You are probably researching premium dishwashers, and KitchenAid vs. Thermador dishwashers is a worthwhile comparison on paper. Both are upscale brands.
Dishwasher Display at Yale Appliance in Framingham
At a Glance
However, this comparison is not about a better dishwasher.
Your choice depends on two factors - when you are buying your dishwasher and what appliances you are buying with your dishwasher.
At the end of the article, you will know what brand to consider, when to buy it, and how to package your kitchen.
You will also learn about Thermador's new drying technology, and expected reliability of both dishwashers.
This comparison will be interesting.Short on time? Get our free Dishwasher Buying Guide
Thermador Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Boston
Thermador dishwashers are the same as Bosch. Bosch acquired them in the 1990s for their cooking products.
Most companies relabel after acquiring other companies because it's cheaper than building new products. Whirlpool relabeled Kitchen and Maytag products shortly after their acquisitions.
Their new high-end Thermador Sapphire $2,399 and Thermador Star Sapphire $2,799 are unique from Bosch (for now) because they employ zeolite in the drying cycle.
Zeolite is an element from volcanic ash and used in many different applications from supplements to nuclear power plant clean ups (seriously).
I initially searched zeolite months ago for another article, and its many uses are astounding.
In a dishwasher, zeolite increases heat and absorbs moisture. It allows Thermador to advertise a 20-minute wash and dry cycle. I will show a video of dishes washed and dried using zeolite.
Then again, you probably do not want to spend $2,399-$2,799 on a dishwasher. After reading this, you may spend way less.
KitchenAid Full Kitchen Display
Back when I started full time at Yale in 1986, KitchenAid owned the premium dishwasher market. Back then it was manufactured by Hobart, a commercial dishwasher company.
Like many products built back then, it was a workhorse. You could expect 20 years out of your KitchenAid.
Whirlpool bought KitchenAid in the early 1990s. However, around the same time, Bosch entered the market with quieter dishwashers with stainless steel tubs.
Quiet became a new standard. The style of homes changed, with more open living spaces. Living rooms and kitchens merged, so you don't want to hear your dishwasher over your TV or music.
Let's take a look at a few Thermador and KitchenAid dishwashers to compare.
Thermador DWHD650WFM - $1,399
- 6 Wash cycles/4 Options - Sensor Touch Controls
- 48 dBa
- Stainless Steel Tub
- AquaStop Plus Leak Protection System
- InfoLight – Tells you that the dishwasher is running
- Top Rack for Cutlery
- 16 Place Setting
- Adjustable Tines
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Double Dipped Tines
- 2-Year Warranty
KitchenAid KDTE334GPS - $799-1199
- 39 dBA
- Fan-Enabled ProDry System
- Third Level Rack
- Bottle Wash Option
- ProWash(TM) Cycle
- Extended ProDry Option
- SatinGlide Max Rails (Upper Rack)
- 2 Rows Fold-Down Tines in Upper Rack
- Fold-Down Shelf with Stemware Holder
- Express Wash
- Utility Basket (Upper Rack)
- Sani-Rinse Option
- Premium Adjusters in Upper Rack
- Stainless steel tub
KitchenAid KDTE334GPS Vs. Thermador DWHD650WFM
Most of my comparisons end with products have different strengths and drawbacks. Depending on how you use either, should be the basis of your choice.
Just not in this case.
KitchenAid is the better dishwasher. In fact, this model is KitchenAid's best model, yet not their most expensive.
Here is how they stack up.
Dishwasher Silence Rating
KitchenAid 39 DBs Vs. Bosch at 48 DBs. KitchenAid is silent and one of the quietest dishwashers, whereas, at 48 DBs, you will hear the Thermador.
Pro Tip: Any dishwasher 44 DB and under is considered quiet.
KitchenAid's Dishwasher Cycles
Bottle Wash - KitchenAid has separate sprayers on the top rack. It's excellent for sports bottles and baby bottles.
KitchenAid's ProScrub System
ProScrub - Have a cooked lasagna pan left overnight? KitchenAid has concentrated sprays for more cleaning power.
Dishwasher Wi-Fi Compatibility
Thermador Wi-Fi Home Connect
Thermador does have Wi-Fi through Home Connect, so you can see the time remaining or turn on or off your dishwasher remotely.
Thermador Custom Panel Dishwasher
The only other Thermador advantage is when you are placing cabinet fronts on your dishwasher.
Thermador and other European style dishwashers do not protrude from your cabinets for a much better look.
KitchenAid's and Thermador's service rate within the first year looks almost identical.
Most Reliable Dishwashers 2019
|Service Qty||Shipped Qty||Service Ratio|
|Signature Kitchen Suite||0||17||0.00 %|
|LG Electronics||4||78||5.13 %|
|Bosch Appliances||303||2735||11.08 %|
|Fisher & Paykel||42||175||24.00 %|
|Bosch - Benchmark||38||158||24.05 %|
|Frigidaire Gallery||5||8||62.50 %|
|Frigidaire Professional||2||2||100.00 %|
|Grand Total||1159||8852||13.09 %|
KitchenAid is a better dishwasher and is $200-780 cheaper depending on when you buy it.
Except if you are buying this:
Thermador Professional Range
With the purchase of qualified Thermador cooking appliances, such as a cooktop and wall oven or a professional range, this dishwasher becomes free after a $1,399 rebate.
Now, what about Thermador's best Sapphire and Star Sapphire dishwashers?
KitchenAid Vs. Thermador Sapphire and Star Sapphire Dishwashers
Thermador Sapphire - $2,299
Thermador Star Sapphire - $2,799
Both Thermador's dishwashers have the best drying methods using zeolite. The Thermador Star Sapphire has a 20-minute wash and dry cycle because it preheats the water an additional 20 minutes.
Moreover, it works well for light to medium soiled dishes (I was surprised). Here is our video test.
Thermador Star Sapphire Dishwasher Test [VIDEO]
KitchenAid is still quieter at 39 vs. 42 or 44 dBAs depending on the model and has the bottle wash and scrub features. Thermador has the best drying in the industry. It even dries plastics well.
The price once again depends on if you are buying Thermador cooking for the rebate. Then again, this comparison can rely on one other variable.
When Should You Buy Appliances?
I wrote this before July 4, 2019 so KitchenAid is now $799, its lowest price during the year. Off promotion, it can be as high as $1,199.
You should plan your appliance buying around significant holidays.
Because many of these holidays stretch on for weeks or even a month, don't worry.
Black Friday is the best, and it's unofficially Black All November to December 5.
July 4 is the last week of June to July 7. Presidents' Day in February is now Presidents' Three Weeks. Memorial Day and Columbus Day are the other two holidays.
Tax-Free Weekend in Massachusetts is now August 17 and 18th and will have Labor Day promotions.
Which Do You Buy - a KitchenAid or Thermador Dishwasher?
Well, it depends.
KitchenAid is better than the entry Thermador dishwasher unless you are buying a qualifying Thermador cooking appliance. Free is even better in this once lopsided comparison.
If you are placing cabinets on your dishwasher, buy the Thermador (or cheaper Bosch equivalent), because it looks much better.
On the better Thermador dishwashers, you do have the best drying available and the wash on the upgrade.
However, it depends when you buy the KitchenAid and if you are buying a qualifying Thermador cooking appliance.
At $799 during promotion, KitchenAid will be less expensive by $380 with better washing features versus the Thermador with much better drying features.
In the end, it has nothing to do with reliability but other factors like when you will buying the dishwasher, what else will you are buying with this dishwasher and will you be placing on a panel on this dishwasher.
Want to learn more about Bosch, Miele, KitchenAid, and other dishwashers? Download the Yale Dishwasher Buying Guide with features, specs, and inside buying tips to all the major brands. Over 580,000 people have downloaded a Yale Guide.
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