Whirlpool WRF555SDHV French door refrigerator review
This good-looking French door refrigerator stays consistently cold
If you like the sleek, contemporary appearance of a French door refrigerator, take a look at the Whirlpool WRF535SDHV (available at Home Depot for $1,697.40). It’s tall, dark, and handsome, with a black stainless body and wide strap handles. The control panel on the outside is bright and easy to use, and it dispenses water and two kinds of ice through the door.
Because looking good is never enough, we brought this made-in-America French door model into our labs for testing and spent a week with it, to make sure it will keep your food fresh and safe.
We were taken with the black stainless finish, though the model comes in regular stainless steel (WRF555SDFZ) as well, for a couple of hundred dollars more. Which finish you prefer is a matter of taste—although black stainless is a thing these days, styles can change, and stainless is always classic.
When we opened the two doors, we appreciated the well-lit interior. We noticed that the bins on the right door are spacious enough to fit a pair of gallon milk jugs side by side, and the interior shelves can be moved to accommodate a family’s groceries. The shelves on the left door are much smaller, and the one nearest the top is so skinny that we weren’t entirely sure what we could store there—single slices of American cheese or a stick of butter, maybe.
The slide-out pantry drawer has a temperature control, which is a nice feature. You could load up the drawer with cold cuts for weekday lunches or slide in a sheet cake for a birthday party.
We found that the crisper bins a bit disappointing. We were happy to see that each one had a separate humidity control. But the plastic drawers feel cheaply made and are noisy to open. We discovered that it is impossible to open the crisper on the right without opening both refrigerator doors. You shouldn’t have to throw open both doors to grab a stalk of celery. Since it’s easy to open the crisper on the left with just the left side door open, we wonder what to make of this design decision.
Then, there’s the icemaker. It’s bulky, cutting into the fresh food storage on the left side of the fridge. Whirlpool claims that this 36-inch fridge has 25 cu.-ft. of storage space, but you sacrifice a lot of room to get ice from the door. We measured the actual capacity of both fridge and freezer to be just over half of what Whirlpool claims.
French door fridges locate the freezer at the bottom. There are two drawers inside this freezing compartment. The top one is mesh, so your frozen peas may find a way to escape and fall below, but the bottom drawer is solid, so if they fall, you'll probably find them there.
Both the refrigerator and the freezer did a good job maintaining a consistent cold. The fridge stayed right near the perfect 37° temperature. The freezer performed well, too, averaging around 1°, not far from the ideal 0°. (You can use the control panel to adjust it down if you want.) It gets cold quickly, passing the 32° mark in less than an hour, useful when you first hook it up, or after a power failure.
Although we had some issues with the crisper design, the crispers did very well maintaining humidity, so produce can stay fresh and crisp in there.
We calculate that this freezer will cost you $40 a year to run, which is about average.
What the users say
Owners rated this refrigerator 4.5 out of 5, praising its updated looks as an attractive addition to any kitchen. A small number of owners wrote about problems they had with the ice maker, stating that ice can get stuck as it dispenses.
The bottom line
We are impressed with this refrigerator’s performance, though the organization of the interior could be better. It has a number of features that are nice to see at this price point, especially the deli drawer with a temperature control.
There are so many good French door refrigerators out there right now that you should be able to find exactly what you want at a price you're comfortable paying. The Samsung RF260BEAESR is a strong contender and a very good value, with many of the same features as the Whirlpool model. But it does require you to scoop your own ice from an icemaker in the freezer.
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