The appliance aisle can be a challenging place if your budget is less than $500 and you want a range, washer, or dryer that’s excellent at its job. But when it comes to dishwashers, you have a few more options. Here are five for less than $500 that aced cleaning in Consumer Reports’ tough tests and are worth a look.

Although they're not the top performers, these dishwashers were excellent at cleaning a full load of glasses and very dirty dishes that were scraped of leftover food but not rinsed. Plastic items are among the most difficult to dry, with drops of water remaining, but these dishwashers did an excellent job drying. Most used 4 to 5 gallons of water to wash a load and were energy-efficient when heating the water, washing, and drying.

So what’s the catch? The features are basic and, for most, wash times are long. And the machines are noisier than most models that score higher in our tests. Still, you can't go wrong with these five budget models.

5 Under $500 to Consider

Kenmore 13223 $450 
The interior is stainless, unusual for a budget model, and resists stains better than plastic. There’s a soil sensor, and as our dishwasher ratings show, not all inexpensive dishwashers have that feature. A sensor improves cleaning and efficiency by adjusting the cycle’s time and water use to the load’s soil level.

Wash time was 160 minutes, the machine is relatively noisy, and you’ll need to clean the filter by hand every so often to avoid funky odors—it takes only a few minutes. Some dishwashers have self-cleaning filters, but they tend to be noisy. Either way, the filter keeps the wash water free of food that could wind up sticking to the clean dishes.

Whirlpool WDT720PADM $400
The quietest in this group, it earned a very good score in our noise tests—you’ll hear it from about 2 feet away. There’s a soil sensor, and it has hidden controls for a modern look, with a time-remaining display on the door front. The interior is plastic, and the filter must be cleaned by hand. Wash time was 155 minutes. Our top-rated dishwasher, the KitchenAid KDTM354DSS, takes just 125 minutes, but it costs $860.  

Kenmore 13473 $400
The soil sensor is a must-have feature, and some will like the clean look of the hidden controls, with a time-remaining display on the door. This dishwasher is relatively noisy and took 160 minutes to do its job. The interior is plastic, and there’s a manual-clean filter.

Maytag MDB4949SDM $450
Yes, it’s relatively noisy, and clocking in at 170 minutes, the wash time is one of the longest of all the models we tested. But excellent cleaning, a stainless interior, a soil sensor, and a self-cleaning filter are part of the appeal.

Ikea Renlig IUD7555DS [288921] $400
Wash time was an impressive 115 minutes, and a soil sensor improves cleaning and efficiency. This machine is relatively noisy, like most in this group, and features a plastic interior and manual-clean filter, typical in this price range.

More choices. Our dishwasher ratings include more than 170 models. Use the filter to narrow your options by brand, price, Overall Score, and features. Click the features & specs tab to compare models.

And if you have questions, email me at kjaneway@consumer.org.