We all need a little extra fridge space every now and again. Maybe the grocery store had a great deal on bulk drinks, or maybe you just need a little wiggle room because the main fridge in your kitchen is just stuffed full of food for the upcoming holiday. Maybe you just want a steady supply of your favorite drink, cold and ready to drink while you work on your newest project in the garage.
Whatever the case may be, you are looking at some auxiliary refrigerators to potentially put in the garage, but how do you narrow down all the choices out there? You’ve seen other people with garage fridges, but you see what seems like countless options, and you aren’t sure which ones are the best. Some are expensive, some less so, but which ones are a good value for the money?
Read on, and we’ll cover ten of the best fridges for your garage, no matter if you plan on using it as surplus kitchen storage, or safekeeping of your own beverage supply for when you’re hard at work. In addition to laying out the ten best fridges for your garage, we will take a look at what makes a good fridge and how to choose one that will not just fit your needs, but one that will be exactly what you need and more.
Top 10 Best Garage Refrigerators
Hands down, this is the best fridge for anyone needing a cold drink while they wrench on a project or two. The Whynter TBR-185SR is a robust steel compact fridge with a 1.8 cubic foot capacity that is secured by a locking door with a toolbox drawer facade. Built with the same durability as a solid toolbox, the Whynter TBR-185SR even has multi-directional lockable casters, so not only will it fit in seamlessly with your workshop decor, but it can also be repositioned and relocated with ease.
The Whynter TBR-185SR features a slide-out shelf as well as two roller drawers up top for tools or other items. This refrigerator will keep your drinks and other items cooled to perfection in ambient garage temperatures of between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit and features interior lighting so that you can easily see your remaining beverage supply.
- Steel toolbox exterior blends perfectly with the garage or shop
- Lockable door increases security
- Casters complete the look and allow mobility if needed
- 60W low power operation
- Only one interior shelf
The RCA RFR320 is a perfect option for a garage refrigerator due to the significant 3.2 cubic foot capacity, and the built-in freezer. Not only can you keep a ready supply of cold beverages on hand, but the RCA RFR320 makes sure that you have chilled snacks and frozen treats available as well. It has two interior racks that can be repositioned in a moment to fit your needs.
The reversible door lets you choose where you put the RCA RFR320, and doesn’t limit you on placement based on how easy it will be to get into later, just swap the door and you’re done. The RCA RFR320 is also a super option for garages that tend to get hotter than most, since it features a compressor cooler, enabling more reliable operation in extreme heat. The adjustable feet let you level the unit perfectly, ensuring the sealed system works properly.
- Comes in a wide assortment of colors to mesh with your decor
- Gloss finish is easy to clean
- A reversible door makes it easy to fit in where you need it to
- Adjustable feet ensure the unit is level
- Compressor cooling feature
- The minimal separation between fridge and freezer can cause unintended freezing.
The NewAir AB-1200 is an amazing little mini-fridge. It can hold an enormous 126 standard size soda cans, and it even has a built-in lock to keep thirsty pillagers out of your private stash. The locking door is also a great feature if you have curious little ones and like to keep frosty adult beverages on-hand in the garage since it makes it a cinch to secure said beverages from the kids.
The clear door, stainless steel frame, and ability to cool down to 34 degrees Fahrenheit make the NewAir AB-1200 a superb choice for garage beverage storage, and the 7 setting thermostat means you can set it and forget it. The quiet compressor makes this fridge a prime option for quieter settings or places where noise may disturb you or others.
- Super-affordable price point for the size of the unit
- The clear door gives a sleek look not seen much in mini-fridges
- LED interior lighting
- Interior adjustable wire shelving
- Strictly designed for beverages
When you need some serious drinks ready, as well as all the supplemental storage for the main fridge that you might ever need, the Danby DAR110A1WDD is here to cool all the things with it’s massive 11 cubic foot capacity. At a very manageable 59 inches tall, it is relatively simple to tuck this fridge into almost any space in your garage that’s two feet wide.
The in-door beverage storage, bottom drawer, and 4 full-width glass shelves provide endless options for storing your beverages, groceries, leftovers, and prepped meals. The automatic defrost makes sure that the cooling system is always working at maximum efficiency. The door hinges are fully reversible so that you can make sure it’s easy and convenient to access once it is placed.
- Reversible door hinges
- Energy-star certified
- Glass shelves make it super simple to clean
- Molded door storage shelves add versatility
- Price point commensurate with the storage capacity
If you are tired of the combined fridge and freezer space of most compact refrigerators, the Walsh WSR31TS1 is here to save you. The true freezer is separated and isolated from the refrigerated space, and gives you almost an entire cubic foot to hold your frozen treats and ice. The more than two cubic foot refrigerator space is more than enough for some drinks and snacks in your garage or workshop.
The refrigerator space includes a crisper drawer, as well as molded door storage space. The mechanical thermostat allows you preset settings or a dial control for both compartments. The glass shelves and crisper drawer give a sleek and customizable appearance to the interior.
- A truly isolated freezer keeps frozen and refrigerated items separate
- Mechanical thermostat lets you cool down to 32 degrees in the fridge and below, operating at 0 in the freezer
- Reversible door
- Leveling front legs
- Removable glass shelves make cleaning easy
- Freezer is rather small
Do you need a mini-fridge for your garage that will keep your favorite drinks and snacks nice and cold, no matter how hot of a day it is? Look no further! The Caynel Mini Fridge can stay at home in your garage as a place to keep drinks for when you’re working on your latest project or you can take it on the go for camping and traveling.
- Compact design is good for home or camping
- Great for beer, soda, or medications
- Does not have a freezer
The Kenmore 99089 Compact Refrigerator is a powerful machine for its size. This compact fridge/freezer combo is ideal for areas where you want or need a refrigerator but are limited on space, making it a fantastic addition to your garage. Whether you want a place to keep bottled water to enjoy after a run or some beers you can drink with your buddies, this fridge would be a great choice. It even comes in 3 colors so you can find the perfect one for your space.
One of the details that many people love about this refrigerator is that it has adjustable wire shelving, with 3 shelves you can move around for storage personalization. You’ll be able to store food and beverages with ease. The freezer is handy, as you can store ice cream and popsicles to keep you cool in the summer.
- Has a crisper drawer for fruits and vegetables
- Mechanical temperature control allows you to customize your settings
- Ice cold freezer perfect for popsicles, ice cream, or ice
- Freezer is small
If you want to channel your inner rockstar, the Marshall 3.2 Cubic-Foot Fridge is here for you. The exterior looks just like a real Marshall amp and is even built using genuine parts. The small size has a reasonable capacity and even has shelving in the doors. For those with a garage that doubles as a studio, this would be the perfect addition.
Whether you’re chilling drinks, snacks, or both, this mini fridge would be a great choice. The temperature is adjustable with a range of 34° F – 48° F, which will keep anything from a sandwich to your favorite beer nice and cold.
- The stylish fridge looks like a real amp, even down to the black fret cloth
- Interior lights make it easy to select your next drink
- Uses genuine Marshall parts
- Does not have a freezer
Whether you want to enjoy a crisp soda with your kid while working on a DIY project or you’re having a beer with the guys, the Danby 3.1 Cu. Ft. Freestanding Drinks Refrigerator is here for all of your beverage chilling needs. The transparent glass door allows you to keep an eye on your drink supply so you can restock when your inventory begins to dip too low.
Not only is this a great gadget to have in your garage for practical reasons, this fridge definitely has some stylish elements to it. It has a sleek metal exterior combined with a glass door and blue interior lights for a neat look. It even has a smooth back so you can fit it just about anywhere.
- Easy to control thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature, temp ranges from 35.6°F – 50°F
- Light is very bright
- Can hold up to 117 cans
- The lock is more of a latch
If you’re looking for a simple refrigerator for your garage without any fancy or complicated features, then this model from Danby would be a fantastic option for you. The 4.7 Cu. Ft. size is perfect for keeping a cold beverage on hand for yourself and some extras for when your buddies come over to watch the game or help you with your latest project.
This refrigerator/freezer combo has everything you need: 2 full-width glass shelves, integrated door shelving, a fresh vegetable crisper, and tall bottle storage to accommodate larger bottles. Whether you’re looking for a fridge that is specifically for garage drinks, overflow from your kitchen refrigerator, or both, the Danby 4.7 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator would be a great choice.
- 4.57 Cu. Ft. of fridge space with an additional 1.5 Cu. Ft. of freezer space
- Bright light with a white interior makes it easy to see what you are grabbing
- Energy-Star compliant to keep energy costs to a minimum
- Loud when running
When you are trying to come to a decision regarding which fridge might be best for your garage and your needs, there are a few factors that you’ll want to keep in mind when comparing one refrigerator to another. You will of course want to look at the size or the capacity, but you should also take note of a couple of other things that may be make-or-break features or issues for you. Make sure to take into account the affordability of the fridge, as well as the temperature range for optimal operation.
This is one of the more critical considerations. While you certainly want something big enough for your needs, you also don’t want to get one that is bigger than you need. This can lead to a reduction in efficiency since there will be a lot of empty room in the fridge, and that’s empty air that you are also paying to cool.
Many people find they only need a couple of cubic feet, while some others need more storage space. Think about what you want to do with it, if you only need it for a few cases of beer, soda, or water, 2 cubic feet or less might be perfect, however, if you think you might need it for backup storage space for your main fridge, you may want something a bit bigger.
There are always compromises when buying appliances, chief among them is the price. Pay close attention to price when you are comparing the other options and features you want, more often than not you will be able to find a similar unit with the features you need, for less money. This increases the overall affordability of the fridge. If you want a particular feature, a lockable door, for example, you may have to weigh the functionality of that feature against a possible price increase if other models don’t have similar feature sets.
Operational Temperature Range
All refrigerators have an optimal operating temperature range. If you have a garage that has large temperature fluctuations or spends significant amounts of time at one temperature extreme or the other, you will definitely want to make sure that your fridge choice can accommodate that fluctuation.
If you live in the northern climates, you may want to ensure that your fridge comes with a garage kit preinstalled. If you have a garage that is frequently 90 degrees or more, you will want to make sure that your choice for a garage refrigerator is able to function in that heat without stressing the compressor too much.
Benefits And Drawbacks To Having A Garage Refrigerator
If you haven’t quite decided if you are getting a garage fridge for sure or not, you might be thinking about the various pros and cons of having a second refrigerator. Here are some additional points that you may or may not have already considered. Sometimes it becomes much easier to decide once you have looked at the issue from both sides.
- Additional space for drinks and snacks in a location that may be much more convenient at times
- Storage for bulky or surplus items, like convenience items bought in quantity on sale
- Backup storage for food and leftovers from holidays, parties, and other special occasions
- Meal preparation storage
- Additional storage capacity for on-sale perishables like milk or ice cream
- Main fridge clutter-reduction
- Easy to find what you need when you need it
- Storing more tempting food or drink items out of sight can help with the consumption of less nutritious treats
- Additional energy usage, no matter how efficient the new refrigerator is
- If not needed, it may end up underutilized and simply waste electricity
- Garage locations often have limited power outlets which may limit placement options
- Garage storage may not be as convenient as envisioned, or placement may be crowded
- Locating a refrigerator in a garage increases the cleaning and maintenance needed
- No matter the quality, there is always the potential for breakdown and subsequent repair expenses
- If the garage fluctuates outside the recommended operating temperature range, the refrigerator may suffer reduced efficiency or even damage to the sealed system
Q: Can A Refrigerator Be Kept In A Garage Full Time?
A: Absolutely, refrigerators will work just fine in a garage, many will even work better. One of the reasons your main refrigerator is often less efficient than it could be is because it is the main fridge and it’s where everyone goes when they need something. It is opened frequently and must work harder to maintain the desired temperature. A garage fridge is opened much less often and is able to keep a more stable environment.
Q: Can A Fridge Be Kept In A Hot Garage?
A: Yes! Even if your garage is routinely in the 90-95 degree range, you should be able to see reasonable efficiency and function out of any standard refrigerator.
Q: Can A Refrigerator Be Kept In A Cold Garage?
A: Yes, as long as it is only cold for short periods. If it stays too cold for too long, the refrigerator’s thermostat can fail to turn the cooling system on and can result in undesirable temperature fluctuations. Often in areas where the average garage temperature is likely to interfere with the fridge’s proper operation, the manufacturer will sell what’s known as a “garage kit” to ensure that the unit functions properly despite lower than recommended operating temperatures.
Q: What Is A Garage Kit?
A: A garage kit is a regional item that is often seen in areas that experience colder weather for significant portions of the year. They generally consist of a small heating element that is placed near the thermostat, which is used to trick the thermostat into turning the compressor on when the ambient temperature would normally prohibit the proper operation. Sometimes the fridge will be sold in a “garage-ready” state, meaning it has a few additional modifications that enhance extreme temperature operation, like extra insulation, increased efficiency, and sometimes a pre-installed garage kit.
Q: Does My Garage Fridge Need A GFCI Outlet?
A: Many people do not consider this, but it is something that needs to be addressed to ensure the safe operation of your fridge. A GFCI outlet significantly reduces the chances of electrocution by cutting the circuit when a sudden increase in load happens. Since the garage is a location that can be exposed to high levels of moisture, the National Electric Code mandates that every outlet in your garage must feature GFCI protection to meet residential electrical code. While your fridge will operate on a non-GFCI outlet, it is not recommended and can result in electrocution leading to injury or death.