When we first noticed the Whirlpool WRB119WFBM(available at AppliancesConnection for $1,249.00) refrigerator in our test labs, our eyes went straight to the unusual handle on the freezer door. It isn’t an attractively-textured strap handle to match the one on the refrigerator compartment. Instead, it’s a small smooth piece of metal about the size of your hand. If you found it unattached, you might never guess it came from a refrigerator.
Since a fridge is the most visible appliance in any kitchen, we wondered why Whirlpool would have made such a quirky design choice, but we realize that it’s just a matter of taste. And after testing the refrigerator, we found we could easily get past it. This refrigerator performs well. It’s energy-efficient and consistent with temperature, and its crispers do what fancier fridges can’t always do—retain humidity.
About this refrigerator
Dimensions: 67” x 33 3/8” x 29 3/4” (HxDxW)
Usable space: After installing the shelves and drawers, we measured a capacity of 5.7 cu. ft. in the refrigerator and 4.2 cu. ft. in the freezer.
Finishes: Whirlpool offers this refrigerator in stainless steel, white, and black. Stainless costs about $100 more.
Dispensers: None, however an icemaker can be retrofit.
What we like
Consistent temperatures: In our tests, the Whirlpool held a very steady temperature with slight deviations of 0.2°F in the fridge and 0.1°F in the freezer.
Crisper drawers that hold humidity: These drawers do an excellent job preserving humidity to keep fruits and vegetables fresh and crisp. We measured minimal moisture loss.
Bright interior lighting: LED lights make it easy to see your food.
Flexible layout: The placement of the deli drawer is up to you. In our lab, we set it up at eye level.
Spill-proof glass shelves: Drips and leaks are contained, so they’re easy to clean up.
Faster freezing: Over the years, we’ve seen freezing times that range from about 30 minutes to several hours. The Whirlpool’s freezer reached 32°F in 71.3 minutes, so you can load food relatively soon after startup or power failure.
Energy efficiency: We project that it will cost you only $27.29 a year to run this refrigerator.
What we don’t like
Slightly high temperatures: Using the recommended settings, we measured 40.5°F in the fridge and 2.6°F in the freezer. To keep bacteria from multiplying rapidly, it’s safest for the refrigerator to be 37°F and the freezer to be 0°. So, we recommend that if you buy this fridge, you lower the temperature in each compartment. But use a refrigerator thermometer to check the temperature before you make any changes.
Storage capacity: Between the LED light fixture and shelves that don’t extend all the way across, the refrigerator section gives up some useable storage space. The claimed capacity is 12.9 cu. ft. and we measured 5.7 cu. ft. The freezer’s claimed capacity is 7.8 cu. ft. and we found 4.2 cu. ft.
Fingerprints: Our fingers left smudges on the door of the stainless steel model, meaning that this refrigerator might need some polishing from time to time.
Wire baskets in the freezer: Wire baskets can allow small items like frozen peas to slip through. Once that happens, they're hard to retrieve.
Whirlpool provides a one-year warranty on this model that includes parts and labor.
What users say
In online reviews across a number of sites, owners give the refrigerator an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The bottom-freezer configuration works well for users, who also praise the bright LED lighting and energy efficiency of this fridge.
Should you buy it?
Yes, if you want a bottom-freezer refrigerator and your personal preference doesn’t lean toward a French door, this fridge is a good choice. It’s not an economy model, but its performance makes it a good value. For perspective, the similarly priced LG LDCS24223S bottom-freezer fridge scored slightly higher in our tests and also holds temperatures well, but its crispers don’t keep in humidity as well as the Whirlpool’s.
Cindy Bailen loves writing about major appliances and home design and has spent over 15 years immersed in that. In her spare time, Cindy hosts pledge programs for WGBH-TV in Boston and other public television stations.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.