Few kitchen appliances are more important than your refrigerator. Not only does your fridge keep food and treats cool, it affects the overall look of your kitchen. If you are in the market for a new refrigerator, you may be considering the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM. This unique fridge is affordable, spacious and effective.
In this article, we take a comprehensive look at the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM. We discuss dimensions and specifications and compare them to other refrigerators on the market today. In compiling our review, we looked through hundreds of customer reviews. We attempted to reduce these reviews to reliable, honest information. Whenever possible, we share positive and negative customer experiences with you.
What is the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM?
The Whirlpool WRF535SMBM is a refrigerator most commonly installed in kitchens in private residences. This appliance keeps food and drinks cold or frozen, depending on which compartment you store them in. The WRF535SMBM features French doors on the top half of the appliance with a standalone middle drawer. A lower drawer opens the freezer compartment.
Inside the refrigerator, LED lighting illuminates the expansive compartment. This feature ensures you have a steady supply of light without having to worry about exorbitant energy bills. Outside, an exquisite stainless-steel finish gives the WRF535SMBM a high-end look. Crisp white, plastic shelves have a clean, modern look. Further, a see-through bottom glass shelf allows you to check on the freshness of lettuce and other perishables without opening the produce compartment.
The storage compartment on this machine is large enough, despite being smaller than some competitors. The utility expense of the WRF535SMBM is likewise middle-of-the-road.
What are the Specifications of the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM?
The Whirlpool WRF535SMBM features French doors above two pull-out drawers. It has adjustable shelves made of both white plastic and glass. The included icemaker makes either cubed or crushed ice, which easily falls through a dispenser. The dispenser also dispenses water with just the touch of an intuitive button. A removable water filter must be replaced occasionally, but its indicator is easy to read.
This refrigerator has a temperature-control feature and is Energy Star compliant. The appliance uses some estimated 547-kilowatt hours of electricity each year with an estimated annual operating cost of $58. The Whirlpool WRF535SMBM is not counter-deep, though.
Some additional, important specifications include:
These specifications are not necessarily impressive, but they are adequate. Most users find the size and capacity of the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM to be sufficient. The overall styling of this refrigerator is modern and pleasing. Outside the refrigerator, controls are bright and high-tech looking. You get two dedicated dispenser paddles that make dispensing ice and water a breeze. You can also clearly read which setting the dispenser is on.
While this fridge looks great, it misses the mark with functionality. Many consumers express disappointment with the large size of the included ice maker. Because the icemaker takes up so much space, the shelves in half of the refrigerator are small and essentially useless. Even worse, the WRF535SMBM doesn’t have a crisper drawer or dedicated compartment. The best you can do by purchasing this refrigerator is set its temperature to the produce setting. If you eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, you won’t love this drawback.
While we like the overall size and styling of the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM, we have to mention its freezer compartment. Despite being a comparatively large refrigerator, the WRF535SMBM has a cramped freezer. The freezer drawer also doesn’t open far enough to easily access all of the compartments. We would like to see some changes made to the freezer compartment. That said, at the refrigerator’s low price point, you won’t find many competitors that offer a pull-out freezer drawer below a standalone middle one.
In consumer testing, the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM performed adequately but not impressively. Testers often found that both the refrigerator and freezer ran a bit warm. That is, after setting the temperature in each compartment to Whirlpool specifications, testers found that the temperature wasn’t low enough to get the job done. This isn’t too concerning, however, as turning down the dial by a couple notches fixed the problem. Of note, once they reached correct temperature, the refrigerator and freezer sections both maintained it consistently.
Again, the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM does not have a dedicated crisper drawer. While testers used the produce setting, perishable items lost important moisture when stored in the produce drawer. Simply put, if you want to properly preserve produce, this probably isn’t the refrigerator for you.
How Much Does the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM Cost?
French-door refrigerators are often expensive. That isn’t the case with the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM. This fridge sells for $$. The refrigerator is available for purchase online from a variety of retailers. It is also on the showrooms of major stores.
How Does the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM Compare to Other Refrigerators?
The Whirlpool WRF535SMBM has some stiff competition from other refrigerator manufacturers. Here we look at three competitors.
- Total (cu. Ft.): 23.5 / Fridge: 15.6 / Freezer: 7.9
- SpillProof Glass Shelving / Humidity Controlled Crispers
- InstaView Window / Door-in-Door
What Are Some Pros and Cons of the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM?
While the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM has a lot going for it, it has some significant drawbacks. Here is a list of some pros and cons of the WRF535SMBM.
The Whirlpool WRF535SMBM price is very affordable, although you can probably find it on sale for a couple hundred dollars less. The styling of this appliance looks expensive. Its performance, however, is comparable with other refrigerators with similar price tags. Still, if you want to change the look of your kitchen or impress your friends with a gorgeous appliance without breaking the bank, you will love the price tag on the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM.
Con: No Dedicated Crisper
We have already pointed out the lack of a dedicated crisper on the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM. While this refrigerator does have a produce setting, it doesn’t get the job done. Instead, perishables lose moisture when stored in the area that should be the crisper. While we appreciate the moveable shelves, we would love to see a crisper inside the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM. We simply aren’t ready to surrender the freshness and crispness of our favorite fruits and vegetables.
Pro: Freezing and Thawing
Consumer testing revealed that manufacturer settings for the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM cause the internal temperature of the freezer and refrigerator to be too high. By turning the temperature down a little bit, testers were able to achieve acceptable results. Once each compartment reached the correct temperature, cooling is impressive. In fact, testers cooled room temperature water to freezing in an hour and 15 minutes. That is better than the industry standard.
Likewise, the freezer’s insulation is remarkable. Testers unplugged the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM for 36 hours. After that time, frozen items had thawed to just under 27 degrees. That’s right, with no power for three days, food was still frozen. This is standout freezer performance.
Con: Cramped Storage Space
We love the middle storage drawer on the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM. After all, we didn’t find another refrigerator with a similar price tag that had a standalone middle drawer. As such, the drawer gives you a high-end look without requiring you to break the bank. The drawer also takes up a significant amount of valuable real estate. Inside the WRF535SMBM, you find three half shelves. Two of these shelves have deli drawers attached to them. While these drawers are nice for organizational purposes, they eat into shelf height in an unpleasant way.
The large icemaker renders the shelves on the left side of the appliance essentially useless. It also looks huge, helping to give the refrigerator a cramped feeling. While there is plenty of space to store many items, you may have to place tall ones on their sides.
Pro: Stainless-Steel Finish
Modern consumers want a refrigerator with a modern look. The Whirlpool WRF535SMBM certainly has that. This refrigerator features a fingerprint-resistant stainless-steel finish. Whether you want to place your appliance in a chef’s kitchen or a minimalistic one, you will likely appreciate the overall look of this machine. Likewise, since the outside is made from high-grade stainless-steel, you don’t have to worry about rust or scratches. On the contrary, with just a bit of polish, this appliance looks great.
The stainless-steel exterior, middle drawer and control panel make this machine look higher-end than it actually is. If you are renovating your kitchen, the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM gives you the right look. With the savings, you can invest cash in other appliances or custom upgrades. Be careful, though. If you are looking for a professional-grade refrigerator, the WRF535SMBM isn’t it.
Con: Runs a Bit Warm
You should be able to rely on manufacturer recommendations when programming appliances. If you trust Whirlpool, your refrigerator likely won’t be cool enough to keep food at the right temperature. The same goes for the freezer. This may be a nitpicky point, but it gets under our skin. We simply don’t see why Whirlpool doesn’t tell you to set the temperature lower in its programming recommendations. Nonetheless, knowing where to set the temperature fixes the problem. If you choose to purchase the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM, be sure you test the actual internal temperature instead of blindly trusting manufacturer suggestions. They will likely lead you astray.
Pro: Energy Efficiency
The Whirlpool WRF535SMBM has average energy efficiency. While we can’t say that this appliance will save you more than other appliances, it won’t cause your energy costs to rise. If you happen to have an old refrigerator, replacing it with the WRF535SMBM is likely to cause utility bills to drop. When compared to other appliances with a similar price tag, the Whirlpool WRF535SMBM is fine. For us, that’s good enough to consider energy efficiency to be a selling point with this machine.
The Whirlpool WRF535SMBM is an interesting appliance. This refrigerator features some of the slickest styling we have seen on any machine. Certainly, for its price tag, the WRF535SMBM looks better than its competitors. The standalone middle drawer gives this refrigerator a professional appearance. The professional appearance does not reveal a professional-grade fridge, however.
Inside the appliance, storage space seems tighter than it should for a fridge of this size. While shelves are modern, clean and well-lit, they are small. An oversized icemaker also eats into valuable storage space. The middle drawer is cool, but it doesn’t include a dedicated crisper. This is a problem, as the unit’s produce setting does not keep perishable items fresh.
The freezer is even more cramped and unwelcoming. Mesh shelves are small and seem like they would be hard to clean. Despite LED lighting in the refrigerator section, the freezer’s light comes from a dim incandescent bulb. This bulb is at the back of the freezer in an awkward place. Good luck changing it when it burns out.
We don’t want to be overly negative, however. We are neutral about the energy rating of this appliance, which is good enough without being exceptional. We also know your friends and family will think you spent a fortune on your new fridge.