Mini fridges come into use in a variety of everyday situations, whether you need extra refrigeration space in your kitchen, want to have a separate fridge for drinks or just want to keep your drinks chilled in the bedroom or dorm.
There are a wide range and size of mini fridges available, ranging from smaller portable models through to dedicated drinks fridges. In this buying guide, we take a look at a number of different top-selling models available and give you our recommendation on which one to go for. Also, at the end of the guide, you’ll find some handy tips on what to look for when buying and researching mini fridges.
Last update on 2020-01-20 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
It possibly would not be a complete small kitchen appliance review without Russell Hobbs featuring somewhere, so it’s not a surprise to see this fridge positioned as one of the bestselling products in the mini fridge category.
This is one of the larger fridges reviewed here at a generous 43 litre capacity. At this size, it has plenty of room for drinks and other fresh items. This Russell Hobbs fridge also has a small ice box which is a nice touch and does not take up too much space within the fridge interior. There is space for a 1 litre bottle within the door and room above for smaller items such as condiment jars.
To make the best use of the available space the RHTTLF1B comes supplied with a removable wire rack so you can decide how you want to use the space. At this price point, you also get an adjustable thermostat to change the fridge temperature to your particular needs. Talking of adjustable, the fridge feet height can be changed to better level the fridge on an uneven surface. This fridge is available in 4 colour options (black, red, silver and white) and a larger 66 litre capacity model is available.
This is a large fridge (measuring nearly 50cm in height) but serves well as both an additional fridge in your home or a smaller main fridge. We also like the nice touches such as the ice box. It’s not cheap but it’s reasonably priced for the size and features on offer so it’s easy to see why this Russell Hobbs mini fridge is such a great seller.
This mini fridge from VonShef is very similar to the Russell Hobbs model, both in terms of looks and features but also price. So, what would make you choose between these two mini fridges from well-known brands?
At 47 litres, the VonShef has an extra 4 litres of chilling capacity when compared to the Russell Hobbs. This is the same size as four large bottles of water. There is space in the door for one of these 1 litre bottles, plus you can fit additional smaller bottles in the door rack underneath the handy smaller item storage tray. As with the Russell Hobbs, the main shelf rack can be removed to provide you with extra storage. At 49.6cm high, it’s almost identical in height to the Russell Hobbs fridge.
Fancy some ice in your drink? The VonShef mini fridge has a neat ice compartment that is also big enough to squeeze in a few ice lollies (just). Positioned next to the icebox, you also get an adjustable fridge temperature thermostat that allows you to set the temperature within a decent range. The adjustable feet allow you to accommodate uneven surfaces and the door is reversible making it easy to fit into and be used in most conditions. Unlike, the Russell Hobbs, this fridge is only available in one colour, a stylish looking black stain finish. It’s good to know that this mini fridge from VonShef also comes with a 2 year guarantee.
We started by saying that this fridge was very similar to the Russell Hobbs, however, as they are both similar priced then we would choose this VonShef due to the larger capacity and stylish design. However, the Russell Hobbs does have 4 colour options so will be more appealing to those looking to coordinate with existing kitchen appliances and décor.
With this Super 50 mini fridge from Subcold we are not only stepping up in capacity but also price as this is significantly more expensive than the Russell Hobbs and VonShef models at well over £100.
The Super50 is more of a drinks fridge than a multipurpose fridge. You could fit other items in the fridge but it’s clearly been designed from the outset as a drinks fridge with its dual glazed door and twin wire storage racks. This fridge is 50 litres in capacity so you can fit a lot of your favourite beverages inside. Due to the glass door, it doesn’t include a door rack and you will have to go without an ice compartment. At 52.5cm this fridge is around the same height as other models with a similar capacity. The model looked at here was the black version but a smart looking stainless steel version is also available.
It’s good to see that Subcold has added some nice features to justify the price tag. Temperature is easy adjustable a can be controlled between 0 and 10 degrees, perfect for all types of drinks. The interior features a LED light which makes it even easier to see what’s inside through the clear glass door (which can be left or right hand mounted). The Super50 is also lockable and comes with two keys, perfect if you intend to use in a communal or office environment.
If you are looking for a large capacity drinks fridge then the Subcold Super50 could be the fridge for you. It’s not the cheapest out there but is well built (backed up by a 2 year manufactures guarantee) and has some nice features such as the interior light and safety lock. Certainly, a mini drinks fridge worth checking out.
Another fridge from Subcold but this time something a lot smaller and cheaper than the Super50. The Ultra 6 is very compact in size and capacity, but this means that its ideal for use in bedrooms, dorms or when camping.
This mini fridge really is “mini” with a 6 litre capacity. That’s still room though to fit in 8 of your favourite 330ml cans. The internal shelf is removable, so you have the option of using as a drinks or food only fridge, or both. The Ultra 6 has door storage space, but this is only wide enough for a thin bar of chocolate, this is still a nice addition though as this gives you even more storage options. Measuring just over 30cm in height, the Ultra 6 is definitely a compact choice.
The Ultra 6 is more like an electric cooler box when it comes to chilling, as rather than maintaining a set temperature it simply cools up to 20 degrees below ambient temperature down to a minimum of 3 degrees, which is more than adequate for UK temperature conditions. This fridge can also be used to warm food and drinks, up to a maximum of 65 degrees. As the Ultra 6 is intended to be portable, it includes a carrying handle and the option of using mains or 12v power. A car adapter is included for use on the go. The main body for the Ultra 6 is white and it’s available either with black, grey or white door colour options.
This is quite a neat and stylish portable mini fridge that makes a great (and cheaper) alternative to an electric cool box. It’s not the largest in capacity but is ideal for extra refrigeration space or for using when you’re out and about.
The iceQ sits nicely in size between the small Ultra 6 from Subcool and the larger fridges from VonShef and Russell Hobbs. It’s not cheap though as is approaching the price of the much larger models. So, what do you get for your money?
This is a 15 litre fridge which works well as both a mini fridge and portable cooler. The fridge has been designed to hold two 1.5 litre bottles in the main compartment and about 3 smaller bottles in the door tray. The interior shelf is removable, so you have the choice of storing the larger sized bottles or cans and other chilled items. The height of the iceQ is 41cm and is approaching that of the larger capacity fridges.
The iceQ includes a small viewing window in the door but we are not 100% sure what use this serves due to the size, but it does make the overall appearance of this fridge more modern. As this is intended to be a portable fridge it includes a carrying handle as well as the option to run on mains or 12v power. As with the Subcool Ultra 6, this is more of a chiller and can cool up to 20 degrees below ambient temperature and can also be used as a drink and food warmer.
Another portable or light use mini fridge, the iceQ’s price puts it head-to-head with larger capacity cool boxes. However, for those not requiring more space, then the iceQ works well as a chiller for leisure or home use.
Although this is a mini fridge review, we have looked at a number of different option when it comes to smaller refrigeration requirements. If you are looking for a large capacity mini fridge, then the Russell Hobbs and VonShef models work well. We’d pick the VonShef over the Russell Hobbs though purely down to its larger capacity.
Between the two smaller portable coolers here, we would choose the cheaper Subcool Ultra 6 as it has the space and power flexibility that you need in a smaller cooler.
If it’s just a dedicated drinks mini fridge that you require, then the Subcool Super50 not only looks stylish but has the largest capacity here, plus it looks great in any home or office.
The main thing to consider when it comes to choosing a mini fridge is what do you intend to use the fridge for and where? If it’s as a backup or replacement to your main fridge then you’ll want to be looking at a large capacity mini fridge with ice box. If it’s just for drinks then again capacity is also important along with security. For cooling on the go or for use in a bedroom, then a smaller portable cooler could be the better option.
Here are a couple of important points to consider:
A very important one. If you want a dedicated drinks fridge or countertop fridge then look at models between 40 and 50 litres capacity. For a mini fridge cooler, 5 litres is probably the minimum you would want to consider.
On large fridges look out for ice trays, thermostatic controls and door trays that can hold bottles. For drinks mini fridges then a glass front (so you can see what’s inside) and a lock (for security) are important features. A portable mini fridge must have the choice between mains and 12 volt power and a carrying handle will make it easier to move around.