Best Dishwashers of 2021

Five standouts from CR's ratings of dishwashers include models from Bosch and Thermador

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Tester placing dirty dish in dishwasher. Photo: Brian Finke

Dishwasher manufacturers continue to add bonus features, such as automatic door opening, special wash jets, an infolight to let you know when your dishes are done, and WiFi connectivity. But as you stand in front of a sink stacked with dirty dishes, you need an appliance that aces its primary job—getting dirty dishes spotless.

The testers at Consumer Reports keep that top of mind, of course, in our dishwasher lab. But we also keep an eye on consumer behavior.

“Most consumers still rinse their dishes before loading the dishwasher,” says Larry Ciufo, who oversees CR’s dishwasher tests. The thing is, rinsing your dishes is a waste. When you do, the soil sensor determines that the dishes aren’t all that dirty. As a result, the machine uses less water and runs a shorter cycle, which can leave food stuck on your plates.

“That’s why we made our cleaning tests tougher by coating plates with baked-on food—instead of food that’s somewhat easily rinsed off,” Ciufo says.

We spend 28 hours in the lab evaluating each dishwasher. Our testers load each model with 10 place settings of white ceramic dishes with baked-on food, then run the load on the normal cycle or its equivalent. When the cycle is complete, we use a photo-imaging machine to determine precisely how clean each dish is.

MORE ON DISHWASHERS

You’ll see a host of brands in our ratings, from familiar names such as Bosch, Frigidaire, GE, and Samsung, and lesser-known brands like Fisher & Paykel. Manufacturers in the high-end price range include KitchenAid, Miele, and Thermador.

So which dishwashers clean up in our tests?

CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of five high-scoring 24-inch dishwashers that earn an Excellent or Very Good rating in our washing and drying tests. They’re also all from brands that earn an Excellent rating in predicted reliability and owner satisfaction, according to our survey of CR members.

See our dishwasher buying guide and full dishwasher ratings for more details and even more options. If you’re in the market for a more compact model, read “What to Know Before Buying an 18-Inch Dishwasher.”

5 Top-Rated Dishwashers


Headshot of Perry Santanachote, editor with the Home editorial team at Consumer Reports

Perry Santanachote

I cover the intersection of people, products, and sustainability, and try to provide humorous but useful advice for everyday living. I love to dive deep into how things work, and debunking myths might be my favorite pastime. But what I aim to be above all else is a guiding voice while you're shopping, telling you what's a value, what's a ripoff, and what's just right for you and your family.

Headshot of CRO Home Editor Tanya Christian

Tanya A. Christian

I've spent more than a decade covering lifestyle, news, and policy. At Consumer Reports, I'm happy to sit at the intersection of these specialties, writing about appliances, product safety and advocacy, consumer fairness, and the best tools and products to help you spruce up your home. When I'm not putting pen to paper, I'm exploring new cultures through travel and taking on home makeover projects, one room at a time.