What is a Compact Refrigerator?

Ken Black

A compact refrigerator is a refrigerator that is much smaller than the normal refrigerator. These refrigerators are often referred to as dorm refrigerators because they are often used in dorm-type settings. They take up very little space and are easy to transport, which also make them popular among those who do not expect to live in any single location very long.

Compact refrigerators may have different sections to store various items.
Compact refrigerators may have different sections to store various items.

A compact refrigerator usually has a size ranging from 1.7 cubic feet (51 cm) to 6 cubic feet (182 cm). The size of the refrigerator often influences the cost and the type of features the machine has. In some cases, the compact refrigerator may have a full freezer. In other cases, it may have a frosted tray near the top that can freeze some objects.

Compact refrigerators use less energy than large ones.
Compact refrigerators use less energy than large ones.

A recent trend with compact refrigerators has been to personalize them with various decorations and painting schemes. In some cases, these may be geared toward a particular interest, such as a sports team. These decorations, often appealing to young males just leaving home for the first time, coincide with those most likely to use a compact refrigerator. In short, it is marketing targeted to a specific demographic.

There are many reasons why a compact refrigerator may be chosen over a more traditional refrigerator. Though a full-size refrigerator is a common household item, they lack certain things younger people may appreciate. Along with the portability previously mentioned, the cost of a compact refrigerator is often more attractive, especially for students. Due to their smaller size, they often do not cost as much to purchase.

However, over the life of a refrigerator, the initial purchase price may be the smallest part of the investment. Refrigerators use a tremendous amount of energy, which can be very costly over time. Dorm refrigerators, because they are cooling less area, often require much less energy to run. The energy savings can amount to hundreds or thousands of US Dollars over the course of the appliance's lifetime.

However, there are drawbacks to choosing a compact refrigerator as well, the main one being the capacity of the appliance. For many college students, who do not worry too much about cooking and therefore do not need a substantial amount of storage space, this is not a major concern. However, for those who do intend to do a substantial amount of cooking, the compact refrigerator may not be the best choice. Most dorm refrigerators are used to cool a few drinks and store some smaller snacks. Those using a compact refrigerator for such purposes should find it suits their needs very well.

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