At a Glance
KitchenAid has changed its dishwasher series over the last few years with new features like new racks and new washing and drying systems.
But is it finally competitive to Bosch and Miele?
In this article, you will learn all the best features and models of KitchenAid dishwashers.
We will also show you the ones not to buy and focus on their most popular and available models.
This article includes reliability based on 37,061 service calls completed by our service department last year, along with comparisons to Bosch and Miele.
Should you buy a KitchenAid dishwasher? You will know after reading this article.Short on time? Get our free Dishwasher Buying Guide
Are KitchenAid Dishwashers Reliable?
KitchenAid is only second to Miele at 11% versus Mieles 8.2% for a premium dishwasher based on sales versus service calls.
They were more reliable than Bosch last year by a bit under 2%.
11% is excellent for a premium dishwasher. Most of the other brands are more basic or were sold to builders.
Dishwasher Reliability From December 2019 to November 2020
|Fisher & Paykel||27.8%|
Each brand represented has a minimum of 50 units sold and a total sample of over 10,000 pieces.
KitchenAid has seven models in their lineup. Bosch at one time had over 100, so
KitchenAid should be easy to buy in theory.
But many of their models have not been available like most other brands.
Their least expensive, the KDFE104DSS, for example, hasn't been produced in over a year.
Many are available in three different styles. Given the availability problems, look at all the styles of a particular model.
If it's not available with a towel bar handle, then try it with a pocket handle.
For simplicity's sake, most of my references are for their most popular towel bar or "T" models.
KitchenAid dishwashers are available in the following styles:
- Iconic KitchenAid Handle Design (Towel-Bar)
- KitchenAid Pocket Handle
- Kitchen Front Control
- KitchenAid Panel-Ready
Even so, the two best models to consider and KitchenAid's most popular are the KDTE204 and KDTM604 series.
KitchenAid Dishwasher Models to Avoid
KitchenAid does have two better models, the KDTM704 at $1,499 and the KDTM804 at $1,899, but you are only adding a knife caddy, light, and glide-out racks.
It's $200-600 more than the 604, which has all the other best features.
Another KitchenAid you should probably not consider is their 304 panel-ready model.
Unlike the European brands like Bosch, Asko, Beko, and Miele, KitchenAid's panel-ready dishwasher protrudes past the cabinet.
It looks like a dishwasher with a panel stuck on it rather than a cabinet, which is the intended look.
Now let's look at the two best models to consider. They have different feature sets.
Best KitchenAid Dishwashers for 2021
KitchenAid KDTE204KPS - $999
The 204 series is offered in a few different styles and has been selling at about $999.
It has KitchenAid's traditional wash system with a spray arm on the top, middle, and bottom.
KitchenAid Dishwasher Bottom Wash Arm
You would think that three wash arms would be the standard, but Bosch most notably has 2 with a sprinkler head on the top.
You have decent racks, including a third for silverware plus the primary cycles and options.
KitchenAid Third Silverware Tray
Jet Dry plus time, this series dries with condensation, a fancy term for the residual steam and heat from the wash.
You have a heated dry option, but adding heat to an already hot dishwasher does not dry much faster.
What makes this dishwasher unique is its quietness.
It is 39 decibels which means it's noiseless. A Bosch or Miele dishwasher at 38 decibels will cost $2,149 and $1,999, respectively.
Yet the KitchenAid is below $1000.
Not to confuse the matter, but 44 decibels is silent enough to be considered quiet.
KitchenAid KDTM604KPS - $1,299
These are radically different dishwashers from their regular (yet unnamed series). The best model in this series is the KDTM604KPS.
As you can see, the third rack is much larger. You can fit some glasses and cups as well as silverware.
KitchenAid Dishwasher Third Rack
The rack also has holes for a separate set of spray for the 4th level of washing action.
This series dries with its pro drying system.
When the fan pulls air into the dishwasher, the warmer air is attracted to the cooler air and dissipates as water.
It's like when you jog in the winter. It's the steam you see as hot and cold air merge and dissipate as steam rises from your head.
If this sounds exactly like the Miele CleanDry system, it's nearly identical.
Miele has a port for air to flow through, while KitchenAid uses a fan to pull the air.
You have a better washing and drying system as well as the largest rack.
In terms of quietness, the M series model adds a filter for cleaner water but is louder at 44 decibels than the less expensive 204 series.
KitchenAid Dishwasher Filter
KitchenAid now employs two filters and a new system to ensure fresher water is cleaning the dishes on the bottom of the dishwasher.
Many companies have one filter, but now KitchenAid has more. In theory, this should work better.
Remember, 44 decibels is still considered quiet.
How Does KitchenAid Compare to Miele and Bosch?
In between $999-$1,299, KitchenAid is compelling.
KitchenAid vs. Bosch vs. Miele Dishwashers at $999
KitchenAid KDTE204KPS ($999) | Bosch SHS863WD5N ($849) | Miele G4228SCUSS ($999)
Miele offers their clean, dry system at $999.
Bosch offers AutoAir drying, which automatically pops the door to release steam and heat and speed drying.
KitchenAid has competitive cycles and is the quietest of the three.
KitchenAid vs. Bosch vs. Miele Dishwashers Over $1,299
KitchenAid KDTM604KPS ($1,299) | Bosch SHP878ZPSN ($1,349) |Miele G7106SCUSS ($1,499)
At $1,299, KitchenAid may be the best model.
Miele only offers their better third rack and another cycle over their $999 model.
Bosch has the best drying in their $1,399 CrystalDry dishwashers, which use volcanic elements to dry even plastic.
It works. We tested it.
KitchenAid will have a better wash system, a bigger rack, and the Pro Dry system introducing cooler air into the dishwasher.
Bosch and Miele will fit within a cabinet, but KitchenAid will protrude, so look at the other brands.
KitchenAid vs. Bosch vs. Miele Dishwashers Over $1,399
KitchenAid KDTM704KPS($1,499) |Bosch SHVM88Z73N ($1,399)|Miele G7366SCVISF ($1,999)
Bosch adds their CrystalDry feature on their $1399 dishwashers.
Miele adds their QuickIntense wash with higher pressure to wash and dry in 60 minutes. The door pops open to release heat and steam as well, like the Bosch at $1,000+.
Miele's $1,999 and better dishwashers have the only automatic dispenser with 20 wash capabilities dubbed the AutoDos.
It releases the right amount of detergent at the right time. Their $2,999 dishwasher has iPhone-like swipe controls and a 5-year warranty.
Should You Buy a KitchenAid Dishwasher?
Yes, between $999-$1,299, it could be considered the best combination of washing, drying, racking, and quietness features.
You don't need to spend any more than $1,299 for a KitchenAid dishwasher.
Look at the other brands for more premium dishwashers over $1,500, especially if you place a panel on your dishwasher.
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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.
A Note About Pricing