Wine Cooler Buyers Guide

Wine cooler buyers guide, Freestanding Wine Coolers    Built-In Wine Coolers      Countertop Wine Cooler buyers guide

What’s the Difference?

Portable - perfect for any location Space saving - sits under counter, cut-out, cabinetCompact & perfect for smaller spaces
Heat generally dispenses from the rear of the unitHeat vents in the front, saving space Ideal for spaces with lots of counterspace
Thermoelectric/ Energy Efficient optionGenerally holds a larger collectionGenerally holds a smaller collection
Often Less expensiveMay be more expensiveLess expensive

Should you get a Freestanding Wine Cooler?

Freestanding Coolers are designed to stand alone, like a piece of furniture; and they can be very stylish pieces as that.

You might want a Freestanding Cooler if:


  • You want/ need the flexibility to move your cooler around (either from one end of the room to another, or to a different room completely). This flexibility is also necessary for apartment dwellers that may occasionally move.
  • You want to show off your collection. Wine and wine coolers are definitely a conversation piece and if they are in a location of your choosing, you can show off your wine as you like.
  • You have a specific location (that is not suited for a built-in unit) in which you would like to place a wine cooler.
  • You are interested in a Thermoelectric/ Energy Efficient wine cooler. You may be able to find a built-in Thermoelectric wine cooler, but generally speaking, the energy efficient systems are freestanding systems.
  • You don’t have a cut-out/ under counter space that can house a built-in system.
  • You don’t want to spend as much money on your wine cooler as a built-in might cost. You can certainly find expensive freestanding wine coolers, but for the most part they are always going to be cheaper than built-in systems.

See all Freestanding Wine Cooler Reviews


Something to note about freestanding coolers
: They generally dissipate heat from the back of the unit, therefore keeping a couple of inches clearance on all sides of the unit is recommended. If you are looking for a cooler that you can put into a cabinet or in a very closed off space, you will be better off with a Built-In/ Under-Counter cooler.

Should you get a Built-In/ Under-Counter Wine Cooler?

Built-In or Under-Couner wine coolers are designed to go into an existing counter or cabinet space/ cut-out. These units are also called zero clearance (as they clear out of the way) and generally vent from the front of the unit (where Freestanding Coolers vent from the rear and cannot go under a counter or cabinet).

You might want a Built-In/ Under-Counter Cooler if:


  • You already have a cut-out or other space in which you can put an Under-Counter system.
  • You have a large kitchen and can create a cut-out for this type of system.
  • You have a large collection of wine that you would like to store and keep handy.
  • You want/ need the unit out of the way (and under a counter or in a cabinet).
  • You prefer a Compressor-Based cooler (like a refrigerator) as opposed a Thermoelectric cooler (which can generally only cool to about 20°F lower than the ambient temperature outside the unit). This may apply if you are in a particularly hot environment or prefer your wine colder than standard recommendations.
  • You enjoy a fully optimized kitchen and appreciate the luxury of having a Built-In System.
  • You are a serious collector and can afford a built-in system.

See all Built-In Wine cooler Reviews

Something to note about Built-In/ Under-Counter Wine Coolers
: Don’t think that a ‘built-in’ wine cooler has to be custom made for your kitchen or cabinet. These systems come in various sizes and while some people may have a custom made system, most everyone else can find a size that works for the space they have.

Should you get a Countertop Wine Cooler?

Countertop wine coolers are exactly what they sound like; they are wine coolers that are small enough to sit on your countertop (or any flat surface really). Given this fact, they are generally smaller units.

You might want a Countertop Wine Cooler if:


  • Your space is very limited.
  • You have a small collection of wine.
  • You want to keep a small collection (aside from your larger collection) handy and ready for serving. Those who prefer their ready to serve wine at a different temperature than their aging wine will appreciate a countertop cooler.
  • Your budget calls for the least expensive type of wine cooler.
  • You find them to be very cute!

See all Countertop Wine Cooler Reviews


What about other Features?

Click below to learn about other important wine cooler features. 

Should you get a Dual Zone or Single Zone Wine Cooler?

Should you get a Thermoelectric Wine Cooler or a Compressor Wine Cooler?

Should you think about the Temperature Range of your Wine Cooler?

Other features to think about: (Click here)

    • Is there an Interior Light?
    • Is there a Cabinet Lock?
    • Is the door UV Protected or a Double Paned?
    • Does it have a Reversible Door?
    • What kind of Shelving is in the Cooler?
    • Does the cooler have a Carbon Filter?
    • What kind of Warranty is offered?

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