Mini-fridges are the pinnacle of snacking luxury. These compact appliances have the same goal as their bigger counterparts: to keep your beverages and foods cold!
However, they only take up a fraction of the space as your traditional kitchen refrigerator. Thus, you can store these fridges pretty much anywhere. They’re quite popular in rooms where standard fridges can’t fit.
While mini-fridges have a lot to offer in terms of convenience, they do have one downside. Most models will produce a constant loud hum. Some even vibrate, making them less-than-discreet. That noise may not be an issue in a loud kitchen. But when you put a refrigerator in a quiet space, it’s more noticeable than ever!
If you want to enjoy the perks of owning a miniature refrigerator without the constant racket, you can invest in a quiet model. The best quiet mini fridge models use technology that minimizes noise without sacrificing performance.
When The Best Quiet Mini Fridge Comes in Handy
So, why would you want to use a miniature fridge instead of a full-sized one? It all comes down to accessibility.
Mini-fridges are staples in dorm rooms, small apartments, workshops and offices. Those spaces can’t accommodate a full-sized appliance. Miniature models are only a fraction of the size of your kitchen refrigerator. Thus, they can easily fit under desks, on top of tables, or even in small closets.
Sometimes, you might just want to have access to your favorite cold beverage without having to deal with the eyesore of a traditional refrigerator. Take, for example, a home theater or media room. Why waste valuable floor space on a full-sized unit when you can just tuck a mini-fridge in the corner?
Whether you choose to use the fridge in a dorm room or a swanky man cave, all of those spaces have one thing in common. They’re typically quieter than the kitchen! Kitchens are already pretty loud. As the most-used room in your home, noise is expected. In most cases, homeowners don’t even notice the noise coming from their refrigerator.
But in smaller rooms that are typically quiet, that noise becomes jarring. It’s hard to enjoy peace and quiet when there’s a loud mini-fridge humming in the background! Imagine trying to create a chilling ambience to impress, you have the romantic star projector going, snacks at hand and cold drinks too, but niggling away at the mood is the constant hum and drone of a fridge. It’s not ideal! By investing in a quiet mini-fridge, the appliance can be discreet and out of the way like it was meant to be.
Types of Mini-Fridges Available
Most don’t realize it, but there are a few different types of technologies used to keep your food and drinks cool. This is what you need to pay close attention to if you’re looking for the best quiet mini-fridge.
The cooling method directly impacts noise production, so choosing the right option for your needs is important.
Traditional Compressor Refrigerators
Most full-sized and miniature fridges on the market today use traditional compressor technology. Compressor fridges are a lot more complex than most people think. It uses absorption technology.
To keep the insulated box cool, these fridges use a series of coils, a heavy-duty compressor, and an expansion valve. Temperature sensors inside the fridge communicate with the compressor. Once temperatures rise above a certain threshold, the compressor will kick on.
It then compresses liquid refrigerant as it leaves the appliance. When this happens, the refrigerant heats up and turns to gas. To cool down, the refrigerant gas travels outside of the appliance to coils on the back. The coils are cool due to ambient temperatures outside of the refrigerator. Thus, the refrigerant gas expands, cools down, and turns back into a liquid.
At this point, the refrigerant goes through an expansion valve to vaporize. The vaporized refrigerant can then travel through the refrigerator to remove warm air. This process repeats to keep the temperature cool around the clock.
The reason why most refrigerators use this technology is that it’s highly effective! It does a fantastic job of cooling down food and drinks. Unfortunately, there are a lot of moving parts, too.
The compressor is loud, resulting in considerable noise. Newer models are a lot quieter than clunky refrigerators of yesteryear, but the noise might still be noticeable. Plus, the movement of the refrigerant makes the refrigerator prone to vibrations.
Manufacturers have made great strides when it comes to noise and vibration isolation. Some quiet compressor models do exist, so don’t count this type out completely.
Thermoelectric mini-fridges, also known as TEC fridges, works a bit differently. Instead of using refrigerant liquids and gases, it relies on the Peltier effect. We won’t go into the scientific weeds here. To put things simply, these fridges use electricity and fans.
Heat energy is absorbed from within the refrigerator. It then transfers to the outside of the fridge through an electrical junction. The heat then spreads through a heat sink. Most of it then gets expelled through a fan.
These types of refrigerators rely heavily on ambient temperatures in the room. They don’t get as cool as compressor models, either. You can still get cool drinks, but don’t expect any freezer space.
Because there is no traditional compressor in this design, thermoelectric models tend to be quieter. There is, however, a fan. The fan can get loud as the fridge ages. Dust and debris can easily clog the fan, creating additional noise over time. Luckily, you can prevent this with regular cleanings.
These units aren’t as common. Usually, this design is reserved for ultra-compact models. They operate very similarly to traditional compressor units. They have coils filled with refrigerant to pull heat away from the interior.
The main difference is that they rely on standard electricity to move the fluid around. There isn’t a loud compressor or clunky gear. As a result, these fridges are some of the quietest around!
The downside is that they don’t get as cool as compressor fridges. Like thermoelectric models, the performance of the system relies on good ambient temperatures.
Things to Consider When You’re Choosing The Best Quiet Mini Fridge
Now that you understand how mini-fridges work, you can start narrowing down your options. To find the best mini-fridge for your needs, you’ll need to consider how it’s going to be used and where you will place it. Keep the following factors in mind to choose a unit that’s right for you.
Compact fridges aren’t going to hold a ton of items, so you’ll need to choose your capacity strategically. An appliance’s capacity is usually reflected as a measurement. More specifically, you’ll see brands advertising how many cubic feet of space there is inside the unit.
Capacity can vary quite a bit. Most mini-fridges will hold anywhere between 1.7 to 4.5 cubic feet.
Overall Size and Shape
It’s worth noting that the cubic foot measurement reflects the space on the inside. You’ll have to consider the overall footprint, too! Two mini-fridges can have the exact same capacity but completely different exterior dimensions!
The core design will affect the size of your fridge immensely. Some units are rectangular, focusing on height rather than width. Others are cube-shaped for easy placement in cubbies and shelves. Then, you have units with a singular door and an internal freezer compartment. Some may have two doors like a traditional kitchen appliance.
Consider all of your options when choosing! If you have a good idea of where you plan on putting your mini-fridge, take some measurements. Make sure to give the fridge some breathing room as well to ensure that it operates efficiently.
The finish of your fridge isn’t going to affect loudness, but it will impact the look of your space! You can find mini-fridges in a myriad of finishes. Low-end models typically have a basic white or black exterior.
For something a bit more sophisticated, you can get a fridge clad in stainless steel. There are also some fridges designed to look like retro appliances. The sky’s the limit when it comes to finish, so choose one that’s appropriate for your space.
Here’s something that you can easily overlook. The fridge’s internal organizers will affect what you can store. If you have a ton of small beverage cans or bottles, consider door shelves.
For more versatility, you can get adjustable shelves. Most units have plastic or glass shelves that you can remove whenever you need some extra space. Room is tight in a mini-fridge, so consider what kinds of organizational shelving you need to make the most out of it.
Depending on how you plan to use the refrigerator, you might want to think about temperature ranges. Some mini-fridges come with flexible temperature controls. You might also see separate freezer compartments for making ice on larger units.
However, others are a bit simpler. As we mentioned earlier, thermoelectric models usually don’t get as cool as traditional refrigerators. To lower temperature, you’d need to cool the room down.
Best Quiet Mini Fridge Reviews
Having trouble finding the best quiet mini-fridge? We have you covered. Here are some of the best the appliance industry has to offer.
The Madea mini-fridge is like a shrunken replica or a larger model. It has all of the features you would expect from a full-size unit. This includes a separate freezer compartment, glass shelves, interior lights, and temperature controls. The refrigerator portion has a temperature range of 32 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, the freezer can get as low as -11.2 degrees.
This is a compressor-style fridge. However, Madea has done a fantastic job of keeping things quiet. The compressor is engineered to be undetectable when it kicks on, resulting in significantly lower noise levels.
- Two doors with reversible door hinge
- Roughly 33 inches tall
- Energy Star Rated
- Adjustable thermostat
- Quiet compressor
- Versatile organization
Here’s an ultra-quiet unit that produces virtually no noise at all. It uses absorption technology to keep things cool. This is similar to a compressor system. But, it doesn’t have a compression motor. Instead, it uses a condenser and absorber.
One cool thing about this compact appliance is that you can use it in the car and very small spaces. It comes with a 12-volt plug for on-the-go cooling. You can also use a standard 110-volt outlet if you plan on using it in a permanent spot.
- 1.4 cubic feet
- Two power options
- Absorption technology
- 22 inches tall
- Very quiet
This model from SMAD also uses absorption technology to keep sound levels low. It’s so quiet that you may not even think it’s on! But fear not, the mini-fridge does a fine job of keeping items cool as long as its plugged in.
This unit features a simple thermostat that you can use to adjust temperatures. The temperature range is between 37.4 degrees and 53.6 degrees. To keep your snacks safe, this fridge comes with a safety lock.
- 1.0 cubic feet
- 110-volt and 12-volt outlet
- Safety lock
- Absorption technology
- Internal thermostat control
Want to insert some retro style into your space? Consider this Cooluli mini fridge. This mini-fridge is unique from some others you might see on the market. While you can certainly use it to keep food and drink cool, it also works well as a storage space for cosmetics.
You can easily heat or cool products with a push of a button. Simple controls on the door let you adjust temperatures as you need. Best of all, there’s an LCD screen to tell you the temperature. No more guessing!
- Thermoelectric cooler
- Roughly 0.70 cubic foot
- Warming function
- LCD temperature screen
- Push-button controls
- Less than 17 inches tall
- Available in several colors
The KUPPET retro fridge has some iconic details. Available in black or mint green, the appliance is covered in chrome detail to give it a familiar throwback diner look.
From a performance standpoint, this fridge doesn’t disappoint either. It’s a compressor fridge that’s surprisingly quiet for the size. The two-door appliance has an adjustable thermostat, a separate freezer compartment, and plenty of organization options. Overall, it’s a beautiful fridge that’s designed to keep things quiet. What more could you want?
- Compressor fridge
- 3.4 cubic feet
- Produces less than 40 decibels of noise
- Two-door design
- About 33.5 inches tall
- Adjustable thermostat
- LED lighting and glass shelf
If you’re very tight on space, the Black and Decker mini-fridge is a good choice. Measuring only 17.5 inches long by 18.5 inches wide and 19.7 inches tall, it can easily fit under a desk or on a countertop. Yet, the inside is flexible enough to fit the essentials.
There’s an adjustable glass shelf, simple wire door compartments, and even a small freezer box. The freezer compartment is the perfect size for a couple of frozen dinners or an ice cube tray. Next to the compartment, you’ll find the simple thermostat knob for even more control.
- Compressor fridge
- 1.7 cubic feet
- Cube-style design
- Energy Star rated
- About 33.5 inches tall
- Reversible door
- Adjustable temperature
You don’t have to settle for a loud mini-fridge that keeps you up at night. Plenty of manufacturers offer quiet units with respectable performance. Try out one of our recommended fridges and see what you think! With the quietest mini fridge that money can buy, you can stash away your snacks and enjoy the convenience in peace!