Whirlpool WRS325SDHZ side-by-side refrigerator
This side-by-side fridge is too warm and dry for your fresh food
Here at Reviewed, we’ve written a lot about the pros and cons of side-by-side refrigerators. They keep more of your food at eye level, won’t make you bend to find things in the freezer, and let you keep adults-only snacks and beverages on a higher shelf. Plus, in most cases, side-by-side models cost less than popular French door fridges.
But if you often freeze wide pans of lasagna, or your kids live on frozen pizza, a side-by-side can present storage challenges.
We brought the Whirlpool WRS325SDHZ side-by-side (available at Home Depot for $997.20) into our labs, and spent a week testing it. Our conclusion: this side-by-side fridge has a cold, hard-working freezer, but it doesn't do as well on the refrigerator side. In our tests, the fresh food section ran too warm, and the crispers didn’t retain their humidity.
If this were a budget fridge, maybe that would be expected, but at this price, it is definitely NOT a budget refrigerator! And it's 36-inches wide, so if you have room for this one, you could choose to put a French door model in the space instead.
Our side-by-side model has an attractive stainless exterior design. If stainless steel isn't your jam, you can choose white or black for $100 less, or buy this fridge in chic black stainless for about $250 more. (The price points will vary, depending on your retailer.)
The tap-touch controls on the blue-lit front panel are clear and easy to adjust. You can’t select a temperature, but you tap to make the interior colder. Ice and filtered water are dispensed through the door.
Inside the fridge, the LED lights are bright, and the glass shelves are frameless, to maximize space. You can adjust the gallon bins in the door. If your family drinks canned or bottled beverages, they’ll appreciate the can caddy.
The three drawers felt flimsy in our hands. When we pulled out the bottom crisper, a shelf pulled out with it. That would be annoying if it happened to you every day.
Only about half the space in the freezer is useable, because the icemaker takes up so much room. You’d have to be creative to store all your frozen food. And you'll have to bend down to get it! That eliminates the "food at eye level" advantage of the side-by-side design!
Cold and consistent, the freezer is the star of this refrigerator. It cooled down to 32° in just over an hour and stayed at the 0°, the right temperature, over time. Frozen food will do well there, with little chance of freezer burn.
The temperature in the refrigerator section was also consistent, but the 41° we measured on that side is barely okay for milk. Any upswing in temperature at that point will put your dairy in danger.
Fortunately, it’s easy to adjust the temp, but you can’t be precise with this model, because the control panel doesn’t show temperature in degrees. Try lowering it one notch and see how it goes.
Three drawers provide enough space for sandwich makings, fruits, and vegetables. Only one of them has a humidity control, but none of the crispers do a good job maintaining humidity. That could be bad news for your produce.
We estimate that this refrigerator will cost about $49 a year to run, which is about $10 a year more than most, but certainly less than the old refrigerator you may be replacing.
What the users say
Based on a very small number of reviews, this new-for-2017 model is working fine for its new owners. They like the glass shelves, and the adjustable gallon bins in the door. A few noticed that the icemaker takes too much space in the freezer, which we found, too.
The bottom line
Although you might be able to purchase a basic French door model for a similar price, if you like the side-by-side configuration and want to stick with this brand, Whirlpool offers some very good side-by-side refrigerators. In fact, a couple of them made our Best Right Now list for side-by-sides—the spacious Whirlpool WRS975SIDM, and the counter depth Whirlpool WRS975SIDM. Either of those would be a better choice than the WRS325SDHZ.
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