Is an Asko dishwasher the right choice for your home? Or, is Asko dishwasher a viable in-stock alternative to some of the more mainstream brands such as KitchenAid and Bosch?
Tough Times - Asko has been selling quality appliances for more than 20 years in the US. In fact, Asko dishwashers were once considered to be the go-to high-end brand. However, in the last 10 years, the company succumbed to its competitors' marketing pressure. In addition, product usability and design issues further eroded Asko's position on the market.
Better Days - Fortunately, the company’s recent research and development efforts resulted in success. Asko dishwashers now offer some of the industry's best cleaning performance. The brand now uses forward-thinking, minimalist interfaces that are both tasteful and intuitive.
Partnership with Sub Zero - More importantly, one of the most renowned brands in the US market, Sub Zero, took Asko under its wing as part of a strategic alliance program. This partnership brings you many benefits like a superior service infrastructure and an unbeatable two-year warranty, extending an extra year with a factory-authorized installation.
Deserves a Second Chance - Given the current appliance shortage, we think Asko dishwashers deserve to be considered by our customers. In this article, we’ll explore their features and performance and weigh them against the most important factors to consider when choosing a reliable dishwasher.
An Asko Dishwasher is a Good Choice If…
- You're looking for quality but don't want to spend more than a thousand dollars to get it.
It's reasonable to want to spend less than $699 on a dishwasher, but models in $499 - $699 price range won’t have the same build quality or features as those costing more than $699. Asko is situated in a reasonable price range for quality, both in materials and engineering design.
- You want a seamless look in your kitchen
All Asko dishwashers are mounted flush with kitchen cabinets, meaning there’s no protruding dishwasher door getting in the way. This sleek look never goes out of style and helps the dishwasher to blend in well with the rest of your kitchen design.
- You want an alternative to a more expensive or unavailable mainstream dishwasher.
Asko makes comparable models to current market leaders, both in terms of premium designs and quietness. We can't deny that a price point of $899 and above is an investment. Still, in return, you'll get better reliability, cleaning power, and service performance compared to other popular choices.
- You want a service guarantee for your dishwasher with one of the top appliance manufacturers in the US.
Sub Zero is the exclusive importer and distributor for Asko products in the US. This means Asko customers have access to Sub Zero's excellent nationwide support network.
An Asko Dishwasher Might Not Be Your Choice If…
- You have a strict budget to stick to and need a dishwasher that's no more than $499.
Sometimes spending a little extra on a dishwasher just isn't in the cards. In some circumstances, it doesn't even make sense to invest in a high-end model. Asko dishwashers start at $899, but the difference in quality between a $899 model and a $499 model is significant. For example, a model in the $499 to $699 range will be much louder than a dishwasher in the $899 range and likely have plastic or partially-plastic tub.
- You'd prefer an auto-open door that you'd find on Samsung or Miele dishwashers.
Both brands carry models where the dishwasher door opens once the wash cycle is complete in order to ensure completely dry dishes. This technology is beneficial because it combats any residual water remaining after the drying process by exposing the dishes to dry air right away. Bosch dishwashers also have this feature in the 500 series models.
- Wifi connectivity is the deal-breaker for you.
Asko dishwashers don't currently come with wifi connectivity. While we don't think this is a major problem, some people may find it to be a turnoff.
Overview of Asko Dishwashers
Asko offers three different dishwasher series: the 30 series, 40 series, and the 50 series. All three series earned Energy Star's Most Efficient recognition. The company also makes only reliable all-stainless steel dishwasher rated for outdoor use model DOD651PHXXLS.
The 30 Series
The 30 series dishwashers are Asko’s entry-level models, featuring 16 place settings, TurboDry, and three racks including the premium upper rack. A silverware basket is also included as an added convenience (At Designer Appliances,we discovered that not everyone likes the 3rd rack in a dishwasher. Many people still prefer having a silverware-basket). Some models are available with a water softener to help combat resilient watermarks. The 30 series has a sound level of 44 dB, which is about as loud as a quiet conversation in a library.
The 40 Series
Dishwashers in this series include two interior LED lights to make your clean dishes sparkle, as well as an additional spray zone for bottles. The sound level measures at 42 dB, which is about as quiet as a suburban area at night (virtually silent.)
The 50 Series
The 50 series is Asko's premium line and includes the most features. In addition to the features seen in the 40 series, the 50 series has two additional LED lights and an exclusive middle rack design with removable inserts. This is the only model rated for year-round outdoor use. These dishwashers have a decibel rating of 40 dB, which is roughly as loud as light rainfall.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dishwasher & How Asko Stacks Up
We know shopping for a major appliance can be overwhelming, especially when you have so many options to choose from. Prioritizing your needs and wants objectively can help ease the research process.
We've broken down the Asko dishwashers' features against the factors we find most important when choosing a good dishwasher: Noise level, cleaning performance, drying performance, design, reliability, and price. Below, we'll go over each of these elements.
1) Are Asko Dishwashers Quiet?
Quiet dishwasher operation is a must for any household. This is especially true in houses with open floor plans where sound carries further. Everyone likes to entertain, but a noisy dishwasher can be disruptive to conversations, movie nights, or dinner time.
While doing your research, you've probably come across the term decibels (dB). Decibels are a unit of measurement that express the loudness of a sound. For context, the typical conversation runs about 55-65 dB, while some household appliances like vacuums can be as loud as 85 dB.
Asko has considered noise in their design process, producing dishwashers that don't go above 44 dB (an impressive achievement that is on par with the rest of the high-end brands). For a sense of just how quiet these dishwashers are, consider that for the 40 and 50 series, the manufacturer included a subtle light at the toe kick to indicate operation. The light turns red when the program is in progress and green when the dishes are clean because otherwise, you wouldn't even know that it's running.
2) Do Asko Dishwashers Clean Well?
Asko dishwashers take enough water in and meter the water intake so that it's always the same amount. This is better than more budget-friendly models that take in water by time. Why? Because if you have low water pressure, you won't get enough water to properly clean your dishes.
The Asko dishwasher filters water effectively, so it doesn't have to take in more water, heat it, and pump it out, which makes the process efficient and results in shorter cycle times.
More budget-friendly dishwashers don't have a spray arm on the top, a feature that's sometimes skimped on by expensive brands as well. This isn't the case with any of the Asko 30, 40, or 50 series models. All three series come with three spray arms: one on the bottom, one towards the middle rack, and one on top to serve the third rack. These arms spray the right amount of water at the cycle-appropriate pressure and angles so that water reaches every dish.
Asko dishwashers also have sensors to determine the temperature, detergent use, water pressure, and duration multiple times during the wash, based on the soiling level. This is a popular feature among high-end machines like Miele. In contrast, machines in lower price ranges only test at the beginning of the cycle.
Compared to other machines in lower price ranges, Asko dishwashers have more dishwashing programs to choose from. This includes specialty programs like Crystal Glassware, Hygiene, and Sanitization, in addition to the Normal, Eco, and Plastic, to name a few. The cycle speed is fast, with flexible timed washes starting at 15 minutes and going up to two and a half hours.
All models come with the same brushless motor and pump system. The brushless motor improves reliability over time by reducing mechanical complexity, extending the product's life compared to products with motors with brushes. It also keeps the decibel levels lower than motors that use brushes.
Select models also have water softeners, which is a must if you have hard water with lots of minerals. These minerals can result in white spots and even etching on your glass dishware. Water softening models use salt to mitigate the water quality issue.
The Asko 30, 40, and 50 series all share Asko's Super Cleaning System (or SCS+) feature. This system cleans the fine steel filter and all interior surfaces after pre-washing and before the main wash. This ensures that each wash starts with a clean machine, an empty filter, and fresh water. The 30 series has eight zones and full spray arms, while the 40 and 50 have nine different zones (to include bottlewash jet) for water distribution.
3) How About Drying? Do They Dry Well?
Conventional dishwashers used a heating element to aid in drying, which some dishwasher manufacturers still use today. The risk with these heating elements is that the heat can actually bake on anything that didn’t wash away. These heating elements can also melt plastic, ruining party platters and Tupperware.
The 30, 40, and 50 models use more modern methods for drying. All share the same drying technology Asko calls "Turbo Drying." This system uses condensation drying along with a turbofan. The fan increases airflow so that dry air from outside the dishwasher is mixed with the dishwasher's moist air.
Condensation drying is when dishes are rinsed at the end of the cycle with extra hot water that evaporates quickly due to its temperature. The Turbo Drying system then circulates outside air after the final rinse, shortening drying time. This is ideal for preventing water spots created from lingering water, as the system completely dries everything in the dishwasher.
4) Stylish Scandinavian Design
All of Asko’s products are designed to reflect Scandinavian design elements, using uncluttered, minimalist exterior designs and purposeful ergonomics. Asko makes both stainless steel and panel ready dishwashers.
The panel-ready design is ideal if you want your dishwasher to blend in with the rest of the cabinetry in your kitchen. These models all come with the same door handle. It's worthwhile to note that at this time, Asko doesn't have 18-inch small dishwashers.
The stainless steel design comes with three handle options: the integrated handle, the pro handle, and the tubular handle.The integrated handle is sleekly concealed in the door. In contrast, the pro and tubular handles are long cylindrical handles that can be grasped horizontally at the top of the dishwasher door. The tubular handle is slimmer than the pro handle.
These dishwashers are installed flush with the surrounding cabinetry, and the door does not protrude outwards from its surroundings. There are designs for every kitchen, with all Asko dishwashers fitting in a standard 24" dishwasher space. All Asko dishwashers with XXL in their model numbers have slightly taller tubs and excellent storage capacity.
The 40 and 50 series dishwashers also have interior lighting, with two LED lights in the 40 series and four in the 40 series. These shine brightly on your newly cleaned dishes, giving you the satisfaction of a job well done and helping you see while you're loading the next wash.
The 40 and 50 series models also feature a status light, which is an LED light on the toe kick that communicates the dishwasher program status. Blue indicates that a program has started, red indicates full operation underway, and green means the program has been completed.
In terms of internal design, all Asko models feature flexible tines, with the 50 series offering the greatest amount of flexibility. The 30 and 40 series have a standard 16 place setting capacity, while the 50 series can accommodate up to 17 place settings. The internal loading height of 23 inches allows for loading up to 40% more space than a standard dishwasher. And, of course, the XXL models have one of the largest loading capacities on the market.
The 30 and 40 series dishwashers feature third racks that allocate room on each side for taller glassware placed in the middle rack. The third rack on the 50 series is more elaborate, allowing for both silverware as well as small bowls and ladles. This increased adjustability is vital because large pots and pans can sometimes block spray arms, wastewater and prevent dishes from getting clean. Adjustable racks keep this from happening.
And if you don't like the third rack? All Asko dishwashers come with a silverware basket as well, making the third rack optional.
5) Is Asko a Reliable Brand?
Reliability is paramount when purchasing home appliances. Asko's service guarantee with Sub Zero makes their dishwashers a viable choice when keeping reliability in mind. Because Sub Zero is one of the most reliable manufacturers in the industry, you can rest assured that you’re getting a great product. Additionally, Asko’s experience with both successes and failures in the market have informed their design choices, resulting in one of the industry's best machines.
6) Are Asko Dishwashers Priced Competitively?
When purchasing any appliance, you need to consider a reasonable price versus performance ratio. Choosing a model with extra features results in a higher price to compensate for those additional details. Considering how advanced these models are, Asko dishwashers are an excellent investment. These machines are reliable and will last many years to come, especially with the service guarantee.
When comparing Asko's different product lineups, the 30 series, which retails for $899, is our top pick. It comes with a high-quality cleaning and drying system and the same outstanding warranty as the higher-end models. These models combine the best style and performance at a reasonable price point. It's also an excellent alternative to the Bosch 300 and 500 series.
The 30 series is also a great choice when upgrading from the Bosch 100 series with the plastic tub or any dishwasher in the $499 to $699 price range. The full steel interior you get for only a slightly higher price point means better cleaning performance, durability, and rust prevention. And when compared to KitchenAid dishwashers at a similar price point, the Asko 30 series is head and shoulders above in terms of cleaning performance.
However, if you're looking for a model that is comparable to Bosch's 800 series models, we recommend upgrading to Asko's 40 or 50 series models. But because these models come in at a much higher price point when compared to the 30 series, they're put at a very competitive spot with other high-end alternatives.
The only downsides are that only select models have water softeners, and none of the dishwashers offer wifi connectivity. However, we hope to see these features added in future releases from the brand.
We believe that the Asko dishwashers are a great choice with an inspired design, superior reliability, and outstanding performance. If you’re looking for an in-stock alternative to the mainstream dishwasher brands, you can’t go wrong with an Asko. Considering the backing from Sub Zero's service network, the brand is worthy of a second chance in the US market.
How long do Asko dishwashers last?
Most of our customers ask us about the general longevity of the appliances they choose. Each year, it feels like we end up shaving off a year from the expected lifespan of products, except for less than a handful of manufacturers. We covered this topic in-depth on our hub page for dishwashers.
The typical life expectancy of a dishwasher on the market is about 5-7 years. You should expect an Asko to last above that threshold for about 7-10 years. In comparison, a Bosch 300 series (and above) is designed to last ten years, and Miele is seeking to serve you for 20 years under normal use conditions.
Where is the Asko dishwasher made?
Asko dishwashers used to be made in Sweden many moons ago. Now that a Slovenian concern owns the company (technically a Chinese mega-company), and production moved to Slovenia. This is, in fact, great news for the US consumer since the facility is one of the most advanced appliance factories in the World, home to various brands and OEM applications.
Is Asko better than Bosch?
The short answer is no. However, this is not a fair comparison. Asko is a far smaller appliance company than Bosch, and it only focuses on high-end dishwashers. Bosch, on the other hand, has a dishwasher for every budget point. Therefore, we find Asko dishwashers comparable to Bosch 300 and 500 series.