Last updated: April 17, 2023.
How many watts does a mini fridge use? Find out here, and get low wattage mini fridge insights. Plus, see which is the most energy efficient mini fridge on the market.
This article is based on our study of over 1,494 mini fridges.
Power consumption tests were completed in order to deliver the most accurate electricity usage insights. These test results inform the core insights, and are supplemented with manufacturer listed wattages.
Note: using manufacturer listed wattages alone greatly overestimates the power consumption of appliances.
- Mini fridge wattage ranges from 20W to 100W, with the most common being 60W;
- The actual amount of watts that a mini fridge uses varies during different cooling stages;
- Mini fridges use 28.5W on average, with 25.1W being the most common. Overall, mini fridges use between 12.1W and 53.7W;
- Small mini fridges can use significantly more energy than larger mini fridges;
- The most efficient mini fridge is the large, 7.6 cu ft, LG LKIM08121; and
- An honorable mention for the most efficient mini fridge with freezer goes to the popular, highly rated, and cost effective Black + Decker BCRK17.
Continue reading to see how much electricity a mini fridge uses, in kWh, over various durations.
Plus, find out which mini fridges have the lowest watt draw, and see the most energy efficient mini fridges in each size range, from over 1,494 of the most popular and efficient units.
Briefly, before we jump into mini fridge wattage and the power consumption test results, let’s ensure we’re on the same page. The term mini fridge has different interpretations – the following dropdown / heading clarifies the term (skip to the next section if you already have a complete understanding).
Mini fridge wattage
Mini fridge wattage ranges from 20W to 100W, with the most common wattage being 60W.
Mini fridge wattage refers to the manufacturer’s maximum expected power draw under normal operating conditions. This generally doesn’t include any temporary surges in power, which are expected.
Power surges, as a rule of thumb, are generally expected to be roughly 3 times the listed wattage.
Small portable mini fridges, however, do not create surges in power. This is because they don’t typically have compressors, motors, or any other components that create these surges.
Compact refrigerators (1 cu ft to 7.6 cu ft), also referred to as mini fridges, typically create temporary power surges when active cooling is initiated.
These power surges last for a fraction of a second before quickly dropping down to below the listed wattage.
Typically, as the storage capacity of a mini fridge increases so too does the listed wattage.
This is primarily due to more power being required to effectively cool the larger storage area.
The table below lists typical mini fridge wattages by size / storage capacity.
|Mini fridge capacity||Typical wattage||Typical mini fridge type|
|0.14 to 0.18 cu ft (4 L – 5 L)||48W||Portable / countertop / small mini fridge|
|0.2 to 0.35 cu ft (6 L – 10 L)||60W||Portable / countertop / small mini fridge|
|0.53 to 0.7 cu ft (15 L – 20 L)||60W||Portable / countertop / small mini fridge|
|1 to 1.9 cu ft (28 L – 55 L)||65W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|2 to 2.9 cu ft (56 L – 83 L)||70W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|3 to 3.9 cu ft (84 L – 111 L)||75W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|4 to 4.9 cu ft (112 L – 139 L)||80W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|5 to 5.9 cu ft (140 L – 168 L)||85W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|6 to 6.9 cu ft (169 L – 196 L)||90W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|7 to 7.6 cu ft (197 L – 215 L)||100W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
For consistency, the table above lists mini fridge wattage on AC – some small mini fridges have the option of running from a DC power supply (via batteries). When running on a DC power supply small mini fridge wattage can drop to just 6.5W.
It’s also worth noting that, while the table above shows a linear increase in wattage, it’s not always the case. Some less efficient mini fridges have a higher wattage than their larger counterparts.
Some small, portable, 4L mini fridges have the same listed wattage as compact refrigerators 6 – 10 times their size.
Continue reading to see the most energy efficient mini fridge by size.
Similarly, mini fridges with the same storage capacity can have different power ratings.
The image below shows examples of mini fridge wattages (pictures are from the power label specifications at the back of each unit).
Both models have a storage capacity of 4.6 cu ft. However, one unit has a listed wattage of 100W, while the other is 80W.
Related: Mini Fridge Amps Revealed [Start-up & Lowest Draw].
As mentioned, mini fridges (particularly compact refrigerators) don’t operate at their listed wattage continuously. The actual amount of watts that a mini fridge uses varies by cycle (e.g. active cooling, idle).
So, next, let’s take a look at how many watts a mini fridge actually uses.
How many watts does a mini fridge use?
Mini fridges use 28.5 watts on average, with 25.1 watts being the most common. Overall, mini fridges use between 12.1W and 53.7W.
This is based on the actual power consumption of over 1,494 mini fridges, and the results are averaged throughout the day.
This means that the figures above capture and average mini fridge power draw during surges, and all cooling cycles, including idle.
Power surges can result in a mini fridge drawing over 300W temporarily, while idle can result in 0W being drawn.
The actual amount of watts that a mini fridge uses, on average, is considerably lower than their listed wattage.
The table below summarizes the results for how many watts a mini fridge uses.
|Watt usage category||Watts|
These are the overall watt draw results, using an AC power supply, for all mini fridge sizes.
Let’s go one step further and split the results out into the different size categories.
The table below shows how many watts mini fridges actually use by storage capacity.
|Mini fridge capacity||Watts used (average)||Typical mini fridge type|
|0.14 to 0.18 cu ft (4 L – 5 L)||29W||Portable / countertop / small mini fridge|
|0.2 to 0.35 cu ft (6 L – 10 L)||36.6W||Portable / countertop / small mini fridge|
|0.53 to 0.7 cu ft (15 L – 20 L)||42.1W||Portable / countertop / small mini fridge|
|1 to 1.9 cu ft (28 L – 55 L)||23.3W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|2 to 2.9 cu ft (56 L – 83 L)||25.1W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|3 to 3.9 cu ft (84 L – 111 L)||28.7W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|4 to 4.9 cu ft (112 L – 139 L)||31.1W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|5 to 5.9 cu ft (140 L – 168 L)||29.1W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|6 to 6.9 cu ft (169 L – 196 L)||29.9W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
|7 to 7.6 cu ft (197 L – 215 L)||38.7W||Undercounter / compact refrigerator / large mini fridge|
Broadly speaking, the amount of watts that a mini fridge uses increases with its size.
However, small mini fridges (20L and less) use more, or at least a comparable amount of watts compared to larger mini fridges.
This is primarily due to the difference in cooling system types, but temperature control and build quality (particularly relating to insulation) also play a role.
On a positive note for small mini fridges, they generally don’t create power surges, and many also have the option of running off of a DC power supply. Again, the tests above used an AC supply.
Next, before we see how many kWh they use, let’s take a quick look at the standout low wattage mini fridges.
Low wattage mini fridge
The lowest wattage mini fridge is listed at 45W, and uses an average of 12.1W.
This unit consumes just 106 kWh of electricity per year.
The mini fridge that achieves the lowest wattage title is the Dometic HiPro Evolution C40S.
This model, however, doesn’t have a freezer.
The standout low wattage mini fridge with freezer is the very popular Black + Decker BCRK17.
These are both AC mini fridges, which have a low watt draw over the long term.
However, as mentioned this type of mini fridge creates temporary power surges when active cooling initiates.
So, here are two standout low watt mini fridges that can run on a DC power supply:
- The Subcold Pro4 small 4L mini fridge has a listed wattage of 20W; and
- The Smad XC-60A large mini fridge offers 3 power options (AC, DC and Gas), and has a listed wattage of 65W;
Both of these options can deliver low wattage start up – the second option is more nuanced so be sure to read the specs and guidelines if you intend to run it from a DC supply.
However, overall, these DC options are not the most energy efficient mini fridges over longer periods of time.
Continue reading to see the most energy efficient mini fridges by size.
Next, let’s take a look at how much electricity mini fridges use over various durations.
How much electricity does a mini fridge use (in kWh)?
A mini fridge uses 249.2 kWh of electricity per year, 20.77 kWh per month, 0.683 kWh per day, and 0.0285 kWh (or 28.5 Wh) per hour, on average.
Overall, mini fridges consume between 106 kWh and 470 kWh of electricity per year (0.29 kWh to 1.288 kWh per day).
The most common amount of electricity that a mini fridge uses is 0.0251 kWh (25.1 Wh) per hour, 0.603 kWh per day, 18.33 kWh per month, and 220 kWh per year.
Based on more than 1,494 models, the table below lists how much electricity mini fridges use over different periods of time.
|Mini fridge electricity usage category||Electricity usage per year||Electricity usage per month||Electricity usage per day||Electricity usage per hour|
|Average||249.2 kWh||20.77 kWh||0.683 kWh||0.0285 kWh (28.5 Wh)|
|Most common||220 kWh||18.33 kWh||0.603 kWh||0.0251 kWh (25.1 Wh)|
|Highest||470 kWh||39.17 kWh||1.288 kWh||0.0537 kWh (53.7 Wh)|
|Lowest||106 kWh||8.83 kWh||0.29 kWh||0.0121 kWh (12.1 Wh)|
These figures are based on power consumption tests using an AC power supply.
The size of a mini fridge has a considerable impact on the amount of electricity it consumes. So, let’s break the electricity usage into the different size categories.
The table below lists how much electricity mini fridges consume, on average, by storage capacity.
|Mini fridge capacity||Electricity usage per year||Electricity usage per month||Electricity usage per day||Electricity usage per hour|
|0.14 to 0.18 cu ft (4 L – 5 L)||253.7 kWh||21.14 kWh||0.695 kWh||0.029 kWh|
|0.2 to 0.35 cu ft (6 L – 10 L)||320.5 kWh||26.71 kWh||0.878 kWh||0.0366 kWh|
|0.53 to 0.7 cu ft (15 L – 20 L)||368.8 kWh||30.73 kWh||1.01 kWh||0.0421 kWh|
|1 to 1.9 cu ft (28 L – 55 L)||204.27 kWh||17.02 kWh||0.56 kWh||0.0233 kWh|
|2 to 2.9 cu ft (56 L – 83 L)||219.44 kWh||18.29 kWh||0.601 kWh||0.0251 kWh|
|3 to 3.9 cu ft (84 L – 111 L)||251.27 kWh||20.94 kWh||0.688 kWh||0.0287 kWh|
|4 to 4.9 cu ft (112 L – 139 L)||272.2 kWh||22.68 kWh||0.746 kWh||0.0311 kWh|
|5 to 5.9 cu ft (140 L – 168 L)||254.77 kWh||21.23 kWh||0.698 kWh||0.0291 kWh|
|6 to 6.9 cu ft (169 L – 196 L)||261.7 kWh||21.81 kWh||0.717 kWh||0.0299 kWh|
|7 to 7.6 cu ft (197 L – 215 L)||338.88 kWh||28.24 kWh||0.928 kWh||0.0387 kWh|
As you can see, particularly looking at the annual consumption levels, the electricity usage of small mini fridges is surprisingly high compared to their larger counterparts.
The smallest mini fridges that can / have achieved ENERGY STAR certification measure in at 1 cu ft.
The significant difference in efficiency demonstrates, at least in part, the positive impact from the ENERGY STAR initiative.
Below you’ll find the most energy efficient of all ENERGY STAR certified mini fridges.
But first, let’s put mini fridge power consumption into perspective.
Do mini fridges use a lot of electricity?
Mini fridges do not use a lot of electricity. They’re not considered energy guzzlers. But, consuming 0.683 kWh of electricity per day (on average), their electricity usage is still considerable.
On average, at a single point in time, mini fridges draw 28.5W of electricity, which is less than half the amount of power a standard 60W incandescent lightbulb uses.
But, like most appliances used for long periods of time, their consumption does add up to quite a considerable amount.
To add perspective to mini fridge electricity usage, let’s compare their energy consumption with other common household appliances.
Per day, mini fridges use 0.683 kWh of electricity, on average. This is equivalent to:
- How much electricity a window AC uses after running for nearly 8 hours;
- How much electricity a TV uses after 2.25 days of typical US household usage; and
- How much electricity a freezer uses after running for 16 hours.
To add even more context, the US Energy Information Administration notes that the average US household consumes 877 kWh of electricity per month.
Given that the average monthly power consumption of a mini fridge is 20.77 kWh, we can estimate that mini fridges account for 2.4% of the average US household’s electricity consumption.
2.4% might not sound like a lot, but it shouldn’t be dismissed.
Ultimately, mini fridges do not use a lot of electricity in general. But they still use a relatively considerable amount over time.
The figures above are based on the average consumption from the study. Inefficient mini fridges will consume significantly more electricity.
Counterintuitively, small mini fridges can use a lot more electricity than their larger ENERGY STAR certified counterparts.
So next, let’s take a look at the most energy efficient mini fridges by size.
Energy efficient mini fridge (by size)
Energy efficient mini fridges are those that meet the user’s needs in a manner that uses the least amount of energy.
Storage capacity is one of the main decision making factors for users. And ENERGY STAR certification is an indication of efficiency.
However, some ENERGY STAR certified mini fridges are more efficient than others.
For convenience, below you’ll find the most energy efficient mini fridges by size, along with confirmation of ENERGY STAR certification, plus whether or not the model achieved the coveted “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” label.
The table below lists the most energy efficient mini fridges by storage capacity.
|Mini fridge capacity||Most efficient mini fridge (i.e. uses least power p/y)||Annual energy consumption (kWh) – AC only||ENERGY STAR certified||ENERGY STAR most efficient|
|0.14 to 0.18 cu ft (4 L – 5 L)||Subcold Pro4 4L Skincare Mini Fridge||Up to 175.2 kWh||No||No|
|0.2 to 0.35 cu ft (6 L – 10 L)||PERSONAL CHILLER CBA-6L Mini Fridge||158 – 175.2 kWh||No||No|
|0.53 to 0.7 cu ft (15 L – 20 L)||Cooluli Vibe Mini Fridge 15 L Cooler & Warmer||133 kWh||No||No|
|1 to 1.9 cu ft (28 L – 55 L)||Dometic HiPro Evolution C40S||106 kWh||Yes||Yes|
|–||Honorable mention: BLACK+DECKER BCRK17||201 kWh||Yes||No|
|2 to 2.9 cu ft (56 L – 83 L)||Marvel MPBV415SS31A||191 kWh||Yes||Yes|
|3 to 3.9 cu ft (84 L – 111 L)||Fisher & Paykel – CoolDrawer 3.7 Cu Ft Built-In Mini Fridge||150 kWh||Yes||Yes|
|–||Honorable mention: Avanti RMRS31X7G-IS Retro Mini Fridge||169 kWh||Yes||Yes|
|4 to 4.9 cu ft (112 L – 139 L)||Furrion FCR43ACA-BL||151 kWh||Yes||Yes|
|5 to 5.9 cu ft (140 L – 168 L)||Sub-Zero DEU2450R/ADA||159 kWh||Yes||Yes|
|6 to 6.9 cu ft (169 L – 196 L)||LG LRONC0705||220 kWh||Yes||Yes|
|7 to 7.6 cu ft (197 L – 215 L)||LG LKIM08121||169 kWh||Yes||Yes|
As you can see, mini fridges with a storage capacity of less than 1 cu ft have not achieved ENERGY STAR certification.
The least power consuming, but still popular, mini fridges in this size range were included for use cases where size is prioritized over efficiency.
All but one mini fridge, listed above, with a storage capacity of more than 1 cu ft have achieved the coveted “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” title.
But which mini fridge is the most energy efficient overall?
Most efficient mini fridge
The most energy efficient mini fridge is the 7.6 cu ft LG LKIM08121.
Consuming just 169 kWh of electricity per year, this energy efficient mini fridge achieves the best capacity to power consumption ratio out of all 1,494 units.
This is also the largest fridge identified in the study that’s still considered compact / mini.
As you’d expect, this unit boasts the “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient” label.
This mini fridge has freezing capability, but not the standard separate compartment that you’d expect.
So, let’s give an honorable mention to a more standard styled mini fridge with freezer, where the freezer compartment is built in.
Most energy efficient mini fridge with freezer
The most energy efficient mini fridge with freezer is the Black + Decker BCRK17.
This is one of the most popular, highly rated mini fridges on the market.
It’s the lowest power consuming mini fridge with freezer within its size range that made it into Amazon’s top 50 best selling units.
It’s also one of the most cost effective mini fridges – see the latest price here.
It has a more standard mini fridge style, and it boasts a surprisingly large freezer compared to its counterparts.
I hope that the insights from this Mini Fridge Wattage study helped you get a good sense of the energy consumption and efficiency of this practical appliance.
If you’re interested in the power consumption and running costs of their full size counterparts, check out: Cost Of Running A Refrigerator [9 Cost Saving Tips].
And don’t miss these related study results:
- Mini Fridge Amps Revealed [Start-up & Lowest Draw]; and
- Mini Fridge Sizes [Most Efficient By Storage Capacity].
Plus, you might also want to know how many watts a freezer uses.
Finally, don’t miss this 6 Quick Wins Cheat Sheet that’ll help you make significant savings on your electricity bills and carbon footprint:
How many amps does a mini fridge use? Find out, here, from the most comprehensive mini fridge amp draw study. Plus, you’ll find the most standout low amp mini fridge models.
How many watts does a mini fridge use? Find out here, and get low wattage mini fridge insights. Plus, see which is the most energy efficient mini fridge on the market.
What is the smallest size mini fridge, smallest mini fridge with freezer, and most eco friendly mini fridge? Find out here based on the most comprehensive study into mini fridge sizes and efficiency.
James F (not to be confused with ECS co-founder James) is our lead author, content & website manager. He has a BSc. in Digital Marketing, and a Diploma in IT. He became a qualified electrician while studying electrical engineering part-time.
From wind and solar photovoltaic installers, James F worked with many certified energy practitioners and energy consultants before joining the core ECS team. He also helped build the most downloaded energy saving app while working with a leading utility company.