Does anybody actually like washing dishes by hand? It’s time-consuming and it doesn’t actually save you much water compared to the best dishwashers. The best models are designed to me super economical, so you can save water as well as time. If you have the space, you need one in your life.
We’ve reviewed many dishwashers from all of the top brands, and there are five that we recommend. Out of those, there are two that deserve special mention. The Whirlpool WIO 3O33 DEL is the best dishwasher that we’ve tested. This integrated, under-counter model has oodles of space and does a great job getting all types of dishes clean. If you’re on a tighter budget, the Blomberg LDFN2240 is excellent value, cleans well, is flexible and has great performance.
How do we pick the best dishwasher
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.
Whirlpool WIO 3O33 DEL
- Excellent cleaning results
- Brilliant PowerClean feature
- Super-frugal with water and electricity
- Very quiet
- Powerclean heavier on electricity
- Cutlery tray not removeable
- No interior light
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Whirlpool WIO3033 DEL, the first 10/10 dishwasher that’s ever graced the Trusted Reviews test bench. Whirpool has pulled off a corker in the integrated 14-place WIO3032, with astounding energy efficiency, outstanding racking space and unrivalled cleaning.
One of our favourite features is Whirlpool’s PowerClean, a turbo-boosting programme to really power-blast those particularly mucky dishes. It’s one of the quietest machines on the market too – even when it’s not tucked away behind a furniture door.
Very low running costs and amazingly flexible interior space finish the bill. If you’re looking for a built-in dishwasher for under £650, this is the only machine you need consider.
- Great wash and drying results
- Energy-efficient Auto programme
- Flexible interior racking
- Low running costs
- Eco programme isn’t that economical
- Condensation if not unloaded quickly
- Drippy spray bar
The Blomberg LDFN2240 is a stylish, flexible dishwasher that offers a superb performance for the money.
With a 13-place setting capacity, there’s plenty of storage, even if the extended family come round for dinner. It’s easy to use too, with eight logical programmes for tackling your washing up in the most efficient manner.
It’s not without its quirks. We’d usually expect the Eco mode to offer the best energy rating available, but we find the auto programme is not only better on performance and time, but also lighter on our energy bill too.
While odd, it’s not inconvenient, and using this mode the Blomberg punches well above its price point in terms of washing and drying results. It’s nicely quiet too, so won’t keep the house awake after a dinner party.
With an attractive asking price and low running costs, the Blomberg LDFN2240 is great value all round.
- Very easy to use
- Low energy and water use
- Simple programme choice
- Adjustable height top basket
- Attractive price
- Awkward for pots and pans
- No collapsible plate racks
- Frill-free features
- Average drying performance
Not particularly fussed about chasing the latest bells and whistles, and simply want clean dishes at a low price? Then the Indesit DFG26B1 is the dishwasher for you. Its capabilities can be summed up in one small list, which is: one big central knob for selecting one of six programmes; buttons for on/off; a delay start; and the enigmatically entitled MyTime function, which shortens the wash duration.
Washing and drying performance are decent, if not exceptional, but you can’t argue with that sub £300 price. It’s reasonably cost effective too, racking up an estimated £60 a year in running costs. If you want better figures than that, you’re going to have to fork out for an elite king such as the Miele G 6820 SC.
Simply put, the Indesit DFG26B1 fulfils its duty as a basic, easy-to-use dishwasher with good eco credentials.
Whirlpool WIO 3T123 PEF
- Class-leading cleaning results
- Buffed-perfect glassware
- PowerClean is tough on stains
- Good programme selection
- Flexible basket options
- Slightly higher running costs
- No interior lighting
There aren’t many dishwashers that can clean as well as the Whirlpool WIO 3T123 PEF, and we have no qualms saying it’s by far the second-best integrated dishwasher we’ve ever tested. Fully laden with Whirlpool’s 6th Sense technology and PowerClean jets, this neat and discreet dishwasher is ruthlessly tough on stains.
With 10 programmes, the WIO 3T123 PEF can be set to buff glassware to crystal-clear perfection, sanitise baby bottles or wine and beer-making equipment at 65?, and clean up a full load with stunning results on Eco mode. Designed to fit within a kitchen cupboard and hidden behind a furniture door, it’s whisper-quiet too.
The only minor caveat with the WIO 3T123 PEF is that it’s not the most energy efficient machine, clocking up an extra £15-£20 running cost per year compared to some of the most efficient A energy rated freestanding models. But then, it produces some of the most stunning cleaning results, so the trade-off is for you to judge.
- Very good glass cleaning
- Well-thought-out baskets
- Good on tough stains
- Low water usage
- Fits into 45cm slot
- Drying could be better
- Basic cutlery basket
- Not as quiet as claimed
Tight on space, but yearning for a dish bot to take care of your post-dinner party mess? The skinny Hotpoint SIUF32120X is a mere 45cm wide, but has the capacity to scrub up a whopping 10 place settings. It also has nine programmes, a 25-minute quick wash and a digital display that makes it super easy to use.
One of our favourite features is the Soak programme, a 10-minute pre-wash that gives plates a quick sloshing with detergent – perfect if you desperately need to clean some plates before whizzing the next course our to your guests.
Unlike some of the top-spec machines on the market, the SIUF32120X doesn’t come with a miraculous programme to leave your pots and pans instantly bone-dry and cupboard-ready. It makes an attempt at drying, but its real talents lie in its ability to clean incredibly well. Opt for the white version at around £50 cheaper, and you won’t think twice about that tiny niggle.
Those are our picks of the best dishwashers. If you want to know more about what to look out for when buying one then read on.
Best dishwashers – what size do I need?
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.
Best dishwashers – How many place settings should I get?
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.
Best dishwashers – Do I need adjustable racks?
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.
Best dishwashers – Do I need 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.
Best dishwashers – What’s a cutlery tray for?
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.