Mini fridges are an amazing invention. Say you’re spending the hot summer months in your basement to keep cool, or in your garage working on a project—do you really want to trek all the way to the kitchen every time you want a drink? Of course not!
With a mini fridge, you can keep a selection of drinks and snacks on hand wherever you are in the house. But, where exactly should you put a mini fridge?
Many kitchens have designated spots for fridges, or at least have the perfect flooring to accommodate one. But the rest of the house is more likely to be carpeted, and you may have heard that carpet is not the best place to put a mini fridge. While this is true, there are ways to get around it, like placing a mat underneath the mini fridge.
In this article, we’ll teach you a little bit about how a refrigerator works and why carpets are bad for mini fridges. We’ll also look into optimal placements, and lastly, we’ll share a few tips and tricks you can use if you really need to put your mini fridge on carpet.
- Where to Put a Mini Fridge in Your Room?
- So, Can You Put a Mini Fridge on Carpet?
- Can a Fridge on Carpet be a Fire Hazard?
- What to Put Under Mini Fridge on Your Carpet?
- 3 Best Mini Fridge Mats to Buy on Amazon
Where to Put a Mini Fridge in Your Room?
Placing refrigerators in your room takes a little more thought than just setting it down next to the nearest free power outlet. Before we tackle the carpet problem, let’s have a look at what kinds of environments are best for fridges.
Fridges are helpful machines we use to keep food and drinks cool, but creating and maintaining a cold environment is not an easy task, and fridges have to work pretty hard. That’s why the perfect placement for your fridge is somewhere that’s already fairly cool. Or, at least, not the hottest place in your house! To help a fridge run at peak efficiency and last for as long as possible, it’s in your best interest to make sure it doesn’t have to work any harder than necessary.
For instance, if you have a cool, shaded spot in the corner of your room, that is the optimum place to set your fridge up. If you choose to place your refrigerator beside a window in direct sunlight instead, you’ll be forcing that fridge to work harder than it needs to. If you don’t have a power outlet close to the coolest spot in your room, think about using extension cords to fix this problem.
The best flooring to place a mini fridge on is vinyl flooring, tiles, or hardwood floors. In short, any typical kitchen flooring that is easy to wipe clean and is not made from fabric is a great match.
The reason for this is simple: fridges need to have good air circulation. This is a general rule that applies to a lot of common machinery. In simple terms, if it overheats, it won’t work as well, it will use more electricity and it could even break.
The part of a fridge that requires cool air the most, the condenser coil, is sometimes located on the underside of the refrigerator, which is why carpets can be particularly problematic. Instead of room temperature air circulating and helping cool the fridge down, the carpet will retain the heat radiating from the fridge and shoot it right back.
A fridge also needs a decent amount of space to work well and be convenient to use. For instance, you need to make sure there’s enough space for the fridge door to fully open without hitting a wall. This will be less of a problem if you’ve bought a small, compact fridge, but you will still need to pay attention to the refrigerator door.
Why Carpet isn’t the Best Idea to Put a Fridge on?
The main reason we keep food and drinks cool is not because of how great an ice-cold beer tastes, but because low-temperature environments make it more difficult for bacteria to reproduce. Fewer bacteria means food can be kept for longer and eaten more safely.
However, as we mentioned, this isn’t an easy job! It is much easier to create heat than it is to take it away. To create a cold environment, a fridge’s cooling system relies on a chemical reaction that takes place when a certain kind of liquid evaporates. This liquid is called ‘refrigerant’, and it is pumped round and round the fridge in an endless loop to keep the inner compartment cool. But because the cooling effect only happens while the refrigerant is in the process of changing from a liquid to a gas, once it has fully evaporated, it needs to be turned back into a liquid before it can be used again.
This is where the condenser coils come in. The refrigerant gas is heated and pressurized, only to then be sent to the condenser coils where it cools and turns back into a liquid. The condenser is located on the outside of the fridge (sometimes on the bottom of it) so that the room temperature air around your fridge can be used to aid the cooling process.
If your condenser is located on the bottom of your fridge and your fridge is sat on the carpet, then the carpeted floor will retain heat from the refrigerator and raise the general temperature of that area.
When surrounded by warmer air, it will take longer for the condenser to cool the refrigerant and turn it back into a liquid. This lowers the efficiency of the fridge and causes it to use more energy—which will mean a high electricity bill for you!
On another note, the cooling effect that happens when refrigerant evaporates also happens when alcohol evaporates. This is why your hands feel cool when you use hand sanitizer.
So, Can You Put a Mini Fridge on Carpet?
You now know the science-y reason why carpet isn’t a great place for a mini fridge to sit. But what if you have no choice? What if it’s either a fridge on the carpet or no fridge at all? If you really have to, can you put a fridge on carpet?
The answer to that is … yes, and doubly so if you get a little crafty. There are ways to help your fridge live a happy life on the carpet.
As an example, putting a mat down underneath most mini fridges is the perfect way to both have your fridge on carpet, and not have it on carpet at the same time! There are different kinds of mats out there that you can choose from, but the main thing you need to consider is whether your fridge’s condenser is actually on the bottom of the refrigerator or not.
If it is, you’ll want to purchase a stand with legs, or a mat that is made from plastic or wood. But if your condenser is located on the back of your fridge, you don’t need to worry as much about the carpet harming your fridge. Instead, you’ll just need to worry about the fridge harming your carpet. Oh, the irony.
Moisture from the fridge is usually collected in a drip pan at the bottom of the appliance, and if this spills onto your carpet, it’s a real chore to clean up. Spills from the food inside the fridge are also really common (this mostly happens when taking food or drink out) so it’s a really good idea to put a mat down that is easily cleaned and protects your carpet from damage. Because you don’t need to worry about heat retention, you could just buy a normal fabric refrigerator mat to protect your carpet from spillages and make cleaning easier.
Can a Fridge on Carpet be a Fire Hazard?
We have some great mats to recommend so you can put your fridge wherever you want, but before we get to that we’ll address this common worry: could putting your fridge on the carpet cause a fire?
Technically, this is possible. The carpet would not be the sole cause of any fire, but it could play a role in creating the conditions that lead to a fire. For a fire to start, there would also need to be other problems with your refrigerator that result in overheating and maybe even sparks. In this situation, the carpet would help retain that heat and give any sparks a flammable material to set alight.
However, if your refrigerator is healthy and in good working order, this should not happen. And, if your condenser coil is on the back of the fridge rather than underneath, then fires are even less likely.
To prevent such accidents from happening, make sure to perform regular maintenance on your fridge and make sure it’s always working as it should be. If your fridge is struggling and using more energy than expected, there will be a lot of noticeable signs, so just make sure not to ignore any irregularities you may notice.
What to Put Under Mini Fridge on Your Carpet?
As mentioned before, the best thing to put under your mini fridge when placing it on the carpet is a mat or a stand. Let’s have a look at the different kinds available.
If your mini fridge doesn’t have any legs at all and you want to put it on a carpeted floor, it could be a good idea to buy a stand for it to sit on. You can set the fridge on a stand like this to avoid having the fridge directly on the carpet.
Adjustable stands can be bought, so you can fit yours to match the exact size of your fridge or wine cooler. A stand is particularly good for creating air circulation and is a great choice for fridges with cooling coils underneath the appliance.
A plastic mat is the perfect thing to sit a fridge on to protect it from the carpet, and in the process, also protect the carpet from the fridge. The plastic will not retain heat, and it will be incredibly easy to mop up any spills or mess.
You don’t need to buy something that is specifically marketed for fridges: even a plastic desk chair mat would do the job. You can even buy transparent plastic mats so you can still see your carpet underneath and not ruin the aesthetics of your room or guest room!
If you’d prefer, you can also use a solid wooden board as a mat for your refrigerator. This option will not create air circulation as well as the other options, at least not unless it is raised off the floor. Wood will also likely be more difficult to clean when spills occur.
However, if it would suit your interior decoration better, or you happen to have a slab of wood in the garage already, it’s definitely an acceptable option. Just make sure the fridge is in a good upright position, is out of direct sunlight, away from any kind of heat source, and has plenty of space for the fridge door to open. This kind of mat would most suit a fridge with a rear cooling coil.
Carpeted Fridge Mat
A carpeted fridge mat is basically like putting a doormat underneath your fridge. Most will have that same kind of rough carpet texture and rubber lining. These types of mats are best for fridges with legs and rear cooling coils, but you could still use one with a refrigerator with no legs.
The only risk is the carpet stopping the refrigerator door from opening smoothly. If you already have your refrigerator and can see how far off the ground your door is, you should be able to make a good judgment on whether this will be a problem. When using mats like these, you can keep them clean by washing them in a washing machine or using anti-odor products like baking soda or Febreze.
3 Best Mini Fridge Mats to Buy on Amazon
With all the important context out of the way, it’s now time for the recommendations! We have one recommendation each for a stand type, plastic-type, and fabric type mat, but if you don’t see something you want, there are plenty more options to be found.
This is a perfect example of the adjustable type fridge stand that we mentioned earlier. The stand can be used for multiple types of appliances including fridges. The adjustable sizes are as follows: length: 42.5-68 cm, width: 42.5-68 cm, height: 10.5-13 cm.
We highly recommend measuring your refrigerator before buying this item, as even with the adjustability, there will be some fridges that won’t fit. As long as each side of the base of your fridge is 42.5cm or higher, and below 68cm, you’ll be good to go. Most mini fridges will be within this range!
The stand also features extra-wide feet to improve stability and can withstand the weight of a full-sized appliance.
- Lifts the fridge off the floor completely.
- The adjustable size will fit most mini fridges.
- Affordable price.
- It cannot fit all sizes: some particularly small mini refrigerators may not fit.
- Won’t protect your carpet from spills.
If your laundry room, living room, dorm for college students, or wherever you want to place your refrigerator doesn’t have vinyl flooring, you can fix that problem with this vinyl chair mat! Its original purpose is for protecting hardwood floor from desk chairs, but it will make a great plastic mat for your mini fridge, too.
This kind of mat is transparent and won’t disturb the decor of your room, and the plastic material will make sure any spills from your fridge or wine cooler can be cleaned up with almost zero effort.
The vinyl material makes retaining heat less likely and makes sure the excess heat from your fridge is dispersed more quickly and efficiently than carpet would. This will help you avoid higher electricity bills, which is important for college students trying to fit a mini fridge in their tight quarters.
- Transparent and easy to coordinate with your decor.
- Easy to clean.
- Will protect your carpet and refrigerator from each other.
- One size fits all!
- Doesn’t lift the fridge off the floor.
Lastly, we have a classic carpet-style fridge mat. Since using this mat will technically mean you’re putting your fridge on a carpet, we recommend only using this for fridges with legs and rear cooling coils. The legs will allow for air circulation, and the rear cooling coil will be safely away from the carpet anyway. This water-proof mat is best used to protect your carpet from spills and marks left by the weight of the refrigerator.
This mat can come in four sizes: 24 x 56 inches, 36 x 30 inches, 36 x 40 inches, and 36 x 60 inches. With this much choice, you should be able to find the perfect fit for your kitchen space.
The mat is made from absorbent material with a vinyl backing to make sure the liquid does not soak through to your carpet. This way, you can keep your fridge on the carpet without needing to worry about the mess. The mat itself can be machine washed when a spill does occur.
The only thing to be careful of is making sure your fridge door (if your appliance doesn’t have legs) is high enough off the ground to let the door open even on the mat. It might be a bad idea to buy this mat without checking this first.
- Keeps the fridge from touching your carpet directly.
- Is fully waterproof to help keep your carpet safe from spills.
- Comes in a variety of sizes.
- May hold heat and isn’t likely to help create an ideal temperature for your fridge.
- Placing refrigerators on carpet isn’t great if your cooling coils are on the bottom of the appliance.
Keeping a refrigerator on the carpet isn’t ideal, but if you need to place a fridge in a fully carpeted room, there are multiple kinds of mats you can use to solve the problem.
For fridges with a condenser coil underneath the appliance, a stand or plastic floor mat is the best option to keep the fridge cool. For fridges with a condenser coil on the back, it’s fine to use a carpeted mat to protect your main carpet from accidental spills.
Keeping your refrigerator in a cool spot is important to avoid higher energy consumption and keep your fridge working properly. Always remember to perform a safety check and regular maintenance on your refrigerator to keep your home safe from fires. Stay safe and enjoy your handy appliance!