Miele or KitchenAid dishwashers...it's a tough question because both are popular premium brands. If you're reading this, you've probably narrowed down your hunt to two models that seem pretty similar. You're also probably wondering which features and factors to consider before making your choice.
Chances are you probably haven't shopped for a new dishwasher in quite a few years. You might not know about the latest features they have. Since both Miele and KitchenAid dishwashers look basically the same from the outside, you might find it hard to determine which is right for your kitchen.
But that’s precisely where we come in. We've covered KitchenAid and Miele dishwashers in our exclusive, in-depth articles. Here, we're going to highlight each brand’s strong points and weaknesses to help you make an informed decision.
How Do Miele and KitchenAid Stack Up?
Miele and KitchenAid are among the best dishwashers on the market. They have both been in the industry for decades and make quality dishwashers with excellent cleaning efficiency and reliability.
Miele dishwashers set the pace for excellence in the functionality and design of modern dishwashers. Every Miele dishwasher is built to last 20 years, which is twice as long as what other dishwasher brands offer. They are ultra-quiet and can safely wash delicate dishes unlike some KitchenAid models.
KitchenAid once dominated the U.S. market but lost its top spot to Bosch due to noise concerns. However, recent KitchenAid dishwasher models are considerably more quiet and offer a better cleaning options for baked-on dishes and bottles.
KitchenAid also has more affordable dishwasher price points than Miele appliances.
Miele towers high above KitchenAid in terms of connectivity. While Miele has some Wi-Fi enabled dishwashers, KitchenAid has none. Connectivity in KitchenAid home appliances is only found in its cooktops and ovens.
Let's see how these two brands measure up in terms of other important factors.
Are Both Miele and KitchenAid Quiet?
Given that there is no standard, it's hard to determine which dishwasher brand is quieter. In a bid to improve their ratings, most manufacturers take their reading during the wash cycle, leaving out noise generated while pumping water in or out.
But Miele takes quietness seriously. For many years, the company resisted the idea of reporting on quietness in order avoid dignifying the statistically insignificant measurements of its competitors. As of today, most Miele dishwashers fall into a range between 38 and 42 decibels (dB). Even the entry-level Miele G5000 series models are extra quiet at 46 dB. This makes the brand one of the quietest dishwashers in the industry. And in case you're wondering what a decibel rating really means, we covered the quietest dishwashers in an article and video.
KitchenAid was not always known for its quiet dishwashers. But in recent years, the company has dramatically improved in that category, producing dishwashers with noise levels as low as 46 dB. The KDFE204KPS and KDFE304KPS are KitchenAid’s quietest dishwashers at 39 dB. To put that into perspective, it's just slightly louder than the sound of rustling leaves.
One remarkable feature of Miele dishwashers in the cleaning category is the variable pump speed. You are more likely to find this in commercial dishwashers; it's a rarity in residential dishwashers. Miele equips all dishwasher models manufactured from 2015 to date with industrial pumps.
With these commercial-grade pumps, Miele dishwashers can adjust the spray pressure for each wash program. That's one of the main reasons why Miele dishwashers have superior cleaning performance. Industrial pumps are also less likely to break down, which adds to the longevity of your dishwasher.
Both brands also have a sensor for measuring the soil level on your dishes and determining the best wash time and temperature for each load. For example, the dishwasher will initiate longer cycle times and higher temperatures for loads that have excessive soiling.
KitchenAid calls this feature ProWash.
Although Miele is the pioneer of this sensor technology, it doesn't bother with marketing jargon. Its machines also take more than one reading and has sensors that cover the sump area for more accuracy.
Miele is also the only dishwasher brand with a full wash arm at the top, which helps to clean the third rack effectively.
And thanks to its China & Crystal cycle, Miele is the best dishwasher brand for fragile dishes and glassware.
Some Miele G5000 series dishwashers and all G7000 series and above are equipped with a water softener. That's another feature absent in KitchenAid dishwashers. A water softener ensures a smooth clean in localities with hard water. It gets rid of streaks on the dishes and water stains on your glassware, and also helps your machine last longer.
Both brands have similar programs and options such as normal, sani-wash, and pre-rinse. Miele, especially for its higher tiers of dishwashers, has a rich setup programming. Most Miele dishwashers also come with a self-clean program to keep the interior fresh.
Both Miele and KitchenAid have excellent drying systems.
Miele pioneered the condensation drying method, which is energy efficient and doesn't melt plastics. The hot stainless steel walls of the Miele dishwasher act as a sponge and draw moisture from the surface of the dishes.
KitchenAid, on the other hand, has the ProDry (aka condensation drying) feature that corresponds to Miele's drying system. High-end KitchenAid dishwashers employ a heating element in addition to ProDry (i.e., Extended ProDry), which is the most reliable drying solution in a dishwasher. When using this feature, just make sure not to place plastics in the tub.
Miele matches KitchenAid in the drying category with its CleanAir system that collects moist air in the dishwasher and dissipates it outside as water. High-end Miele models (the Lumen, Dimension, Diamond, and G7000 series) have the AutoOpen Door option, which makes the doors pop open after each cycle to let ambient air in. This means that if you typically turn on the dishwasher before going to bed, a musty smell won't greet you when you open the dishwasher in the morning.
We recommend that you use your favorite dishwasher rinse aid with both brands to enhance drying.
Miele’s rich history and commitment to quality are probably the reason why its dishwashers are some of the most reliable in the industry. The brand set unmatched standards in dishwasher durability, performance, and energy efficiency. To guarantee steady operation at peak efficiency, each dishwasher is tested before it is shipped by running 7,500 times and opening its door 100,000 times.
The average KitchenAid dishwasher is quite reliable and can last for as long as 12 years if maintained properly. But the average Miele dishwasher has a lifespan of 20 years and is more reliable.
Miele outranks most other dishwasher brands, including KitchenAid, in terms of design. Miele dishwashers are known for their minimalist look. However, KitchenAid has some high-end models with elegant designs.
Door Design Options
Miele has one very unique door design option that sets it apart from any other dishwasher brand in the industry: the Knock2Open door. You can find it on models like the G75 Series G7596SCVi and the G79 Series G7966SCVi. The dishwasher door is handless and opens up to reveal the controls when you knock twice on the door. Cool, right?
Miele door design options include:
• Pocket handle design with visible control panel
• Pocket handle design with hidden top control panel
• Towel bar handle with different handle options and hidden top control panel
• Knock2open door design without handle
• Panel ready designs with black glass control screen
KitchenAid has equally great door design options:
• Pocket handle design with hidden top control panel
• Towel bar handle with hidden top control panel
• Panel ready designs (like in the KDTE304LPA)
• Door design with glass window
Panel Ready Dishwashers to Match Cabinets
KitchenAid dishwashers have a significant design issue: It doesn't make a model with the standard 24-inch kitchen cabinet depth. They measure either 24¾ inches or 24 1/2 inches deep without considering the handle. That means KitchenAid dishwashers stick out of a regular kitchen cabinet and make it hard to achieve a flush and seamless kitchen cabinet design.
Miele, just like Bosch, provides panel ready dishwasher options if you are looking to achieve a seamless kitchen design. Miele dishwasher models don't stick out of a standard 24-inch-deep kitchen cabinet. The company also makes dishwasher models with a 6-inch-high toe kick to give you a uniform fit in kitchens with high-end European cabinets.
18-inch Width & ADA Models
Unlike KitchenAid, Miele manufactures dishwasher models that are ADA compliant. ADA dishwashers can fit under the counter even if the surrounding floors have been raised.
If you're looking for a separate dishwasher for your pool or secondary bar, Miele also makes 18-inch variants of some of its dishwasher models. These dishwashers, like the Miele G4780SCVI, are meant for galley kitchens and small apartments with limited kitchen use. Again, Miele provides a stainless steel finish with or without visible controls, as well as custom panel ready models. KitchenAid does not make 18-inch dishwasher models at this point.
You will be able to fit 16 place settings in a Miele dishwasher. (Meanwhile, a typical KitchenAid dishwasher holds 14 place settings, while the higher-end models can handle up to 15.) The interior is laid out intelligently and will give you the flexibility to handle odd pieces and large pots and pans. The tines have a surgical grade coating; therefore, they do not discolor or chip. Miele uses bright yellow color markers in its dishwashers to indicate that you can either remove or flip the part in several ways.
Miele's middle rack is easily adjustable and can be moved up or down, even when it is loaded. Miele invented the cutlery tray (aka the third rack) in dishwashers for silverware, ladles, spatulas, and ramekins. Miele's 3D design also allows the third rack to move out of the way when you have tall stemware in the rack below. It comes with many other convenient traits to make the chore of dishwashing a bit easier.
Miele dishwashers, unlike other brands, all have racks that are built to glide smoothly. Most KitchenAid dishwashers have the smooth glide feature reserved for one rack only. Without the smooth glide, you will find it hard to move the rack, especially when it's filled with heavy dishes.
Miele dishwashers all have a unique double waterproof system. This is a feature you may not find in regular dishwashers (with the exception of Bosch). Although a good dishwasher should never leak, the double-waterproof design and leak detection system are designed to give you peace of mind.
How does this system work? The dishwasher will turn off the water supply if it detects moisture at the bottom of the basin. Over the years, Miele went even further to include the leak detection systems in its hoses. Therefore, you'll notice that unlike other brands Miele dishwashers come with their own factory-supplied intake and drain hoses.
Due to the extra lengths the brand goes to ensure longevity and durability, Miele dishwashers are available at a considerably higher price tag compared to other brands. Some of the least expensive Miele dishwasher models can still be as high as $999 (occasional promotions bring the price down to $899). This makes sense given the longevity, quality, and top performance Miele offers.
KitchenAid dishwashers have lower price points, and the company is known to run frequent promotions. While it’s also a premium brand with premium-priced models, you can still get a decent KitchenAid dishwasher for as low as $600 to $749.
4 Best Miele Dishwashers
Now that you have an idea of what to look for in a dishwasher, let’s look at our top picks from both brands, starting with Miele.
1) Best Overall: Miele G7316SCUSS
The Miele G7316SCUSS includes all standard dishwasher features and also packs the exciting Miele dishwasher features that we love. At 40 dB, this dishwasher is one of the quietest dishwashers in the industry. It can also accommodate an impressive 16 place settings in a single load, which is equivalent to a full day’s worth of dirty dishes.
This model comes with Miele's uniquely patented AutoDos automatic dispenser technology in addition to the traditional dispenser that takes Miele detergent tabs or any other powder or liquid detergent. AutoDos can be extremely convenient, if you're prepared to stock up on Miele dishwashing tabs, since it eliminates the need to refill the detergent each time you want to wash your dishes.
The Miele G7316SCUSS has a built-in water softener, a cleaning system made up of three rotary sprays, and the AutoOpen door design. There’s also the superior 3D cutlery tray design for accommodating and washing bigger cutlery.
We are particularly impressed by its self-cleaning feature. Simply put your favorite cleaning agent (or baking soda and vinegar) in the tub to get your dishwasher smelling fresh and clean.
It's available in three styles:
- Stainless steel, visible controls with a pocket handle
- Stainless steel, hidden controls with a towel bar handle
- Custom panel-ready with hidden controls
2) Best Value: Miele G7106SCUSS
The Miele G7106SCUSS replaces the old Crystal series dishwashers and outperforms its competition. The AutoOpen door, which enhances drying, also helps to eliminate any unwanted smells in your dishwasher. Its built-in water softener also fights watermarks and annoying stains on your dishes. You can even wrap up a wash-and-dry cycle in under an hour, which is perfect for on-the-go families.
The Miele G7106SCUSS is quiet at 43 dB, which means that you'll hardly notice that it's running. The interior design is thoughtful with a flexible third rack, and you can fit 16 place settings in various configurations. You can confidently wash your expensive wine glasses or china in this dishwasher thanks to its specialized wash system that prevents etching.
3) Best Entry Level: Miele G4228SCUSS
The G4228SCUSS is the best entry-level Miele dishwasher on the market. With a noise level of 46dB, it's only slightly louder than a quiet library. It comes equipped with the cutlery tray third rack and has a cleaning system with three rotary spray arms.
Like most high-end Miele dishwashers, the G4228SCUSS has the AutoSensor technology for customizing wash cycles based on the level of soiling and number of dishes in the load. The model also has 16 full place settings for maximum load capacity.
4) Best Smart Dishwasher: Miele G7966SCVi
The Diamond series dishwashers are the pinnacle of Miele's dishwasher technology. The G6987SCVIK2O packs amazing features that set it apart from the rest. First among these is the knock to open (K2O) and handless door feature, which is great for a seamless kitchen design. Just a gentle knock will open the dishwasher for you.
The G6987SCViK2O also comes equipped with the Miele AutoClose feature, which closes the door slowly and automatically if you leave the door ajar. There is also the Miele BrilliantLight technology that lights up the interior of the dishwasher.
As expected, this Miele dishwasher is ultra-quiet at 42 dB and incorporates the usual Miele features such as a water softener, AutoOpen drying, and a flexible interior design.
Wi-Fi connectivity allows your smartphone to access cycles and maintenance information via the Miele app. The G6987SCVi K2O is the perfect choice if you want to experience the premium Miele kitchen touch.
3 Best KitchenAid Dishwashers
1) Best Budget KitchenAid Dishwasher: KDFE204KPS
The KDFE204KPS may not be as impressive as other high-end dishwasher models, but it has some talking points for its low price around $999. Besides the expected dishwasher features, it has a noise level of 39 dB, a third rack, and the KitchenAid PrintShield fingerprint-proof finish.
2) Quietest KitchenAid Dishwasher: KDTE304LPA
The KDTE304LPA is the quietest dishwasher on our list. At 39dB, like our budget pick, it's almost noiseless. Besides the silence rating, it also has KitchenAid's enhanced ProDry and Extended ProDry features for thorough drying, plus smooth-gliding middle and top racks.
3) Best Value KitchenAid Dishwasher: KDFM404KPS
In addition to the great features found in the 304 and 204 series, the 404 series gives you KitchenAid's latest third rack design, the FreeFlex rack, plus a heated dry option and the more advanced Clean Water filtration system.
Miele and KitchenAid dishwashers both present impressive features. Miele easily surpasses KitchenAid dishwashers in terms of cleaning performance, durability, longevity, connectivity, and cutting-edge design....but that also makes Miele more pricey. KitchenAid dishwashers are more affordable compared with Miele.
Ultimately, your choice will depend on your priorities when it comes to cleaning performance, how you want your kitchen to look, and how much you would like to spend on a dishwasher.