When your dishwasher dies, you may quickly come to miss this time-saving appliance. Loading a dishwasher and pressing start can save you more than 230 hours a year, compared with washing and drying by hand, according to Energy Star. Here’s how to find the best dishwasher for your budget and needs.
Conventional built-in dishwashers, the most widely sold type and what Consumer Reports buys and tests, are 24 inches wide. You’ll see well over 100 models in our dishwasher ratings, as well as two dishwasher drawers from Fisher & Paykel, the only company at this time making drawers. Whatever you choose, consider using a detergent that cleaned up in our tests to get the most from your machine.
Top 7 Dishwashers Under 500
- Prime Video
- Time Delay Feature: 1-24 hours
- 6 Wash Programs: All-in-1, Heavy, Normal, Light , Rinse and Speed
- Holds small parts for baby bottles, sippy cups, straw cups and more for safe and thorough...
- Symmetrical door opening helps Basket sit securely on countertop when loading and...
- Service provided by a local pro
- Unhook and haul away of old dishwasher
- Cascade Complete ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent, Fresh Scent, 78
- Powers away stuck-on messes - no pre-wash needed
- Easy to use
- Top-rack dishwasher safe
- Designed to penetrate, dissolve & remove odor causing residue. Power away lime and mineral...
- Patented tablet design lasts throughout the entire wash cycle
Lab-Tested for Your Home
Dishwashers that perform well but don’t hold up over time aren’t winners. That’s why it’s important to consider our latest reliability and owner satisfaction survey findings. And to make it easier for you to choose the best dishwasher for your budget, we now incorporate lab-test results, predicted reliability, and owner satisfaction into one Overall Score for each model.
A Dish Load of Brands
There are more than 20 brands in our dishwasher ratings. You’ll see familiar names such as Amana, Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore, LG, Maytag, Samsung, and Whirlpool. Ikea is there, too—and no, you don’t have to assemble the dishwasher yourself. And our experts review the three B’s—Beko, Blomberg, and Bosch.
Manufacturers in the high-end price range include Bertazzoni, Dacor, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, GE Profile, Jenn-Air, Kenmore Elite, KitchenAid, Miele, Thermador, and Viking. We work to keep up with brands that you’ll see in stores and online. That’s why we also test models from Equator, Kuchta, and Thor Kitchen. As for dishwasher drawers, Fisher & Paykel is the only brand making drawers at this time, and you’ll see two in our dishwasher ratings.
The width and depth of a conventional dishwasher are intended for a cavity measuring 24×24 inches. But fitting your new dishwasher it could be a challenge if you’ve tiled the floor or redone your counters, changing the height of the cavity. So before you choose, measure your space and ask the retailer for the full height range (and don’t forget to account for adjustment of the leveling feet).
Dishwashers for $500 or Less
Although they aren’t the top performers in our tests, you can still get a dishwasher that’s excellent at cleaning, and very good or even excellent at drying. Most dishwashers, including lower-priced models, now have a soil sensor. It adjusts the cycle’s time and water use to the load’s soil level, improving water efficiency. And some in this price range even has a stainless interior. So what’s the catch? The features are basic: Adjustable racks and stainless steel tubs are not a given, and most dishwashers in this price range are relatively noisy.
Dishwashers for $600 to $900
You can get a quieter machine, superb cleaning, and convenient features that might make it worth spending a bit more, such as adjustable racks and flexible flatware slots, along with a stainless tub, which tends to resist stains better than plastic. A soil sensor is a given.
Dishwashers for $1,000 or More
The styling changes and the dishwashers are fully loaded. You no longer have to choose between useful features. Innovative features—such as special wash zones for heavily soiled items, and WiFi connectivity—are added.
They typically include two stacked drawers that you can use simultaneously or separately. But they’re expensive, and the models we tested haven’t performed as well overall as most conventional dishwashers.
How We Chose the Best Dishwashers
We only considered dishwashers that met efficiency standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — dishwashers that are ENERGY STAR certified. On average, certified dishwashers are 12% more energy-efficient and 30% more water-efficient than non-certified models. Furthermore, a certified dishwasher can cost as little as $35 a year to run. In order to make this possible, companies build in technology like ultra-efficient jets and dish rack designs to preserve water while still getting your dishes clean.
“A great feature on newer models is a dishwasher’s ability to ‘sense’ the level of soil on the dishes, and adjust the water and power accordingly,” says Katie M. Corrado of Kieffer’s Appliances. “So, light loads with well-scraped dishes use less water than heavily soiled ones.” According to Consumer Reports, any dishwasher manufactured since 2011 that costs over $500 will have soil sensors. Not only does a soil sensor yield maximum efficiency, but it also gets your dishes satisfactorily clean, no matter how caked on the spaghetti sauce.
Jim Freedman, President, and CEO of Metropolitan Appliance have been in the appliance industry for over 35 years. According to him, the number one thing people are looking for in a dishwasher is a quiet machine. Performance, although very important, tends to be a secondary request. All the models we considered operate at 50 decibels or fewer — about the noise level you can start to hear from another room.