A fridge is pretty much mandatory equipment for any man cave in my opinion. And if you’re reading this, you likely agree that you need one. But what kind of fridge is best for your man cave? That’s what we’re here to find out.
If you’re more interested in a kegerator, this post is for you.
Any more questions? Check out the Man Cave FAQ for answers.
A guide to fridges for man caves
What’s it used for?
What are man cave fridges used for? Everyone is different but I think we can agree that there are a few common uses.
The most important by far is what you want to put in the fridge. Most man cave fridges won’t have to handle tons of vegetables and other supplies for dinner. The main things are;
- Snacks frozen/not frozen
There might be some other things like condiments or the occasional steak for a BBQ.
Desktop. The smallest possible fridge is the desktop fridge. Usually enough for a couple of cans or bottles, maybe a small plate but nothing else. If it’s just for you, it might be big enough. If you really can’t spare the time to get up from playing games, this is for you.
Storage space: Most desktop coolers have space for six cans.
Mini. The mini fridge is what you often see in hotel and dorm rooms. A small fridge with often a tiny freezing compartment. You can store enough drinks for you and a couple of your friends and if your foods aren’t too voluminous they will probably fit too. You might have to restock a little more often if you’ve got many people over.
Storage space: The storage space of mini fridges varies a lot more than the desktop fridges. Most of the mini fridges range from 2.4 to 3.2 cubic feet of storage space. There are a few mini fridges with a small separate freezer that go up to 4.5 cu.ft.
2.4 cubic feet should be enough to fit about 60 cans, depending on the layout of the fridge. If it’s just for drinks for a few people, this is plenty.
Beverage cooler. This type of fridge is especially made for drinks only. There are different types. Some are for cans, others for bottles some offer space for a combination of the two. There are also dual zone beverage coolers where you can set two different temperatures.
They often look cool because of the glass and stainless front.
Storage space: On the smaller end you have the coolers that hold about 60 cans. On the other side of the spectrum there are the fridges that hold up to 175 cans or 28 bottles+100 cans.
Full size combo. This is the most common “normal” fridge. A fridge and freezer in one unit with separate doors. There are many variations of this combo. Freezer on top, freezer on the bottom, side by side, French doors, etc. The sizes of these vary widely. They start a bit bigger than a mini fridge and go up all the way to decent closet size.
If you want to store a good amount of frozen foods in your man cave or need a lot of space in the fridge area, this is the type for you.
Storage space: There is a wide range of “normal fridges. From ones slightly bigger than mini fridges to complete walk in fridges.
Fresh food storage. The vegetable drawer. For most man caves this won’t be a necessary feature. But if you know you need it, keep an eye out for it since most smaller fridges don’t have this.
Ice in door. One feature that might be nice to have is ice in door. If you need a lot of ice and aren’t very good about refilling the trays or just don’t want to open the door, this is a nice one to have. You do need to use a lot of ice to justify paying extra for this feature though.
Door alarm. For me this is a must have feature on a fridge. If the door isn’t closed properly, it starts beeping after a while. I live in a hot climate and this feature has saved my food from spoiling several times.
Besides types and features there are also different styles of refrigerators. If you’ve got the choice you don’t want to break up the décor of your man cave with a horribly out of place looking fridge.
White The classic white fridge is falling out of favor a little bit. In your kitchen, when all your other appliances are white as well, it looks ok. If you put a lot effort into your man cave with nice furniture and awesome decorations, this is not your style. There are definitely better options out there.
Black A more modern alternative to the white fridge is, surprise surprise, a black fridge. No fancy materials that make it expensive, just black. This style is way more appropriate for most man caves. It looks much cooler in general as far as a fridge can look cool. Since many man caves have a rustic, classic or otherwise darker atmosphere, this color doesn’t break up the whole theme.
Stainless fridges look more luxurious than the random white fridge. They look great in most decors and are usually a bit more expensive. They can be fingerprint magnets but are also easy to clean.
Retro fridges are a style of their own. Within the category of retro fridges there are a ton of options. Sizes, colors, features, brands, etc. If you’ve got a really retro styled man cave you really should go for one of these.
What’s best for you?
What’s best for you? Ask yourself a couple of questions;
- How many people will be there at the same time?
- What and how much do they drink?
- Which/how many foods would you like to store for game day or other events?
- What else do you want to store?
- What style is your man cave?
- Do you need ice?
- How much can you spend?
If you can answer these questions, it gets a whole lot easier to select the one that’s right for you.
Things to look out for when selecting a fridge
Some general things to keep in mind while selecting a fridge for your man cave.
- Is the size right for you? Inside and outside.
- Is the price right for you?
- Does the color and style fit your man cave?
- Does it have the features you need?
- How much noise does it make? Loud fridge noises are irritating.
- How much energy does it use?
- Is it a reliable brand?
Recommended fridges for your Man Cave
Now we know what types of fridges there are and what to look for, which ones are good for your man cave? You can find one or two recommended fridges in every category. You have to decide which type of fridge is the best for you.
What’s the best fridge for on your desktop and maybe more?
Cooluli Mini Fridge
This Cooluli mini fridge is super versatile and popular. It’s quiet, light and fits 6 soda cans exactly. It’s not only good for desktops but you can take it pretty much everywhere. Want to take it outside for a small BBQ? Easy. Take some cold drinks to a friend? Put it in your car.
You can choose to power it through a wall outlet, 12v car outlet and even USB. When using USB the fridge will use the so called “eco” mode so the performance is not as good as when powered through the other options. Check it out on Amazon, here.
If you need something slightly bigger than a desktop fridge, the mini fridge is for you. Mini fridges should really fit under a countertop so that’s what we’re looking for here. The mini fridge segment is dominated by budget options. If you’re looking for something a bit nicer, take a look at the beverage coolers.
If you’re on a tight budget and just need something to keep your drinks cool, look no further. This Midea mini fridge is small, comes in white, black or stainless and is cheap. It has a small freezing compartment. It will do the job. Check the price on Amazon.
If you need a bigger freezing compartment there is also a two door model. This one (Amazon link) is slightly taller but will offer some more space.
Just need to cool cans and/or bottles? A beverage cooler will bring all your drinks to the preferred temperature. They look good too.
This sexy looking beverage cooler holds 120 cans or 60 bottles. The cooling and insulation are good so it has not issue getting your drinks very cold. It’s reasonably priced and isn’t loud like some others. Drawbacks are that the lighting isn’t automatic. You have to press a button to turn on the light. It might also be a little too high to fit under a countertop.
If you need something that can be built in under your countertop, this Edgestar is a good choice. This fridge looks great and doesn’t have to have much free space around it since it’s made to be built into a kitchen.
4. Full size
If you’re looking to have big parties in your man cave and need to store a lot of food and drinks, a full size fridge is a good option. Another reason to get one of these is if you need a big freezing compartment. All the other options offer no or a very small freezing compartment.
There are so many full sized fridges, it’s hard to make a choice. The right choice for you also really depends on your space requirements and budget.
Frigidaire (Amazon link)
If you are looking for something that will fit most things you can imagine and is of great quality, it’s hard to go wrong with this Frigidaire. Be prepared to pay for that quality though.
This fridge has a big freezer compartment, had ice and water in door and looks pretty awesome in black. If you have to get a big fridge for your man cave, this one will make sure to not screw up the décor.