The 15 Best Dishwashers 2018 from Buyer Reviews

Since you’re searching for the best dishwashers let me start by saying: I’m sorry. Because I know what that means. You’re washing dishes by hand — and maybe not just your dishes, but your family’s too. Been there, done that for weeks! Well, I’m going to help make this easier for you by sharing all the research I’ve done to find the best of the best.

I used the same research process I used when I was a magazine editor in chief.

This is the result of tons of digging using a careful methodology, which I’ll explain below. In the end only seven appliance brands made it onto my list. These are all top-rated dishwashers. Most people are searching for the most reliable dishwasher they can find — and want to share their good news when they find it. I trust buyers’ reviews when there are enough of them.

[My list below was last updated on March 19, 2018]

If you want to skip right to my list of the best dishwashers, >>click this link.

For a list of features you should consider when shopping for a dishwasher, you can jump to it by >>clicking this link.

But if you want to find out how I came up with this list, keep reading! (I ended up buying a KitchenAid, in case you’re wondering. It’s super quiet, which was important for me. Plus I love the third top rack.)

My research methodology for choosing the best dishwashers

As with fridges and washing machines, you don’t fully appreciate how much you depend on dishwashers until they’re broken. And when they do break, it hurts because they’re expensive. I mean, who wants to buy any appliance more than once?!

That’s why on my last round of dishwasher buying I looked far and wide at all the ratings on Home Depot and Best Buy, to come up with the best of the best.

I consider these the “absolute best” dishwashers because so many people, from so many places, have consistently given them high ratings.

Keep in mind that you’re going to find negative reviews for these same models, and there’s no way around that. It happens with every kind of appliance. Searching for a dishwasher that no one’s ever criticized would be like searching for a goose that lays golden eggs.

So to narrow down all the dishwashers out there, I filtered all the customer ratings on Home Depot’s website and Best Buy’s website. I shop at both of these, but I buy my big appliances at Home Depot. The appliance savings at Home Depot are always good and they offer free shipping on most orders over $45.

I limited my research to models that had at least 500 reviews, because I needed some way to narrow them down. From these I only chose dishwashers with a rating of at least 4.0 stars out of 5.

Then I put the finalists together and outlined them for you below.

And now, my results: The 15 best dishwashers of 2018!


>>Affiliate notice: I research every product I recommend, and I only give high marks to the very best. Some of the links here may be affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation from companies if you purchase from them. This is at no cost to you and it helps me keep this website running. So thanks for helping me! I independently own this site and the opinions expressed here are my own.<<


How to understand these best dishwashers entries:

I’ve organized this list by brand name, in alphabetical order. Each entry includes:

  • the brand and model number
  • price
  • why I picked it
  • what finishes it comes in 
  • where the controls are (top or front because I think it make a big difference in the look)
  • whether it’s ENERGY STAR qualified

I based all the prices on the websites of Home Depot and Best Buy; these prices often change, sometimes even by $200. In some cases the same dishwasher comes in multiple finishes you can choose from. For these I just list one model. When you select it, you can see the other finishes with their model numbers. 

All these dishwashers all approximately 24 inches wide.

Why don’t some brands appear at all on this list? I checked every dishwasher brand on these websites. If they’re not here it’s because none of their models met my tough criteria.

There are high-end European appliance brands that aren’t sold at these stores, so they didn’t show up either. Some people might see this as a flaw; my priority is buying something that I know hundreds (if not thousands) of people have bought and reviewed.

I’d love to hear your questions and feedback, so please leave them in the comments section below. But enough talk. Here’s what you’ve been waiting for!

The Best Dishwashers are:

Bosch

Bosch Ascenta SHE3AR76UC

  • $450 on BestBuy.com
  • 4.3 stars out of 1,466 reviews
  • comes in 3 finishes: black, white, stainless steel
  • front control
  • ENERGY STAR

Bosch Ascenta SHX5AV52UC

  • $540 on BestBuy.com
  • 4.4 stars out of 768 reviews
  • comes in 3 finishes: black, white, stainless steel
  • top control
  • ENERGY STAR
The best dishwashers include the Bosch Ascenta SHX5AV52UC dishwasher
Bosch Ascenta SHX5AV52UC dishwasher

 

Frigidaire

Frigidaire Gallery FGID2466QF

  • $539 on Home Depot
  • 4.2 stars out of 2,406 reviews on HomeDepot.com
  • also the black model got 4.3 stars out of 543 reviews on BestBuy.com (costs $450)
  • comes in 4 finishes: black, black stainless steel, stainless steel, and white
  • top control
  • ENERGY STAR
The best dishwashers include the Frigidaire Gallery FGID2466QF dishwasher
Frigidaire Gallery FGID2466QF dishwasher

GE

GE GDF520PGJWW

  • $399 on Home Depot.com
  • 4.2 stars out of 982 reviews
  • comes in 5 finishes: bisque, black, slate, stainless steel, white
  • front control
The best dishwashers include the GE Adora ddt5955ssjss dishwasher
GE Adora ddt5955ssjss dishwasher

 

GE GDF620HMJES

  • $539 on Home Depot.com
  • 4.2 stars out of 987 reviews
  • comes in 4 finishes: black, slate, stainless steel, and white
  • front control
  • ENERGY STAR
  • only available from Home Depot

GE Adora DDT5955SSJSS

  • $799 on Home Depot
  • 4.2 stars out of 517 reviews
  • 24 in.
  • comes in 6 finishes: black, slate, black slate, black stainless steel, stainless steel, white
  • top control
  • ENERGY STAR qualified

KitchenAid

KitchenAid KDFE104DWH

  • $764 on Home Depot.com
  • 4.2 stars out of 654 reviews
  • comes in three finishes: black, stainless steel, white
  • front control
  • ENERGY STAR qualified

 

Best dishwashers include the KitchenAid KDFE104DWH dishwasher
KitchenAid KDFE104DWH dishwasher

 

KitchenAid KDFE104DSS

  • $764 on Home Depot.com
  • 4.5 stars out of 6,018 reviews
  • comes in 3 finishes: black, stainless steel, white
  • front control
  • ENERGY STAR
Kitchenaid KDFE104DSS dishwasher
Kitchenaid KDFE104DSS dishwasher

 

KitchenAid Architect Series II KDTM354DSS

  • $947 on Home Depot
  • 4.6 stars out of 2,974 reviews
  • comes in 1 finish (stainless steel)
  • top control
  • ENERGY STAR qualified

KitchenAid KDTE204EPA

  • $944 on Home Depot
  • 4.6 stars out of 3,655 reviews
  • comes in 1 finish (“panel ready”)
  • top control
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
Best dishwashers include the KitchenAid KDTE204EPA dishwasher
KitchenAid KDTE204EPA dishwashers

 

 

KitchenAid KDTM354ESS

  • $947 on Home Depot
  • 4.6 stars out of 1,823 reviews
  • comes in 2 finishes: black stainless steel, stainless steel
  • top control
  • ENERGY STAR qualified

KitchenAid KDTM404ESS

  • $1,098 on Home Depot.com
  • 4.6 stars out of 1,832 reviews
  • comes in 4 finishes: black, black stainless steel, stainless steel, white
  • top control
  • ENERGY STAR qualified

Maytag

Maytag MDB4949SDH

  • $539 on Home Depot.com
  • 4.5 stars out of 7,518 reviews
  • comes in 3 finishes: black, stainless steel, white
  • front control
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
Maytag MDB4949SDH dishwasher
Maytag MDB4949SDH dishwasher

 

Maytag MDB8959SFH

  • $674 on Home Depot.com
  • 4.5 stars out of 1,435 reviews
  • comes in 3 finishes: black, stainless steel, white
  • top control
  • ENERGY STAR qualified

Whirlpool

Whirlpool WDF520PADW

  • $386 on Home Depot
  • 4.3 stars out of 6,494 reviews on HomeDepot.com
  • the black model got 4.3 stars out of 895 reviews on BestBuy.com
  • comes in 3 finishes: black, stainless steel, white
  • front control
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
Whirlpool WDF520PADW dishwasher
Whirlpool WDF520PADW dishwasher


Features to consider when shopping for the best dishwashers

Which dishwasher you end up buying comes down largely to price and color. After that all the best dishwashers have slightly different configurations. Here are some key features you should compare before you whip out your credit card.

  1. The number and configuration of racks

Some dishwashers only have the main rack below (for plates) and the rack above (for glasses). But some have a third rack, which is flat and designed for things like knives and spatulas. It’s very useful for small things, too, that might otherwise fall out of the glasses rack. Also, some racks can move up and down, or you can reconfigure the silverware holder.

2. Front or top controls

If the controls are on top, it usually means there’s a handle that sticks out on the front of the door. That handle is usually very attractive and can double as a dish towel rack. In my kitchen the dishwasher is near an entry door, so we opted for one with top controls. That way there’s no handle to maneuver around. It may not be as slick looking, but we like it. Also, we like the fact that we can glance at it and instantly know whether the dishes are clean yet.

3. The inner dimensions and material that the tub is made from 

Some tubs are “tall” tubs and some are made of stainless steel. The stainless steel tubs tend not to stain as much as the plastic ones. But the plastic is heavy duty and should last.

4. The noise level

This is a hugely important feature as far as I’m concerned. Manufacturers tell you how loud dishwashers are in terms of decibels, or dBA. So a lower number implies a quieter model. Most of the dishwashers go from 46 to 60 decibels. For comparison’s sake, a bulldozer is 88 dBA and a power mower is 94 dBA. But a vacuum cleaner is 70 dBA.

5. A soil sensor

The idea is that this sensor automatically determines how dirty your dishes are, and how long they need to be washed. You tend to see these in models that cost more than $500. It means that they can use less water, which saves you money. If the model you want doesn’t have a sensor, it will fill with the same amount of water all the time.

6. Self-cleaning or manual-cleaning filter

It’s amazing how much food that filter catches, even if you rinse dishes pretty well. The ones that can clean themselves are louder because of the engine that makes them grind up the food.

7. Wash cycles and sanitization options

I feel like all the washing options can be overkill. Every dishwasher comes with a few basic cycles to choose from, spanning from light to heavy wash. As for the rest of the fine-tuned offerings, it’s up to you if they’re worth any extra money. Some also have rinse/hold cycles that will rinse dishes before you have a full tub ready to go. I just rinse mine by hand.

8. Heated dry cycle

Now this is one feature I think makes a difference. With heated dry your dishes will dry faster than if they’re just sitting there. Plus, heated dry generally seems to prevent spotting. From an environmental standpoint the heating uses more energy though.


Conclusion

So there you have it! My advice is to choose the top three features that are most important to you and narrow down which are the best dishwashers for you from this list. Then prepare to spend your free time doing something more fun than scrubbing dirty dishes. 🙂

Got questions or feedback? What do you think are the best dishwashers?

Leave it in the comments section below!

8 COMMENTS

  1. The big issue is REPAIR! My Bosch has been out of commission for 2 months due to ineffective serviceman. Most service companies refuse to work on them here. Said too difficult and expensive to repair. Will be looking for another brand.

    • Oh, my goodness!! Two months is like an eternity when it comes to washing all your dishes by hand! I have found that since I switched to American brands repairs seem to be cheaper. But still, I just got rid of my dryer and bought a new one instead of repairing it. The repair would’ve been too expensive (and it was a Whirlpool).

  2. I bought a mid-priced Bosch about 5 years ago and LOVE IT!!!

    My sister bought a dishwasher with top controls, because she said small children like to drag their hands along, well, everything, and will inadvertently stop/start a dishwasher with front controls. And I know about children dragging their hands along things, because one time at the beach, a small boy was dragging his hand along the store fronts and my bum was in the way, so he just dragged his hand across my behind! His father was mortified, but I just laughed. It was innocent and funny!

    • That’s hilarious! Good thing you have a good sense of humor. I would’ve just laughed, too! Also, which Bosch model do you have — just in case they still make it and other readers are considering buying a Bosch…

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