Dishwasher Buying Guide
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When your dishwasher dies, you may quickly come to miss this time-saving appliance. Loading a dishwasher and pressing start can save you over 230 hours a year, compared to 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 popular type and what Consumer Reports buys and tests, are 24 inches wide. They sell for $225 to $2,200. You’ll see well over a 100 models in our dishwasher ratings, along with a few dishwasher drawers, for $1,000 and up. Whatever you choose, consider using a detergent that cleaned up in our tests to get the most from your machine. 

Dishwashers are available in white, bisque, black, slate, stainless, and black stainless. Dishwashers once looked very similar, but no more. Some manufacturers have simplified the look, moving the controls to the top of the door so that they’re hidden when the door is closed.

On some models, the brand logo is also gone, and a recessed pocket handle replaces a bar. With the brand name and bar handle gone, manufacturers realized that their stainless dishwashers would look good in a kitchen next to stainless appliances from other brands, and so did consumers. 

Lab Tested for Your Home

We test dishwashers year-round, spending 28 hours evaluating each one and identifying its features. Our testers load each dishwasher with 10-place settings of white ceramic dishes with baked-on food, then run it on the normal cycle (or its equivalent). When the cycle is complete, we record cycle time, and the amount of water and energy used. We use a photo-imaging machine to determine precisely how clean each dish is, and we test how well each machine dries plastics and panelists judge noise levels

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

A Dish Load of Brands
There are over 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, Bosch, and Blomberg.   

Manufacturers in the high-end price range include Asko, Bertazzoni, Bosch, 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, Fagor, Kucht, Summit, and Thor Kitchen.

Our brand reliability chart appears in the dishwasher ratings. It shows you which of the 10 major brands are the most and least reliable, based on a survey of more than 42,000 of our readers. In some cases, we may have too little data to include a brand in our findings.

Name Your Price

The width and depth of a conventional dishwasher is intended for a cavity measuring 24 x 24 inches. But fitting in your new dishwasher 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).

When shopping, take a close look at how the dishwasher’s interior is configured—the spacing of tines, and the placement of the silverware baskets and racks. You need a dishwasher that works for how you cook and eat. 

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. Some models in this price range now have a soil sensor, which adjusts the cycle’s time and water use to the load’s soil level, improving water efficiency. And some even have a stainless interior. So what’s the catch? The features are basic: Adjustable racks and stainless steel tubs are not a given. Wash times are often long, 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. 

Dishwasher Drawers
They typically include two small, 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. Capacity is relatively small, limiting how much you can wash at once.

Interactive Video Buying Guide

Watch our interactive video below. You can skip to chapters about types, performance, style, features, and tips.

Find the Best Features

When shopping, look for features that can save you time, money, and effort.

Brands

This higher priced Scandinavian brand has a cleaned-up look.
This European brand makes dishwashers in a wide price range, from $500 to over $1,000.
This brand is sold mostly at big-box stores, independent appliance stores, and other national retailers for $300 to $1,200; the company also makes the Frigidaire Gallery and Frigidaire Professional lines. Frigidaire is owned by Electrolux.
This brand is sold mostly at big-box stores, independent appliance stores, and other national retailers for $300 to $1,500; the company also makes GE Profile and GE Cafe lines. GE is owned by Haier.
Kenmore has three lines: Kenmore, Kenmore Elite, and Kenmore Pro. Prices range from approximately $300 for a basic Kenmore model to $1,600 for the Elite and Pro lines.
This high-end brand positions itself as a maker of dishwashers loaded with features. KitchenAid is part of the Whirlpool Corporation, and these dishwashers are sold through independent dealers.
A Whirlpool-owned brand, Maytag makes dishwashers in the mid-priced range.
This European brand makes higher-priced dishwashers.
This brand is sold mostly at big-box stores for $300 to $1,000. The Whirlpool Corporation also makes KitchenAid, Maytag, and Jenn-Air appliances.

Consumer Reports is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to helping consumers. We make it easy to buy the right product from a variety of retailers. Clicking a retailer link will take you to that retailer’s website to shop. When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission – 100% of the fees we collect are used to support our mission. Learn more. Our service is unbiased: retailers can’t influence placement. All prices are subject to change.