Are you thinking of setting up an entertainment bar, man cave, or she shed? Then a beverage cooler is perfect for you! Beverage coolers are specialty refrigerators that are specifically designed to chill beer, soda, water, and in some instances, wine. An undercounter beverage cooler (also knowns as a beverage center) makes an excellent addition to a kitchen refrigerator, as it eliminates the need for your family and guests to frequently open the fridge to reach for a drink.
Most people wonder about the difference between a wine fridge, beverage cooler, and standard refrigerator. The significant differences that exist between these appliances include the shelf arrangement, temperature control, and humidity.
A refrigerator is designed to hold different kinds of food items at very low temperatures while maintaining airflow and humidity levels. A wine fridge is intended to hold wine bottles in custom shelves at an optimum temperature range of 38°F (3°C) to 65°F (18°C). However, a beverage cooler is designed with a flexible shelving system and is constructed with space efficiency in mind. The temperature range varies from 0°F to 38°F to keep beer and sodas cool.
After looking at tons of beverage coolers, asking our customers about their favorites, and reading through specifications, we’ve compiled a list of the best beverage coolers of 2020. We checked out the temperature ranges, internal LED lighting, cooling functions, size, door type, material, and venting as the basis for our rating.
Important Features When Buying a Beverage Cooler
Some features are essential when selecting a beverage center for your home. These features include:
Most beverage coolers have built-in glass shelves that are exclusively designed to hold bottles and cans. Other models have shelves made of plastic-wrapped wire or other materials, which vary in durability and aesthetics.
Generally, a beverage cooler should offer an adjustable shelving option that can be re-positioned for different sized bottles and cans. If you have bottles of different shapes and sizes, the flexibility of shelving configurations may be an important consideration for you.
This is probably the most important factor to consider before buying a beverage cooler. First, you should measure the space and determine whether it will go under a countertop or in cabinetry. Then, make sure to check the available width.
The beverage fridge’s fit and finish are two factors many customers tend to overlook. For a built-in look, select a model that has zero-clearance or articulating hinges. These particular hinges make zero-gap installation possible.
If you want a seamless design, choose a beverage refrigerator that allows for a flush installation. Most of the beverage coolers on our list also have panel-ready models to match your kitchen cabinetry. Your cabinet maker or carpenter will be able to fabricate a cabinet face for the panel-ready models.
Beverage coolers usually have a wide range of temperature options (from 0°F to generally 38°F). Some can only adjust within a specific range, but the best beverage coolers can go from an ambient temperature to a freezing point. When shopping for a beverage cooler, you should compare the temperature range with what you’d like to store.
Beverage fridges are equipped with a fan that circulates cool air to maintain even cooling throughout the interior. Fans ensure that the unit operates with optimal efficiency. However, there are some beverage coolers that do not come with a fan, which leads to temperature fluctuations.
Our 7 Best Beverage Coolers
1) Best 24 Inch Beverage Cooler: Marvel ML24BCG0RS
Width: 24" | Height: 34" | Depth: 23" | Finish: Stainless Steel | Zones: Single | Bottle Capacity: 20 | Options: Right hinge, white interior LED lighting, close door assist system, coated steel shelves, wide temperature ranges.
Looking for a beverage refrigerator that is both appealing to the eye and efficient in cooling your beverages? Then look no further than the Marvel ML24BCG0RS. This model features a highly efficient compressor-powered cooling system and is our pick for the best 24 inch beverage refrigerator.
This beverage cooler features two adjustable cantilever glass shelves to help accommodate tall items. The incandescent lighting also provides excellent visibility.
Why we like it
The Marvel ML24BCG0RS is in a league of its own when it comes to beverage refrigerators. It includes unique and intuitive features such as:
- Adjustable full-length cantilever glass shelves for ease of access
- Dynamic cooling technology for fast cooling
- Excellent temperature stability
- Close-door assist to ensure doors are not accidentally left open
- Thermal effective insulated cabinet - This ensures the temperature inside the cooler remains consistent. It also means the compressor doesn’t have to kick on as often, making it much quieter than other models. The insulation is also a huge bonus if you lose power, as your drinks will stay cold for another day.
- Wide frost-free temperature range 34°F - 42°F
- Dual-layer UV-resistant tinted glass door
- Right hinge location with a modern stainless-steel look
- Closed-door assist hinge system
2) Best Wine and Beverage Combination: Marvel MP24WBG4RS
Width: 23 7/8" | Height: 34" | Depth: 23 23/32" | Finish: Glass | Zones: Dual | Bottle Capacity: 16 | Options: Built-In, Glass Door, Panel Ready, Left Hinge, Right Hinge.
The Professional 24" MP24WBG4RS is the second Marvel product to make our list. Just like the ML24BCG0RS, the wine and beverage cooler combination features an efficient “Vibration Neutralization” system to keep it running quietly. It also has argon-filled UV-resistant tinted glass to protect against light. This feature keeps wine from denaturation and allows for full maturation.
The MP24WBG4RS also has the Dynamic Cooling Technology, which delivers the industry's best temperature stability and a rapid cool down (frost-free) operation. Besides the incredible system performance, the unit has a sturdy, full-length handle. It also has a sleek stainless steel front, shelf trim, and framed door, giving it a professional look.
Why We Like It
The MP24WBG4RS is one-of-a-kind and stands tall amongst other beverage coolers in the industry. Some of our favorite features include:
- Vacation mode to conserve energy when not in use
- Zero clearance installation
- UV-resistant dual-pane tinted glass
- Industry-best temperature stability system
- Efficient Vibration Neutralization System
- Quiet operation
Here are some other features of the Marvel MP24WBG4RS:
- Midnight black interior
- Tri-color lighting
- Holds up to 16 bottles and 64 cans
- Two independently-controlled temperature zones
- Close-door assist system with soft-close feature
- Two-stage theater lighting
- Door lock feature
- 3-year parts/labor and 5-year sealed parts warranty
3) Best Budget Beverage Cooler: XO XOU24BCGSR
Width: 24" | Height: 34 1/8" | Depth: 23 1/4" | Finish: Stainless steel Glass | Zones: Single | Bottle Capacity: 15 | Options: Dual-pane glass, stainless steel finish, ventilation fan, close-door assist
The XOU24BCGSR is a beverage cooler that fits under a counter. At a budget-friendly price, this beverage cooler features a stainless steel glass door and LED interior lighting.
This model is the most affordable yet sleek beverage cooler on the market, and ranks high in terms of cooling efficiency. The dual-pane glass door is designed to insulate from warm air to maintain consistent temperature. The flexibility in temperature range, between 38-50 degrees Fahrenheit, gives you control of how cold you’d like your beverages stored.
Why we like it
This XO beverage cooler is a popular choice for a number of reasons, including:
- It is designed to be completely built-in
- It’s sleek and affordable
- It includes a powerful ventilation fan
- It’s designed to maximize capacity
- Elegant stainless steel finish
- Right Hinge
- Dual-pane glass door
- Closed-door assist system aides in soft closing
4) Best 15-inch (Width) Slim Beverage Cooler: Marvel ML15BCG2RS
Width: 15" | Height: 33 1/8" | Depth: 24 1/4" | Finish: Stainless Steel, Glass | Zones: Single | Bottle Capacity: 12 | Options: Arctic white LED lighting, black and shiny adjustable cantilever shelves, UV-Resistant glass door
Are you looking for something slim that would fit into a compact space? The Marvel ML15BCG2RS fits nicely in any small space in your kitchen, bar area, or den. It features a rapid cooling technology that offers the best temperature stability in any modern-day beverage refrigerator. An improved closed-door system assist also ensures the doors seal quietly.
The shelves in this beverage cooler are fully adjustable and have the capacity to hold 12 six-packs and three bottles of wine. The shelves even convert to accommodate different storage configurations of wines and beverage cans.
Why we like it
The Marvel ML15BCG2RS has so many awesome features, but our favorites are the:
- Heat and frost efficient cabinet
- Industry leading temperature stability
- Rapid cool-down technology
- Stainless Steel panel-ready finish
- Vacation mode, which helps with energy conservation
- UV-resistant, argon filled, dual pane glass door, which keeps light out of the cooler
- Silent operation
- 3-in-1 convertible shelves
- One year parts and labor warranty
- Close door assist system
- Fully adjustable cantilever shelves
5) Best Outdoor Beverage Cooler: True TBC-24-R-SG-B
Width: 23 7/8" | Height: 34 1/4" | Depth: 23 7/8" | Finish: Stainless steel, Glass | Zones: Single | Bottle Capacity: 13 | Options: UV tinted glass, TruLumina 14-color LED lighting
Your outdoor space deserves one of the very best beverage coolers in 2020 - the True TBC-24-R-SG-B. It features the zero-clearance hinging ability, which enables a seamless, integrated installation to match any outdoor space in your home. The True precision control panel also allows precise and easily accessible temperature control.
True’s exclusive technology includes rapid beverage cooling and maintenance of a precise temperature in the beverage refrigerator.
Why we like it
This beverage cooler is perfect for most outdoor entertaining areas. True is a high-quality line of chilling centers, loaded with features like:
- True’s precision control, which helps to to maintain the optimal temperature
- 14-color LED lighting with TruLumina
- Zero clearance hinges for a seamless installation
- 13 wine bottle capacity
- Standard lock feature
- Dual-pane UV-Resistant tinted glass
- Stainless steel interior and exterior
- TruFlex shelving system, which allows for convertible shelves
- Balanced forced air ventilation from a high-grade fan
6) Best Budget Outdoor Beverage Cooler: Summit SPR7BOSST
Width: 23 3/4" | Height: 33 1/2" | Depth: 25" | Finish: Stainless steel, Glass | Zones: Single | Bottle Capacity: 13 | Options: Stainless steel grip, Ground fault circuit breaker
If you plan on installing a beverage refrigerator in your outdoor space, another option is the Summit 24” beverage cooler. It is one of the most budget-friendly outdoor beverage coolers on the market and makes entertaining easy. It features a durable commercial-grade stainless steel body. The flexible, adjustable shelving system stores wine bottles and beverage cans so that you won't need to get a separate wine cooler for your outdoor space.
Why we like it
Some features we find appealing:
- The adjustable glass shelves
- It can be used as freestanding beverage cooler because of its stainless steel finish
- It has a comfortable grip from the curved stainless steel towel bar handle
- Includes a key lock for security
- Commercial-grade stainless steel finish
- One-piece interior liner for easy upkeep
- 5.5 cubic feet storage space
- Ground fault circuit breaker
- Concealed evaporator for easy maintenance
7) Best Overall: Sub Zero UC24BGSTHRH
Width: 23 7/8" | Height: 34 1/4" | Depth: 23 7/8" | Finish: Stainless steel, Glass | Zones: Single | Bottle Capacity: 13 | Options: Spill-proof cantilever glass shelf, dual-pane full view glass door, LCD lighting
No list would be complete without the very best beverage center! The Sub-Zero UC24BGSTHRH is an elegant beverage center with a capacity of more than 5.7 cubic feet, which can hold eight wine bottles. This model is just one of the many different type of Sub zero wine fridge models.
This beverage center features a double-pane, full-view glass door. This both covers and showcases an adjustable, spill-proof glass shelf that conveniently stores 30 cans of your favorite beverage. Sub-Zero showcases their classic and elegant stainless steel design with high-grade LCD lighting.
Why We Like It
- The glass door elegantly displays bottles
- Ample storage capacity
- Spill-proof cantilever glass shelves and floor
- Dual-pane full-view glass door
- High-grade stainless steel finish
- Spill-proof glass floor
- 5.7-inch cubic feet storage capacity
- Two, five, and twelve-year residential warranties
Beverage coolers are specialty appliances that are designed to chill your favorite beverages, from wine and beer to soda and bottled water. As more and more of us spend time at home and prepare meals, these beverage coolers also offer extra space to store meals, groceries, fruits, and vegetables alongside our beverages.
What is the best temperature for a beverage cooler?
It depends on the items you want to store in the beverage cooler. Specialty wine chillers come with pre-set ranges, while other beverage coolers have a temperature range you can control. We’ve found this flexibility convenient when we’ve needed to store extra food or vegetables, while entertaining, or even during a power outage.
Can you install a freestanding beverage cooler under the counter?
It depends on where the vents are on the unit. If a beverage cooler is installed under a counter, the vent should be in the front.
Why are other brands with an affordable price point and similar features not on this list?
Brands like Edge Star and Danby do have low price points, which make them affordable. However, to achieve this, they’ve had to compromise on quality and performance.
Our list only features models that meet our expectations on durability, noise levels, and vibration control. We will write another article on value wine refrigerators to evaluate these brands.
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