7 Best Dishwashers, According to Food Network Kitchen
We don’t like to do dishes any more than you do. That’s why we recommend one of these top-cleaning machines to do the dirty work.
Our Top Dishwasher Picks
- Best Overall: Bosch 300 Series SHSM63W55N
- Splurge for Stemware: Miele G 7366 SCVi SF Dishwasher
- Best Value: LG Front Control Dishwasher with SenseClean
- Quietest Option: KitchenAid KDTE204KPS
- Best Dishwasher for Large Households: GE Top Control Dishwasher
- Best for Small Spaces: Whirlpool WDF518SAHM
- Best Countertop Dishwasher: Danby DDW631SDB Countertop Dishwasher
By Sharon Franke and Kristie Collado for Food Network Kitchen
Why wash dishes when a machine can do it for you? A good dishwasher will not only leave your dishes spotless, it’ll do it more efficiently than you can by hand. And even though it may go against your mother’s advice, trust us, you don’t have to rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. It’s not necessary and it’s a waste of energy. Yes, even plates with yolk smears, glasses with lipstick smudges, and casseroles encrusted with cheese will come out pristine. Plus, you no longer have to worry that a dishwasher will make a racket if your kitchen is also your family room. The latest models are so quiet you can’t even tell they’re running.
Editor's Note: Bosch recently updated its entire dishwasher line with new features and aesthetics. The new 300 Series offers everything we loved about the original line with a new front panel and sleeker design. Plus, it's still at a great price point for most households.
Top-notch cleaning is the number one reason you want a dishwasher. You’ll find this model hits the sweet spot between great performance, helpful features, and a reasonable price. It has a stainless-steel tub and a third rack for cutlery and small tools like whisks and ladles. Among its cycles, there’s one that washes and dries in just one hour and another that sanitizes. Its Auto setting will get your dishes clean and dry in just over 2 hours. At 44 dBs the Bosch 300 is so quiet that it projects a beam of light on the floor to let you know it’s running.
When you’re washing long-stemmed wineglasses or an oversized pitcher, you can adjust the middle rack to a lower position to accommodate them. The controls are out of sight on the top of the door and the handle is hidden in a pocket, giving this model a clean upscale look. Something to consider: Bosch is that the rack tines that separate plates are close together. Most dinnerware will easily fit between them, but if your plates are extra thick, you may have to alternate them between tines. It’s also available in white or in a version that can be installed with a front to match your cabinets.
Model number: SHE53C85N
Sound level: 46 dBA
Energy Star certified: Pending
Warranty: 1-year limited
As you would expect at this price, this machine gives you stellar cleaning performance (even on the one-hour setting), plus a lot of extras. For starters, it can handle the dishwashing chores you hate the most. No more chipping glassware on the faucet or scrubbing pots and pan. For its ability to get fine crystal sparkling while keeping it from knocking around, Riedel, the fine glassware company recommends this model. However, it also has the oomph to tackle the grease and gunk on cookware.
At the end of a cycle, this Miele automatically cracks open the door a bit to release steam, enhance drying, and cut down on electricity usage. It not only washes your dishes, it dispenses the detergent too. Load it with a Miele PowerDisk and it automatically adds the correct amount of dishwashing powder for the next 20 washes. It even displays a reminder when it’s time to pop in a new disc. You do have the option of using your own detergent.
With its stainless-steel finish, hidden controls, and sleek handle, this is a classy-looking machine. Because Miele knows you want the appliance itself to stay spiffy, the stainless is smudge and scratch proof. You’ll find a third rack inside for silverware and utensils and all of the racks are adjustable to make room for oversized vases, bowls, and platters as well as champagne flutes and Burgundy wine glasses. At 41 dBAs, it’s exceptionally quiet.
You can connect this machine via Wi-Fi to an app on your phone so you can turn it on or check the status remotely as well as order more Power Disks.
Model number: G 7366 SCVi SF
Sound level: 41 dBA
Energy Star Certified: Yes
Warranty: 2-year full warranty
You don’t have to spend a bundle to have a dishwasher to lighten your load. Although this model is no frills, reviewers rave about its prowess at getting dishes clean. And isn’t that the main reason you’re buying a dishwasher? It has fewer cycles than some machines, but you do get a one-hour Turbo setting as well as options to increase the water temperature for sanitizing and add extra drying time. At 52 dBAs you’ll be able to hear it when it’s running, but it shouldn’t interfere with homework or after-dinner conversation.
This LG is available in stainless steel as well as black and white; the controls are on the front, so although the machine is not as sleek looking as pricier models, they are easy to access. Surprisingly, even at this low price, you get a durable stainless-steel tub. However, there’s no third rack for cutlery.
Model number: LDFC2423V
Sound level: 52 dBA
Energy Star Certified: Yes
Warranty: 1 year labor and parts, 2 years on select parts, 10 years on motor
If one of the reasons you haven’t installed a dishwasher is a fear that it will be noisy, or you want to replace the one you have because it makes a racket, this 39dBA model is one of the quietest you can buy. It also has an excellent reputation for getting dishes clean and has a heated dry system to eliminate the need to towel off the tops of mugs or plastic storage containers. The cycle you’ll probably use the most, dubbed ProWash, measures soil levels and adapts the wash time and water temperature accordingly so it won’t run any longer or use any more water than necessary. The KitchenAid also has a sanitizing rinse but there’s no express or gentle settings.
The tub is stainless steel and there’s a third rack for tableware, spatulas, and other small items. As there’s plenty of spacing between the tines, you should have no trouble arranging chunky rustic plates between them. The KA is available in shiny or black stainless steel, both of which are stain-resistant so they won’t require polishing to keep looking good. With its easy-to-grab towel bar handle, this model has professional style that will instantly upgrade your kitchen.
Model number: KDTE204KPS
Sound level: 39 dBA
Energy Star Certified: No
This is one of the roomiest models around, making it ideal if you have a large family or entertain often. Not only can it hold a lot, the rack configuration makes it easy to fit in plates of all sizes as well as oversized bowls and platters. You won’t find yourself with a few extra pieces or a clunky serving piece to hand wash. The GE also solves the problem of cleaning vases, water bottles, and empty mayonnaise jars. In the upper rack, jets spray water directly into these hard-to-clean items to make sure they come out spotless. GE also promises that its drying system will get everything, including plastics dry, so you can put everything away straight from the dishwasher.
Among this dishwasher’s cycles are a sanitizing one and a quick one-hour wash. It has a stainless-steel interior and a third rack. With a 45dBA rating it’s fairly quiet when it’s running. When it comes to the exterior finish, you have a lot of choices; this model comes in fingerprint resistant stainless steel, slate, and black slate as well white and black. You can buy a Wi-Fi adapter that will allow you to use an app to control and monitor your dishwasher from the yard or the car.
Model number: GDT670SYVFS
Sound level: 45 dBA
Energy Star Certified: Yes
Warranty: 1 year
Just because you live in an apartment or have a tiny kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t have a dishwasher. This model is only 18-inches wide so takes up less space than standard models. While it will wash fewer dishes, it does have a sensor cycle to deliver the same great performance as a full-size dishwasher in just over two hours. You will find it is a bit noisy at 50dBA, so while it won’t wake anyone up, you may hear it while you’re having your after-dinner tea at the kitchen table.
The controls are on the front of the door which makes them very easy to access. The tub is made of stainless steel and the exterior is available in stainless steel, black, and white.
Model number: WDF518SAHM
Sound level: 50 dBA
Energy Star Certified: No
Warranty: Limited Standard Warranty
With its silver tone finish and electronic control panel, the Danby will be a nice-looking addition to your kitchen countertop. It can handle a half dozen place settings and gives you a choice of 6 cleaning options from short energy-saving cycles for lightly soiled dishes to an intensive setting for heavily soiled loads; it includes a baby care program for steam cleaning, but not sanitizing, bottles. You can set it to turn on anywhere from 2 to 8 hours later so it will run when energy costs are lowest and the noise is least likely to disturb you.
The cavity is stainless steel which makes it resistant to rusting and cracking. In addition to a detergent dispenser, it has a compartment for rinse aid which helps prevent water spots. As this is one of the heavier dishwashers among our picks, it’s a good choice if you plan to give it a permanent place on your counter and use it every day. Just make sure there’s room for it under your cabinets as it’s tall. The Danby is Energy Star certified which means it will be easier on your electric bill.
Model number: DDW631SDB
Sound level: 54 dBA
Energy Star Certified: Yes
Warranty: 1 year parts
Check out more of our best countertop dishwasher picks.
What to Consider Before Buying a Dishwasher
- Dimensions: The majority of dishwashers fit into a 24-inch wide space under the countertop. However, it’s always prudent to measure both the width of your space and the height of your countertops. There are some 18-inch wide models available for smaller kitchens.
- Stainless steel is the most popular finish. Look for fingerprint- or smudge-resistant stainless, especially if you have kids in the house. If you have an older kitchen with white or black appliances, you can find dishwashers to coordinate with your color scheme.
- Stainless steel cavity: Dishwasher cavities are made of either stainless steel or plastic. We recommend opting for stainless steel because it’s more durable.
- Models are loaded with anywhere from 4 to 14 cycle options. As prices go up, so will the amount of settings, but, chances are, you won’t use many, so don’t be swayed a big number. Look for ones with cycles you think you’ll actually use. See below for a list of cycles we think are helpful.
- All dishwashers come with Energy Guide labels detailing how much electricity they use and approximately how much they will cost you per year to run. The most energy efficient carry the EnergyStar label.
- Sound levels are measured by decibel (dBA) levels. The lower the dBA the quieter the machine. If you can’t find the rating, check for it on the manufacturer’s website. Any model that’s 44dBA or lower is considered quiet.
- Racks that move up and down can make room for oversized items like pots or pitchers. Check the width between the tines to see if your dinner plates will fit between them. If you have chunky dishes, you may want to bring one with you and test them in the store. Even models at moderate prices now come with a third flat rack on top to hold flatware and tools; they free up space on the lower racks for more dishes.
What Do Dishwasher Cycles Mean?
- Auto or Normal: By using a senor to detect particles in the rinse water this feature figures out when your dishes are clean. It then adjusts the time and water usage, reducing your electric bill.
- Rinse: When you don’t have a full load but don’t want to leave dirty, smelly dishes in the machine overnight or longer, this feature gives them a quick rinse.
- Extra Dry: This feature addresses one of people’s big complaints, that items, particularly plastic containers, don’t come out dry. It can also help eliminate spotting on glasses.
- Express: If you’ve forgotten to run the machine and it’s almost dinner time, this setting will come in handy. On most machines from start to finish, it takes one hour. Dishes may not come out as dry, though.
- China or Delicate: You’ll use this setting to give glassware or porcelain tender loving care.
- Half Load: By only washing items in either the top or bottom rack, a half load cycle reduces water usage and saves energy. It’s great for those times when you don’t have a full load or need to rinse glassware before company comes.
- Sanitize: By using hotter water in the wash and rinse cycles, this cycle will kill virtually all bacteria. When someone in the family is sick, it can give you peace of mind. You might want to use it for kids’ teething rings and toys.
- Delay Start: Choose this setting to run the machine during off-peak energy hours or in the middle of the night when no one will be showering.