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What does a Quiet Dishwasher Sound Like? (Reviews)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  January 04, 2017  |  5 Min. Read


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We wrote an article called Quietest Dishwashers listing the best dishwashers by decibel level.

However, you probably want to know how quiet a dishwasher actually is when running. Also, at what point is a dishwasher quiet enough without having to spend a fortune for an even quieter dishwasher.

So we bought a directional microphone and listened to a 44 dB Thermador (made by Bosch, by the way) and a 55 dB Frigidaire. You will be able to hear both.

First you need an explanation of what a decibel is. Then you will listen to two very different dishwashers.

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What is a Decibel (dB)?

The decibel (abbreviated dB) is the unit used to measure the intensity of a sound. The difference between 0 dBA and 10 dBA is 10 times more power. For a reference, here are some common activities and their decibel levels.

  • Near total silence - 0 dB
  • A whisper - 15 dB
  • Normal conversation - 60 dB
  • A lawnmower - 90 dB
  • A car horn - 110 dB
  • A rock concert or a jet engine - 120 dB
  • A gunshot or firecracker - 140 dB

So the difference between a 44 dB dishwasher and a 50 dB dishwasher is significant or 4 times. However, there is a point where a dishwasher could be quiet enough.

Let’s listen

Wistia video thumbnail - Dishwasher Sound Level Comparision

Thanks for reporting a problem. We'll attach technical data about this session to help us figure out the issue. Which of these best describes the problem?

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Thermador Dishwasher 44 dB

At 44 decibels, you can hardly tell a dishwasher is running. Dishwashers at this level should be considered for open kitchen layouts. Bosch has actually created the “Info-Light” so you would tell when the cycle is complete by looking at the light on the floor.

Frigidaire 55 dB

55 Decibels is much louder. You can hear this dishwasher, especially if you have an open kitchen living room configuration.

So what should you do?

First, you do not need to step up to a dishwasher less than 44 dB. A middle level Bosch at $600-750 is that level of quietness. The Bosch Benchmark and 800 series is 37-40 dB, but can be $300-$1,000 more. They will have more features, but the additional quietness is not necessary.

In other words, buying a dishwasher less than 44 dB based on just quietness is wasting your money.

Buy a more expensive dishwasher for better features like cycles or a third rack.

On the other side, the difference in 1 dB can be huge. 50 dB is noisy, so you will hear a dishwasher over 46 decibels.

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about dishwashers? Click on the Yale Dishwasher Buying Guide to learn about the latest features, quietness and reliability of the best brands like Miele, Bosch, Frigidaire, Asko, Maytag, Jenn-Air and more. Well over 200,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Free Dishwasher Buying Guide

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Editor's Note: This article has been clarified to accurately explain the differences in decibel rating. 


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.

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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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