The 9 Best Dishwashers to Buy in 2018

Shop for the best dishwashers to keep your dishes clean

Woman unloading dish washer in kitchen.
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A dishwasher is a must-have appliance for most kitchens because it cleans up your mess! While hand washing might seem like it conserves energy, it actually uses more water and can’t effectively sanitize as well as a hot water wash in your dishwasher. With more energy efficient models (check for ones noted Energy Star for more savings) of dishwashers out there today, you’ll use less water and get cleaner dishes saving you time and money at home hooray! Here, our dishwasher buying guide with top...MORE product recommendations.

If you are in the market for a new dishwasher you’ll first want to consider your space. There are all kinds of dishwashers on the market today — built-in under-counter dishwashers, drawer dishwashers, portable freestanding dishwashers and even countertop dishwashers, so having a small space doesn’t mean you can’t have the luxury of clean dishes at the push of a button.

The most common of dishwashers is a built-in under-counter unit. The standard size of these is 24” wide so you’ll need that size opening under your counter to fit (you’ll also want to measure your height and depth). They’re also smaller 18” wide units that work in tight spaces.

Dishwasher drawers are another option that let you wash a smaller amount of dishes in a compact footprint, but they can be costly. While portable and countertop units are great for renters because they can hook up to the sink without the need for permanent installation. But you'll need somewhere to store the unit when not in use.

The capacity of your unit is also very important and varies from household to household. Most standard units can fit 12 place settings, but then you can find options that have flexible tines for oddly shaped items (think baking pans), wine glass racks, extra silverware bins and more. It's best to consider what you will be washing on the daily to find the right configuration for you.

Noise is a big selling point when it comes to purchasing a dishwasher — the lower the decibel, the quieter the machine. Many standard models have a decibel rating of about 60, which is about the same decibel as a normal conversation. Quieter models are more expensive, but generally have a decibel level between 41 and 44.

The design of your dishwasher is also a big cosmetic decision. Models are typically available in white, black and stainless steel options, with white and black costing about the same and stainless having a higher price tag. You can even have the outside of your dishwasher retrofitted to match your cabinets for a truly seamless look.

For built-in units, you can choose from a front control unit where you can see all of the buttons on the outside or a top control which places the buttons on the top on the inside of the unit. This is a purely aesthetic choice.

Expect to spend anywhere from $400 up to $1,500 — even more for if you want a custom panel — for a new model with all the latest bells and whistles.

Before you decide which dishwasher is for you, here’s a quick recap:

  • Noise: If you want a quieter model, choose a dishwasher with a decibel rating between 41 and 44. Less expensive models have decibel ratings closer to 60 — a noise level that’s comparable to the average conversation.
  • Capacity: Most standard units can hold 12 place settings. If you wash oddly sized items you might want a model with collapsible tines or adjustable shelves.
  • Size: You’ll need at least a 24” wide opening for a built-in dishwasher. If your space is smaller you can consider an 18” wide model or dishwasher drawer.


 

  • KitchenAid Architect Series II Top Control Dishwasher in Stainless Steel with Stainless Steel Tub, Ultra-Fine Filter, 43 dBA

    Best Overall: KitchenAid Architect Series II Top Control Dishwasher

    As if forty targeted spray jets weren’t enough to tackle your dirtiest plates and cookware, this Energy Star top-control dishwasher also features a self-cleaning filter that continuously breaks down food particles in the wash water without making much noise. That means less soaking, less pre-rinsing, and less free time wasted on doing the dishes. There’s room for a dinner party’s worth of place settings in the tall stainless steel tub, and sliding tines in the lower rack can easily accommodate...MORE deep or narrow serving dishes. The utility basket in the upper rack can also be removed for handy lid and utensil washing.

    When it comes to cycles, there are several to choose from, including an express wash that’s good for taking care of a lightly soiled load in about 20 minutes. Use the detergent and rinse-aid dispensers for precision dosing, which should also help reduce spotting on items. The drying mechanism, which incorporates a fan, is also very effective, so you should notice less water pooling on your items. The only downside is that regular cycle times do run a bit long, but with a little bit of planning and patience, that shouldn’t be an issue.

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    Best Quiet: Bosch 500 Series 44-Decibel Built-In Dishwasher

    If being quiet is at the top of your must-haves when buying a new dishwasher look no further than the Bosch 500 Series which is the quietest brand in the U.S. Ringing in at only 44 decibels this machine will purr its way to cleanness. Besides being "quiet" this model also has a flexible third rack to hold 30% more, has a Clean30 cycle that will clean dishes in 30 minutes and flexible tines to hold casserole dishes or irregularly shaped items.

    Reviewers love the spotless clean at a low...MORE sound this machine provides. New and old Bosch customers are all a fan of the Bosch 500 Series. 

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    Best Front Control Dishwasher: Maytag Front Control Dishwasher

    Maytag has spent time elevating the brand over the last few years by focusing on developing high quality, dependable items with affordable price tags. They didn’t fail us with the Front Control Dishwasher. This model features the most powerful motor on the market to ensure that you’re trusting your dishes to a well-groomed machine ready to take on delicate and tough stuck-on messes alike.

    The device features a built-in 4-blade stainless steel chopper to really break down food particles that stick...MORE to our dishware. You get five different wash cycles, including PowerBlast which works to get out the toughest of stuck-on grime from each and every dish. You get the space for 14 different place settings along with a tiered top rack and a removable utensil basket.

    Plus, there is Steam Sanitation option which uses high heat and steam to disinfect your dishes. All of which can be easily activated and customized on the front control panel. You can purchase this model in black, white, or stainless steel with 

  • whirpool-tall-tub-dishwasher

    Best Dishwasher with Third Level Rack: Whirlpool Tall Tub

    Finding enough room for all the dishes and utensils you need to clean can be difficult in an average dishwasher. Awkward items with odd shapes only make matters worse. Dishwashers with a third level rack, however, provide more room in an otherwise unoccupied space. The Whirlpool Tall Tub, for example, will give you up to 37% more space compared to the average dishwasher without losing the quality wash features.

    This dishwasher comes with a plethora of handy additions such as tap touch controls...MORE and a quiet operation. The soil sensor will adjust the flow and amount of water depending on the level of grime to save on water usage. Dual interior jets will also ensure all of the dishes on each of the three levels will get the same rinse and main wash so nothing is left dirty when the cycle has completed. 

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    Best White Finish Dishwasher: Maytag 24-inch Front Control Built-In Dishwasher

    If you have a more classic feeling to your kitchen, then a dishwasher with a white finish may fit in best with your other appliances. The stainless steel inner tub makes it the perfect, powerful unit to complete your kitchen. The $495 price tag isn’t bad either.

    The visible front controls make it easy to use for everyone in the family, especially if you have your children loading up the dishwasher themselves as a chore. They won’t have to stand on their tip toes to figure out how to work it. The...MORE inner system is great: boasting a nylon rack system, a full silverware basket.

    Many often worry that their dishwashers just won’t catch all of the food and residue that may be left over after a delicious meal. Luckily, Maytag uses a built-in chopper in the model which breaks down your food particles, so you know that your dishes are as clean as possible. There also five different wash cycles: auto clean, normal, quick wash, rinse, and PowerBlast uses high pressure spray jets and hot water to remove stuck-on foods.

  • Best Countertop Dishwasher: SPT Countertop Dishwasher, Silver

     If you live in a small apartment or work in an office with a tiny kitchen, this countertop dishwasher from SPT is the perfect addition to your space. You can bypass hand washing all of your cup, plates and silverware without sacrificing major counter space, thanks to this model's compact size. The countertop dishwasher measures 21 2/3 " x 19 2/3 " x 17 1/4 ." It also features size wash cycle options: heavy, normal, light, glass, speed, soak. A silverware basket makes it easy to...MORE sort and organize your dishes, too. Reviewers say this dishwasher gets the job done, is perfect for a two-person household, and has an easy set up process.

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    Best 18-inch Dishwasher: Frigidaire 55-Decibel Built-In Dishwasher

    Unfortunately, we don’t always have all of the space that we want or need for new appliances. Many homes simply don’t have the capacity for a 24-inch dishwasher. This is where the Frigidaire 55-Decibel Built-In Dishwasher comes in. This model is thin and compact enough to fit in the tightest of kitchen spaces.

    Don’t worry, the lack of width doesn’t mean you’re missing out great features, or even much-needed space for that matter. This model has six different wash cycles: heavy, normal, light,...MORE china crystal, energy saver and rinse. That’s refreshing, considering most people wouldn’t trust a dishwasher with their beloved china pieces. However, Frigidaire’s china crystal cycle focuses on gentle cleaning and reduced water pressure.

    The dishwasher also has a filtration system of its own built-in to its stainless steel interior. You can buy this model in either a black or stainless steel finish depending on your kitchen and home’s style.

  • bosch-dishwasher

    Best High-End Dishwasher: GE Profile Front Control Dishwasher

    It can be hard to justify the price of a high-end dishwasher when they can cost nearly twice as much as budget models. When might those higher costs be worth it? They can be a good investment when they add extra features that make your life easier. You might not think that a dishwasher can get any more advanced or complicated than the basic variety, but high-end washers actually include a lot of useful features.

    The GE Profile Front Control Dishwasher proves that you will get extra, helpful...MORE features when you are willing to pay the premium price tag. With this average-looking dishwasher, there is a lot hidden in the interior. Beyond the high quality of wash most GE dishwashers are known for, this one uses different types of jets to wash the inside of bottles, glasses and delicate silverware. It is also meant to run quiet at just 45 dBA.

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    Best Portable Dishwasher: Whirlpool Heavy-Duty Portable Dishwasher

    Portable dishwashers are a great alternative to a normal-size washer when you are facing tight, limited spaces to live in. Whether you have a smaller home or live in an apartment, there is no reason to sacrifice the time and efficiency a dishwasher offers just because space is scarce. A good portable dishwasher will give you the same clean results in a much smaller package.

    The Whirlpool Heavy-Duty Portable Dishwasher proves that you don’t have to sacrifice on a good quality wash just because you...MORE are buying a portable dishwasher. This great portable option uses heavy-duty jets to provide the same quality of wash as permanent fixtures. Advanced sensors will also detect the soil level of the dishes so the dishwasher can save water and shut off when everything is clean. The inside includes 12 place settings for dishes.

    Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best portable dishwashers can help you find what you're looking for.

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