A high-end dishwasher in a modern kitchen

You don’t have to spend $1,000 to get a really good dishwasher. But if you want a top-performer that’s very quiet and stylish, you'll find the most number of options above this threshold.

Dishwashers that cost $500 or less will get your dishes sparkling clean, but they can be noisy. Spend a bit more—$600 to $900—and you’ll typically get a quieter dishwasher with added features that boost convenience, and styling that blends in with any kitchen.  

And then there's reliability—how likely is a brand to break within the first five years of owning the dishwasher? CR's latest dishwasher survey reveals the most and least reliable brands. "Our survey suggests that paying more for a dishwasher does not necessarily mean it's going to be a more reliable machine," says Simon Slater, manager of CR's survey research. "And in general, we found that consumers pay more to get expensive dishwashers repaired." 

Viking, Electrolux, and Samsung dishwashers, for example, received our lowest rating for predicted reliability—a Poor. Because of that, CR cannot recommend dishwashers from these bands. And we can't recommend models from Blomberg and Beko, given that they rated only Fair in reliability. 

Our survey results are based on CR members' experiences with 74,880 dishwashers purchased between 2007 and 2017 and not covered by a service contract. 

To make it easier for you to choose the best dishwasher before swiping your credit card, we now incorporate lab test results, predicted reliability, and owner satisfaction into a single Overall Score. Each of the 100-plus models in our dishwasher ratings has this new all-in-one rating.

MORE ON DISHWASHERS

Lab Tested for Your Home
Consumer Reports’ test engineers spend 28 hours testing each dishwasher—evaluating cleaning performance, energy use, water consumption, and how well the model dries plastics, which are more difficult to dry than glass and ceramic.

After a cycle, dishes are put through a proprietary test that uses photo imaging to determine precisely how clean they are upon unloading. On top of that, a panel of experts listens to an entire cycle. Manufacturers provide an average decibel level; our experts gauge how noisy the appliance is in real time, noting any peaks in volume, which consumers tell us they find annoying.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

With high-end dishwashers, you’ll have your choice of finishes and handle styles. Some have a recessed pocket handle instead of a bar handle so that the dishwasher can fit seamlessly in a kitchen with stainless appliances from other brands. Stainless steel tubs, soil sensors, adjustable racks, and ample silverware baskets are standard.

Expect to see most of the following features on any model, excluding WiFi connectivity, which we expect more high-end dishwashers to have in the next two years. 

Hidden controls. The controls are across the top of the door and can’t be seen when the door is closed, for a look that's sleek and clean. Some models have a small light on the front of the door that glows when the machine is running, or a light that shines a small spot on the floor. 

Additional cycles. An express cycle that quickly cleans lightly soiled loads, and one meant for fine china, are two we’ve seen. 

LED lights. They shine light on the dishes when you open the door. 

Special wash zones. Part of the dishwasher is designated for heavily soiled items that need a special cycle. The zones don’t necessarily run during the entire cleaning cycle, and with some models the special cycle lasts only a few minutes. In our labs, these wash zones worked as promised. 

WiFi connectivity. This allows you to receive updates regarding the status of the wash cycle or control your machine remotely from your smartphone. For example, the GE Profile PDT855SSJSS, $1,350, works with an app that allows you to check status, receive alerts, and reorder dishwasher detergent using your phone and Amazon's Alexa.

The Bosch 800 Series SHEM78WH5N dishwasher, $1,185, also works with an app that enables remote control, and issues warnings if your dishwasher is leaking. And if you want, it will automatically reorder your favorite dishwasher detergent tabs on Amazon when the dishwasher’s tab-counter function says it’s time.

4 High-End Dishwashers to Consider

We selected the four dishwashers below, which appear in alphabetical order, because they rate Very Good or Excellent overall. 

Bosch 800 Series SHXM98W75N
Price:
$1,080
CR's take: Bosch stands out as one of the most reliable dishwasher brands in our survey and gets high marks for owner satisfaction—one of only three brands to earn this distinction. This dishwasher cleans like a champ without using much energy and needs 160 minutes to complete a normal cycle. It's among the quietest in this price range, rating Excellent in our noise tests. You won't know it's on unless you put your ear right up against the door. The exterior is stainless and has a bar handle, and like all the dishwashers highlighted here, the controls are on the top edge of the door, and hidden when the door is closed.

KitchenAid KDPM354GBS
Price:
$1,130
CR's take: KitchenAid is only average in terms of predicted reliability, according to our member survey, but the brand rates Very Good in owner satisfaction. This dishwasher is similar to the KitchenAid KDTM354DSS we tested, so we expect it to perform similarly. Cleaning is top-notch, it's energy efficient, and it runs fairly quietly. It takes 125 minutes to clean a load. This dishwasher aces our drying tests, which means there's no need to reach for a towel when the cycle is complete. Available in stainless and black stainless, this KitchenAid offers a bold take on the pocket handle. Unlike most models we tested, this one has a self-cleaning filter. 

KitchenAid KDTM704ESS
Price: $1,645
CR's take: This model rates similarly to the KitchenAid above in our tests for cleaning, energy use, and noise, and gets the job done in 110 minutes, the fastest of this group. But it rates only Good in our drying tests, so be sure to use a rinse aid to boost drying. Available in stainless and black stainless, this model has a stylish handle. There's also a self-cleaning filter and a special zone for washing bottles and tall glasses on the upper rack. 

Miele Futura Crystal G6665SCVlSF
Price:
$1,600
CR's take: Miele garners a Very Good rating in brand reliability, and of the 20 brands in our survey, Miele is one of three to get top marks for owner satisfaction. This dishwasher performs well in our tests for cleaning, plus it's an energy miser and runs fairly quietly. It takes 140 minutes to do a load, and when done, the door pops open slightly to allow the moisture to escape, which improves drying. This dishwasher comes in stainless, or in a version that's ready for you to add a custom panel to match your cabinets for a fully integrated look.

You'll see more choices in our full dishwasher ratings, from these brands and others. Use the filters to narrow your options by price, brand, features, and more.


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