Buying a dishwasher is a major purchase and should be researched accordingly. The new technologies on dishwashers include things like power jets, better drying cycles, and quieter modes of operation. The #1 feature that consumers want in a dishwasher is for it to clean their dishes. Most dishwashers do just fine at this task in almost all price levels. It's not like you need to spend $1000 or more to get a quality dishwashers. Some of the top rated dishwashers per Consumer Reports are those listed at $650 or less. The most common size for dishwashers are those that measure 24 inches across. There are portable models (18 inches wide) that can be wheeled away when done washing. The top brands are GE, Bosch, KitchenAid, Maytag, Whirlpool, LG, Kenmore, Miele, Frigidaire, Asko, Fisher & Paykel and Hotpoint.
Just what features are important when looking for a new dishwasher? Look for models that have adjustable racks which makes loading odd sized pots and pans easy. Dishwashers like the Kenmore Pro have fully hidden controls and definitely give the dishwasher a clean front. They are great for families with small children who may touch all the exposed buttons on other dishwashers. The new self cleaning filters in dishwashers reduce your workload but some reviews say they can actually effect the noise levels that the dishwasher makes. Stainless steel tubs are popular and cost at least $150 more than the standard models. Stemware and flatware holders should be organized and easy to load. Water and energy conservation are big selling points these days as homeowners become more aware of global energy use and are trying to cut down on their energy bills. The goverment efficiency standards for dishwashers are making for machines that run cleaner and require less energy to run. Unfortunately the time required to do a load of dishes is still around 2 hours. Lots of models also have reduced noise levels to the point where you can hardly tell the dishwasher is even on. Some of the dishwashers with the quietest operation are the Asko and LG models. Warranties are not that great on most models (see below on repair history of various brands). Besides the excellent reviews we found by Consumer Reports, you will also find tests done by GoodHousekeeping, user opinions on Gardenweb and Epinion.com, Dishwasherreviews.com, and Consumer Search. The dishwashers were rated on energy use, noise, loading ease, cycle time, washing capability, and features. See some of the more popular dishwashers down below. You can find many of the Kenmore models at Sears and Best Buy carries many of the top brands as well (KitchenAid, GE, Maytag, LG). Lowes and Home Depot also have a large inventory of dishwashers. The drawer dishwashers look cool and may be the design of the future but for now they are less than adequate in the repair area. Fishel & Paykel and Kenmore make these drawer dishwashers but experts say hold off for now and let them become better first.
Sears is the #1 seller of household appliances and their selection of dishwashers is vast. Kenmore is a top selling brand at their stores and the Kenmore 13742 ($650) is the best dishwasher per user reviews and expert opinions. The mid range price won't break your bank and the reputation of Kenmore (Sears) will give you piece of mind. This is an Energy Star qualified appliance that cleans dirty dishes better than most with its TurboZone feature. The rotating spray jets make it so you don't have soak and rinse all the dishes before putting them into your dishwasher. Consumer Reports (CR) give this model high praise for washing and ease of use. Customer reviews say it's "extremely quiet and efficient" as well as a "fast wash cycle". The adjustable rack makes for quick loading even with odd sized pots or pans. The Kenmore dishwasher also has 2 rows of fold down tines, a splittable silverware basket, and a self-cleaning filter. Check out Sears.com for details. You get a 1 year warranty on parts and labor.
Best Value Dishwasher:
We put 2 dishwashers into this category since we found 2 great models but one didn't score that well in noise levels while the other ran pretty quiet. The Bosch SHE45CO(2)UC ($700) features a stainless steel tub and exterior. The Bosch dishwasher is quiet and cleans superbly but it will require you to manual clean the filter. Not a big deal considering you get the quality reputation of Bosch for a price that is just slightly more than the Kenmore listed above. The Whirlpool DU1100XTP ($500) is the other pick - it does lack a stainless steel tub and it is noisier than the Bosch, but for a dishwasher that is $500 or less you can't go wrong.
High End Dishwasher:
The Kenmore Pro ($1400) dishwasher that Sears carries is loaded with features and the stainless steel exterior and interior are beautiful in modern kitchens. It runs quiet, cleans extremely well, and loads with plenty of room for all items. If you are willing to part with a few more hundred dollars, consider the Asko Encore ($1600). The one drawback to Asko brand dishwashers is that their repair rating is 2nd to last as 19% of all machines need a repair.
Consumer Reports does a great job of surveying customers to see which brands actually perform over time. With dishwashers, Amana and Whirlpool are the best with the fewest repairs. Kenmore, Miele, GE, and Bosch are right up there in reliability measures. As for the worst performers, those needing the largest amount of repairs, Fishel & Paykel is in dead last and Asko isn't too far behind.