How To Choose a New Dishwasher

You are about to purchase a dishwasher. We’re here to help you sort through your options and make the best possible decision for your needs, including tips on energy efficiency, price, quality and more.

Originally published in November 2012 and updated regularly, The Wirecutter’s dishwasher guide offers the most thorough dishwasher buying advice on the internet.

Here, we’ll explain what to look for when choosing a new dishwasher, and present our current picks for the best overall dishwasher, the best quiet dishwasher, and the best budget dishwasher.

Update: We’ve updated our top pick for those who need an energy-efficient model. We’ve also added a new section on built-in versus portable models and advice on how to install a built-in model.

The Best Dishwashers

Before you buy a dishwasher, you should know what features to look for. We’ve researched hundreds of dishwashers and tested more than a dozen to find the best ones. But before we get into our picks, here’s what you should consider when shopping for a dishwasher.

What do you need in a dishwasher?

Dishwashers are not created equal: each model has different features, and some will suit your needs better than others.

A $500 dishwasher may wash dishes just as well as a $1,000 model. The main differences between cheap and expensive dishwashers are how quiet they are, how energy-efficient they are, how many cycles they offer, how many additional features they have and whether they come from a reliable brand that is likely to stand behind its product if it breaks down quickly. Your decision should depend on how much weight you place on each of these factors.

If all you want is clean dishes, then a cheap basic Maytag will probably be fine for you. If you use your dishwasher often and don’t want to hear it running when you’re home or when guests are over, then an expensive Bosch is an excellent choice. If you want lots of prewash options or if you have kids

If you’re replacing an older dishwasher, the most important step is to measure the opening so that you buy a model that fits the space. Measure both the width and height of the opening in your kitchen—you need to be sure that both the door and the tub fit inside.

You’ll also want to measure for any other potential obstacles, such as a water supply line or power cord running through the cabinet wall. If there is a water line or power cord in the way, make sure it’s flexible enough to move out of the way as you slide your new dishwasher into place.

Finally, if your existing dishwasher is an 18-inch model (as opposed to a standard 24-inch model), you’ll need to buy another 18-inch dishwasher; these models are slightly less common than standard size dishwashers and are sold at appliance stores rather than big box retailers.

The Wirecutter’s Dishwasher Recommendations

The Best Dishwasher

$649* Bosch 800 Series SHX68T55UC

If you’re looking for a dishwasher that will leave your plates, bowls, and cups spotless without making a racket or costing an arm and a leg to run, the Bosch 800 Series SHX68T55UC is the one. In our tests it cleaned better than any other dishwasher we’ve ever tested—and was among the quietest models we heard. It also has a third rack for utensils and a stainless steel tub—both amenities typically found in pricier machines.

Buying Options

Buy from Amazon*

*May be out of stock

A Step Up: Miele Futura Classic Plus G4975SCVi

If you want additional features like an LED display and an automatic detergent dispenser, but still want the best-cleaning dishwasher available, we recommend the Miele Futura Classic Plus G4975SCVi. It’s not as quiet as our top pick, but it’s still relatively quiet; it has 15 cycles (two more than our pick), two spray arms instead of one, and a stainless-steel interior. A dedicated tab dispenser at

In the United States, most people have dishwashers. Dishwashers have become common enough that some people even look down on those who don’t have one.

But while they may seem like a necessity, you can live without a dishwasher. It might not be fun or easy, but there are plenty of people in America who manage to make it work. So before you buy a dishwasher, make sure it’s really something you need.

If you’ve decided that you do need a new dishwasher, the next question is whether to pick an inexpensive model or splurge for something nicer. Generally speaking, more expensive dishwashers tend to get better reviews from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Associates than less expensive ones, although there are exceptions. On average, they also tend to be quieter and more water-efficient than cheap ones (although this isn’t always true). In addition, higher-end dishwashers generally offer adjustable racks and other customizable features that can make life easier if your kitchen setup is unusual or if you often need to clean large pots and pans or other odd-shaped items. But all this comes at a cost: You’ll pay between $800 and $1,800 for a good dishwasher as opposed to between

We think the best way to buy a dishwasher is to invest in a new, efficient model from a major manufacturer. Our research and testing have shown that it’s worth the extra money to get many more years of service from your machine with less hassle. If you can’t afford or don’t want to spend that kind of money now, we also have a pick for an inexpensive machine that will get your dishes clean without costing too much.

When we surveyed more than 2,000 Wirecutter readers, they told us they wanted a dishwasher that was quiet, energy-efficient, reliable, and didn’t cost too much. We also learned that most people keep their dishwashers for about 10 years—that’s as long as manufacturers typically warranty their products. We used those insights to find and test the best dishwashers for most people.

Because we thought it might be helpful for our readers who live in rental apartments where they can’t install a dishwasher, we also looked at countertop models. But after testing three machines over the course of six months, we were disappointed with their performance—and they were more expensive than our other picks.

We had three main requirements:

Easy access and

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