Best mini fridge 2019: The best cold food storage options for portability and space

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Are you always struggling to fit excess groceries into your kitchen fridge? Maybe you’re a student who needs to keep your food out of that particularly grabby housemate’s hands. Whatever your reasons, a mini-fridge can be a lifesaver if you’re looking to save space, keep lunches and snacks cold in the office or even have a place to store drinks when friends and family come to visit.

But with so many products out there to choose from, finding the best option for your specific needs can be tricky. How much do you want to spend? Are their extra features that you need?

Our guide to the best purchases, whether you’re a student, sharer, homeowner or boss searching for the perfect mini fridge, can help you decide.

How to buy the best mini fridge for you

How much should I spend?

The price of mini-fridges can vary wildly, but generally speaking, you’re paying for space. While a tiny 14-15L fridge – big enough for a few beers but nothing more – will be perfectly adequate for some, others will understandably need more room. A decent mini fridge can be purchased for less than £150, but there are also cheaper options that do the job just fine.

If you’re simply looking for somewhere to store beers and soft drinks, then there are a ton of options for less than £80 to be found online, but something large and spacious enough for food storage can set you back something closer to £100 plus. There are also luxury options that cost much more.

When it comes down to overall cost, you may also need to take energy consumption into account when buying your mini-fridge. The higher the efficiency, the more money you save in the long run – important if you plan to keep it plugged in all the time, and obviously better for the planet.

What features do I need?

With size comes room for extra features, which will either be superfluous or a dealbreaker depending on the planned use for your new mini-fridge. For example, if you’re hoping to use it as a stand-in for a larger fridge/freezer, temporarily or on a permanent basis, then it may be a good idea to purchase a product with door storage. If nothing else, this allows drinks or milk to be kept separate, upright and easy to get to.

Another big feature is the optional freezer box, which is included in many larger mini-fridges and can be used for small things such as ice cubes or the odd emergency cornetto during the summer months. You won’t be able to fit much more in there, but freezer space is a commodity that can prove essential for some customers.

Of course, if you’re looking for a mini-fridge that can travel with you on the go, smaller is better. While you have to keep an eye out for models that require power leads to be bought separately, a travel fridge for the car is ideal for camping trips or long drives.

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The best mini fridges to buy from £30

1. iceQ 70L Compact Counter Top Table Mini Drinks Fridge: Best for storage space 

Price: £109.99 | Buy now from Amazon

With its ample 70L capacity, this mini fridge from iceQ offers plenty of space for a reasonable price. Door storage is a big plus here, and at 63cm the fridge is more than tall enough for you to store wine or milk in this compartment along with anything else you wish. It’s also no deeper than it needs to be, which means that the rest of the fridge space can be fully utilised. Two removable shelves allow for greater customizability depending on what you wish to store, and the small icebox is a fantastic bonus. It also offers anti-bacterial protection, keeping your perishables safe, and has an A* energy rating.

Key Specs – Size: 43.5 x 47 x 63cm; Capacity: 70L; Energy Efficiency: A+; Weight: 25kg

2. 4L Black Mini Travel Fridge: Best budget option

Price: £30 | Buy now from Argos

Should you want to travel with perishables, then you’ll need a compact fridge that will keep drinks and snacks cold without taking up much space. This Mini Travel Fridge from Argos will do the trick quite nicely, running on a seperately-sold AC adaptor and with room for up to six standard 330ml cans. It’s car socket compatible so you’ll have no problem running it from your vehicle on the road, and it only weighs a tiny 1.86kg. It’s meant for travel but there’s no reason it can’t also be used as a spare drinks fridge at home.

Key Specs – Size: 19 x 26.8 x 28.2cm; Capacity: 4L; Weight: 1.86kg

Buy now from Argos

3. Russell Hobbs Under Counter Fridge Freezer: Best if you want a freezer

Price: £195 | Buy now from Robert Dyas

If what you really want is a full-size fridge freezer but you just don’t have space, then the Russell Hobbs under counter version will perform the same function just in a smaller package. It has a 90L capacity – 65L fridge, 25L freezer – two bottle racks, door storage on both sections, a salad crisper and two internal shelves, meaning you’re unlikely to run out of space. It only produces around 40dB of noise, and there’s a safety feature that means your food will be kept safe and cool for 18 hours even if the power fails.

Key Specs – Size: 49.5 x 52 x 84.5cm; Capacity: 90L; Energy efficiency: A+

Buy now from Robert Dyas

4. ChillQuiet Silent Mini Fridge 24L: Best for bedroom storage

Price: £125 | Buy now from Amazon

Mini fridges are perfect for those living in a dorm or studio, but noise levels are a concern for environments in which you also want to get some sleep. While a lot of rivals run at around 43dB, the ChillQuiet Mini Fridge is silent, meaning it can conveniently be placed in a bedroom without the worry of it waking you in the middle of the night. Though it’s recommended you don’t use the fridge to store perishables, it’s brilliant for keeping drinks and some snacks in during the summer months or in environments where you want to keep a private stash.

Key Specs – Size: 44 x 46 x 51cm; Capacity: 24L; Energy Efficiency: A; Weight: 10.2kg

5. 16L Mini Fridge: Best for heating and cooling

Price: £80 | Buy now from Argos

This 16L Mini Fridge sits somewhere in the middle of the road, size-wise, and would suit those who wanted to store more than a few drinks cans but don’t require extensive space for food and snacks. It will store 27 330ml drink cans, 18 440ml cans or five wine bottles, depending on what your thing is, and you can even switch modes to keep hot things hot for longer. That’s because the fridge is designed to adapt to the temperature of its environment so, if stored in a cold room, for example, it could potentially freeze items inside.

Key Specs – Size: 27.4 x 30 x 46.7cm; Capacity: 16L; Energy Efficiency: A++ Weight: 5.17kg

Buy now from Argos

6. Subcold Super50 LED Mini Fridge: Best for bars

Price: £130 | Buy now from Amazon

If your mini-fridge isn’t strictly for food and drink overspill or for keeping cans and bottles in your bedroom/living room, then perhaps you want something more in the style of what’s found behind a bar. The Subcold Super50 is perfect if you want to display the contents of your fridge, and the LED light illuminates the drinks inside for an even clearer view. Two removable wire shelves help make the most of the general internal space, and you can even keep it locked so nothing goes missing when you’re not looking.

Key Specs – Size: 44 x 50 x 52.5cm; Capacity: 50L; Energy Efficiency: A+; Weight: 17.1kg

7. Smeg FAB5L Freestanding Mini Fridge: Best for luxury style

Price: £699 | Buy now from John Lewis

If you truly want your mini-fridge to feel like a luxurious extra in the home, then you can’t go wrong with the 50s-style Smeg fridge, which is gorgeous to look at and contains more internal space than the sleek exterior suggests. The only drawback is the price, which sits at just below £700, and its low energy efficiency. The fridge runs silently, however, meaning you can keep it anywhere without being disturbed, and you get extra door storage for wines and tall bottles. Get it in classic black or cream, or go snazzy with red or a Union Jack pattern.

Key Specs – Size: 40.4 x 50 x 73.4cm; Capacity: 31L; Energy Efficiency: D; Weight: 17.5kg

Buy now from John Lewis

8. Cookology Table Top Mini Fridge: Best for general storage

Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re looking for some extra spill-over fridge space in a shared living area or an office, look no further than the Cookology Table Top Mini Fridge. The fridge has a tiny bit of freezer room in the form of an icebox, which is only really big enough for an ice tray, and the storage space has been economically used elsewhere.

Key Specs – Size: 46.5 x 50.3 x 52cm; Capacity: 46L; Energy Efficiency: A+; Weight: 16.4kg

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