When it comes to mini fridges, experts say one brand stands out: Danby. And among smaller compact refrigerators (sometimes called cube fridges), reviews indicate that you can't do better than the 1.8-cubic-foot Danby DAR195BL. Unlike other brands, the Energy Star-rated Danby uses a compressor (instead of an inefficient thermoelectric cooler) to maintain consistent temperatures and keep foods cold.
Unlike some mini fridges, the DAR195BL lacks a freezer compartment. But given how poorly most mini fridge freezers perform and how small they are, reviewers say the lack of a freezer is a good thing because it means more room for beverages. The Danby has one full- and one half-size wire rack, as well as a door rack that holds up to six cans, and it has a bin for a 2-liter bottle. The door is reversible for right- or left-hand use.
In general, owners praise this model, but a few say the temperature dial (which is located on the back of the fridge) is hard to reach. The Danby 195BL carries an 18-month warranty. This Danby model is only available in the standard black finish. If you'd like a little more storage room than this small model provides, the Danby DAR259 (*Est. $150) has a capacity of 2.5 cubic feet and gets good reviews.
We relied mainly on owner reviews of the Danby DAR195BL at CompactAppliance.com and other online retailers. PlanetGreen.com, a Discovery Channel website that focuses on environmental issues, has a short analysis of the DAR195BL as well.
The Danby DAR195BL receives nearly 30 ratings and reviews from owners, giving it an average overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars. The majority of owners praise this mini fridge, although one user complains that the temperature dial is inconveniently placed on the back of the unit. Others say it is convenient for an office or bedroom.
Review: DAR195BL - Danby 1.8 Cu. Ft. Energy Star Refrigerator, Contributors to CompactAppliance.com
Half a dozen reviewers give the DAR195BL an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. One owner writes, "I'm much happier with this fridge than the one I had previously, which would stay on continuously. This Danby cycles on and off ... If you're looking for a small fridge without the freezer, you won't be disappointed."
Review: Danby Designer Series DAR195BL, Contributors to AJMadison.com
The Danby DAR195BL is included on this environmental website's list of energy-efficient compact refrigerators. According to the short review, "The petite interior means you won't waste energy chilling empty space or drinks you don't need, while the freezer-less design prevents unnecessary cold leaks."
Review: Buy Green: Compact Refrigerators, Blythe Copeland, Aug. 11, 2009