A great dishwasher is a gift sent from heaven to make your dirty dishes sparkling clean after every meal. Our Best Dishwasher Round-up includes four of the best we’ve tested.
Every machine in this round-up has been fully put through its paces by our dedicated team. We know how much water all the machines use in their main and eco modes, how much power they use, and how well they clean everything from dried-on breakfast cereal to stubborn oil and grease. We know exactly how loud they are when they're rumbling away in your kitchen too.
Read on for more advice on what to look for and to discover how we test dishwashers, or scroll further to cut straight to our favourite dishwashers.
There are a few varieties of dishwashers. The most common are freestanding dishwashers that are 60cm wide, though there are also slimline dishwashers that are just 45cm wide that are good for small flats. Integrated dishwashers come in similar sizes, but are designed to blend in with your kitchen cabinetry. There also compact dishwashers that sit on the tabletop like a microwave, which are useful if you don’t have space for anything bigger.
Each type gives you a little flexibility depending on your needs, but here are a few more things worth knowing about before buying a new dishwasher.
Dishwasher capacity is measured by place setting – a single place setting consists of ten items of various sizes. A 60cm freestanding dishwasher typically takes 11 to 15 place settings. Slimline dishwashers typically hold 8 to 10 place settings and compact dishwashers around 8 to 10 place settings.
Another consideration is plate size. Not all dishwashers can take the largest plates, but some have adjustable racks to accommodate plates as big as 31.5cm in diameter. Check the maximum size a machine can take against your largest plates before buying.
Fold down prongs
This is a great feature to have. Fold down prongs make it much easier to load large pots and pans when you don’t have any plates to clean. Cheaper machines tend not to have them, but if you can afford one that does, then you won’t regret it.
Another useful feature is a dishwasher with a cutlery tray. This is dedicated tray at the top of the machine that means you have more space for pots and plates in the main part of the machine.
Every dishwasher is plumbed and run in first before we begin our testing. We fill each dishwasher with a typical domestic load of pots and plates, including wine glasses and plastics.
We test the standard, main wash cycle and the Eco cycle on all machines, measuring the amount of water used, power used, time to completion and the noise during the fill and washing stages.
We also have three standard washing tests:
Dirty wine glass
This test consists of dried-on wine in the bottom of a wine glass. We look for perfect cleaning, a good shine and no streaks. We also look out for common drying problems, such as small pools of water in the base of the glass.
Dried-on wheat cereal
Always a favourite, this test consists of a bowl with dried-on wheat cereal that’s been left for 24 hours. It needs to be cleaned perfectly to achieve a good score.
This is our toughest test. In fact it’s so tough that no machine has produced perfect results yet. We leave egg cooked in the microwave in a Pyrex bowl to dry for 24 hours, and we always place this item in the best possible place to get ideal results. Tough though it may be, the extent of the cleaning gives us a great insight into how well machines perform overall.