How To Buy A Dishwasher (Reviews/Ratings)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  October 18, 2019  |  7 Min. Read

Dishwashers  |  How to Buy Appliances

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Yale Appliance Dishwasher Display in Framingham

Dishwashers were once easy to buy. Now you can spend $300 to almost $3,000 for a dishwasher, with the main differences being their cycles and their levels of quietness.

In this article, we'll cover the new dishwasher features, price, and reliability, based on 34,687 service calls our service department logged last year.

At the end of the article, we'll show you how you can get our free dishwasher buying guide with information on the best brands, features, and latest designs.

And of course you shouldn't spend $3,000 for a dishwasher, so you will also learn when to buy a dishwasher as well as how to get a good dishwasher for free.

How To Buy A Dishwasher

Dishwasher Sound Level

First, let's talk about quietness.

First of all, every manufacturer will make at least a few quiet dishwashers. Forty-four decibels or lower is considered quiet. Anything over that, you can hear, and anything over 50 is pretty loud.

Watch the video below to hear the difference.

 

The biggest mistake you can make is paying too much for a super quiet dishwasher. There is no need to spend $1,000 more for a 37-decibel dishwasher unless it has other features you like or will use.

Try to find a dishwasher that's 44 decibels or less, and don't pay for anything you don't need.

Click here for our Free Dishwasher Buying Guide to learn more about the quietest dishwashers.

Size

Standard Dishwasher Size

A mistake you will not make is sizing a dishwasher. They are designed to fit either a 24 or 18- inch cabinet with over 90% being 24 inches.

You do have to be careful if you want a shorter ADA-compliant dishwasher. There are only a few models with a limited selection.

Short on time? Get our free Dishwasher Buying GuideLearn More

Tub Composition

Samsung Dishwasher Plastic Tub

Samsung Plastic Dishwasher Tub 

Both plastic and stainless tubs will hold water and not leak. Stainless, however, is non-porous, so germs and odors don't form on the surface like plastic.

Most better brands, including Miele, Bosch, Asko, KitchenAid, GE Café, and most Samsungs, have a stainless tub.

Miele-Wash-Arm

Miele Stainless Steel Dishwasher Tub

The less expensive brands like Frigidaire, GE, Whirlpool, Maytag, Bosch Ascenta, and the cheaper Samsungs use plastic for the tub or bottom.

Dishwasher Cycles

Dishwasher Cycles

Bosch Dishwasher Cycles At Yale Appliance

Dishwasher cycles have pretty much stayed the same over the years. Cycles control wash, rinse and dry times from 20 minutes to over 3 hours for Miele's cycles designed to wash hood filters and stove grates.

These include heavy, pots + pans, tough, extended wash, normal, and delicate.

Many upscale brands have a speed wash for a light load. Auto washes from every brand will use a soil sensor to adjust the cycle based on the food off the dishes.

You can add heat options for the wash and rinse cycles as well for more thorough washing.

Want to learn more about the best dishwashers, their cycles, and special features? Click here for our FREE Dishwasher Buying Guide. 

Special Wash Features

Many brands have added special wash cycles with direct sprays for bottles like KitchenAid or for silverware like GE.

Samsung StormWash and KitchenAid ProScrub dishwashers have special sprays just for baked On dishes.

KitchenAid Dishwasher ProScrub

KitchenAid Dishwasher ProScrub

Thermador has a 20-minute wash and dry cycle for up to 5 loads of dishes in a row.

Drying

Drying plastics has been an issue. That's because many dishwashers use the residual steam from the wash and JetDry.

Many brands have addressed this since the last time you bought a dishwasher with advanced drying technology.

Here are some dishwashers brands to consider that do a better job drying your dishwashers: Samsung, Miele, and Bosch will pop open to release the heat and steam.

Click here to read more about the best drying dishwashers you should consider. 

Miele will also allow outside air to the side of the dishwasher, so the hotter air is attracted to the cooler sides of the tub and dissipated as water.

In the better KitchenAid's. There is a heating element as well as a fan to extract heat and moisture.

The better Bosch and Thermador dishwashers have the best drying in their CrystalDry and Sapphire series.

They add the mineral zeolite to the wash system to absorb moisture and add heat. It can completely dry plastics even on Thermador's 20-minute wash and dry cycle.

Watch our video test below of the new Thermador Star Sapphire Dishwasher's 20-minute wash and dry cycle.

 

Racks

Miele-Dishwasher-inside-rack

Miele Dishwasher Racks

Third racks for silverware are now standard for dishwashers over $700.

The better dishwashers also have multi-levels for the top rack to accommodate different dishes and plates from the top and bottom.

Miele has the best rack system. All the tines can fold up or detach to fit all kinds of dishes.

miele-dishwasher-cutlery-tray-gifMiele Dishwasher 3rd Rack System At Yale Appliance In Boston

However, you have to pay $1799 and up. You can buy dishwashers with decent racks for far less.

Design 

European Dishwasher Display At Yale Appliance

European Dishwasher Display At Yale Appliance

The most common exterior finish is stainless steel. You can get most of them with exterior or hidden controls, and a variety of handles like pocket handles a towel bar, or exposed controls like you probably have now.

You can also get fancy with Miele's knock to open or Thermador and Gaggenau's Push-to-Open and have no handle at all.

Black Stainless Steel Appliance Finish 

kitchenaid-dishwashers

KitchenAid Black Stainless Steel Dishwasher

Black Stainless is a popular new finish. If you are reading this, know that Black Stainless is an oxidized coating. It is easy to scratch revealing stainless underneath, and impossible to repair that scratch

Samsung, and especially Bosch, are the most scratch-resistant.

Take a look at the results of our scratch test by clicking this link. 

Reliability

In terms of reliability, based on our own 34,687 service calls logged last year, Samsung, Bosch, and Miele are the most reliable dishwashers. The average dishwasher has a repair rate of 13% over the first year.

Most Reliable Dishwashers For 2019

  Service Qty Shipped Qty Service Ratio
Signature Kitchen Suite 0 17 0.00 %
Whirlpool 44 1030 4.27 %
Gaggenau 2 42 4.76 %
LG Electronics 4 78 5.13 %
Samsung 85 915 9.29 %
Maytag 3 29 10.34 %
Bosch Appliances 303 2735 11.08 %
Miele 155 1078 14.38 %
KitchenAid 115 705 16.31 %
Thermador 123 711 17.30 %
Jenn-Air 170 908 18.72 %
Blomberg 6 28 21.43 %
Fisher & Paykel 42 175 24.00 %
Bosch - Benchmark 38 158 24.05 %
Asko 47 195 24.10 %
Amana 3 11 27.27 %
Frigidaire 10 22 45.45 %
Frigidaire Gallery 5 8 62.50 %
Electrolux 2 2 100.00 %
Frigidaire Professional 2 2 100.00 %
Grand Total 1159 8852 13.09 %

Good repair service can be tough to find in some areas. Make sure you know who will be servicing your appliance BEFORE you buy it.

When Is The Best Time To A Dishwasher?

If you don't need a dishwasher right away, the best time to buy a dishwasher is around promotional holidays. Black Friday (now all of November), followed by Tax-Free Weekend, Labor Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, and July 4th.

You can save 10-35%, not just on dishwashers but almost every appliance, by timing your purchases around then.

Best Times To Buy Any Appliance:

  • Black Friday
  • Tax-Free Weekend
  • Labor Day
  • Presidents' Day
  • Memorial Day
  • July Fourth

How Do You Get A Dishwasher For Free?

Some premium brands, like Thermador and Jenn-Air, will throw in a dishwasher with a professional range purchase. Many other brands like Miele and Viking will give you a substantial discount to complete the package.

It's worthwhile if you like the ranges and other appliances.

That almost $3,000 dishwasher is reduced to $1,499, when you buy the matching professional range.

Click here to read about our best stainless steel kitchen packages.

How Much Should You Spend on a Dishwasher?

You can buy a decent dishwasher for $400-500. You'll get a stainless steel tub and all the basic wash cycles and options at $500-600. Between 600-800, you have better racks, and it'll be quieter.

After $800, you have some of the more specialized cycles like Eco, Speed cycles, and concentrated washes like in KitchenAid and Samsung.

After $900, you can have a super-quiet machine, better racks, cycles, and better drying options. From $1150, you have the better Zeolite drying in Bosch and the best racks from Miele. Then you have knock to open doors and the most advanced cycles from Thermador

What Brands Should You Consider?

There are a lot of good brands to consider. The three best dishwasher brands, Miele, KitchenAid and Bosch, started as exclusively dishwasher brands and then moved to other products.

Samsung has some great dishwashers from $400-700. Their Stormwash dishwasher has excellent racks, good quietness, and drying capability.

Miele is a solid, well-built machine. Their wash system is technically the best with a full wash spray on the top with some excellent drying as well. Their racks on their best machines are detachable and foldable to fit any platter or dish.

KitchenAid is decent, but its a middle line unit is the only one to consider with concentrated sprays, bottle washes, good drying capability, and an unbelievable 39 decibels for around $800-1000.

Their better machines add different wash arms and windows so you can see your dishes being washed. It's not worth the $4-600 higher price tag

Bosch is another brand to consider with excellent quietness, good racking, and affordable pricing from $550-1200. Their Crystal dry is the best for drying plastics.

GE Café, Whirlpool, and Asko all have interesting products to consider as well.

Click here for our Free Dishwasher Buying Guide featuring all the best dishwasher brands, their best features, as well as product reviews.  

Our Final Advice For Buying A Dishwasher

Remember: you don't have to pay a lot of money for a great dishwasher.

Always make sure you know who will be fixing your dishwasher if it breaks. Lastly, if you can, try to time your purchase around promotional holidays or tie it in with a package to save the most money.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Quietest Dishwasher?

Overall Bosch is the quietest dishwasher brand. However, if you want to take a nap next to a dishwasher, Bosch Benchmark, JennAir and Miele all have dishwashers that go as low as 38 decibels.

These units can cost as much as $3000.

The human ear can't detect a difference between 44 decibels and lower, so this isn't a feature you should pay extra for.

2. What's The Best 18-Inch Dishwasher?

There aren't a lot of options for the best 18-inch dishwashers, but it's an important question for older cities like Boston with a lot of small apartments that can't accommodate a full-size machine.

Bosch and Miele are the two best companies in this category although Frigidaire and Monogram . Bosch will be less featured and also less expensive.

Additional Resources

Download the Yale Dishwasher Buying Guide with features, specs and inside buying tips to all the major brands. Over 600,000 people have downloaded a Yale Guide.

Free Dishwasher Buying Guide

Related Articles

WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST US?

A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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