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The best retro mini fridges in 2022: Because nostalgia is cool

Have you ever heard the phrase “Everything old is new again?” For whatever reason, we tend to have a nostalgic soft spot for aesthetics that seem to transport us to another time period. Whether it’s clothing or home design, style comes around every few decades, and retro kitchen appliances are no exception.

Why are retro mini-fridges popular?

Like most things that are popular these days, retro mini fridges are a recurring trend around the world. certain corners of TikTokespecially since it’s a great appliance for college kids living in dorms and obviously the retro colors and design are super aesthetic and fun to show off.

However, the true popularity of retro mini-fridges probably stems from SMEG’s old-fashioned appeal. For the uninitiated, SMEG is an Italian appliance manufacturer founded in 1948, and they have a nearly 80-year legacy that has brought us incredibly retro refrigerators, electric kettle, toaster ovens, and other kitchen appliances. They are so tremendously expensive. (Seriously, a retro SMEG mini-fridge will set you back over $1,000(opens in a new tab)!) But don’t worry, there are plenty of retro mini-fridges on the market that are just as beautiful for a much less flashy price.

The key to finding a great SMEG duplicate is to look for the key features set forth by the vintage brand. Think rounded edges, a smooth, glossy finish, and fun shades of caramel color.

Do retro mini fridges offer everything that regular size fridges offer?

Retro mini fridges come in many different sizes and shapes, so your offerings mostly depend on which type you get. Some mini-fridges offer many of the best features of a full-size fridge, like a crisper drawer for storing fresh produce and a separate freezer with enough space for several pints of ice cream and other frozen foods.

On the other hand, smaller retro mini-fridges just aren’t big enough to provide those niceties. Instead, most of the best mini fridges will offer one or two removable shelves to help you keep your food and drinks organized; some space at the back of the fridge door for taller items like 1-litre bottles; and at least enough space in an internal freezer to hold an ice cube tray or a couple of frozen dinners. That said, you won’t find a retro mini fridge with a ice machine or something like that. But you can definitely get by with the storage space they provide, especially if your mini fridge is secondary to a larger fridge, takeout habit, or college canteen.

Where do you keep your retro fridge?

Speaking of college, mini-fridges are the ideal college dorm room appliance due to the fact that dorms are often short on storage space. Dining halls don’t always have the most appetizing food, study snacks should always be ready, and midnight snacks can pop up at any time and should always be properly enjoyed. Seriously, though, the best mini-fridge offers the ultimate convenience for storing fresh food and drinks in a small bedroom, and the shorter “cubic fridge” style could even double as a makeshift nightstand in a small space. . Plus, mini-fridges are generally easy to transport, which will make moving day a lot less stressful.

However, the bedrooms are just the tip of the iceberg. Depending on your use case, you can place a retro mini-fridge in any (or all) rooms of the house. They’re perfect for keeping snacks within easy reach in the living room, den, rec room, or basement for family movie night or your latest binge-watching obsession. You can also add a retro mini-fridge to your guest room to create a luxurious hotel atmosphere when friends and family sleep over, or to your home office to keep you fueled during long days at work.

However, retro mini fridges aren’t just for food. Some people opt for a more compact mini-fridge in the bedroom or bathroom to store heat-sensitive skincare products (such as moisturizers, serums, and sunscreen), or to chill face masks, a jade roller, or a gua sha. for true luxury. spa experience at home. These little coolers are also super portable, so they’re good for storing snacks or medications that require refrigeration for road trips and long drives. Bonus: More compact coolers also tend to have a warming feature, which would be great for warming towels for facials or warming baby bottles for those middle-of-the-night feeding sessions or on the go.

You could even put a retro mini fridge in the kitchen! Revolutionary thinking, I know. But if you’re working with a super-tiny kitchen area in a studio or small apartment, a retro mini-fridge would add just the right amount of function and splash of colorful style you need, while also freeing up storage space for other handy appliances. . (search as fryer), if you also lack space for a suitable oven).

Mini refrigerators are also a great addition to a functional kitchen for young children, which is a Montessori education method (also popular on TikTok) to help little ones learn and gain some independence. Retro mini-fridges are especially great for kids because their rounded edges limit clutter, and of course there are plenty of fun color options too.

How cold does a retro mini-fridge get?

Depending on where you keep your retro mini fridge and what you plan to use it for, you’ll find different sizes of appliances. There is an ultra-compact style of refrigerator that is quite small, which is great in terms of portability. However, they don’t get very cold (and they don’t even include a freezer compartment), so they wouldn’t be ideal for storing food for an extended period of time. These mini fridges are generally preferred for temporary travel scenarios or for storing cosmetics and other skin care items.

Aside from the smaller retro mini-fridges, a standard mini-fridge should be as cold as a standard refrigerator, typically down to 32°F for the refrigerator and 0°F in the freezer compartment, so you can store your food. The best retro mini-fridges (again, apart from the ultra-compact styles) will also have a temperature control dial inside so you can adjust the temperature of the fridge to suit your needs.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best retro mini fridges for a variety of different needs.


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