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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 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 fantastic at its job. But when it comes to dishwashers, you have a few worthy options.

The models featured below all come in under $500 and 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.)


Plastic items are among the most difficult to dry, but these dishwashers did a decent job drying them in our tests. Another plus? These budget models are energy-efficient when heating the water and when washing (using 4 to 5 gallons to wash a load) 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.

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, 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 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. You'll also find the most and least reliable brands. Or get started with our dishwashers buying guide.

6 Dishwashers for $500 or Less

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

Blomberg DWT25502SS
Overall score: 80
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 five of its 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, allowing you to reconfigure the interior. This machine has a manual-clean filter that you'll need to clean regularly. 

Whirlpool WDF520PADM
Price: $370
Overall score: 79
CR's take: This model is similar to the $540 Whirlpool WDF540PADM we tested, so we expect it to perform similarly. Expect excellent cleaning, drying, and energy use, taking 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, and this machine is relatively noisy. Clean the filter regularly to prevent odors. 

Kenmore 13223 
Overall score: 78
CR’s take: This Kenmore scored Excellent at 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. The interior is stainless, and there’s a soil sensor and an adjustable upper rack. Clean the filter by hand regularly to avoid funky odors.

Kenmore 13473 
Price: $440
Overall score: 76
CR’s take: Here’s another model from Kenmore that aced our cleaning, drying, and energy-use tests. It’s relatively noisy and takes 160 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, 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. 

Whirlpool WDT720PADM
Overall score: 75
CR's Take: This dishwasher is relatively quiet—in fact, it's one of the quietest in this price range. Cleaning, drying, and energy use rated Excellent in our tests. It gets the job done in 155 minutes, and there's a soil sensor, an adjustable upper rack, and a manual-clean filter. The controls are on the top side of the door, completely hidden when the door is closed, giving this machine a sleek look. But the interior is plastic. 

Ikea Renlig IUD7555DS [288921]
Overall score: 66
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, which is common in this price range, and you'll need to clean the filter regularly. 

Dishwashers in Our Ratings.
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