An open floorplan may be a must for the modern kitchen, but the concept isn't so cool if the dishwasher's running, at least for anyone in the adjoining room trying to carry on a conversation.

Manufacturers have listened to the complaints.

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

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 CR tests, through its entire cycle—even if that cycle takes three hours.

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

More on Dishwashers

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 explains. "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 earned 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 two feet away.

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

Before you shop for a dishwasher, check CR's buying guide and dishwasher ratings. Use the filters to narrow your choices, based on price, brand, and test peformance, including noise, energy use, and more.

Quietest Dishwashers in Our Tests

You’ll see more than 120 models in our dishwasher ratings. The seven dishwashers highlighted below all scored excellent in both our cleaning tests and our noise test.

To get that combination of performance, you'll 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 model for less than $400.

The dishwashers 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, $950

•  Bosch 800 Series SHXN8U55UC, $1,080

•  Bosch 800 Series SHXM98W75N, $1,200

•  GE Profile PDT85SSJSS, $1,350

•  KitchenAid KDFE454CSS, $1,340

•  KitchenAid KDTE254ESS, $990

•  LG LDF5545ST, $600

The Dish on Dishwashers