You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Whirlpool WRS331SDHM Side-by-side Refrigerator Review

Reviewed.com logo Reviewed.com 11/17/2022 Mark Brezinski
Whirlpool WRS331SDHM Side-by-side Refrigerator Review © Reviewed / Beckett Dubay Whirlpool WRS331SDHM Side-by-side Refrigerator Review — Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

The most popular fridges on the market—French-door fridges—are generally 36 inches wide, but for consumers who need to fit a smaller space with little flexibility, options are limited to two more narrow fridge styles: top freezer and side-by-side. This is where the Whirlpool WRS331SDHM (available at Best Buy for $1,529.99) comes in. We like this side-by-side’s ability to maintain steady temperatures over time and its through-the-door dispenser. However, we don’t like how much the temperature varies inside the cooling compartment, between the top and the bottom. While all side-by-sides have this deficiency to some degree, the Whirlpool WRS331SDHM’s temperature gradient is actually so big that it means things will either freeze at the top or be slightly too warm at the bottom. This Whirlpool fridge is only an average performer, and certainly has some frustrations attached, so we think your money is better spent elsewhere. The Frigidaire FRSS2623AS is one of the best side-by-sides we’ve tested to date.

The Whirlpool WRS331SDHM has a stainless steel exterior with robust handles, a through-the-door dispenser on its left door, and a brand badge in the top right corner.

Opening up the right door reveals the fridge compartment. It has a series of glass shelves over two stacked crispers. The shelves notably don’t have spill-capture lips and also can’t be repositioned. The door has a standard array of bins that do move per your preference.

The left door opens up into the freezer compartment. A lot of room is dedicated to the ice-maker and the backside of the through-the-door dispenser. The shelves are all wire instead of glass, and there’s a pull-out storage bin at the bottom.

About the Whirlpool WRS331SDHM side-by-side refrigerator

  • Dimensions: 66.63” x 32.75” x 33.63” (H x W x D)
  • Depth: Standard depth
  • Measured capacity: 8.34-cubic-foot refrigerator, 2.92-cubic-foot freezer
  • Finishes: Stainless steel
  • Dispensers: Through-the-door ice and water dispenser
  • Special features: Internal LED lighting
  • User manual: Whirlpool WRS331SDHM side-by-side refrigerator manual

Fall is here, let's get cozy. We're giving away a Solo Stove Bonfire with a stand. Enter to win between now and Nov. 18, 2022.

What we like

It's able to keep temperatures steady over time

The Whirlpool WRS331SDHM is able to keep both its fridge and freezer temperatures remarkably steady over time. Normally, steady temperatures are important because they ensure everything stays within an acceptable temperature range.

If you calibrate your fridge to be 37°F, but temperatures can wobble by 4°F, that means some of the time items in your fridge will go above 40°F, the point at which bacteria can start to proliferate quickly.

Over a 72-hour testing period, temperatures varied by less than 1°F in the fridge compartment. This is especially important for this Whirlpool fridge, because of some of its other test results that we will talk about shortly.

The freezer had a small initial spike of a few degrees, but mostly stayed between -1°F and -2°F. Consistent freezer temperatures are important because variance contributes towards the cycle of defrosting and refreezing that causes freezer burn.

Its unique dimensions might make it one of the few options that will work for your home

Most full-size fridges are about 70” tall and 36” wide, so if you’re stuck with a cutout that’s smaller than that, your options are limited. By being both shorter and more narrow than most fridges, the Whirlpool WRS331SDHM might be able to shimmy into kitchens that don’t have enough room for other fridges.

Its through-the-door dispenser provides easy access to filtered water and ice

A through-the-door dispenser is one of the few extra features that, in our opinion, is almost always worth paying for. Not only does it deliver fresh filtered water and ice on demand, but it saves room in your fridge that would otherwise be occupied by a filter pitcher.

What we don’t like

Its inconsistent fridge temperatures are difficult to calibrate correctly

Although very few people actually do it, calibration is a vital part of owning a fridge. Many, many fridges run too warm right out of the box, which can cause items to spoil prematurely.

Unfortunately, the Whirlpool WRS331SDHM winds up in this camp. Again, anything over 40°F is going to allow bacteria to grow, and this scales up.

On the whole, the fridge averages 40.78°F, but those temperatures can vary wildly depending on where you are in the fridge column. Temperatures at the top, where the cold air vents out, range between 36°F and 38°F, which is right where they should be. Towards the middle those temperatures rise to 41°F to 42°F, and at the bottom temperatures get up to 44.73°F.

This problem isn’t unique to the Whirlpool WRS331SDHM—all side-by-sides have tall fridge columns that make temperature consistency difficult. Even so, this is one of the more pronounced examples.

The main issue is that this temperature difference is slightly larger than 8°F, and fridges need to stay between 32°F and 40°F, a range that is notably just 8°F. If the top is over 32°F, to prevent things from freezing, the bottom will also be over 40°F. It won’t be over by much, granted, but we don’t like needing to wrestle with an appliance to get it to perform its core functionality properly and ultimately still come up short.

There is a silver lining to this cloud: The WRS331SDHM’s steady temperature control prevents this temperature gradient issue from being much, much worse. Because proper calibration essentially means keeping the top of the fridge near 32°F to prevent the bottom from getting too high above 40°F, any variation necessarily means pushing temperatures outside of the acceptable temperature range, further cutting into your perishables’ life spans.

Not a lot of storage space, especially in the freezer

Side-by-side refrigerators aren’t known for their roomy freezers. Many side-by-sides have through-the-door dispensers that take up a lot of freezer space with their ice-making machinery. The Whirlpool WRS331SDHM’s smaller dimensions only make these issues more pronounced.

Even compared to its peers, the Whirlpool WRS331SDHM is small. It has an 8.34-cubic-foot refrigerator and a 2.92-cubic-foot freezer. The average side-by-side provides 10.92 cubic feet in the fridge and 5.34 cubic feet in the freezer. That means the WRS331SDHM falls short of the average side-by-side by about 2.5 cubic feet in each compartment. Given that a gallon jug of milk is about 0.14 cubic feet, this is a significant difference.

The lack of raw storage space isn’t the entire problem, either. Side-by-sides are notorious for having freezer columns that are too thin to store a frozen pizza box horizontally. The WRS331SDHM has this problem in spades, as its freezer is just under 10 inches in width and “felt cramped enough to the point of being actively frustrating,” according to our testing team.

There’s a similar issue exacerbating the low storage in the fridge compartment: The shelves only have the one slot where they can fit, and they cannot be readjusted to different heights. That means any and all taller items either need to be stored in the door bins or on their sides.

Its crispers don’t hang on to humidity

Those who love fresh fruits and veggies might want to steer clear of the WRS331SDHM. We test crispers by measuring the rate at which humidity escapes the drawer, and the WRS331SDHM’s rate was about 60% more than the average fridge. This means any leafy greens will wilt way more quickly in this Whirlpool fridge than they would in most others.

What owners are saying

The WRS331SDHM has surprisingly few user reviews for a fridge that's been out for about four years now—most sites have only a hundred or two—but we can still make some deductions from what's posted.

Of those who were happy with their purchase, the most common comment was that the fridge fit perfectly into the space they had available. Other points of praise included the fridge's available storage, the through-the-door dispenser, and internal LED lighting.

Those who aren’t happy with their purchase cite low overall storage area or have had issues with its ice-maker either being too slow or too loud. We did not see (or hear) any issues with the WRS331SDHM’s ice maker in our testing, and the severity of the issues described leads us to believe those customers received lemons.

Warranty

Whirlpool offers an industry-standard one-year warranty for its fridges. While this should protect you from receiving a lemon, other manufacturers go above and beyond, guaranteeing specific parts for up to 10 years.

Should you buy the Whirlpool WRS331SDHM

No, there’s just too much temperature variance and not enough space

While there are some things to like about the Whirlpool WRS331SDHM, as a complete package it’s underwhelming at its current price.

We do like its steady temperatures and through-the-door dispenser. However, its faults outweigh a convenient cup of ice water. It has low overall storage, crispers that don’t hang onto humidity, and an immense amount of temperature gradient in its fridge column. While the latter is greatly mitigated by how steady its temperature holds, it still doesn’t present an ideal situation.

Overall, the Whirlpool WRS331SDHM is an average fridge that’s currently not a good value for what it offers. While its problems aren’t outright disqualifying, there are tons of other options available that don’t require you to have to deal with wonky temperatures and precision calibration.

That being said, it’s difficult to find non-custom fridges that have similar dimensions. If the WRS331SDHM is one of a handful of fridges available in your area that will actually fit in your kitchen, you probably won’t be disappointed with it. You might not be thrilled with it, but you won’t be disappointed either.

If you’re just looking for a good side-by-side and don’t require specific dimensions, we recommend the Frigidaire FRSS2623AS, which offers better temperature performance and more storage space for a lower price.

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or Flipboard for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

AdChoices

More From Reviewed.com

AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon