Retro mini fridges will not only keep your drinks, food, snacks, or cosmetics cold but also add a touch of nostalgia to your living space.
They are adorably cute, the best ones cool just as well as their full-size cousins and some of them are easily portable and movable.
However, some research is needed before you pick the best one for your needs, and since we want one for ourselves, we are sharing all our research and findings, to help you save some time, money, and unnecessary disappointment.
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See our top picks below, or jump to our retro mini fridge reviews!
|Retro Mini Fridge
|Size & Capacity
|Frigidaire Retro Compact Fridge
|Best Free Standing
3.1 Cu. ft.
|✅ $180 at Walmart
|Galanz Dual-Door Mini Retro Fridge
3.1 Cu. ft.
|✅ $269 on Amazon
|Frigidaire Retro Bar Fridge
|Best for Bedroom
1.6 Cu. ft.
|✅ $124 on Amazon
|Nostalgia Retro Mini Fridge
1 Cu. ft.
|✅ $29-$40 on Amazon
|Frigidaire Mini Retro Fridge with Speaker
1 Cu. ft.
|✅ $39-$49 on Amazon
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What's In Here
- 1 What Size is a Small (Mini) Retro Fridge?
- 2 Are Mini Retro Refrigerators a Good Investment?
- 3 The 6 Best (and Cutest) Retro Mini Fridges in 2024
- 3.1 1. Best Free Standing – Frigidaire Retro Compact Fridges
- 3.2 2. Largest Freezer – Galanz Dual Door Mini Retro Fridge
- 3.3 3. Best for the Bedroom – Frigidaire Retro Bar Fridge
- 3.4 4. Best Portable – Nostalgia Retro Mini Fridge (Cooling & Heating)
- 3.5 5. Nostalgia Alternative – AstroAI Mini Fridge
- 3.6 6. Unique Compact Retro Fridge – Frigidaire Mini With Built-In Speaker
- 4 What is the Average Energy Consumption of a Mini Retro Fridge?
- 5 How to Reduce Energy Consumption of Mini Fridges
What Size is a Small (Mini) Retro Fridge?
If you are looking for a small retro refrigerator, you are probably referring to a capacity ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 cubic feet, and a dimension of around 18-19 inches wide, 17-18 inches deep, and 32-34 inches tall.
This size is perfect for a small kitchen, a dorm room, an office, a studio apartment, a bedroom, a garage, an outdoor workshop, and any space that wants an instant vintage feel to it.
(👉 See our list of dorm kitchen essentials)
The smallest mini-fridges are meant mostly for cans or cosmetics, they are highly portable and some of them come with a car plug so you can cool your items while you travel, or use them in a bedroom and bathroom.
Are Mini Retro Refrigerators a Good Investment?
Retro mini fridges come in lots of designs and different features, so the one you pick will determine whether it’s a good investment.
Some small vintage-style fridges offer most of the best features of the full-size ones, such as a freezer compartment, chambers, and a crisper drawer to keep food fresh.
Others are both cooling or warming and more versatile.
A standard mini-fridge should get just as cold as a regular refrigerator — typically down to 32°F for the fridge, and 0°F in the freezer compartment.
Most of them have a temperature control dial inside as well.
Mini Retro Fridges Pros and Cons
Aside from the ultra-compact mini-fridges, a mini fridge is just as cooling as full-size refrigerators, but unfortunately is not more energy efficient.
They can be placed anywhere in your home – in the bedroom (for heat-sensitive cosmetics or medications), in the living room (for snacks on movie night), the basement, your guest room (for a vintage hotel room vibe), the garage, the workshop, and even the bathroom.
They are highly portable and can be placed in the office, or a dorm room, and the tiny ones come with a car plug to use while traveling.
On the flip side, small retro fridges will only offer a removable shelf to keep your items organized, some space on the door, and some space in the freezer for an ice cube tray.
You won’t find one with an ice maker, and if you don’t pick a high-quality mini fridge, it may not cool your items and leave you disappointed.
We’re here to make sure you choose the right one, and save you some money and time.
How Cold Does a Retro Mini Fridge Get?
Aside from the tiniest of retro mini-fridges, a standard mini-fridge should get just as cold as a standard refrigerator — typically down to 32°F for the fridge, and 0°F in the freezer compartment — so you can safely store your food.
The best retro mini-fridges (again, aside from the ultra-compact styles) will also have a temperature control dial inside so you can adjust the fridge temperature to your needs.
The 6 Best (and Cutest) Retro Mini Fridges in 2024
Below you’ll find small retro refrigerators in most available sizes and features, carefully chosen, with their pros and cons so you can decide which one you need according to your deal breakers.
1. Best Free Standing – Frigidaire Retro Compact Fridges
Both look amazing (ideal SMEG dupe at a fraction of the price), are guaranteed to get a lot of compliments, and are roomy and large enough for a lot of food.
According to most consumer reports, they operate quietly.
Both have a freezer chamber (0.96 cu. ft. in the 2-door model!), which is not a standard feature in mini-fridges, and cools to -8 F, and the 2-door model includes a freezer door rack for maximum storage.
You can easily store a few frozen meals, ice cream, and some frozen vegetables and fruits inside (to use in your portable blender).
The 2-door model includes a bottle opener on the side to save space on utensils, and both have adjustable feet for easy placement on uneven surfaces or cramped spaces.
The single-door model’s freezer is much smaller (0.25 Cu. Ft.) but has more room for fresh food and beverages.
You can always use the electronic temperature control dial, and you’ll find the large vegetable crisper, door shelving, and recessed handles very useful.
2. Largest Freezer – Galanz Dual Door Mini Retro Fridge
This beautiful dual-door fridge by Galanz (a brand that makes many gorgeous retro kitchen appliances) has a separate freezer compartment up top (0.95 cu. ft!), plenty of space on the door for tall items, a removable glass shelf, and a large crisper door to keep your food fresh.
It also has a thermostat so you can adjust to your optimal temperature, and it operates quietly according to consumer reports.
We love the Galanz Mini Fridge’s sleek design, the rounded edges, the smooth and shiny surface, and the beautiful colors.
However, it may not accommodate some bottles you are used to having, and the thermostat is mechanical, so it won’t be as precise as a digital thermostat.
3. Best for the Bedroom – Frigidaire Retro Bar Fridge
The Frigidaire 1.6 cu. ft. vintage-style retro mini fridge is perfect for the bedroom and for storing a few drinks next to your sensitive cosmetics or medication. However, it can be great for a small office as well.
It even has a small freezer area (0.2 cu. ft.) for your ice, a bottle opener, and a reversible door, so you can choose which way the door will open.
With a 1.6 cubic foot capacity, it has enough room to store favorite foods and drinks, but some users do complain about noise, and about the freezing capabilities.
It has a little noise when the compressor kicks in that may bother you if it’s beside your bed.
4. Best Portable – Nostalgia Retro Mini Fridge (Cooling & Heating)
The adorable and space-efficient mini-fridge offers enough storage for six 12-ounce cans and features a convenient built-in handle so you can move it around or take it with you in your car (comes with both AC and DC detachable power cords!).
This versatile counter-depth mini-fridge can cool items down to 45°F or warm them up to 130°F, depending on the ambient room temperature.
5. Nostalgia Alternative – AstroAI Mini Fridge
The AstroAI mini fridge has more than 42,000 user ratings on Amazon, most of them are 4 stars and above, and other than the more modern design, has the same features and options as the Nostalgia:
an electric thermostat, removable shelf, cooling and heating, home and car plugs, and a carrying handle.
The pink color, which is adorable, is the most popular choice among all the colors.
However, some users claim that it only marginally cools, and there are mixed opinions about the quality, durability, noise, and value of this cute little fridge.
The noise level is somewhat lower than the Nostalgia (25 db.).
6. Unique Compact Retro Fridge – Frigidaire Mini With Built-In Speaker
What’s better than enjoying a nice cold beverage while listening to your favorite music – all from your ultra-cute retro fridge?
This one will be a braggable item in any garage, office, dorm room, or small space, and the price is surprisingly affordable.
The Bluetooth pairing works great, and the sound and volume levels are not bad at all.
You’ll love pairing your phone and listening to your playlist whether you are enjoying a cold beer or applying cosmetics stored inside.
The Frigidaire Mini Fridge with Speaker is a quiet, lightweight, and portable mini fridge that can be used for snacks, 6 cans of soda, some fresh food, skincare, breast milk, and medication – at home or in your car.
The yellow 50’s style color is gorgeous, and no complaints about cooling, but you have to be careful with it – some users reported the door latch breaking after the first use.
What is the Average Energy Consumption of a Mini Retro Fridge?
The average energy consumption of a mini retro fridge varies depending on the size and model. According to Energy Star, mini-fridges with a size ranging between 1.7 and 4.4 cubic feet use about 233 kWh to 310 kWh annually
Another source states that the average mini fridge uses between 7 and 73 kWh of electricity per month, with the average being 27 kWh per month.
However, the Galanz Retro Compact Mini Fridge with Freezer claims to use a high-efficiency and low-energy consumption compressor, which can cool food quickly with lower energy.
It has an annual energy consumption of 320 kWh.
Mini fridges are generally not very energy efficient and can use almost as much energy as the most efficient, and smallest, top-freezer refrigerators.
How to Reduce Energy Consumption of Mini Fridges
These tips can not only reduce the energy use of mini fridges but also prolong the life of these adorable coolers.
1. Keep the fridge door closed as much as possible to prevent the compressor working too hard
2. Keep the fridge coils clean – dirty coils make it hard for the motor to keep the interior cool, and can increase energy consumption by up to 80%. Also, cleaning the coils can help extend the lifespan of the fridge.
3. Keep it in a cool place – Fridges that are located near heat sources (ovens, radiators, or direct sunlight) need to work against the elements to keep the inside cool. This drives up its energy usage and electricity bills.
4. Give it good ventilation – give at least 5 centimeters of space on the back, top, and side of your fridge so that air can circulate freely.
5. Adjust temperature settings – make sure you don’t turn the temperature too low, as this will drive up the equipment’s power usage. Fridges shouldn’t be set lower than 5 degrees C, while freezers should be at 18 degrees C.
The KM Team