The 18-inch dishwasher is almost exclusively an urban phenomenon. Typically, smaller apartments have smaller spaces with smaller kitchens producing the need for smaller appliances.
18-inch dishwashers are more popular than other smaller appliances like stoves and refrigerators where more space is often needed. You also do not lose much room in the dishwasher between 18 and 24-inch dishwasher.
24-inch dishwasher vs. 18-inch dishwasher
When I started in this industry, 18-inch dishwashers were manufactured by one company, D&M Industries. Frigidaire and others labeled this dishwasher.
Then two significant events occurred; D&M went out of business and the European manufacturers started importing into the U.S. The Europeans use 18-inch dishwashers almost exclusively since their kitchens are generally smaller.
Although many brands like Whirlpool, KitchenAid and Electrolux do not offer a 18 inch dishwasher, there is more choice than ever. Let's look at the five best.
Best 18-Inch Dishwashers
How does Frigidaire manufacture a better 18-inch dishwasher than the more popular 24-inch size? This dishwasher has a stainless steel tank, every feature from pots and pans to normal and china crystal, at a decent price. However, at 55 DBs it is not too quiet. The Frigidaire is still perhaps the best value of the five.
Blomberg DWS55100SS - $749
If you like integrated controls, Blomberg has their 18" model which has fingerprint resistant stainless steel and at 48 DBs, it's not too loud. It also has additional fold down shelving on the top rack. Blomberg is a niche brand. Their dishwasher, however, is not widely sold. We do not sell it at Yale.
Bosch was the first dishwasher to focus on quietness at 44 DBs as well as function (read the post The Quietest Dishwasher Revealed). It is also a decent price with every major cycle. It features a 3rd rack used for cooking utensils and extra long silverware adds up to 30% more capacity.
Miele G4760SCVI - $1,399 (+$295 for stainless panel)
The best dishwasher sold anywhere is a Miele. The only part not manufactured directly by Miele are the rollers under the racks, so the service rate on a Miele is less than any other dishwasher listed.
Miele also has a unique and the only real drying system. The dishwasher lets air into the exterior of the side wall. The steam becomes attracted to the side and dissipates.
At $1,399, the price is higher than every other dishwasher.
GE Monogram ZBD1870NSS - $1,099
We do not sell GE Monogram anymore, and this is arguably the best piece in the Monogram line with good features and a stainless steel tank. But at 60 DBs, you will definitely hear it.
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For more information about dishwashers, including 18-inch dishwashers, read The Yale Dishwasher Buyers Guide Dishwasher Buying Guide. Over 200,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on October 28, 2013 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.