Whether you’re looking for a little extra space for frozen food or you need an appliance to keep your breast milk frozen at work, a mini freezer is a convenient option. “Mini freezers typically have less than 5 cubic feet and are most suitable for people living in an apartment, condo, townhouse, or anywhere where limited space is available,” says Hubert Miles, certified master inspector and owner of HomeInspectionInsider.com.
We researched dozens of mini freezers, including traditional mini fridge/freezer combos to cooler-style models that are suitable for camping. While these mini freezers range widely in design, our selections all have a few things in common: They’re efficient and quiet, have a host of useful features, and provide an overall great value.
Here are the best mini freezers for your home, office, or dorm room.
Whynter 2.1 Cu. Ft. Cuf-210SS Stainless Steel Upright Freezer with Lock
Sleek stainless steel appearance
Occasionally needs to be manually defrosted
Not garage friendly
If you’re going to spring for additional freezer space, you may as well get as much as you can while still adhering to the dimensions you have available. The Whynter Stainless Steel Freezer with Lock is a great option for small-space dwellers, because it maintains a small footprint yet still provides 2.1 cubic feet of usable space. This means you’ll have sufficient room to keep a few frozen essentials in a convenient location.
The freezer has plenty of convenience features, too, including a reversible swing door to suit the layout of your space. The thermostat is manually adjustable, the two shelves can be removed to reconfigure the design, and it comes with a cylinder lock and two keys in case you ever need to secure the contents. The small freezer also has a sleek design. The stainless steel composition is attractive, and the recessed handle is both easy to operate and aesthetically streamlined.
It’s also efficient, since it’s Energy Star-certified, and users say it’s relatively quiet. In terms of potential drawbacks, users report frost occasionally builds up inside, and defrosting is manual. The mini freezer also can't be used in extreme temperatures—the manufacturer recommends using it in temperatures ranging from 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. But, if you're looking for an indoor mini freezer, this model has plenty of convenient features to meet your food-storage needs.
Price at time of publish: $210
Total Capacity: 2.1 cubic feet | Dimensions: 27 x 17.25 x 20 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Friendly: No
ROVSUN 1.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Upright Freezer
Not garage friendly
The ROVSUN Compact Upright Freezer may be more budget-friendly than most, but you won’t want for much. It has just about everything our top pick does—it’s just a bit smaller at 1.1 cubic feet. The freezer has a sleek stainless steel exterior, complete with an easy-to-operate recessed handle. And the door can be installed to swing left or right, whichever is ideal for your space.
Inside, the freezer has a single removable shelf, which affords you plenty of space on both tiers and gives you the option of storing a few big items instead. The controls and defrost are manual, which may be a downside to some, but you can set the temperature within a satisfying range of minus 8 degrees to 7 degrees.
Overall, this mini freezer is a great option for most spaces, including dorm rooms and offices—just don’t put it in the garage.
Price at time of publish: $150
Total Capacity: 1.1 cubic feet | Dimensions: 19.6 x 17.5 x 18.6 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Friendly: No
Arctic King 3.5 Cu ft Chest Freezer
Door props open for easy access
Removable storage basket
Not garage friendly
Though they generally require a little bit more space, chest freezers (also called top-loading freezers) tend to be more energy-efficient. Plus, many people find them easier to access, since you don’t have to crouch down to see what’s inside. What’s more, you can stack things right on top of each other, often allowing for more efficient storage. This Chest Freezer by Arctic King, a big manufacturer of mini freezers, has all the perks of a chest-style freezer in a smaller package.
To help you dig around inside, the door stays open from 45 to 75 degrees. You can also remove the interior storage basket, so you can choose how to organize and store your food. There’s also an adjustable thermostat on the front of the freezer, so you can tailor the temperature to your needs. Just keep in mind that the manual control is at the base of the freezer, so you’ll have to bend down to use it.
Price at time of publish: $179
Total Capacity: 3.5 cubic feet | Dimensions: 33.5 x 22.2 x 20.6 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Friendly: No
Best with Refrigerator
GE 3.1 Cu. Ft. Mini Fridge with Top Freezer
Freezer section is smaller than the fridge
Not garage friendly
The GE GDE03GGKBB Double-Door Mini Fridge has a long list of useful features. First and foremost, the compact, Energy Star-certified unit has both a freezer and a refrigerator, making it a highly versatile appliance—particularly for someone, like a dorm dweller, who needs both options. But, unlike many mini fridge designs, the freezer in this appliance isn’t necessarily an afterthought. The 0.93-cubic-foot freezer is spacious enough to fit bulkier items like pints of ice cream. Each door opens independently, so you won’t waste energy or lower the temp in the freezer when you open the fridge. The freezer door also features a shelf to help you stay organized. The fridge is just as useful, thanks to two glass shelves, a crisper, and can storage in the door.
Adding to the list of conveniences is an interior light and a reversible door. Plus, the stainless steel exterior makes the unit relatively pleasing to look at—you won’t mind having it in a college dorm room, finished basement, or office. Just note: You can't install this model in a garage or outside. You’ll need to manually defrost it, too.
Price at time of publish: $409
Total Capacity: 3.1 cubic feet | Dimensions: 33.88 x 18.75 x 20.13 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Friendly: No
Best for Breastmilk
BLACK+DECKER 1.2 Cu. Ft. Compact Upright Freezer
Can fit on the counter
Bags of milk may slip through wire
If you need a mini freezer for something specific (and temporary)—like storing breast milk—you don’t need anything too large or complicated. The BLACK+DECKER Compact Upright Freezer is a great option for nursing parents, because it’s small enough to stash on a countertop. It’s also the perfect footprint for stashing under your desk in your office, so you have a freezer close by for use after pumping sessions. The mini freezer also only weighs about 12 pounds, so it's easier to install (or even move to a new location) than heavier options. While the manufacturer lists the freezer as suitable for indoor use, including in garages, you should only plan to operate it in temperatures of at least 55 degrees.
In terms of organization, the freezer also has a removable wire shelf, so you can neatly stack bags or bottles of breastmilk. Just note: If you’re using bags, you may want to line the top shelf, so the bags don’t slip through the cracks.
Though relatively basic, this mini freezer does have an adjustable thermostat for customization. It’s also Energy Star-certified, so you don’t have to worry about pulling too much electricity. It’s efficient and quiet—you’d almost never even know it was there.
Price at time of publish: $203
Total Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet | Dimensions: 19.72 x 19.69 x 19.29 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Friendly: No
Nostalgia 3.5 Cu. Ft. Classic Retro Chest Freezer and Refrigerator
More expensive than most
If your mini freezer will sit in one of your main living spaces—like in an RV—it pays to focus your attention on the design of the appliance. The Nostalgia Chest Freezer and Refrigerator is an excellent choice, since it comes in a beautiful aqua color and has tons of vintage appeal.
But it’s not all about aesthetics. This mini freezer is just as functional as it is chic—possibly even more so, since you can use it as a refrigerator or a freezer. It has a manual temperature control that ranges from negative 20 degrees to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Use it simply to keep beverages cool, or turn it all the way down to use it as a freezer. Either way, you’ll love the removable wire storage basket, the included ice scraper and bottle opener attachment, and the fact that it comes with a lock and keys for security. Plus, its garage-ready construction means it can operate in temperatures as low as 23 degrees.
Like many other models, this freezer must be manually defrosted. At 3.5 cubic feet, it is on the larger side for a mini fridge, but if you have the space for it, you’ll find it isn’t at all cumbersome. In fact, it has caster wheels, so you can easily move it from place to place if need be.
Price at time of publish: $434
Total Capacity: 3.5 cubic feet | Dimensions: 33.38 x 21.63 x 21.63 inches | Control Type: Manual | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Friendly: Yes
F40C4TMP 30-Quart Portable Refrigerator and Freezer
Can be used as a fridge or freezer
Easy-to-use digital display
Built-in handles and magnetic lid
Comes with two types of power supply cords
Must be plugged in
If you want the flexibility to move your mini freezer from place to place, the F40C4TMP Portable Refrigerator is a great choice. This pick looks more like a cooler than a traditional freezer, but it has a strong compressor that only needs about 15 minutes to cool from 77 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Simply use the digital display to adjust the mini freezer to suit your needs. The 30-quart size roughly translates to 1 cubic foot of space for food storage, and a removable divider can help keep contents organized.
You don’t have to use it as a freezer, either. The temperature can be adjusted from -7.6 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Use it to keep refrigerated goods cool, or opt to use it as a freezer to preserve frozen food. It’s worth noting that this cooler must be plugged into a power supply in order to run; it comes with a 12-volt power cord for your car, as well as an AC adapter for a wall outlet. That said, it’s surprisingly efficient—it consumes less than 1 kWh every day.
Additionally, the freezer has built-in side handles and a magnetic door. It's small enough to fit in the trunk of a car, plus it features anti-30-degree slip, meaning it won’t slide around in the back of a truck, even on bumpy terrain. It's geared toward campers, but it makes for a good tailgating fridge/freezer, too. If you plan to transport items in the freezer without access to power, you might want to consider purchasing the coordinating protective cover (sold separately), which features insulation and carry straps.
Price at time of publish: $300
Total Capacity: 30 quarts (approximately 1 cubic foot of space) | Dimensions: 15.51 x 22.68 x 12.6 inches | Control Type: Digital | Defrost Type: Manual | Garage Friendly: Not listed
We love the Whynter 2.1 Cu. Ft. Cuf-210SS Stainless Steel Upright Freezer with Lock because it has a small footprint yet can hold a little bit more than your average mini freezer. It’s also attractive, Energy Star-certified, and has plenty of convenience features, including a reversible door and a locking mechanism with keys. If you want something a little less expensive, the ROVSUN 1.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Upright Freezer provides an excellent overall value. While smaller in size, it’s similarly attractive and is customizable—remove the shelves or change the way the door swings.
What to Look for in a Mini Freezer
Size and Capacity
In general, mini freezers are small enough to fit into compact spaces. They’re great for sliding under a counter or tucking into a corner—some models, like the BLACK+DECKER 11.2 Cu. Ft. Compact Upright Freezer can even fit on a countertop. They’re also great for places like offices and RVs.
The size you should get depends on your space constraints, as well as your storage needs. Generally, the smallest mini freezers have capacities of 1 to 3 cubic feet, while the largest ones have capacities closer to 5 to 7 cubic feet. If you only need to store a few things and you have a small space, a tinier 1-cubic-foot freezer will do the trick. However, if you need to store bulkier items and have the square footage, you may want to choose one of the larger models—in addition to extra footage, these models often have more organizational features like storage baskets to maximize the space and keep things organized.
Manual vs. Automatic Defrosting
Machines that require manual defrosting are a little bit more difficult to maintain over time, since you’ll have to chip away at any frost buildup periodically. Generally, it’s a relatively simple process that’s outlined in the user manual, but it can be time-consuming and does require some elbow grease. Models with automatic defrosting don’t require the same maintenance commitment, but they tend to be more expensive.
Pay attention to this designation if you’re hoping to store your freezer in a garage or area with fluctuating external temperatures. Not all models work in extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold. If you plan to keep your mini freezer in an area that might get hotter or cooler than average indoor temperatures, choose a model with a garage-ready design, like the Nostalgia 3.5 Cu. Ft. Classic Retro Chest Freezer and Refrigerator.
Some models have extra bells and whistles that don’t necessarily affect how well the freezer performs but simply make life a little easier. One nice-to-have feature is an exit point for any water that collects due to condensation inside the freezer. Models with automatic defrosting will have this feature.
An indicator light is a light that glows to alert you that the appliance is plugged in and working. While this isn't a must-have for a mini freezer, it can eliminate any confusion as to whether or not the appliance may be working properly.
Some mini freezers feature a reversible door, which means you can install the door so that it swings left or right—whatever is better for your space. This flexibility comes in especially handy if squeezing a mini freezer into a compact area, or if you foresee someday moving the freezer to another location with a different layout.
What’s the smallest freezer available?
Freezers come in all shapes and sizes, but the smallest true mini freezers (standalone freezers) are about 1 cubic foot. Small, portable freezers aren’t directly comparable to traditional mini freezers—but a 30-quart portable freezer will offer similar interior dimensions as a 1-cubic-foot freezer. Other common sizes for mini freezers are 3 cubic feet and 5 cubic feet. Some are as large as 7 cubic feet.
Do mini freezers use a lot of electricity?
A modern freezer uses between 30 and 100 watts of power, depending on size, indoor temperature, and the appliance’s overall efficiency. Because a mini fridge is much smaller than a standard fridge, most don’t use as much electricity. “Most mini freezers only use about 0.45 kWh daily or approximately $13.50 monthly,” says Hubert Miles, certified master inspector and owner of HomeInspectionInsider.com. That said, it depends on the particular model—some are Energy Star certified, while others aren’t. If energy use is a concern, look for a battery-operated version of one with the Energy Star certification.
Are frost-free freezers better?
That depends on what's most important to you. If convenience wins out, you will be more pleased with a frost-free freezer. But if you’re more concerned about other attributes, such as price, you might prefer a model that requires manual defrosting—frost-free freezers typically cost more money, and manual defrosting isn’t all that difficult, either. Miles explains, “Most mini freezers must be manually defrosted just once every three months and include a drain cap to make cleaning easy.”
Why Trust the Spruce?
This article was written by Brigitt Earley, a freelance writer who has spent nearly 15 years writing about consumer products like home appliances. To curate this list, Earley scoured all of the most popular retailers to find the top-selling, top-rated mini freezers. Then, she interviewed experts like Hubert Miles, certified master inspector and owner of HomeInspectionInsider.com, to find out what’s most important when shopping for this type of small appliance. With this information, she vetted each product being considered to ensure the final list contained only the most reliable, quality options on the market today.