“This fridge’s plentiful cubbies hold enough food to feed a small football team.”
- 32 cubic feet of refrigerator and freezer space
- Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel looks great
- Variety of dedicated bins, including a “Pizza Pocket”
- App doesn’t have a ton of features
An essential home appliance if ever there was one, a refrigerator is often the go-to stop in the kitchen – the heart and soul of the room. Peeking at what’s inside is like scrolling through Netflix’s massive online movie collection: you don’t necessarily know what you want, but it doesn’t hurt to look. On a normal fridge, a quick glimpse is all that’s necessary to scan its contents. Then there’s Whirlpool’s WRF995FIFZ French-door refrigerator, which checks in at a whopping 36 inches wide, boasts 32 cubic feet of storage space, and is a bona fide beast.
Whirlpool dubs it a “pantry-inspired” refrigerator meaning the shelving and layout are inspired by that hold-all kitchen closet, so it’s safe to put this model firmly outside the realm of normal. In other words, there’s no such thing as merely glancing into this behemoth; it packs all sorts of nooks, crannies, and cubbies capable of holding enough food to feed a small football team. To see just how Whirlpool’s French-door refrigerator fared with daily use, we stuck it in our office kitchen for a few weeks and gave it a proper whirl. Here’s what we found.
Unboxing and setting up
Void of any extraordinarily advanced tech — outside of a companion smartphone application — setting up Whirlpool’s French-door refrigerator is done with ease. While the unit itself is a touch heavy, built-in wheels make it easy to navigate it along carpet or flooring. Additionally, simply plugging its power cord into the wall and attaching it to a nearby water line is all that’s necessary to get the thing up and running. If you’re handy enough, it’s a straightforward DIY project, but by all means get a professional if you don’t feel confident in your plumbing skills.
It does also require a bit of shelf and bin installation, but Whirlpool shipped the fridge with these mostly installed, making it easy to see where the loose storage slotted in place.
What’s immediately evident is the fridge looks incredibly clean out of the box. Finished in fingerprint-resistant stainless steel — we tested out Whirlpool’s claims, and found the surface surprisingly resistant to prints — it’s clear Whirlpool gave extra attention to a fresh aesthetic. But above all else is…well, Whirlpool’s French-Door fridge. This thing actually towers above all else. It’s massive, both inside and out, standing just over 5’8” tall.
Whirlpool focused on making this fridge act as a pseudo-pantry. Featuring an incredibly expansive layout — along with what the company dubs Infinity Slide shelving — there’s more refrigerated space in this French-door variety than most people will know what to do with. Even while sitting in our office kitchen, where roughly 20 people had consistent access to it, we were challenged to get it anywhere near full capacity.
There’s more refrigerated space here than most people will know what to do with.
A big part of that whole pantry thing is the Infinity Slide shelves; rarely does a refrigerator allow users to so easily sort their small and large items. Featured on the fridge’s top two rows, Infinity Slide consists of a sliding glass shelf that pushes back however far you want to open up space for larger standing items, like wine bottles or 2-liter soda bottles. These adjustable panes let you store those taller items standing up as opposed to lying down (or stuffed into that door bucket). Even with the shelves slid in, there’s still ample storage space to the left and right; this adjustment is only for a section of the shelf, so you don’t have to shrink the entire thing just to make room for a couple items. This kind of flexibility is a nice touch.
Whirlpool included eight door bins (which aren’t adjustable), four on each door. With the ice maker taking up a lot of space on the left door, the bins on that side are best suited for condiments and small drinks. The right door is where owners would feasibly store gallons of milk or larger condiment bottles — the bottom two bins are by far the largest of the bunch.
In the freezer at the base of Whirlpool’s WRF995FIFZ French-door refrigerator, you’ll find three different areas, each ranging dramatically in size. The bottom storage area — which contains the novel Pizza Pocket (more on that below) — features a section divider, allowing users to customize its size. Its middle shelf shares real estate with ice storage, though it’s still large enough to fit somewhat skinnier frozen goods. During our time with the fridge, we stored liter-sized bottles (laying down) and a few frozen meals without overly stuffing it. Its third area (really just a sliding shelf that either closes off or opens the middle storage space) is good for smaller frozen items, or something that’s easily fetched.
Capable crispers, dedicated pizza pockets
A must-have for any competent refrigerator, Whirlpool’s crisper bins proved to be one of the appliance’s hallmarks. In addition to being one of the biggest we’ve seen (the left crisper measured 18.6 inches at its widest point; the smaller crisper on the right was 10.5), its ability to retain moisture was excellent.
To get a true sense of its performance, we soaked a dry sponge in water, weighed it, then stuck it in the crisper drawer for 48 hours. After retrieving the sponge, the final weight (3.74 ounces) was just a quarter of an ounce lower than the initial reading (3.99 ounces). Backed by an auto-humidity feature, Whirlpool’s crisper drawers appear up to the task of keeping large amounts of produce fresh for days.
Furthermore, Whirlpool allows for the installation of a produce-preserver pack which (according to the company) extends the life of produce by up to 25 percent. Like its air or water filters, Whirlpool suggests swapping this out for a new pack every six months to continuously enjoy a high-quality output. The fridge also comes standard with a stick-on holder for the pack, allowing owners to easily install it in either crisper drawer.
Whirlpool successfully stocked its massive French-door refrigerator with a laundry list of available features, but the dedicated pizza and platter pocket just might be its best – and most amusing. Exactly what they sound like, Whirlpool’s pizza and platter pocket was designed to store entire pizza boxes easily – or brownie and lasagna platters – without sacrificing other precious refrigerator space.
Whirlpool also included a similar pizza box-sized pocket in the unit’s freezer area. It’s the little things that count.
Though it doesn’t pack an extensive set of features, the fridge’s interface is a breeze to operate. Whereas many appliance companies have gone the way of LED or touchscreen displays, Whirlpool’s is simply a sleek gray touch-sensitive panel located above the water and ice spouts.
Comprising but a few different options —crushed or cubed ice, a Fast Ice feature that speeds up production, and a measured-fill button that dispenses exactly 8, 16, or 24 ounces of water — the screen doubles as a notification system for the air and water filter. When it gets close to the end of either either’s lifecycle, the interface flicks on the “Order Filter” alert before then lighting up the “Replace Filter” light. While many modern fridges come standard with a water filter insert, Whirlpool’s addition of an air filter — which drastically helped nix odor inside the fridge — is a wonderful (and highly useful) supplement.
Though it has an app, it doesn’t have enough features that you’ll be using it very often.
Whirlpool’s French-door unit also comes standard with a load of basic amenities native to most modern refrigerators, like a built-in water spout and dual icemakers (plus in-door ice storage). It also has the ability to set up maintenance alerts, panoramic LED lighting, and a nifty setting called Party Mode – the fridge kicks on Fast Ice and Fast Cool settings to chill an influx in beverages and snacks. It even allows owners to sync the Whirlpool app with the fridge, so you can operate any of its features from a smartphone or tablet.
Don’t expect to be wowed by the fridge’s app, however. After linking the fridge to the standard Whirlpool app, interactions with it are minimal — a notification that someone left the refrigerator door open, that it’s time to change the air filter, or how much energy the fridge is consuming. Available features (for now) are as bare bones as a leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
Sure, it’s nice to be able to kick on Party Mode when you’re at the grocery store, but we’re guessing you’ll rarely use it. Still, Whirlpool has plans to make a lot of its appliances smart this year, and its diagnostic and maintenance alerts can help solve problems before they start. The fridge also works with Nest thermostats, and it can time its own defrost cycle for when energy costs are lowest. We like that part.
Like most appliances, Whirlpool’s WRF995FIFZ 36-inch French-Door Refrigerator comes with a one-year limited warranty that covers defects in materials or workmanship that existed at the time of purchase. According to the user manual, Whirlpool can decide to either conduct an in-home fridge repair or replace it outright. It’s worth noting that if the fridge is replaced, owners only have the original warranty on the new fridge, instead of another full year.
Larger than many fridges we’ve reviewed, Whirlpool’s French-door model is downright enormous. Featuring pantry-inspired shelving, innovative Infinity Slide shelves, and a dedicated pizza pocket (we’re already sold), even our busy office couldn’t make this model feel cramped. It was more than just the 32 cubic feet of space, though; the well-thought-out design of the shelves and bins kept our takeout boxes, random salad dressings and siracha bottles, and entire grocery bags of food organized.
After spending a month with the Whirlpool, it never took on the stench of forgotten food that often happens when we’re testing fridges. Obviously, its capable filter was a feature the whole office enjoyed.
Featuring a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish, a sleek (and easy-to-use) interface, and app support, the fridge both looks and feels modern. It may not tout an interactive touchscreen, but it’s still a well-rounded appliance that would make any big family happy.
What are the alternatives?
As far as French-door refrigerators go, the competition is vast. An incredibly popular style, there’s almost no way for someone to make a bad decision as long as they put in the necessary research. With that said, there are a few direct competitors that line up with the price of this Whirlpool model, as well as its relative size and available features.
Up first is Samsung’s French-Door Refrigerator (RF323TEDBSR), with what it calls Thru-the-Door Ice and Water. A 31.6-cubic-foot model, Samsung’s version is certainly large yet still clocks in a bit smaller than the Whirlpool – and appealingly, it’s roughly $1,000 cheaper through a site like Best Buy. Conversely, LG boasts a 29.6-cubic-foot Door-in-Door French-Door Refrigerator (LFXS30766D) that (yet again) is a little smaller than Whirlpool’s. It does, however, boast a Door-in-Door feature, which lets owners quickly open an access panel on the right side without opening the whole door, keeping the items inside from warming up too much. Let features and price be your guide! Whirlpool’s iteration does stand out from the competition for size, but perhaps cost or the in-door features are more important to you.
Will it last?
Made from stainless steel (fingerprint-resistant, at that), Whirlpool’s 36-inch French-Door Refrigerator is built for the long haul. With an interior that’s part sturdy plastic and part glass, unless you throw heavy grocery items into it willy-nilly, it should hold up for many years. It’s also got an app and Wi-Fi connectivity, which means Whirlpool can help diagnose problems without sending a repair person, and the company can send updates and new features down the line. You might not want to talk to your fridge with Alexa, but, hey, it could happen.
Like any appliance, however, Whirlpool’s giant French-door variety does need a bit of upkeep to keep it in tip-top condition. Though it doesn’t require anything out of the ordinary, making sure to clean up spills and discarding expired food is the surest way to keeping it in a high-quality state. As for its air filter and produce-preserver inserts, it’s recommended these get changed every six months.
Should you buy it?
Are you in need of a massively spacious refrigerator? Few (if any) similar models boast the capacity of Whirlpool’s 36-inch French-Door refrigerator, putting it in a league of its own when it comes to refrigerated real estate. Couple this benefit with its slew of organizational features – including its innovative Infinity Slide shelving, dedicated pizza and platter pockets, gallon door bins, efficient crisper, and panoramic LED lighting – and there’s little reason to not recommend Whirlpool’s colossal fridge.
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