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A modern kitchen with a budget dishwasher.

Best Dishwashers for $500 or Less

These CR-tested models, which skimp on price but not on performance, get the job done without a lot of fuss

The appliance aisle can be a drag if your budget is $500 or less and you want a range, washer, or dryer that’s fantastic. But when it comes to dishwashers, there are some worthy options.

The models featured below all come in under $500, and most earn an Excellent rating in our washing tests, which tell you how well they clean a full load of glasses and very dirty dishes. Several of these dishwashers also score Excellent in our drying test, which evaluates how well a model dries plastic containers. Another plus? These budget models are all energy-efficient.

Equally important, all these dishwashers rate Very Good or Excellent in predicted reliability. This rating estimates the likelihood that newly purchased models from a given brand will break within the first five years. The data comes from our survey of CR members' experiences with 74,880 dishwashers not covered by a service contract and purchased between 2007 and 2017.

And to make it easier for you to find the best dishwasher for your budget, we now combine lab test results, predicted reliability, and owner satisfaction in one Overall Score, as you'll see in our dishwasher ratings

MORE ON DISHWASHERS

Remember, given the price, these dishwashers tend to come with only basic features. Adjustable racks and stainless steel tubs are not a given. Wash times are often long, and most models are relatively noisy. "But if strong cleaning performance is what you’re after, one of these models might be right for you," says Larry Ciufo, who oversees CR's dishwasher tests.

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 use a photo-imaging machine to determine precisely how clean each dish is. We also test how well each machine dries plastics, judge noise levels, and record cycle time and energy and water use. 

A Dish Load of Brands

CR’s dishwasher ratings include more than 100 models from over 20 brands. 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, 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 tested models from Equator, Fagor, Kucht, Summit, and Thor Kitchen.

More choices. Check out our full dishwasher ratings. Use the filters to narrow your options by brand, price, overall score, and features. Click on the Features & Specs tab to compare models. Our dishwashers buying guide is a great place to start.

5 Dishwashers for $500 or Less

Read on for ratings and reviews of the best dishwashers in this price range.

Whirlpool WDF520PADM
Price:
$400
Overall score: 81
CR's take: Whirlpool stands out as one of the most reliable dishwasher brands in CR's latest member survey, earning an Excellent rating for predicted reliability. This model is similar to the $550 Whirlpool WDF540PADM we tested, so we expect it to perform similarly. Cleaning, drying, and energy use rate Excellent, but this dishwasher scores only Good in our noise tests. You'll hear it from several feet away. It takes 115 minutes to run a load. There's a soil sensor, which adjusts the cycle's time and water use to the load's soil level, improving efficiency. However, the interior is plastic, which doesn't resist stains as well as stainless steel does. You'll want to clean the filter regularly to prevent odors. Available in white, black, and stainless. 

Kenmore 13223 
Price: 
$500
Overall score: 77
CR’s take: Kenmore is one of five brands in our survey that garners a Very Good rating for brand reliability. This Kenmore scores Excellent in our tests for cleaning, drying, and energy use. It takes 160 minutes to run a load, and even if you’re not in a rush, you’ll notice because the machine is relatively noisy, earning only a Good in our noise test. But it does boast a few features typically reserved for more expensive models, including a stainless tub, a soil sensor, and an adjustable upper rack. Clean the filter by hand regularly to avoid funky odors. This model comes in stainless, and also in white and black, which are even less expensive. 

Kenmore 13473 
Price: $450
Overall score: 76
CR’s take: Here’s another model from Kenmore that garners Excellent ratings in our cleaning, drying, and energy-use tests. This dishwasher is relatively noisy, scoring only Good in our noise tests, and takes 160 minutes to do its job. There's a soil sensor, and the adjustable upper rack adds flexibility. You might like the clean look of the hidden controls, with a time-remaining display on the door. The interior is plastic, and the filter must be cleaned by hand. Available in stainless, white, and black. 

Amana ADB1700ADS
Price:
 $440 
Overall score: 75
CR's take: Amana earns a Very Good rating for predicted reliability, but owners give it only a Fair rating in owner satisfaction. That said, this dishwasher earns an Excellent rating in our tests for washing and energy use. Drying, however, rates only Good, meaning you may have to reach for a hand towel (a rinse-aid will improve drying). And this dishwasher earns only a Good in our noise tests. You'll hear it from several feet away. Wash time is 145 minutes, and there's a soil sensor, a stainless interior, a manual-clean filter, and a stainless finish.

Whirlpool WDT730PAHW
Price: $450
Overall score: 73
CR's take: Whirlpool earns an Excellent rating for reliability. And this dishwasher scores Very Good in our tests for washing, drying, and noise, meaning it's quieter than the others highlighted here. There's a soil sensor and an adjustable upper rack, and the controls are hidden for a sleeker look. The tub is plastic, although the interior of the door is stainless, and like most tested models, this one has a manual-clean filter. It comes in white, black, stainless, and—for about $90 more—black stainless.


131
Dishwashers in Our Ratings.
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