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How to Pick the Perfect Beverage Fridge for Your Home

Our house with built-in beverage fridge

We own two beverage fridges. They’re fantastic. Not sure how we got on without our first one. Recently, we acquired I second one by virtue of moving into a house with it built-in.

Both are fully stocked. One is dedicated to non-alcoholic drinks. The other is reserved for wine and beer.

Having two such fridges, I know a thing or two about choosing the perfect beverage fridge for your home. Here’s what to look for.

Wine vs. Beverage Fridge: Do you know what you really want?

The two types of fridges are different in configuration.  Beverage fridges are designed for cans and some wine bottles. Wine fridges are configured to store wine.  What are you mainly storing?  There are also hybrids that offer storage for cans, bottles and wine bottles.  One of ours is strictly a beverage fridge. The other a hybrid.  Here are examples of all three:

Beverage Fridge

The beverage fridge is configured for cans and bottles.

Wine Fridge

The wine fridge is configured for storing wine bottles, usually lying flat as shown above.

Wine and beverage fridge hybrid

A hybrid wine and beverage fridge is configured for cans, bottles and wine bottles as shown above.

Beverage Fridge Capacity: How many cans and/or wine bottles do you need to store?

The number of bottles/cans a beverage fridge can hold depends on whether it’s wine, regular beer bottles/cans or both.  

  • Typical wine fridge capacity is 12 to 34 wine bottles.
  • Typical beverage fridge capacity is 60 to 193 cans.  It’s a huge range.  A smaller beverage fridge is 1.6 cubic feet, mid-size is 3.1 cubic feet and a larger is 5.3 cubic feet. You can buy bigger yet but then are venturing into commercial size.

Size: How big is the place where you’ll put your beverage fridge?

Size refers to how much space it takes up. It also refers to height and width. You can buy narrow beverage fridges, wide, double door models and miniature designed for countertops. Short, tall and everything in between.  Ours are both similar in size and are medium-sized designed to encased as a built-in or freestanding on the floor.  I wrote about where to put your beverage fridge here.  Check out various sizes:

Narrow beverage fridge:

12 Bottle Wine Cooler Refrigerator - White Red Wine Fridge Chiller Countertop Wine Cooler - Freestanding Compact Mini Wine Fridge 12 Bottle w/Digital Control, Stainless Steel Door - NutriChef PKCWC12

Regular width:

hOmeLabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler - 120 Can Mini Fridge with Glass Door for Soda Beer or Wine - Small Drink Dispenser Machine for Office or Bar with Adjustable Removable Shelves

Double door (wide) beverage fridge:

Wine Enthusiast 24-Bottle French Door Dual-Zone Compressor Wine Cooler

Built-in vs. freestanding beverage fridge: where will you put it?

We have both a freestanding and built-in beverage fridges. Here’s our built-in which is just awesome (came with the house):

Built-in beverage fridge

Here’s an example of a freestanding beverage fridge:

Ivation 101 Can Beverage Refrigerator | Freestanding Ultra Cool Mini Drink Fridge | Beer, Cocktails, Soda, Juice Cooler for Home & Office | Reversible Glass Door & Adjustable Shelving, Stainless Steel

Door orientation – swing left, right or hedge and get a reversible door

This is an important consideration. If you can, get a reversible door so that you aren’t restricted to where you put it.  Our freestanding beverage fridge’s door swings left to right which is fine where we have it now but in the past was not ideal.  

Here’s an example of a beverage fridge with a reversible door:

Ivation 101 Can Beverage Refrigerator | Freestanding Ultra Cool Mini Drink Fridge | Beer, Cocktails, Soda, Juice Cooler for Home & Office | Reversible Glass Door & Adjustable Shelving, Stainless Steel

Budget: Oh that nasty part of every purchase must also come into play because you can spend quite a bit or a small fortune

When we started shopping for our first beverage fridge, we were taken aback as to how expensive these glorified mini-fridges were.  It’s hard to find one under $300.  $400 to $500 is the norm.  But you can dial up your spend over $1,000.

That said, if you’ll settle for a budget-style college dorm mini-fridge, you can get away with spending quite a bit less. That’s not the look we wanted. We wanted the cool stainless steel, large door window with blue light look so that it would look good in our TV room. For all those bells and whistles, we had to pay.

Our first beverage fridge is a Danby. We still have it. Danby is a budget-friendly appliance company. We’ve owned a lot of Danby over the years.  All I have to say is our Danby beverage fridge works and looks great.  It cost us around $400.

Our second beverage/wine fridge is a Marvel.  I think it’s pretty old. It’s built into cabinets. Looks great.  The door suction is loosing suction grip though which is not good. I think it’s on last legs. I suspect when newer it was a perfectly good beverage fridge. While it’s somewhat old, it still looks great.

Novelty vs. standard vs. the college dorm look beverage fridge

There are some cool novelty vintage beverage fridges you can buy. Some with soda logos. Some in a vintage style.  They could be fun to have and work great in a rec room, bar or game room.  Check it out:

Coca-Cola Retro 18 Can Mini Fridge 22L (23 qt), AC/DC Portable Cooler for Snack Lunch Drinks, Includes 12V and AC Cords, for Home Office Dorm Cottage, Red and White

Vintage Coca-Cola beverage fridge.

Frigidaire EFR376-WHITE 3.2 Cu Ft White Retro Bar Fridge with Side Bottle Opener

Retro beverage fridge

Standard refers to the style we have which is the stainless steel frame, large glass door and some cool blue lighting such as:

Danby DBC026A1BSSDB 95 Can Beverage Center, 2.6 Cu.Ft Refrigerator for Basement, Dining, Living Room, Drink Cooler Perfect for Beer, Pop, Water, Black/Stainless-Steel

Like I said above, if you’re on a tight budget, you might need to opt for a mini-fridge such as:

RCA RFR160-Red Fridge, 1.6 Cubic Feet, Red

This is a classic mini-fridge. It’s not configured inside for beverage storage but it can hold drinks.

Portable vs stationary: do you plan to travel with your beverage fridge?

Yes, you can buy portable mini beverage fridges. They need to be plugged in so they aren’t like coolers. If you’re going on vacation and must have your beverage fridge with you, a portable one might be a good option. Personally, I would have no need for such a fridge.  Here’s an example of a mini-portable beverage fridge.

CROWNFUL Mini Fridge, 10 Liter/12 Can Portable Cooler and Warmer Personal Refrigerator for Skincare, Food, Beverage, Plugs for Home Outlet & 12V Car Charger Included, ETL Listed (Black)

Where can you buy beverage fridges online?

There are plenty of online stores that have a decent selection. Here are a few:

Whatever you get, it’s well worth it

Freeing up space in your main fridge is a huge benefit. So no matter which beverage fridge you decide on, you’ll love it.  It’s definitely worth getting.