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Best Dishwashers for $500 or Less

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

The appliance aisle can be challenging if your budget is $500 or less 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 worthy options.

The models featured here are in this price range and still aced cleaning in CR’s tests.

Although these budget picks are not top performers, they received an Excellent score at cleaning a full load of glasses and very dirty dishes. (Here’s why we recommend that you don’t rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.)

MORE ON DISHWASHERS

Plastic items are among the most difficult to dry, but these dishwashers did a very good or even excellent job drying them in our tests.

Another plus is that they're energy-efficient when heating the water (using 4 to 5 gallons to wash a load) and when washing and drying.

Remember, given the price, the features on these dishwashers are basic: 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 our dishwasher tests.

How We Test Dishwashers

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 25 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, Fisher & Paykel, GE Profile, Jenn-Air, Kenmore Elite, KitchenAid, Miele, Scholtes, Smeg, 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 and recommendations. Use the ratings filter to narrow your options by brand, price, overall score, and features. Click on the Features & Specs tab to compare models. You'll also find the most and least reliable brands. 

For more information, check our dishwashers buying guide.

6 Dishwashers for $500 or Less

Keep reading for detailed test results of the best in this price range.

Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR75UC
Price: $500
Overall score: 83
Ranking: 6 (out of 176)
CR's take: The Bosch scored Excellent at cleaning and in energy use. Drying rated Very Good. And this dishwasher gets the job done in 95 minutes using the normal wash cycle. It's relatively quiet, too. The interior is mostly stainless but has a plastic bottom. There's a soil sensor, an adjustable upper rack, and hidden controls for a sleeker look. Clean the filter regularly to prevent odors; it only takes a minute or 2.

Blomberg DWT25502SS
Price: 
$490 
Overall score: 80
Ranking: 32 
CR's take: Excellent cleaning and energy efficiency along with Very Good drying are reasons to consider this dishwasher. Blomberg is well-known in Europe, and you'll find six of their models in our dishwasher ratings. Normal wash time is 110 minutes. This dishwasher is relatively noisy, however. Features include a soil sensor, a stainless interior (which tends to resist stains better than plastic), and an adjustable upper rack. This machine has a manual-clean filter that you'll need to clean regularly. 

Whirlpool WDF540PADM
Price: $495
Overall score: 79
Ranking: 34
CR's take: Scoring Excellent in cleaning, drying, and energy use, this dishwasher 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, this machine is relatively noisy, and the interior is plastic. 

Kenmore 13223 
Price: 
$400
Overall score: 78
Ranking: 43
CR’s take: This Kenmore scored Excellent at cleaning, drying, and energy use. It takes more than 2 hours and 40 minutes to run a load, and even if you’re not in a rush, you’ll notice because the machine is relatively noisy. The interior is stainless, which is unusual for a budget model. There’s a soil sensor, but you’ll need to clean the filter by hand regularly to avoid funky odors.

Kenmore 13473 
Price: $415
Overall score: 76
Ranking: 59
CR’s take: Here’s another model from Kenmore that aced our cleaning, drying, and energy-use tests. It’s relatively noisy and takes 2 hours and 40 minutes to do its job. The interior is plastic, and there’s a manual-clean filter. Not all models in this price range have a soil sensor, but this Kenmore does. You might like the clean look of the hidden controls, with a time-remaining display on the door. 

Ikea Renlig IUD7555DS [288921]
Price:
 $350
Overall score: 66
Ranking: 121
CR’s take: Wash time is an impressive 115 minutes, and a soil sensor improves cleaning and efficiency. Cleaning, drying, and energy efficiency are superb. But it's relatively noisy and has a plastic interior and manual-clean filter, which are typical in this price range.


103
Dishwashers in Our Ratings.
Current Dishwasher Ratings