The 8 Best Beverage Coolers, Fridge and Refrigerators of 2020 – Reviews & Buying Guide
Do you have beverages you want to cool down? Cheap PBR beers, sparkling cider, or even just regular tap water in a bottle all taste significantly better when they’re cold rather than when they’re room temperature.
However, you often do not have enough room in your refrigerator to store all your beverages. This is especially problematic if you host parties while having a small refrigerator.
It’s a big problem people have – cooling beverages with an already filled refrigerator.
And this is where this article will help. We will review the best beverage fridge options available for purchase.
We know, you’re probably wondering what a beverage cooler actually is. For those that don’t know, a beverage fridge is simply a dedicated refrigerator for your beverages. They frequently have a glass door that allows you to see the beverages inside the refrigerator. Most of them will also have LED lights and extremely precise temperature controls (down to the degree).
Anyway, this roundup will review the best beverage coolers of 2020. A short buying guide has also been included to make choosing your own beverage cooler even easier.
Our buying guide will cover exactly what you should look for in a beverage cooler. We will cover everything from energy efficiency to the types of drinks to the dimensions of the fridge.
The energy rating of your beverage fridge is an often overlooked specification when purchasing a beverage refrigerator.
However, it’s one of the more important specs to look at before making your purchase. We strongly recommend purchasing a beverage refrigerator that is Energy Star rated, which means that the refrigerator is about 10% more efficient than the ratings recommended by the federal government.
Most of the beverage refrigerators on the market have an Energy Star rating, so this should not be too difficult of a spec to meet. We consider this a minimum requirement.
Types of Drinks
The types of drinks you plan on putting in the beverage refrigerator will determine the type of refrigerator you should purchase.
Do you plan on cooling wine in your beverage fridge?
You should purchase a fridge specifically meant for wine. These fridges are typically a little wider and have a higher temperature range to accommodate the ideal higher temperature (~60F) wine is often served at for drinking.
Do you plan on cooling beer and other drinks?
A standard beer fridge will work fine. These fridges are typically a little narrower and have a lower temperature range because most people prefer drinking cold beer.
Do you plan on cooling beer and wine?
Look for a beverage fridge with two doors or cooling zones. One zone is a little warmer to accommodate wine while the other zone is colder for the beer.
As they say, it’s the best of both worlds.
The design of your drink fridge is very important. This mostly comes down to personal preference, but we do recommend purchasing a beverage fridge with a glass door because they tend to look better.
However, if you plan on placing the fridge in your garage or out of eyesight, then the appearance isn’t nearly as important compared to the appearance when the fridge is in your kitchen or family room.
This is a huge thing to look for when purchasing a drink fridge. How big is the fridge? How much space do you have in the area?
Thankfully, beverage fridges are fairly small and often have reversible doors, which means less problems when searching for a place to put your fridge.
Carrying capacity refers to the amount of drinks that you can store the fridge. These fridges are meant only for beverages, so you can store a lot of drinks in them if necessary.
Again, this comes down to your needs. Not everyone needs a drink fridge that can hold 126 cans of beer and 33 bottles of wine, but it is an option.
The smaller fridges will usually have a capacity around 60 cans of beer, which is plenty of beer for most people. Be sure to check our best beer fridge roundup.
Do you plan on using the fridge to freeze your drinks?
This might sound strange, but placing vodka (or other high alcohol percentage beverages) in below freezing temperatures cools them down quickly without the risk of freezing.
You can also use the freezer portion for meat or other items you place in the freezer long-term.
If you do want a freezer, then that limits your drink fridge options to mostly mini-fridges, which are perfectly fine.
Just keep in mind that it’s primarily a refrigerator with a small freezer section. The freezer on a drink cooler will not replace your regular freezer.
Drink fridges will set you back a few hundred dollars to about a thousand dollars for a nice one. Bigger fridges with more temperature controls will always cost more than smaller ones with fewer temperature controls.
If you’re looking for the best budget choice, then you should expect to pay around a hundred dollars for your fridge.
Maintenance and Repairs
Fortunately, the maintenance and repairs on drink fridges are not that frequent. The fridges just don’t break that much.
However, we still recommend purchasing a fridge with a one year warranty at the very least. Some fridges have warranties of a few years, and those fridges will give you the least amount of maintenance problems.
The overall dimensions are a very important thing to consider if you plan on purchasing a built-in drink fridge. This is because a built-in fridge goes directly into your counter (usually under it). If it’s smaller than the cut-out, then you will have some problems.
It’s also important to note the depth of the drink fridge. Most owners prefer having a drink fridge that is flush with the rest of the counter because it just looks better that way. You don’t want to have the door of your fridge jutting out past the counter – that looks ugly.
Storage compartments are most often found on mini-fridges, which can be considered a beverage fridge.
A storage compartment is particularly useful if you plan on storing anything other than beverages in the fridge. Though there are some storage compartments that automatically dispense drinks.
Homelabs has the best beverage fridge for most people. It meets all the basic requirements of a beverage fridge without costing much money. The size is perfect, the price is good, and it gets down to 34F.
The thermostat is also highly adjustable. We also like the LED-lighting on the inside of the fridge.
As for the size, it has a large capacity of 121 cans of beer or up to 60 bottles of wine. The shelves on it are also removable, which allows you to create even more space.
We like the dimensions on this. It is a freestanding fridge, but the height is 33 inches. That height allows you to easily place this fridge underneath your counter. The door is also reversible, which gives you even more flexibility in the location that you can place this fridge.
For the price, you can’t go wrong with this beverage fridge. The only real downside to this fridge is that the thermometer isn’t always accurate, but it still does a great job getting your drinks cold.
We recommend this fridge to anyone that wants a big beverage fridge without spending much money.
Searching for an extra large beverage fridge? Do you host a lot of parties?
The NewAir 126 Can Beer Fridge is definitely the choice for you. This drink fridge is large at 3.4 cubic feet. That translates to 126 cans of beer.
It gets better – you can use this as a built-in fridge or install it freestanding by simply plugging it into the wall. The reversible door also makes it easy to place this fridge anywhere that you want.
The exact dimensions are 19” width, 18.25” depth, and a 32.4” height.
As for the exact temperature, it has a nice temperature range of 37F to 64F with seven different presets. This means you can store beer, wine, or any other drink that you want in this fridge without the risk of accidentally freezing it.
The door on this fridge is triple-paned glass. A triple-paned glass door will keep drinks cooler longer than the more standard double-paned glass.
This fridge also looks nice with a stainless steel frame and blue LED lights. It will look great underneath a counter in a kitchen.
It’s more or less the same as the Homelabs beverage cooler, but it does have a slightly bigger capacity. This is why we recommend this beverage fridge if you like to host parties.
Our favorite feature, however, is that this fridge will easily fit underneath your counter.
The Antarctic Star INAS90 is a beverage cooler meant specifically for wine. First, this cooler has a temperature range from 40F to 64F. That is the perfect temperature range for storing wine because wine tastes best at 55F.
The size is also compact for a wine fridge. It has a 17.6 inch width, 19 inch depth, and 31.5 inch height. The legs are adjustable, too. You can easily adjust the height of this fridge by about an inch thanks to the adjustable peg legs.
Those dimensions also make it perfect for placing this fridge underneath your counter despite this being a freestanding fridge.
Finally, the appearance of this fridge is great. It’s a black stainless steel frame with blue LED lights. It looks sleek. In our opinion, this fridge looks better as a freestanding fridge rather than a built-in.
One last thing, this fridge has a 1-year quality assurance warranty from the manufacturer. A warranty generally means that the product will last a little longer than one without a warranty.
All things considered, this is a great fridge for cooling wine. The design is perfect, the temperature is right, and it’s quiet.
Our only complaint is that the shelves are a little flimsy. However, that’s not too big of a concern considering the affordable price of this drink fridge.
Looking for a beverage cooler that is a built-in model?
The Edgestar CBR1501SLD is the choice for you.
This is primarily a built-in fridge, but it can also be used as a freestanding cooler.
What makes a fridge a built-in model?
The ventilation must flow from the front rather than the back. If it flows from the back, then the fridge will overheat or require extra ventilation.
Anyway, a built-in fridge is perfect because it will be a permanent feature of your kitchen.
This fridge has more going for it than just a built-in design, though. It has an impressive capacity of 143 cans or beer and a wide temperature of 38F to 50F.
That is the perfect temperature for beer. It’s a little cold for wine, but it’s a good enough range for cheap wine.
We also like that this fridge has a digital thermostat and entirely stainless steel construction. Though we did wish it had a glass door rather than a stainless steel door, most built-in fridges have a stainless steel door.
The door is also reversible and locking. Locking is especially important if you have children in your home and don’t want them breaking into your beer fridge.
It doesn’t get better than this fridge if you’re looking for a built-in beverage fridge. Our only real complaint about this fridge is that it is expensive.
That said, the features it provides for the price make it worth the higher price tag. Not to mention that this is a very reliable refrigerator compared to some of the cheaper options.
Do you want to use your drink refrigerator to store different drinks at different temperatures?
The Lanbo wine and drink cooler is the choice for you.
It has two different temperature zones with two separate doors. That means you can store drinks at different temperatures, which is convenient if you want to store wine and beer in the same refrigerator.
One zone is meant for wine with a range of 41F to 64F and the other zone is meant for beers, soda, and water with a range of 39F to 50F.
We like that both zones have a digital thermostat for precise temperature control. And that the shelves on the zone meant for wine are made of wood rather than stainless steel.
It just looks better when storing wine.
As for dimensions, this fridge is large at nearly 34 inches tall with a width and depth of 23 inches. You can store 18 bottles of wine in the wine zone and about 60 cans of beer in the beverage zone.
The doors on this fridge obviously aren’t reversible, but the doors are locking and have a glass pane. You don’t have to worry about your children (or guests) stealing drinks from the fridge.
One thing to note about this fridge is that it is expensive. This is expected because you are basically purchasing two refrigerators. Personally, we find the cost worth the extra features.
This is the drink fridge if you’re looking for one with temperature zones. The extra features on this fridge also make it worth the cost.
Are you looking for a beverage cooler that is easy on the eyes and can store a lot of cans?
We admit that most of the coolers on this list are good looking. However, the Kalamera KRC-150BV is our top pick when it comes to appearance and size.
It has a black body with a stainless steel trim on the glass pane. A soft blue LED light illuminates the inside of the refrigerator. This looks great because of the glass door allowing you to see inside the fridge.
Now, the fridge obviously has a little more going for it than just looks.
Dimensions are reasonable at 34 inches tall, 23 inches wide, 22 inches deep (24 inches with the handle). This allows you to place 170 cans of beer (or soda) in this fridge. We do like that it has 6 racks rather than the standard 3 or 4 racks.
We like that it has a temperature range perfectly suited for beer at 38F to 50F. A digital thermostat makes adjustments easy. Additionally, the thermostat will ‘remember’ the last previous temperature in the event of a power outage.
You don’t ever have to worry about having drinks that are too cold or warm because the power went out and messed up the temperature settings!
Of course, the racks are adjustable for maximum capacity in case you want to store wine or other oddly shaped bottles.
This is the drink fridge if you’re looking for one with a great appearance. The other features are just as nice as the other fridges in its price range, but the appearance of this fridge is a little better in our opinion.
Just make sure to use a secondary thermometer in this fridge because the one in this fridge can be a little inaccurate.
Searching for a beverage fridge in the mid-range price?
The Whynter BR-130SB might be the choice for you. This fridge is reasonably priced while still providing a lot of features that you would expect in more expensive options.
Some of those features include a manual thermostat and a locking door. We know that some people view a manual thermostat as a negative, but it really is a positive because it means one less to break. We also like the glass door and blue LED lights, which look great.
The dimensions are fairly normal at 33 inches tall, 17 inches wide, and 18.6 inches deep. That gives you a reasonable capacity of 120 cans of beer.
The temperature range is wide on this fridge as well. It has a low in the high 30s and a high in the low 60s.
This means you can store beer and wine in this fridge. However, it is a little small for the standard wine bottle to fit inside it.
Finally, this fridge does have one unique feature – supplemental cooling. It has a fan that provides some extra cooling to the fridge.
This is why it has such a large temperature range.
We really like that feature.
It’s a mid-range beer fridge – we’re not expecting superb quality with it. That said, it lives up to expectations from a fridge of this price range.
All in all, you can’t go wrong with it if you’re looking for a decently priced beer fridge.