10 Best mini fridges for a man cave
Why are mini fridges so popular in a man cave?
The first thing you do when you enter your man cave is open a cold beverage. The pop and fizz when you open your wind-down beer is one of the most satisfying sounds known to man, but if that first sip finds the contents to be lukewarm, your day could be ruined (okay, overly dramatic but somewhat true!).
That might be a bit extreme, the day is still most probably salvageable, but you get the point; especially during the hotter months of summer, it’s lovely to be able to offer a cold drink to your mates or yourself, and one of the points of a man cave is that it’s self sufficient.
It might sound like a small issue, but having to go to the kitchen to get a cold drink can feel a bit like retreat, and having to leave your man cave each time you finish a beer marks an unnecessary venture out into the world beyond your carefully designed haven.
Where to put your mini fridge (and what to store inside)
Your mini fridge doesn’t have to be an eyesore, far from it – it can be a popular and sightly feature to your man cave. What will make a difference however is where you place it – you don’t want it to look and feel like an afterthought, a useful but awkward addition to an otherwise very well considered space.
If your man cave has a bar, an ideal place to put it can be behind the countertop. This makes it easily accessible for when you’re mixing drinks, or preparing some small bites to eat. If you don’t mind the look of it, you can make it into a feature, for example building it into some shelves, with space to store glasses and cups above it.
It’s important that your fridge matches the overall aesthetic of your man cave, to properly integrate it in your design. For example, if you’re opting for a DIY man cave and are having to store brand new appliances, remember that fridge magnets and the like can massively change how it looks, and if it’s in a cupboard or behind a bar, the back, sides, and top will be hidden.
You can keep a wide variety of items in your mini fridge, not just the aforementioned beers! Soft drinks are always nicer cold, and if you want to be able to make tea and coffee, having fresh milk on hand is always a plus. White wine and champagne for more special occasions are obviously far better when cooled! You can also keep a variety of snacks fresh for longer, whatever you fancy – nice cheeses, bits of fruit – the options are many.
Our top ten mini fridges for a chilled man cave
1. Russel Hobbs RHCLRF17B – Black 17 Litre Counter Top Cooler
This great compact option by the well known appliance maker Russel Hobbs is a simple and clean addition to any man cave. It comes in black or white, both clean and neutral shades that’ll fit in well with most spaces.
At 17 litres, it’s not massive, but more than big enough to keep a few beers and a couple of bottles of wine in. It can be adjusted between 5 and 15 degrees, making it not just a fridge but also a cooler. At 38 decibels, it’s not super noisy, and as you’ll be unlikely to be sleeping in there, it shouldn’t prove to be a problem.
2. Subcold Super85 LED Bar Fridge – 85L
This option may be a little more on the pricey side, but you do get a lot more for your money. It’s 85 litres, so offers just over four times the space of the option above, and the benefits don’t end there. The transparent front door means you can display your drinks collection with pride, and won’t get the nasty surprise of finding it empty all of a sudden!
It’s slightly louder, at 42 decibels, but still by no means annoying. It goes from 3 to 18 degrees, offering a little more range, and comes with a 1 year full warranty should anything happen to go wrong!
3. HUS HU237 Husky Kopparberg Drinks Cooler
For any big cider fans out there, this will go down a treat. With official, licenced Kopparberg branding, it really looks the part, and with a volume of 46 litres, will take up to 40 tinnies.
The door is glass, giving a similar aesthetic to the example above, and at 40 decibels, it’s also reasonably quiet. The wire shelf can be removed if you find it gets in the way, meaning you can really pack the goods in. A solid option!
4. Kalamera 100 Can Mini Cooler
This premium cooler really means business. At 80 litres, it’s significantly larger than the other options reviewed so far on this list, and boasts the ability to pack in up to 100 cans.
It’s a bit bigger than some options, but the glass and stainless steel construction makes it look slick, by no means an eye sore. The chrome shelves are removable, great if you want to really stack the goods in, or keep bottled goods upright and find the shelves a hindrance. The soft internal LED lighting is a lovely touch, allowing you to see without blinding you late at night!
5. iceQ 93 Litre Under Counter Glass Door Cooler
Another great option for those looking for something with a fair bit of space in it, this cooler has heaps of it – 93 litres! The black casing and glass door blend into the environment, slick and clean, and there’s a whole heap of shelve shapes and types provided to help you keep the contents organised.
At 42 decibels, it’s still pretty quiet, and the fact that the door is reversible makes it pretty versatile in terms of placement.
6. Cookology CBC98BK Undercounter Drinks Fridge
This fridge has a lot going for it. At 39 decibels, it’s even quieter than a lot of the other options on this list, and its A+ energy rating makes it cheap and environmentally friendly to run. It’s pretty big, at 98 litres, but again, it’s no eye sore.
It’s all black, with sharp, clean edges, and the glass door makes easy viewing of your beverage collection. The door is also reversible, but the lock at the bottom will only work when used in the right hand position. This shouldn’t be an issue, if your man cave itself is lockable!
7. Husky Coca Cola Design Mini Fridge
While it certainly won’t blend into the background, this cooler is a thing of beauty, with classic Coca Cola branding vibes. The red won’t suit all spaces, but those that it does will really benefit from the glow it brings. It’s mediumly sized in terms of capacity, at 43 litres, and has an impressive A+ energy rating, great for the energy conscious.
It’s pretty much square in terms of dimensions, making it a versatile shape. If you’ve already got a similar theme to your man cave, this’ll make a wonderful addition!
8. Cookology Table Top Mini Fridge (with Ice Box)
Another option from Cookology, but this time significantly more affordable. At 46 litres, it’s ample for most of our needs, and the clean black aesthetic is pretty neat. It only draws 64 watts, earning it an A+ energy rating, and helping keep costs down.
As well as a fridge, it also has a little freezer compartment, so you can make ice to cool down any cocktails you fancy, a really nice addition to this little item!
9. Husky Budweiser Drinks Cooler
This cooler by Husky represents another branded option, but it’s a fair bit more subtle than the Coca Cola branding! If you’re a Bud fan, this’ll go down a treat; the silver exterior looks sleek and expensive, and the glass door offers easy viewing of your fridge’s contents.
The noise output is 40 decibels, placing it pretty much in the middle of the fridges reviewed here – quiet enough for sure! The 46 litre capacity should be enough for most, and while it’s not massive, it’ll take about 40 cans – ideal for the space conscious!
10. Subcold Classic4 Mini Fridge Cooler & Warmer
The final option on this review collection is something a bit different! The Classic4 is absolutely perfect for those who really don’t need much storage space – at 4 litres, it’ll take about 6 cans, ideal for one person but not many more.
The USB compatibility means you can also travel with it, taking it on fishing or camping trips, should you wish! It even has the option to warm up to 60 degrees, meaning you can warm your food at the press of the button. This fridge might not be massive but it’s incredibly versatile, and will suit some people absolutely perfectly.
Buying advice for beginners
Thoughts on sizing
Which size you pick depends on a variety of factors, but ultimately it comes down to how much space you’re willing to give up to the fridge.
If you want the capacity for a lot of drinks for evenings in with the lads, but think a bigger fridge would be an eyesore, you might have to compromise and have every other beer lukewarm, or just suck it up and get a bigger fridge! Double doors can help with space issues, as they halve the clearance needed, but they’re certainly harder to find than single door options.
How much to spend
As with size, how much you spend is entirely up to you. In the options above, the range is from around £50 to £250, meaning there should be an option for everyone!
You can still get a reasonably large fridge on a budget, but for more money, you’ll get better lighting, a far nicer design, and potentially a better energy rating. If you can’t splash out on the fridge of your dreams just now, maybe get one of the cheaper options and upgrade later - either keep the old one for backup use or give it to one of your mates, I’m sure they’d be delighted.
How much noise to expect from a mini fridge in a man cave
The average fridge on this list makes about 40 decibels of noise. Some make a little more, some a little less, but they’re all in that ballpark. While that isn’t completely silent, it’s not by any means noisy, and if you’re not sleeping in the man cave, it shouldn’t be an issue.
I find that after an hour or so, the low hum settles into the background noise, and I cease to notice it. Everyone is different though, and if you really find noise to be an issue, and want your man cave to be a silent haven, perhaps think about getting one of the quieter options, and having it behind a bar or cupboard to try to block the sound a little.
Can you ‘fit’ a mini fridge into your man cave?
Fully portable fridges certainly have their merits; to move them, you literally just need to unplug the power supply, then you’re good to go. This makes it super easy to have a redesign, or simply to clean underneath. The set up is truly simple, and you don’t have to think about integration or potentially hiring a tradie or plumber.
However, if your man cave is certainly in its final form, and you’re fairly sure that you'll never want to do a major redesign, then it might be a good idea to get an integrated mini fridge. This does add some complications though, such as with ventilation. Integrated appliances are supposed to have 200cm squared at the base and front to facilitate airflow, meaning that some locations you have your eye on could not be suitable.
There’s sometimes a difference between integrated and portable fridges in terms of energy efficiency. If that’s something you’re concerned about, be sure to read through the manufacturer information, which should provide a kWh consumption of the fridge per year, helping you work out how much it’ll cost to run.
Mini fridges really are an essential addition to any man cave. For drinks and snacks, once you get one, you’ll wonder how you ever went without. They help complete the feeling of self sufficiency, making the space more comfortable and more of a relaxing retreat from the world.
As you’ve seen, the choice between mini fridges is incredibly varied, in terms of size, price, and aesthetic, and no matter your needs, there’s sure to be one that suits them to a T. Have a read through, then make the jump – we promise, you won’t regret it.