At a Glance
If you are looking for a premium dishwasher, you will probably be looking at Miele and KitchenAid. Both are excellent but completely different.
It's odd, the most popular dishwashers in this comparison are probably the least, not the most expensive.
In this article, you will learn about the differences between Miele and KitchenAid, their reliability based on 35,256 service calls completed last year, and different features from both brands.
In the end, you'll look at completely contradictory information to choose the right dishwasher for your home.
First, let's look at the fundamental differences between American-made (KitchenAid) and European-made (Miele) dishwashers.
American Vs. European Dishwashers
Best Dishwashers at Yale Appliance in Hanover
One of the reasons you may have chosen a European dishwasher over the American dishwasher in the past is quietness.
Like KitchenAid, American dishwashers used a noisier soft food disposer while the Europeans used a washable and noiseless filter.
To solve this problem, KitchenAid released a new line of dishwashers three years ago with filters in the bottom for the quieter decibel ratings of their European competition.
Dishwasher Sound Level Comparison [VIDEO]
KitchenAid also included its high-end glide racks at a more affordable price and a third cutlery rack for silverware.
This year, KitchenAid has a brand new rack and wash system in most of its lines.
It's kind of confusing, I know.Short on time? Get our free Dishwasher Buying Guide
Dishwashers With Panels
Dishwasher Types and Panels at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Now, American and European dishwashers have started to mirror each other.
However, the European-made dishwashers sit flush with the cabinet, so they are much better putting a panel on your dishwasher to match your cabinets.
KitchenAid used to buy their paneled dishwashers from Bosch for a brief period.
Now, let's look at the brands and their dishwashers.
Miele Kitchen Featuring An Front Control Dishwasher at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Miele is the largest family-owned appliance company in the world, headquartered in Germany.
They manufacture almost every component for their appliances, including the controls. Each unit is tested before leaving the factory.
In a world of outsourcing, Miele designs, engineers and manufactures all their equipment in one factory.
This creates a more reliable machine (usually), but a higher price for a similar feature set.
Miele dishwashers are also known for their washing and drying systems priced from $999 with their Classic series to $3,099 for their Diamond series.
For this comparison, we will compare their Classic and Futura Crystal series against similarly-priced KitchenAid dishwashers.
I will show you the upgraded models as well at the end of this section.
Hallmarks Of A Miele Dishwasher
They have three full spray arms one on the top, middle, and bottom versus two for many brands or two and a sprinkler in the top for Bosch.
Miele Dishwasher Interior Featuring Multiple Wash Arms
Miele has an intake at the bottom of the dishwasher to channel your cooler, drier kitchen air to the side of the dishwasher.
The hotter, moister air is attracted to the cooler side and dissipates as water.
The Futura Crystal will pop open at the end of the cycle to release excess steam and heat. The even better models will offer two intakes for even better drying starting at $2,299.
Miele was the original dishwasher with a third rack for silverware. In many ways, it's still the best.
Each piece of silverware is cradled, so it won't move and scratch other pieces. You can also remove it to store your silverware more easily.
Miele Dishwasher Cutlery Tray
The better models have the 3D (movable) cutlery tray allowing you to accommodate more glasses below.
Miele has decent racking. Yes, the top rack is adjustable like every other brand.
The better Mieles like the Futura Crystal are adjustable within the rack and removable to fit an odd-shaped dish or platter.
Like many German products, Miele does the small things well. Its double insulated pump almost guarantees no leaking.
Dishwasher leaks aren't typically an issue. However, when they do happen, it can be a big problem, especially in taller buildings.
Miele's Most Popular Dishwashers
What's The Difference Between The Miele Classic And Futura Crystal Series Dishwashers?
The Futura Crystal has more cycles. You can wash by type of pot or pan as well. For example, there is a cycle just for stove grates and hood filters. Its 3 hours and 16 minutes.
Miele Dishwasher Cycles
Quick/Intense is a 58-minute wash and dry cycle using heat and specially formulated tablets
The Futura's Crystal's rack is the best for any brand. They fold up or can be removed to accommodate any dish or pan.
Miele Dishwasher Racks For Odd-Shaped Dishes
All the parts in orange either flip up or are removable. It's simple to rack odd shape dishes in this dishwasher.
The Classic is 46 dBA, and the Futura Crystal is 45 dBA. The minimum standard for quietness is 44 dBA so that you will hear it in an open kitchen plan.
What Important Features Do You Gain By Upgrading Past The Futura Crystal?
The next series, the Dimension, and series above (where do they get these names?) has more adjustable racks. The third rack offers more functionality.
Intensive Wash has a heavy wash below and a lighter wash on the top to accommodate china and casserole dishes.
EcoSmart calculates the cheapest time to run the dishwasher.
Knock to Open
Instead of using a handle, knock the dishwasher twice, and it opens automatically.
The decibel level drops from 45 to 38 from the Futura Classic to The Diamond
The best Mieles will have two intakes at the bottom of the dishwasher for faster drying
Miele Dishwashers [VIDEO]
For years, KitchenAid has been a well-known brand.
KitchenAid produces solid, reliable dishwashers with a variety of features priced from $749 to $1,899.
After being beaten to market on the high-end by Bosch and Miele, KitchenAid has finally designed better dishwashers at more affordable prices.
They may have the best value dishwashers in the industry.
Hallmarks Of A KitchenAid Dishwasher
Since KitchenAid has changed so much in the last two years or even two months, it's hard to know. They have two levels of dishwashers.
The first series has the major wash cycles, three levels of wash, and a basic dry. Basic meaning the dishwashers use air and JetDry to dry your dishes like most brands.
KitchenAid also has heated drying for the final rinse, as well as the dry cycle.
It is also quiet - very quiet. It's 39 DBs or the rough sound equivalent of Mieles $2,699 Diamond dishwasher.
KitchenAid's main focus seems to be their "M" series dishwashers. Their best value dishwasher is the KDTM604.
Let me show you some graphs of KitchenAid's latest features.
Now a video explaining the graphs.
KitchenAid 600 Series Dishwasher [VIDEO]
KitchenAid Dishwasher Third Rack
It holds the most allowing you to fit smaller cups and saucers.
It now has four levels of wash action, including concentrated sprays from the rack. KitchenAid dishwashers now have a two-stage filter, so cleaner water washes your dishes.
It's like Miele. The fan pulls in air from the outside, dissipating the moisture as water. KitchenAid adds a heating element as well.
All M series dishwashers are 44 DBs as the second filter added some noise.
KitchenAid's Most Popular Dishwashers
KitchenAid Dishwasher KDTE204KPS - $749
KitchenAid 600 Series Dishwasher KDTM604ESS - $899
What's The Difference Between KitchenAid Dishwashers?
Pretty much everything except cycles.
Ironically the lesser expensive model is quieter. Its the quietest dishwasher in this price range.
The M series dishwashers have better racks with the new beefed-up third rack. It has a second filter for cleaner water.
You also have better wash action as the dishwasher has additional sprays in the rack itself.
KitchenAid Dishwasher Rack Sprays
The KitchenAid KDTM604 also has better drying with the fan pulling in air.
The difference between KitchenAid dishwashers is better silence ratings (quietness) versus dishware flexibility with better washing and drying.
What Added Features Are Available On The Upgrades?
This one isn't so easy to answer. I could say knife caddy, but it's not on anyone's checklist.
Ball Bearing Racks
Bosch has this feature on their best dishwashers. Ball bearings glide out no matter how much is on the rack.
LED Interior Lights
So you can see the interior (I'm assuming).
KitchenAid Dishwasher With Window
You see the dishwasher's interior while it's running (with the help of the interior light).
For the latest information on all of the best dishwashers, check out our free Dishwasher Buying Guide.
Miele Vs. KitchenAid Dishwashers: Which Is Better?
KitchenAid versus Miele was so much easier when they competed in more similar prices.
Best For Washing
This depends on what you are washing and which machine you are comparing.
First, Miele has a good system with a full wash arm on the top, middle, and bottom.
KitchenAid has a small arm on its lesser series under $800 models.
KitchenAid KDTM604ESS now has a fourth level and two filters.
Both are probably the best on the market.
Best For Drying
Again, both have good systems.
KitchenAid using a heating element and a fan to draw out excess moisture.
Miele is one of the best. Their CleanAir system allows air from your kitchen to the outside wall of the dishwasher where It's dissipated as water.
Warm air is always attracted to a colder temperature. You will notice next time you exercise outside and see steam off your head.
The better Miele Futura Crystal will also pop open to release heat and moisture.
Click here to read more about the best drying dishwashers.
Best For Quietness
You would think Miele because they advertise themselves as a quiet dishwasher.
The KitchenAid is the best quiet dishwasher value at just 39 dBA. Ironically, the rest of the better line is 44 DBs.
Miele starts at 46 DBs, which is decent. You have to buy the Miele at $1,999 for a 44 DB dishwasher.
You will hear the Miele faintly at 45 and 46 dBA in an open floor plan. You will not hear the KitchenAid at 39 DB, with the minimum quiet being their 44.
Best For Rack Flexibility
Maybe because I load dishes so haphazardly, it seems so similar.
However, the Miele Futura Crystal has the best racking in the industry due to its flexibility, and it even improves with better models because everything is adjustable.
However, KitchenAid has the most coverage with its new more than silverware rack at a much lower price.
Note to prospective dishwasher buyers: Have an odd-shaped dish? Bring it to the store before you buy a dishwasher. More people should do this.
Best For Reliability
Dishwasher Reliability For 2020
|Service QTY||Shipped QTY||Service Ratio|
|Fisher & Paykel||56||193||29.02%|
Miele is generally the most reliable appliance brand sold in the US.
20% is high for them, but It's due to a series of noisy solenoids, a simple repair. In 2018, they had some frozen motors, which is an easy replacement.
In 2017, they were the best for premium dishwashers at just under 5.95%.
But for now, KitchenAid is technically more reliable.
Should You Buy a KitchenAid or Miele Dishwasher?
Let's start with some absolutes.
Are You Placing A Panel On The Dishwasher?
First, buy the Miele if you are placing a custom cabinet panel on your dishwasher. It will look seamless to your cabinets versus a dishwasher protruding beyond your cabinets with a panel.
Are You Buying On A Budget Under $900?
Then KitchenAid is your obvious choice (because it's your only choice). You should decide between the quiet of the KDTE204 at $749 and the flexibility of the KDTM604 at $899.
Is Your Kitchen On A Third Floor Or Above?
Miele has the best leak protection. It may be worth the peace of mind and saving of insurance costs and headaches.
So, which is better?
It's hard to decide. Miele can't sell a dishwasher under $900, and KitchenAid can't sell one over $900.
The two KitchenAid dishwashers at $749 and $899 are pretty compelling.
Miele starting at $1,599 has incredibly good racking, different cycles in a dishwasher known for its washing, drying, and usually the best reliability.
So it depends on your budget, how you load your dishwasher and where you live.
As I write this in early July, every manufacturer has supply issues due to COVID-19 in their supply chains.
Consider what features are best for you, look at a few brands, and choose what is available.
Want to learn more about Dishwashers? Download the Yale Dishwasher Buying Guide with features, specs and inside buying tips to all the brands. Over 820,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
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A Note About Pricing