We've been talking a lot about refrigerators lately. (For example, should you get one with French doors? Or is it worth it to splurge on a built-in fridge?) But a lot of you aren't looking for a 28-cubic-foot refrigerator: You need something small and slim for a city kitchen. Some of you may even want an ultra-compact under-counter fridge. Here's a look at some of the most widely available and popular options for small refrigerators.
Styles of Small Refrigerators
When it comes to small refrigerators, you have a few different options.
First up, and smallest, is the office-style cube fridge. These are tiny boxes, and you can't do much more than store cans of soda and a lunchbox in them. For the purpose of this roundup, we're skipping this sort.
Next there is the mid-sized dorm-style mini-fridge. These are still quite small, but they are also relatively inexpensive. You can store a few days' worth of groceries in them, but freezer space is limited, and forget about refrigerating trays of prepared foods. One advantage of these mini-refrigerators is that they fit underneath the countertop, so you can maximize workspace by putting them underneath. If you sacrifice one more cupboard you can also add an under-counter freezer. One other option in this size category is a set of stand-alone refrigerator drawers.
Then there is the apartment-sized compact fridge. These are small and slim, but they have most of the height and relative proportions of a full-sized refrigerator. They tend to be about 10 to 12 cubic feet, as opposed to the 20 to 25 cubic feet of full-sized refrigerators.
And finally, a category that overlaps with the apartment-sized fridge: extra-narrow models of popular fridge brands. Some brands of refrigerators offer models in 24-inch or 28-inch widths (as opposed to the 32- to 36-inch widths of most standard-sized refrigerators. These seem to be the types of refrigerators many of you are looking for.
One final note, and then we'll get to the roundup. A question for apartment-dwellers: Do you really need a freezer? Some of us cook in ways that would allow us to sacrifice a freezer altogether. Fridge-only refrigerators are less expensive, and also more durable, since they are only designed to do one thing.
If you have a little extra space you can also fit in a small chest freezer, or an under-counter freezer. Buying your fridge and freezer separately, depending on your space limitations, can actually be a great way to save a little money.
Small Refrigerators for $1,000 or Less
And now here's a look at some apartment-sized and narrow refrigerators widely available in today's market. Prices vary pretty widely, depending on where you buy a fridge. We used a couple retailers here just for reference, but this doesn't necessarily mean that these are the best places to buy.
Do you have a recommendation for another model? Jump in and add it!
- Mini SMEG Refrigerator, $999 at West Elm: If your kitchen is simply way too tiny for even a slim full-sized fridge, we implore you to invest in this little guy. It's adorably retro (and available in a bunch of fun, bright colors), has adjustable glass shelves, an ice tray, and is crafted to last (unlike the mini-fridge you had in college).
- FlexZone Refrigerator, $949 at Samsung: Even though it's slim and relatively inexpensive, this fridge packs a ton of cool features into the small space. The coolest amongst them is, of course, the FlexZone technology, which allows you to turn the fridge's bottom compartments into a freezer at the touch of a button.
- Top-Freezer Refrigerator, $899 at GE: GE has been cranking out solid, dependable appliances for decades, so this simple, stainless steel fridge is a good bet. It has a ton of storage and a unique feature — an autofill water pitcher that keeps you from having to yell at your spouse for not filling up the Brita (again).
- Haier Virtual Steel Refrigerator, $765 at Best Buy: Super slim but still roomy, this fridge has a bottom freezer with four levels of shelves and pull-out bins, providing easy access to the ice cream and whatever else it is you keep in your freezer.
- Summit 9.5-Cubic Foot Refrigerator, $728 at Compact Appliance: Ideal for galley kitchens or even ones in studio apartments, this little guy is 24 inches wide and still has room for nearly 10 cubic feet of groceries.
- LG Top-Freezer Refrigerator, $659 at AJ Madison: As handsome as it is functional, this fridge has ample storage space, a dedicated ice tray in the freezer, and an alarm to alert you in case you accidentally leave the door ajar during a snack raid.
- Frigidaire Top-Freezer Refrigerator, $637: This appliance is no-frills, but it'll get the job done. It measures 28 inches wide and has a 14.6 cubic-foot capacity, which means it's large enough to fit a decent amount of groceries but small enough to not take over your entire kitchen.
- Maytag Top-Freezer Refrigerator, $498 at The Home Depot: Trust the Maytag man — this super-affordable fridge is packed with different storage solutions, perfect for a busy, hungry family in a busy, tiny apartment.
- Danby Two-Door Refrigerator, $450: You can get the coveted stainless steel look in your kitchen without shelling out a ton of cash with this sleek refrigerator, which features adjustable shelving, even on the door.
- Whirlpool Top-Freezer Refrigerator, $405 at P.C. Richard & Son: Available in black, white, and stainless steel, this appliance is sleek, simple, and less than $500 — a steal compared to the rest of the market.
Overall, shopping for a refrigerator, especially one with tight constraints of size and budget, can be a very frustrating and overwhelming process. If you have won your way into a good purchase or some wisdom on shopping for a compact fridge, share it here!