Best Under-Counter Beverage Centers (2022 Update)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  September 28, 2022  |  5 Min. Read

Undercounter Refrigerators  |  Beverage Centers

Beverage centers are the most popular under-counter refrigerators because they can hold wine bottles, cans, and sports drinks.

They have more flexibility to hold wine bottles and at least 80 cans of beer. The beverage center can do both in a 24-inch size.

There are tons of brands to consider. Many are decent, like Perlick, U-Line, Marvel, Sub-Zero, Monogram, and Electrolux, to name a few.

This post will teach you about the best beverage centers from True, Sub-Zero, and our Yale brand.

There are vast differences between the models. For that reason, your decision depends on the features and price.

Let's get started.

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Best Under-Counter Beverage Centers for 2022

Best Built: True TBC-24-R-SG-C - $5,349

True-undercounter-refrigerator-TBC-24-R-SG-B

Dimensions: 23.88" W, 34.25" H, 23.88" D | Max Capacity: 13 Bottles | Stainless Steel Interior: Yes | Dual Temperature Zones: No | Panel Ready: Yes & Custom Finishes| Warranty: 3 Year

True is a commercial refrigeration company based out of St Louis. They started manufacturing residential products in the last five years.

This beverage center is an impressive, well-built unit. True is all stainless on the inside with a convection fan on the back to maintain a consistently cool temperature.

Stainless steel is the best material for the inside of your refrigerator. It absorbs and maintains cold air better than any other surface.

True is so well-built that it's rated for outside kitchens and bars. The shelves glide out as well.

You can even accent the outside with 11 high-fashion colors and six hinge accents. You can also panel in an overlay with glass or fully panelize as well.

The inside lighting has your choice of 14 different colors (it's like a limo on prom night). True is the most expensive, but it's the only refrigerator built to this standard.

Features:

  • Industry exclusive, 300-series stainless steel interior and exterior.
  • 5.6 cubic feet of capacity.
  • Zero-clearance hinging allows for integrated installation.
  • Patented TruLumina® LED lighting gently illuminates your product and allows you to choose from 14 different color options with the push of a button.
  • Low-E, double pane, UV tinted glass.
  • True Precision Control® with steel touch technology and readout provides digital accuracy.
  • Balanced, forced-air refrigeration system enables rapid product pull down and even temperature throughout.
  • 2 adjustable/removable stainless steel encapsulated glass shelves and 2 wine shelves will accommodate 13 bottles.
  • TrueFlex® shelving system allows convertibility to a refrigerator or a wine cabinet.
  • Sabbath mode compliant.
  • Lock standard on stainless steel models (SS, SG).
  • All under counter models UL rated for outdoor use.

Best Overall: Sub-Zero DEU2450BG/L - $3,020

Sub-Zero-DEU2450BGL

Dimensions: 24" W, 34.5" H, 23.13" D | Max Capacity: 8 Bottles | Stainless Steel Interior: Yes | Dual Temperature Zones: Yes | Panel Ready: Yes | Warranty: 2 Year

Sub-Zero is based out of Madison, Wisconsin, and has pioneered built-in refrigeration for the home since 1945.

This may be the only time Sub-Zero is less expensive than any other brand. It is significantly less than True but lacks the stainless-steel interior and color customization.

However, Sub-Zero has a better magnetic seal to keep food fresh longer.

Additionally, the temperature management system is precise, only deviating one degree from the selected temperature.

The shelving is coated with nanotechnology, congealing spills rather than spreading them. You won't keep finding grape juice residue for months after a spill.

All Sub-Zero refrigerators are Wi-Fi enabled with temperature and diagnostics available on your phone.

Lastly, you can now buy a Sub-Zero beverage center for an outdoor kitchen for $500 more.

Features:

  • Fully customizable exterior, accepting custom panels for an integrated look within cabinetry or stainless-steel accessory panels and handles to coordinate other Sub-Zero®, Wolf®, and Cove appliances
  • Seamlessly integrating anywhere, an under-counter beverage center adds comfort to your master suite, creates a corner for libations in the study—the options are endless
  • A patented, full-extension upright beverage shelf features adjustable gates that anchor contents upright and in place and fold down flat to make room for bulky items
  • Full-extension, multipurpose shelf offers ample storage space for bottles, soft drinks, and food
  • Intuitive, on-door touch control panel offers ergonomic, convenient access to settings
  • Cleanup is simple with nano-coated, spill-proof shelves
  • UV-resistant glass door protects food and beverages from harmful light that hastens spoilage
  • Magnetic door seals lock in cold air to ensure freshness and provide superior energy efficiency
  • Offers precise temperature control within one degree of setpoint, preserving wine, craft beer, dairy, produce, and other perishables at their optimal temperature
  • Soft-on LED lighting fully illuminates the interior when the door is open and can be adjusted to four unique stand-by accent lighting settings
  • Wi-Fi enabled features enable remote temperature control, provide important door-ajar notifications, and assist with remote service diagnostics—all from your mobile device

Best Warranty: Yale Appliance PURBS52SS1 - $1,899

Yale-Brand-PURBS52SS1

Dimensions: 24" W, 33.8125" H, 23.625" D | Max Capacity: 72 cans + 14 Bottles | Stainless Steel Interior: Yes | Dual Temperature Zones: Yes | Panel-Ready: Yes | Warranty: 5 Year

Unlike True, our brand is not stainless steel on the inside, and you only have three interior colors.

However, like Sub-Zero, it has a dual temperature zone.

The upper level will hold 72 cans at a temperature range of 34-50 degrees. You can set the lower range at higher temperatures at 40-54 degrees for red wine or store water and other beverages at room temperature.

However, it is among the least expensive with a five-year warranty, and it's reliable with a 6% service rate within the first year.

Features:

  • Superior Full Extension Racks
  • Premium Beechwood Wine Racks
  • White LED Lights with 3 level KELVIN shade adjustment
  • Anti-Vibration Technology
  • Double Panel Tempered Glass Door, UV coated
  • Sabbath Mode
  • Stylish look with tubular handle
  • Beverage Shelving made of Tempered Glass

Best French Door: Yale Appliance PURBF52SS1 - $1,899

Yale-PURBF52SS1

Dimensions: 24" W, 33.8125" H, 23.625" D | Max Capacity: 60 Cans + 21 Bottles | Stainless Steel Interior: Yes | Dual Temperature Zones: Yes | Panel-Ready: No | Warranty: 5 Year

This Yale French door beverage center is similar to the model above. It has a two-zone system for better temperature flexibility. Temperatures range from 34-68 degrees.

It holds 60 cans on the right and 21 bottles on the left.

Features:

  • Superior Full Extension Racks
  • Premium Beechwood Wine Racks
  • White LED Lights with 3 level KELVIN shade adjustment
  • Anti-Vibration Technology
  • Double Panel Tempered Glass Door, UV coated
  • Sabbath Mode
  • Stylish look with tubular handle
  • Beverage Shelving made of Tempered Glass

Least Expensive: Yale Appliance PURBS51SS1 - $1,599

Yale-Appliance-PURBS51SS1

Dimensions: 24" W, 33.8125" H, 23.625" D | Max Capacity: 120 cans | Stainless Steel Interior: Yes | Dual Temperature Zones: No | Panel-Ready: No | Warranty: 1 Year

If you are not storing wine, the Yale PURBS51SS1 is built as a single zone for 120 cans.

You don't have the second zone for a different temperature, but it is still built well with a five-year warranty.

Features:

  • Superior Full Extension Racks
  • Premium Beechwood Wine Racks
  • White LED Lights with 3 level KELVIN shade adjustment
  • Anti-Vibration Technology
  • Double Panel Tempered Glass Door, UV coated
  • Sabbath Mode
  • Stylish look with tubular handle
  • Beverage Shelving made of Tempered Glass

Freestanding vs. Under-Counter Beverage Centers

freestanding-vs-under-counter-beverage-centers

You walk through the aisles of a home center or online retailer and see beverage centers for $500. Yet many blogs recommend an under-counter beverage center for between $1,500 and $5,000.

What's the difference?

A freestanding beverage center has a compressor in the back and is not designed to be placed under your cabinet.

With the compressor on the back, the unit does not have enough airflow and will seize over time.

It's like putting your hand over a hair dryer. The elements overheat and stop working.

Typically, the refrigerator is made of plastic with less expensive shelving. The temperature is one zone and is not as accurate as the under-counter types.

An under-counter beverage center has a compressor on the bottom and is designed to be placed between your cabinets.

You have better temperature controls and shelving, and the units are built to a better standard with metal and not plastic.

If you are a bit over budget and are not placing the unit between cabinets, then the freestanding may be a decent option.

However, under-counter beverage centers are a better-made product and the only option between cabinets.

Under-Counter Beverage Centers vs. Wine Coolers

Under-Counter-Beverage-Centers-vs

Wine is designed specifically for wine bottles only.

The best wine units like Sub-Zero are designed to keep the wine at a certain temperature and humidity level while keeping vibration and light at a minimum to preserve the tannins and taste of the wine.

Beverage centers are designed to hold beer, soda, and wine, so the shelving is different.

Although many beverage centers now have UV-resistant Low E glass, many are not designed to store wine long term.

Which is better depends on what you tend to store and for how long.

Which Under-Counter Beverage Center Should You Buy?

Sub-Zero-Beverage-Center-and-Wine-Cooler-2022Sub-Zero Under-Counter Beverage Center (Left) and Wine Cooler (Right)

 

You have four very different products. Each has its specific advantages:

  • The True under-counter beverage center is the best built, but it is the most expensive.
  • The Sub-Zero under-counter beverage center is an excellent overall product, especially if you want to store fresh produce.
  • The Yale beverage centers are great options for the price and warranty.

It depends heavily on your budget, where you're installing it, and what you're storing.

Frequently Asked Questions About Under-Counter Beverage Centers

1. What Is the Ideal Temperature for a Beverage Center?

It depends on what you store and how much you like your food. All have temperature controls ranging from

2. Why Are Under-Counter Beverage Centers So Expensive?

They have similar compressors as larger units and have better controls and electronics in most cases. They also are made to fit in between cabinets and under the counter.

3. Can I Buy a Cheap Freestanding Refrigerator Instead?

You can, but the freestanding units breathe from the back. The compressor will seize when you place it between cabinets due to overheating and lack of airflow.

4. Can You Panel an Under-Counter Beverage Center?

You can place a custom cabinet panel on an under-counter beverage center in most brands, like Sub-Zero, True, Marvel, and U-Line. Our brand, however, is stainless only.

5. What Sizes Are Available for Under-Counter Beverage Centers?

Ninety-five percent of the units are 24 inches wide. The other 5% are 15 inches wide. under-counter units are all 34 inches tall and less than 24 inches deep. The dimensions fit a standard cabinet - almost the same size as a dishwasher.

Additional Resources

Get the Yale under-counter Refrigerator Guide with features, specs and inside tips to all the beverage centers, refrigerators, freezers and ice makers. Over 1 million people have read a Yale Guide.

Undercounter Refrigerator Buying Guide

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

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