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Best Dishwashers 2019: The Best Dishwashers for Large and Small Families

Dishwashers can make your life so much easier. Stuff the dishes in, turn the dishwasher on, and the dishes come out squeaky clean. A good dishwasher can make this process easy, holding lots of dishes and washing them all effectively without breaking anything, with the dishes placed so it's easy to take them all out again.  

Our top picks for the best dishwashers combine effective cleaning with features that allow you to wash dishes large and small and to sterilize bottles for young children while still cleaning delicate glassware with care.

Our top pick for the best dishwasher is the Bosch 300 Series SHSM63W55N, a $750 model that offers a great selection of features, such as a third rack for cutlery and excellent cleaning performance. Our best pick for budget dishwashers is the under-$400 Whirlpool WDF520PADM, which offers good cleaning performance and a sanitize cycle that sterilizes dishes with hot water.

Shopping for other appliances? Be sure to check out our picks for best refrigerators,best microwaves, best ranges, best washing machines, and best clothes dryers.


Price
Noise Level
Energy Use
Features
Bosch 300 Series SHSM63W55N$75044 dB
269 kWhAuto, Sensor Wash
KitchenAid KDTM354DSS$799
43 dB260 kWhProDry, ProScrub, Sani Rinse, Top Rack Wash
Whirlpool WDF520PADM$399
55 dB
260 kWhNSF Certified Sanitize, Delay Start
Whirlpool WDF330PAHW$386
55 dB270 kWhPots and Pans,Quick Wash
Samsung DW80M9960US$895
38 dB
239 kWhSanitize, Half Load
LG LDF5545ST$699
48 dB
258 kWhHalf Load,Pots and Pans,Rinse and Hold, Sanitize
Bosch 800 Series SHPM98W75N$1,19039 dB269 kWhMyWay Rack, AquaStop, app control
LG LDP6797ST$89944 dB258 kWhSmartThinQ app control
SPT SD-2213$232.25
55 dB203 kWhHeavy, Normal, Eco, Glass, Speed

Latest News & Updates

  • Bosch is introducing two new drying features to its dishwashers this fall. The 800 Series dishwasher will get CrystalDry, which convert moisture into heat of up to 176 degrees, while the 500 Series will get AutoAir, which will automatically open the dishwasher door slightly after the final drying cycle to release moisture and circulate fresh air.

Best overall dishwasher

Credit: Bosch

(Image credit: Bosch)

Bosch 300 Series SHSM63W55N

Best overall dishwasher

Type: Built-in, top control | Racks: 3 | Noise: 44 dB | Place Settings: 16 | Energy Use: 269 kWH | Features: Auto, Sensor Wash | App Control: No

Excellent performance
Third rack holds cutlery, small dishes
Racks can be difficult to adjust
Fixed tines make larger dishes awkward to place

The Bosch 300 Series SHSM63W55N has it all: top cleaning performance, adjustable racks, and plenty of space for plates and dishes. Reviewers found that it had excellent cleaning performance, removing burnt-on stains and other food while never depositing it back on the other dishes. The removed food is held in a filter at the bottom of the dishwasher and then sluiced out when the wash is complete.

A rare feature at this price is a third rack. This thin rack slides into the top of the dishwasher and holds cutlery, small dishes and other items. The washer fires jets of water at this rack from the sides to give knives and forks a good cleaning.

Some reviewers noted that because of the arrangement of the tines (the rods that stick up and hold plates in place), you can't fit in larger dishes or saucepans. The racks are adjustable but can be awkward to lift up and down. If the top-control, stainless-steel design of this model doesn't appeal to you, don't worry: Bosch offers a number of similar models with different styles of handles and control locations.

What Reviewers and Owners Say

Reviewed.com: "Bosch gets the closest we've come to a perfect clean … won't be as quiet as one of Bosch's pricier models, and its third rack won't be able to fit as many items — but it will clean quickly, quietly and thoroughly."

Best Buy: "Beautiful dishwasher! Runs very quietly (I forget I have it running, except for the red light indicator), holds much more than our ancient dishwasher and cleans thoroughly!"

Another Top Pick

Credit: KitchenAid

(Image credit: KitchenAid)

KitchenAid KDTM354DSS

Another Top Pick

Type: Built-in, top control | Racks: 2 | Noise: 43 dB | Place Settings: 15 | Energy Use: 260 kWH | Features: ProDry, ProScrub, Sani Rinse, Top Rack Wash | App Control: No

ProScrub gives bottom rack more cleaning performance
Quiet
Some dishes on top rack don't get cleaned as well as those on the bottom rack

The KitchenAid KDTM354DSS is an argument for patience. It's an older model that was first launched in 2014, but the upside is that the price has been falling ever since. Now that this formerly high-end, expensive dishwasher is much more reasonably priced, we see it  as another top pick.

The KDTM354DSS has two racks and a silverware basket that clips into the top of the dishwasher interior. Some of the tines on each rack can be folded down to offer extra space for large dishes, although not all of the tines on the bottom rack fold down. Along with the usual spray arm under the bottom rack, an additional sprayer at the rear of the dishwasher (KitchenAid calls this ProWash) provides extra cleaning power for tough messes.

The reviewers found that this dishwasher had excellent cleaning performance, although the bottom rack was the place for really dirty dishes. Some more heavily stained dishes on the top rack were not cleaned as effectively. But as long as you put the really icky stuff on the bottom rack, this machine is excellent at cleaning dishes.  

What Reviewers and Owners Say

Reviewed.com: "This is one of the best-performing dishwashers in its price range."

Best Buy: "does an excellent job of completely removing all food residue from dishes without redepositing it elsewhere"

Best Budget Dishwasher

Credit: Whirlpool

(Image credit: Whirlpool)

Whirlpool WDF520PADM

Best Budget Dishwasher

Type: Built-in, front control | Racks: 2 | Noise: 55 dB | Place Settings: 14 | Energy Use: 260 kWH | Features: NSF Certified Sanitize, Delay Start | App Control: No

Very good overall cleaning performance
Holds a decent number of dishes
Slightly noisy
Fixed tines on racks make placing large dishes difficult

The Whirlpool WDF520PADM has everything you need and nothing you don't, all at the right price. Available for just under $400, this dishwasher offers very good cleaning performance, stylish looks and little else. There is no third rack, no fancy cleaning cycle and no sterilize feature.

While the WDF520PADM may not have many bells and whistles, it has power where it counts, with the reviewers finding that it did a very good job of removing gunk from dishes. It's not a top scorer, though; the dishwasher failed to fully remove dried-on spinach from some plates, and it redeposited some on other plates. Reviewers also noted that larger dishes could block the rotating spray arm if the dishes weren't put in place at an angle.

The two racks did slide in and out easily, but the tines are not movable, so larger dishes can be difficult to place. That does mean that the racks can hold a good number of plates and bowls, though.

This dishwasher isn't the best at anything. Other models clean better, hold more dishes and are generally better overall. But those machines are twice as expensive, and the WDF520PADM offers great value for money.

What Reviewers and Owners Say

Reviewed.com: "There are dishwashers that clean better and can fit more place settings, but they all cost more."

Best Buy: "The best features are the sleek look and the very, VERY quiet cycles."

Another Great Bargain Dishwasher

Credit: Whirlpool

(Image credit: Whirlpool)

Whirlpool WDF330PAHW

Another Great Bargain Dishwasher

Type: Built-in, front control | Racks: 2 | Noise: 55 dB | Place Settings: 13 | Energy Use: 270 kWH | Features: Pots and Pans, Quick Wash | App Control: No

Good cleaning performance
Some dishes still had damp spots after drying
Slightly noisy

Another great option for the budget buyer is the Whirlpool WDF330PAHW, which is available for under $400. It's another no-frills dishwasher that has decent performance for the price but no fancy features.

This machine has two racks with fixed tines and a cutlery basket that sits at the front of the bottom rack, making the basket easy to load and unload. You can also place the cutlery container at the side of the rack, which is useful if you habitually put just one more dish in before you start a load. The front of the dishwasher is white, although a stainless steel option is also available. The few, simple controls are located around the handle.

What Reviewers and Owners Say

Reviewed.com: "This basic American-made dishwasher is a good value. In our test labs, it got dirty dishes very clean on the Normal cycle, and it was economical to run."

Best for Large Families

Credit: Smasung

(Image credit: Smasung)

Samsung DW80M9960US

Best for Large Families

Type: Built-in, front control | Racks: 3 | Noise: 39 dB | Place Settings: 15 | Energy Use: 239 kWH | Features: Sanitize, Half Load | App Control: No

Third rack with removable tray for cutlery
Excellent cleaning performance
Quiet
Expensive

If you have a houseful to clean up after, the Samsung DW80M9960US is our top pick for you. This large dishwasher has three racks and a feature called WaterWall. The bottom of the machine fires a concentrated jet of water onto dishes on the bottom rack, which helps to shift stubborn stains. Reviewers said the feature was very effective. In particular, Reviewed.com found that the WaterWall could take care of stubborn baking stains from baking sheets, which most dishwashers won't be able to shift. A Zone Booster also lets you direct water jets to the lower left side of the washer for truly stubborn foods.

This dishwasher has three racks, including a top rack for cutlery and small dishes. That rack has an unusual feature called the Flextray, a removable tray that holds knives, forks and spoons in place. The idea is that you can lift it out, making loading and unloading cutlery easier than with most fixed third racks.

All of these features come at a price. At just under $900, the Samsung  is one of the most expensive of our picks. But it has the performance to justify the price, and features like the Flextray will be worth it for those who need to wash a lot of dishes and cutlery all the time.

What Reviewers and Owners Say

Reviewed.com: "Bakers will like the DW80M9960US better because it can get those cookie sheets clean consistently with the Zone Booster feature."

Home Depot: "The third rack is the best feature we have ever seen on a dishwasher and is completely filled on every load. This is the perfect place for bottle nipples, rings, sippy-cup lids, medicine cups, syringes, knives, utensils, beaters and almost everything we ever need to wash."

Budget Dishwasher for Large Families

Credit: LG

(Image credit: LG)

LG LDF5545ST

Budget Dishwasher for Large Families

Type: Built-in, front control | Racks: 2 | Noise: 48 dB | Place Settings: 15 | Energy Use: 258 kWH | Features: Half Load, Pots and Pans, Rinse and Hold, Sanitize | App Control: No

Excellent cleaning performance, flexible racks for large dishes
Doesn't always dry dishes completely

Flexibility is the key with the LG LDF5545ST. This dishwasher has the same QuadWash technology as more-expensive LG models, in which four wash arms spray water in a variety of directions for more-effective washing. Although the machine has only two racks, both include fold-down tines to make it easier to put in large dishes. The top rack can also be lifted and lowered to fit larger dishes.

This LG washer also has excellent cleaning performance, with the QuadWash making a significant difference in removing stubborn gunk from dishes on the bottom rack.

The LDF5545ST isn't perfect, though. According to the reviewers, it is a little noisier when washing than more-expensive models, and it doesn't always completely dry the dishes, unless you use the Extra Dry option. This machine also lacks the Wi-Fi–connected features of LG's LDP6797ST (another one of our top picks), so you can't monitor this washer from the couch.

What Reviewers and Owners Say

CNET: "For $700, the midrange LG LDF5545ST gives you almost everything you'd ask for in a high-end dishwasher. Its cleaning ability is in the upper echelon of models we've tested. It dries well with the Extra Dry option enabled."

Home Depot: "Love It! Both the upper- and lower-rack designs are quite good. They allow a terrific amount of storage for cups, glasses, plates and utensils. One nice feature … the top rack adjusts up and down."

Superquiet Dishwasher

Credit: Bosch

(Image credit: Bosch)

Bosch 800-Series SHPM98W75N

Superquiet Dishwasher

Type: Built-in, front control | Racks: 3 | Noise: 39 dB | Place Settings: 16 | Energy Use: 269 kWH | Features: MyWay Rack, AquaStop | App Control: Yes

Very quiet
Third rack for cutlery
App control
Very expensive

Shh! Hear that? No? Neither do I, because the Bosch 800-Series SHPM98W75N is running. Bosch claims that this machine is the quietest dishwasher brand, and this model in the company's 800 Series would seem to back up that ambitious claim.

The reviewers praised the quiet running of this premium model, which made barely a whisper while water was sloshing around inside. The noise numbers are very close between this and the Samsung DW80M9960US, but the Bosch seems quieter, making no more than a slight distant whooshing when in use.

The top rack, which Bosch calls the MyWay rack, offers a number of lowered areas where you can put larger items, like soup spoons, potato mashers and the like, away from the plates below. This means that they stand a better chance of getting clean. You can also monitor this dishwasher using a smartphone app, and a feature called AquaStop will automatically drain the water if the feature detects a leak.

The SHPM98W75N is also a very efficient dishwasher. Reviewed.com found that a similar model used just 2 gallons of water when running a normal wash and just under 4 gallons on a heavy-duty wash. That's an incredibly small amount of water. If you pay a lot for your water, or have only a limited source, this could be an important factor.

What Reviewers and Owners Say

Reviewed.com: "... if you want the most flexibility for just a little more money, an 800 Series Bosch is the machine to buy."

Best Buy: "This machine is beautiful and amazingly quiet. Every single thing I put in it comes out sparkly clean."
  

Best Smart Dishwasher

Credit: LG

(Image credit: LG)

LG LDP6797ST

Best Smart Dishwasher

Type: Built-in, top control | Racks: 3 | Noise: 44 dB | Place Settings: 15 | Energy Use: 258 kWH | Features: SmartThinQ | App Control: Yes

SmartThinQ Wi-Fi–app control
Excellent cleaning performance
Takes a long time to wash

Looking for the smartest dishwasher on the block? The LG LDP6797ST has brains to spare, as it comes with a Wi-Fi connection. Pair this with the LG SmartThinQ app, and you can monitor the wash from your smartphone, getting an estimate of how long is left and a notification when the wash is done. That is, perhaps, a good thing, as some users commented on the long cycle times of this dishwasher.

In addition to the smarts, the LDP6797ST has three racks, with the top rack meant for cutlery. You can adjust the middle rack, moving them up and down to accommodate different-size dishes. The LDP6797ST also comes with LG's QuadWash system, with four spinning spray arms to aim more water at the dishes. The reviewers found that this system easily cut through baked-on cheese and maple syrup.

What Reviewers and Owners Say

Home Depot: "Dishwasher is great. I love it! Very quiet and cleans great. I love that you can adjust the height of the two racks, which is very convenient."

Digital Trends: "There is a lot to like about this LG top-control dishwasher, most notably that it means we may never have to pre-wash or rinse a dish again. Hallelujah!"
 

Best Countertop Dishwasher

Credit: SPT

(Image credit: SPT)

SPT SD-2213

Best Countertop Dishwasher

Type: Countertop, front controls | Racks: 1 | Noise: 55 dB | Place Settings: 6 | Energy Use: 203 kWH | Features: Heavy, Normal, Eco, Glass, Speed | App Controls: No

Cheap
Takes up only a small amount of space
Doesn't hold many dishes

Don't have the space for a full-size dishwasher? Or do you live alone and use just a few dishes? A countertop dishwasher may be solution, as these smaller dishwashers sit on your counter rather than under it. Our top pick for this type of dishwasher is the Suncom SPT SD-2213, a cheap dishwasher that offers only basic features.

This machine has a single rack for your dishes and can hold only about half as many dishes as a full-size model. The small size also means that this washer won't hold pots and pans. But if you order takeout a lot and just need a small dishwasher to clean your plates and cutlery, this is a great pick.

What Reviewers and Owners Say

Home Depot: “Dishes are always clean even with thick food left on them before washing. I highly recommend this dishwasher if your low on space and have a small household of one or 2 people."

Reviewed.com: "We recommend the SPT SD-2201W [a similar model] because of its good looks and low price."

How we picked

We spent 50 hours researching the best dishwashers, looking at products ranging from the cheap to the expensive and for families large and small. To make our picks, we looked at the reviews on Reviewed.com, Consumer Reports, CNet, Good Housekeeping and many other sites.

We also looked at the top sellers and reviews on sites such as Best Buy and Home Depot. Looking at all of these sources, we chose these dishwashers on the basis of price, features, performance and other factors.

5 things to look for when buying a dishwasher

Credit: Whirlpool

(Image credit: Whirlpool)

Style
Most dishwashers are built-in models, which means that they are designed to fit in a space, called the cutout, under the countertop alongside your cabinets. These dishwashers are usually a standard size (about 24 inches wide and deep and 35 inches high), but make sure that you check both the dishwasher size and the cutout space before you buy a model.

Other dishwashers are the stand-alone or portabletype, which are designed for temporary installation. These clip on to your faucet and drain into your sink. If you are short on space, a countertop or work-top model might work for you. These sit on your countertop but can be permanently plumbed in and connected. They offer only a single rack, though, so you can't fit as many dishes into them. If you are single, that might be an acceptable compromise.

Sensor
Many dishwashers include a device called a turbidity sensor, which detects food from your dishes in the rinse water. These models can detect when your dishes are clean: If the water is clean, all of the dirt and food has been removed. These washers are preferable as they are more efficient and can wash lightly soiled dishes quicker.

Noise
A noisy dishwasher can be very distracting, so look for quiet models. Most models come with a noise rating, indicating the amount of sound they produced in testing. The lower this number (in decibels), the quieter they are. However, remember that dishwashers have to be properly installed to be quiet, with the noise dampening that covers them in place and not squashed or creased.

Capacity
It's rather difficult to measure how many dishes a dishwasher can hold, as this depends on the type of dishes you put in the machine. Most manufacturers offer a number that indicates how many place settings can fit inside, each composed of a dinner plate, dessert plate, glass, soup bowl, tea cup and saucer, and cutlery. A large dishwasher may hold 15 place settings, while a compact dishwasher may hold seven or eight.

MORE: Best Refrigerators: French Door, Side by Side, Bottom Freezer and More

However, that isn't a very useful measure (unless you live in Downton Abbey), as it doesn't include larger dishes, casserole bowls or other cooking devices that real people put in dishwashers. Instead, the better way to think about capacity is to look at the number of dishes you typically put into a dishwasher and think about how they might fit into the washer models you are considering.

Racks 
All dishwashers hold dishes using racks, which slide out when you're loading and unloading. It's important to find out how easy these racks are to slide out when the machine is fully loaded, as well as whether they are adjustable. With a good dishwasher, you can move the racks up and down a bit to accommodate larger dishes.

Another helpful feature is adjustable tines, the bits of the rack that pike up and hold the dishes in place. Some dishwashers have fold-down tines, which makes it easier to put in larger bowls and dishes. If the tines are fixed, this can make it difficult to get these larger dishes in place.