Plastic shelving in Refrigerators

Is their any brand of domestic Refrigerator that the plastic shelves don’t crack?

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I don’t recall any fridge shelves ever cracking.

What makes and models are you referring to?


Welcome to the forum, @ron44.

Our older Westinghouse has plastic shelving in the freezer compartment and on the door of the cool compartment. There is also a meat or other goods slide out unit that is all plastic.

Most refrigerators make use of plastics for the door shelf units, crispers, freezers and secondary storage.

Glass or sometimes coated steel wire is my recollection of the norm for main shelving. I have vague recollections of a compact fridge with plastic shelf units, some where in the past.

Our previous big fridge (1990’s vintage Kelvinator) suffered from failures of the plastic moulded door trays. It’s not been an issue with our more recent fridges (Electrolux and Westinghouse branded).


Our 5 yr old Kelvinator has glass shelves, a plastic covered metal grill shelf in the freezer and plastic, removable trays in the door (milk, butter compartment). No problems. However the other half managed to put a small split in the plastic floor.

The previous Kelvinator, which gets pulled out occasionally is over 20 years and has no broken plastic. Plastic shelf above the crispers, wire shelves elsewhere, plastic in the door. The Quick Chill compartment was taken out as a “waste of space”. I noted from reviews that the butter compartment lids break - you flip the lid back and it can be crushed by the door if not closed, our latest fridge has them lower to avoid this.

The Caveat - both fridges were used in a responsible two adult household.


Thanks for your reply I curranty have two refrigerates an LG and Whirlpool both have suffered cracking in the Lower vegetable container the LG has problems with the slide failing. Ron


Thank you Zackarii, I had not looked into Kelvinator as I was under the impression that they were no longer, Made in Australia for our conditions as they use to be. I shall chase this lead up, regards Ron


Thanks Mark, I will add both Electrolux and Westinghouse to my list. Regards and thanks Ron


It’s worth looking at the Choice consumer guides and reviews.

Note that some of the content is member only.
It is worthwhile looking at current Choice product reviews. Community member experiences related are most likely for models no longer current.

Features and designs are often updated every year or two. It is very hard to judge individual models on prior versions. Westinghouse for one may be made in any one of a number of different factories spread across SE Asia. Thailand, Malaysia, India etc.

The critical compressor component is likely sourced from any one of a number of different manufacturers, hence two identical models do not necessarily have the same supplier for the compressor. They may have identical specifications on paper. Ever wondered why spare parts or service personnel ask for the model and product serial number in some instances?


We have a Fisher & Paykel with has glass shelves. It was the first fridge with glass ones and I was very nervous to start with in relation to how strong they were. After about 20 years of use, the shelves have been trouble free (touch wood). When we replace our fridge in the future, I possibly will possibly give preference to those with glass shelves as they are strong and very easy to clean.

Our more recent purchase 216L CHiQ fridge also has glass shelves.

While both fridges have glass shelved, the crispers are made of plastic but have remained crack free (with exception of the F&P where the draw was dropped and corner broke off).


We bought an LG GC-P197HPL side by side icemaker for our previous residence when our-piece of-junk Amana finally went to its proper home at the Council tip, and we sold it with the house several years later.

When we bought our currnet home around 6 years ago, we bought another of the same model LG fridge.

No problems whatsoever with either unit. All glass shelves with clear perspex fixtures.

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Thank you Mark This is starting to look like a consideration using specifications guided by Choice technical evaluation, and fingers crossed on whether the the quality of build and longevity are as promised by the manufacturer. Regards Ron


I have a Fischer and Paykel fridge of some kind - no freezy bit. The glass shelves have lasted really well, but the vege section drawer has copious quantities of fibreglass tape reinforcing the cracks, and where it slides in has worn through the inside layer of the fridge (plastic) - and I’m not huge into vegies :wink: I guess the fridge is 20 years old, so maybe it’s ok … The placcy in the door has lasted well.


Our Amana is 18+ years old and has needed only 1 thermostat replaced for the defroster and has had no plastics problems.

I would not suggest that a fridge made 18 years ago has any relevancy to one made today yet long term trends by manufacturer can be telling regarding reliability and service.

One issue to be aware of is that the more reliable a product is, the more reliable it and its service network need to be for customer satisfaction. People with ‘expected to be reliable’ products that fail or are not supported with instant and brilliant service tend to be more dissatisfied than someone with a more ordinary product with mediocre support because the latter is getting what they expect; the former is not.


Thank you for your thoughts, I totally concur with your observations. regards Ron


I too had some trepidations about new fridge with glass shelves. But they seem fine, and are certainly easier to keep clean.
But I still wonder about air circulation. This fridge has many instructions about leaving space around items and not filling shelves completely etc - is this to compensate for the much reduced vertical air movement due to the solid shelves?


Air doesn’t go through plastic either.

The spacing of items is to ensure rapid cooling of items placed in the fridge and ensure a warmer item placed in the fridge doesn’t (conduct) heat other chilled items in the fridge, reducing their ‘best before’ date…premature spoiling.


Air has no problem moving through traditional metal grill style of fridge shelves

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Very true, I wonder if there are many manufacturers which still use metal grill type shelving.

Obviously there are still some out there judging by the “plastic coated metal wire or grill” comments

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Lower priced fridges still often have wire grill shelves and freezer baskets. Decades ago they were more common but glass shelves became the norm for more than basic products. Marketing? Or does catching spills get more customers than circulating air?