The time when dishwashers were considered a luxury is long gone. In today’s world, this appliance has become a necessity. Plenty of brands and models to choose from; each one with different sizes, features, performance, and price. If you’re picking out a new appliance for your home, it’s important that you get the right balance between what you need, the features you need, and how much money you’re willing to spend. To help you in your quest for the right dishwasher, we’ve come up with a list of the 8 best dishwashers, ranging from built-in ones to portable dishwashers.
Top 8 Dishwashers of 2018 Reviewed
- Top 8 Dishwashers of 2018 Reviewed
- 1. Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N
- 2. SPT Countertop Dishwasher
- 3. SPT SD-9241SS Energy Star Portable Dishwasher
- 4. Koldfront 6 Place Setting Countertop Dishwasher
- 5. Magic Chef MCSCD6W3 6 Place Setting Countertop Dishwasher
- 6. EdgeStar BIDW1801BL 18″ Built-In Dishwasher
- 7. Fisher Paykel DD24DCTX7 DishDrawer 24″ Stainless Steel Semi-Integrated Dishwasher
- 8. Danby DDW1801MWP Portable Dishwasher
- Dishwasher Buying Guide
1. Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55NBest Dishwasher with Third Rack
This is an ENERGY STAR certified, built-in dishwashing machine that offers you a boatload of features. It has a V-shaped third rack, FlexSpace™ Tines to help you fit odd-shaped items or large pots and pans, and RackMatic® which enables you to adjust the upper rack between 3 heights and 9 possible rack positions. Aside from all those lovely features, you get a full-size stainless steel tall tub that has a 16 place setting capacity, 5 programs and 4 options (including a half load option), and AquaStop® Leak Protection.
The last one is a sensor that stops the dishwasher’s operation if there is a leak in the base or hose and then starts the pump to get the water out before it leaks to the floor. One highlighted feature is the Speed60® which cleans your dishes and dries them all in the space of one hour. However, this program does make use of more power and water to be able to do this. Any flaws in this machine? Some.
To install this dishwasher, you first need to buy a separate installation kit. And installation isn’t exactly easy. In addition, the Bosch SHEM63W55N doesn’t dry plastic items very well. You might want to use a rinse aid that helps dry plastic items faster or use the extra-dry option. Or, you can just leave them to dry in the dishwasher with the door open.
Also, some users don’t like the third rack because it takes time to individually line up the utensils in it. But overall, we really think you’ll get the best bang out of your buck with this one.
- ENERGY STAR certified
- AquaStop® Leak Protection
- 5 programs and 4 options
- Not easy to install
- Not good at drying plastic
2. SPT Countertop DishwasherBest Dishwasher on a Budget
If you don’t have room for a built-in model or you’re just renting your space, this portable dishwasher from SPT should do the trick. It features a stainless steel interior and sprays arm while the tub material is plastic. Inside the machine, you get a dish rack and a silverware basket which have a 6 standard place settings capacity. There are 6 wash cycles to choose from: light, normal, heavy, glass, speed, and soak.
You also get a faucet adapter to easily connect your dishwasher to your faucet whenever necessary. At only 17.24 inches in height, this can fit perfectly on most countertops found in apartments and small office kitchens.
And it really gets the job done. Dirty dishes will be a thing of the past. However, it doesn’t do too well with caked on food. The drying cycle takes forever (around 2 hours) so you might want to consider just air drying your plates, cutlery, etc. And while the machine itself isn’t loud during the washing cycles, the draining of the water is.
- 6 programs
- Easy to install
- Stainless steel interior
- Does not work well on sticky, caked on food
- Drying cycle takes too long
- Noisy when draining water back to the sink
3. SPT SD-9241SS Energy Star Portable DishwasherBest Dishwasher for Small Kitchen
If you want a portable dishwasher that you can store away whenever you don’t need it, the SPT SD-9241SS is your perfect choice. Like SPT’s countertop model, this one does have 6 wash programs (all-in 1, heavy, normal, light, rinse, and speed), a stainless steel interior, and a faucet adapter. Unlike the countertop model, this one comes with a time delay feature of 1 to 24 hours. It is ENERGY STAR certified. The upper rack is adjustable.
You can load up to 8 place settings on this machine. The machine itself is easy to use. Plus, it comes with casters to make it easy to roll in and out of the kitchen. Now, this dishwasher isn’t quiet but it also isn’t the noisiest of the bunch at 55 decibels. Take note that, like its countertop cousin, this model does not dry dishes.
A normal washing cycle takes around two hours. Also, the hoses are pretty short (only 3 feet long) and located at the back of the dishwasher. This makes it incredibly awkward to attach the dishwasher to the faucet without having it face the sink backward.
- Easy to use
- ENERGY STAR certified
- Adjustable upper rack
- Does not dry dishes
- Hose is super short (3 feet only) and attached to the back
- Normal cycle takes too long
4. Koldfront 6 Place Setting Countertop Dishwasher
This countertop dishwasher from Koldfront is slightly similar to our other pick. Fitting comfortably under most cabinets in your kitchen at 17 inches tall, it has a 6 place settings capacity and features 6 wash cycles including glass, soak, and a heavy wash cycle where the water temperature is heated up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to kill germs and bacteria on your plates.
The 5-foot hose gives you leeway when attaching the unit to your faucet. Inside the dishwasher, you’ll find a stainless steel interior, a dish rack, a cup shelf, and a cutlery basket. However, this dishwasher does not have a steam outlet so you need to slightly open the door during the dry cycle to let it out. Also, the tines are a bit too close together that it can be a bit tasking to efficiently load the dishwasher with various types of tableware. This is a machine that is not designed for washing pots and pans.
- Fits most spaces under kitchen cabinets
- 5-foot hose
- 6 wash cycles
- No steam outlet
- Not for pots and pans
- Tines are too close together
5. Magic Chef MCSCD6W3 6 Place Setting Countertop Dishwasher
The Magic Chef MCSCD6W3 also has similar features to other countertop dishwashers in this price range. It can accommodate 6 place settings, comes with 6 wash cycles, and has a stainless steel interior. But it also has certain features that make it stand out. It has a drying cycle which a lot of countertop dishwashers do not have. It has an anti-flood mechanism (Floating Switch Anti-flood Device). And it comes with really long hoses. The inlet hose is around 5 1/2 feet long while the outlet house is a little under 4 feet. You also get a quick setup kit. However, the wash cycles tend to use a lot of water and the detergent dispenser doesn’t always seem to work.
- Anti-flood mechanism
- Long hoses
- Has a drying cycle
- Uses a lot of water
- Detergent dispenser sometimes doesn’t work
6. EdgeStar BIDW1801BL 18″ Built-In DishwasherBest Dishwasher for Under $500
If you want a built-in model but don’t have enough space to get the standard size dishwasher, the EdgeStar BIDW1801BL may be just what you need. This 18-inch wide dishwasher has an 8 place settings capacity with 2 pull-out dish racks, a silverware basket, and cup tray. It offers 6 different wash programs including speed and glass. Light indicators and buzzer sounds let you know the status of the dishwasher throughout the different cycles. The machine features a dial for selecting between different programs, an on/off switch, and a start/pause switch.
This is a great little machine that gets your plates cleaned and it isn’t noisy either. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with an installation kit so you have to be prepared to spend a bit more than what you originally intended. Also, it doesn’t have a drying cycle so you need to leave the dishes in the machine for several hours with the door open a little bit to let it air dry.
- Fairly quiet
- Cleans very well
- Light and sound notifications
- No drying cycle
- No installation kit
7. Fisher Paykel DD24DCTX7 DishDrawer 24″ Stainless Steel Semi-Integrated DishwasherBest Dishwasher for The Money
Unlike all our other picks, the Fisher Paykel Double DishDrawer (DD24DCTX7) isn’t a portable machine or a built-in model. It is actually 2 drawers (up and down) that’s 24 inches wide (like the traditional). Unlike traditional dishwashers, this DishDrawer is made up of two separate compartments that can run independently and concurrently. What does this mean?
You can use one compartment to do your delicate dishes while you do pots and pans in another. The convenience of being able to do to separate, different loads at the same time is why this machine gets on our top 10 list. Plus, you can also opt to just load one drawer if you don’t have enough to make a full load of two drawers.
One of the highlights of this appliance is the SmartDrive™ technology which makes use of only three main parts – a motor, a small computer, and a flexible agitator. This technology allows the machine to sense each load as well as use less power and water. And with fewer moving parts, the less likely something will go wrong with your machine.
Other great features include 9 wash cycles including an Eco Option, a 163-degree sanitizing temperature, delay start feature, 14 place settings capacity, and adjustable racks. Plus, this is ENERGY STAR certified. However, there are several reports of poor customer service. Piling the dishes too high (not leaning them) can prevent the drawer from sealing and cause a leak. Also, unloading the bottom drawer isn’t ideal for people with bad backs.
- Two dishwashers in one
- ENERGY STAR certified
- Overfilling the drawer can cause leaks
- Not for people with bad backs
8. Danby DDW1801MWP Portable Dishwasher
The Danby DDW1801MWP is a portable dishwasher on wheels. It has a quick connect feature that allows it to easily attach to most kitchen faucets. Being ENERGY STAR certified, Danby DDW1801MWP features 6 wash programs and can load 8 place settings. It has a stainless steel interior and sprays arm for long-term durability. This thing does get your dishes really clean. There’s no doubt about that.
You get folding tines and mini-shelves in the top rack which makes the machine more flexible for odd-shaped items. However, it doesn’t have a drying cycle. You need to let the dishes and other stuff air dry by leaving the door open. It is slightly noisy at 55 dB. The hose is short (at 3 feet) and the power cord is only 5 feet long. You’ll have to make sure that the outlet is near your kitchen sink to operate this portable machine.
- Cleans dishes very well
- Folding tines and mini-shelves in the top rack
- Stainless steel tub and spray arm
- No heated-dry cycle
- Short power cord and hose
Dishwasher Buying Guide
Did you know that you can save more than 230 hours of your time in a year just by using a dishwasher? Just think of all the stuff you could do with all that extra time not hand washing dishes when you’ve already slaved over the stove.
Of course, not all dishwashers are created equal so you can’t expect all of them to save you that much time. But if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you’d better be prepared to sift through the plethora of choices to find the one machine that will suit you and your needs to a T. The question is, do you know what makes a dishwasher the best there is? If you don’t, then get ready to get schooled in the art of dishwashing. We’ve got just the guide to help you find the time-saving appliance you’ve been dreaming of.
Dishwashers typically operate in the same way and do a decent job of cleaning dirty dishes, even the very budget-friendly ones. What you’ll need to take into account when buying a dishwasher isn’t so much as performance as it is featured. You need to look for the dishwasher that has what it takes to meet the needs and wants to be set by your lifestyle. And you need to eliminate the dishwashers that have features you don’t need. Below are questions you’ll need to ask yourself before you pick your final choice.
How many dishes are you planning on washing?
Do you have a large family? Are you planning to entertain a lot? Do you want to run smaller loads more frequently or run large loads including pots, pans, and baking dishes? Obviously, if you wish to do large loads, you’ll need a large dishwasher. A 30-inch model is just about the biggest you can go without going to the commercial models. The standard size is 24 inches though you can get an 18-inch model that are considered “apartment-sized.”
The size of a dishwasher you get will also be determined by the space you have available. Most dishwashers are built-in, under-the-counter models that measure 24 inches though some do come in smaller sizes at 18 inches. If you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen, you might consider a portable model. Unlike built-ins, this kind of dishwasher features finished sides, water hookups for attaching to your faucet, and wheels to help you roll them in and out of your kitchen.
How much is noise a factor for you?
Obviously, dishwashers aren’t going to be truly silent but there are some that are much quieter than others. Manufacturers achieve quiet performance through different sound-reducing innovations such as layers of insulation, a base that absorbs sound, a motor with less moving parts, etc. Now, if you ask us, the type of innovation used to reduce sound isn’t as important as the actual result of the sound reduction. What you’ll need to look at is the dBA rating of the dishwasher (a.k.a. decibel level). A rating of 40 to 50 means that the dishwasher is pretty quiet. Anything lower is almost silent while a rating that’s higher means a louder performance.
In addition, you need to take into consideration certain features of a dishwasher that cause noise such as a hard food disposer. The grinding action of the filter adds noise to the machine.
What kind of racks do you need?
The type of dishes and utensils you want to clean will help you determine what racks you need in your dishwasher. Before we get into the various rack configurations, you need to take note that flexibility and adjustability in a dishwasher increase as the price increases.
There are several types of racks add to flexibility. Adjustable or removable racks, either upper or lower, lets you include larger dishes and taller glasses.
Adjustable or fold-down tines enable you to move these left to right, giving you just enough room to wash large pots and pans as well as bowls inside your dishwasher. Also, fold-down tines can keep lids and lightweight items from tipping over and filling with water while the wash cycle is ongoing.
Third racks are perfect for large silverware and cooking utensils which leaves more room for dishes, pots, and other big items in the lower racks. Some odd-shaped items such as measuring cups and espresso cups also fit inside this rack. However, third racks are a premium feature that is usually present in dishwashers that cost at least $800.
Is there an eco-friendly model?
Yes, some dishwashers will help you save energy and water. You just need to look for the ENERGY STAR label which indicates that the dishwasher meets the guidelines of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy. Some features that allow you to conserve water and energy include soil sensors, half load options, rinse-and-hold cycle, hard food disposer, speed wash cycle, and drying cycles without heat.
Do I need special cycles?
All dishwashers big and small come with three basic cycles – light, normal, and heavy (pots & pans). Most of your dishwashing needs are covered by these three cycles. But if you want more customized cleaning, you can look for a dishwasher that offers more options. For example, if you have baby bottles or kitchen items such as cutting boards that need sterilizing, you can opt for an NSF certified dishwasher which means that it has a sanitizing cycle that’s been independently tested to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria.
There’s the china/crystal mode where the cycle is much shorter for both washing and rinsing plus the water used is cooler to ensure that these delicate dishes do not get damaged. You can also opt for the rinse-and-hold cycle which enables you to rinse away food on your dirty dishes that you plan on washing later on, once you’ve got a full load.
What about installation, warranties, and repair policies?
While portable dishwashers do not require installation, built-in models do. You need to make sure that you have someone who can connect your water and electricity to your dishwasher. This could mean hiring a plumber and electrician, especially if you’re remodeling your kitchen.
If you’re planning on installing the dishwasher on your own, you need to make sure that it is something that you can do on your own. Typically, you will get a warranty of two years, possibly longer, on some of the components of the dishwasher. You will also probably get a one year warranty on parts and labor.