There have been times during everyone’s lives where living space is extremely sparse. Most people, especially younger people and students, are renting small apartments where there is barely enough room for the most basic kitchen utensils, let alone larger mod cons such as dining tables, ovens and refrigerators.
However, some of these larger appliances we cannot live without, one of the most essential of these is probably the refrigerator.
Imagine finding yourself in the predicament where you’ve just bought an unfurnished apartment and you find that it doesn’t have room for a full-sized refrigerator or freezer. You would start panicking, asking yourself questions like: where will I keep my beverages cold on those hot summer days? How can I keep my vegetables from going bad? Can I buy compact refrigerator/freezer combinations?
Well, to those going through that struggle right now, help is at hand! We have created an in-depth list of 9 of the best undercounter refrigerators currently on the market that will fall well within your storage limitations and, perhaps more importantly, won’t break the bank.
So pull up a chair and rest your laptop on the nearest empty packing crate and let’s browse some of the finest miniature fridge units.
Best Undercounter Refrigerators
OUR TOP PICK
First off, we’re going to start with an undercounter refrigerator not only used in homes, but also bars and clubs - it’s the Avallon Undercounter Refrigerator.
This refrigerator has 3 condensed shelving units, which is perfect if you have limited space but still want your meats, dairy and vegetables stored on separate shelves. This neat little fridge unit can also be used as a private cooler in your bedroom for keeping those beverages ice cold during the warm summer months.
The design of this refrigerator is minimalist and smart, coming with a true-key lock and a touch control panel, which is useful if you share a house and don’t want anybody stealing your fruit and vegetables!
- This refrigerator is easy to store, it’s simple rectangular shape will slot easily underneath most kitchen cabinets.
- It has an LED light inside, which isn’t too harsh on the eyes and will help you find the refrigerator if you fancy a midnight snack!
- As with a lot of low-to-the-floor refrigerators, you might put your back out bending down as you try to clean the shelves.
Next up is a sleek black number that will mean that you won’t have to sacrifice style just to save space! The RCA RFR835 has all the standard two-door appearance of a regular fridge, except it’s a lot smaller in stature.
Its two storage compartments mean that you can store your drinks in the top and solid foods in the bottom. This fridge is deceptively large and also features an adjustable thermostat, so you can keep your food at whatever temperature you desire.
The door also has a special storage compartment built-in for 2-liter bottles and an upper tray that can be used for either eggs, small jars or cans of fizzy drinks.
- This refrigerator has a reinforced, laminate outer shell that means it won’t suffer too many nicks and scratches.
- The door basket enables you to store plenty of beverages, so it would be perfectly suitable for use as a personal bedroom fridge to store liquids or chocolate.
- The motor in this fridge can get very loud, which might not make it a suitable option for someone planning to keep it in their bedroom.
Our third choice is a sophisticated silver number, the Danby Undercounter Refrigerator measures in at a petit 1.7 cubic feet in height, but it doesn’t skimp on quality refrigeration.
It has an ergonomic, rubber-grip handle underneath the topmost rim, which allows suction sealing upon closure, guaranteeing your food stays fresh for longer.
Inside are two and a half shelves made from glass, which makes this refrigerator one of the quickest and easiest to clean on our list. It also means you can store items separately according to your taste, with another door basket in the side for small jars or drinks.
Because of the inoffensive, sleek style, this refrigerator could be the ideal addition to a home kitchen, a bedroom, a workplace kitchen or an office. You could keep this one under your desk for cold beverages and snacks to reward yourself after a long stressful day!
- This door comes with a handy security lock, so you can rest assured that nobody will pilfer your snacks!
- This refrigerator utilizes energy-efficient technology, so if you’re using this as an additional fridge to your main one, you won’t be racking up a hefty electricity bill at the end of the month.
- This scratch-proof outer casing means that this refrigerator is very low maintenance.
- You need to be very careful when cleaning these glass shelves as they tend to slip out of the hand when wet.
Now it’s time for something a little different - an undercounter fridge with wheels! That’s right, the SABA Undercounter Refrigerator is your portable freezing friend and would be ideal for anyone who wants to bring a cooler to an outdoor gathering such as a barbecue.
You get a lot more for your money with this refrigerator, as the inside has more than enough capacity to store food and drinks for 2 or 3 people. It also comes with self-closing doors, so you won’t have to worry about leaving this fridge unattended.
Another fridge designed with the environment in mind, you won’t find yourself worrying about extortionate electrical bills at the end of the month.
- The inner shelves of this fridge can be removed for easy cleaning.
- With adjustable temperature controls, you can decide how cold you want your beverages.
- With another noisy motor, you won’t want this running anywhere near you whilst you sleep.
Now we have possibly the squattest refrigerator on our list, however, the Midea WHS-65LSS1 comes with adjustable rubber stoppers underneath so you can decide the height at which you want it to sit.
With 1.6 cubic feet capacity inside, this fridge is perfect for use in a small apartment or even to be taken with someone on a caravanning holiday. With a small shelf, door basket and smaller upper indentation for cans of fizzy drinks, this refrigerator makes every inch count.
- The stainless steel scratch-resistant exterior makes this fridge easy to maintain, a durable refrigerator that will last you several years.
- With a door that can be opened from the left or right as well as adjustable legs, this refrigerator is one of the most versatile we have on this list.
- It does have a smaller storage capacity than most of the regular refrigerators on this list, so if you’re looking for something more spacious, you may want to carry on reading.
Another double-doored refrigerator, the Midea WHD-113FSS1 has more in common with its full-sized cousins and comes complete with a freezer compartment.
For someone who wants all the bells and whistles of a larger fridge but for a fraction of the price, you can’t go wrong with the Midea. It has the separate storage options of the larger fridges too, so you can keep any juicy meats in their own drawer, so they won’t cause cross-contamination with other foodstuffs.
This product comes with a one-year warranty, which will surely give owners who want a more reliable refrigerator that additional peace of mine.
With a very stylish stainless steel face, this compact mini-fridge will ingratiate itself into even the most modest of kitchen areas.
- With its separate compartments, this refrigerator will ensure that your meats and vegetables will keep fresh for longer.
- The light inside is bright and will illuminate every recess, which will be handy when cleaning.
- Once again, with glass shelves, you may want to wear rubber gloves when cleaning to prevent breakages.
Our next refrigerator unit has been designed with some of the best state-of-the-art technology currently available, and there’s no denying that the Avallon AFR241SSLH will make the perfect addition to your kitchen, your dorm room, bar or office.
The motor in this cooler is very quiet, so you can keep it running throughout the night with little disturbance. This one will keep your food and drinks at the optimum temperature, coming as it does with adjustable temperature controls.
The Avallon also has a left-handed door, but if you really want that classy symmetrical look for your office or bar, simply buy a right-handed version and place them side-by-side!
- The low-running engine is not only non-intrusive, but it’s extremely economically-friendly and won’t drive your electricity bill sky high.
- The indoor lighting is adjustable, so set it to zero if you don’t want to alert anyone to your secret snacking in the middle of the night.
- The carbon-fiber body makes this an incredibly tough and resilient refrigerator.
- Installing this one is extremely complicated - you might have to seek the help of a professional electrician.
This next item is another extremely minimalist and profession-looking creation, perhaps more especially adapted for a restaurant kitchen or a bar than a home kitchen. The Edgestar combines durable materials with the very latest in refrigerator technology.
Yet another of our fridges to feature a temperature-controlled inner storage compartment, the Edgestar is also built from carbon fiber, which is wipe-clean and therefore highly germ resistant. This one is ideal for a busy kitchen where spillages occur regularly and the risk of cross-contamination is high.
- Unlike a lot of the heavy-duty undercounter units, this one is remarkably easy to install - simply plug it in and start chilling immediately.
- The powerful compressor means that this fridge won’t give out for years.
- Reversible doors can be opened from either side, which is again ideal for a busy kitchen where its users might not have time to think about which way to open their fridges.
- Once again, glass shelves get slippery when taken out to clean, so you’ll need a pair of rubber gloves!
Now we move on to a fridge that might not seem out of place on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey - the stylish and imposing black monolith that is the Danby Compact All is specifically designed for tall bottles, making it a great party companion.
With an integrated door handle and mechanical thermostat, this one comes in an array of sizes, the largest of which being 4.4 cubic feet, ideal if you need a larger low-to-the-floor refrigerator.
This refrigerator comes in a wide variety of colors, so you can pick whichever shade you think blends in with the decor of your home kitchen or your living room. This refrigerator could fit in well with a professional environment such as a corporate office.
- Environmentally-friendly, this is an ideal fridge for a vegetarian or vegan restaurant that is conscious about their electricity usage.
- With removable shelves, this one can be cleaned nice and easy.
- This unit is a tad louder than some of our other ones on this list.
- The cost - if you’re looking to save a few dollars on the quarterly budget, this might not be the right choice for you.
Best Undercounter Refrigerators Buying Guide
So you’ve seen some of the best small-scale refrigerators currently available, from energy-conserving mini-fridges to the more capacious frozen storage units more suited to professional cooking areas.
But what else do you need to consider before you hand over potentially a few hundred dollars on a new refrigerator unit? Well, it all depends on what you want from your refrigerator, but here are a few general things you should be keeping an eye out for.
- Temperature control should be a must on all refrigerators, large and small, as some foods are preserved for longer at certain temperatures. If you decide to store drinks rather than foods, you will need the ability to adjust the temperature accordingly.
- Some portable refrigerators can be massive electricity-sappers and cost you a bomb when you finally have to pay that electricity bill. Look for something that burns a lot less wattage.
- Find a picture of the inside of your prospective fridge along with the measurements, so you don’t get shortchanged in space when your refrigerator finally arrives.
- Also, make sure you measure the outside of your refrigerator so that you can fit it underneath your kitchen counter. After all, that’s the reason you’re buying it in the first place!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Hygiene An Important Factor In Buying A Refrigerator?
Hygiene certainly is an important factor when it comes to refrigerator purchases, especially if you want to store food and avoid cross-contamination between meats and dairy products.
Look for a refrigerator with multiple compartments and removable shelves, as these will improve hygiene and make it easier to clean. Also, you can remove shelves entirely to increase overall storage space.
You might need to check to see if the glass shelves are dishwasher friendly. Most of them are very delicate and will have to be washed by hand with non-corrosive detergent. However, when washing by hand, be careful as these shelves are very unwieldy and do not come with plastic rims, which will make them even more difficult to keep a firm hold on.
How Much Can I Expect To Pay For An Undercounter Refrigerator?
Most refrigerators are over $100, and you can be expected to pay slightly more for a wider fridge with more storage capacity. Refrigerators that using environmentally-friendly technology and carbon fiber materials are also expensive but will last you much longer than a cheaper fridge which might burn out after a few months of use.
Simple plug-in fridges don’t have a lot of the safety features of more high-end ones, although they will generally produce a lower wattage of power to avoid blow out in the motor.