As a college student living in a dorm a refrigerator can be a lifesaver. It is a great option for storing snacks, leftovers, and cool drinks for warm days. However, most dorm rooms are quite small. At such, you need to be aware of the right dimensions for such an appliance before you buy one.
So, is there a hard and fast rule to follow when shopping for a dorm refrigerator? Or, are there different size options to choose from? Find out these answers and more below:
Dimensions of an Average Dorm Refrigerator
More often than not, dorm refrigerators are measured in terms of capacity. Therefore, these refrigerators tend to have capacities between 1.7 cubic feet and 4.5 cubic feet. So, what does this mean in terms of dimensions?
The smallest dorm refrigerator will measure in at around 17 inches wide, 18 7/8 inches deep and 20 1/2 inches tall. The larger option will have dimensions of 19 inches wide, 20 inches deep and 43 inches tall. You may find this to be the height of a desk.
Which Dorm Refrigerator is Right for You?
Now that you are aware of what sizes are available to you, your next hurdle will be selecting the right one for you. Thus, which size should you pick? Well, this depends on the following factors:
The Size and Orientation of Dorm Room
While there are similarities among dorm room dimensions, not all dorm rooms are the same size. And, they are certainly not designed in the same way. This is why it is a good idea to only buy your refrigerator after seeing your room. This will give you an idea of how much space you have to work with.
Keep in mind, you are going to want to store other pieces of furniture as well. Therefore, you will need to plan out how everything is going to be arranged and just how much space is available for your dorm refrigerator.
In the end, room size may not matter if your college has placed limitations on how big a refrigerator can be. The exact dimensions may be in the guidelines about what you and can’t bring. Or, you can contact your dorm manager and get the preferred dimensions from them.
It can be tempting to go your own way and select a size that you feel is right. However, if your refrigerator does come to the attention of someone in charge, you may have to get rid of it. While this is unlikely, it may not be a chance that you want to take.
The Number of Refrigerators
You should also think about the fact that your roommate may want to store a dorm refrigerator in your shared room as well. If this is the case, then you may have less room than you imagined. To avoid any confusion, contact your assigned roommate and ask them about their plans for a refrigerator.
This way, you can ensure that each of you buy a smaller option. This will means that you will be able to fit both refrigerators comfortably and still have space for other furniture. It should be noted that your college may limit how many refrigerators can be plugged into one room at the same time. So, this is something that you will need to check on as well.
Refrigerator Storage State
You should also think about how you are planning to store your dorm refrigerator. Since you are dealing with a smaller space, you are going to find creative ways of maximizing your storage options. Therefore, you may consider propping up your mini fridge on a cart or to place it under a lofted bed.
In this case, you have to consider the height of the refrigerator. You may have to opt for a shorter one so that you have a bit more leeway when using it in tandem with other furniture or design concepts.
Tips for Selecting a Dorm Refrigerator
Here are some of the guidelines that you can follow to find the perfect fitting dorm refrigerator:
Select the Right Shape
If you think that all mini refrigerators have the same shape, think again! A lot of smaller refrigerators have a cube shape. While these do help to save space, they come with another issue – their capacities are quite small.
So, although they may not take up all that much room in your dorm room, they aren’t going to help store too many items either. You should only consider this refrigerator if you have to fit a mini fridge into a very tine space.
Consider Tall Dorm Refrigerators
If you don’t have too many size restrictions, you may want to consider investing in a tall dorm refrigerator. As the name suggests, these are larger compact models, often with an interior capacity of 4 or more cubic feet.
The main benefit of these refrigerators is the storage capacity. They are able to maximize on internal space, ensuring that there is more than enough room to store all kinds of food and drink in your mini fridge.
At the same time, the thermostats in these refrigerators are stored in the refrigerator rather than the freezer. This helps to create a more optimal temperature throughout the appliance. As such, your food will be kept cold and in good condition for longer.
Of course, always measure your desired refrigerator before buying it and make sure that it will be a good fit for your dorm room. What’s more, check that you are still able to add storage elements above, under, or around the refrigerator as you intended earlier.
Pay Attention to Freezer Size
Freezer size is a tricky issue with dorm refrigerators as there isn’t much space for this feature. For the best results, consider a freezer that runs the full width of the refrigerator. Not only does this offer you more space, but the cooling capabilities will be better as well.
Now, you may be tempted to get a two-door design as you would presume that it would make it easier for you to maintain proper temperatures in both sections. However, this isn’t the case at all.
The issue is that with two-door mini fridges, the thermostat is located in the freezer. Therefore, much of the cooling performance is being directed here, leaving less cool air for the bottom section. As a result, you may find that food in the bottom part goes bad more quickly.
In general, though, you shouldn’t expect freezer qualities to be all that great with dorm refrigerators. There will be a limit to just how well they can keep items frozen. As such, you shouldn’t count on this feature too much.
Consider the Internal Design
Remember, it isn’t just about the size of the refrigerator. It is far more important to consider the internal design of the refrigerator. For instance, just how many things can you store on the door. And, how many shelves are there? Can you lower or raise these shelves to suit various food items?
If you want to store fruits or veggies here, then a bin can be quite useful as well. The easier it is for you to store various food items in your refrigerator, the less important the size is. Therefore, it is one of the main features to pay attention to.
Consider a Locking Feature
If you want to make sure that your food or drink isn’t going to get eaten by someone else, then you may want to get a refrigerator with a locking feature. This way, you can lock the door before leaving your dorm. It can save you the hassle of getting into arguments with your roommate or their friends.
Think About Energy Efficiency
Most people are surprised to learn that mini refrigerators can use up quite a bit of energy if you aren’t careful. This is why it is a good idea to get a refrigerator that is energy efficient or considered ecofriendly. In fact, your college may insist upon it. This is another important factor to consider before making your purchase.
Energy efficient models can help you later on as well. After all, there is a good chance that you may take this refrigerator with you once you have graduated from college. As such, you will appreciate this feature when you are able to keep your utilities bills to a minimum.
This is all that you need to know about the dimensions of a dorm refrigerator. As you can see, there is quite a bit more to the story than you might have imagined. Now that you have all the relevant details, though, you will have a better idea of how to find the right dorm refrigerator for you.
Remember to consider the size and layout of your dorm room before coming to a decision. Also, check if your college has any restrictions on the size of refrigerator that you can bring in. After this, it is simply a matter of selecting the make and model that has all the features and elements that you require.