The best dishwashersNovember 20, 2020
- High-quality dishwashers leave your dishes sparkling clean and dry while efficiently using water and electricity.
- The Bosch 300 Series 24-inch Pocket Handle Dishwasher is our top pick because it features a third rack allowing it to hold more items, runs quietly, and uses less than three gallons of water per cycle.
When my family and I moved cross-country into a house that was still in the process of being remodeled, the kitchen was in a barebones state. And, as I spent half an hour or so each day at the sink scrubbing the dishes, there was no appliance I missed more than a trusty dishwasher.
When it comes to time-saving, a dishwasher is well worth the investment. And there are a number of features that can make a dishwasher even more efficient: nylon-coated racks tend to have a longer lifespan, while a soil sensor is helpful because it will let your washer know when to end the cycle.
Perhaps one of the most important features to look for is a stainless-steel tub. If you can afford the heftier price tag, stainless-steel tubs will speed up the drying process, dampen noise, and last longer than plastic counterparts.
Many of the newer dishwasher models feature top controls, as opposed to the classic front controls, giving the machine a sleeker, cleaner look. Another feature manufacturers celebrate is the food grinder, or masticator, which uses a blade to pulverize food debris. However, this is just another part that could potentially break. You may prefer filters, which collect food mid-cycle, are durable, and only need to be cleaned a couple of times annually.
While researching the best dishwashers, we pored over thousands of buyer and expert reviews and ratings of dozens of models. Our guide features appliances with a track record of performance, durability, and eco-friendliness while balancing affordability.
Here are the best dishwashers:
- Best overall: Bosch 300 Series 24" Recessed Handle Dishwasher (SHEM63W55N)
- Best budget: Maytag 24-inch Front Control Built-in Tall Tub Dishwasher (MDB4949SHZ)
- Best with a sleek design: Frigidaire Gallery 24-inch Tall Tub Built-In Dishwasher (FGID2466QF)
Updated 11/20/20. We updated prices, links, and formatting. We also removed the KitchenAid Top Control Dishwasher as our top pick for best drying dishwasher due to no longer being stocked. We are researching new models for this category.
The best dishwasher overall
What sets the Bosch 300 Series Dishwasher apart from the competition is its unique third rack for utensils and its 44-dBA noise level rating. It's so quiet that it has a special light on the exterior to let you know it's on.
Pros: Runs quietly, cleans dishes well, features an innovative third rack
Cons: Expensive, drying cycle could be better
The third rack basically works as a utensil holder. It's located on the top level of the washer and can hold other oddly-shaped items, such as ramekins and ladles.
Each of the racks has ball bearings in its wheels for a seamless glide. And, "FlexSpace" tines fold down on every other row to allow for larger dishes and cookware, like frying pans or pasta bowls. This Energy Star-certified appliance consumes about 2.9 gallons of water per cycle. Bosch backs the parts and labor with a one-year warranty.
This model is quiet and reliable, but its drying ability could stand to improve.
Consumer Reports found that, as a brand, Bosch exhibited the best reliability in their repair tests. They found a serious problem rate of about only 10% after two years of use.
If you want a faster cycle, you might look to the Ascenta series, which is a bit louder but it completes cycles within 95 minutes as opposed to the 300 Series' 150. But just the same, unless you're running a commercial kitchen, we really don't think that 55 minutes is a loss, and the extra quietness is a better tradeoff.
The best budget dishwasher
The Maytag 24-inch Stainless Steel Built-In Dishwasher is one of the more affordable washers on the market, leaves dishes sparkly clean, and is backed by a 10-year limited parts warranty.
Pros: 10-year limited parts warranty, fast-drying, features a food grinder
Cons: Relatively loud, has trouble with leafy debris, the one-hour clean cycle may melt plastics
The Maytag 24-inch Stainless Steel Built-In Dishwasher has many of the specs that you would expect from a more expensive dishwasher. The four-blade food grinder disintegrates food particles so they don't end up sticking to your glassware or dishes. It is Energy Star qualified so you use less energy and water.
Maytag offers a one-year warranty on parts and labor and a ten-year warranty on the tub, chopper blade, and racks. This washer does have a few negatives, though: the front controls are not as attractive as the top controls found on other washers, and it doesn't have a third rack.
You may want to stick to basic dinnerware when using the one-hour clean cycle, however. Plastics, including hard plastics, may melt due to the high temperatures of the washer.
The best dishwasher with a sleek design
Not only is the Frigidaire Gallery 24-inch Tall Tub Built-In Dishwasher one of the most cost-effective options on our list, its smudge-proof stainless-steel door looks great in any kitchen.
Pros: Affordable, attractive stainless-steel exterior
Cons: Uses a lot of water, may redistribute stains
The big selling point for the Frigidaire Gallery 24-inch Tall Tub Built-In Dishwasher is its stainless steel door with top controls, which will fit any décor. There are eight wash cycles and a delay start function that allows you to set up the wash to run 1 to 24 hours later. It is louder than our other picks though — the 52-decibel rating is the highest on our list.
The two racks and removable silverware basket are designed to hold up to 12 place settings. And, this appliance features a stainless steel filter, which you can remove to dispose of food debris after the cycle.
Some reviewers have also noted that this model cleans just as well as models that cost twice as much. However, during extensive testing, Reviewed found the washer would sometimes remove stains from some dishes and redeposit them elsewhere in the load. Also, this model uses a lot of water.
If you want to side mount this model, you need to buy a special kit.
What else we considered
While researching this guide, we considered dozens of dishwashers. There are a few that barely missed the cut. Here are some outstanding options we also examined:
- Bosch Ascenta Series Dishwasher (SHXM4AY55N): If we were to give an award to the best dishwasher brand, Bosch would win. The company has an array of models that are recommended by experts and customers alike. This Ascenta Series washer has a full-size third rack, stainless-steel tub, capacity for 15 place settings, and runs at a quiet 48 dBA. The main reason it didn't make the cut is that there are buyer complaints of drying and spotting issues, though these complaints are rare.
- LG Electronics Top Control Tall Tub Smart Dishwasher (LDT7808BD): There's a lot to love about this LG dishwasher. It runs at 42 dBA, fits 15 place settings, the motor has a 10-year warranty, and it's Wi-Fi-enabled. However, in our research, we've found smart dishwashers just aren't good enough to justify their added expense. Additionally, there are buyer complaints of subpar customer service.
- Miele Dimension SlimLine EcoFlex Dishwasher (G4780SCVI): Good Housekeeping recommends a number of Miele dishwashers, including this one, which they declare is "Best for Small Kitchens." It didn't make our cut because the price is a bit much – over twice the cost of our top pick.
- Smeg 24-inch 50s Retro Style Fully Integrated Dishwasher (STFABURD): Smeg is known for making beautifully-designed, high-quality appliances. And, if you are interested in making a statement with your dishwasher and have extra money to spend, this is your best choice. We chose not to include it because there weren't enough buyer and expert reviews available for us to make an informed decision.
Check out our other great guides to kitchen appliances
- The best kitchen faucets
- The best kitchen sinks
- The best refrigerators
- The best espresso machines
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