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KitchenAid vs. Thermador Dishwashers (Reviews / Ratings / Prices)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  June 28, 2019  |  6 Min. Read

Thermador  |  Dishwashers  |  KitchenAid

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You are probably researching premium dishwashers, and KitchenAid vs. Thermador dishwashers is a worthwhile comparison on paper. Both are upscale brands.

Yale Appliance Dishwasher Display in Framingham

 Dishwasher Display at Yale Appliance in Framingham

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.

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Thermador

Yale-Appliance-Thermador-Display

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

KitchenAid-kitchen-dishwasher

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

Themador-DWHD650WFM

Thermador DWHD650WFM Interior

Features:

  • 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 

(On Sale for $799 until July 7, 2019).

KitchenAid-KDTE334GPS-2

KitchenAid-KDTE334GPS-1

Features:

  • 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.

Dishwasher Cycles

KitchenAid-KDTE334GPS-Control-Panel

KitchenAid's Dishwasher Cycles

Bottle Wash - KitchenAid has separate sprayers on the top rack. It's excellent for sports bottles and baby bottles.

ProScrub-kitchenaid-1

KitchenAid's ProScrub System

ProScrub - Have a cooked lasagna pan left overnight? KitchenAid has concentrated sprays for more cleaning power.

Dishwasher Wi-Fi Compatibility

Picture1-7

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.

Dishwasher Panels 

Thermador Custom Panel Dishwasher

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.

Dependability

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 %
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 %

You can read more about the Most Reliable Dishwashers by clicking here.

KitchenAid is a better dishwasher and is $200-780 cheaper depending on when you buy it.

Except if you are buying this:

 

Thermador PRG366GH Professional Range

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

KitchenAid KDTE334GPS - $799

Thermador Sapphire - $2,299

Thermador Star Sapphire - $2,799

KitchenAid-KDTE334GPS-2 Thermador Sapphire DWHD770WPR Thermador Sapphire DWHD770WPR
  • 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
  • StarDry - The most exceptional drying power in the world. Introducing Thermador's Zeolite technology, reducing the need to towel dry items. No other dishwasher dries better.
  • Push to Open dishwasher opens with either a push or pull,
  • so loading is easier, even when your hands are full
  • Sapphire Glow internal light illuminates glassware
  • Adjustable Chef's Tool Drawer® delivers added loading
  • 8 Wash cycles/7 Options
  • Stainless Sensor Touch Controls
  • Star Speed - Wash and Dry dishes in 20 minutes
  • Star Dry - Heated Zeolite Dry
  • 44 dBa
  • Stainless Steel Tub
  • AquaStop Plus Leak Protection System
  • InfoLight Timer
  • Star Lighting
  • MyWay Rack
  • 15 place setting
  • Adjustable Tines
  • Ball bearing glide racks
  • Double Dipped Tines
  • Water Softener

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.

Additional Resources

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.

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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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