The magic dish box is a marvel of magical modern engineering. It allows you to take the filthy plates and bowls with their caked-on, hardened messes, put them inside the machine, and then, with a wave of your hand and a press of a button, either turn them into someone else’s problem, or get them to a tolerable level of sanitation so you can start the whole disgusting “eating” process all over again.
Many of us have existed in homes without dishwashers and remember in our most horrifying dreams and cold-sweat-inducing flashbacks the endless hours of scrubbing, rinsing, and drying that took us far from our families until they left us in frustration. We toiled like scullery slaves at the piles, praying only for death to be released from the Sisyphean task until one day the dish machine came and broke our shackles of fine china and ceramics.
Whether you’re installing a new dishwasher in a home without one, or replacing an existing machine that no longer gives your flatware enough sparkle after you tried putting a few engine parts through it, you want the most effective out there. So we found the 8 best dishwashers to keep you untethered from the hell of the sink.
Not everyone has a dedicated space to install a dishwasher, nor the money to do it. For those who want a portable choice that does all the work of a built-in model, but can be wheeled away for storage, Danby rides to the rescue. The best thing to say about it is that it has all the features of a built-in, as well as the scrubbing power that you’d find in your solid $600-$700 installed options. Full loads come out glinting like an 80’s tooth-whitening commercial, and it even is Energy Star compliant so even though it’s hooked to your sink, it’s still saving you – and mother Earth – water.
The GDF610PMJES can give you a few fits at first, since loading it requires a special touch that you’ll need to learn so that all your curved bowls, spoons, and glasses get fully clean. Once you’ve mastered it, however, you’ll find that the immense number of features and deep cleaning can only be matched by spending a few hundred dollars more. You can wash only the top or bottom, something more common in $800 dish cleaners, and go big or small with how much silverware you want to get washed out. It does have a plastic wash tub, so a few corners have been cut when compared with the Maytag gracing this list, but GE has a basic workhorse that’s deep with extras.
The bad news about the MDB4949SDx is that it’s going to be a little bit louder, use a little bit more energy, and hold fewer dishes than most of the choices here. The good news is that it cleans everything to sterling mother-in-law-is-coming-to-dinner quality, has a stainless steel tub that allows for more energy efficiency than anything else at this price, and won’t die on you anytime in the foreseeable future. The complaints are extremely minor, and the benefits shine like the North Star for anyone who doesn’t have or want to spend much on getting their dishes done to professional satisfaction.
Water bottle users, or those who clean jars will find the bottle jets that grace the top of the GDT655 manna from heaven, as they manage to clean where the usual spray-and-pray streams won’t reach. It also has separate wash modes allowing you to fill just the top or bottom after a cocktail or dinner party, and do a half wash without needing to wait for the box to be completely filled. As to the other cycles, there’s an express wash that will have your dishes ready in about half an hour, and a serious sanitizing cycle that will kill any bug in the zoo or germ in the Petri dish.
The ho-hum facade of the 13699 won’t turn any heads, but that bland appearance helps make it a sleeper agent that comes to life where it counts, while costing hundreds less than it deserves. A meaty set of 6 cleaning cycles allow you to deep scrub those pots and pans, while gentler washing helps get your daintiest champagne flutes sparkling without worrying that they’ll be battered by powerful jets. The control panel might not inspire confidence, and a plastic rather than stainless steel tub doesn’t make it quite as energy efficient as we might like, but those are small complaints when the broad strokes are covered so artfully.
Buying a Bosch dishwasher is a savvy move in peace of mind, since they have enough street cred for reliability and product-backing that lemons are quickly removed from the market. Frankly, if you’re dishwasher hunting, you can pick the Bosch model that fits your needs and your budget and go home a winner. With the SHS63VL5UC – aka the 300 Series M – you’re going to have far more space than you’ll get anywhere else at this price, along with sneaky ways to get all your odd items in along with standard-issue flatware and glasses. It’s energy efficient, whisper quiet, and even has a snappy stainless look that we dig on.
The triple-rack design isn’t our favorite, since it means less dishes can fit per washing cycle, but this also comes with a deadly serious drying feature that will get all your stuff ready for action at speed. Spare food that drops into the bottom gets the grinding treatment, so you don’t even really need to scrape, though it’s not a full garbage disposal, so be careful. The niftiest part is without a doubt the power wash section where you can put really filthy flatware to have it scrubbed with the magic of robotic elbow grease.
It’s tough to suggest spending more than $1K on a dishwasher, since you’re not really getting much more than you would at $800 or so. With 8 cleaning cycles, it’s got the most different choices of anything on this list, allowing for glassware to be handled specifically, a lightning fast 29 minute wash cycle that’s a full 3-minutes better than GE could manage, and you can adjust the temperature range if you want. In our humble opinion, you’re really paying for a slick flat front that doesn’t have a handle because you push it to get it open. A slick if gimmicky feature that will cost you.