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One common desire of most people is to have a spacious kitchen.
And a good way to achieve that is having gadgets that are small enough to be tucked under the cabinet but are as functional as their larger counterparts. And that’s where kitchen appliances like under cabinet toaster ovens and undercounter refrigerators come to play. Get to know more about what under counter refrigerators are and how your kitchen can benefit from them.
More space means you can add more gadgets and appliances to your kitchen and with an under counter fridge, this becomes a whole lot easier. Not only does it save space, but it looks good too! While an under counter fridge may be small, it works just as well and can keep your food items fresh and edible for a long time. You can learn more about the uses of under counter refrigerators if you are wondering what else it can be used for.
With the changing trends of home improvement in 2021 and a 26% increase in home appliance in the last 12 months, it is necessary that you keep yourself updated on the latest kitchen tech and choose only which fits your needs. With a modern and sleek design, the 4 main types of under counter fridge can also provide a clean look, energy efficiency, easy access, etc. Undercounter refrigerators have massively grown in popularity because they can be used as a mini fridge for food items or as a beverage fridge. You can also read about the refrigerator brands to avoid in 2022 and make a well-informed decision about your investment.
The versatility of an under counter fridge is what makes it a top choice for homeowners in 2022!
In this article, we’ll talk about what are undercounter refrigerators and show you the best compact fridges in 2022, and all the qualities to look out for when getting one that’ll suit your needs.
The 7 Best Under Counter Refrigerators in 2022
1. EdgeStar CBR1501SLD 24” Built-in Beverage Cooler
The wine drinkers will no doubt love this one.
First, EdgeStar is a reputable fridge manufacturer and all its products exude quality.
Now to its architecture: This beverage cooler sports a glossy stainless steel door for their under counter bar fridge that will elevate the interior decoration of your kitchen. Plus the compact size and stainless steel finish of the exterior makes this under counter bar fridge perfect to be stationed under your countertop or any other place in your crib.
One important feature that makes it suitable for an under counter fridge is its front ventilation.
Another cool feature of this under counter bar fridge model is the digital temperature display that shows both the set temperatures and the current working temperatures of the fridge. Thus, giving you control over the workings and details of your built in mini fridge.
And for the wine lovers, the bottom floor has been ridged for you to arrange and balance 5 wine bottles. It’s also got 3 adjustable glass shelves that have the capacity to fit over 100 12oz cans. The adjustable shelves of this under counter bar fridge can also make you create room to fit a larger item like a jar of milk, etc.
In all, this under counter beverage fridge has 5.49 cubic feet of storage space.
This undercounter fridge unit is not only a wonderful piece of engineering but also a beautiful work of art.
2. Kalamera Built-in 24-inch Beverage Refrigerator (best built-in fridge)
As one of the best under counter fridge, this model doesn’t only look sleek and futuristic, it is indeed all shades of beauty.
This under the counter refrigerator has got an ostentatious see-through glass front that allows you to take stock of its content without opening the door. Plus the blue LED lights add some glitz to an already flashy look. And to complete the chic look, the exterior of the under the counter refrigerator is built with black stainless steel that’s easy to clean and maintain.
And because of its cool design and compact size, this undercounter fridge can either be a feature in your kitchen or your bar. The temperature which ranges from 38-50°F is displayed on the LCD screen of the fridge.
In contrast to the previous EdgeStar, this 24-inch undercounter fridge has got 4 wire racks that you can remove to create a better economy of space. Hence, it can fit in 154 canned drinks and probably more (if you take some racks out)!
However, it isn’t made for only canned beverage: it can also serve as a under counter beverage fridge for your milk and wine chiller.
Now to the technology side of things.
The Kalamera under counter beverage fridge has got a low-noise compressor and doesn’t vibrate; thus, giving you the benefit of being in a quiet environment. This appliance also filters the air coming into it
And if at any point there’s a blackout, the under the counter refrigerator has a temperature memory function that saves the set temperature. And when power is back on, it’ll automatically restore the built in under counter fridge to the set temperature. This makes it better than many electrical appliances at home.
Despite the setbacks, this under cabinet mini fridge is one of the best units out there.
3. RCA RFR322-B Stainless Steel Mini-fridge
If solving your kitchen space issues is at the top of your needs, this under the counter refrigerator is for you.
The key feature of this under the counter refrigerator is that it has got enough storage space. This RCA model comes with a under counter fridge freezer that you can use to store your foods. This is in addition to the fridge part where you can keep your beverages cool.
Unlike most of the other refrigerators on this list, the RCA RFR322-B mini-fridge offers you a minimalist yet sleek design with its stainless steel exterior. Another thing worthy of note is that the under the counter refrigerator door is reversible: so whichever way will be more comfortable for you, you can set the handle and hinge.
With this under counter fridge, you can set your desired temperature and allow it to do its job.
And its compact and sleek build makes it suitable to be affixed underneath the counter.
Do you need something that goes beyond chilly? The RCA RFR322-B Stainless may just be the best product to house your perishables and beverages.
4. Supentown (SPT) BF-314U Stainless Steel Undercabinet Refrigerator
If you’re the kind of person who always has friends coming over–the kind of friends that can really booze–then this under counter refrigerators might just be the best for you.
With a temperature as low as 23°F, the SPT BF-314U won’t waste any time in getting your cans icy-chilled. So instead of keeping your wines cool at around 38°F as most other mini-fridges do, it keeps them frosty.
And despite its compact size, it has the capacity to fit fifty (50) cans of beer – which more than enough space to host your friends for the weekend.
This model has also got four removable wire shelves that can be rearranged to fit larger containers and wine bottles. And the stainless steel color of this fridge makes it appealing to the eyes and easy to clean.
And unlike many of the other fridges that have their LED control panel inside, the SPT BF-314U has its outside for ease of use.
Our verdict: When you factor in the price for this unit and the workload it carries, you’ll have to admit that this is one of the best undercounter refrigerators.
5. Sinoartizan Under Counter Wine and Beverage Cooler
First, this bar equipment is a beaut.
Another thing we love about this unit is its versatility as it was built to cater to your household’s needs. It’s got two compartments; the left for holding 18 bottles of wine, and the right for carrying 55 cans.
And to ensure both sides cool optimally, the compartments have different temperatures. The left side has a temperature range of 41 – 64°F while the right is 39 – 50°F. it also has removable shelves to make room for a larger item.
There are also interior lights on both compartments that automatically turn off 10 minutes after locking the door.
Despite these shortcomings, this Sinoartizan model is one of the best under counter fridges in 2021.
6. FOVOMI 20" Wine Cooler Refrigerator
If there’s a mini-fridge specially crafted for wine storage, it’s got to be the FOVOMI 20″ Wine Cooler.
This fridge has the capacity to carry 56 regular-sized bottles of wine and still allow room for adequate cold air circulation. And with a temperature range of 41 – 64°F, keeping your wines chilled for whenever you’ll like to pop.
And the see-through glass door makes it possible for you to see its content conveniently without opening the door. But that’s not all.
This undercabinet appliance comes with 5 shelves that smoothly slide out to deliver its content to the customer. Another impressive feature of this unit is that it can be installed under the counter as it’s a built-in unit (because of its front ventilation). And it can also function as a freestanding unit and look more appealing.
And unlike the other fridges on this review list, this unit uses an easy-to-use push-button control to set the desired temperatures.
In conclusion, this is a great piece of equipment to store your bottles of wine and other beverages. It’ll fit right in any place it’s installed and, aesthetically, also make a fashion statement.
7. TYLZA 15 Inch Under Counter Cooler
This is another excellent fridge with great cooling temperatures, a well-lit interior, and a lovely design.
And while it may seem like having glass doors is a criterion for being one of the best under counter fridges, it isn’t. These top-rated fridges have got properties that make them stand out.
Let’s find out more about the TYLZA 15 Inch Under Counter fridge.
Unlike what we’ve seen with the previous two fridges, this model offers you brighter LED lights positioned on both sides of its interior. You can customize the lights–which are blue and white–to suit your needs. For example, you can set the lighting to never switch off, and you can also set it to alternate between the blue and white lights when the door is opened and closed.
This under counter beverage cooler can also guard against unwanted access so no one else can open your fridge without your permission and drink your beer. It’s also got a touch-control panel that’s easy to use.
With a capacity of 140 cans, the TYLZA 15 Inch Under Counter Cooler model has got three adjustable sanded shelves that make it easy to fit larger items other than wine bottles and canned beverages.
And probably the most important feature of this unit is its wide temperature range of 34-50°F. While most others have 38°F as their lowest temperature, this fridge, at 34°F will ensure every item always stays cold but never freezes.
These features make the TYLZA 15 Inch Under Counter Cooler one of the best under counter cooling products.
What Is an Under Counter Fridge and What is It Used for?
An undercounter refrigerator, also known as a under cabinet fridge, beverage fridge, built in mini fridge, under counter bar fridge, etc., is a smaller version of the regular fridge that’s designed to save space by fitting into smaller spaces.
These under counter refrigerators also offer the features of the full-sized ones. The key difference is that an undercounter refrigerator offers a better economy of kitchen space and they can hold fewer items. It is also important to note that an under counter fridge may or may not come with a freezer compartment. Some undercounter refrigerators are equipped with this feature, but a certain variety is not. If you wish to install an under counter fridge yourself, then it is important to learn how to measure a refrigerator and slide it inside the slot.
An under cabinet fridge also has fewer shelf space and also does not come with features such as smart screens, water dispensers, ice makers, etc. But under counter refrigerators may feature lock systems!
Most times, when an under counter fridge is not used in dorm rooms or small offices, it can be used as a beverage fridge at home or even to keep cosmetic items, medication, beauty masks, skincare items, etc.
However, under counter refrigerators can also be used in entertainment areas as an under counter beverage fridge, patios, or any outdoor place in residential properties as a built in mini fridge to entertain friends and guests.
An under counter fridge is usually used to store snacks, alcohol and other beverages, medication, etc.
They are not the best choice to keep your meats and other items that require to be frozen as undercounter refrigerators are seldom used as an under counter fridge freezer. Learn more about where in the refrigerator should raw meat be stored.
These are also sometimes referred to as counter depth refrigerators and you can learn how deep a counter depth refrigerator is to compare it with traditional models.
What Are The Different Kinds of Under Counter Refrigerators?
There are 3 main best undercounter refrigerator types;
Undercounter refrigerators with freezer: This model of under counter fridge comes equipped with a freezing compartment. However, do not confuse the with under counter fridge freezer.
Undercounter fridge without freezer type: This type of under counter fridge only has a refrigeration unit and no freezing compartment. This model is specifically an addition to a regular fridge.
Under counter fridge with drawers: This type of under cabinet fridge is a mini-fridge option with sliding drawers like cabinetry. You can also get an under cabinet fridge that pairs swinging doors with pull-out drawers and matches your kitchen design and furniture.
Types of Under the Counter Refrigerator Based on Ventilation: Freestanding vs Built in Mini Fridge
It is customary for a built in mini fridge to have proper ventilation. This is so they can dissipate some heat and not get overheated.
Therefore, a built in mini fridge unit is one with front ventilation for heat dissipation. While a freestanding undercounter refrigerator unit has its vent on its sides or rear. This type of under counter fridge requires more clearance on its sides and rear to dissipate heat.
Another key difference between built in mini fridge and freestanding under counter fridge is that built in fridges are designed to fit in tight spaces like kitchen cabinets. And freestanding under the counter fridge units may not fit perfectly in a kitchen counter.
Thirdly, freestanding under counter fridges tend to be cheaper than built in mini fridge units.
Precautionary Measures for Installing a Built in Mini Fridge
To allow the door for your undercounter refrigerator to swing 90 degrees, you should avoid installing the fridge directly beside a wall. Instead, your under counter fridge should be installed between cabinets or under shelves.
Give an area of at least 2” behind the under counter refrigerator unit for plugging it into electricity.
Precautionary Measures for Installing a Freestanding Undercounter Fridge
When installing an under cabinet fridge against any adjacent wall, allow 2-5” of space. Also, there should be a space of around 5 inches between the back of the small under counter fridge unit and the wall.
And do not install the under counter refrigerators in moist or damp areas. These can cause frost to form on the evaporator.
Installation Tips for Under Counter Refrigerators
- After unpacking your package, leave 24 hours for the under cabinet refrigerator to sit upright before plugging it into electricity.
- Next up, after the 24-hour period, plug the undercounter refrigerator unit to check if it’s working as expected.
- Place a level in the place the under cabinet refrigerator will stand and position the unit on top of it. Adjust the legs so the unit doesn’t slant.
- Ensure all sides have enough clearance by taking correct measurements. Adjust the legs of the under counter refrigerator if there’s too much or not enough clearance at the top.
- If your under the counter fridge has got a stopper, install it. This is to ensure the unit doesn’t damage the nearby cabinetry. This is especially handy if your undercounter fridge door slams into other furniture.
How to Choose the Best Size for Your Under Cabinet Refrigerator
The most likely reason you’re getting an under cabinet refrigerator is to free space in your kitchen or living space.
The typical width for an under cabinet refrigerator is 15 inches (when you’re tight on space) and 24 inches (fit for a dishwasher). This allows your under cabinet refrigerator to slip in hassle free and keep it from damaging nearby furniture.
So make sure to check and double-check that the under cabinet refrigerator will fit under your counter and also allow an area for the vents.
Storage Capacity for Items
Secondly, you want to create more space to accommodate more items in your undercounter fridge. So choose a model with adjustable shelving that will allow you to store both regular cans and larger containers. Some undercounter fridge models may also come with extension cabinets and drawers which are always a great addition for extra storage options.
Having a noisy undercounter fridge can be a deal breaker. This is especially do for cheaper varieties of undercounter fridge that may produce grating or humming sounds when the compressor comes on.
And as a rule of thumb, a good undercounter fridge is considered to be quiet if it produces sound less than 40 decibels (dB). So ensure you go for a undercounter fridge that produces less noise. And on most occasions, compact under cabinet fridge produce less noise when running.
Temperature Range and Controls
First, if your purpose of getting a under cabinet fridge is to serve as a under counter bar fridge, then go for options with minimum temperatures of at least 38°F. And you can go for undercounter fridge models with almost freezing temperatures if you need something colder.
Second, your ideal undercounter fridge should be one that evenly distributes the cold air around the interior cavity. And third, your undercounter fridge should be easy to operate and read. And finally, the under the counter refrigerator should be able to maintain the set temperature range.
The longer an under bar refrigerator’s warranty, the more durable it’ll likely be. And should anything happen to your under the counter fridge, you can easily request the manufacturer to help you fix it. So always keep an eye out for this factor.
Whether you prefer stainless steel doors to glass doors on your under the counter refrigerator, both come with their pros and cons.
A stainless steel door for an under the counter refrigerator is easier to clean and offers better insulation than those made with glass doors. On the flip side, you can’t take inventory of its stock with the door closed.
With a glass door under cabinet fridge, you can easily take inventory of its content with the door closed. And it looks more fashionable, plus the internal lights of your under cabinet fridge elevate its appearance. The major drawback here is that it offers poor door insulation.
This rating usually ranges from D to A+++. The best undercounter refrigerator will have energy efficiency closer to A+++.
Typically, you’ll want to go for under counter refrigerators that fit your budget. The best undercounter refrigerator models will usually cost around $250 to over $1000. So there will always be a type to suit your needs.
After our guide on best air fryers in 2021, we hope that these reviews on the best best under counter fridge will be of help as well!
Frequently Asked Questions About Under Counter Fridges
A built in mini fridge or an under counter fridge range in size, typically between 20-24 inches in width and 18-26 inches in depth. They also go up to 34 inches in height. It’s important to measure your space to know what size of under counter refrigerator you need, being sure to leave at least one-half inch of space between the counter and fridge.
Yes under cabinet fridge units are worth the investment. There are many benefits to an under counter refrigerator, including the ability to fit them to smaller spaces. The best undercounter refrigerator is especially beneficial in homes or businesses with smaller kitchens. These under counter refrigerators can also provide a modern feel in your kitchen design, while serving a functional purpose of easily access to your favorite drinks and snacks.
Most of the best under counter fridge models are considered a high end appliance, which can lead to a higher than average price tag. Price, however, will vary depending on the type of under the counter fridge and its available features. You can also expect a higher price tag if you have it built right into your kitchen cabinetry.
Space is the most common reason for installing and using an under the counter refrigerator. If you have minimal kitchen space, you may choose a small under counter fridge or a built in mini fridge to leave room for other important appliances. Undercounter refrigerators can also provide you with easier access to beverages in a position closer to the living area.
Both undercounter fridge and integrated refrigerators are built into the kitchen cabinetry, but the counter depth of each varies. An integrated fridge is smooth and integrates into the design. It may be hidden in a cabinet for a fully seamless look. An undercounter fridge may minimally go in, or stick out, from the counter, and lacks a cabinet. An under counter fridge unit tends to be slightly less costly than integrated refrigerators.
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Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.