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A dishasher is an extremely handy machine to have in your kitchen. Not just when you are short of time, but also on a daily basis for clean, hygienic vessels.
But which is the right dishwasher? You'll find all kinds of options out there, and it can be tough to sort the wheat from the chaff. That's where we come in. At BestReviews, we want to help you pick the best dishwasher for your home.
We're dedicated to writing the most honest and unbiased reviews out there. We never accept free products from manufacturers. Instead, we buy products off of store shelves, test them in our labs, consult experts, and examine feedback from product owners.
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Our original list was well over a thousand. In order to narrow that down to a top five, we had to be extremely strict, so only great all-round performers have made it through to the final ratings. Nevertheless, we've managed to retain a wide variety both in terms of performance and budget. None of the following would be a bad choice, but one machine may suit your needs better than another.
Built-in dishwashers are popular, but there are also countertop models that may be more convenient options for some customers. There is also the question of how many place settings you can wash as well as the amount of flexibility allowed by the racking of the washer. We'll analyze each dishwasher type in order to make sure you find the kind that perfectly matches your needs.
There are a huge variety of washing and drying cycles and different energy ratings. All have an effect on how clean your dishes come out and on how much your dishwasher costs to run.
Each dishwasher manufacturer adds different features to attract you. Some might be gimmicks, but others can make a big difference in how well the machine meets your requirements.
Whatever your budget, price always has some bearing. While we've been careful leave out all sub-standard machines from our list, we've still managed to include top-rated dishwashers that won't break the bank.
The Frigidaire FFBD1821M 18" Built-In Dishwasher has what's called a "tall tub" design that maximizes internal space. It allows this machine to hold a full 12 standard place settings - which is pretty impressive given how narrow it is. Extra flexibility is provided by an 8" upper rack for standard plates and dishes and a taller lower rack for larger pans, dishes, or other unusual items.
The Bosch SHP65T55UC 500 Dishwasher is another built-in machine and one of two full-size models in our ratings. At 16 standard place settings, its capacity, as you would expect, is higher than that of the 18-inch Frigidaire. However, with machines this size there's often a good deal more flexibility, and the Bosch has a third rack that's ideal for over-large cutlery/silverware or smaller items like coffee cups, saucers, or ramekins. This extra space is something many of the owners we surveyed consistently praised. The Bosch also has a "RackMatic" system with numerous positions so you can move racks about to suit a wide variety of pots, pans, and dishes.
Always avoid washing wood cutting boards and utensils in the dishwasher, and it can crack and warp the wood.
The Blomberg DWT24100SS is a full-size, built-in machine. With a capacity of 14 standard settings, however, it doesn't hold quite as much as some competitors.
There's still plenty of space, though, with a sliding cutlery basket that can sit in several positions and an adjustable upper rack. Unfortunately, the upper rack must be removed completely in order to reposition it. It’s not the most flexible of dishwashers, but it will accommodate a wide variety of crockery and utensils.
In terms of size, capacity, and racking layout, the The EdgeStar Countertop Portable Dishwasher is very similar to the SPT - so there's no surprise that it takes the same six standard place settings. Interestingly, rather than put it on a countertop, one owner we surveyed said the pipes were long enough to allow her to install it underneath the sink - and therefore keep it out of sight. That's worth considering if you have limited countertop space. Both the EdgeStar and the SPT are sometimes called portable dishwashers, although care should be taken when lifting them as both weight 48.5 pounds.
The short and simple name rather gives away what type the SPT Countertop Dishwasher is. The big advantage with machines of this kind is that you can put them more or less anywhere. At under 18 inches tall, the SPT dishwasher should fit comfortably between countertop and wall-mounted cupboards, for example. Its width is similar to the majority of standard kitchen cabinetry, so it will look fine, too. Its capacity is rated at six standard place settings, which makes it ideal for single people or small families.
If you’re renting your home or apartment, a portable dishwasher might be the perfect choice that you can bring along with you when you move out.
It would be unfair to expect the same array of functions on the low cost SPT Countertop Dishwasher as on high-end models, but that doesn't mean you're short of options with this machine. There are six wash cycles to choose from, which we found to be sufficient to cope with most situations, but there is no drying function. This washer is Energy Star compliant, with an estimated annual electricity consumption of between $16 and $24. Most owners we surveyed were happy with the cleaning performance of this machine, although a few owners we surveyed pointed out that they wished it had a drying cycle as well.
Once again, the EdgeStar Countertop Portable Dishwasher has numerous similarities to the SPT. It also has six wash cycles and, again, no dry cycle. The Edgestar does not appear to be Energy Star compliant, and we couldn't find actual usage costs either. However, energy consumption is rated at 200 kWh/year, against the SPT's 220 kWh/year, so it's safe to assume that running the Edgestar would cost about the same, if not a little less.
Secure plastic dishware in order to prevent them getting knocked around during the wash process, which might damage the dishwasher.
Like our countertop models, the Frigidaire FFBD1821M Dishwasher has six wash cycles. This machine, however, has a choice of drying cycles: heated (and therefore faster) or unheated (and thus more energy efficient). The Frigidaire is Energy Star compliant but, as you might expect from a larger, more powerful machine, it does consume more energy: an estimated 280 kWh/year.
Surprisingly, the Bosch SHP65T55UC 500 Dishwasher offers only five, rather than the usual six wash cycles - although we can't find any instances of owners bemoaning the fact that they were missing something! There's also a heated drying cycle. In terms of economy, the Bosch is Energy Star compliant and uses an estimated 259 kWh/year - notably less than the Frigidaire, even despite its larger capacity.
In terms of wash cycles, the Blomberg DWT24100SS is surprisingly basic with just four: Quick Wash, China/Crystal, Regular Wash, and Pots and Pans Plus. And yet, owners and independent testers consistently report that cleaning is very effective. We couldn't find specific energy consumption detail for this Energy Star-compliant machine, but it's likely to be in the 250-260 kWh/year.
Many dishwashers have the federal government’s Energy Star rating, which means they’re substantially more energy efficient than government standards.
The SPT is undoubtedly a very capable countertop dishwasher. Like all of the machines on our shortlist, it has a stainless steel interior that is easy to keep clean and is very durable. Its controls are all simple and very straight-forward to use. It also comes with the ability to delay the start by up to 8 hours as well as indicator lights which show the cycle status.
The EdgeStar Countertop Portable Dishwasher is arguably a smarter, more modern looking machine. It has a digital display that gives not just cycle settings, but other useful information like low rinse-aid level and the wash time remaining. The Edgestar can also delay start time, and there's a child safety lock, which we think is an excellent idea. One or two owners have had problems with leaks, but it doesn't seem to be a consistent problem.
Some dishwashers have a hard-food disposal feature, which removes large food chunks and then filters them out of the appliance.
The front panel of the Frigidaire FFBD1821M Dishwasher might look a bit busy at first, but it's designed to give you fast access to all its functions. It features a delayed start option and a low rinse-aid warning, in addition to a glass/crystal wash cycle that is particularly delicate and reduces water pressure by 30%. This machine is also ADA compliant. When compiling our ratings, we always search for common problems, but we failed to find any with the Frigidaire, save for one owner who complained about a squeaky door.
So far we haven't mentioned noise because most machines run in the 50 - 60 decibel range, which isn't very loud. However, at 44 dBA, the Bosch SHP65T55UC 500 Dishwasher is particularly quiet. While initially the 5 wash cycles seem lower than average, the Bosch also has 5 additional options per cycle, giving better cleaning and lower energy use. There's even an economical half-load setting for those that are extremely energy-conscious. The machine also features cycle status lights, a delay timer, and a small red light which is projected onto the floor - just in front of the machine - to let you know it's still running!
The Blomberg DWT24100SS offers a money-saving half-load option (not uncommon on machines of this size), a three-step filtering system that stops dirty particles from circulating/improves cleaning performance, and a “Double Motion Float System” that should prevent flooding in the event of a malfunction. The front-mounted control panel isn't to everyone's taste, but it is clear and easy to use. It incorporates a delay timer that can be set in half-hour increments for up to nine hours..
Always use the right amount of detergent in your dishwasher. Too much and it can create a soapy film on your flatware.
The slim and elegant looking Frigidaire FFBD1821M Dishwasher offers benefits in terms of space saving without sacrificing too much capacity. On offer at $448 (normally $599), it could well be the perfect solution for those who want more than a countertop machine but don't have room (or the budget) for a 24" model.
With a price of $893, the Blomberg DWT24100SS isn't a cheap dishwasher, but it is competitive for its size. The Frigidaire offers more cleaning programs, but the Blomberg has much more space. It's a simpler machine, and perhaps it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of its high-end counterparts, but there's no denying that it’s a quality product that does its job very well.
Standard, built-in dishwashers measure 24-inches across and hold 12 to 16 plate sets, but portable options can be much smaller
At $899, the Bosch SHP65T55UC 500 Dishwasher is quite a step up from the Frigidaire, but you do get a lot of machine for your money - and the reputation for quality and durability that goes with the brand. Like many of its owners, we love the fact that the controls are in the top of the door, leaving a super-sleek appearance once it's closed.
Another excellent little performer, the EdgeStar Countertop Portable Dishwasher is $269. It's a difficult choice between the SPT and the Edgestar. The former is great value, while the latter has a couple of extra features and will be more to some people's tastes visually. Judging by owners' comments, however, they are both very reliable, and we think that choosing between them is more or less a toss-up.
List price for the smart and very popular little SPT Countertop Dishwasher is $275 - which makes it an affordable option for individuals, couples, those with smaller kitchens, or those who are renting and who don't want to fit something more permanent. The fact that this dishwasher is currently on offer at just $196 makes it an absolute steal.
The very best dishwasher available today is the Bosch SHP65T55UC 500.
There’s nothing wrong with the others on our list; each appeals to a particular group of people. But any way you look at it, the Bosch is outstanding.
It's an attractive machine, and quiet—so quiet, in fact, that it shines a light on the floor to let you know it’s working! It offers tremendous capacity and flexibility when loading, and its feature set is there to answer your every need. It’s a beast with heavily soiled dishes, yet it can also handle delicate stemware. It looks great in the kitchen, too.
And we mustn’t forget Bosch's reputation for reliability and quality. Add it all up, and you have an investment that will satisfy your dishwashing requirements for years, if not a lifetime. This is the single best machine on the market, and we give it our highest recommendation.
The Bosch is an investment in cleanliness that should last for years, if not a lifetime.
The built-in Blomberg wins our Best Bang for Your Buck Title. It's not the cheapest dishwasher available, but for the money, you get a top-notch product with a good amount of inside space.
The Blomberg's half-load option is a shiny feature that we really love, but even better is its three-step filtering system for exquisite cleanliness. The controls, displayed on the front, are easy to understand and navigate. Simple yet thorough, this is a machine you can rely on to get your dishes clean the first time.
The Blomberg offers one less wash cycle than some competitors, and its capacity is a bit smaller than some brands. However, it can accommodate a wide variety of pots, pans, and crockery, and it does its job very well. For the price, you get an extremely reliable product, and we recommend it highly.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.