Which brand of mini fridge is better, Galanz or Magic Chef?

A mini fridge is a great addition to a dorm room, game room, garage or anywhere that needs a little extra cold storage. Unlike with full-size refrigerators, most major appliance manufacturers don’t make mini fridges. Magic Chef and Galanz specialize in affordable home appliances and have good lineups of compact refrigerators.

Both companies make quality mini fridges, and there’s nothing big that’s wrong with either. Galanz offers a wider selection of mini fridges at generally better prices than Magic Chef. On the other hand, Magic Chef has a slightly better reputation and some of its fridges have category-leading temperature consistency.

Galanz mini fridges

Based in the Guangdong Province in China, Galanz has made a variety of affordable kitchen appliances for decades. It’s tough to track down any definitive information on the company’s history, but it says it has brought to market some of China’s most accessible and dependable microwaves, among other appliances.

Galanz mini fridge pros

  • Wide range of sizes: Whatever you plan to put in it, you can find a Galanz fridge that’s the right size.
  • Reasonable prices: If you don’t want to make a big investment, it’s hard to pass up some of Galanz’s compact models.
  • Consistent build quality: Galanz sells a large number of mini fridges and most owner reviews paint a good picture of their long-term reliability.

Galanz mini fridge cons

  • Middling cooling power: Galanz’s mini fridges take a little longer to cool down than Magic Chef’s.
  • Less-than-ideal efficiency: Galanz fridges don’t quite match the low energy consumption of some more premium brands.
  • Questionable warranty practices: Some owners have been surprised by shifting warranty terms. For example, more than one buyer has experienced issues after a few months, only for Galanz customer service to refuse repair or replacement, despite having offered a one-year warranty.

Best Galanz mini fridges

Galanz 4.6-Cubic-Foot Retro Mini Fridge

Galanz 4.6-Cubic-Foot Retro Mini Fridge

In terms of capacity for the money, this one’s just about on top if you’re looking for separate refrigerator and freezer compartments.

Sold by Home Depot and Amazon

Galanz 3.5-Cubic-Foot Retro Fridge Only

Galanz 3.5-Cubic-Foot Retro Fridge Only

If you’re not concerned about frozen food, this is a great way to save space and money while also adding a touch of style to your space.

Sold by Home Depot and Amazon

Galanz 4.3-Cubic-Foot Compact Single-Door Refrigerator

Galanz 4.3-Cubic-Foot Compact Single-Door Refrigerator

It delivers a surprising amount of storage space if you don’t need a freezer, but it’s not nearly as attractive as the retro models.

Sold by Amazon

Galanz 2.7-Cubic-Foot Stainless Steel Look Fridge

Galanz 2.7-Cubic-Foot Stainless Steel Look Fridge

It’s as small, efficient and affordable as a Galanz mini fridge gets, but its capacity is quite limited.

Sold by Amazon

Magic Chef mini fridges

Magic Chef’s roots go all the way back to the 19th century and the American Stove Company. It’s gone by the name Magic Chef for nearly 100 years. Multiple large corporations including Maytag have owned the brand at one point or another. It’s difficult to determine where each Magic Chef fridge is made, but it’s likely most are made in China — just like those from Galanz.

Magic Chef mini fridge pros

  • Impressive temperature consistency: Real-world testing done by independent third-party reviewers shows that Magic Chef mini fridges are as consistent as anything on the market.
  • Powerful cooling systems: You won’t have to worry about them getting too warm right after you fill them with groceries.
  • A decent number of capacities to choose from: While its stable isn’t as large as Galanz’s, you’ll still likely be able to find the right size for you.

Magic Chef mini fridge cons

  • Somewhat higher prices: You’ll have to shell out a little more money upfront on a Magic Chef than a Galanz. However, you might make that back in a few months due to their superior efficiency.
  • Few stylish options: There is a retro-themed option as well as one with a glass door, but most Magic Chef fridges are relatively spartan in design.

Best Magic Chef mini fridges

Magic Chef Retro Mini Refrigerator

Magic Chef Retro Mini Refrigerator

In real-world testing, this fridge came out on top of the competition. There are few other options as efficient or powerful.

Sold by Home Depot and Amazon

Magic Chef 7.4-Cubic-Foot Two-Door Mini Fridge

Magic Chef 7.4-Cubic-Foot Two-Door Mini Fridge

This model is surprisingly well priced for its capacity and performance.

Sold by Home Depot

Magic Chef Beverage Cooler

Magic Chef Beverage Cooler

It’s perfect for offices, game rooms and other public spaces or hangouts, because you can easily see what’s inside. However, it’s not ideal for keeping fresh food and doesn’t have a freezer. 

Sold by Home Depot

Should you get a Galanz or Magic Chef mini fridge?

If you plan on using it frequently (that is, filling it with fresh veggies and meat every few days, or opening the door a lot during the day), it’s worth considering a Magic Chef because of their more powerful cooling. This is even more true if you opt for the largest of the mini fridges. If you want to save money up front or have a specific size in mind, Galanz has the one you need.

In terms of pure performance and consistency, though, Magic Chef is the winner.

Mini fridge FAQ

Are mini fridges more efficient than full-size fridges?

A. Mini fridges use considerably less energy than overall full-size refrigerators. If you consider the capacity of each type, however, mini fridges are much less efficient. In fact, running two mini fridges will generally cost more than running a single refrigerator four times the size.

Do mini-fridge freezers work well?

A. Compact models with separate refrigerator and freezer spaces are relatively effective. They’re fine for keeping prepared frozen food in for a few days. They’re not on the level of a full-size fridge, though, and you shouldn’t use them for long-term storage because they don’t get cold enough.

Compact fridges that don’t have separate compartments usually have a small area on top that serves as a tiny freezer. That area is usually too small to hold anything but a few ice trays or a couple of packages of pre-made meals.

How do I get the best performance from a mini fridge?

A. For starters, don’t overload it. Make sure there’s room for air to circulate. From time to time, you’ll have to manually defrost a mini-fridge freezer. It’s also worth keeping a thermometer on hand to periodically check that the unit is maintaining consistent temperatures. Finally, keep your mini fridge indoors, as they aren’t designed to operate in low temperatures.

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Chris Thomas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.