Mini-refrigerators: which is better to choose + an overview of the best models and brands

Evgenia Kravchenko
Checked by a specialist: Evgenia Kravchenko
Author: Alena Slepakova
Last update: August 2019

A modern mini fridge is a portable device that fully performs all the functions of a cooling unit. It is used to reproduce design ideas when arranging a kitchen, as a bar for hotel rooms, or to store food on a trip.

The latter option refers to the portable category and can be represented as a portable option, and thermoelectric device for the car. In this publication, we will deal with the types of miniature refrigerators, and talk about the criteria that it is desirable to consider when choosing the right option.

We also provide a brief overview of the best portable refrigerators and mini-models for stationary installation in the room.

Types of mini-type refrigerators

Refrigerators have long been an integral part of everyday life. Most prefer overall models with capacious cameras and freezers.

However, for hotels, cottages and in the car, such a capacious unit is not at all suitable. In this case, the rational decision is to purchase a small, but quite convenient refrigerator.

Portable devices for a country holiday

Depending on the design type of the device, the principle of operation and dimensions, there are several main categories of portable refrigerators: portableup to 11 l car - up to 110 l and stationary - up to 122 liters

Of course, the most compact representative of the form is an isothermal cooler bag.Visually, this is a small-size case with a different configuration and color design.

Isothermal refrigerator bag
The isothermal cooler bag is essentially a regular thermos bottle, but larger. Maintains the required temperature; a powerful thermal insulation layer

The package may include a wide variety of accessories, for example, cutlery for a comfortable picnic.

Such a device can for a long time maintain the necessary temperature conditions for storing food on a trip.

Cooler bag
To ensure the proper level of storage of perishable products, as well as drinks, the bag must be kept closed and opened only as needed, since the cooled air quickly leaves the chamber

In addition to insulation, the use of one or more refrigeration elements is mandatory. Batteries are made of durable plastic, liquid-filled, which must first be frozen.

The advantages of such thermal containers are compact size, simplest device and affordable cost. The disadvantage is obvious - over time, the cooling elements are thawed, therefore, such refrigerators are not designed for long-term storage, for a maximum of one day.

Mini fridge 1
Lightweight portable refrigerator made of heat-resistant plastic. Its parameters are 20 * 10 * 8 cm, and the weight reaches only 400 g. It is a loyal assistant for those who spend a lot of time at the computer

The smallest refrigerator in the world is designed for only two cans of the drink - its volume is 0.4 liters. Like many other portable devices, it can work for cooling or heating.

To start the cooler, you will need to connect it via a standard USB connector to a desktop computer or laptop. Since the dimensions of such a chamber are very small, five minutes of the operating mode are enough to cool the placed liquid at 16 ° C.

Mini fridge Vaeko
Small non-compressor refrigerator with parameters 28 * 19 * 31 cm. Ideal for cooling drinks. Such a compact unit is easily placed in the car and can be powered by a cigarette lighter

For some users, designing a comfort zone is not possible without a compact refrigerator, which can easily be placed even on a coffee table. At the same time, designers are not limited to the standard appearance.

Various decorative solutions, for example, a mini-model in the form of a telephone box, allow you to bring some zest to the retro interior.

The capacity of such units varies from 5 to 11 liters. However, these options are designed to work in only one of the modes: refrigeration or freezer.

Built-in refrigerator bar
Stationary miniature refrigerators are equipped with compressors that significantly increase the weight of the equipment. Usually they are used as minibars or refrigeration units in long-distance buses.

Instruments for use in the car

Products specifically designed for use in the car are ideal for long trips. The choice of their volume is based on the number of people for whom the products will be placed.

For a company of four passengers, a 30-40-liter chamber will be enough. For short trips, you can stop at the smallest option of 7-10 liters.

Depending on the type of power supply, refrigerators can operate through such sources:

  • car electric network;
  • combined type of food;
  • liquefied gas.

Models can work in both passenger and freight vehicles. If a unit is selected for a passenger car, its voltage should be 12 V, and for a truck two times as much - 24 V.

The combined-use cooling device can function not only from the cigarette lighter socket, but also from the home network. Devices operating on liquefied gas, with the help of a single cylinder, are able to provide the necessary temperature conditions for at least 7 days of continuous operation.

Car refrigerator
Buying an auto-refrigerator will be a great complement on a trip, especially during the hot season when products quickly go bad. This unit is suitable for trips to the country or in the countryside

Functional classification

Miniature refrigerators are presented in several forms.

Based on the type of constructive device, there are four main categories of units:

  • isothermal;
  • compressor
  • thermoelectric;
  • absorption.

Isothermal The option is an absolutely silent analogue of a household appliance. It can be made in the form of thermal boxes, where the cigarette lighter or an ordinary socket serves as an electric source, but there are models that do not require a connection at all.

Isothermal car refrigerator
An isothermal refrigerator is a good option for drivers who spend most of their time on the road. Such a device can work both to maintain cold and heat.

Its principle of operation is quite simple: the built-in plastic cold accumulator maintains the desired temperature for a certain period of time.

Depending on the environmental conditions and the load on the camera, the average exposure of the cooling mode is up to 10 hours, heat up to 8 hours.

A refrigerant made in the form of a briquette filled with a special heat-consuming composition needs constant recharging. To do this, it is placed in the freezer until completely frozen.

Compressor type mini refrigerators
Compressor refrigeration equipment is quite noisy even in miniature design, though the sound interference is not stronger than that of conventional units

Compressor the view is more noisy, which does not interfere with car enthusiasts, because in the process of moving the vehicle this drawback is not noticeable.

Freon mobile refrigerators are economical in power consumption. The unit is equipped with a special safety device that notifies you of low battery.

Based on the series of the device, cooling is carried out from -15 to -22 ° C, so the container is quite suitable for freezing food.

Compressor Car Refrigerator
The volume of the chamber in the model range of freon devices is 11-122 l, which is quite enough for any consumer needs

Thermoelectric the type can work in two modes: for cooling and for heating. They have increased resistance to mechanical damage, insensitive to tilting and vibration. The best representatives of this species are able to cool to 0 ° C, reducing the temperature by almost 30 ° C from external indicators.

These devices are multifunctional and multi-season. Additionally, they have a heating function up to +65 ° C.

It is possible to control all processes, carry out settings and control thanks to the display. The package includes a cable for sockets designed for 220 V. The camera displacement is 7-35 liters.

Absorption type mini refrigerator
Absorption compact refrigerators are ideally suited for installation in the country house, yacht, on the terrace of a country house, sports ground. They do not need to be connected to a traditional power grid.

Absorption (gas) thermal boxes - universal products that operate on a 12 V, 220 V network or gas bottle. Due to this, they are quite suitable for long trips by car. When operating exclusively on a gas cylinder of 6 liters (there are more), the charge is enough for seven days of continuous operation.

Such models are capable of cooling at 20-33 ° C from the ambient temperature. The refrigerant here is ammonia-water concentrate. The heater can be not only gas, but also the mains.

Absorption Car Refrigerators
Liquefied gas is used only to heat the ammonia circulating inside the unit. At the same time, the operation of the gas appliance is absolutely silent

Absorption models are used both in automobiles and in everyday life. Due to the good volume of the chamber, economical gas consumption and silent operation, floor samples are used in cottages instead of standard bulky appliances. They are especially relevant in areas where there are constant interruptions in electricity.

What to consider when choosing a mini cooler?

Before choosing a specific model of a small refrigerator, it is worth carefully familiarizing yourself with the specifications declared by the manufacturer. Here are a few recommendations on this subject and consider all the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular models.

Criterion # 1 - dimensions and type of construction

To equip a kitchen with a small cubic capacity, where every free centimeter is valuable, an ergonomic solution is a compact refrigerator up to 130 cm high. Conventionally, such devices are divided into minibars used to cool drinks, and full-fledged refrigerators with or without a freezer, but in a compact design .

Mini bar
The first minibars were released by the German brand Siegas back in the sixties. Since then, this invention has been actively used in the hotel business when arranging rooms.

Refrigeration equipment is presented separately or recessed options. In the second case, the equipment is placed in a prepared niche in whole or in part, depending on the idea of ​​the author of the interior. Also popular are models in the form of drawers or independent boxes.

Manufacturers of small freezing equipment produce single- and two-chamber systems with and without a compressor. Despite the small dimensions, in some designs retractable shelves for drinks are thought out.

For individual units, the installation site is not limited to the space under the kitchen worktop, they are placed in any niche, but it is not necessary to adhere to the catering unit. Most single camera products are also equipped with a freezer. There are models with the lower and upper arrangement of the freezer compartment. However, the first option is more spacious.

There are models at all without freezer, accordingly, there is much more useful space in them. Nevertheless, separate freezer cabinets are purchased for domestic use.

Criterion # 2 - type of defrost system

Like standard modifications, small-sized ones work with one of the defrosting systems: a crying wall or No Frost.

The principle of operation of technology with weeping wall It looks like this: condensate droplets formed on the rear wall of the chamber drain into a special compartment, where they evaporate.

Floor mini fridge
The “weeping wall” defrosting system is implemented in mini-refrigerators of domestic companies Saratov, Atlant and Biryusa. Affordable cost and high quality characteristics are the main priority positions of such devices

Such refrigerators are subject to defrost once a year. This is a budget option used in low-cost models.

Technology Know frost based on chilled air circulation. Condensed moisture enters a special compartment where it evaporates. As a result, there is no need for defrosting.

Mini fridge with freezer
The No Frost system allows you to evenly distribute cold air between the placed products, which contributes to their longer storage

Criterion # 3 - materials for the manufacture of the body

Recently, shockproof plastic has been used as the main material for the manufacture of the case. Due to this, there is a significant reduction in metal consumption in the manufacturing process, which reduces the total weight of the technical device.

Mini fridge plastic
The refrigerator, the case of which is made exclusively of plastic, has the smallest mass, which is relevant if the equipment is subject to constant movement

Despite the positive characteristics of this composition, the most reliable is still the combined version - plastic and metal.

Criterion # 4 - Energy Class and Management

Mini-refrigeration equipment is not complicated by unnecessary details, so you should not count on anything more than an electromechanical type of adjustment of operating parameters.However, this solution is quite successfully implemented - for the most demanding customers they produce models with multi-stage temperature settings.

With regard to energy consumption, refrigerators with small dimensions in operation consume electricity quite a few, however, for maximum savings, they choose Class A with energy consumption. Nevertheless, Class B will also not significantly affect the amount of the monthly receipt.

It is worth paying attention to class C. Such units are also present on the home appliance market and they belong to the non-compressor type. Despite the inefficient energy consumption, such devices do not vibrate and are absolutely silent.

Criterion # 5 - compressor and type of refrigerant

Ergonomic models are equipped with reciprocating compressors only. Such a motor unit perfectly demonstrated its positive qualities. But the refrigerant is represented by several options. It is useful to opt for an isobutane engine. This technique is less noisy and efficient.

Piston compressor
The algorithm of the processes when connecting the refrigerator to the mains: the compressor start relay leads to reciprocating movement of the pistons located on the crankshaft. As a result, freon is evacuated from the evaporator and the cooler is injected into the condensing device

It is also worth paying attention that piston units cannot be disassembled at home, since this leads to depressurization. To repair such a motor, special equipment will be required.

Criterion # 6 - climatic category

Due to their compact dimensions, small refrigeration units are installed in the most non-standard places: balcony, corridor, garage, etc.

If such areas are supposed to be, then it is better to arm yourself with knowledge of a suitable climate class, as indicated in the equipment manual:

  1. T - / + 18 ... + 43 ° C - not suitable for a balcony, but ideal for hot climates.
  2. N - / + 16 ... + 32 ° C - The most suitable option for most regions of the country.
  3. N-ST - / + 16 ... + 38 ° C - characteristics similar to the previous class.

The operating manual will help to find out which climate class the device belongs to. Information is also placed along with other parameters on a sticker on the back of the unit.

Compact loggia refrigerator
If the operation of the mini-refrigerator is expected in rooms that are not heated or periodically heated, you must take into account the manufacturer's instructions on the temperature range possible for use

TOP 7 best stationary models

The range of compressor devices is quite extensive, so we will further consider the most effective of them.

Place # 1 - Pozis RS-411 S

Refrigerator RS-411 S manufacturer Pozis - successful execution from a domestic manufacturer. The first thing you should focus on is the convenience of mechanical adjustment. Temperature indicators can be adjusted in one of five positions.

The upper compartment is 14 liters. It is intended for storage in low temperature conditions.

The freezer cools to -12 ° C; in the main compartment, the temperature regime is adjustable from 0 ° C to 10 ° C. The unit has proven its effectiveness and efficiency during operation.

Ergonomic use of usable space is achieved by adjusting the height of the metal shelf. On the door there is a one-piece pocket for placing bottles, at the top there is a compartment with an egg mold.

Among the shortcomings noted, a similar problem is the noisy operation of the motor. However, the indicators do not irritate the hearing and are quite acceptable for everyday life.

Place # 2 - Hotpoint-Ariston BTSZ 1632

Hotpoint-Ariston BTSZ 1632 built-in refrigerator is in demand among buyers. Its dimensions are 58 × 54.5 × 81.5 cm, power consumption corresponds to class A +, noise level - up to 40 dB. The case is made of white plastic, so the unit will fit into any interior without any problems.

This is a single chamber model with a capacity of 102 liters.Almost all useful space is occupied by the refrigerator compartment - 83 liters, and 19 liters are allocated for the freezer compartment. The power of the refrigerator allows you to freeze up to 2 kg of food per day. Autonomous cold preservation inside the chamber in case of power failure - up to 11 hours.

A drip system (the so-called “weeping wall”) is implemented in the refrigerator compartment, the freezer will have to be defrosted manually from time to time.

The main advantages: compact size, rather roomy refrigerated calving, good preservation of products, thanks to a tight-fitting door, the products do not deteriorate.

Among the minuses are a small freezer and a high cost.

Place # 3 - Biryusa 50

Biryusa 50 is a compact freestanding refrigerator with a total capacity of 46 liters. The refrigerator compartment occupies 45 l, and there is also a tiny 1 l freezer.

This unit, although very small in appearance, turned out to be quite roomy inside - thanks to a well-thought-out arrangement of the metal shelf. There is even an egg compartment on the door, however, for some reason only 3 pcs. The door, if necessary, can be hung on the other side.

The power consumption of this model corresponds to class A +, defrosting is to be performed in manual mode. As for the noise level, it can reach 42 dB.

One of the features of the Biryusa 50 refrigerator, which struck some owners, is the presence of a built-in lock, so there is a keyhole on the door, and 2 miniature keys are included. Therefore, the model is perfect for use in the office - all products will be reliably protected (as in a safe) from intruders.

Users respond positively about this refrigerator - for the price they simply don’t see any flaws.

Place # 4 - Hansa FM050.4

The free-standing single-chamber refrigerator Hansa FM050.4 is also quite popular among buyers. Power consumption of Hansa FM050.4 corresponds to class A +, noise level - up to 35 dB.

Its small dimensions (47 × 44.7 × 49.6 cm) are successfully combined with an unexpectedly capacious chamber - 41 liters of usable volume are provided inside the refrigerator compartment. There is also a 5 liter freezer - a pack of ravioli or ice cream will be stored until the right time.

A drip system is implemented in the refrigerator, but the freezer will have to be periodically thawed in manual mode.

The material of the shelves is glass. It is possible to outweigh the door. Type of control - electromechanical.

Of the advantages, users note light weight, compact dimensions and good roominess. Moreover, the refrigerator well preserves the products placed inside the chamber.

Among the minuses are the lack of backlight inside the camera, the inability to put a large pan, uncomfortable holders on the door, the case quickly gets dirty, but it can also be wiped away just as quickly. And also some owners note that inaccurate transportation or use can leave dents on the case.

Rank # 5 - Indel B Iceberg 30 Plus

The recessed miniature bar Indel B Iceberg 30 Plus is good for cooling drinks and for temporary storage of cooked dishes.

Inside his small refrigerating chamber there are moving shelves, the movement of which allows you to adapt the device to place products in almost any container.

The Indel B Iceberg 30 Plus device is suitable for installation in vehicles, successfully integrates into cabinet furniture in offices, hotels, and conference rooms.

This model has deep shelves on the door, they can be used to place products packaged in narrow, vertically oriented containers and for drinks.

Place # 6 - Shivaki SHRF-74CH

Miniature refrigerator SHRF-74CH brand Shivaki brand trustworthy. Despite the little-known manufacturer, this did not affect the quality of the review model.

In this compact device you can organize the storage of a small number of products, but ergonomics are at the highest level.Equally effectively used both in everyday life and in working conditions.

Type of installation of equipment refers to a stand-alone view. The control is fully electromechanical. The quality of gaskets, metal and plastic parts at a decent level.

The low energy class A + will not hit your pocket when paying electricity bills. The organization of space also relates to the advantages of the unit: a trellised shelf and two door pockets conveniently delimit the 62-liter chamber. There is also a 5 liter freezer compartment.

There are also negative aspects: manual defrosting and noisy work. Sound insignificantly spoils the positive impression, and it is enough to defrost twice a year.

Place # 7 - KRAFT BR-50I

The free-standing single-chamber refrigerator KRAFT BR-50I is also quite popular among buyers. It looks stylish - the case is made of silver metal and plastic.

This is a single compressor model, its dimensions are 44.9 × 48.1 × 51 cm.

The design of the unit provides a 44 l freezer section and a small 3 l freezer; the latter will require periodic manual defrosting.

Management - electromechanical, power consumption of this A + model, noise level reaches 38 dB. The material of the shelves is metal.

Of the pluses, users note quite quiet operation, excellent food preservation and affordable cost.

As for the minuses, no significant ones were found.

Popular mobile models and brands

Household appliances, including refrigeration, are presented in a wide assortment, but do not give in to the tricks of the seller and buy the first copy that comes across. We present an overview of models that will fully meet the criteria of price — quality.

The most popular company among motorists Waeco. The company is focused on the production of all types of refrigerators.

Vaeko absorption refrigerator
Waeco Combicool RC 2200 EGP gas refrigeration car model: cooling to 33 ° C from ambient temperature, average energy consumption of 85 W or gas 10.5 g / h

The most successful technical characteristics are embodied in such models:

  1. Combicool RC 2200 EGP by Waeco - the best universal absorption unit operating from a 12/220 V power supply or from a gas bottle. Made in shockproof aluminum case, equipped with a temperature controller and piezo ignition, it is absolutely silent.
  2. Waeco CoolFreeze CFX 40 - thermoelectric single-chamber autorefrigerator with better energy efficiency. A 38-liter camera is enough to accommodate the necessary grocery set. It receives power from the mains 12/24/110/220 V. Power consumption 48 W.

It is also worth noting and quality samples of products from little-known manufacturers such as: Campingaz, Mystery, Ezetil and Giostyle.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

From the video you will find out what kind of auto-refrigerators are most effective, and how they actually differ from each other, except for the price category:

The life of a modern person can no longer be imagined without household appliances, and the refrigerator can be attributed to the most necessary appliances.

Nevertheless, the interior should not be cluttered with bulky equipment, and today's models of small refrigeration units are presented at a decent level. Therefore, it will be easy to choose the best mini-option that can be useful not only in everyday life..

Thinking about buying a miniature refrigerator and want to consult about your favorite option with other visitors to our site? Ask your questions in the comments section, indicate the model name.

Have your own point of view on the advisability of buying a mini version of the refrigerator? Write it under this article, give weighty arguments in favor of your opinion.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Novel

    I once had a mini fridge, I ordered with ali. Such a tiny box, worked from usb, but quickly “burned out”, simply stopped functioning after a couple of months. It was relatively inexpensive, there was very little space in it, but I still liked the cooler bag more in this regard. Not so reliable in terms of preserving the cold, but it does not break even more space.

    • Expert
      Evgenia Kravchenko

      A cooler bag is not at all that a mini fridge, they serve different purposes. The bag will help keep the cold 3-5 hours if the summer is outside. The mini-fridge will freeze while there is electricity, this is the same device that stands in your kitchen, just a little.

  2. Diman42

    All the same, just mini-refrigerators and portable refrigerators are a completely different class of household appliances. I have a mini-fridge in my daughters, there are not many products there, energy consumption is low, that's it. A portable refrigerator is a good option for trips to nature and picnics. For a long time I want to try to buy one, but the price stops, they are not so cheap, but it's really possible to do without them.