A dishwasher is a good investment for the modern home. Not only does it result in saving time, it also saves energy and water. Studies have found that dishwashers use less water than washing dishes by hand. By using less water, less energy is also used to heat the water. Additionally, dishwashers can get your dishes cleaner than handwashing dishes, since dishwashers reach a higher temperature than humans can withstand. While many people still pre-rinse their dishes, this isn't necessary for most dishwashers manufactured these days. A dishwasher is simply convenient: just set it and forget it, and then use your time to do something that you actually enjoy.
What should you look for in a dishwasher? Obviously, cleaning power is going to be important. There are variations such as how many racks are inside (two versus three), capacity, and different specialty cleaning cycle options. Size also plays a role. Most dishwashers are 24-inches wide, but some people with smaller kitchens may need an 18-inch wide dishwasher. The noise level of the dishwasher can be important to you, especially if you run the dishwasher at night when you're trying to sleep or watch a movie. The length of time for a cleaning cycle can vary between dishwashers, as can the energy efficiency. Finally, budget should also be taken into consideration. Some dishwashers out there will cost less than $500, whereas other higher end dishwashers can set you back more than $1,000. Keep in mind that dishwashers tend to last many years, so you probably want to invest in a decent quality one.
Our Top Rated Dishwasher: Bosch 800 Series SHX878WD5N
If you have a little more money to spend, consider the Bosch 800 Series dishwasher. This 24-inch dishwasher is very quiet, operating at just 42 decibels. Because it is so quiet, a red light projects a spot on the floor to let you know if the dishwasher is running. Like the Bosch 300 Series we chose, the 800 series features a third rack as well. It has 16 place setting capacity. The delay start allows you to schedule your wash up to 24 hours in advance. It has Energy Star certification with an operation of 269 kwh/year. Washing temperature can get up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The third rack can be removed if you don’t like it. Reviewers in general though loved the third shelf, the cleaning ability, and how quiet it is. The only thing reviewers were less fond of is the condensation drying, though this is how this dishwasher saves energy. Bosch dishwashers come with a limited warranty. You can also add a 4-year protection plan when purchasing from Amazon.
Runner Up Dishwasher: Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N
The Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N is a quiet 24-inch dishwasher at a midrange price. While operating, this dishwasher has a 44-decibel output, which is so quiet that some users can't tell it is running. This 1300 W dishwasher operates at 269 kwh/year and has Energy Star certification. A delayed start timer lets you postpone the wash cycle for up to 24 hours. For proper drying, Bosch recommends always using a liquid rinse aid. Reviewers love how quiet it is to run. Not everyone loves the third rack, and there is an option to remove it. Not everyone is happy with its drying capabilities, due to it using condensation drying. Bosch dishwashers come with a limited warranty.
The LG Front Control Dishwasher with QuadWash and EasyRack Plus is a 24-inch dishwasher with great cleaning ability. It is pretty quiet, operating at 48 decibels. It is Energy Star qualified with an energy use of 258 kwh/year. This dishwasher has two racks and a 15 place setting capacity. The racks are coated in BPA-free nylon. The Delicate cycle is gentle enough that it can be used for fine china, and the Turbo cycle gets your dishes clean within an hour. The Express cycle is appropriate for lightly soiled dishes, cleaning them in 33 minutes. It offers condensation drying, which not all reviewers appreciated though it is energy efficient. Water supply is at least 120 degrees. Reviewers loved how quiet this machine is and how clean it got dishes. LG offers a 1-year warranty for labor and parts.
Our favorite dishwasher ended up also being the highest price of the three we are recommending; however, it still costs under $1,000. This Bosch 800 Series dishwasher offers great cleaning capability, a number of cycles, and good loading capacity thanks to its third rack, FlexSpace tines, and adjustable rack heights. The Bosch 300 Series offers a number of the same features though with more limited cycle options. Finally, reviewers were generally pleased with the cleaning ability of the LG Front Control Dishwasher. None of our dishwasher choices received rave reviews in terms of drying capability as they offer condensation drying instead of direct heat drying. Condensation drying is more energy efficient though which results in saving you money in the long-run, and we felt cleaning ability to be the most important feature in finding a good quality dishwasher.