refrigerators
  • Best of Year 2013
  • Editors' Choice

Amana ABB2224WES Refrigerator Review

A great alternative to a side-by-side

$1,449.00
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Introduction

Thanks to thermodynamics, bottom freezers have a built-in advantage. You know what we’re talking about: Cold air falling, warm air rising, and all that stuff. That's why we're surprised there aren’t more of them taking up space in America’s kitchens.

Small as the bottom freezer pack might be, the Amana ABB2224WES (MSRP $1,449) is right at the head of it. A cramped freezer may turn off fans of frozen lasagna, but every other aspect of this fridge is absolutely stellar.

Design & Usability

Basic, with an industrial flair.

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The wide, blank steel doors give this fridge an industrial vibe.

The Amana that we tested came with a stainless steel finish, but it’s also available in black or white for folks who don’t like the shiny stuff. Its impressive size and thick handles give it a rather industrial vibe.

The interior has a definitively mid-range feel. Lots of white plastic shelves are bathed in the pinkish glow of incandescent bulbs, but the deli drawer and the two crispers slide with surprising smoothness for a plastic-on-plastic set up. Door shelves look clunky, and most of them aren’t that big; the full-width bottom shelf is the only one deep enough to hold a gallon-sized container, but at least it’s wide enough to put three in a row with room to spare.

The cramped freezer is the only really disappointing aspect of this fridge's design. The pullout drawer doesn’t open all that far, usually a problem we only come across with counter-depth models. Wide-spaced wire shelves won’t do you any favors when a bag of frozen peas splits open, and the plastic dividers on the upper rack look adjustable but are pretty firmly attached. Overall, the freezer is usable, but there’s definitely room for improvement.

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Performance & Features

A pinnacle of food preservation for all tastes.

While its design may be basic, this Amana's performance is as good as it gets. This fridge is almost perfect, and that's not a claim we make lightly. Fridge and freezer temperature variation—the most important aspect of food preservation—was virtually nonexistent. With temperature output that reliable, you can virtually kiss freezer burn goodbye. Even delicate foods like a soft Brie or a pricey cut of steak should be safe in here.

Despite their inelegant appearance, the crisper drawers were fantastic at keeping fresh food fresh, so have no fear stocking up at the local farmer's market. You may also save money on your electric bill, as this fridge proved to be a power miser.

This fridge is almost perfect.

Don't expect fancy features or controls, as this is one simple fridge. There's no icemaker or water dispenser, and it uses an arbitrary temperature scale ranging from zero to seven. We followed Amana's instructions and kept it set to "four." Temperatures ran just one degree warmer than the ideal 37ºF in the fridge and 0ºF in the freezer, respectively, which is pretty impressive for controls with such limited flexibility. For once, the owner's manual didn't lead us astray.

Comparable Products

Before you buy the Amana ABB2224WES, take a look at these other refrigerators.

Conclusion

This bottom freezer is the tops!

Though Amana may be Whirlpool's most basic brand, this bottom freezer proves that a simple fridge can have great performance. With a capacious refrigerator compartment, a simple and accessible layout, and some of the best performance we’ve ever seen, it’s a real winner. Sure, the freezer is cramped, and there’s no ice or water, but if you’re looking for an energy efficient fridge that can hold (and preserve) lots of fresh food, this is the way to go.

It's $1,449 MSRP is pricier than a comparable top freezer, but less expensive than a trendier French door. If you can find it on sale, you may be able to snag it for $1,200—and even less in a different finish. If you want no-nonsense performance with lots of room for fresh food, the ABB2224WES is the fridge for you.

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