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The best dishwashers of 2018.

Best Dishwashers of 2018

Standouts in Consumer Reports' ratings of 130-plus models

Dishwasher manufacturers continue to add high-tech features such as WiFi connectivity, but as you stand at your sink in front of a stack of dirty dishes, you still want a model that aces its primary job—getting dishes spotless. 

The engineers at Consumer Reports keep that in mind, of course, during testing. But we also keep an eye on consumer behavior.

“Data we’ve seen shows that most consumers still prerinse their dishes before loading the dishwasher,” says Larry Ciufo, who oversees CR’s dishwasher tests.

The thing is, prerinsing your dishes is a waste. When you do, the soil sensor determines that the dishes aren’t so dirty. As a result, the machine uses less water and runs a shorter cycle, which can leave food stuck on your plates. (Find out why dirt gets your dishes really clean.)

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


Go to Consumer Reports' 2018 Holiday Central for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.
 

How We Test Dishwashers
We spend 28 hours in the lab evaluating each dishwasher and identifying its features. 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.

Below are reviews of five high-scoring dishwashers listed in order of price (lowest to highest) that earn an Excellent rating in our cleaning tests.

See our dishwasher buying guide and full dishwasher ratings and recommendations for more details and options. 

1
Whirlpool WDF520PADM
Whirlpool WDF520PADM

    Whirlpool WDF520PADM

    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. That means that of the 20 brands in our ratings, Whirlpool is among the least likely to break within the first five years. The Whirlpool WDF520PADM is similar to the Whirlpool WDF540PADM (an older model now sold at just a few retailers) that we tested, so we expect it to perform similarly. The tested dishwasher can even dry plastic, which is more difficult to dry than glass and ceramic because it doesn't retain heat that would otherwise contribute to the drying process. This Whirlpool is the rare model in its price range to have a soil sensor, which adjusts the cycle’s time and water use to the load’s soil level, improving efficiency. The interior is plastic, though, which doesn't resist stains as well as stainless steel.

    2
    Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR75UC
    Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR75UC

      Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR75UC

      CR’s take: Bosch also stands out as one of the most reliable dishwasher brands in our survey. Bosch rates Excellent for owner satisfaction—one of only three brands in our survey that earns this distinction. The normal wash time for the Bosch Ascenta SHX3AR75UC clocks in at 95 minutes, more than an hour faster than other models we tested in this price range. The controls are on the top edge of the door and hidden when the door is closed. A stainless interior resists stains better than plastic, and the Bosch’s interior is mostly stainless, with a plastic bottom. There’s a soil sensor and an adjustable upper rack, but you’ll have to clean the filter by hand. 

      3
      Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N
      Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N

        Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N

        CR’s take: The Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N rates Very Good in our noise tests, meaning you can hear the dishwasher from about 2 feet away but not from across a room. This dishwasher has a recessed handle; with the bar handle gone, this Bosch will blend in with kitchen appliances from other brands. There’s an adjustable upper rack that moves up or down to accommodate large and odd-sized items, and a manual-clean filter. A third-level rack allows you to spread out spatulas, whisks, and other hard-to-clean items, so you don’t have to cram them into the utensil baskets.

        4
        Kenmore Elite 14793
        Kenmore Elite 14793

          Kenmore Elite 14793

          CR’s take: Beyond Bosch, Kenmore has models in this price range that rate high in our tests. The brand also garners a Very Good for predicted reliability. The controls on the Kenmore Elite 14793 are hidden on the top edge of the door for a look that’s understated and stylish. The interior is stainless and features an adjustable upper rack and a self-cleaning filter. Despite the price, this dishwasher earns only a Good in our drying tests—but this is also true for a majority of dishwashers in this price range. To boost drying performance, see the top reasons your dishwasher isn’t drying.

          Be sure to check out how Sears' bankruptcy filing affects consumers before you shop if you're thinking about going to that retailer for a new washing machine. 

          5
          Thermador DWHD660WFP
          Thermador DWHD660WFP

            Thermador DWHD660WFP

            The Thermador DWDH660WFP is one of the few dishwashers that rates Excellent in our noise tests, meaning you won't know it's on unless you put your ear right up against the door. For a clean look, there's no logo on this stainless dishwasher, the controls are hidden on the top edge of the dishwasher door, and the toe kick (the panel at the bottom) is painted silver. It's WiFi-enabled and works with an app that gives you remote control, allowing you to monitor progress, change settings, and receive notifications. In this price range in particular, be sure to check reliability and owner satisfaction before swiping your credit card. Viking, for example, is a high-end brand that also happens to be among the least reliable in our ratings, and owners were not very satisfied. See our dishwasher ratings for more details.

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            Kimberly Janeway

            For years I've covered the increasing water and energy efficiency of washers and what it means to consumers, along with innovations in a variety of products, and whether manufacturers deliver on their promises. What I'm really trying to do is to help consumers, and consumers help me by posting comments and posing questions. So thanks!