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. For the purpose of this roundup, we're skipping this sort.
Next there is the mid-size 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 undercounter 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-size 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 is: 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 place 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-size 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 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 PC 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!