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KitchenAid dishwashers have changed—for the better. They're quieter than they've ever been, and they have a more effective drying system. Their stainless steel exterior is now smudgeproof—thank you, KitchenAid, from parents everywhere. And they're more energy efficient. In short: It's a far cry from the dishwasher KitchenAid made 10 years ago.

It's something of a comeback for the company, which is part of Whirlpool Corporation. About a decade ago, a KitchenAid dishwasher was the best money could buy. They topped every best-of list.

That was the result of 50 years of hard work: KitchenAid had actually introduced the first home dishwashers with pressurized water systems back in 1949. Fun fact: These appliances came in white and pink. How very KitchenAid of them.

In the 2010s, however, European dishwashers entered the U.S. market, boasting about how quiet they were and how their condensation drying system worked better than the heated drying system standard on legacy dishwashers. They didn't melt anything, and they got your dishes dry. Plus, you couldn't hear them running. Try competing with that!

KitchenAid dishwasher fell out of favor because they weren't quiet or efficient. The company has since addressed those issues and improved its offerings.

In this article, we're going to walk you through KitchenAid's current lineup to help you determine if it's the best dishwasher for your kitchen. We'll also discuss how its dishwashers compare with the competition now. Let's dive in.

Watch our exclusive video review of the best dishwashers in 2022.

Appliance Matchmaker

Is KitchenAid a match for you?

Pros: Reasons To Buy a KitchenAid Dishwasher

There are plenty of reasons to consider a KitchenAid dishwasher. Maybe you just bought a KitchenAid refrigerator and range and want your appliances to match. (KitchenAid does offer nice discounts when you buy a full appliance package.) Or maybe your dishwasher just broke down and you're a fan of the brand.

  • They're quiet. As we mentioned, they were pretty noisy in the past, but you now you can get a KitchenAid dishwasher that's a whisper-quiet 39 decibels (dB), and the rest are a respectably quiet 44 dB. As a rule of thumb, we recommend choosing a dishwasher that's under 50, especially if your kitchen has an open layout.
  • They all have condensation drying. You can't make a mistake and accidentally choose one that has a less-efficient, plastic-melting heated dry instead. All KitchenAid dishwashers now have European-style condensation drying, which means they also have a nice-looking and durable stainless steel tub. Some models supplement the condensation drying with a fan assist option—it's helpful for evaporating the puddles left on top of some cups and containers.
  • You have exterior options. KitchenAid is one of the more affordable brands that offers panel-ready built-in refrigerators. It also makes panel-ready dishwashers, so both appliances can blend in with your cabinetry. If you want a more professional look, you can opt for smudgeproof stainless steel, which KitchenAid calls its PrintShield finish.
  • They can fit more than any other home dishwasher. Most dishwashers hold 15 place settings. A KitchenAid dishwasher can hold 16. This has long been one of the company's selling points, and it's still valid. They've really got the capcity. That's partly due to the **FreeFlex third rack** that KitchenAid introduced recently. It's tall enough to fit a full pint glass. They designed it to compete with Bosch's MyWay rack, and it really is better. The angled levels really do let you fit more up there. The only drawback? You can’t fit as much on the rack underneath.

Cons: Reasons To Avoid a KitchenAid Dishwasher

Unless you've got your heart set on KitchenAid, we have to say other brands give you more value for your money. Also, no single dishwasher is perfect for everybody. We want you to have all the information upfront so you can pick out the right one for you.

  • You can get more for your money. Brands such as Bosch and Miele dishwashers offer more fully featured dishwashers for similar prices—or in some cases, less. You can get truly convenient features, like an auto-open door to enhance drying, that KitchenAid doesn't offer.

    The upgrades KitchenAid does offer as you go up in price aren't all worth it. It's quietest dishwashers are the most affordable. As you go up in price, you do get some valuable features like more advanced drying and filtration systems. But the other upgrades to the racks, like a utensil basket or extra stemware holders, aren't very substantial.
  • No WiFi. At this time the company does not offer wifi.
  • KitchenAid dishwashers stick out of cabinets. They have an unusual depth of either 24 1/2 or 24 ¾-inches deep, which means they all stick out of a standard 24-inch-deep kitchen cabinet. They can't fit into a standard opening without protruding.

    If you're redoing your kitchen cabinets, you can factor this in to get a seamless finish, but it's still tricky. For instance, you might consider putting your dishwasher and sink in the kitchen island and putting the cooktop under the window.

    But if you're replacing an older dishwasher from another company, it might be more trouble than it's worth. That's especially true if you want a panel ready dishwasher to blend into your kitchen cabinets.
  • Limited variety. KitchenAid basically makes only four different dishwasher styles. At the bottom, there's one with visible controls. Then you step up to a towel bar handle, a pocket handle, and a custom handle. Add in color and door options, and you have about 20 dishwashers to choose from. The selection is especially limited right now due to the pandemic. KitchenAid dishwashers in black and white are impossible to find.

    As an example, KitchenAid doesn't make 18 inch small dishwashers or ADA compliant dishwashers.

Pro Tip: If you want your KitchenAid dishwasher to fit flush with your cabinets, be sure to get your cabinet maker and contractor the specs well in advance.

Model Overview

MODEL 204 304 404 604 704 804
Price From $899 $1,149 $1,079 $1,169 $1,349 $1,899
Door Style Stainless Steel, Towel Bar Panel Ready Only --- --- Panel Ready, Stainless Steel ---
Sound Level 39 db 39 db 44 db 44 db 44 db 44 db
3rd Rack Standard Standard FreeFlex FreeFlex FreeFlex FreeFlex
Features Leak Detection, Stainless Steel Interior --- + Folding Tines, Wine Glass Holders + Addl. Wine Glass Holders, Sliding Bowl Tines, Time Remaining Display +Interior Lights, Utensil Basket, Smooth glide racks +Luxury accents on the racks, Knife Storage
Wash / Dry ProWash, Heated Dry, Triple Filtration Fan Enabled Dry, Clean Water Filtration ProWash, Heated Dry, Clean Water Filtration Fan Enabled Dry, Clean Water Filtration Fan Enabled Dry, Clean Water Filtration, Top Rack Only Wash Option Fan Enabled Dry, Clean Water Filtration

KitchenAid Dishwasher Design Options

Kitchenaid dishwasher door styles

Door Options

Most KitchenAid dishwashers have the PrintShield Finish, which makes the exterior stainless steel finish fingerprintproof. You will find this dishwasher door design and finish on its black stainless steel models too—something most other brands don't offer.

KitchenAid also makes panel ready dishwashers that you can fit with a custom cabinet panel to match the rest of your kitchen cabinetry.

Innovative, large capacity KitchenAid dishwasher 3rd rack FreeFlex
Innovative, large capacity KitchenAid dishwasher 3rd rack - FreeFlex

Interior Options

All KitchenAid dishwashers have a stainless steel interior, which improves drying by condensation. They also all come with a leak detection system (for more details, see below.)

Besides a compact tine arrangement that allows space for more dishes, some KitchenAid dishwashers come with a third rack. As we mentioned earlier, the FreeFlex third rack is a real innovation that lets you fit bigger items—even full-size pint glasses—up there.

We also appreciate KitchenAid’s SatinGlide feature, which makes the racks glide smoothly even when they're fully loaded and heavy. Most KitchenAid dishwashers have it on the upper rack. Only the priciest have it on the bottom rack too.

All KitchenAid dishwashers come with advance leak detection system.
All KitchenAid dishwashers feature a leak detection system.

Dishwasher 101: Factors to Consider

KitchenAid dishwashers score well in three important areas that are key for user satisfaction: noise level, high load capacity, and powerful cleaning.

Noise Level: Are KitchenAid Dishwashers Quiet?

As we said earlier, KitchenAid wasn't always known for quiet dishwashers. The brand has made a lot of improvements, including removing the hard food disposer on the bottom—that was the source of a lot of the noise.

However, KitchenAid currently makes some of the quietest dishwashers on the market. All operate at or below 44 dB, which is just as quiet as a hushed conversation. One of the quietest KitchenAid dishwashers, the KDTE204KPS, has a noise level of 39 dB. To give you a sense of just how silent that is, 39 dB is only slightly louder than the sound of rustling leaves.

Noise Level Comparison Chart

Strangely, KitchenAid's dishwashers increase from 39 dB to 44 dB as you go up in price. If you're used to an even louder dishwasher, 44 dB will still be quiet to you. But if you've had a dishwasher with a lower rating, it may annoy you. Just compare the quietness with the feature sets of models you're considering and see which makes sense for you.

Still wondering, "How do I know if a dishwasher is quiet?" We've got you covered. Check out our audible sound test:

Our exclusive live audible sound test of the quietest dishwashers

Load Capacity

KitchenAid dishwashers allow you to wash as many as 16 full place settings in one load. That's enough space for a day’s worth of dishes (in a single wash) for the average family.

Powerful Cleaning: Do KitchenAid Dishwashers Work?

Cleaning performance is the most important feature of a dishwasher, and KitchenAid dishwashers are among the best in this category. Its dishwashers revolve around the following three technologies: ProWash, effective filtration, and water distribution/coverage.

ProWash
The ProWash option gauges the soil level and uses it to pick the best wash cycle for each load regardless of the cycle you chose. Other manufacturers call this "sensor wash." It helps modern dishwashers clean distinctly better than their predecessors.

Cycles and Washing Options
A dishwasher’s cycles control how well and thoroughly it cleans. Most have similar cycles with different names. While the number of them can improve the washing and drying performance, it is not always a matter of how many but how well.

All KitchenAid dishwashers have the typical Normal, Tough, and Light cycles. Newer models also include the ProScrub, ProDry, and Extended ProDry features. The ProWash option also comes in handy for heavy-duty cycles (the KDTM804ESS complements that with its Dynamic Wash Arm).

In addition to the cycles we already mentioned, you can expect to find Express Wash and Rinse Only. Other options include Heat Dry, Hi-Temp Wash, Bottle Wash, Sani Rinse, Top Rack Only, and the 1-24 Hour Delay option. Sani Rinse, which heats to 155°F, is particularly useful for homes with infants.

Triple Filter System
It's frustrating when your old dishwasher stops cleaning your dishes. Your glasses might look cloudy, or your dishes might have spots on them. My friend, that's the textbook definition of a filtration issue. Water jets help remove food particles, but they can make their way back onto clean dishes if the filter lets them through (in technical terms, this is known as redeposit).

All KitchenAid dishwashers have a triple filter system (a screen filter, coarse particles filter, and microfilter) to remove food and debris from the wash water. It lets the dishwasher reuse the same water, so you save energy. It also stops the drain hose from getting clogged.

KitchenAid-Filter

More expensive models employ the Clean Water Wash system, which includes a self-cleaning ultra-fine filter.

Water Distribution/Coverage
The traditional wash arm on KitchenAid dishwashers is designed to spray every corner of the interior. Fancier models come with a Dynamic Wash Arm that helps to distribute water effectively.

KitchenAid-Dynamic-Wash-Arm

Additionally, most KitchenAid dishwashers have the ProScrub feature, which cuts through tough messes on the lower rack with the help of 40 targeted spray jets. It eliminates the need to prewash or soaks pots and dishes, saving you both water and time. Some KitchenAid dishwashers even allow you to target the ProScrub system on the upper rack alone for concentrated washing.

KitchenAid-ProScrub

These features are responsible for the maximum efficiency KitchenAid dishwashers are known for. There’s also the extra Bottle Wash for cleaning sports and baby bottles, something other dishwashers don't have.

KitchenAid-Bottle-Wash

Do KitchenAid Dishwashers Dry Well?

Another area where KitchenAid excels is drying performance. While it doesn’t beat Bosch dishwashers, it towers over many other popular brands thanks to its extra fan-enabled ProDry system.

The ProDry system uses a recessed heating element to draw moisture off plastic dishes. This means faster drying and better sanitation. Use the extended ProDry, and you can run the heating element for longer. However, you might prefer to use the condenser drying option for ceramic and metal dishware.

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

Are KitchenAid Dishwashers Reliable?

When it comes to reliability, we have to lean toward other popular brands. While KitchenAid has been improving steadily and garnering more positive reviews, it hasn’t always scored as high as its competitors. That being said, KitchenAid dishwashers are still more reliable than the average dishwasher brand on the market.

How Much Do KitchenAid Dishwashers Cost?

KitchenAid Dishwasher KDTE204KPS

Several factors influence dishwasher pricing. These include the stainless steel interior, design, integration, and smart features. Generally, the price of a good dishwasher ranges from $799 to over $1,999.

KitchenAid is a premium dishwasher brand with prices ranging from $899 to $1,899. However, you can still get a good KitchenAid dishwasher like the KDTE204KPS for $999—if you can find it in stock.


The 4 Best KitchenAid Dishwashers

KitchenAid has over 20 dishwasher models on the market. Besides the pricing, these dishwashers have pretty similar features in terms of functionality, making it difficult to pick the best model. In the end, we focused on value, price, and noise.


1. Best Overall: KitchenAid KDTE204KPS

KitchenAid KDTE204KPS

The KDTE204KPS packs impressive features that put it among the best dishwashers on the market. While it may not compare with more expensive KitchenAid dishwashers in functionality, its price point makes it a great choice.

At 39 dB, the KDTE204KPS is the quietest dishwasher KitchenAid makes. Its noise level is about the same as a library's and just below the market standard.

It also has a third rack for improved washing and to accommodate more per load. The PrintShield Finish resists fingerprints and smudges.


2. Best Upgrade: KitchenAid KDTM404KPS

KitchenAid KDTM404KPS

The KDTM404KPS has some valuable upgrades over the 204—even though it's a little louder.

They both have an adjustable middle rack, but the 404 has the latest FreeFlex third rack and adjustable rows on the middle and lower racks. It also gives you two stemware holders in the middle rack—not a huge deal, but good to know. As a result, the 404 can fit 16 place settings compared with the 204's 13.

The 404 also has five wash arms (compared with the 204's three) and the Clean Water Wash system to ensure no dirty water redeposits on your clean dishes.

There's no discernable difference in the wash cycles or options.


3. Best Drying Performance: KitchenAid KDPM604KPS

KitchenAid Dishwasher KDPM604KPS

As we mentioned earlier, KitchenAid's most advanced drying system is ProDry, which has a fan assist. Upgrade to the 604, and it's included along with an extended ProDry option.

It also has a wash option that focuses water spray on the top two racks.


4. Most Luxurious: KitchenAid KDTM704KPS

KitchenAid KDTM704KPS

If you're buying a full suite of KitchenAid appliances and want everything to be top of the line, consider the KDTM704KPS.

It's identical in terms of quietness and performance to the 604. The big upgrades? LED interior lighting and the smoothest gliding rails KitchenAid has on offer.

It also comes with a nicer utensil basket (KitchenAid calls it a "Culinary Caddy"), six stemware holders on the middle rack, and a metal handle.


Conclusion

KitchenAid makes high-quality dishwashers that can hold more than any others on the market. The company has also really improved their cleaning and drying performance and noise levels lately.

We still lean toward other brands that have a better price to value ratio, but if you're a KitchenAid fan and want everything to match, rest assured these dishwashers will meet your expectations. They are a little less reliable than those of other popular brands, but their premium features offer a lot of value for the price.


FAQs

Where are KitchenAid dishwashers made?
KitchenAid dishwashers are manufactured in Findlay, Ohio.

Who makes KitchenAid Dishwashers?
The KitchenAid brand is owned by Whirlpool Corporation. Its sister brands include Maytag, Amana, JennAir, and Whirlpool.

How long do KitchenAid Dishwashers last?
A dishwasher has an average lifespan of seven to 12 years. In our experience, KitchenAid dishwashers can last for as long as 10 years with proper maintenance and care.

I'm seeing the KitchenAid KDFE104KWH dishwasher on other best-of lists. Is it still available?
No, it's not available at the moment. It also lacks the new technologies that we think make some KitchenAid dishwashers worth considering.

Semi integrated or fully integrated?
Here's the difference: You can mount a custom kitchen cabinet panel on the front of a fully integrated dishwasher, so that it blends in with the rest of your cabinetry. The controls are usually at the top of the dishwasher panel and hidden from view.

KitchenAid dishwasher models are either premium built-in, semi-integrated, or fully integrated. The semi-integrated models, like the KDFE104HPS, have front controls that are clearly visible. Other KitchenAid dishwasher models, like the KDTE234GBL and the KDPM354GBS, are fully integrated. The KDTM504EPA model even comes with a panel-ready design for custom integration.

Do KitchenAid Dishwashers have Wi-Fi?
No, KitchenAid dishwashers don't have Wi-Fi connectivity. Only KitchenAid cooktops and ovens are Wi-Fi enabled.

Why do you need a water softener in a dishwasher?
As the name suggests, a water softener is necessary to soften hard water (like well water and New Jersey municipal water). It prevents the deposit of minerals on the insides of the dishwasher, prolonging the machine’s lifespan. Soft water also enhances sparkling results, leaving no streaks or water spots on the dishes.

Unfortunately, KitchenAid doesn't offer any dishwashers with a water softener. The feature is limited to some Bosch and Miele dishwasher models.

For similarly shiny results (and better drying), use rinse aid.

Does KitchenAid still make glass door dishwashers?
No, KitchenAid discontinued its glass door dishwashers. The see-through door certainly was a conversation starter, but users found no real-life benefit associated with the design.