Dishwasher Buyer's Guide

Your dishwasher is one of the hardest working appliances in your kitchen, so buying the right one is essential. The right one can save you time, energy, and water – our buyer’s guide eliminates the guessing and uncertainty surrounding that. There are many features, types, sizes and finishes available, so it is important to understand which dishwasher will work best for you.


1.     Finishes

Dishwashers come in a variety of finishes and colors to match your new kitchen remodel. To list a few:

  • Stainless Steel

  • Black Stainless Steel

  • Copper

  • Black

  • White

  • Custom (match cabinetry or other kitchen décor)

These are some of the most popular appliance finishes. It is important to understand which one you like best and the style that you want for your kitchen. This comes down to pure aesthetics and what you want your new kitchen to look like.


2.     Types and Sizes

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 1.37.35 PM.png

A traditionally sized dishwasher is 24” in width and can typically hold anywhere from 12-16 place settings. If you have a smaller kitchen and need something more compact, most companies sell an 18” dishwasher that fits around 8-10 place settings. Both of these are also traditionally built-in style, meaning they are installed below the counter.

Another type of dishwasher that exists is a drawer dishwasher. This is a non-traditional appliance, but can be effective and easier to use. Since there is no folding door, they are typically easier to load and unload. Single dishwasher drawers can accommodate up to about 7 place settings, whereas double dishwasher drawers can accommodate up to about 12 settings.


3.     Dishwasher Features

When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for features that will save you time, money, and effort. One of the worst feelings is opening up a freshly ran dishwasher to a bunch of dirty dishes. To ensure this isn’t happening to you, look for these features in your next dishwasher:

Heated dry

Rather than using residual heat to dry your dishes, a dishwasher with heated dry will have heating elements coupled with a fan to circulate the warm air. You may have to pay more for this feature; however, it will make the drying process a lot faster and more efficient.


Some dishwashers sound like an airplane taking off the ground, which can be quite annoying when ran for 90+ minutes at a time. If finding the quietest dishwasher available is a top priority for you, be sure to pay attention to the decibel rating. A level of 45 or lower is considered silent, similar to a library setting.

Adjustable Racks

Screen Shot 2019-09-12 at 11.15.19 AM.png

Removable racks and adjustable slots and shelves make it easy to personalize your tub space to accommodate your various dishes. An extra feature that is helpful is a third rack for flat utensils and dish ware. In addition, some dishwashers come with stemware holders to secure your wine and champagne glasses.


Sensors and filters

Dishwashers equipped with sensors help with quality cleaning, performance, and energy savings. There are sensors for soil levels, temperature levels, water levels, and leaks. In addition, there are some dishwashers with filtration systems that don’t require cleaning. This makes it incredibly low maintenance. However, for those dishwashers that do require a clean, removable filters make maintenance easy.


A more customizable wash is made possible with various dishwasher cycle options. Different dishes require different washes, soil levels, and detergent levels, making it important to have options to choose from. One of the most popular is the quick wash, which finishes a load of slightly soiled dishes in a shorter amount of time. Another favorite is the rinse and hold, which is great for rinsing away food and residue without using detergent.


Tub Material  

A stainless-steel tub resists stains and odors, making it the most efficient and durable of the finishes. It tends to be more quiet and have a faster drying time for your dishes. Plastic, on the other hand, is a common finish in many economically friendly dishwashers.  While it is durable and minimizes the appearance of stains, it can be a bit noisier for a dishwasher tub.

4. Water and Energy Savings

ENERGY STAR® certified dishwashers use less energy and water than other appliances. ENERGY STAR® is a government-backed symbol for efficiency, making it easy for consumers to purchase products that save them money and protect the environment. To learn more about ENERGY STAR® products, please visit the ENERGY STAR® website to learn more.

5. Control Options

Front Panel Control

The buttons on a front panel control are easily accessed and seen on the front of the dishwasher. This makes it easy to see which cycle the dishwasher is in and the time left on the wash. Since the buttons are fully visible, it does make for a less finished look - however, it would be easier to tell when the dishwasher cycle is done. A typical dishwasher with front-panel controls will have a recessed handle.

Top-Panel Control

This control panel is hidden on the top edge of the dishwasher’s door. These panels are hidden when the dishwasher is closed, giving the front panel a clean and sleek look. This can help prevent accidental changes from being made to the dishwasher during cycles. Typically, there is a front indicator light to show when the dishwasher is in use. A recessed handle or a towel bar handle are common for these types of dishwashers.

Help keep your mind at ease during your dishwasher searching adventure with this guide to purchasing one. If you stick by our tips, you can eliminate pulling dirty dishes from a freshly washed dishwasher.