Best Dishwasher Cutlery Racks (Reviews/Ratings/Prices)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  December 28, 2015  |  7 Min. Read


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One of the latest conveniences added to dishwashers is a third rack option which is located above the traditional top rack designed to accommodate cutlery, larger cooking utensils and other miscellaneous items.

Miele dishwasher with 3D cutlery tray

This feature was first introduced by Miele back in 1987 and is mimicked by many other brands today such as Bosch, Thermador and KitchenAid to name a few.

Should you buy a dishwasher with a third rack? If so, which brand? We will look at both questions and make a few recommendations in this article.

Third Cutlery Rack vs. No Cutlery Rack

You may have heard differing opinions on a third rack. Some claim the cutlery rack makes it more difficult to put taller items on the upper rack and also minimizes space at the top of the machine.

However, all the dishwashers with a cutlery rack have an adjustable top rack and will also save room in the lower rack by omitting the utensil basket.

Dishwashers third cutlery rack vs no cutlery rack

Another controversial topic deals with the effectiveness in the cleaning when items are placed in the cutlery tray.

Most models have a spray arm specifically designated for the cutlery tray, ensuring the best cleaning for these items.

dishwasher upper spray arm third rack

In addition to this, some critics argue that it is more time consuming to load and unload utensils when utilizing this feature but it has been found that this is not the case at all.

Although the tray gives you the option to strategically place your forks, knives and spoons between the individual tines, it is not completely necessary. You can grab a handful of utensils all at once when unloading without touching the end, so it is more hygienic.

Let's look at a few of the best brands offering cutlery trays.

Best Dishwashers With Cutlery Racks

Bosch / Thermador

Bosch and Thermador, both part of the BSH corporation offer many models with the third rack option. Unlike Miele, these will also come standard with a basket. You have the option to use one or the other or both. The trays in these models, however, are not as easily removed as in the Miele.

bosch dishwasher third cutlery rackThey do offer some adjustability in the tines as well as in the tray itself giving the ability to customize the space for the items being washed.

Learn how to choose the right dishwasher in our free Dishwasher Buying Guide


As part of the KitchenAid dishwasher transition to newer models, they have attempted to join the pack with a very basic third rack feature. Although it offers the additional space its flexibility really ends there. Unlike its competitors, this model offers no adjustability within the tines or the height of the rack itself.

kitchenaid dishwasher third cutlery rack


The Miele Futura Classic Plus Series G4925US is the only model in the Miele line that does not come standard with a cutlery tray. Being the innovators of this feature, they have nearly perfected it with their “3D Cutlery Tray” which is available in the Crystal, Dimension, Lumen and Diamond series.

Miele dishwasher 3D Cutlery Tray

The 3D Cutlery tray can be adjusted in three directions and can be adapted to various load arrangements. This accomodates different sized utensils like whisks and ladles. 


The tray is also removable, giving you the ability to easily transport items from the dishwasher to the utensil drawer.


In the models with a cutlery tray, there is not a basket included but one can be purchased as an accessory at an additional cost.

Final Thoughts

The average selling price of a dishwasher is $499-599. Bosch with a cutlery rack starts at $749 with Miele and KitchenAid both over $900 for cutlery rack. Quite frankly, you can live without a cutlery rack.

However, the cutlery rack is a nice option as it allows for more room in the dishwasher for pots and pans. It is also a very organized space for your cutlery as well, and there is less of a chance for fine cutlery to be scratched during the wash cycle.

You never touch the tops of the utensils as well. Think about that as we enter winter when everyone has a cold. In terms of the best cutlery rack, Miele's 3D Cutlery tray is the easiest to unload silverware and is adjustable.

Additional Resources

Have more questions on dishwashers? Get the Yale Dishwasher Buying Guide. It explains American vs. European dishwashers, different brands, plus full explanations of cycles and features. It is a quick yet informative read. Well over 135,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Free Dishwasher Buying Guide

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

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