How Long Does it Take for a Mini Fridge to Get Cold?

Whether you bought a mini fridge for college or general use, the amount of time it takes to get cold is important to know. Knowing the amount of time it takes will help you decide what to store inside of the appliance and how long it will take before you can put food or beverages inside.

Generally, mini-refrigerators take around four hours to reach an optimal refrigeration temperature when you first buy them. However, it’s recommended to wait 24 hours before storing anything inside first to give the appliance time to adjust to future temperatures. During this time, it’s important to keep the refrigerator closed to keep the cool air trapped inside.

In this article, we’ll cover the ins and outs of mini fridge refrigeration and how long you need to wait before storing things inside.

Mini Refrigerators and Power Outages

Like full-size refrigerators, a mini-fridge requires a certain amount of time to reestablish a good internal temperature before using it again. However, because a mini-fridge is much smaller, the amount of time it takes is typically less than a regular refrigerator. Generally, a mini-fridge can reestablish an optimal internal temperature within four hours of being plugged back in after a prolonged power outage.

How Long Does it Take for Water to Get Cold in a Mini Fridge

The amount of time it will take for water to get cold mostly depends on your temperature preference. Generally, a bottle of water can reach optimal temperatures after being refrigerated for between 35-50 minutes. It’s generally recommended to wait to store anything in a refrigerator that has an internal temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mini Fridge Cooling Times by Brand and Type

Mini-Fridge Brand Model Cooling Time
Black + Decker BCRK17V Compact Refrigerator 3-24 hours
GE Double Door Mini-Fridge With Freezer 4 hours
hOmelabs Beverage Refrigerator and Cooler 4 hours


Each of the three mini-fridges mentioned in this table can cool in a short time. However, it’s best to wait 24 hours regardless of the brand you choose. With that said, we recommend the Black + Decker mini-fridge above the others because it can effectively cool to an optimal temperature in as little as three hours while the others take at least four hours.

BLACK+DECKER BCRK17V Compact Refrigerator Energy Star Single Door Mini Fridge with Freezer, 1.7 Cubic Ft., VCMWill Warm Weather Affect Cooling Time?

High temperatures during the summertime can cause issues with refrigerators both of full size and miniatures. Because the air temperature is higher, your refrigerator needs to work harder to ensure the inside maintains the same temperature. If you’re installing a new mini-fridge in your home or dorm during the summer, keep in mind that it may take more time than usual for the mini-fridge to reach the right temperature.

Will an Appliances Age Affect Cooling Time?

As devices age, their integrity starts to diminish. Because of this, it’s possible that the older parts of the machine are working harder than they can withstand. When this happens, cooling time will take longer as the inner workings run much slower.

How to Tell When a Mini Fridge is Ready for Food Storage

In general, it’s recommended to wait 24 hours before storing food inside of a mini-fridge. Waiting this long gives the mini-fridge more time to acclimate to future temperatures and get used to running regularly.

Read Related: How Long Does it Take a Freezer to Get Cold After a Power Outage?

Final Thoughts

A mini-fridge is a great investment for a dorm, home office, or game room. However, it’s important to have a good idea of how long it will take to get to the right temperature after installation or a power outage. By waiting the right amount of time (4-24 hours), you ensure the internal temperature is at the best temperature for food and beverage storage.

Now that you know the optimal temperatures and times to wait for proper cooling, you’re ready to install your mini-fridge and stock it up. Don’t forget to wait 24 hours, though!

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