An open floor plan may be a must for the modern kitchen, but the concept isn’t ideal if the dishwasher’s running, at least for anyone in the adjoining room trying to carry on a conversation. Manufacturers heard your complaints, however.

“New dishwashers are usually quieter than ones made even five years ago,” says test engineer Larry Ciufo, who runs Consumer Reports’ dishwasher lab.

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Manufacturers convey a model’s noise level in decibels, averaging the readings over the dishwasher’s full cycle. But that’s not necessarily the best indicator of obnoxiousness. So Ciufo and his panel of judges listen to each dishwasher that CR tests, through its entire cycle—even if that cycle takes 3 hours.

“People remember a noise when it’s at its loudest,” Ciufo says. “An average doesn’t capture that, but our score does by taking into account the peak noises noted by our judges.” 

What makes a dishwasher noisy? Ciufo ticks off a list of culprits, including splashing water, clanking dishes, draining water, and the sound of the drain pump in action.

“Dishwashers with a self-cleaning filter tend to be noisy when the grinder is busy pulverizing food,” he says. “So if you don't mind the extra chore of cleaning the filter, a manual-clean filter is a good option. Cleaning it takes a minute or two, and this helps prevent odors.”

Dishwashers in our dishwasher ratings earn noise scores ranging from Fair to Excellent. Here’s how our grades translate to the real world:

Fair means you’ll hear this dishwasher across the room.

Very Good tells you that you’ll hear the dishwasher from about 2 feet away.

Excellent means you won’t know the dishwasher is on unless you put your ear right up against the door.

Quietest Dishwashers in Our Tests

You’ll find more than 100 models in our dishwasher ratings. The dishwashers highlighted below all scored Excellent in our cleaning and noise tests.

To get that combination of performance, you typically need to spend quite a bit. And you should know that most of these scored only Good in our tough drying test. (See CR’s expert advice on ways to improve drying.) All have a manual-clean filter. If you don’t care about the noise, you can find a dishwasher for $500 or less

The quiet dishwashers below appear in alphabetical order. See CR’s dishwasher ratings for the full details and to learn which brands are the most and least reliable, according to our survey of more than 42,000 readers. 

 • Bosch 800 Series SHPM78W55N, $855

•  Bosch 800 Series SHXM98W75N, $1,200

•  Bosch 800 Series SHXN8U55UC, $1,140

•  GE Profile PDT85SSJSS, $1,350

•  KitchenAid KDTE254ESS, $800

•  LG LDF5545ST, $500

The Dish on Dishwashers