The best dishwashers are truly some of the most convenient pieces of cleaning technology modern society has given us. I mean, seriously, who wants to wash anything by hand anymore? After a large dinner party or a particularly adventurous baking experiment, nothing is more satisfying than giving everything a light rinse and putting all of those greasy dishes into a dishwasher. While the machine is doing all of the dirty work, you can relax on the couch as the humming purr of the wash cycle fades into the background
Best of all, modern dishwashers are actually more efficient than cleaning dishes by hand. The best dishwashers will use less water and less soap than you would scrubbing, washing and drying each dish by hand.
Whether you’re new to the dishwasher market or have a broken-down model on your hands that needs replacing — welcome to the only dishwasher guide you’ll ever need. We’ve compiled pages and pages of research about buying dishwashers online, the features to look out for and the best models for every household, kitchen and budget. Family of five that needs the cycle to work quickly? You got it. A machine that’s tough on stains but delicate with your expensive glass flatware? We’ve got that as well.
When it comes to dishwashers, there’s a lot to consider, and the options can get confusing. Don’t fret — we’re going to cover everything from top to bottom so you can make an informed, confident decision in your next kitchen clean-up mate. We have a feeling it’s going to be love at first sight followed by a long, healthy commitment.
In this dishwasher shopping guide, we’re going to cover:
- Dishwasher sizes: choosing the right washer for your kitchen
- How to buy a dishwasher online: what to know about online appliance sales, where to buy the best dishwashers online
- Dishwasher installation: professional versus DIY installation process
- Dishwasher pricing: how much should your new dishwasher cost?
- Popular cleaning features: from heated drying to smart appliances with WiFi connection, these are the top features
- The best dishwashers for 2020-2021: we review the best dishwashers from Bosch, Samsung, GE, Whirlpool and other top brands
Consider Your Needs & Space
The first step in this journey is reflecting on what you need out of your dishwasher. If you’re a large family who runs the dishwasher daily, a high-quality appliance that’s built to last as long as possible is going to be your best bet. If you’re busy and tend to forget to unload your dishwasher — something with top-notch drying abilities and the open door assist feature might be helpful. If you dry a lot of wine glasses — dedicated racks and a delicate cycle might be helpful. You get the picture.
We know making a big purchase like this can be intimidating. However, there are a lot of great appliances out there, and if you’re willing to invest a little bit of money and do a bit of research, we’re confident you’ll make a great decision. But it all starts with your unique needs — so consider them carefully before diving into our dishwasher shopping guide.
Second, you’re going to want to take inventory of your available space. If you’re adding a dishwasher to your kitchen, this process is a bit more complicated than simply replacing an old model. Standard dishwashers are about 24-inches deep by 24-inches in width. Oversized models are between 30-inches and 42-inches wide, while compact dishwashers are 18-inches wide. Regardless of the width, virtually all dishwashers are about 33.5 to 35-inches tall, although there are some exceptions, such as portable dishwashers.
Keep this in mind when preparing for the installation. Your new dishwasher will also require a water hookup, the right electrical connections and a bit of space on either side. You can find the exact dimensions and specifications of each product on their purchasing page.
Buying a Dishwasher Online
Once upon a time, mom and dad would pack up the family for a trip to Sears or The Home Depot to look at the best dishwashers money can buy. Today, many homeowners conduct their search online, even if they ultimately end up purchasing in-store. Despite what you may be thinking, buying a dishwasher online is very much possible and preferred by some for the convenience and simplicity of the buying process. You’re not strolling through rows of machines with an annoying salesperson gabbing away in your ear. You’re relying on a set of tested, vetted machines that are top-notch and affordable at the same time.
What about shipping? Trusted appliance retailers will make sure your new dishwasher is shipped right to your door. In some cases, delivery services include installation as well. Many retailers will also haul away your old appliance for a small additional fee, so it’s really a no-brainer.
Installing Your New Dishwasher: Buyer Beware
When buying dishwashers online, it is crucial to fully understand the delivery and installation process first. For instance, the best-selling built-in dishwasher on Amazon has a strong 4.4-star rating. However, if you read the reviews, you’ll find that the installation process isn’t as easy as advertised, with many customers complaining that the installation kit created as many problems as it solved.
For a typical DIY installation, you will need a 90-degree elbow fitting, hot water supply line, hose clamp, brackets, kick plate drain hose wire connectors and assorted screws and adhesives. You can purchase dishwasher installation kits separately if they’re not included with your appliance. In addition, you will usually need an electric drill, adjustable wrench, wire strippers, pliers, hex L-wrenches, screwdrivers, measuring tape and a level.
If that sounds intimidating, there are plenty of retailers that offer installation upon delivery. When you buy a dishwasher at The Home Depot — our recommended retailer for appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines — you are almost always eligible for free delivery and installation. You will need to pay for the necessary parts, and hauling away your old appliance costs an additional $25 in most cases.
How Much Do New Dishwashers Cost?
Dishwashers range in price wildly, with some of the best dishwashers under $500 and some clocking in at $1,200 or more. Many of the reasonable, high-quality models with somewhat affordable price tags cost between $700-$800, a hefty investment but not an unnecessarily exorbitant dollar amount.
Consider how much you want to spend, what is most important to you, and what you’re willing to sacrifice for a lower price tag. Keep in mind that much like washers for your clothing, some of the cheaper models may actually end up costing you more in the long run in repairs or new parts. They also might poop out on you earlier, requiring you to buy another one, doubling your cost over the course of a number of years. Those ones that cost upwards of $1,000? They’re built to last twenty years, which is about double the shelf life of less-expensive models.
This is a big-ticket purchase, and we definitely don’t want you wasting hard-earned money on features that aren’t necessary. We’ve kept that in mind when crafting this shopping guide and will let you know when a feature is on the more luxurious end of things, and therefore not necessary for most households to function.
Cleaning Features To Keep Your Eye On
There are so many feature combinations available out there, and many that multiple dishwashers share, which makes purchase confidence easier. Some features, however, are more important than others and deserve special attention. Here are some notable features to consider in your dishwasher of choice:
Sound — Finding a dishwasher that’s quiet can transform the whole experience of having it in your home. This is especially true if you live in an apartment where the living room and kitchen share a space — no one wants to hear the sound of rushing water during a particularly intense mini-series scene or miss the punch line because your washer is draining. Noise levels on dishwashers range from 38-60 dB for the most part, with anything below 50 dB being good (45 dB is about the sound of a quiet coffee shop, 40 dB is a library, 30 is a whisper). The quietest dishwasher currently available has a 38 dB rating, but we’ll discuss that more later on.
Design — There are internal and external design elements to look out for. You can get certain dishwashers custom-designed to match the rest of your cabinets and kitchen decor. Most dishwashers come in silver, white or black finishes, and they may include fingerprint-resistant coating to protect the exterior from smudges.
Of course, the internal design is important to consider as well. Foldable tines are convenient for fitting in larger, bulkier dishes and stainless steel tubs tend to be higher-quality and better at soundproofing than plastic ones. Some dishwashers also include designated jets for silverware, baby bottles and casserole dishes with caked-on grease.
Effective Drying — They should really call them “dishwashers and dryers” for how important this second piece is. High-performance drying extends the life of your dishes, aids in preventing watermarks and makes unloading easier. Some dishwashers include a feature that automatically cracks open the door at the conclusion of the cycle to let excess steam out. Some have extra fans built-in and some incorporate a short heat cycle at the end to remove all remaining moisture. Heat is a tricky thing because it works effectively at drying, but it can also seal on food bits the regular cycle wasn’t able to get, so only go for a dishwasher with a strong cleaning performance record if this is the method for drying.
Dependability — The most important feature in any dishwasher? That it won’t break down in a year or two (or five years, for that matter). All the fancy features in the world won’t help you if the whole machine can’t last through heavy use. You want to make sure you get a machine from a trusted appliance maker that isn’t going to break down, isn’t going to require a ton of replacement parts, and, if something does happen, that maintenance is easy and doesn’t cost a fortune. Your go-to brands for this? Miele, Bosch, GE, LG, Samsung and Whirlpool have pretty solid reputations.
The Best Dishwashers for 2020-2021: Reviews, Pricing and Features
Now that we’ve covered the price, installation and features to look for, you’re probably wondering which model you should actually buy. When choosing the best dishwashers of the year, we looked at a variety of factors. We considered brand reputation, price, customer reviews and cleaning features, leaving us with 11 highly rated options at a variety of price points.
Alright, without further ado — here’s our ranking of the best dishwashers to buy for your home in 2020.
1. Bosch 300 Series Front Control Dishwasher
This Bosch dishwasher is widely regarded as one of the best on the market, without an out-of-control price tag attached. It has over 2,500 reviews on Home Depot’s website and a 4.7-star ranking qualifying its quality construction. It’s one of the quietest dishwashers available with a sound ranking of 44 dBA, an excellent sound level for most homes. The RackMatic interior design offers three different rack levels and three different racks for a total of nine different possible combinations. The FlexSpace tines fold back and down if you need to fit larger pots and pans, and the PrecisionWash ensures that each dish gets treatment with powerful spray arms for a thorough cleansing. The Speed60 cycle is fast and accurate, for clean and dry dishes in 60 minutes, and the washer offers four other wash cycle options as well depending on the soil level on your dishes. You can also delay the start of your load, program it for a half load, sanitize and choose an extra dry feature.
It’s an excellent machine both in design and capability, and it has a price tag that’ll fit most budgets looking to invest in a high-power dishwasher that’ll be with them for the long haul.
2. Miele G7000 Series Dishwasher
While not nearly as affordable as the Bosch series, this Miele dishwasher is a top-of-the-line machine complete with seven different wash cycles, water softening capabilities, a 3D cutlery tray, AutoDos with Power Disk, a Quick Intense Wash function and more. This machine automates almost everything with the washing cycle, making it as easy on you and tough on stains. The AutoDos feature disperses detergent liquid evenly and the AutoStart technology makes it easy for you to schedule your wash whenever is most convenient for you.
This dishwasher is panel-ready meaning you can customize the external look of it however you like, and the internal design makes it easy to fit all of your dishes inside. There are hinged rows of spikes for holding dishes secure and the FlexCare cup rack has a pimpled surface with silicone for holding wine glasses and other delicate materials.
The door of this dishwasher also automatically opens at the end of each cycle and leaves a small gap for excess steam to escape to aid in effective drying. There is also a Pots and Pans cycle for getting baked-on grime off easily, and the China/Crystal cycle reduces wash pressure by 30% to take care of delicate stemware while still cleaning effectively.
3. Samsung 24-Inch Top Control Dishwasher
BEST DISHWASHER UNDER $500
Samsung is better known for its TVs than it is for its dishwashers, but the company does make affordable and reliable appliances for the home. This 2019 model dishwasher isn’t the highest-rated, quietest or most advanced dishwasher you’ll find, but if you have a hard $500 price limit, this is the best dishwasher under $500 we’ve found yet. Whether you purchase from The Home Depot, Sears or Samsung itself, a recent discount brings the price down to $450, an extremely reasonable price for a medium-sized dishwasher that comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
This dishwasher comes in black, white or silver and has a stainless steel door. The interior tub is made from plastic, and it’s mid-range in terms of noise (55 decibels). This washer fits up to 14 Place Settings, has an adjustable upper rack, four different wash cycles and heated drying. Despite the low price, this dishwasher does have some modern features. The touchscreen control panel is easy to operate, and a Digital Leak Sensor shuts off the appliance as soon as a leak is detected. Finally, the washer is ENERGY STAR certified for energy efficiency.
4. Bosch 800 Series Dishwasher
If the sound of rushing water stresses you out, pick up this dishwasher for your kitchen. It boasts a super-quiet 40 dB sound level which is about as quiet as it gets in this business. That’s the noise level of a library — so you might not even (probably won’t) notice it’s running. Don’t worry, they’ve thought of that, and have a built-in InfoLight that shines on the floor to let you know it’s running. Genius.
Bosch makes some of the best dishwashers in the world, and like all Bosch products, the 800 Series dishwasher goes through hundreds of quality checks before it leaves the factory. That means you can trust this dishwasher to last for many years to come. That’s one reason it has a higher price tag than similarly sized models. The other reason? It has mighty impressive cleaning features and is ENERGY STAR certified.
This washer boasts CrystalDry technology, which ensures a thorough, spot-free dry every time — an important feature in avoiding water spots and calcium deposits. For a 24-inch dishwasher, this machine also fits a surprising amount of dishes into a small space. In addition to the normal two dish racks, this Bosch washer also has a third MyWay Rack, the brand’s largest third rack — it even fits cereal bowls and sippy cups up top, if you’ve got kiddos in the house. The PrecisionWash function checks the progress of your dishes throughout the washing cycle and to avoid wasting time, water and energy. The machine has touch controls that are super easy to navigate, and the EasyGlide Upper Rack makes for a smoother glide in and out of the machine even when fully loaded.
This dishwasher also has stellar customer reviews, and its price is pretty much the only negative mark against it.
5. Whirlpool 24-Inch Top Control Dishwasher
BEST CUSTOMER REVIEWS
This dishwasher checks all of the boxes and comes with a price tag that’s easier to stomach than some of the higher ones on this list. The lower ranking is mostly due to the noise level, at 51 dB, but that’s still do-able for most households as long as you’re not running it right next to your bed at night. This dishwasher uses fans instead of heat to dry which is safer for plastics and lowers the chance of baked-on food getting stuck permanently. The Sensor Cycle automatically selects washing and drying settings based on temperature, soil level and load size found during the prewash phase and again during the wash cycle itself.
Soil Sensor measures how dirty dishes are so they always come out clean, and the 1-Hour Wash takes care of the job quickly if you’re in a rush. There’s also a High Temperature Wash that can thoroughly clean items like baby bottles, and the Sani Wash eliminates 99.99% of bacteria. Whirlpool is one of the most dependable brands in the business, so while the price is cheaper you’re not sacrificing quality with this purchase.
Whirlpool has a reputation for making some of the best dishwashers, and this appliance is no exception. This mid-tier model has thousands of positive dishwasher reviews on sites like The Home Depot, Lowes and Best Buy, with hundreds of customers giving it a 5-star rating.
6. GE Tall Tub Dishwasher
BEST SPECIALIZED JETS
If you wash a lot of silverware and flatware, this dishwasher is a great option due to its dedicated silverware jets that target dishes for a table-ready clean each and every time. This dishwasher has a 54 dB noise rating which is louder than others, but it’s mostly due to the powerful clean and efficient jets. The Dry Boost feature gets things three times dryer, on average, than other brands. The hot steam in each wash cycle eliminates the need for a pre-rinse and this dishwasher implements a high-temperature sanitization phase that kills 99.999% of bacteria. The upper rack is adjustable for fitting bulkier dishes below and there’s an internal water sensor built in to prevent floods and leaks.
Overall, this dishwasher is a solid machine with decent ratings and a very affordable price tag. We found that the Whirlpool possessed more value for your money when it comes to a budget pick, but this 24-inch dishwasher from GE packs a lot of punch in a sturdy brand and the jets’ specializations make your clean that much more efficient.
7. KitchenAid 24-inch Top Control Dishwasher
BEST FOR FAMILIES
This dishwasher is super quiet and spacious on the inside, making it perfect for chaotic households filled with kids to get the job done. It has a FreeFlex third rack built-in that’s one of the largest third racks available with 6-inches of head space that can fit glasses, bowls and mugs. The advanced microfiltration system continuously removes food particles during the wash and circulates clean water across all the dishes for an effective clean. The Fan-Enabled ProDry System combines heating and fans, two popular elements across all dishwashers, to give dishes a thorough dry after each wash cycle. This dishwasher has a 44 dB noise level, super quiet given the power, and has stemware holders in the middle rack for keeping your most delicate dishes secure.
8. Electrolux Tub Stainless Steel Dishwasher
BEST FOR BIG MESSES
Sick of scrubbing out stubborn grease and sauce stains? This Electrolux Dishwasher has dedicated jets in the back for a casserole or other large dish that target baked-on food particles. The LuxCare Wash Arm also uses water more efficiently and effectively to tackle stains without wasting your valuable resources, and the Perfect Dry system dries dishes right the first time using circulated air instead of heat, eliminating the need for towel drying post-wash. This dishwasher also has one of the quickest cycles we saw in our research, with a 30-minute cycle option for getting dishes clean super fast. There is a third-level rack in this machine for utensils, and LED floor lights beam color-coordinated indicator lights during the cycle — blue for when they’re mid-cycle and green for when the cycle is finished.
9. Miele Dimension 18-inch SlimLine EcoFlex Dishwasher
BEST COMPACT DESIGN
Most dishwashers measure 24 inches across, but if you need something slimmer to fit into your kitchen, there are some high quality compact models available. This 18-inch dishwasher model from Miele has all the same powerful capabilities as other options in a more economic package. You can fit ten place settings into this machine and rest assured knowing they’ll be taken care of with Miele’s Perfect GlassCare technology. The ComfortClose Door stays open in any position you desire, a random but seemingly useful feature, and the machine has a silence rating of 46 dB, all in all a solid noise level. It has six different wash cycles to choose from, a CleanTouch Steel control panel and AutoOpen Drying that’s handy if you frequently forget to unload clean dishes in a timely manner.
10. Bosch 500 Series Dishwasher
MOST FLEXIBLE RACKS
This dishwasher has a dedicated flexible third rack for silverware, FlexSpace Tines throughout all of the racks that can fold down and move easily, and the upper rack can be lifted and lowered to accommodate larger dishes in either the second or third rack. This dishwasher also has PrecisionWash so every dish, no matter what rack, gets a thorough clean. The Plastic-Safe PureDry System dries your dishes without heat so plastics stay safe on any rack, and with a 44 dB noise level your house won’t be disturbed by the sounds of the deep cleaning. This machine can fit up to 16 place settings inside, so it’ll work well for any household or kitchen.
11. LG 24-inch Front-Control Dishwasher
BEST SMART DISHWASHER
Seems like every technology is going “smart” these days, huh? Well, dishwashers are no different — and this kitchen mate from LG connects to an app and can be controlled, monitored and adjusted via Bluetooth technology. This dishwasher comes with QuadWash capabilities for a full clean, a PrintProof finish on the front that reduces the impact of fingerprints and smudges, and a LoDecibel operation at 48 dB. The smart, WFii-enabled dishwasher technology puts the power to troubleshoot a problem quickly in your hands via the app, and the Inverter Direct Drive Motor keeps the cycle moving efficiently to save you money. The front control panels on an LED display are easy to read and reach, and the EasyRack internal design can fit more dishes in it.