While there are several companies that offer compact refrigerators, Danby stands out as the maker that garners the largest number of positive owner reviews across all sizes. Like the smaller Danby DAR195BL and the larger Danby DAR440, the mid-size Danby DAR259 mini fridge draws praise for its performance, roomy interior and smart storage features.
With a capacity of 2.5 cubic feet, it measures 27 inches high – still short enough to be kept under a desk or counter but larger than cube fridges. Like other Danby models, it lacks a freezer section, which could be considered a negative; however, owners generally applaud Danby for omitting the freezer, since compact-fridge freezers tend to perform poorly and take up storage space. In the freezer-less DAR259, there's more room for fresh food and drinks. This model also has versatile storage options, including three shelves, a can dispenser and 2-liter bottle storage in the door. It is Energy Star-rated and available in either white or black finishes.
Owners award the DAR259 high ratings, although some report receiving a damaged unit from an online retailer, and one user says this model is inconveniently sized for those in wheelchairs. If you need a larger mini fridge, the Danby DAR440 (*Est. $200), which comes in white or black finishes, has a 4.4 cubic-foot capacity and earns excellent reviews. For a smaller fridge, the Danby DAR195BL (*Est. $120), which is only available in black, has a 1.8 cubic-foot capacity and earns high praise from users.
The Danby DAR259 mini fridge isn't included in professional tests, but in late 2009, it was named one of five Best Picks in Bestcovery.com's list of the best mini fridges for dorm rooms. We also found many owner reviews for this model at retailer websites such as Walmart.com, ABT.com, AJMadison.com and CompactAppliance.com.
The Danby DAR259 garners nearly 20 user ratings and comments at ABT.com, an online appliance retailer, where the mini refrigerator receives an overall 4.6-star rating. Owners say this model is quiet, performs well and has enough space to hold tall items. One user does complain that the controls are difficult to reach.
Review: Danby Compact Refrigerator -- DAR259W, Contributors to ABT.com
Nearly 40 Walmart.com users rate and review the Danby DAR259 mini fridge, giving it an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Although a few owners say they received dented units, all are complimentary of the refrigerator itself. Many applaud the absence of a freezer, noting that the extra storage space is an advantage.
Review: Danby 2.5 Cubic Foot Compact Refrigerator, Contributors to Walmart.com
With almost 30 CompactAppliance.com customers weighing in on the DAR259, the unit earns an overall 4.5--star rating. Most reviews are brief, with users praising the fridge for being quiet, functional, easy to use and roomy. A couple of users report problems with maintaining optimum temperature settings, however, and one reviewer reports that the fridge is an inconvenient size for someone in a wheelchair, as it is too large to store on a chest and too short when placed on the floor.
Review: Danby 2.5 Cubic Foot Energy Star Refrigerator, Contributors to CompactAppliance.com
In this 2009 list of Bestcovery.com picks for best compact refrigerators for use in college dorms, the Danby DAR259 receives second place overall and is the highest ranking midsize compact refrigerator. However, there's no evidence that this mini fridge was tested. The list of best mini fridges for dorms was updated in July 2011 and no longer includes the Danby DAR259.
Review: Danby DAR259W Compact 2.5 Cu. Ft. Refrigerator, Jerry Arlen, Nov. 23, 2009