mini fridges that are suited for just drinks; they are designed to reach temperatures that are appropriate for beverages instead of groceries and meat. These m
ostly have glass fronts and racks for storing a large amount of drinks. They are perfect if you’re looking for a fridge for your man cave or behind a bar. However, an appropriate behind the bar mini fridge would be a wine mini fridge. For information and to buy a Beverage Mini Fridge, click here.
They, like the one above, usually have racks and glass fronts but are far more clever. Wine Mini Fridges have the capacity to cater for both white and red wine; both are kept at different temperatures to maximize their taste and to stop them from being damaged. Some of these fridges even come with tinted glass fronts to stop the UV rays from penetrating and destroying the wine. It’s advised you make sure the glass is double glazed to ensure the best insulation. For more information and to buy a Wine Mini Fridge, click here.
The Travel Fridge
The last type of mini fridge is the travel fridge. They are small portable fridges (elaborate cool bags) that can also warm up like thermoelectric fridges. They can store both food and drinks but are only meant for traveling purposes, not long-term as they are rather noisy. They are relatively cheap and are powered by the cigarette lighter in your car; just remember to unplug it when the engine’s off or it will drain your battery. Drinkstuff offer a mini fridge that has a car adapter which you can plug into the cigarette lighter of your car, van, caravan and even boat. These fridges are perfect for camping, picnics, holidays and long car journeys. For more information and to buy a Travel Mini Fridge, click here.
So remember to consider where you’re planning on putting your mini fridge and what you’re going to store inside. As you can see there are plenty of different styles and types to consider, each fitting a different purpose and location. Who knew buying a mini fridge would take so much thinking?
Let’s really break this down because it’s always important to remember that sometimes having a mini fridge can be just as expensive as having an average size fridge; as we discussed above, the smaller it is, the less energy efficient therefore more expensive it is in the long run, while the bigger it is, the more energy efficient it is and you only have to pay the large upfront price. These are all things that are important to consider when buying a mini fridge. To run a mini fridge daily, depending on your energy provider and of course which mini-fridge you pick, can be approximately between £3-£5 – which is relatively cheap. The power wattage across all mini fridges (small and large) ranges between 50W to 65W and so if you wish to work out accurately how much the one you’ve picked is going to run, you can do a little Maths.
Each appliance has a specific number of watt-hours. To find the cost of the operation per hour, you can divide the watt-hours of the mini-fridge by 1,000 and then multiply that number by the cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity (which you can get from your electricity supplier). If you want to work out the annual cost, multiply the cost per hour by the number of hours per work (168 – if constantly running) and multiply that answer by the number of weeks in a year (52). Ta da! Now it’s up to you to decide.
Have you thought about what you’re going to put in it? Food and beverages have to be kept at different temperatures and it’s critical that when you’re keeping meat, leftovers etc that you know what temperature they need to be kept at, because let’s face it – no one likes salmonella. The temperature of a normal fridge varies between 1.6 to 4.4 degrees Celsius. Any warmer and you will find yourself with a foodborne illness such as E.coli. And any colder, you will find your butter and milk frozen.
The average temperature in a mini fridge? 5 to 18 degrees Celsius. Of course, that is a rough estimate as a lot of mini fridges have the ability to keep warm too. As I said above in the costs, the reason why smaller mini fridges use up more energy is because there is less room for the air to circulate, causing the fridge to get hot which makes the fans and/or motors run harder, which in turn warms up the entire machine. It can be a vicious cycle if you don’t pick the right mini fridge.
What we can offer you…
…In the mini fridge department.
We at Drinkstuff pride ourselves on our large range of mini fridges for you to choose from, differing in size, style and type.
ChillMate Thermoelectric Mini Fridge Cooler and Warmer
This Thermoelectric black mini fridge is perfect for storing food and drink, keeping them at a cool, safe temperature. This small compact 15 litre fridge offers a cooling and warming option, plus because of its small size it is easily transported and kept in bedrooms, offices and even in caravans. It can hold up to approximately sixteen cans and has two shelves inside – one removable – and two in the door. There is a handle for portability and a sleek black exterior finish. The warming option is specifically meant to warm snacks and hot beverages. This cute little mini fridge is perfect if you’re looking for an inexpensive, compact fridge to put in your dorm room, lounge, office or car. Click to find out more about the ChillMate Thermoelectric Mini Fridge.
ChillQuiet Mini Fridge
This convenient, stylish fridge is a great way to keep your food and drink cool. Compact, like the one before, but boasting 17 litres storage capacity. This mini fridge is ideal for lounges, guest houses and offices. Not only that, this little machine uses thermoelectric technology with a whisper-quiet cooling fan. So unlike other thermoelectrics, it is much quieter. As well as being quiet, it is has a very small carbon footprint – 0.39Wh/24h. It also has an interior light and a removable shelf. With a manual thermostat and a sleek black finish, this mini fridge comes with a free lock when you buy it from us. Perfect for a countertop, especially as it comes with rubber feet to keep it steady. You couldn’t ask for a cuter, chicer mini fridge. Click to find out more about the ChillQuiet Mini Fridge.
ChillQuiet Silent Mini Bar Fridge
This mini fridge is not only compact and small, but is also very discreet. When closed, it would blend in with the rest of your furniture and with 20 litres capacity, it can host plenty of food. It’s ideal for keeping snacks and cooling drinks. The thermoelectric system is practically silent and is the perfect addition to a bedroom, lounge, office or B&B/hotel room. It has an adjustable shelf for storing taller bottles and an internal light and a lockable door to stop any wandering hands. With a sleek black exterior and interior white finish, this is a classic mini fridge and a reversible door is optional. Click to find out more about the ChillQuiet Silent Mini Bar Fridge.
ChillQuiet Silent Mini Bar Fridge
This 32 litre black Mini Bar stylish fridge is another great mini fridge. Great for hotel/B&B rooms due to the fact it runs so quietly. It is perfect for storing snacks and drinks; the adjustable shelves allows you to store a wide variety of items. It has an interior light and lockable door. Although it is small, you can fit a lot within it. It boasts features such as auto-defrost, a reversible door option and being CFC makes it environmentally friendly. Yet again, a beautiful sleek black finish enables it to blend into its surroundings without looking like an eye-sore. Perfect for bedrooms and offices too, this mini fridge has the whole package. Click to find out more about the ChillQuiet Silent Mini Bar Fridge.
Frostbite Mini Fridge
The handy thing about mini fridges is you can have them pretty much anywhere. This fridge is ideal for man caves, lounges and bedrooms, and with a 49 litre capacity, going to the kitchen may be a thing of the past. Enough space to store up to 45 cans, this mini fridge is great for drinks and snacks, keeping everything at a cool, refreshing temperature. With a double glazed front to keep the interior at a cool stable temperature, and an adjustable thermostat for your pleasure, the Frostbite Mini Fridge is a gem of a fridge! There’s even a removal shelf enabling you to store wine and an internal light. What could be better? Still compact and with a lovely silver finish, this mini fridge stands miles ahead of the rest. Click to find out more about the Frostbite Mini Fridge.
To help you work out which mini fridge is the right one for you, here’s a table to aid the comparison of fridges above. It includes the main features you should be considering when buying a mini fridge.
So in conclusion to this guide on how to buy mini fridges, remember to think about all the things discussed above; where are you putting it, what are you going to store inside, are you bothered about noise and is it economical to have one? They are great additions to lounge spaces, university bedrooms and of course offices. Plus, when furnishing a hotel/ B&B room they are small, handy appliances to store snacks and drinks for your punters. I would say that if you’re considering buying a mini-fridge that you should go right ahead. They are worth an extra £3 a day on your bill and are perfect as secondary fridges. Take your time deciding and if the ones above didn’t appeal to you, continue browsing our Mini Fridges here at Drinkstuff. Happy Mini Fridging!