On sale, the WRS571CIDM can dip as low as $1,439. By comparison, most counter depth side-by-sides will easily cost over $2,000. If you’re desperate to fill that 27-inch-deep niche but don’t have tons of money to throw around, this Whirlpool may be your best bet.

Compared to more expensive models, like the $2,699 Samsung RH29H9000SR, this Whirlpool's temperatures run warm and fluctuate over time. It also lacks Energy Star certification. That said, if you're willing to take the time to tinker with the fridge's thermostat settings and don't mind spending another $10 or $15 a year in electricity costs, then you'll be hard pressed to find a better counter depth bargain.

Style, plus a little bit of substance

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If nothing else, this Whirlpool certainly has a touch of upscale style. A stainless finish with long, tapered handles lends it an elegant overall appearance.

The control panel uses physical buttons instead of a touch screen—likely to keep costs down—but it's also easy to use, and the bright blue indicator lights look modern.

On the inside, you’re greeted to bright LED lights in not only the fridge but both compartments. In fact, this is one of the few models we've seen where the freezer seemed better lit than the fridge.

Shelves can be adjusted in the fridge and freezer, but there’s a catch: Since this is a counter-depth model, the adjustable drawer in the fridge can’t sit at the same level as any of the buckets found on the fridge door. Therefore your customization options are limited, and may make for awkward storage areas that might be hard to access.

The fridge ran warm from top to bottom. Up top, we recorded average temps of 39.34°F, while the middle came in at 39.38°F. The bottom spiked up severely, to an average of 43.03°F. Lowering the thermostat about two degrees will help mitigate the issue, but be sure to keep an eye on produce.

In the freezer, temperatures didn’t run warm so much as they ran erratic. The top averaged a brisk -0.1°F, while the bottom clocked in at 2.51°F. Again, turn the thermostat down two or three degrees for better results.

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Both the fridge and freezer were inconsistent over time. The fridge fluctuated an average of ±0.43°F, while the freezer did the same at an average rate of ±0.51°F. That kind of inconsistency can lead to early spoilage and the development of freezer burn.

Turn down the thermostat

Inexpensive counter depth side-by-side fridges aren't known for optimal performance. A lot of the flaws we noticed in this Whirlpool have been seen before, as was the case with this Electrolux model. It scored about average in our performance tests, but its relatively low price means you should forgive some of its flaws.

In terms of specifics, we noticed that temperatures ran warm and were somewhat inconsistent over time, which can lead to premature food spoilage. Turning down the thermostat about two or three degrees in each compartment will help, but there's nothing you can do to make temperatures steadier.

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The lone crisper was also rather lackluster, even though we had it set to its most retentive setting. As long as you don't plan on saving produce for too long, though, you should be more or less okay.

A lack of Energy Star certification means you're definitely not getting one of the more efficient fridges on the market. That said, the difference between an efficient and inefficient fridge these days could be a difference of just $10 or $15 a year in electricity costs. Our lab tests determined that it should cost just over $40 a year to run at a rate of $0.09 per kWh; adjust your expectations accordingly based on local power rates.

The feature set is fairly standard, and the main selling point is a door-mounted icemaker equipped with a Fast Ice setting. A through-the-door dispenser with twin paddles and a control lock help pad the list.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Given the performance of the Whirlpool’s lone crisper, we’re not sure if we should be disappointed that there’s only one. Over the course of three days, our test materials lost an average of 0.28 grams of moisture each hour—about twice as much as we’d expect from a good crisper.
Freezing times were easily the best aspect of this fridge’s performance. Room-temperature test materials were chilled down to 32°F in about 1 hour 21 minutes.

A low price and shallow depth make this fridge worth a look

It's hard to deny that a counter depth fridge for less than $2,000 is appealing; with average store prices hitting about $1,599, this one is a steal. Temperature and efficiency issues may mean the Whirlpool WRS571CIDM isn't everything we hope for in a good refrigerator, but if you need a decent counter depth and don't want to spend a fortune (or wait for a special order) this should do the trick.

If you don't mind spending more, check out the LG LSC22991ST. It is easily the best counter-depth we’ve tested to date, and can be found in stores for about $2,500.

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Despite its counter-depth form factor, this Whirlpool is still rather spacious. With an assortment of shelves and drawers at your disposal, the main compartment has about 9.55 usable cubic feet of storage space. But the counter-depth design also means the adjustable drawer and door storage can’t be on the same level, so customization isn’t as broad as all those shelf slots would have you believe.

The narrow freezer is neither cramped nor overly capacious. Four shelves and a drawer provide the bulk of the storage, with a few smaller buckets at the bottom of the door below the icemaker. All in all, you get 4.7 usable cubic feet.

Despite recent updates to EPA guidelines, this fridge is decidedly mediocre when it comes to efficiency. At the typical American electricity cost of $0.09 per kWh, this fridge would cost you about $40.47 annually to run, and require about 0.09 kWh to cool each usable cubic foot. We’ve tested larger models that will cost about the same, and smaller models that cost substantially less.

Meet the testers

Matthew Zahnzinger

Matthew Zahnzinger

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
Matthew Zahnzinger

Matthew Zahnzinger

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

Checking our work.

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.

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