A refrigerator is a kitchen essential. It doesn’t only keep your food fresh and safe for a long time, for many kitchens it has also become a decorative element in its own right. For instance, people who are deep into classic and retro lifestyles, use their retro fridge as the centerpiece for their classic-styled kitchen. If you are searching for retro-style refrigerators to complete the vibe look of your mid-century-inspired kitchen, then this list of the best retro refrigerators, is for you.
The good thing about most retro fridges in the market today is that they now have the convenience and efficiency of modern technology. Retro-style refrigerators don’t only look good with their bold colors like red, mint, powder blue, or beige. Most of them also have low energy consumption, adjustable temperature controls, power-saving features, bigger storage capacity, LED lighting for brighter interior light, and even extra features like wine racks, adjustable door shelves, adjustable s glass helves, spill-proof shelves, ice makers, bottle opener, etc.,
With a wide array of features, retro refrigerators don’t compromise looks for function. Here is a short list of some of the best-looking retro fridges to complement the unique appliances in your vintage-style kitchen.
1. Galanz GLR12TBEEFR True Top Freezer Retro Refrigerator (Best Value)
The Galanz retro refrigerator is categorized as the best value for a simple reason – it’s a full-scale fridge that has the look and feel of the fab mid-century fridge, with modern amenities for almost a quarter of the price compared to its competitors. It’s a true top-mount freezer with 2-door for frozen and fresh food, this is quite impressive considering the brand is originally known for making mini-fridges.
This compact retro refrigerator is equipped with a high-efficiency and low-energy consumption compressor, allowing it to cool food quickly. The 9.4 cu ft., is enough space for fresh goods. It can be controlled manually using its control dial (cold to coldest). Simply turn the knob to set the temperature you want.
The 2.65 cu ft. top freezer compartment is big enough to accommodate fresh meat and ice cubes. It is also frost free, which means frozen food is easy and quick to defrost, while the freezer is super easy to clean and maintain. Inside the fridge are the four slide-out removable glass shelves that let you organize different food and beverages easily. The door also has a beverage rack to hold canned drinks neatly.
2. Frigidaire EFMIS175-RED Portable Mini Fridge (Budget Pick)
If you are looking for a cute fridge for your apartment, tiny house, bedroom, or small kitchen, then this retro refrigerator is probably the cutest thing you can find out there. The brand has been around for more than a century, so if your top priority other than a great retro look is reliability, then this should be on your shortlist. It is also quite affordable, if not cheap.
The compact and portable design of this small fridge makes it ideal for anywhere you want cold food and drinks, be it on your boat, RV, car, or even desk or shelf. It has a 6-liter capacity and can hold up to 9 cans. It also has a viewing window that lets you see what is inside without opening its door.
The fridge is quiet and doesn’t cause any vibration, making it a perfect addition for your study or home office. It can cool up to 20 degrees F below ambient room temperature. It is also available in the colors blue, pink, black, and red.
3. Smeg FAB32URPG3 50s Retro Style Series (Premium Pick)
Smeg established its name as a maker of unique appliances with its luxurious Italian design. They have mastered the art of aesthetics and style, and this couldn’t be more evident in their retro refrigerators collection. If you are looking for something premium, in both looks and function, then look no further, this Smeg retro-style freestanding refrigerator is for you.
This vintage-style fridge has the sense of aesthetic flair you cannot find in other retro refrigerators on the market. Everything about it feels premium, from style to substance. This particular Smeg model offers unique and sizable storage capacity for your kitchen, making it one of the best retro fridges your money can buy.
This 24-inch retro bottom freezer refrigerator sports a classy 50s style and has all the bells and whistles of a top-performance modern refrigerator. It has a harmonic rounded curve-shaped interior accentuated by elegant chrome details which perfectly coordinate its interior and exterior door. It comes equipped with electronic temperature control for easy and intuitive control, a multi-flow cooling system for quick and efficient cooling, and LED lighting on both sides to help you see everything inside. The fruit and vegetable drawer inside features a perforated panel that can be adjusted to customize the level of ventilation and humidity in each compartment.
Also, Smeg refrigerators come with Fast Freezing function which brings the temperature down rapidly at the compartment when activated before usage.
The 3.43 cubic feet frost-free freezer is big enough for standard storage and super easy to maintain. There are also three freezer drawers to help you categorize and organize your frozen goods.
4. Frigidaire EFR376-MOONBM Retro Bar (Honorable mention)
Frigidaire retro bar fridge refrigerator is not only an honorable mention, with more than 4600 positive ratings on Amazon; it is also Amazon’s choice in this list. The brand seems to be one of the very few refrigerator companies that took its time in designing their fridge for a true vintage-style mini-fridge.
Aesthetics-wise, Frigidaire ticked all the boxes in this one – it’s a true retro-style mini-fridge. From the old-school pull handle, cursive brand logo, and the side-mounted bottle opener for added retro look and function, you cannot go more retro than this. It runs cold quickly and quietly.
Keep in mind that this is a compact mini-fridge. Thus, there will not be enough space for your food and drinks, so don’t expect this to be a full-time kitchen refrigerator. Rather, it’s a superb secondary beverage fridge, or a great accent for your recreational room, apartment, office, or RV. Don’t mistake it though; it is incredibly functional for its size.
This retro refrigerator is incredibly convenient to use, thanks to the innovative thermostat control knob that makes it super easy to adjust. It also comes equipped with a couple of removable and adjustable shelves and detachable slide-out glass shelves to allow you to organize your stuff easily and clean the fridge quickly. There is also a gallon door bin for all sorts of drinks. There is also a freezer compartment for meals and goods you want to keep cooler.
This compact retro fridge is available in black, white, sky blue, coral, moonbeam, bubble gum pink, and classic red color. Whatever the color scheme you have in your kitchen, there is certainly one for you.
The brand Avanti has been around since the early 70s, making it one of the trusted appliance manufacturers in the world. They specialize in compact and space-conscious appliances for apartments, offices, hotels, dormitories, etc., so it’s not surprising that they have come up with a charming retro-styled mini-fridge like this one.
Style-wise, this retro fridge is simple but elegant. The soft mint green color complements beautifully with the chrome handles for that sleek yet contemporary look. The fridge, while categorized as portable and mini, has a pretty decent room size of 3 cu ft. It easily fits into small spaces. It also has slide-out adjustable spill-proof shelves that let you organize your goods. The shelves also allow easy beverage storage and simpler cleanup.
There is a dedicated adjustable temperature control and manual defrost option on the side. There is also a dedicated freezer with a door for extra storage of frozen goods.
Winia may be one of the lesser-known brands in the U.S., but it has been around in South Korea since the mid-70s, making dependable and quality home appliances. It is established under the name Daewoo Electronics, which is one of the older appliances brands in South Korea.
Winia’s design brings a breath of fresh air to the world of retro home appliances. The simple design keeps it neat and elegant. It combines the elegance of the classic style with a modern minimalistic design. The fridge is very distinctive – it pops out from any background or kitchen you put it in. The compact and tabletop design makes it multi-functional and super versatile, as you can easily make it blend with any kitchen décor. It can be placed underneath your office desk, on top of the microwave, next to your countertop, etc.
Functionality-wise, this retro refrigerator has the efficiency of a modern appliance. It’s not meant to be the main fridge. It’s small and perfect as a secondary fridge in your kitchen or recreational room. Don’t mistake its compact dimensions as small, though; the removable and adjustable shelves allow you to store food and food containers of any size. There is also a crisper to store fruits and veggies.
RCA’s retro-styled apartment-sized refrigerator and freezer do one thing perfectly – it’s a beautiful work of art. Whether you choose the vintage red, retro blue, or classic black, this fridge will stand out and become a great conversation piece in your kitchen.
In terms of design, this retro fridge visually stands out in the kitchen, especially the red-colored one. It is functional and versatile, thanks to its freezer and fridge combo. While this may not sound anything special, RCA has executed it so nicely that it feels like a good modern fridge. The 10 cubic feet storage capacity is more than enough for any dorm room or recreational room.
The fridge features three adjustable shelves and an adjustable/removable wire freezer shelf for maximum and adaptable storage capacity. The glass-covered crisper makes it easy to find fruits and veggies in the fridge. While the movable door hinges let both right-handed and left-handed access their fridge conveniently. Not only are the doors reversible, but the design of the door also allows special storage for beverages and wine. The back of the fridge is smooth and robust, allowing it to be placed against the wall nicely.
The temperature of the fridge can be easily adjusted and controlled by simply twisting the thermostat knob inside. There is also a push-button for defrosting at the center of the temperature control knob.
The fridge may look big, but its thin dimensions and small footprint allow it to take minimal space.
There are times and places where a small fridge is a perfect choice. If you live in an apartment or condominium unit, you need a retro fridge for your RV, garage, recreation room, swimming pool patio, or you simply want a fully functional secondary accent fridge for your kitchen, you should check out this Northair 2-door mini refrigerator with freezer. It’s a compact fridge fit for any budget.
This retro refrigerator is perfect for bedrooms or home offices too, as it cools stuff quickly and runs quietly in the background, which is often highlighted in many of its reviews online. It’s perfect for keeping your dairy, fruits, snacks, medicine, and cold beverages conveniently nearby. The sound-damping capability is primarily due to the galvanized steel construction covered in ABS plastic.
The thermostat, which allows 7 temperature settings, is super easy to adjust. It is also equipped with an efficient compressor to keep both temperature and electricity costs down.
Inside the fridge is an adjustable tempered glass shelf to accommodate food and containers of various sizes. There is also a 2-liter bottle holder on the door and a vertical dispenser for canned drinks and sodas.
The shiny chrome door handles adds a nice classic touch. Note that these handles need to be screwed in place upon delivery.
This retro fridge also comes with adjustable legs so you can set it nicely even on uneven surfaces.
This Insignia retro mini fridge kept everything straightforward. Design-wise and feature-wise, it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of other retro mini-refrigerators on this list, but it simply delivers.
In terms of design, it looks simple and minimalist, yet very elegant, especially the colors mint and red. It comes with chrome details on its doors and handles. The inside feels roomy; the 3.1 cubic feet managed to provide two compartments, a freezer, and a fridge. It comes with a dedicated crisper drawer to help keep your fresh produce separate from other goods that you want to keep cold. It also has adjustable shelving to accommodate and organize different sizes of beverages or food. There is also a door rack for soda cans and bottles.
The compact size of this fridge makes it a great complement for your office, garage, or basements. This retro mini-fridge is available in three really cute colors, namely; creamy vanilla, cool mint green, and hot rod red.
Insignia may be a lesser-known brand, but it has been around for some time now. They have established quite a reputation as an affordable, yet reliable refrigerator brand in the country. Its parent company Haier is a known manufacturer of home appliances, such as air conditioners, mini fridge-freezers, refrigerators, TV, washing machines, and even mobile phones.
10. Cooluli Retro Coca-Cola Mini Fridge (Bonus Pick)
Looking for a stylish mini fridge to bring along on camping, road trips, and picnics for the whole family? You might want to check out this Coca-Cola-inspired vintage fridge. Complete with the classic vibrant red Coke color, iconic white Coca-Cola logo, and chrome handle and hinges, nothing screams retro than this Coca-Cola vintage mini-fridge.
Weighing approximately 4lbs., this mini fridge is compact, lightweight, and portable, making it incredibly convenient to bring anywhere. You can use it to store food, drinks, snacks, or other important stuff like breast milk, insulin, and other medication on the road.
Equipped with modern technology, this mini fridge’s semiconductor operation allows it to run quietly and efficiently. There are AC and DC power cords for both indoor and outdoor use and a USB cord that allows you to power it with a 2A power bank for extra flexibility.
If you want a bigger fridge for the whole family, you can also get the 10L version.
How to choose the best retro refrigerator: A Comprehensive Guide
Adding a retro or vintage-styled fridge in your kitchen will easily give your space the pop of color and personality it needs. However, there are tons of brands, styles, and types of retro refrigerators out there to choose from that can make the choice quite confusing. There are simply lots of factors to consider, from brand reputation, size, storage space of the fridge, unique features, etc. While the list above can help you narrow your options down to a few choices, knowing exactly what to look for can help you find the right one for your kitchen.
Here’s a quick guide on how to choose the best retro refrigerator for your kitchen.
Size of the fridge
Understanding size and storage capacity
One of the first few things you need to consider is the size of the refrigerator. Size doesn’t only refer to the dimensions of the fridge, but also its storage capacity – which is inside the fridge. It is completely possible to find refrigerators of different dimensions but similar volumes. The difference can be either the width or height of the appliance. Thus, to find the perfect fit for your kitchen, make sure you measure the space where you will likely place the fridge before purchasing.
The fridge space you need for your kitchen depends largely on the size of your kitchen, your household, your typical grocery habits, as well as cooking and eating habits. If you live in an apartment by yourself, then you need a far less refrigerator space than a family of 4 or 5. Moreover, if you prefer to dine out, get takeaways, or purchase frozen than fresh in the grocery store, a small fridge will suit you better.
Also, consider any special needs you have in your household. If you have particularly tall kids, or your elderly parents live with you, a tall fridge can be easier to use and can help someone with back problems, as compared to a compact and under-counter fridge, as it keeps you from bending over.
And while your new refrigerator must be the right size for your kitchen, the amount of space available in your kitchen will also have a direct impact on the size and type of fridge you go for. Aside from that, you also need enough clearance for the fridge door to open completely and in the right direction.
Leave some space for ventilation too
When replacing an old fridge with a new one, never assume that a new one of the same width and height will fit just as right. You need to consider the hinges too. You want to door of your refrigerator to open and extend fully so you can easily take out or put in food or beverage items and food containers, etc.
Also, most refrigerators, even the new ones tend to run warm. Thus, there should be enough room for ventilation at the back and top of your fridge, about 2.5 cm to 4 cm should be enough. Not leaving ventilation space could cause your fridge to work harder, which can drive up your electricity bills.
Other things to consider about the size
If you are looking for a full-scale retro refrigerator, consider the dimensions of the appliance and make sure you can easily get it through your front or back door (or even window, if possible). If you opt for models with ice or water dispenser, then you have to consider the size of those attachments too. Also, the ice and water dispenser require plumbing, which means you will have to place the fridge about 1.5m from the closest water source.
Position of your fridge
Another thing you need to consider is the position of your fridge in your kitchen. This will help you decide whether to a double door, a single door, or a side-by-side fridge. Again, make sure there is enough clearance of space for the door to swing open.
Storage space is a practical consideration when buying refrigerators with a vintage look. Think of the kind of stuff you usually keep inside the refrigerator. If you usually store frozen meat and other frozen food, then you need a big freezer. If you usually store fresh fruits, then you need a fridge with a dedicated compartment for fresh fruits.
The best retro fridge must have adequate storage space and adjustable glass shelves according to what you decide to put inside it. The glass shelves also make it easy to see what’s inside the retro fridge. Aside from the tempered glass shelves, consider the size of the freezer drawers, too.
This one is pretty subjective, so there are no right or wrong answers to this one. However, a good rule of thumb is to match your fridge to your kitchen design concept. Since you are into retro, then you can never go wrong with any items listed above.
Moreover, don’t be afraid to experiment with colors. Retro is about bold and vibrant colors, and you have more than enough choices out there. Retro refrigerators offer many color choices such as summer mint green, light blue, vibrant red, and more.
Refrigerators are one of the few home appliances that you rarely switch off. Thus, you should consider its energy efficiency when looking for the best retro fridge.
Always go for a high-energy rating. While appliances with A+ or better energy rating can be expensive initially, these models cost less to run in the long term compared to their lower rating counterparts and older fridge-freezers.
Also, remember to shut the refrigerator door properly and don’t linger over an open fridge for minutes when deciding what to eat.
There you have it, a list of the best retro refrigerators you can buy online and a comprehensive guide on how to choose the right retro fridge. Use these tips above to find the perfect vintage-inspired fridge that fits your style.
If you are aiming to complete the vintage vibes of your kitchen, and looking for a stylish retro microwave or toaster to match your refrigerator, check out our list of best retro microwaves here and our list of best retro toasters here!