Your dishwasher, when it’s working well, is a workhorse in the kitchen you hardly think about. You load it with dirty dishes and it quickly turns them sparkling clean. When your dishwasher doesn’t work well, though, it’s a daily annoyance of pre-washing (and re-washing!) and drying dishes, glassware, cookware and more. If you’re doing the work for your dishwasher, that’s when you know it’s time for a new one.
Frigidaire appliances are always very good performers and considered easy to use in GH Cleaning Lab tests, and like others we’ve featured, this Frigidaire Gallery dishwasher is a steal. At a super low price, you get a machine that not only cleans and dries well, but comes with lots of high-end extras, too. The control panel is hidden for a sleek look, is very clear and easy to use, and includes a “favorite cycle” that, once programmed, selects your preferred cycle and options with just one touch. Only have few items? This dishwasher offers the option to wash half loads in either the top or bottom racks for greater energy savings.
Nice perks at this price include a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel front, cushioned stemware holders, adjustable water pressure for the type and soil of the load, an NSF-certified sanitize option, and because it’s so quiet a light beam that projects on the floor to let you know when the cycle’s complete. What keeps this model so reasonably priced is its plastic (vs. stainless steel) inner tub and the lack of a top-tier flatware and cutlery tray.
Unlike any dishwasher we have ever seen, this Miele model automatically dispenses the correct amount of detergent into the dishwasher based on the cycle you’ve selected and the amount of soil it senses in the load with a “PowerDisk” of powdered detergent and rinse aid that you place into a special dispenser. Each PowerDisk comes pre-loaded with 20 washes worth of detergent, so there’s no need to measure or add detergent each time you run a cycle. And Miele’s detergent is a top performer in Good Housekeeping Cleaning Lab tests, too.
But, that’s not all. This dishwasher is also smart in other ways. You can start, stop, and monitor it wirelessly from your smart phone and get an alert when the Power Disk is running low or even order more disks right from the app. Don’t want to go automatic? No worries. This dishwasher takes regular gel, powder or tablet detergent, too.
This innovative model has four lower spray arms (compared to most models, which have two, hence the name QuadWash) that spin and pivot with the pressure of the water, so they direct water toward the corners to reach every inch of every dish. LG’s TrueSteam technology fills the tub with steam in the pre-wash and main wash portions of the cycle for better cleaning of crusty, baked-on soils and to help eliminate water spotting. Or, use it to more gently clean on load of delicate crystal that needs freshening. Easy to load, this model includes both a top tier tray and a separate flatware basket in the bottom rack and we like that it has a heating element for better drying.
The LG’s Smart Diagnosis app allows you to download extra cycles onto the machine (!) and is made to problem-solve in the event of any issues, like if your dishwasher won’t start. It will also alert you via smartphone, Alexa, or Google Assistant when the cycle is complete. LG dishwashers do so well in our tests that our Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen uses this same model and gives it a real workout.
This KitchenAid has a large third rack that is adjustable to fit glasses and bowls and a removable utensil tray for cooking tools which, together with the adjustable middle rack to accommodate tall items like platters or a stand mixer bowl, make it a great pick for frequent home cooks. Its Clean Water Wash System circulates clean water to all three racks, and its quiet operation lets you use it at any time – or program it to start later to fit your schedule or take advantage of lower utility rates.
This dishwasher is uncomplicated and easy to program with only five key cycles and six options – ideal for busy cooks in a hurry. And we like the additional dry options for better results on plastics and to achieve spot-free glassware. Top controls add to its clean look, and whether you choose the stainless steel or black finish, both resist smudges and fingerprints and need only water and a soft cloth to clean.
The Kenmore Elite dishwasher is a great cleaning machine with top-mounted controls that are intuitive and straightforward to use. It has SmartDry Plus for better drying results, top- and bottom-only washing to save energy when cleaning smaller loads, and perhaps the most helpful of all, TurboZone, in which rear jets on the lower rack blast super-dirty dishes with a forceful spray that obliterates baked-on foods. Extra jets along the sides and back target items in the top rack.
The dishwasher is easy to load and comes with both a top-tier shelf for flatware and an optional flatware basket that splits into three sections for more flexible placement in the bottom rack. The inside tub is stainless steel and the front panel is a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel lookalike. We use two identical models of this hardworking Kenmore in our busy Cleaning Lab for our dishwasher detergent testing and they couldn’t look better.
This is an updated version of the previous GE model we tested and it boasts the same great features and then some. It still has innovative bottle jets to clean hard-to-reach interiors of water bottles, baby bottles, vases, and more. But now, special deep clean silverware jets send blasts of water up through the flatware basket for better removal of stuck-on food and with the basket’s large openings chunky flatware fits right in.
At just 39 decibels, it’s among the quietest dishwashers we’ve tested. Stainless steel inside and out (It’s fingerprint-resistant!), this model offers steam for better and more gentle cleaning, a 12-hour delay wash option, Wi-fi connectivity, and a bottom flatware basket (in addition to the third tier tray) that separates for easier loading.
This Miele Dishwasher with its top hidden controls is not only stylish and beautiful to look at, but more importantly, a real workhorse when it comes to cleaning, and its innovative features make it easy to use. The AutoDos system works with Miele’s PowerDisk, which dispenses the correct amount of cleaning powder for the cycle, and lasts for up to 20 washes – no need to remember to add cleaner each time.
The dishwasher is very easy to load with its adjustable racks and shelves, fold-down tines, and padded stemware grips. The top 3D cutlery tray not only keeps flatware from nesting for better cleaning, but is deep enough to even hold small bowls and ramekins, and slides from side to side to provide more headroom for tall stemware in the rack below it. Its QuickIntenseWash cycle can clean a very heavily-soiled load in under one hour. The control panel is clear and easy to navigate.
8BEST COUNTERTOP DISHWASHERFaberware Professional Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher
If the only space you’ve got to dedicate to a dishwasher is a bit of counter space, this Farberware is a great choice. It sports sleek LED digital touch controls and offers a wide assortment of features and options that rival some full-size models we’ve tested. It’s got seven wash cycles — including a 45-minute speed wash and a baby care cycle for bottles and other baby items — and there’s even a self clean cycle to keep the inside of the dishwasher free of deposits and hard water stains.
Drying is a challenge even for large dishwashers and this mini model adds extra heat to the final rinse to help solve that problem and minimize spots. Lights on the control panel give you a heads up that you are running low on rinse aid or water isn’t making its way into the dishwasher.
At just under 22 inches wide, it claims to hold up to six place settings of dishes that are 10 inches in diameter and has folding cup shelves and a removable flatware basket.
9BEST DISHWASHER FOR PLASTICSBosch 800 Series Dishwasher with CrystalDry
If plastic storage containers, water bottles and measuring cups make up a big part of your load, this Bosch dishwasher is the answer to your drying needs. Many dishwashers can leave plastics wet — which means you have to hand dry them before putting them away — but not the Bosch. It uses minerals in special sealed CrystalDry chamber that transform the moist air in the dishwasher at the end of the cycle into heat that’s pumped back into the dishwasher for better drying. A small heating element refreshes the minerals so they are ready for the next load and never need replacing. This option adds only 30 minutes to the wash cycle and is energy efficient.
And like all Bosch dishwashers we’ve tested, it cleans well, accommodates big loads and is very quiet. Other standout features include an extra deep third rack to hold small bowls, lids and wide utensils, like whisks, a red light that shines on the floor to let you know the appliance is running (trust us, you won’t hear it) and a little compartment on the middle rack to catch detergent tablets as they are dispensed for better dissolving.