How to choose the right dishwasher.
With so many choices in dishwashers, it can be hard to determine which is best for your home. We’ve complied a list of features to consider when shopping for a dishwasher.
Types of dishwashers
Built in standard dishwashers are best for people who have room in their kitchen and wash large loads of dishes. They tend to cost between $250 and $1,600 and take about 2.4 gallons of water to wash a load.
Compact dishwashers are best for people with small cabinet space: small apartment or RV. They tend to cost about $350 and only hold about 8 place settings. In-sink dishwashers are best for people who wash small loads and have limited cabinet space but big budgets. They cost about $1,800 and can be used as a small cutting board when not in use.
Drawer dishwashers are best for people who want energy efficiency and extra dish storage. They tend to cost about $700 for one drawer and $1,200 for two.
Portable dishwashers are best for renters or homeowners without enough space for a built in model. They tend to cost $400 to $600 and don’t take a permanent space in the kitchen.
The average size of a dishwasher is 24 inches wide and can clean between 12 and 15 place settings. A large family the eats a lot will need a larger dishwasher to accommodate the large number of dishes per day: similar to the Samsung Tall Tub. Someone single that doesn’t use their dishwasher but once a day could use something small: such as the Danby 18 inch portable dishwasher. The smaller models clean around 6-7 place settings.
Compact dishwashers can wash up to 8 place settings. Standard dishwashers wash around 12 place settings. Tall tub dishwashers wash about 14 place settings.
Because the kitchen is becoming more of a “hang out” spot in a home the noise level is starting to become an issue. Bosch makes the quietest models on the market such as the new 800 Plus Dishwashers which feature 39dBA quiet rating. Quieter models should have a sound level around 47 to 57 decibels: equivalent to an ordinary spoken voice.
Many newer dishwasher are ENERGY STAR® qualified, which means they save you money on energy costs. Dishwashers with no-heat drying functionality save on energy but take longer to dry.
Cycles are primary wash settings, while options are additional functions you can select to enhance the cycle. The ones you find most important will depend upon your day-to-day dishwashing needs and the level of convenience they offer you.
China/Crystal Cycle – uses a low-pressure wash spray to gently clean your most delicate glassware and stemware.
Plate Warmer Cycle – quickly heats plates, ideal for entertaining
Sensor Wash Cycle with ClearScan™ Turbidity Sensor – uses sensors to determine load size and food residue, automatically chooses the correct cycle, customizing every load for optimum results.
Super Scrub – enhances any cycle you choose with additional heat or water to clean especially challenging food residue.
Top Rack Only – allows you to clean a smaller load, using less water and energy for impeccable cleaning. This is ideal when you have smaller loads or are entertaining.
Precision Dry™ Plus – enhances drying results for any cycle, resulting in less visible spotting from condensation, for a consistently flawless finish.
Having adjustable racks allow you to arrange the dishwasher to allow maximum sanitation for specific items: such as pots and pans. The cutlery basket allows for maximum cleansing and prevents damage to silverware and other utensils. The drawer in the Fisher & Paykel dishwasher holds just as much as the tall tubs and has the advantage of no longer having to bend over to unload the bottom rack.
Having a touch screen as compared to a dial looks nicer and is easier to service because there are less moving parts on the dishwasher. These can be hidden or partially hidden and are much easier to clean.
The colors range from bisque, black, white, silver, to stainless steel. Stainless Steel dishwashers tend to run for $150 – $200 more than simple colored dishwashers.
A soil sensor featured in Frigidaire and Kitchen Aid automatically stops the cycle once it senses the dishes are clean. Rinse/hold cycles can reduce odors and prevents the grime from settling while waiting for enough dishes for a full load. Filters keep wash water clean so food cannot be deposited on clean dishes. Hidden touchpad controls are a styling touch but, you cannot see the cycle progress.
Dishwashers priced from $300-$600 tend to be Energy Star-qualified 24 inch built in’s. Many have adjustable racks, about 3-7 wash cycle options, and some have sound-reducing packages. Countertop dishwashers are priced from $200- $250. Dishwashers priced from $600- $800 include all the features from above and comprise extra wash cycles, stainless steel tubs, and lights to indicate the machine is on. Dishwashers ranging from $800- $2000 have up to 16 wash cycles that include power scrub to remove tough grime, quiet motors, and hard-food disposers.