Dishwashers are a must-have in most kitchens because they save you from having to wash piles of dishes by hand. There's a dishwasher design for almost every need, including models with fold-down tines, adjustable racks, and even third racks.
Aside from your space's installation requirements and the number of dishes you wash, you can also consider other factors, such as the type of dishes you wash and whether you want smart capabilities to remotely monitor a cycle. To find the best dishwashers on the market, we researched dozens of models and even considered the models from our own homes. We evaluated these dishwashers on their effectiveness, special features, noise level, and energy efficiency, and then considered the overall value they offer an average household.
Best Overall, Front Control
Maytag MDB4949SKZ 24 in. Front Control Built-In Tall Tub Dishwasher
PowerBlast cycle for caked-on food
10-year parts warranty
No collapsible prongs
Limited cycle options
In terms of performance and value, it’s hard to beat this built-in dishwasher from Maytag. That's why it's our top pick for a front control unit. This 24-inch unit has a durable stainless steel interior and touch controls on the front of its door so you can easily see which cycle your dishwasher is on. This appliance is Energy Star-certified, meaning it uses less electricity per cycle, so it'll save you from overpaying on your next electric bill. It also has four different wash cycles to choose from, including a PowerBlast cycle that removes stubborn, caked-on foods, and its Dual Power filtration system works to remove and disintegrate food particles to prevent clogs. This means you don't have to pre-wash your dishes because this appliance can handle even the messiest dinner plates.
This dishwasher can hold up to 14 place settings per load, and it has a higher-than-average upper rack height that accommodates bulky pots and pans on the lower level. The heated dry cycle ensures your dishes come out as dry as possible, and the fingerprint-resistant stainless steel exterior resists smudges and streaks for a pristine appearance no matter how many times you open and close the door. While not the quietest model available, it still operates at a low enough volume that won’t disturb your day-to-day activities, and it’s backed by a 10-year limited parts warranty that protects the racks, chopper blade, and tub.
There are limited cycle options, but you'll likely be more than satisfied with the powerful ones that are available, and while there is plenty of room to load your dishes, the prongs aren't collapsible, so you can't customize your load in that way. However, we think these inconveniences are minor when you consider what you get with this top-notch appliance.
Price at time of publish: $792
Type: Built-in | Dimensions: 34.6 x 24 x 24.5 inches | Decibel Rating: 50 decibels | Capacity: 14 place settings | Cycles: 4 | Tub Material: Stainless steel | Control Location: Front | ADA Compliant: No
Best Overall, Top Control
Bosch SHPM65Z55N 500 Series Top Control Tall Tub Pocket Handle Dishwasher
Flexible third rack
Very quiet operation
AutoAir system for drying and circulation
Junction box is sold separately
No heated dry cycle
In the market for a dishwasher with top controls? The Bosch 500 Series Top Control Dishwasher is your best bet. Bosch dishwashers are known for being on the more expensive side, but the higher price tag is for good reason. These appliances are whisper quiet, with this particular model operating at 44 decibels so it does not disturb your television show or conversation. Bosch dishwashers are also outfitted with a range of features and cycles so you don't have to circle back to your sink after running a cycle. This Bosch dishwasher includes five cycles, and an AutoAir system that opens the door slightly when a cycle is wrapped to allow air to circulate and dishes to dry further. While there is no heated dry cycle, you can make use of flexible tines if you want to wash a bulky item, such as a pot or pan, and a flexible third rack if you want to wash a set of knives or smaller items that could get lost in the mix below.
In addition, this Energy Star-certified appliance can hold up to 16 place settings at one time, making it a high-capacity option that would be suitable for larger families or anyone who doesn't want to run their dishwasher frequently. The tub is made of durable stainless steel, and the top control design leaves the front door looking sleek and clean. A half-load setting also gives you the option to run your dishwasher before it's entirely full. It's a thoughtful option to make use of if you're heading out of town and want to complete your chores or need a few specific items.
You'll need to keep in mind that this built-in dishwasher has a three-pronged outlet. The junction box is sold separately, as is the water connection kit that's required for installation. However, this is otherwise a super powerful and reliable pick that's worth every penny.
Price at time of publish: $1,100
Type: Built-in | Dimensions: 33.88 x 23.75 x 23.56 inches | Decibel Rating: 44 decibels | Capacity: 16 place settings | Cycles: 5 | Tub Material: Stainless steel | Control Location: Top | ADA Compliant: No
Frigidaire FDPC4221AB 24 in. Front Control Built-In Dishwasher
5-level wash system
If you’re not concerned about having all of the latest adjustable rack features and multiple cycles, we recommend this budget-friendly model from Frigidaire. It has just two cycle options—normal and heavy—plus a heated dry setting. If you’re looking for better energy efficiency, you can also turn off the heat dry setting. Some dishes, especially plastic Tupperware, may still be wet after a cycle completes, which is slightly annoying if you don’t want to air dry your dishes. However, with just a few buttons to press and a simple interior rack layout, this dishwasher is great for children to easily learn how to complete chores in the kitchen.
This dishwasher has a five-level wash system, which means there’s a jet at every level of the interior tub, including a middle rotating arm. You won’t have to worry about re-washing any dishes that don’t come out clean. The removable filter can also be rinsed occasionally if you feel like your dishes aren’t becoming as clean as they once were. A removable utensil rack also makes it easy to empty this dishwasher once a cycle is complete. While this model isn’t the quietest option and may interrupt a conversation, especially in a small apartment, its cleaning capabilities make up for the excess noise. It’s certainly not the most advanced dishwasher on the market, but this model sits at under $400 making it an affordable option for households that don’t need an extra-large capacity or customized cycle settings.
Price at time of publish $387
Type: Built-in | Dimensions: 35 x 24 x 25 inches | Decibel Rating: 62 decibels | Capacity: 14 place settings | Cycles: 2 | Tub Material: Plastic | Control Location: Front | ADA Compliant: No
Amana ADB1400AMS Front Control Built-In Dishwasher
Quick wash setting
Triple filtered wash
Power cord not included
Not fingerprint resistant
A basic dishwasher can be a great option for anyone living in an apartment or for small families that don’t need a large-capacity dishwasher. This option from Amana is a slight upgrade from our best budget pick, but it’s still very user-friendly and includes a child lock among other extras. This dishwasher is slightly smaller than other picks in our roundup with a 12-place setting capacity, but that makes it great for anyone living alone who would prefer to still easily fill up their dishwasher in a week.
In addition to normal and heavy wash settings, you can also run a quick wash cycle on this dishwasher for smaller loads. Heat dry and a high-temperature setting are also included. We appreciate that this dishwasher has a child lock, so the cycle settings can’t be changed mid-wash. You can also expect an impressive clean from this model as it has a triple filter system that removes minerals from the water before dispensing on dishes to prevent hard water stains on glasses and silverware. As much as we love the stainless steel finish, it's not fingerprint resistant, so that finish may not be the best option for homes with curious children and pets. You’ll also have to purchase the installation kit separately for this dishwasher as the power cord does not come with the unit. Despite these drawbacks, we still think this dishwasher is a great choice for smaller households.
Price at time of publish: $495
Type: Built-in | Dimensions: 33.5 x 23.87 x 24.5 inches | Decibel Rating: 59 decibels | Capacity: 12 place settings | Cycles: 3 | Tub Material: Plastic | Control Location: Front | ADA Compliant: No
Café CDD420P2TS1 24 in. Double Drawer Dishwasher
Sleek modern design
Double drawers can operate together or separately
Expensive replacement handles
If you’re willing to spend a little extra on a top-of-the-line dishwasher, this double-drawer model from Café is versatile and extremely stylish. The unique two-drawer design makes it ideal for smaller households because they can be run separately with small loads, and the appliance has a variety of high-tech features, such as a knock-to-pause option—simply rapping on the door will halt the cycle, allowing you to add a forgotten dish.
This two-drawer dishwasher can hold up to 14 place settings, and it has two removable silverware baskets, as well. It offers six wash cycles, including a Fast Dry and Sanitize option, and it operates at a quiet 46 decibels when just one drawer is running. The inner racks can be adjusted to hold even the largest pots and pans, and the appliance has fan-assisted drying to get your dishes cleaner, faster.
One of the appealing factors about Café appliances is that you can swap out the handles for a different finish to match any decor style, but a new set of handles for this dishwasher costs over $300.
Price at time of publish: $1,400
Type: Built-in | Dimensions: 34 x 24 x 21.75 inches | Decibel Rating: 46–49 decibels | Capacity: 14 place settings | Cycles: 6 | Tub Material: Plastic | Control Location: Top | ADA Compliant: No
Best Panel Ready
Bosch SHVM78Z53N 800 Series Top Control Tall Tub Dishwasher in Custom Panel Ready
Flexible third rack
Crystal dry technology
Fold down tines
No smart features
For a seamless aesthetic in your kitchen, we recommend a panel-ready dishwasher like this Bosch 800 Series model. This fully integrated dishwasher can be customized to match your kitchen cabinets and it's loaded with unique features that make it worth the splurge. For starters, it has a flexible third rack with fold-down sides to add 30 percent more loading capacity. Bosch’s trademarked RackMatic technology also allows the top rack to adjust between three different height positions and up to 9 possible rack positions. Fold-down tines make it easy to support your wine glasses and other stemware, plus this dishwasher is equipped with CrystalDry Technology, which transforms moisture into heat to get dishes and plastics 60 percent drier.
We love the touch sensor controls, which make it easy to select cycle settings and customize your wash needs between five cycles. A red light—the InfoLight—projects on the floor during cycles, so you know when this dishwasher is running and won’t accidentally open it mid-cycle. Other features like load size sensing, precision washing, a Speed60 cycle, and sanitize option make this model an ideal companion for busy families, avid home chefs, and passionate party hosts. While this dishwasher does lack smart features—a factor we’re particularly disappointed by because of the price point—we believe its overall cycle options and other trademarked technology justify the almost $1,500 price point. All in all, this dishwasher doesn’t sacrifice anything in the way of effectiveness just for the sake of aesthetics.
Price at time of publish: $1,499
Type: Built-in | Dimensions: 33.88 x 23.56 x 23.10 inches | Decibel Rating: 42 decibels | Capacity: 16 place settings | Cycles: 6 | Tub Material: Stainless steel | Control Location: Top | ADA Compliant: No
Magic Chef MCSCD6B5 21 in. Electronic Countertop Dishwasher
Easy to setup
Long cycle times
A countertop dishwasher can be a game-changer in small apartments that don’t come with a full suite of appliances. This 22-inch model from Magic Chef can fit up to six place settings and also has six wash cycles, which is more than both our best budget and best basic dishwasher picks, which are both full-sized appliances. We appreciate how easy this dishwasher is to set up by connecting it to a sink, but keep in mind that you will have to disconnect it every time you need to use your sink. It’s also still compact enough to rest in the corner of a kitchen counter without taking up valuable food prep space.
Whether you need to wash a load of glassware or simply rinse your dishes between loads, this compact dishwasher can do it all. The cycle times are longer, given the smaller water supply hookup, and your sink will be out of commission when this dishwasher is running. However, a digital display makes it easy to keep track of how much time is left on a cycle, and there are also indicator lights for when more rinse aid is needed and when a cycle ends.
We wish this countertop dishwasher was slightly less expensive, given it’s close in price point to other full-size models in our roundup. Plus, it doesn’t have a built-in water tank like many of the latest models. However, we think the digital display paired with the impressive capacity and cycles make this dishwasher a great alternative for those living in small spaces.
Price at time of publish: $430
Type: Countertop | Dimensions: 17.2 x 21.7 x 19.7 inches | Decibel Rating: Not listed | Capacity: 6 place settings | Cycles: 6 | Tub Material: Stainless steel | Control Location: Front control | ADA Compliant: No
GE GPT225SSLSS 24-Inch Portable Dishwasher
Hard food dispenser
Adjustable top rack
No heated dry
As opposed to smaller countertop dishwashers, a portable dishwasher offers the capacity of a regular built-in dishwasher without requiring a permanent space in your kitchen setup. This 24-inch model from GE can hold up to 12 place settings and even has a hard food dispenser to ensure any solid residue doesn’t clog the filter or jam the water dispensers. Most portable dishwashers come with wheels, which also make them a great option for RVs that may need to carefully secure appliances during transit. While this model does come with wheels, it is almost 150 pounds, so you will need help moving it around your kitchen.
This dishwasher also comes with an adjustable top rack to fit larger pots and pans on the bottom. A sanitizing cycle eliminates germs and bacteria from food scraps, which is a huge win given that this model does not have a heated dry feature. Surprisingly, this dishwasher is also on the quieter side operating at just 54 decibels, which is roughly the same noise level as average conversation tones. You also don’t have to worry about your energy bill suffering from this appliance because it is Energy Star-certified, meaning it uses less energy per cycle and can even hook up to your faucet for operation. All in all, this portable dishwasher is versatile enough to be used in small homes or apartments, yet still effective enough to clean your dirtiest dishes.
Price at time of publish: $949
Type: Portable | Dimensions: 36 x 23.6 x 25.38 inches | Decibel Rating: 54 decibels | Capacity: 12 place settings | Cycles: 5 | Tub Material: Stainless steel | Control Location: Top | ADA Compliant: No
LG Electronics LDPS6762S 24 in. Top Control Built-In Smart Dishwasher
Adjustable third rack
Long cycle length
For those who like monitoring their appliances remotely, this dishwasher from LG syncs up to your smartphone, allowing you to track its progress via the brand’s ThinQ app. You can also connect it to your Google Assistant. This 24-inch dishwasher boasts an adjustable third rack for utensils, and thanks to its four spray arms, you can run a “half wash" if you just want to clean items on the top or bottom rack. LG's Dual Zone technology also varies the intensity of the water spray on the upper and lower racks to protect delicate items on the top racks while still efficiently cleaning dirtier dishes.
This dishwasher has a larger-than-average capacity of 15 place settings, and its TrueSteam technology uses steam to dissolve baked-on foods and eliminate water spots on glassware. It’s extremely quiet, operating at just 44 decibels, but its wash cycles can be extremely long, especially if you want the appliance to dry your dishes, as well. The dishwasher has a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish, and it has a sleek exterior that’s sure to look good in any kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $1,099
Type: Built-in | Dimensions: 33.6 x 23.75 x 24.6 inches | Decibel Rating: 44 decibels | Capacity: 15 place settings | Cycles: 10 | Tub Material: Stainless steel | Control Location: Top | ADA Compliant: No
Best Quiet Dishwasher
Samsung DW80R9950US 24 in. Top Control Tall Tub Dishwasher
Auto-release door helps dry dishes
No heated drying
If you don’t want your dishwasher disrupting your home, this model from Samsung is one of the quietest you’ll find, operating at just 39 decibels thanks to its special insulation. Chances are you won’t be able to hear it running, even if you’re in the same room. The 24-inch model also features a third rack for utensils, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to monitor the process of the cycle right from your phone. It can hold up to 15 place settings in a single load, and its racks are adjustable to help accommodate bulky items.
To get every dish as clean as possible, this Energy Star-certified washer has a unique sliding spray bar that moves in a linear motion for more complete coverage. It also has an AutoRelease door that pops open at the end of each cycle, helping to circulate air so dishes dry better. Of course, the caveat is that it doesn’t have a heated drying cycle, so air drying is really the only way to go.
Price at time of publish: $1,199
Type: Built-in | Dimensions: 34 x 24 x 25 inches | Decibel Rating: 39 decibels | Capacity: 15 place settings | Cycles: 7 | Tub Material: Stainless steel | Control Location: Top | ADA Compliant: No
Our top pick for a dishwasher with front controls is the Maytag MDB4949SKZ24 in. Stainless Steel Tub Built-In Dishwasher, which is well-priced and extremely effective at cleaning all types of dishes. It has a PowerBlast cycle for caked-on food, as well as a heated dry cycle, and it’s Energy Star-certified. For a top control option, consider the Bosch 500 Series SHPM65755N 24 in. Built-In Dishwasher, which has a flexible third rack and operates very quietly. It doesn't have a heated dry cycle, but is spacious and includes a half-load option for efficient dish-cleaning.
How Do I Know What Kind of Dishwasher I Need?
The type of dishwasher you purchase will be determined by the layout of your kitchen. If you have enough room for a full-size model, it will need to be hooked up to your home's water system. You should be sure to measure the height, width, and depth of the cutout in your cabinets if your kitchen allows for a built-in model. If you have less space—perhaps you live in an apartment or RV—then you'll want to shop for a portable or countertop dishwasher. Size is also an important factor for these models as they can be stored out of sight when not in use if you have larger cabinet space or a closet.
- Built-in: Built-in dishwashers are the most common dishwasher, and they must be professionally installed in your kitchen. They generally fit underneath your kitchen counter and continuously connect to your water system. Since they have a larger build, built-in dishwashers have more flexibility regarding features and price. You can find built-in models with either front or top controls for anywhere between $400 and $1,500. Many built-in models also now come with third racks or smart capabilities to remotely monitor cycle times.
- Portable: A portable dishwasher hooks up to a kitchen faucet and most models come in either 18- or 24-inch widths. Despite their smaller design, they usually can fit anywhere between 6 and 12 place settings, the latter being closer to the capacity of a built-in model. Most portable dishwashers are mounted on caster wheels, allowing you to easily move and stash them away in a closet when not in use. The GE GPT225SSLSS 24 in. Portable Dishwasher, our best portable pick, is set on caster wheels and has the look of a built-in dishwasher, without requiring under-counter space. It even has features like a hard food processor to effectively remove solids from your dishes and it can hold up to 12 place settings. Portable dishwashers start at around $400 but can cost up to $1,000 depending on the brand and model.
- Countertop: As you may have guessed, a countertop dishwasher is incredibly compact and designed to be placed on your kitchen counter. This type of dishwasher is the size of a microwave, ranging from 18 to 22 inches in depth, height, and length. Countertop models usually have a single rack and a drawer or door design—depending on the brand and model. Like portable dishwashers, they're hooked up to your kitchen sink to run, so no complex installation is necessary. These models cost anywhere from $200 to $500 depending on the number of place settings they hold and cycles they offer.
What to Look for in a Dishwasher
Dishwasher tubs are typically made from either plastic or stainless steel, and there are several benefits to going with the latter. "Stainless steel tubs are best," says Tanya Klien, CEO at Anta Plumbing. "They cost more than plastic tubs, but they look better longer, and they are far more durable." We will point out that our best budget, best basic, and best splurge picks all have plastic tubs. Plastic tubs can save you money upfront if you don't mind potentially having to still dry some dishes by hand.
Stainless steel tubs in dishwashers help to keep the interior sanitized and clean. Like a stainless steel tub in a washing machine, the material is less likely to develop stains, harbor bacteria, and show wear over time. The metal is more conducive to heat, making it very helpful in drying dishes. If you purchase a model with a stainless steel tub and additional fans, your dishes will likely come out very clean and dry. This is a major perk for any household, particularly for those households that might run the dishwasher more frequently.
Noise level is measured in decibels adjusted and can usually be found within the specifications of a model's listing, with the abbreviation dbA. A standard dishwasher typically has a decibel rating between 45 and 60 dBA—with 52 dBA being quiet enough to have a conversation over but loud enough to hear the rinse cycle start-up. The lower the decibel rating, the quieter your dishwasher will be. So, if your household has children or you entertain often, you'll want to find a dishwasher in the 38 to 45 dBA range if you plan on continuing conversations and playdates while the dishwasher runs. Our best quiet dishwasher, the Samsung DW80R9950US 24 in. Top Control Tall Tub Dishwasher, operates at just 39 decibels, so you can easily carry on with a Zoom meeting, watch television, or host a party and not worry about the dishwasher interrupting.
The control panel of a dishwasher can be located on the front of the model or at the top of the door. A front control model is the standard setup and allows you to check the status of your cycle as it runs. The downside? It's easy to accidentally hit the buttons and change the cycle's progress. Our best overall, front control pick, the Maytag MDB4949SKZ 24 in. Front Control Dishwasher, solves some of the potential frustrations of a front control panel by having the panel placed in a recessed portion of the door. We still recommend being mindful of the latch and handle on your front control dishwashers, as they're often in the same location as the panel. A top-control model avoids this issue by hiding the control panel and giving your entire appliance a sleek look. If you shop for a dishwasher with a top control panel, know that you won't be able to monitor your cycles. However, some models like our best panel ready pick, the Bosch 800 Series SHVM78Z53N 24 in. Fully Integrated Panel Ready Dishwasher, have a light that will shine on the floor while a cycle is in progress.
Typically, dishwashers have a lower and upper rack. A third rack—which is most convenient for larger households—maximizes the capacity of your dishwasher by giving you an extra layer for mugs, small bowls, kitchen utensils, and silverware that can’t fit in the basket. This rack is usually adjustable and can have an angled design to accommodate pot lids and tall glasses. The one downside is that it can limit what you place in the lower rack.
A sanitize setting in dishwashers uses very hot water to cleanse your dirty dishes of lingering bacteria, allergens, and germs. It’s typically an additional setting that can be paired with a normal cycle selection. Households with children will find this setting most handy, especially when paired with a stainless steel tub, powerful water jet system, and hard food disposer. Our best smart pick, the LG Electronics LDPS6762S 24 in. Built-In Smart Dishwasher, has a sanitizing cycle that uses steam to penetrate heavy food residue and eliminate water spots by up to 60 percent. This setting can also be paired with the dishwasher's Dynamic Dry setting, which uses four steam jets to heat the interior for dryer dishes.
Hard Food Disposer
If you’ve ever unloaded your dishwasher and found particles of food stuck to the clean dishes, you’ll understand the appeal of a hard food disposer. Think of this feature as a garbage disposal for your dishwasher—it uses sharp blades to chop up any food particles into tiny pieces and prevents them from being recirculated back into the wash cycle. This is also beneficial because it prevents large food pieces from clogging the dishwasher's wash arms or your pipes, and it also lessens the maintenance required, as you won’t need to frequently empty your dishwasher’s filter.
How long do dishwashers last?
"Assuming you’re getting a built-in dishwasher, you’re going to be living with your dishwasher for 10-15 years," says Klien. You can extend your dishwasher's lifespan by maintaining it properly. This includes cleaning the interior once per month, making sure it's not too full or too empty when you run a cycle, and performing necessary repairs. Buying your dishwasher from a reputable brand will also help.
What should you not wash in a dishwasher?
While many of your plates, bowls, cups, and mugs are likely dishwasher-safe, there are some items you should avoid putting in the dishwasher. This includes anything made of cast iron, pots or pans with a non-stick coating, expensive knives, and very delicate items. The dishwasher's strong spray can harm these items and materials, and even break them or reduce their quality. Wash these items by hand instead, making sure to follow our guides on how to clean cast iron and how to clean ceramic pans and cookware.
What happens if I put dish soap in the dishwasher?
Regular liquid dish soap cannot be used as a replacement for dishwasher detergent. That type of dishwashing liquid is specially formulated for hand washing. Dishwashers are made to operate without suds, and regular liquid dish soap creates foamy suds that can cause a dishwasher to overflow. If you don’t have dishwasher detergent on hand, you can make an emergency dishwasher detergent substitute using items you may have at home.
How do you load a dishwasher?
Consult the owner’s manual to confirm the best way to load your dishwasher. Before you start, remove large pieces of food from dishes prior to loading. Place glassware, small items, and dishwasher-safe plastic items in the top rack, taking care to prevent items from banging into each other during the cycle.
Load plates, and large items, like casserole dishes and pans, in the bottom rack of the dishwasher. Keep items separated using the dishwasher’s tines, and make sure items are angled toward the spray arms of the dishwasher. Place bowls facing down and avoid crowding, so the dirtiest surfaces are sprayed during the wash cycle.
For clean silverware, make sure to alternate the direction of forks and spoons in the silverware basket, so they don’t nest together during washing. For safety, place knives in the dishwasher with blades facing down.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Emma Phelps, an associate editor for The Spruce, updated this roundup to include newer dishwasher models. Phelps researched the most popular and latest models on the market and compared them to our previous picks to monitor new advancements in the industry and make new product recommendations.
This article was originally written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. As she was researching dishwashers, she spoke with Tanya Klien, CEO at Anta Plumbing, for insights on what consumers typically look for in a dishwasher and what features are worth buying. She evaluated dozens of products based on their performance, noise level, energy efficiency, and capacity, scouring user reviews to determine the pros and cons of each product.
This article was edited and updated by Marisa Viglione, the senior commerce editor for appliances, cleaning, and organization for The Spruce. Throughout her career, she's researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, and more in the home and lifestyle space. Having lived in multiple apartments, she knows the difference that having a functional and quiet dishwasher can make.