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There is no limit to the places and spaces where a cold beverage might make for a refreshing break or nice cap to the day. Whether you are looking to equip a guest suite, a camp clubhouse, dorm room, workshop, or just want cold storage in your man cave, a compact refrigerator will do the job anywhere full-size refrigeration isn’t needed. Here’s what to look for.

Single or Dual Zone


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Dual-zone mini fridges may have one side for beverages and another for wine. They feature separate thermostats to regulate each chamber. Others may have a main cooler with a small freezer shelf like the standard hotel mini fridge. Single-zone refrigerators are just that: one space limited to chilling drinks and perishables.


A standard mini-fridge is usually 20- to 30-inches tall with a capacity of 3- to 4-cubic feet. That’s enough to hold about 80 to 120 beverage cans. But if space is limited, a smaller version that will fit on a shelf or under a desk or table may be all you need to keep your groceries cool on a day-to-day basis.



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If you just want something to keep beer cold, save your money and buy an extra bag of ice for the porch cooler. But if you want an appliance that will also complement rather than detract from a space, look for a unit with a glass front, digital temperature controls and readouts, and a lighted interior. If you’re gonna have to live with it, it might as well be pretty.