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Dishwashers Buying Guide

Today's dishwashers offer a variety of wash cycles and loading options, so you can easily find a model that suits your family size and entertaining needs. Plus, new models are quieter and more energy-efficient than ever. Take a look at this buying guide to find out about the various types of dishwashers available and the features to consider when comparing models.  

Types of Dishwashers

Types of Dishwashers

The 24-inch undercounter dishwasher is the most popular type -- and with good reason. You can find models at a range of price points and with a host of features and special wash cycles. Dishwasher drawers have also become popular in recent years and provide the flexibility of choosing between small or large loads. If you're short on space or don't own your home, a variety of other options can allow you to enjoy the convenience of a dishwasher without remodeling or expanding your kitchen.

Built-In Dishwashers

These conventional dishwashers are usually 24 inches wide and fit under the countertop. They need to be attached to a hot-water pipe, drain, and electrical line. They offer the most choices in terms of features and finishes. Cabinet panels can be added to the front of these dishwashers to integrate them with surrounding cabinetry.

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Avanti
$597.94
at Amazon

Model DWE1801B - Built-In Dishwasher - BlackFeatures Built-In Installation 4 Automatic Cycles 8 Standard Plate Settings Capacity S...tainless Steel Interior Resists Stains and Corrosion Nylon Coated Upper and Lower Racks with Handle One Piece Silverware Basket Three-Stage Filtering System Power Indicator Light Electronic Controls Rinse Aid Dispenser Integrated Recessed Handle ADA Compliant NOTE: Outer Cabinet Seen in Photo Not Included Specifications Color   Black Unit Dimensions   32.25" H x 17.75" W x 21.75" D Carton Dimensions   34.75" H x 19" W x 24.5" D Unit Weight   58 Lbs. Shipping Weight   67 Lbs. Power   120V AC/60 Hz . read more

Whirlpool
$599.00
at Lowe's

24-in 54-Decibel Built-In Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub (White) ENERGY STAR ENERGY STAR® qualified - Whirlpool® dishwashers ...exceed government efficiency standards, so they are better for the environment and your wallet Stainless-steel interior adds a sleek, smooth texture to the interior of the dishwasher for a high-end look; also delivers durable performance and provides higher heat retention to further improve drying performance ADA Complaint - provides adjustable height from 32-1/2-in to 34-1/2-in, making this dishwasher compliant with the American with Disabilities Act Cup shelves allows you to stack 2 levels of coffee mugs or secure delicate glassware during the wash cycle when used as a stemware holder Durable nylon coating resists rust and prevents scratching Heated dry option dries dishes thoroughly High temperature wash option - wash dishes at a high temperature to further sanitize your load 2-4-6 hour delay wash read more

Whirlpool
$649.00
at Lowe's

18-in 57-Decibel Built-In Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub (Black) ENERGY STAR ENERGY STAR® qualified - Whirlpool® dishwashers ...exceed government efficiency standards, so they are better for the environment and your wallet Stainless-steel interior adds a sleek, smooth texture to the interior of the dishwasher for a high-end look; also delivers durable performance and provides higher heat retention to further improve drying performance Quiet Partner? I sound package - Whirlpool brand dishwashers offer many levels of quiet operation with this system of sound-reducing insulation Quick wash cycle read more

Bosch
$899.10 $999.00
at Lowe's

500 Series 18-in 46-Decibel Built-In Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub (Custom Panel Ready) ENERGY STAR Quietest in its class at... 46 dBA InfoLight® beams on the floor to indicate dishwasher is running Exceeds ENERGY STAR® Requirements for water by 68% 260 kwh/yr- Energy Star® EcoSense? reduces energy usage by up to 20% AquaStop® Plus 4-part leak protection works 24/7 Stainless-steel fascia panel Red remaining time display read more

Drawer Dishwashers

Typically these units consist of two drawers stacked vertically. You can use just one drawer or run both drawers simultaneously. They are a good choice if you often have small loads of dishes, or if you entertain often and are looking for a second dishwasher. The drawer-style unit reduces the need for bending over when loading and unloading the dishwasher.

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Fisher & Paykel
$759.00
at Lowe's

24-in 48.5-Decibel Drawer Dishwasher (Panel-Ready) The tall drawer allows you to fit up to 13" plates with ease 9 cycles for every... washing need All integrated models now include wireless remote creating clean lines and eliminating the need for an external interface Enhanced racking including an adjustable bowl rack for large pasta dishes Improved wash, energy and water performance 24? models have an increase in place setting accommodation from 6 to 7 per drawer 24? models have an increase in place setting accommodation from 6 to 7 per drawer read more

Fisher & Paykel
$649.00
at Lowe's

24-in 47.5-Decibel Drawer Dishwasher (Black) Single drawer offers perfect ergonomics to end bending 9 cycles for every washing nee...d Superior washing performance incorporates the world's first flow-through detergent dispenser Enhanced racking including an adjustable bowl rack for large pasta dishes Improved wash, energy and water performance 24? models have an increase in place setting accommodation from 6 to 7 per drawer 24? models have an increase in place setting accommodation from 6 to 7 per drawer read more

Fisher & Paykel
$809.00
at Lowe's

24-in 48.5-Decibel Drawer Dishwasher (Stainless Steel) The tall drawer allows you to fit up to 13" plates with ease 9 cycles for e...very washing need Superior washing performance incorporates the world's first flow-through detergent dispenser Enhanced racking including an adjustable bowl rack for large pasta dishes Improved wash, energy and water performance 24? models have an increase in place setting accommodation from 6 to 7 per drawer 24? models have an increase in place setting accommodation from 6 to 7 per drawer read more

Fisher & Paykel
$1,249.00
at Lowe's

24-in 51.5-Decibel Double Drawer Dishwasher (Panel-Ready) ENERGY STAR 2 independent wash drawers mean you can wash 2 separate load...s completely independently 9 cycles for every washing need All integrated models now include wireless remote creating clean lines and eliminating the need for an external interface ENERGY STAR® qualified Enhanced racking including an adjustable bowl rack for large pasta dishes Improved wash, energy and water performance 24" models have an increase in place setting accommodation from 6 to 7 per drawer read more

Countertop Dishwashers

These dishwashers sit on the countertop and need to be hooked up to the sink faucet before use. These units are a good choice if you live in an apartment and can't remodel your kitchen. They work well for single homeowners or a couple but aren't big enough for a family.

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Supentown International
$285.00
at Amazon

Perfect for apartments, office kitchens or any small-sized kitchens; offers full-size power in a compact design. With a height of ...only 17.24-inch, this unit will fit between most countertop and cabinetry. Spacious cavity loads up to six standard place settings. features easy controls, durable stainless steel interior and water temperature up to 148-Degree F. Quick connect to any kitchen faucet eliminates the need for direct plumbing or permanent installation. read more

Portable Dishwashers

These dishwashers are equipped with wheels and can be rolled out of the way when not in use. Most are 18 or 24 inches wide. The smaller units are easier to move around and to store, but their capacity is less. This type of dishwasher is a good choice if you can't install a built-in model, but it has fewer features.

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Frigidaire
$649.00
at Lowe's

17.58-in 58-Decibel Portable Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub (White) ENERGY STAR Energy saver offers no heat dry option Stainl...ess-steel interior for maximum durability Delay start - set your dishwasher to run on your schedule SpaceWise® silverware basket - there's a place for all of your silverware in our multi-compartment removable basket Easy-to-use cleaning cycle options Easily select options with the touch of a button For a truly gentle cleaning action, the china/crystal cycle reduces wash pressure by 30% for a thorough cleaning of your most delicate stemware read more

Maytag
$699.00
at Lowe's

24-in Portable Dishwasher (Black) ENERGY STAR With the industry's most powerful motor available and a 4-blade stainless steel food... chopper, Maytag® dishwashers start with better built parts to get dishes clean Durable motor has been tested to 2X life for years of dependable cleaning American Pride - designed, engineered and assembled in the USA read more

Whirlpool
$699.00
at Lowe's

24.125-in 63-Decibel Portable Dishwasher (White) ENERGY STAR ENERGY STAR® qualified dishwashers exceed government efficiency stand...ards, so they are better for the environment and your wallet Our quietest line of dishwashers ever offers many levels of quiet operation - equipped with our Quiet Partner? sound packages and sound-reducing insulation, these models minimize noise This model's tall tub design allows you to load tall and odd-shaped items in both racks Auto soil sensor optimizes every cycle for reliable cleaning results by measuring water clarity to determine how dirty dishes are, then adjusting the cycle accordingly The 1-hour wash cycle delivers great wash performance in nearly half the time High temperature wash option - choose this option when additional cleaning of items like baby bottles, glassware or dishes is required Heavy cycle adds more time to the cycle to clean heavily soiled items read more

Maytag
$699.00
at Lowe's

24.125-in 57-Decibel Portable Dishwasher with Hard Food Disposer (White) ENERGY STAR With an extra powerful motor and a 4-blade st...ainless steel food chopper, Maytag® dishwashers start with better built parts to get dishes clean Durable motor has been tested for extended life and dependable cleaning Designed, engineered and assembled in the USA read more

Slim-Line or Compact Dishwashers

These models work just like standard built-in dishwashers, but they are only 18 inches wide. They're a good option if you have a very small kitchen and lack room for a traditional 24-inch-wide unit.

Product Features

Product Features

As you're comparing dishwashers, look for features that maximize flexibility and allow you to easily fit in everyday dinner plates, as well as serving platters and pots and pans. Special wash features offer an array of cycles; look for cycle options that suit your daily cleaning needs. For greater convenience and energy savings, look for models with sensors that automatically adjust cleaning times based on the soil level in the water. As you're shopping, also take a look at the various designs of control panels; higher-price models hide or minimize controls for a streamlined look.

Adjustable Racks

For maximum flexibility, look for racks that can be raised and lowered, as well as adjustable tines and silverware and stemware holders that can be reconfigured as needed.

Soil Sensor

This sensor checks the water at every phase of rinsing and washing, and it adjusts the cycle time and water use accordingly, saving time and energy.

Filters

Filters keep the water free of food that might otherwise be redeposited on dishes. Most filters are self-cleaning and feature a grinder that pulverizes food debris and flushes it down the drain. Filters without a grinder are less noisy, but they need to be manually cleaned periodically.

Special Wash Cycles

Even budget-friendly dishwashers usually come with at least three cycles -- light, normal, and heavy -- but many models offer a variety of other cycles to enhance convenience. For example, you'll find special settings for heavily soiled pots and pans, delicate china and crystal, and sanitizing.

Rinse/Hold Cycle

If you don't have enough dirty dishes to run the dishwasher every day, this feature can be helpful. It allows you to rinse the dishes before you have a full load, which reduces odors and prevents soil from setting.

Delayed Start

This feature allows you to delay the start of the cycle so the dishwasher runs at night or when electricity rates are lower. You can generally choose between preset times, from one hour up to 12 hours.

Time-Remaining Indicator

This feature tells you how much time is remaining in the cycle, a useful tool if you need to determine whether you have time to run a load before leaving the house or going to bed.

Hidden Controls

Some dishwashers place the control panel on the top of the door; when these models are fitted with a cabinet front, they almost completely blend in with surrounding cabinetry. Keep in mind, however, that when controls are hidden, you won't be able to see at a glance if the machine is running or how long is left in the cycle. (Front-facing but discreet controls might be a good compromise for this reason.)

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Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Once you know which type of dishwasher you need, you can carefully look at the differences between specific models. Two of the biggest factors to consider when shopping for a new dishwasher are noise level and energy efficiency. Be sure to also look at size and capacity to ensure the dishwasher is a good fit for your household and entertaining needs. Think about whether you want the dishwasher to match other appliances or blend in with surrounding cabinetry.

Size/Capacity

If you have the space for a 24-inch built-in dishwasher, that's likely your best option. This type offers the widest selection of convenient features and special cycles. But you'll also need to consider capacity to determine whether the dishwasher will fit all of the dishes and pots and pans that you wash regularly. Manufacturers will tell you how many place settings can fit into a specific model, so before you go shopping, take time to figure out what your average load contains. When shopping, don't be afraid to bring a couple of (clean) plates, pans, or baking sheets with you to make sure they fit. If you have a large family, look for dishwashers with tall tubs; these models increase capacity without making the dishwasher bigger.

Finish

Dishwashers are commonly found in white, black, and stainless-steel finishes. Many models also allow you to install a cabinet panel on the front to integrate the appliance with surrounding cabinetry.

Noise Level

With more kitchens now serving as the entertaining center of the house, quiet dishwashers are more important than ever. As you're shopping, compare decibel levels of various models; the smaller the number, the quieter the dishwasher will be. Plan to pay more for a really quiet model, though even mid-price models are much quieter than older dishwashers. The quietest dishwashers feature extra insulation, vibration absorbers, sound-absorbing washtubs, and low-noise pumps. If the dishwashers are installed in the store, ask to do a test run so you can get a good sense of the noise level.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient models reduce both water and electricity usage. This can add up to big savings over the 9-12 year life of a typical dishwasher and will likely be worth the extra cost up front. Look for Energy Star-qualified models, which must meet strict federal energy standards. Keep in mind, though, that more efficient models tend to have longer cycles, as they stretch less heated water over longer periods to get dishes clean.

Durability

Many dishwashers have plastic interiors, or tubs. These are strong and durable and usually last longer than the life of the dishwasher. For even greater durability, look for models with stainless-steel tubs, which resist stains better than plastic tubs. As an added benefit, models with stainless-steel tubs also tend to be more energy-efficient during drying cycles and quieter overall. They are usually pricey, however. Some dishwashers feature a gray-speckled plastic tub, which offers some additional stain-resistance but is more affordable than stainless steel.

Home Improvement on sale
All-Clad
$149.99 $275.00
at Casa

All-Clad BD551508 Brushed Stainless Steel D5 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe All-Purpose Pan with Oven Mitts, Spoon and Domed Lid Coo...kware, Silver Create a chef inspired meal with this all purpose pan set from All-Clad. Fabricated from 18/10 stainless steel, it has a steel core for long lasting durability and maximizing heat conductivity and responsiveness, while eliminating hot spots for a perfectly cooked dish time after time. Featuring an energy efficient advanced construction that allows heat diffusion from the bottom of the pan up to the sidewalls, it also has an interior starburst finishing that improves nonstick performance. With a riveted, oversized stainless steel stay-cool handle, it features medium high rounded sides and a narrow shape to hold heat well and stop evaporation and a convenient rolled lip for easy drip-free pouring. Made in the USA, it includes a matching lid with a single handle, a stainless steel cooking spoon, and two oven mitts. Safe for use on any cooking surface, including induction, it is also dishwasher safe, making clean up a breeze. ?18/10 stainless steel cooking surface will not react with food ?Compatible with all cooktops, optimal for induction ?Dishwasher, oven and broiler safe ?Stainless steel handles are permanently secured with stainless steel rivets ?2-quart all-purpose pan includes oven mitts and spoon Dimensions(L x W x H):14 inches x 10.5 inches x 2.25 inches Weight:4 pounds read more

All-Clad BD551508 Brushed Stainless Steel D5 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe All-Purpose Pan
Cuisinart
$42.49 $100.00
at Casa

Cuisinart DSA25-30D Dishwasher Safe Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Everyday Pan with Glass Cover Cuisinart DSA25-30D Dishwasher Safe Hard-A...nodized 12-Inch Everyday Pan with Glass Cover ?Dishwasher safe ?Ergonomic stay cool handles ?Glass cover fits tight to lock in flavor, texture and nutrients ?Hard anodized construction heats quickly and eliminates hot spots ?Limited lifetime warranty Dimensions(L x W x H):4.13 inches x 13.63 inches x 12.63 inches Weight:5.8 pounds read more

Cuisinart DSA25-30D Dishwasher Safe Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Everyday Pan with Glass Cover
Casa Vieja
$219.98 $439.99
at Lamps Plus

The Fairmont ceiling fan is perfect for rustic and lodge decors as well as Mission style interiors. The motor gets an aged bronze ...finish, and two light kits (uplight and downlight) glow with amber glass. Reversible blades offer walnut and cherry veneers. Dual-mountable design. Aged bronze finish motor. Five reversible walnut/cherry veneer blades. 3-speed motor. Pull chain operation. Dual mountable. Dual light kits with amber glass. Aged bronze finish motor. Five reversible walnut/cherry veneer blades. 3-speed motor. Pull chain operation. Dual mountable. Dual light kits with amber glass. Includes four 15 watt candelabra bulbs for uplight. Includes three 40 watt candelabra bulbs for downlight. 6" downrod included. Fan height 14 1/4" ceiling to blade (with 6" downrod) Fan height 16 3/4" ceiling to bottom of light kit (with 6" downrod) Canopy 2 1/2" high and 5 1/4" wide. 52" blade span. 14 degree blade pitch. read more

52" Fairmont Aged Bronze Ceiling Fan
Casa Vieja
$149.99 $224.99
at Lamps Plus

The contemporary Casa Vieja® Paseo ceiling fan has a stylish oil-rubbed bronze motor finish with five matching blades. It features... a 52" blade span, 12 degree blade pitch, three speed pull chain, and a lifetime motor warranty. Comes standard with a 6" downrod. ENERGY STAR® rated design. Oil-rubbed bronze motor finish. Five oil-rubbed bronze finish blades. 52" blade span. 12 degree blade pitch. 3 speed, 153 x 17mm motor. Lifetime motor warranty. Pull chain operation. Fan height 12 3/4" from ceiling to blade (with 6" downrod). Fan height 15" from ceiling to bottom of fan (with 6" downrod). Includes 6" downrod. Canopy is 5" wide and 2" high. read more

52" Casa Vieja Paseo ENERGY STAR® Bronze Ceiling Fan
Kichler
$578.00 $867.00
at Wayfair

Features:Ceiling fan Harbour Walk collection Accommodates (4) 40W T3 incandescent bulb Product Air Flow: 6049 Cubic Feet Per Minut...e Electrical Usage: 74 Watts Air Flow Efficiency: 82 Cubic Feet Per Minute Per Watt read more

52" Harbour Walk 5 Blade Patio Ceiling Fan
Casa Vieja
$384.98 $579.99
at Lamps Plus

Enjoy a powerful cooling breeze with this 60" Turbina? industrial style ceiling fan. The three-speed motor comes in a brushed stee...l finish with matching metal blades and industrial style light kit. The open cage design surrounds three Nostalgic Edison style bulbs for a handsome antique look. Minimum 10 foot ceiling required for installation. Brushed steel finish motor. Three brushed steel metal blades. 60" blade span. 22 degree blade pitch. Minimum 10 foot ceiling required for installation. 188 x 20 motor size. Remote control with on/off light operation included. Includes brushed nickel finish industrial cage light kit. On/off light operation with three included 13 watt CFL bulbs (non-dimmable). Includes three 60 watt Nostalgic Edison style bulbs (shown). Non-glass industrial design. Light kit measures 8 1/2" wide, 7 1/2" high. 6" downrod included. Fan height 9" ceiling to blade (with 6" downrod). Canopy is 5 1/4" wide, 2 1/4" high. read more

60" Casa Turbina? Brushed Steel Ceiling Fan
Murray Feiss
$167.50-$188.00 $251.25-$282.00
at Homeclick

A Clean Design Complements the Creative Spirit of a Rooms Decor. Key Features High performance 172 x 14 mm torque induction motor ...13 Degree blade pitch for optimum air movement Precision balanced motor for wobble - free operation Extra long 78" leadwire for high ceiling installation Sleek integral switch housing design Light kit and remote control adaptable UL and C - UL listed Lifetime Warranty This Fan can be installed closer to the ceiling with optional Flush - Mount Canopy Kit MC90 read more

Monte Carlo 5DS52 Designer Supreme 52" Ceiling Fan - blades Included
Craftmade
$203.40 $406.80
at Homeclick

Old world design updated with a traditional style, the Barcelona brings a fashionable touch to any home. Key Features Standard, 3 ...Speed Reversible Motor 2" and 6" Downrods (Included) 30 Year Limited Warranty 52" Custom Wood Blades in Walnut included Shown in European Bronze finish Choice of fan motor finish read more

Craftmade BC52-B552S-WB6 Barcelona 52" Ceiling Fan - Walnut Blades Included
Casablanca
$299.00 $598.00
at Homeclick

Talk about your overachievers. The Academy Gallery takes honors for best all-around with transitional styling, a wide selection of... finish options and an integrated light bowl fixture. Key Features Bronze Patina Finish 4 Speeds Number of Blades: 5 Limited lifetime warranty Optional controls available Light fixture and blades included 3" downrod included read more

Casablanca 54080 Academy Gallery Ceiling Fan in Bronze Patina, Walnut/Burnt Walnut Blades Included
Kichler Lighting
$378.00 $567.00
at Homeclick

This uniquely designed ceiling fan will appeal to those with a discerning taste in décor. Whether for an indoor setting or an outd...oor patio area, this fan offers a balanced blend of bold, transitional style and functionality. Key Features Hot dip galvanized undercoat Stainless Steel mounting hardware cUL Listed for wet location Not low ceiling adaptable read more

Kichler 310105TZP Deckard 52" Ceiling Fan in Tannery Bronze Powder Coat - blades Included
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