Dishwashers are one of the most useful appliances in our house, and not just because you don’t have to hand wash anymore. A dishwasher also saves you time and can cut down on the resources you use, getting perfectly clean dishes without wasting extra water. For you to get the best results, it’s important to find the most suitable appliance for your needs.

If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher—whether it is a replacement or an addition—you have a ton of different options to choose from. Depending on how many people live at home and what type of dishes you’ll be using the most, certain dishwashers might be a better fit. To help you pick out the best dishwasher, this in-depth guide will give tips and helpful information to know while shopping. We’ll also give you our top-rated dishwashers and what sets them apart from the competition.

Our Top Picks: Summary

The Best Dishwashers: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Bosch 300 Series
Bosch 300 Series SHXM63WS5N

The Bosh 300 dishwashers come in a wide variety of designs which all have the same excellent performance.

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Why We Picked It

The Bosch 300 series of dishwashers offer 17 variants with different looks and minor feature adjustments. The SHXM63WS5N model is a stylish product with incredibly useful features. This product is Energy Star certified and manages to save water and energy while still tackling stuck-on foods.

The easy-to-load third rack is adjustable to help fit difficult items like trays and pots. The rack also features fold-down tines and a V-shaped rack to fit more dishes per load. The Bosch runs between 44 and 50 decibels, making it one of the quietest options available. It also has a half-load setting for further power saving.

Keep in Mind

The Bosch dishwasher doesn’t have a heating element (for energy conservation purposes), but does utilize an extra hot wash cycle to help dry dishes.

In a Nutshell

  • Energy Star certified
  • Flexible rack design
  • Half-load option for fewer dishes
Best Value: Whirlpool Front Control
Whirlpool Front Control WDF520PADM

The Whirlpool is a high-performing dishwasher without the premium price tag.

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Why We Picked It

This built-in dishwasher model comes in three different finishes to match your kitchen. The Whirlpool Front Control Dishwasher has four different cycles, including options for delayed start and heated dry. The plastic tub is durable and easy to clean, and it features a large capacity lower rack for up 14 place settings. The silverware basket can attach to the door or front of the lower rack to save shelf space.

This dishwasher is Energy Star certified to save power and water as well as NSF certified for sanitation. Whirlpool uses AccuSense, which determines how dirty the load is and adjusts its regular cycle to ensure your dishes are cleaned. This product also runs at 55 decibels, which is quieter than other premium models.

Keep in Mind

The Whirlpool dishwasher has a very long wash cycle (the optional one-hour cycle is only for lightly soiled loads).

In a Nutshell

  • Low price
  • AccuSense soil sensor
  • Energy Star and NSF certified
Upgrade: KitchenAid Top Control
KitchenAid Top Control KDTM704EBS

This dishwasher from KitchenAid uses smart design features to give you the best wash possible.

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Why We Picked It

The KitchenAid Top Control dishwasher has a Clean Water Wash System to purify the water during each cycle, and uses a self-cleaning filter. There is a ProWash Cycle that utilizes sensors to adjust the settings and a ProScrub Cycle that uses 36 spray jets for a stronger cleaning performance. This dishwasher also has an Advanced Dry System that uses a fan and heating element to draw out moisture.

The tap touch controls are concealed at the top of the door to give this dishwasher a clean finish. It uses SatinGlide Max Rails for smooth loading and includes a third rack for hard to place items like spatulas or serving utensils. The middle shelf features fold-down cup racks with stemware holders and bottle wash nozzles in all four corners.

Keep in Mind

The KitchenAid KDTM704EBS model is the most expensive dishwasher on our list.

In a Nutshell

  • Clean Water Wash System
  • Third draw for unusual items
  • Bottle Wash nozzles

Best Quiet: KitchenAid Top Control
KitchenAid Top Control KDTM354DSS

This KitchenAid model features a whisper-quiet performance.

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The KitchenAid KDTM354DSS shares most of its features with the KDTM704EBS; the biggest difference is that this model has a 43-decibels insulation system. The tall tub design has enough room for 15 place settings. This dishwasher also includes the ProWash and Proscrub cycles for customized cleaning.

The upper rack is adjustable and features stemware holders, light item clips, down tines, and a removable utility basket for lids and utensils. The lower rack is removable and has one row of fold-down tines and space for small items and utensils and dedicated knife slots. KitchenAid dishwashers are Energy Star certified to reduce your power consumption.

Keep in Mind

This KitchenAid model is missing the third rack, which means it can’t hold as many dishes as other models.

In a Nutshell

  • Only 43-decibels
  • Versatile rack configurations
  • ProWash and Proscrub cycles
Best Tech: LG Top Control with Quadwash
LG Top Control with Quadwash LDT5678ST

This LG dishwasher features advanced technology like SmartDiagnostics and LED display.

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Why We Picked It

The LG Quadwash gets its name from having four spray arms, which also rotate while spinning to get in hard to reach corners. This dishwasher has an Auto Cycle that senses the level of dirt on your dishes and also uses Dual Zone technology to give the bottom rack a more intense wash. This appliance is also energy efficient and has a half-wash option, which allows you to pick only the top or bottom rack to clean. The bottom rack can fit 15 place settings, and there is a third rack for larger serving utensils.

This LG model has some of the most advanced features. You can check the status of your dishwasher through the SmartThinQ app on your smartphone. The SmartDiagnosis feature identifies issues and can send updates to your phone, while an LED display gives you all the details of your current wash.

Keep in Mind

The LG Quadwash has a longer cycle than other dishwashers, and it doesn’t have a heated dry setting.

In a Nutshell

  • SmartDiagnosis and SmarThinQ app
  • QuadWash Multi-Motion spray arms
  • LED display and phone notifications

How We Chose the Best Dishwashers

Noise

We compared the sound of each dishwasher to find models that won’t disturb your home. Kitchens tend to be one of the (if not the) most popular room in the house, and nobody wants to be annoyed by a loud appliance. That means you won’t have to yell over the sound of it running, and you can also turn it on before bed and not have it wake you up. To do this, we compared the decibels of each dishwasher. We found that the average was around 50 decibels for a new dishwasher, with some of the quietest models getting closer to 40.

Features

Some unique features make a dishwasher more valuable when we compared how well they cleaned. Dishwashers with filters are great for getting the cleanest dishes possible. These models continuously filter the spray water during a cycle to clean out any impurities. A sanitizing cycle is specially designed to kill bacteria. Other dishwashers have quick-wash and quick-dry options so that you can get your dishes out and ready as fast as possible.

Energy Efficiency

We made sure that every dishwasher we suggested was conserving as much water and energy as possible. Saving resources is not only beneficial for our planet, but it will also save you money in the long run. Technology advances allow us to find and create more efficient products, so a new appliance should reflect the advances in the industry. Energy Star certifications are a crucial part of how we picked the top dishwashers because the organization only certifies products that meet the strictest energy efficiency benchmarks. We also considered eco-friendly features like half-wash cycles and air dry options.

Usability

We wanted to ensure that your new dishwasher not only cleaned well but could easily fit your dishes. That means we focussed on space for the largest pots and pans, and convenient locations for odd-shaped items. The number of racks and where they are located is crucial for how easily you can fill the dishwasher, and some features like adjustable rack height give you much more customization options for your loads.

Reliability & Customer Satisfaction

Customer input is a great resource because people have a wide variety of different experiences with each appliance. We made sure the top dishwashers haven’t had problems with inconsistent manufacturing and are durable appliances. Dishwashers that often break can end up costing you a lot more in possible repairs (both to the machine and possibly your kitchen). Customer reviews are also helpful in learning individual experiences with customer service and how a company handles issues or complaints.

What to Look for in a Dishwasher

To find the best dishwasher for you, it’s important to consider how the appliance will be used and how it will look in your house. Consider the points below before making a purchase.

Rack Layout

Dishwasher racks have a wide variety of layouts, and each unique set up might have features that make them a better fit for you. The first thing to check is how smooth the racks slide in and out, and if they’re sturdy enough to support a full load of dishes. The dishwasher’s capacity is crucial, which includes having enough space for your largest pots and pans and even special features like adjustable rack heights. Folding shelves and tines are incredibly useful for customizing your set up to fit different types of dishes, and stemware holders are excellent features for those who wash a lot of wine glasses. Some dishwashers include a third shelf for utensils and flatware, which helps save space below.

Cycle Options

You’ll typically see most products have normal cycles, heavy-duty, quick wash, and even dry boosting for a spot-free finish on glassware. Most new dishwashers, like the ones on our list, have a smart wash or auto cycle that senses the amount of residue and build-up on dishes and adjusts to properly clean them. Delayed start is a useful feature for setting your dishwasher to run when nothing else is on, like in the middle of the night. Half-load cycles only focus on one rack, which cleans a smaller amount of dishes without wasting extra resources.

Style

A dishwasher that performs well is probably your biggest concern, but you also want one that looks great too. Just like all the other appliances in your house, your dishwasher will be out in the open for everyone to see. Many dishwashers come in different colors and finishes to match your kitchen – most commonly stainless steel, black, and white. The handle type and control placement also affect your dishwasher’s appearance.

Door Style

Once you pick out the color you want, you can also pick placement options and styles for your controls. Controls can be visible from the front of your dishwasher when they’re placed on the face of the door and can be actual buttons or touch controls. Sometimes they will even have screens or displays to give you helpful information. Other dishwashers feature “hidden” controls, which are placed on the top of the door so that the face has a simple and sleek look. Door handles can be recessed to save kitchen space or protrude to match other appliance designs.

How to Care for Your Dishwasher

To keep your new dishwasher running at peak performance, you’ll have to do occasional maintenance and cleaning. After your dishwasher is first installed, make sure you check that all the brackets are firmly attached to the wall and countertop. Afterward, periodic checks on the brackets can make sure they haven’t loosened up over time.

Checking the filter at least every six months is required to keep your dishwasher operating the best it can. Filters can be cleaned in the sink with warm water and soap. Depending on how frequently you use it, running a self-cleaning cycle every six months or so can prevent any performance issues from affecting your appliance.

Related Resources

For suggestions on the best kitchen appliances and helpful buyer’s guides, check out the articles below.

Bryan Long