Beverage Center Buying Guide

Beverage Center

Beverage centers or beverage refrigerators are typically a compact specialty appliance. A luxury offering for those who require a separate refrigerator to store beverages at the ready. Generally, these refrigerators come in a smaller compact size to fit in most spaces, but there are also some full-sized offerings as well. These specialty appliances generally come equipped with glass doors to visually stimulate, as well as, provide a quick visual inventory on what is inside the refrigerator before making a choice. There is some similarity and commonality between compact or mini refrigerators, wine coolers or storage units and beverage centers. This guide will be discussing the latter for all intents and purposes.

Beverage centers can be useful when entertaining with parties also. Instead of having guests traipse around the kitchen and meddling with what’s stored inside your kitchen refrigerator, simply connect a beverage center centrally located in the main entertaining area. An added bonus is having drinks chilled for the duration of the party.

Why Buy a Beverage Center?

Beverage centers are a convenient appliance to keep a stock of canned, bottled or similar beverages chilled and ready to drink. They work anywhere you have space for them.

Whether in the home or office, a beverage center is a simple solution to use to chill beverages. The location in placing these appliances are virtually limitless. Any recreational area including but not limited to dens, home offices, living room, dining room or spare room can use a beverage center for practical and entertaining uses.

Beverage centers are convenient to free up more food storage space for home refrigerators. Think about all the times you purchase a 12-pack or more of soda cans. The ability to free up space in your kitchen refrigerator is quite practical, especially if your main refrigerator needs the extra room to store more food.


The most important feature a beverage center should provide is reliably keeping beverages at a consistent temperature, however the following is a good guideline to consider when buying a new beverage center.


Reversible Door

Depending on user preference, a reversible door has an added bonus to swing open in a convenient manner in relation to the space provided.

A good example is if foot traffic is frequently towards the left of the beverage center, then it would be convenient to have a door swing open towards the right for a better flow in movement.



A safety lock is good for a deterrence in households with kids if you decide to store wine or alcohol in your beverage center. Also, if you want to limit your children’s intake on sugary drinks, this is a good feature for that too.



One of the more important things to consider when buying a new beverage center is how much storage can it provide. Depending the size of your household, look for a good cubic feet capacity that you require. For an easier mental grasp, most beverage centers today show capacity in terms of soda can (12 oz) capacity. If not listed, a general rule of thumb is that approximately 2 cubic feet of storage can store about 8 soda cans.


Temperature Control

An obvious choice, but certain beverage centers have a more refined touch with digital LED displays. However, a simple turn dial knob would suffice as well. In relation to temperature control, a beverage center that provides a steady temperature atmosphere is ideal.

Energy Star

Energy Star

An unavoidable topic issue when it comes to appliances, energy star rated beverage centers are designed under regulations to conserve more energy and resources than those without it.

Purchasing a New Beverage Center



A beverage center will run from anywhere around $200 to well over $1000. Depending on what features and creature comforts you require, expect to spend more. For most folks, an important thing to consider is how much storage capacity you require.



Beverage Centers are typically designed to be a small, compact alternative for refrigeration needs. The most common width being close to 24" with variations under 20". Additionally, their height range from 30-35" with the most common being close to 34" in height.

Types of Beverage Centers


Built-In Dishwasher

Built-In Beverage Center

Built-in beverage centers are designed to fit flush into cabinetry. Typically, only the front face door will appear finished while the sides of the unit have a very plain or unfinished look. Also these units are usually more expensive than their freestanding counterpart and are designed to be adequately sufficient at ventilation and won’t overheat. (Front venting)

Freestanding Beverage Center

Freestanding Beverage Center

A freestanding beverage center is designed to look aesthetically please anywhere it is placed. With fully finished exterior paneling, a freestanding beverage center requires about 3” of clearance around the unit for an adequate amount of room for ventilation. These refrigerators can overheat if stored in a rather enclosed area.



Most beverage centers are designed for indoor use by default.



A beverage center designed for outdoor use will be equipped with more durable paneling and/or glass doors to withstand harsh weather environments. Outdoor beverage centers have the distinct advantage in providing a central hub for drinks or food items when outdoor entertaining, such as, barbecues.

Racks and Adjustable Shelving

A good beverage center should supply the versatility in storage capacity, as well as, the convenience in options in the way beverages are stored. The best feature for racks and shelves is the ability to have them slide out, but that is entirely optional based on preference.



In relation to capacity, a good beverage center will provide convenient and adequate amount of racks to store all your beverages.


Adjustable Shelves

In addition to storage capacity, adjustable shelves are great in accommodating bottles of a larger width or other irregular shaped beverage containers.

The Best Beverage Centers


The Danby DBC120BLS 3.3 cu. ft. Capacity 18" Freestanding Compact Beverage Center with Reversible Door, 3 Wire Shelves, in Stainless Steel is a very affordable option. For those who want a premium freestanding beverage center with a lot of capacity, this unit is an ideal choice.


Monogram ZDWR240PBS 5.5 cu. ft. Capacity Built In Compact Beverage Center in Stainless Steel is a luxury option in a beverage center. This unit features all the latest features in refrigeration, as well as, convenient and flexible storage capacity. This beverage center works to store any beverage, but is one of the perfect choices for wine storage. The ZDWR240PBS is for those who only want the best.

Some Practical Advice

Noise: I mention this issue a lot, but it’s an important issue for those who value silence. A compressor is loud, any appliance that provides some sort of refrigeration function will usually operate on a compressor. An alternative to compressors are thermoelectric cooling, although not as common, it does provide certain advantages with not using any moving parts and a longer lifespan. It is also quiet in design, but thermoelectric cooling is very expensive and not efficient in energy usage.

Convenience: A specialty appliance, as with a beverage center, is one of those things you might not consider, but once you own one, you wonder why you hadn’t owned one sooner. They provide an easy way to store cold beverages for parties or for any time. The ease of use is the ability to move these units around because of their compact size.

facebook pixel