We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. Why trust us?

You want to find the best dishwasher, but in 2022, locating something decent AND in stock can be overwhelming, especially if you're stuck washing dishes by hand.

I'm the founder of Designer Appliances, a premier appliance store in New Jersey, and I have 15+ years of experience. I've test-driven most of these dishwashers, visited the plants where they're made, and sat through countless hours of training. Most importantly, I've heard real-life feedback from our customers in real-time.

These seven dishwashers are the ones I recommend to customers, family, and friends. Some are in stock today, while others are worth the wait. Let's find the best dishwasher for you.


Short on time? Watch our video.

The 7 Best Dishwashers of 2022

There is no universal "best dishwasher" for everyone. Here are my seven picks address varying needs and budgets.

If one of these dishwasher brands resonates with you, check out our extended content and brand reviews. Each brand offers dishwashers with different feature sets at varying price points: You may be able to upgrade for better features or downgrade to save some cash.

1. Best High-End Dishwasher Miele G7316SCUSS 7000 Series Dishwasher

Watch our exclusive Miele dishwasher video review

Quietness: 40 dB | Interior: Stainless Steel | 3rd Rack: Yes | Place Settings: 16 | Auto Open Door: Yes

Miele G7316SCUSS
Appliance Matchmaker

Is it a match for you?

Pros - Reasons to Buy:

  • Built and tested to last 20 years (2x the industry average)
  • Extremely quiet at 40 dB.
  • Flexible basket design with folding tines and a 3rd row cutlery tray make loading/unloading less of a chore.
  • AutoDos, an industry first, automatically dispenses the perfect amount of detergent every load (each PowerDisk lasts about one month).
  • Can be trusted with delicate items (fine china, crystal, and wine glasses).
  • Fan-assisted condensation plus an auto-open door result in superior drying results.
  • High-heat sanitize at 167 degrees kills germs.
  • Doesn't stick out and gives you a perfectly flush seamless install (great if you have inset cabinets or a modern kitchen design).
  • Miele's clean touch stainless steel is the best we've seen at reducing fingerprints.
  • Control remotely with Wi-Fi and Miele's smart phone app.
  • Built-in water softener improves performance in homes with hard water.
Cons - Reasons to Avoid:

  • Expensive, but if you factor in longevity it's a worthwhile investment.
  • AutoDos is awesome, but I wish Miele's proprietary PowerDisk detergent was cheaper. Miele gets you hooked with a free 6-month supply (via rebate), but after that it'll cost you about 75 cents per load compared to about 30 cents if you were using these popular Cascade dish tabs. (Ouch). You can still use standard tabs with Miele, but going from PowerDisk back to tabs can be a tough-to-swallow loss of convenience.

Why I Chose the Miele G7316SCUSS as our best high-end dishwasher?

Miele makes absolutely the best high-end dishwashers. The company is the "Apple" of appliances. The brand spares no expense to deliver the best cleaning performance.

Details that hamper cleaning performance for other manufacturers are standard features in all Miele dishwashers. For example, the Miele dishwasher measures the volume of water intake rather than simply timing it.

Why is this important? Well, water pressure varies during the day (think: family members taking showers; multi-unit high rises; inefficient or old pipes; city water pressure). By measuring the volume of water, Miele ensures that there is perfect amount of water for the mess at hand.

Speaking of messes, put your mind at ease: This Miele measures the turbidity of water multiple times during a cycle, figuring out how dirty your dishes are and adjusting the cleaning power accordingly. What's the benefit? You don't have to rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher.

Miele's commercial-grade pump system ensures a silent operation, and more importantly, the ability to increase the water pressure when dealing with stubborn soiling.

Before our Miele, my wife and I never trusted our dishwashers with china or even wine glasses. We were worried about etching that gets worse after each wash. Not the case with the Miele G7316SCUSS. Just as the pump is able to increase the pressure, it also knows to be gentle when the china setting is selected.

The Miele G7316SCUSS does an amazing job with sanitization (a major concern for young families). The brand does not need to resort to gimmicks such as bottle wash sprays or strange wash arm configurations, as it can distribute water effectively to every corner at 167 F.

Our Rating

  • Washing Best

    In addition to all the essentials, this machine has Miele’s renowned China/Crystal cycle, which babies even the finest wine glasses. It also has the under-an-hour QuickIntenseWash for convenience.

  • Drying Best

    Like all modern dishwashers, Miele uses energy-efficient condensation. The door opens ajar after the cycle ends, removing all leftover moisture and eliminating the opportunity for musty odors to develop.

  • Noise Best

    At 40 dB you will not hear this dishwasher.

  • Loading Best

    Also, it has an automatic detergent dispenser, so you don’t have to mess with detergent. (There’s a traditional dispenser, too, in case you don’t want to stock up on Miele detergent.) Racks and tines are adjustable to accommodate dishes of all sizes and shapes.

  • Build Best

    Best fingerprint-proof stainless finish on the market. I love how the door opens and closes (akin to a German luxury car). Interior racks are glide smoothly even when loaded. Self-clean program is handy.

  • Brand Reliability Best

    Miele’s the industry leader when it comes to reliability. It designs appliances to last for 20 years.

Miele dishwasher lineup
Miele dishwasher lineup.

Does Miele have any other dishwashers that I should consider?

Miele makes more than 25 different dishwashers. Want to save a bit of money without sacrificing superior cleaning? Go with the G71xx models. They're a bit louder, at 43 db, and don't have Wi-Fi or the AutoDos automatic detergent dispenser.

In the mood to splurge? Consider the G75xx or G79xx models with interior lights, knock-to-open doors without handles, and ultra-quiet operation at 38 db.

Every Miele dishwasher can perform an express wash under 1 hour, but premium (or "professional") series Miele dishwashers come with 30-minute wash cycles. You won't miss out on superior cleaning.

As for the style, you can choose a model that accepts kitchen cabinet front. Top control and pocket handle styles are available in the Miele lineup.


2. Best Overall Bosch SHPM65Z55N 500 Series Dishwasher

A Bosch SHPM65Z55N dishwasher that's been installed in a contemporary kitchen.
Watch our Exclusive Bosch Dishwasher Video Review
Bosch SHPM65Z55N 500 Series
Appliance Matchmaker

Is it a match for you?

Pros - Reasons to Buy:

  • All Bosch dishwashers (even the entry-level Ascenta series) feature PrecisionWash, for super-clean dishes.
  • A 3rd-row cutlery tray keeps your silverware organized for easier unloading and better cleaning while freeing up the space a cutlery basket would take up on the bottom rack.
  • A minimalist pocket handle and branding-free exterior blend well with your other appliances.
  • A door that automatically pops open at the end of a cycle, releasing excess steam to enhance drying and prevent mustiness.
  • Its 60-minute quick wash cycle is ideal for busy families or hosting.
  • 44 dB, making it quiet enough for most households.
  • Bosch's renowned reliability.
Cons - Reasons to Avoid:

  • This Bosch uses condensation and an auto-open door to safely dry dishes. But some people (not us) swear by heating elements. If that's you, consider upgrading to Bosch's 800 series with CrystalDry; it's the best drying of any dishwasher.
  • Due to ongoing supply chain issues, it's still hard to find a Bosch dishwasher in stock in 2022.
  • At more than $1,000, the price point may be out of reach.
  • While 44 dB is plenty quiet for most, if you have an open floor plan and a big budget, you might want to consider something 42 dB or quieter.
  • No Wi-Fi
  • The stainless steel isn't smudgeproof.
  • It’s got a pesky end-of-cycle beep (that you can turn off).

Why I chose this Bosch SHPM65Z55N as our best overall dishwasher?

This isn’t the fanciest Bosch dishwasher. It's not the most basic model, either. Think of it as the Goldilocks choice, right in the middle of the spectrum.

I like the advanced wash performance and the door that opens after the end of the cycle. I usually run my dishwasher at night when I go to bed, and like the fact that there is no residual moisture or a musty smell by the morning.

These days, a stainless-steel interior and a 3rd rack are a must for dishwashers. Bosch goes a step further and provides a removable silverware basket in case you want to use the upper rack for ramekins and ladles and need additional space for flatware.

Thanks to its pocket handle and smooth front surface, this dishwasher is made to blend in seamlessly with other kitchen appliances.

Our Ratings

  • Washing Best

    Wash Cycles: 5 (Heavy, Auto, Normal, Speed60, Rinse)

    Soil sensors (aka Sensor Wash) adjust the wash time to match how dirty your dishes are, so you don’t waste time, water or energy. Bosch’s one-hour Speed60 cycle also actually gets a full load clean.

  • Drying Better

    Uses condensation to dry dishes in an effective and energy-efficient manner. In addition, the door pops open after the cycle’s done to let out any moisture (aka Bosch’s Auto Air system). Side benefit: No melted plastics or musty smell inside.

  • Noise Better

    It's 44 dB—not silent, but so quiet that it beams light onto the floor to let you know it’s running. (aka InfoLight)

  • Loading Best

    We love how smooth it feels to slide Bosch dishwasher racks in and out. You can also adjust their height and fold down individual tines to fit awkward stuff. There’s a removable silverware basket or the third rack for your flatware.

  • Build Best

    Like all condensation-drying dishwashers, it has a stainless-steel tub, but we like the bonus durability you get as well. People also love the unobtrusive pocket-style handle of this model.

  • Brand Reliability Better

    One-year parts and labor warranty. The product is made to last. The company has an extensive service network.

Does Bosch have any other dishwashers that I should consider?

The 500 Series may not fit your budget. In that case, I highly suggest the Bosch 300 Series. You'll lose the auto-open door, but you'll get the same great wash performance and quietness rating.

You'll only find that pocket handle design (that blends with any kitchen) with the 500 Series and up. However, there are plenty of desirable styles within the 300 Series.

As for the Bosch Ascenta and the 100 Series, I can't say I'm an enthusiastic fan. The company makes them specifically for builders and big box stores that want to trim costs. Plastic bottoms and noisier operation make them less ideal for homes.


3. Best Budget Dishwasher Whirlpool WDT710PAHZ Dishwasher

Whirlpool WDT710PAHZ
Watch our exclusive Whirlpool dishwasher video review
Whirlpool WDT710PAHZ
Appliance Matchmaker

Is it a match for you?

Pros - Reasons to Buy:

  • While inexpensive, it doesn't look cheap, making it the perfect choice for house flippers or rentals.
  • The unique cutlery basket attaches to the inside of the door, freeing up space in the bottom rack.
  • This dishwasher uses a good ole' fashioned heating element for drying, not that fancy Euro-style condensation we mentioned with Bosch. Sure, your kids' plastic forks might melt to the bottom, but if you insist on a heating element that's a small price to pay.
Cons - Reasons to Avoid:

  • At 51 dB, this dishwasher is pretty loud. We typically only recommend dishwashers that are 46 dB or quieter.
  • The plastic tub is not attractive and is prone to discoloring and odors.
  • This isn't the most durable option on the market.
  • The vent on the front is prone to rusting.
  • Even though it uses a traditional heating element (which some people swear by), we've heard complaints that it doesn’t dry dishes super-well.

Why I chose the Whirlpool WDT710PAHZ as our best budget dishwasher?

Whirlpool dishwashers tend to be a solid, affordable choice with all the truly necessary features, particularly for wash performance.

Before the pandemic-induced supply chain saga, the WDT710PAHZ was a small-ticket item, selling for less than $500. It's still a good deal, and is ideal for people who want to spend under $799 or who are planning to sell their home and want to entice buyers with a brand-new appliance.

This one's a little loud. I find the plastic tub unattractive compared to a stainless-steel interior, but that might not matter to you.

Yes, there are less-pricey dishwashers on the market today, but they tend to look unattractive in a kitchen and lack the wash performance. And most super-cheap dishwashers are very loud, with plastic interiors that discolor over time.

Quietness: 51 dB | Interior: Plastic | 3rd Rack: No | Place Settings: 13 |

Our Ratings

  • Washing Good

    The high-temperature wash for sanitizing and effective one-hour wash (for lightly soiled dishes) make this a solid budget choice. However, if you want a thorough wash, always use the "pots and pans" program instead of the "normal" cycle.

  • Drying Good

    It has heated drying, which isn’t our favorite since it can melt plastics, but we like that there’s a fan to assist to speed up drying time.

  • Noise Good

    At 51 dB, it’s much louder than we’d like. You’ll hear it running.

  • Loading Good

    The adjustable upper rack is a nice touch. Just note that there’s no third rack. You also get an AnyWare utensil basket. The latter is a unique-to-Whirlpool design. The company ads say that it gives you more room on the lower rack. (In reality, this basket is of marginal benefit.)

  • Build Good

    We don’t love the plastic tub, but that’s what helps keep the price down. Insulation is thin, and the overall weight of the dishwasher is considerably lower than that of a medium-range European dishwasher. As for the exterior, hidden top controls give this dishwasher a sleek, luxurious look.

  • Brand Reliability Better

    One-year full warranty. Whirlpool is consistently ranked at the top for great reliability and low maintenance costs. Spare parts and service are generally very easy to find.


4. Best Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Dishwasher Samsung DW80R9950US Dishwasher

A Samsung DW80R9950US Dishwasher sits flush with Shaker-style cabinets.
A Samsung DW80R9950US Dishwasher sits flush with Shaker-style cabinets.
Samsung DW80R9950US
Appliance Matchmaker

Is it a match for you?

Pros - Reasons to Buy:

  • You have a Samsung kitchen package of appliances. This dishwasher might help qualify you to Samsung's rebate program.
  • Starting a load from your phone while in the middle of a jog.
  • Giving your chores to Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Your dishwasher telling you when it needs things.
  • Sanitizing bottles for infants (155 F - 163 F).
  • Keeping your dishwasher fresh. The self-clean cycle is effective!)

Cons - Reasons to Avoid:

All in all, the DW80R9950US is an ideal choice as part of a package of Samsung appliances when remodeling. If you are just replacing an old dishwasher, be sure to read my take on other choices in this ranked review.

  • Water bar prone to getting off track (Over the years Samsung has made it more reliable).
  • Not ideal for municipalities with hard water.

Why I Chose the Samsung DW80R9950US as our best smart dishwasher

Of all the manufacturers’ apps, I like Samsung’s SmartThings the best. Amazingly, it lets you start your dishwasher from your phone—something most apps don’t do. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and it sends you useful reminders, like when it’s time to run a self-cleaning cycle or refill the rinse aid.

This Samsung dishwasher comes in unique finishes, too: In addition to stainless steel, you can opt for black stainless-steel and an oil-rubbed-bronze-like finish Samsung calls “Tuscan stainless.”

Samsung’s Linear Wash technology is also neat: Instead of standard spray arms, it has a “water bar” that moves across the tub and sprays dishes with a “wall of water.”

Quietness: 39 dB | Interior: Stainless steel | 3rd Rack: Yes | Place Settings: 15

Our Rating

  • Washing Better

    Samsung's linear wash works well. If you have an extra 15 seconds prior to starting your wash, choose the Zone Booster. It will divert extra water on to pots and pans on the lower left back-corner.

  • Drying Best

    I am a big fan of the auto-release door to remove any extra moisture from the tub. Still wondering why most manufacturers don't incorporate this feature.

  • Noise Best

    Samsung absolutely nailed quietness with its superior insulation. At 39 dB, you will not hear this dishwasher.

  • Loading Best

    Smooth gliding, adjustable racks even when they are loaded. The third rack is spacious.

  • Build Better

    Fingerprint-resistant stainless finish. High-end stainless steel interior. Sturdy racks move easily even when loaded.

  • Brand Reliability Good

    Samsung is known for its smart products. The brand has extensive market share in the US. The sheer volume of sales in some markets does not match the capabilities of its service network.


5. Best Dishwasher for Baby and Sports Bottles GE GDT665SSNSS Dishwasher

GE GDT665SSNSS Dishwasher Installed in Kitchen
GE GDT665SSNSS Dishwasher Installed in Kitchen
GE GDT665SSNSS
Appliance Matchmaker

Is it a match for you?

Pros - Reasons to Buy:

  • I love the four dedicated bottle jets. They work great on baby and sports bottles.
  • At 46 dB, it'll be noticeably quieter than your dishwasher from 10 years ago.
  • Skip pre-rinsing... this dishwasher has a built-in hard food disposer.
  • It has a 3rd rack cutlery tray - something we think is a must-have with new dishwashers.
  • GE is a reliable brand and one of the only to employ factory-trained service technicians.
  • Remotely control with your smart phone via the optional (purchased separately) Wi-Fi adapter.
Cons - Reasons to Avoid:

  • 46 dB is still a bit too loud for my tastes (especially if you have an open floor plan). If you're easily annoyed by ambient noises, target something 44 dB or quieter.
  • Hard-food disposers are prone to breaking and clogs. We still prefer a passive filter system like those utilized by Miele and Bosch.
  • The optional Wi-Fi feature is misleading to some. You'll have to buy a special adapter that's hard to find in stock, and the lack of documentation (I'll try to make on video on this in the near future) leads to a cumbersome setup process.
  • It's stainless-steel exterior is not fingerprint-resistant like some of our other top picks.

Why I Chose the GE GDT665SSNSS as our best dishwasher for baby & sports bottles?

When you put bottles in the dishwasher, you have to wonder whether the spray’s actually getting inside and cleaning it. I usually end up washing bottles by hand with a special brush to be sure.

When you set a bottle on the top rack over one of this GE dishwasher’s jets, you know it’s going to spray directly inside with super hot water to get it ultra-clean. That’s more than you’d be able to do at the sink with your sprayer. This dishwasher’s designed to reassure you that everything’s sanitary.

It meets expectations in pretty much every other way, too—except for noise.

Quietness: 46 dB | Interior: Stainless steel | 3rd Rack: Yes | Place Settings: 16 |

Our Ratings

  • Washing Better

    Soil sensor helps determine how dirty your dishes are and help adjust cycle time. You have the option to employ steam and sanitation to loosen baked-on food. The one-hour wash will save you time.

  • Drying Better

    Fan-assisted drying along with dry-boost will get the job done.

  • Noise Good

    Not the quietest dishwasher, but 46 dB might be leagues better than the one you are replacing.

  • Loading Good

    Spacious dishwasher to handle thick stoneware dishes as well as fine plates.

  • Build Better

    Stainless-steel interior is great. Wish the outside was fingerprint-resistant.

  • Brand Reliability Best

    GE has a great reputation for its initial product quality as well as its strong nationwide service network.

Does GE have any other dishwashers that I should consider?

GE makes dishwashers mainly under three brands: standard GE, GE Profile, and Café.

The GDT665SSNSS belongs to the standard GE family. The line-up starts with rather loud models that we do not recommend unless you need one urgently to put your house on the market or if you're on a tight budget.

As you go up the GE scale you will get fingerprint-resistant stainless steel. GE Profile or Cafe support advanced wash systems for discerning customers.


6. Best Drying Results in a Dishwasher Bosch SHPM78Z55N 800 Series Dishwasher

Watch John's take on the Bosch dishwashers in his latest video
Bosch SHPM78Z55N
Appliance Matchmaker

Is it a match for you?

Pros - Reasons to Buy:

  • Condensation-drying CrystalDry technology, which is top-tier and the best on the market.
  • Ecosense proprietary technology cleaning functionality with triple filtration.
  • Having the best-of-the-best in Bosch dishwashers.
  • Product reliability: an appliance that lasts longer than an iPhone.
Cons - Reasons to Avoid:

  • No interior lights or Wi-Fi.

Why I Chose the Bosch SHPM78Z55N 800 Series as the best dishwasher for drying

This Bosch dishwasher has the most advanced drying technology–called CrystalDry–you can get. It takes energy-efficient condensation drying a step further than other dishwashers, even those with a final gentle heated air cycle. The company spent some serious engineering cycles to get the tub temperature to 176 degress without melting plastics.

Every major brand offers down-market as well as up-market products once it finds success with their main product. The Bosch 800 Series is what defines Bosch as the king of dishwashers.

As much as we are happy with the performance of the 300 or 500 series, the 800 series offers a complete set of features for a slight premium. For most people I see no need to go up on the product scale, say to Bosch Benchmark, to pick up features such as water softener, lights, cycle time projected on the floor, and even more flexible interior space.

Quietness: 42 dB | Interior: Stainless steel | 3rd Rack: Yes | Place Settings: 16 |

Our Ratings


7. Best Drawer Dishwasher Fisher & Paykel DD24DCTX9N Dishwasher

Fisher & Paykel DD24DCTX9N Installed in Kitchen
John covered Fisher Paykel dishwasher drawers in his video review
Fisher & Paykel DD24DCTX9N
Appliance Matchmaker

Is it a match for you?

Pros - Reasons to Buy:

  • You like the versatility of running a single drawer or both drawers at the same time.
  • It takes you a long day (or two) to fill up a standard dishwasher. You will have clean dishes sooner with Fisher & Paykel.
  • You hate how long it takes to unload a full standard dishwasher.
  • You think extended warranties are a scam. This Fisher & Paykel comes with a 5-year warranty.
Cons - Reasons to Avoid:

  • Pricier than most dishwashers with similar cleaning performance.
  • When loading two drawers to run simultaneously, adding detergent to each is a bit annoying.
  • No Wi-Fi.
  • Plastic interior in most models is neither attractive nor up-to-date compared to competition. (In 2022, the company released Series 11 dishwasher models–pricier, with limited availability–featuring a stainless-steel interior.)
  • Some pros are not familiar with double-drawer installations.

Why I Chose Fisher & Paykel DD24DCTX9N as the best drawer dishwasher?

You’ll never have a pile-up in the sink again.

My colleague Elyse, who actually relishes most cleaning tasks but hates unloading the dishwasher, has one of these at home and says it makes the job much less annoying.

She loves how she only has to empty one drawer at a time while filling the other with the next round of dirty dishes, and appreciates how the height-adjustable side racks can accommodate lots of coffee cups, juice-sized glasses, small bowls or ramekins, and measuring cups.

It also has a handy knife holder. Pro tip: Use the “extra dry” options for dryer dishes, and be stingy with detergent. (Using too much is the reason for most service calls.)

The 5-year warranty is best in the industry.

A word about other Fisher & Paykel dishwasher drawers

Fisher & Paykel also makes a less expensive sibling (approximately $100 in savings) of this dishwasher under model number DD24DAX9N. Although the feature set is the same I like the DD24DCTX9N (T signifies tall tub) better since it has a tall tub which can accommodate your large dinner plates and pots.

The more expensive product on the line up, the DD24DCHTX9N (H for water softener) adds a water softener. Which is handy for some notoriously hard-water districts in our home state of New Jersey. The water softener ensures that there are no nasty water marks on your dishes.

Quietness: 44 dB | Interior: Plastic | 3rd Rack: No | Place Settings: 14 |

  • Washing Better

    You have all your basics covered - Quick wash, Sanitize, Heavy duty cycles and more.

  • Drying Better

    Fan-assisted drying is acceptable for most people. Use extra-dry program if you hate lingering moisture.

  • Noise Better

    At 45 dB, it will not bother you in the kitchen.

  • Loading Best

    Ultimate versatility of using either one or both drawers. Load and unload in a snap.

  • Build Good

    Not a fan of the plastic interior. However, it is sturdy and not likely to discolor over time.

  • Brand Reliability Best

    5-year industry best warranty.


How much should you pay for a new dishwasher?
We prepared a guide to help you budget!
How Much Does a Dishwasher Cost?

Your Guide: How Our Experience Benefits You?

Metin Ozkuzey Founder

Everyone has a person they go to for pet issues, another go-to person for home repair, and yet maybe another for parenting concerns. For 15 years, we have been the go-to source for people with appliance questions, and have happily helped at least 300,000 families.

We truly love appliances. This site is written by appliance gurus who want you to love and appreciate your appliances as much as we do.

⭐ We're Experts

We tell you the good, bad and ugly. (Just look at our YouTube comments!) We’re the only site that gets glowing (and not-so-glowing) customer reviews in real time. We share it all.

🎁 We Know What's New and Great

We know what's new, what's available-and what's worth getting excited about.

⚖️ We're Biased (in a Good Way)

Our only loyalty is to products that work and that my customers love; we're not tied to any specific brands.

👓 We're Dishwasher Nerds

Trained as an engineers, we take take an inordinate time surveying customers, reading about and testing dishwashers.


Our Dishwasher Rating Criteria

Washing
  • Basic wash cycles (normal; heavy; pots and pans; rinse), standard spray arms.
  • More advanced wash cycles, such as steam/sanitize, an hour-or-less quick wash, and a sensor wash that adjusts the cycle time based on the soil level.
  • Additional or specially designed spray arms, designated water jets or wash zones for bottles or utensils, high-end delicate or china wash cycles, built-in water softener.
Drying
  • Basic condensation drying or heated drying with fan assist.
  • Condensation drying with auto-open door.
  • Condensation drying with mineral assist or a gentle final heat cycle.
Noise
  • 46 to 50 decibels (dB)
  • 40 to 45 decibels (dB)
  • Under 40 decibels (dB)
Loading
  • Two or three racks, ideally including a third row top rack for utensils and small bowls.
  • Three racks; some racks’ height can be adjusted or tines repositioned; wine glass and bottle fasteners.
  • Three smooth-gliding racks with adjustable levels and movable tines; additional wine glass holders or bottle fasteners.
Build
  • Plastic tub, tubular handles, front control panel, regular stainless steel or black or white plastic front.
  • Stainless-steel tub, sleek or pocket handle (or panel ready option), hidden top display, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel or panel ready front.
  • Stainless-steel tub; sleek pocket handle or pro-style handle.
Brand Reliability
  • Expected to last between five and seven years.
  • Expected to last around 10 years.
  • Expected to last 20-plus years.

Dishwasher 101: What to Look For

While there's no one-size-fits-all dishwasher, there are certain factors everyone should consider when researching dishwashers. We'll walk you through them one by one.

Watch our exclusive video review of what makes a good dishwasher.

Types of Dishwashers

Let's start with the basics. Think there’s only one type of dishwasher on the market? Think again. Although built-in dishwashers are the standard and by far the most common option, there are a few other options out there. Alternatives include dishwasher drawers and portable dishwashers.

Built-In Dishwashers

When you think of a dishwasher, you probably picture this kind. These dishwashers fit under your countertop and permanently connect to your plumbing. Today, stainless-steel dishwashers tend to be the best-sellers on the market. It's also common to see cabinet-covered panel ready dishwashers in modern kitchens.

If you have a nonstandard counter height due to raised floors or other renovation idiosyncracies, you’ll want to go for a slightly shorter ADA dishwasher. These models are typically about an inch lower than their standard-sized cousins.

built in dishwasher
Standard built-in dishwashers fit under your kitchen counter.

18-Inch Dishwashers

These mini built-in models also get described as apartment dishwashers, small dishwashers, or bar dishwashers. In addition to apartments and condos with smaller kitchens, 18-inch dishwashers are ideal for a pantry or a secondary entertaining area where you use a lot of glassware.

Having a satellite dishwasher gives you more room to wash at once and can save you trips back and forth to your kitchen with dirty dishes. You'll love it every time you have a party.

Watch our exclusive video review of the Miele G 5000 series dishwashers.

Drawer Dishwashers

Never heard of a drawer dishwasher? That’s because only one manufacturer, New Zealand-based Fisher & Paykel, currently makes them. These small, discreet appliances slide out from under your countertop and come in both single- and double-drawer options.

If you hate unloading dishes, you might like a double-drawer unit. You'll have the flexibility to run each drawer separately. That means you can wash a single drawer of dishes after every meal instead of waiting for an entire standard dishwasher to be full, and have only the one drawer's worth to put away at a time.

You can also load dirty dishes in the empty drawer instead of putting them in the sink. A single drawer can be a nice option for a very small household, or as a supplement to a full-size dishwasher.

dishwasher drawer
Single or double dishwasher drawers from Fisher Paykel 

Portable Dishwashers & Countertop Dishwashers

Although they’re pretty uncommon, portable dishwashers are perfect for small apartments, RVs, or rental homes without a standard built-in dishwasher. These units can easily be moved around and don’t require separate plumbing to operate; they typically hook up to the existing faucet in your kitchen.

Some models can be placed on your countertop, while others can be wheeled around for convenience. Like standard dishwashers, portable models come in both 18- and 24-inch widths.

portable dishwasher types
Portable dishwashers can sit on your countertop or roll around on wheels.

Washing and Drying Performance

You guessed it: A dishwasher has to wash and dry effectively. A fancy model with all the latest tech innovations isn't worth very much if it doesn’t clean dishes. For starters, a good dishwasher needs to have enough wash cycles and options to handle all kinds of dirty dishes and various levels of messes.

A quick wash cycle gives you a real advantage, particularly since the most energy-efficient cycles these days can take as long as two hours to finish up. Sensor wash counts as another plus since it automatically adjusts the length of time a load will take based on the soil level and number of dishes.

You’ll also want to choose a dishwasher with good quality nozzles and spray arms to distribute water around the whole tub efficiently. Solid drying performance matters just as much, of course. Nothing's more annoying than having to dry all of your dishes by hand. Dishwashers employ one of two main drying techniques:

  • Heated drying: This means a dishwasher has a component that literally heats up to evaporate the moisture left behind on your dishes. It has two downsides: It can melt plastics and bake on any food residue that the wash cycle doesn't get off, making it even harder to remove. On the other hand, it can leave clean dishes more fully dry than an entry-level condensation drying dishwasher.

  • Condensation drying: This method cools down the stainless-steel walls surrounding the dishes to pull moisture away from them and on to the walls. European manufacturers like Bosch and Miele have perfected this technique.

Other helpful drying features include auto-opening doors (Miele calls this AutoOpen; Bosch calls it AutoAir) at the end of each cycle and integrated fans that help reduce moisture. Some manufacturers also give you the option to run a final, gentle heat cycle to dry up any puddles; Bosch calls this CrystalDry.

Noise/Quietness

As we mentioned, modern dishwashers have longer wash cycles. That's mainly because Energy Star standards require them to use less clean water and energy to run. With all these extra washing hours, you don't want to hear loud machine noise during dinner. Consequently, you should really consider the noise level and your kitchen layout. If you have an open concept living area, an ultra-quiet dishwasher might be important to you.

Today, the noise levels of dishwashers range between 38 decibels to slightly above 60 decibels. Anything below 50 dB is good, and below 45 dB is super. To put this into real-life context, a whisper is around 30 dB, a quiet library is around 40 dB, light traffic noise is around 50 dB, and a regular conversation tops out at about 60 dB.

For more information, check out our in-depth guide to the quietest dishwashers, including our real-life audible sound test results.

Our exclusive review of the quietest dishwashers with our own audible sound test.

Design

The interior design of the dishwasher also ranks high on our checklist. You want it to be plenty spacious and, ideally, flexible. Features like a third rack make washing more convenient and effective since it gives you more space to wash your valuable silverware up top and more plates and bowls below. Moveable or foldable tines, baby bottle guides, silicon fasteners for wine glasses, and adjustable racks are also real conveniences.

Dishwasher 3rd Rack
Dishwasher third rack options

A stainless-steel tub, with a longer life and better soundproofing, can be a much better choice than a noisy plastic tub that's susceptible to stains.

Finally, you want to have a dishwasher that has a beautiful exterior, too. Manufacturers are now producing a wide range of visual designs, from classic and black stainless steel to smudge- and fingerprint-resistant doors, or even panel-ready fronts you can cover with cabinetry to match the rest of your kitchen.

adjustable dishwasher rack designs
Adjustable racks and tines open up space for dishes, pots, and pans of all sizes.

Reliability

A beautiful and powerful dishwasher is pretty much pointless if it's going to break down and need repairs a few months after it arrives. That’s why reliability is so important.

However, you need to consider that not all brands have a flawless track record, even from one model to the next.

The most dependable brands include Miele, Bosch, and Whirlpool. You can almost always count on these manufacturers' products to last for many years to come.

To help any make or model last longer, maintenance is crucial. A fully functioning clean dishwasher requires a little TLC. Vital parts, including the dishwasher filter, the detergent or detergent pods dispenser, the rinse aid dispenser, and the spray arms can get clogged with grease, food particles, and hard water deposits to the point where they won't work as well. You need to clean all of these parts periodically.

You should also switch on the self-clean cycle every 10 days or so or you should clean it yourself. It's as simple as running a normal cycle with distilled white vinegar in your empty dishwasher, followed by an empty hot load with baking soda (and a little lemon juice, if you like) sprinkled in the bottom of the tub.


Dishwashers in the News

We regularly update this section to include the latest industry news on dishwashers.

  • You may have heard that kitchen appliance prices increased during the pandemic due to the inflation that's affecting many consumer goods. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of major appliances, including dishwashers, increased by 5.5 percent from November 2020 to November 2022. For example, the Bosch 500 series dishwasher—our best overall pick—cost $894 in 2020. But there was a $50 rebate and package rebates if you bought it along with a range and refrigerator. For all practical purposes, it used to cost $844. Now it costs $999, a 12 percent increase.

  • There's good news if you're growing impatient with your dishwasher's two-hour-long normal wash cycle. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the recent crop of energy- and water-efficient dishwashers have altered the cleaning habits of most households. The introduction of these dishwashers has forced many people to prewash their dishes by hand and use more than one express cycle to get their dirty dishes clean. As a result, the energy and water use efficiencies gained by modern dishwashers were erased by changes in consumer behavior. Therefore, the DOE is asking manufacturers to come up with a "normal" cycle that's able to wrap up cleaning and drying in less than an hour. Manufacturers have embraced this suggestion, and we expect many to release a new set of products with shorter normal wash cycles soon.

  • In addition to regulations on energy and water efficiency, dishwasher manufacturers can also apply for a sanitation certification from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). This certification is increasingly important in today’s world, especially for parents of young children who are often tasked with cleaning baby bottles. In order to receive a certification to NSF/ANSI Standard 184, the sanitize cycle on residential dishwashers "must achieve a minimum 99.999 percent or 5-log reduction of bacteria" and "reach a final rinse temperature of 150 degrees F."

Conclusion

A dishwasher is a surprisingly personal appliance. We all have our preferences and pet peeves. You’ll want to choose one that suits your unique needs. We've curated our selection of top picks based on general markers of quality and modern design.

If you have any questions, reach out to us; we'll be glad to help. We may not be able to train your partner or kids to load forks or scrape dishes the right way, but we can help you with product specs, availability questions, and any other details.