There is nothing worse than preparing a big meal, only to have to clean up all of the dishes that are left behind. If you hate hand washing your dishes, a dishwasher will prove to be one of the best investments you can make. Just load up your dirt dishes, put in some detergent, select the cycle you want, turn it on and your dishes will be washed for you. No more having to stand over a sink for hours washing all of your dishes by hand.

While a dishwasher is certainly a worthwhile investment, finding the right one for your needs can be a challenge. There are so many different options to choose from, which can make it difficult to determine which one will best suit your needs. To help you on your quest for finding the best dishwasher, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide for you. In this guide, you will find everything you need to know to find the best dishwasher, including the different types of dishwashers there are, the factors to consider before choosing one, the features that the can offer and the best brands. After reading this guide, you will be well informed and ready to find the best dishwasher.

Types of Dishwashers

There are several types of dishwashers available, and in order to choose the best one for your needs, you first need to have a firm understanding of the different types that are available. There are five main types of dishwashers, which include:

Each of these five types of dishwashers offers certain advantages. To determine which one will best suit your needs, here is a breakdown of each type.

The Built-in Standard Dishwasher

This is the largest type of dishwasher, and also the most commonly used. It will take up permanent residence in your kitchen, as it will be built in with a hinged door that drops down. This type of dishwasher is permanently connected to a water and electric source, which means all you have to do to use it is open it, load it, put in your detergent and press the start button. Because they are a permanent fixture in the kitchen, and because they are the largest type of dishwasher (usually around 24 inches to 30 inches wide, about 25 inches deep and about 34 inches high,) you do need to make sure that you have enough space to accommodate it. If you have the space and you wash a lot of dishes, this is a perfect option for you.

The Compact Dishwasher

Whether you live in an apartment that is small on space, you have a small kitchen, or you want to make washing dishes in your RV more convenient, a compact dishwasher is a great option. This type of dishwasher offers many of the same advantages and features as a built-in standard dishwasher, except the size. It is permanently connected to a water and power source, so it will always be ready to use; however, it doesn’t take up as much space. The dimensions vary, but a compact dishwasher is usually around 18 inches wide, 22 inches deep and 32 inches tall. Because it is smaller, it can’t wash loads as large as a standard built-in dishwasher can; this type of dishwasher can accommodate about eight place settings. This is an ideal option if you are short on cabinet space.

The In-Sink Dishwasher

If space is a real issue for your kitchen, or you just don’t want to have a dishwasher that is a permanent fixture in your kitchen, an in-sink dishwasher is a great option for you. Designed to fit in your dishwasher, you pull this dishwasher out and set it up whenever you want to use it. It hooks up to your sink, which supplies the water, and it gets plugged into a power source. The in-sink dishwasher can handle small loads, such as dirty glasses during a part, and cleans them quickly. The standard size of an in-sink dishwasher is 34 inches wide, 22 inches deep and 21 inches high.

The Drawer Dishwasher

If conserving energy is important to you, than a drawer dishwasher is a good choice for you. This type of dishwasher is the most energy efficient and is comprised of a single drawer. It washes smaller loads, which means they require less water and energy to power. This is an ideal option if you wash small loads or if you have a smaller kitchen.

The Portable Dishwasher

The portable dishwasher can be small enough to fit on your countertop, or it can be the same size as a standard built-in dishwasher. The portable dishwasher hooks up to the faucet of your kitchen sink and is plugged into an electrical outlet. If you are short on cabinet space or don’t want a permanent fixture, or you want to be able to move your dishwasher around, a portable dishwasher is a great choice.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Dishwasher

Buying a dishwasher isn’t as simple as finding the least expensive model that you think can handle the task of washing your dishes; there are several important things that you should take into consideration before you choose a dishwasher. By taking these factors into consideration, you will be able to find the best dishwasher for your specific needs. Important considerations include the size of the dishwasher and the price, among other things. To learn more about the factors that we think are the most important to consider when choosing a dishwasher, please keep on reading.

The Size of the Dishwasher

One of the most important things that you are going to want to consider is the size of the dishwasher. The size will not only determine how many dishes this appliance can wash at one time, but it will also impact the amount of space it takes up in your kitchen. To determine what size you need, you should first consider the amount of space you have in your kitchen. You should then consider how many dishes you want to wash at one time. As mentioned in the ‘types’ section of this buyer’s guide, the standard built-in dishwasher is the largest of all types, but it also takes up the most space.

The Wash Cycles

The basic wash cycles that a dishwasher comes with include light, normal and pots and pans, or heavy. Some dishwashers have other cycles, such as a rinse and a hold setting to delay washing until the load is full. Consider choosing a dishwasher that has multiple wash cycles so that you can choose the cleaning level according to the type of dirt on your dishes.

The Cycle Time

You are also going to want to consider the length of the cycle time. On average, a dishwasher will take about 80 to 150 minutes for a normal cycle to complete from start to finish. The shorter the cycle time, the less you will have to wait for your dishes to be clean.

The Noise

Dishwashers make noise, but different models make different levels of noise. Some models can make an extensive amount of noise, which can be a real flaw if you don’t want it to impact the rest of the activities in your house. If noise is an issue, look for a whisper quiet model, which will make virtually no sound while it is running.

The Energy Efficiency

You are also going to want to consider the amount of energy the dishwasher uses. The more energy it uses, the higher your utility bill will be. To find out how much energy the dishwasher uses, read the Energy Guide stickers, which will be attached to the appliance. A standard dishwasher will consume around three to 12 gallons of water per load and will cost about $65 a year to run.

The Design

You should also consider the design of the dishwasher. These appliances come in a variety of finishes, including stainless steel, plastic and other types of metals. Some have covers that can be installed over the front panel, which will allow the appliance to blend in with the rest of the kitchen cabinets to make a seamless look. The design also refers to the interior of the dishwasher; how the racks are laid out. Choose a design that will best accommodate your dishwashing needs and that will work with the look of your kitchen.

The Price

Another important factor to consider is the price of the dishwasher. These appliances can vary significantly in price, with the most basic models costing a few hundred dollars to $1,000 or more for the most advanced machines. Make sure you know how much you want to spend before you start shopping so you can avoid spending more than you are comfortable with.

Features Dishwashers can Offer

There are a number of features that a dishwasher can offer. These features are intended to improve the function of the appliance and make it easier to use. While these features can be handy, the more there are, the higher the price tag will be. In order to determine whether you want or need certain features, or if the added cost is worth your while, it is important to understand the intended purposes of these features.

Here is a look at the top features that dishwashers can offer.

Dirt Sensors

This feature allows the dishwasher to determine the amount of dirt on the dishes and adjusts the water consumption accordingly. This feature conserves water and helps to reduce energy costs.

Self Cleaning Filters

Self cleaning filters make a dishwasher easier to maintain. A clogged filter impacts the performance of the dishwasher, impacting its efficiency. A self cleaning filter will, as you can assume, clean itself when it is necessary.

Customizable Racks

Some dishwashers are outfitted with customizable racks. This means that you can adjust the position of the racks according to the dishes you are washing. For example, if you are washing tall pots and pans, you can move the top rack up a few inches, or if you have a lot of glassware, you can arrange the tines so that they will fit.

Bacteria Eliminating Washes

This feature will remove the bacteria on your dishes, ensuring that they are as sanitary and clean as possible.

Hidden Controls

If you want to keep the controls out of sight, look for a dishwasher that has them placed on the top portion of the door that sits underneath the cabinet. This will create a sleek, smooth finish and a more integrated look. It will also keep little hands from pushing the buttons; a feature that parents may find desirable.

Food Disposals

With this feature, you can skip the pre-rinsing all together and put heavily soiled dishes right into the dishwasher. Filters trap the large food particles during the wash cycle and disposals grind them up and flush them away.

A Warranty

The best dishwashers come with a warranty. This will protect your investment, as it will allow you to have the dishwasher repaired or replaced if anything goes wrong.

The Best Dishwasher Brands

There are a number of manufacturers that make dishwashers. We have tested them all out, and we have determined that the following brands are the best of the best.


Known as one of the best manufacturers of dishwashers on the market, Maytag produces high quality dishwashers that offer a wide range of features and use the most cutting edge technologies to ensure their products offer exceptional results.

Kitchen Aid

Another high quality producer of dishwashers is Kitchen Aid. Their products are state of the art and they offer a variety of features.


We also really liked the dishwasher produced by LG. This company uses the latest advances and cutting edge technologies to make some of the highest quality dishwashers available today. LG produces all types of dishwashers, and they offer a wide range of features.