Narrow-Refrigerator

Many people prefer traditional-sized refrigerators, thinking that it’s a waste of money to spend on a narrow refrigerator because it doesn’t function as well as the traditional one. However, people don't look at the fact that narrow refrigerators were designed to meet the specific demands of certain people.

If you look closely, this type of refrigerator caters to the needs of people who need a refrigerator but have minimal space in their dorm, office, kitchen, or apartment. Just because space is scarce, it doesn't mean that you can’t make space for a refrigerator.

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Refrigerators have become a must-have item for every household. As the demand shot up, the supply has shot up. With the influx of refrigerators being manufactured in different sizes, capacities, and designs, we will discuss some of the popular types of narrow refrigerators to minimize confusion. They’re as follows:

  • Under Counter Fridge

This type of refrigerator speaks for itself. It is meant to be installed under a counter just like what you see in hotels. Moreover, it’s built-in a way that it has proper ventilation so that heat won’t get trapped while being kept under the counter.

  • Fridge/Freezer

This type of refrigerator is the traditional type that comes with a fridge and a freezer. In mini-refrigerators, the freezer comes in a chamber or compartment. However, for traditional-sized refrigerators, the freezer and the fridge have two separate doors.

  • Dedicated Fridge

A fridge-only refrigerator doesn't have any freezer. The advantage of this type of refrigerator is that there will be more space for storing other goods which don't require to be frozen. This is a good option for those who don't need a freezer since the space for the freezer can be utilized for other purposes.

  • Wine Chiller

Wine lovers know how to enjoy their drinks chilled. Therefore, it is a given that they know the importance of a wine chiller. Wine chillers are designed to store larger bottles and maintain a different temperature level compared to traditional refrigerators.

  • Drinks-only Fridge

Some prefer to use a fridge solely for keeping their canned or bottled beverages chilled. With this type of refrigerator, you will find that the internal structure of the fridge is structured in a way to ensure that space is fully maximized to store bottled drinks or canned beverages.

We’ll help you narrow down your options with 12 of the best narrow refrigerators we found in the market.


1. Our Pick: RCA RFR321-FR320 Blue/8 IGLOO Mini Refrigerator

This RCA mini refrigerator is at the top of our list due to its functional internal design and sleek retro-looking external design.

It has a 3.2 cubic capacity which is more than enough to let you organize your food and drinks properly with two adjustable spill-proof glass shelves. On the side, it has dispense-a-can storage for you to conveniently store and remove sodas or beer just like a vending machine. It also has a door bracket that can fit tall bottles. This design lets you save up space for food to be stored on the glass shelf compartments instead of putting drinks in the other compartments.

As for the structure itself, we loved that it had a reversible door which lets you open the door from the left or the right side. What blew us away the most was the fact that it can store so much inside such a small refrigerator, and it even lets you organize the contents of your fridge better for maximum space management.

Things We Like

  • Operates well without noise
  • Compact design with adequate storage space
  • Reversible door

Things We Dislike

  • Small freezer chamber
  • Freezer chamber accumulates too much ice
  • Requires constant defrosting

2. Runner Up: Summit FF948SS 8.8 cu. ft. Frost-Free Refrigerator-Freezer

This Summit frost-free refrigerator comes with a separate freezer door that would look perfect in tight kitchens. It brings out a modern vibe because of the platinum cabinets and stainless steel doors. If you're aiming to up your kitchen game, then this will do the trick to give your kitchen a brand new look.

It has similar features with the other mini-refrigerators on our list, except that it has an 8.8 cubic feet capacity and is one of the slimmest models on our list as it measures 22 inches wide. This refrigerator is perfect if you are tight on space in terms of width but have a lot of room in terms of height space.

We love the fact that this refrigerator has adjustable spill-proof glass shelves and door bins. It is easier to organize the contents of the refrigerator, not to mention it’s easy to clean too.

However, do take note that since this model has a curved-style door, you must make sure that wherever you install this refrigerator, you will need to accommodate around 3/4 to 1 inch of width space. This will allow you to freely open the door in a 90-degree angle without issues. 

Things We Like

  • Slim-fit and modern design
  • 8.8 cubic feet capacity
  • Convenient to organize contents
  • Easy to clean

Things We Dislike

  • Requires manual defrosting
  • Curved-style door

3. Budget Pick: RCA FBA Black RFR321 Mini Refrigerator

We chose this RCA black mini refrigerator as our budget pick because the features justify the cost of this mini-refrigerator.

It has a retro design but still manages to look sleek and classy at the same time. This refrigerator has a 3.2 cubic capacity which might seem small, but it does have a lot of compartments that give it enough room to store food and drinks properly.

It comes with 2 tempered glass shelves that are durable enough to hold heavy food and drinks. At the same time, they were very easy to clean because you can simply remove and wash them in the sink. The side of the door has been utilized to fit in a can dispenser, and its door is enough to hold tall bottles like wine bottles or any 2-liter bottled drink.

Also, the reversible door came in handy because it was easy to adjust and can be opened at a 90-degree angle without worrying if it will collide with any furniture. 

Things We Like

  • Operates well without noise
  • Compact design with adequate storage space
  • Reversible door

Things We Dislike

  • Small freezer chamber
  • Accumulates too much ice in the freezer chamber
  • Requires constant defrosting

4. Upgrade Pick: Danby DCR032C1WDB Compact Refrigerator

This Danby Compact Refrigerator deserves the title "Upgrade Pick" because it has a lot of similar features with the RCA RFR321 Mini Refrigerator. However, it comes with some upgraded features that might be worth picking this model for over the RCA Mini Refrigerator.

Both models are similar in the following aspects:

•3.2 cubic feet capacity
•Reversible door
•2-liter tall bottle storage
•CanStor beverage-dispensing feature
•Adjustable shelves

As you can see, both models look so similar in terms of their internal structure and functions. So what makes this an upgraded model? Well, it’s Energy Star compliant and uses the R600a refrigerant.

Energy Star compliant means that this model is about 10 to 20% more energy-efficient than others which are not rated as such. Consequently, this will allow you to save up on electricity costs.

As for the R600a refrigerant, this is an environmental-friendly alternative because it has a lower Global Warming Potential. This means that for those who are environmentally-conscious, this is the better option. Plus, it saves you on your electricity bill, hence making it an upgrade to RCA's mini-refrigerator model. 

Things We Like

  • Energy-star compliant
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Compact design with adequate storage

Things We Dislike

  • Its compressor produces noise
  • Temperature is not as cold
5. Midea WHD-113FW1 Double Door Mini Fridge with Freezer

This Midea mini fridge with a freezer looks and works just like a regular-sized refrigerator but in a smaller size. This model is ideal for those who are keen on keeping their food frozen. The previous models which were mentioned only had one door for both the fridge and the freezer chamber. The freezer chamber does not have the same freezing capacity compared to a regular freezer.

However, this model comes with a separate freezer with separate doors for both the fridge and freezer. This will give you peace of mind knowing that the freezer will work perfectly to keep your ice cream and other goods frozen, not frosty.

Another feature worth mentioning is that it has a crisper drawer. You can store your fruits and vegetables in a separate drawer so that they can remain fresh for a longer period. Keep in mind that because there is a crisper drawer, the spaces for the other compartments are smaller. 

Things We Like

  • Reversible doors
  • Separate freezer door
  • Built with whisper-quiet technology
  • Crisper drawer for fruits and vegetables

Things We Dislike

  • Takes time for the unit to start freezing
  • Requires manual defrosting

6. hOmeLabs Mini Fridge - 3.3 Cubic Feet Under Counter Refrigerator with Small Freezer

This refrigerator is slightly bigger than the usual mini-refrigerator which is actually a good thing since there is more space to store other goods. Plus, the door has also been fully maximized to have a can dispenser which can hold about 6 cans and also has a bottle holder that can hold a 2-liter drink or even a wine bottle.

This refrigerator has a 3.3 cubic feet capacity, but it doesn't take up too much space in your kitchen or room. You have the freedom as to how you want to organize your fridge because this model uses fridge liners. You can remove some of the liners if you need a taller space.

This refrigerator comes with a reversible door while the door is made of stainless steel. The door's wonders don't stop with it being stylish and efficient in organizing items. It also acts like a board wherein you can write notes or reminders using a wax crayon or whiteboard marker. You can easily erase the writings using a cloth.

Things We Like

  • You can write notes on the door
  • Door organizer
  • Reversible door
  • Its size is slightly larger than a mini-fridge

Things We Dislike

  • Freezer takes time to freeze stuff
  • Operates with a loud noise

7. Blomberg BRFB1312SS 24" Energy Star Counter Depth Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

This Blomberg refrigerator with a freezer has similarities with the Danby compact refrigerator we mentioned earlier. It is energy-efficient and environment-friendly as well.

You would be glad to hear that this Blomberg refrigerator is Energy Star rated. This is made with materials that are 99.9% lead-free and about 85% of the components used to build this refrigerator are recyclable.

Apart from that, this refrigerator has a duo cycle cooling technology. This means that there are no air transfers between the fridge and the freezer, so the food in the freezer can freeze faster and the food in the fridge can remain cool to retain the freshness of the food.

Another feature that we love about this 24-inch refrigerator is that it has an 11.4 cubic feet capacity which makes it a bit larger but still remains space-friendly. Its internal structure allows it to maximize the space inside the refrigerator, and it also comes with a Flexi-rack which lets you store tall bottles such as water bottles or wine bottles in a suspended position. 

Things We Like

  • Energy Star rated
  • Environment-friendly
  • Automatically defrosts
  • Digital programming display

Things We Dislike

  • Bin and shelves are delicate

8. Liebherr CS1321N 24-Inch Counter Depth Freestanding Fridge

This Liebherr freestanding fridge was one of the most surprising contenders on this list. It has so many features to offer which you may or may not be looking for but would appreciate either way. This refrigerator is Energy Star certified, so you can be sure that your energy consumption will be a lot lower than your old refrigerator. Aside from that, it is also environment-friendly.

It’s similar to the Blomberg refrigerator in the sense that both are 24-inch refrigerators. However, the Liebherr refrigerator has a larger capacity compared to the Blomberg model mentioned earlier, since it has a 12.7 cubic feet capacity.

What we found interesting in this model is that it was efficient in keeping the food in the fridge fresher and was able to preserve the food longer. The smell in the fridge did not transfer to the freezer, nor did the smell in the freezer transfer to the fridge.

Lastly, the freezer is at the bottom and is in a drawer-type. It was quick in freezing newly-stored food in the freezer, and it was easier to look for frozen goods. 

Things We Like

  • Energy Star certified
  • No unwanted air and smell transfer between compartments
  • Quick freezing time
  • Silent compressors

Things We Dislike

  • Fingerprint or marks can make the door look dirty

9. Avanti RA7316PST 2-Door Apartment Size Refrigerator

Avanti has been a well-known brand for so long. Its refrigerator line has also made a name for itself as one of those refrigerators that are Energy Star rated.

This is a 7.4 cubic feet refrigerator that has more or less the same features as other refrigerators. However, what's good about this is that you can count on this brand that it won't fail you. We found that it functions well without any issues.

We couldn't help but admire the crisper drawer at the bottom which worked well in keeping fruits and vegetables fresh. The freezer comes with an adjustable divider so you can organize your freezer better. Also, it comes with helpful leveling legs that can reduce wobbling due to uneven flooring.

We just wished that the door compartments had more adjustable features so it could store more cans and bottles.

Things We Like

  • Energy Star rated
  • Environment-friendly
  • Reversible door

Things We Dislike

  • The freezer doesn't defrost automatically

10. Frigidaire Retro Bar Fridge Refrigerator with Side Bottle Opener

This Frigidaire retro bar refrigerator stays true to its name. It looks perfectly retro in person and looks good if you put it in your bar. Plus, the bottle opener on the side makes it convenient to open drinks. You won't need to worry about having to find bottle openers anymore. It is aesthetically pleasing, especially with its vault-looking design.

As for its functions, we find that it gets the job done pretty well. It has similar features to that of the RCA refrigerators. For such a small refrigerator, it was able to maximize its space. The door storage had a lot of room, and it has a can dispenser which allowed it to store up to 6 cans with a 2-liter bottle holder and two other compartments.

The only thing that was a bit off for us was that the freezer can only freeze ice cubes but not keep other food frozen solid. However, it does keep the frozen food chilled. It’s not really a dealbreaker though.

Therefore, if you intend to only use this as a mini bar for drinks and snacks only, then this is the perfect refrigerator for you. 

Things We Like

  • Retro style
  • Comes with a bottle opener
  • Environment-friendly
  • Compact design

Things We Dislike

  • The compressor tends to make a loud noise

11. KUPPET Retro Mini Refrigerator 2-Door Compact Refrigerator

The Kuppet retro mini refrigerator is as aesthetically pleasing as the Frigidaire retro bar refrigerator. It has the same retro, classic, and stylish vibe. However, it differs in the sense that this refrigerator has a two-door compartment: one for the fridge and the other for the freezer.

If you intend to store a lot of frozen food, then this will be a better option for you. It can store your food frozen solid and not just chilled in the freezer chamber. Even though the size is on the compact side, it managed to put most of the features of a traditional refrigerator, albeit in a smaller size.

It has a crisp drawer with adjustable shelves, and on the sides, there is a can dispenser and bottle holders – even the freezer's door has a side compartment of its own. If you are looking for something compact and not only efficiently functional but also looks perfect for display, then this would be it.

Things We Like

  • Tempered glass shelves
  • Separate freezer compartment
  • Energy-efficient

Things We Dislike

  • Operates with loud noise

12. Danby DAR044A6DDB 4.4 cu.ft. Contemporary Classic Compact All Refrigerator

This is the second Danby refrigerator model we included in our list. However, this is a fridge-only model as it doesn't have any freezer compartment.

As for why this has landed on our list, we can say that this model is appealing in terms of its visuals. It looks simple but sleek, and it does well as advertised. However, you have to check up on the temperature level once in a while. We didn't experience this first-hand, but our research has shown that there are complaints regarding maintaining stable temperature levels.

Since this model is a fridge-only refrigerator, we paid more attention to its size or space. The unit was spacious enough to store a lot of goods, and the compartments were adjustable to suit the needs of the user. Space was fully maximized and so we consider it as a strength of this refrigerator.

Another bonus which you might find useful is that it has a door lock. You can be sure that no one can touch anything in your fridge without your permission. Also, you can use the worktop for other purposes without fear due to its scratch-proof construction. 

Things We Like

  • The fridge can get cold fast
  • Operates with little to no noise
  • Features a safety lock

Things We Dislike

  • Difficulty in maintaining steady temperature levels

Narrow Refrigerator Buyer's Guide

There are 3 main factors you must pay attention to if you want to make the most out of your purchase of a narrow refrigerator. They’re as follows:

1. Refrigerator Size

It’s only natural that the refrigerator's size would be your primary concern. There are various sizes of narrow refrigerators in the market, so it is important that you first determine where you plan to put your refrigerator.

Some of the questions you should be asking are:

  • Where will I use this?
  • Will I need it in my dorm room, office, man-cave, baby room, bedroom, kitchen, or apartment?
  • Would I want it under the counter, on top of the counter, inside a cabinet, or just on the floor?

There are too many things to consider, but knowing where you plan to put it is like starting something on the right foot. Once you get that down, then it is time to measure the dimensions of the area you plan to display your refrigerator. It is important to leave a bit of allowance on your measurements so that there won't be issues when you would install it.

After considering the external dimensions, be sure to take into account the internal dimensions also. You will need to determine what you plan to store in it.

If you plan to store more drinks than food, then choose those which have can dispensers and those which can hold a 2-liter bottle or any tall bottles for that matter. If you plan to store a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, then choose a refrigerator with a separate crisper drawer to keep them fresh.

If you're set on storing a lot of containers for your meal preps, then be sure to choose one with a lot of room in the compartments to fit the size of your containers.

2. With or Without Freezer

As mentioned previously, you will need to take into account what you will store in the refrigerator. If you want to store or are used to storing ice cream, frozen fruits, vegetables, meat, and others in the freezer, then a mini-refrigerator will not be enough for you.

The usual mini-refrigerators are only equipped with freezer chambers. These chambers are too small for you to store your frozen delights. Plus, the chamber won't make the food frozen solid which kind of defeats your purpose.

See to it that if you have lots of frozen goods to store, then buy a narrow refrigerator with a separate freezer, not just one with a freezer chamber. However, if you don't intend to store frozen goods, then go ahead and buy a mini-refrigerator with a single door for both the fridge and freezer chamber.

In this case, knowing if you'll need a separate freezer or not will be advantageous to you since it can help you save up on the cost as those without a separate freezer would be cheaper than those with a separate freezer.

3. Reversible Doors

Another thing you should look out for is the reversible door feature. The reversible door will allow you to conveniently open the door from the left or the right side. The two main advantages of choosing a reversible door are:

  • It will be easier for you, if you are left-handed, to swing the door open from the right side, and vice versa.
  • It is beneficial in the sense that when the door is left open, it needs a little bit of space on the left side or the right side depending on where you install it so that it can be fully opened without clashing with other nearby furniture or fixtures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the ideal temperature for my narrow refrigerator? 

A: The ideal temperature to keep food fresh and safe in the refrigerator is at 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature goes higher than 40 degrees, it poses the risk of spoiling your food.

Most narrow refrigerators have adjustable thermostats ranging from 0 to 10. 0 means off while 10 is the coldest. This range is a built-in standard thermostat that manufacturers have tested to ensure that the refrigerator functions as it should.

Q: Do narrow refrigerators have frost-free features?

A: Some narrow refrigerators have frost-free features. However, most narrow refrigerators are not frost-free and would hence require the unit to be defrosted manually. If you decide to buy a narrow refrigerator, check the features listed on the manual to see if the refrigerator requires to be manually defrosted or not.

Q: If my narrow refrigerator only has a freezer chamber or a fridge, does this mean I don't need to defrost? 

A: No. Any refrigerator can build up a certain amount of moisture inside the refrigerator. Once the moisture keeps accumulating and the refrigerator is operated in colder temperatures, it can create frost. Frost buildup should be avoided and so you will need to defrost the refrigerator.

Q: How do I know if the refrigerator has a reversible door?

A: Reversible-door refrigerators will have pre-drilled holes on the unit itself which can be easily accessed so you can install the door and hinge it on the left side or on the right side – whichever way you prefer it.

Q: Will my compact refrigerator need to undergo annual maintenance?

A: Yes. Every refrigerator model varies in terms of its maintenance procedures. If you want your refrigerator to function efficiently for a long time, make sure to follow the maintenance tips recommended by the manufacturer found in the product manual.


Conclusion

After reading this article, we hope that we have shed light on the basic things you need to know about narrow refrigerators. We hope that we have made things clearer for you so you can make a better decision.

Keep in mind that you will need to keep your preferences in check. Your preferences are what matters the most. Prices and advanced features don't necessarily define how efficient a refrigerator can be. These two factors may contribute to its functionality and quality, but in terms of your overall satisfaction in the product, it would highly depend on whether or not your wants and needs have been met.

Thoroughly follow our buying guide and make a checklist of the features you are looking for in a narrow refrigerator. You’ll later realize that narrow refrigerators aren’t as bad as others perceive them to be and that it is very useful and efficient. 

The Best Narrow Refrigerator – Complete Guide and Reviews 2020

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