Can maintain consistent temperatures
Crisper has trouble maintaining humidity
Now, Bosch has some new counter depth, four-door French door refrigerators to match: the B21CL81SNS (MSRP $2,899) and B21CL80SNS (MSRP $2,799), both of which feature a similar European aesthetic as other Bosch appliances.
After spending a week with the B21CL81SNS in our fridge lab, we say it's a fine choice if you want an all-Bosch kitchen. And if you buy appliances as a package, you can sometimes get additional discounts or perks like a free range hood.
But if you're not brand loyal, you should check out other top-ranked counter depth refrigerators we've reviewed. You'll probably get a better value from a fridge that doesn't wear the Bosch brand.
On sale, these two 21-cu.-ft. fridges retail for between $2,500 and $2,600—on par with comparable models from Whirlpool, LG, Samsung, and GE. Even though they wear a German brand name, these 36-inch wide fridges are actually made to Bosch's specifications by a major Chinese appliance manufacturer.
Both fridges are 28.75 inches deep so they won't stick out too far from your counters, and both have two pull-out freezer drawers for easy organization. Neither has through-the-door ice and water.
The only major difference between the two models is the placement of the controls. The more affordable 80SNS has an external panel on the left fridge door—it almost looks like the appliance is winking at you. The 81SNS, which costs about $100 more, keeps its controls hidden inside the fridge, swapping interior storage space for a streamlined exterior.
We immediately noticed that the B21CL81SNS's fit and finish felt a half-step below the company's dishwashers and ovens. For instance, one of our test model's doors stuck on its hinge whenever we opened it, and the crisper drawers always felt a little stiff when we pulled them out. That might be fine for a Frigidaire or Amana, but Bosch buyers tend to expect more.
Extra perks were also slim: the ice maker in the freezer comes with a removable bucket and ice scoop, with the main fridge section gets two egg trays. Oddly, they only hold eight eggs each, so… good luck with that.
Fit and finish aside, these fridges perform exceptionally well: We measured stable temperatures across our 72 hours of testing, which should keep delicate foods from spoiling and milk from freezing. We also recorded faster-than-normal times for freezing room-temperature food, which should prevent freezer burn. Engaging the Super Cooling feature will potentially lead to even faster freezing. Energy efficiency was also on par with other comparable models new this year.
The only quibble we had was with the crisper drawer, which had more difficulty retaining moisture than the veggie keepers on other fridges in this price bracket. That might have an impact on how long your fresh produce lasts.
If something goes wrong, you're covered by a basic 1-year warranty. These are brand-new products, so we have no long-term reliability estimates from current owners. However, most early user reviews are positive.
Fine, but Unremarkable
Overall, we think you won't go wrong with either fridge if you're remodeling your kitchen with an all-Bosch appliance suite. Otherwise, we recommend sticking with one of our top-ranked counter depth refrigerators, which should offer more value for money than either of the new Bosch offerings.
Meet the testers
Logistics Manager & Staff Writer@ReviewedHome
Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.See all of Matthew Zahnzinger's reviews
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