What Dishwasher To Buy
In 2020, we surveyed more than 1,000 households to find out what dishwashers people currently own, why they chose them, what features they find most useful and whether they would buy them again. But a lot has happened since that survey.
what dishwasher to buy
To help you navigate making such an investment purchase, we've spoken to domestic white goods experts from Quiet Mark, AO.com, Currys.co.uk, and Appliances Direct and independent advisors from UK Whitegoods to bring you trusted advice and recommended dishwasher suggestions, and help you make an informed decision about what dishwasher to spend your money on.
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This Samsung dishwasher is a versatile choice for medium-sized households, offering both flexible storage and easy height adjustment. Its eco credentials, however, are the standout. Even under the new energy rating classification system it scores a B, and its half-load option enables lower energy usage when you have fewer dishes to clean.
Flexibility-wise it scores highly, with an adjustable upper basket and folding plate that allows more room for large dishes and pans. The cutlery tray is at the very top, offering up more space elsewhere, and there's a self-dry function that lets air into the dishwasher after the programme has finished. Another nice touch is the bright interior light, so you can easily check what's inside without having to pull an entire drawer out.
This Siemens iQ300 can be connected to home WiFi, voice activated and controlled remotely from your smartphone through the brand's app. It'll also keep track of how many dishwasher tablets you have left.
Love them or hate them, drawer dishwashers give you the option to set one half running while you load the other and choose a different wash cycle for each half depending on the contents. Grimy dishes in one, delicate glassware in another.
It has low-water usage at just nine litres per cycle, too, and the self-cleaning filter and rinsing system mean you won't need to clean the dishwasher as often. The two-year guarantee is another nice bonus, providing great value for a decent price.
If you're limited on space and want a dishwasher that slots easily into your kitchen, an integrated slimline model will help you achieve that seamless look. At 45cm across, this Indesit dishwasher fits neatly into tighter spaces, and because it's more compact than a regular-sized dishwasher, it typically uses less water and energy, too.
In 2020, we rallied the BBC Good Food community with a survey distributed across our website, newsletter and social media channels to establish your favourite dishwasher brands, usage and purchase drivers, and received 1,264 responses.
When choosing a dishwasher, the top two most important factors by a clear margin are value for money and high energy rating. Water usage and product guarantee were the next important factors in people's decision making.
When it comes to dishwashers, experts at Currys and AO.com advise looking for a machine with an eco setting. This can help you reduce energy and water use quickly, particularly if your dishes only need a light wash.
If you're going to be producing lots of dirty dishes and glasses throughout the day, it's much more eco-friendly to run a larger dishwasher once than a smaller dishwasher several times, adds Currys. Similarly, you shouldn't buy a dishwasher that's bigger than your needs, as it will be at its most efficient when run at full capacity.
"Learning how to use your dishwasher efficiently in terms of load, detergent and general use will prove more effective in the way of savings," he adds. "There are also guides on the UK White Goods' website that show you how to run your machine correctly, and even getting halfway there can make a monumental difference."
Keep your dishwasher as clean as possible, too, says Joe Close. "This stops dirt building up, which can cause problems down the line. Hand-washing items such as oily pans instead of putting them in the dishwasher can also prevent your appliance from working overtime and clogging up drains."
As a result, many dishwashers which previously boasted A+++ ratings now loiter around the C-E area; a move that's hoped will re-ignite competition between manufacturers when it comes to sustainability.
"The annual water consumption quoted for dishwashers is based on 280 wash cycles a year," Trigg tells us. "That works out as 5.38 wash cycles per week. So if you use your dishwasher more or less than that, your costs will vary accordingly."
"The new energy label has not changed the noise assessment of appliances," says Simon Gosling, CMO at at Quiet Mark. "Along with the decibel level, it now shows an A-D rating, with models in 'A' being amongst the quietest and 'D' being some of the loudest, but this compares all dishwashers together. At Quiet Mark we compare freestanding models separately from built-in models to ensure we can certify the quietest in each category."
An independent scheme, Quiet Mark tests dishwashers every year to certify the quietest 10-20% across sub-categories and re-evaluates them annually to reflect and include the advances in performance of new models coming onto the market.
"The dB sound output from dishwasher models currently on the market this year range between 39dB right up to 54dB," says Gosling. "The difference of 15dB may not look much on paper but as the decibel scale is logarithmic, 10dB is a doubling of the subjective volume, so this means the models at the louder end of the scale would sound more than twice as loud at the quietest ones"
Cutlery trays allow for extra washing room between each piece and offer more flexibility for utensils such as spatulas, tongs and sharp knives to also be washed safely. Sometimes, large dishwashers have both. A separate cutlery tray leaves you with additional room for plates in the lowest dishwasher rack.
Smart dishwashers connect via WiFi to an app on your phone, allowing you to control them remotely through that app. You no longer have to pay through the nose for them but Andy Trigg suggests approaching these with an air of caution.
"Think carefully before paying extra for smart features," says Trigg. "You should never run a dishwasher when no one is present in the house. They are a potential fire risk. If you can see that there are genuinely useful (and not just novel) functions on a smart dishwasher then you will no doubt be happy to pay extra for one."
Nine in 10 said they would also buy the dishwasher again (4% said they would not). The next most popular dishwasher brands were Beko and Hotpoint, with 9% and 8% respectively owning their dishwashers.
Using the results of this survey, suggested models from Quiet Mark Technical Manager, Richard Wilkinson, AO trading director, Lauren Clark, Currys PC World white goods specialist, Karl Beasant, and advice from Kenneth Watt of UK White Goods, we bring you a selection of highly rated dishwasher models from top brands to consider for your household.
You will often find annual running costs provided in dishwasher product descriptions, which comes in useful when deciding what dishwasher to buy. However, many reviews and product retailers quote the energy usage of dishwashers in pound sterling rather than kilowatt hours. When comparing the running costs of dishwashers, take these with a pinch of salt and remember that as energy prices change, so will the annual running costs of the dishwasher.
Whether you are finally making the leap from hand-washing, or are just looking to upgrade, choosing the right dishwasher type, style, capacity, and more that fits your budget is a major purchasing decision.
Built-in dishwashers are designed to go underneath a countertop, and they are the most widely used dishwasher type in homes. Built-ins are typically located near the kitchen sink due to the necessity of a plumbing connection.
Countertop dishwashers are designed to sit on a counter. These machines typically measure between 20 to 24 inches wide, 22 to 24 inches deep and 25 to 28 inches high. These machines use a water intake hose connected to the kitchen sink faucet, a drain hose that releases the dirty water into the sink and needs a nearby electrical outlet to provide power. Countertop units can accommodate between six and eight place settings per wash.
Most dishwashers feature controls mounted on the front of the door. However, there are models that feature the control panels along the top edge of the door, where it will be hidden when the door is closed. This option is purely cosmetic and offers a streamlined, modern look. The main downside for a hidden control panel is that you can not see how much longer the cycle is at a glance.
Noise levels for dishwashers are indicated by their decibel level. A rating of 45 decibels or lower is a virtually silent dishwasher. Decibel levels between 45 and 50 have the equivalent sound level to steady rainfall. A 50 or higher decibel level is equivalent to the level of a normal conversation. The lower the decibel rating, the more expensive the dishwasher will be.
A typical dishwasher features at least three settings: normal, heavy and light. Wash cycle selections will vary from dishwasher to dishwasher, and one with programmable or built-in modes for quick wash, delicate, rinse and hold, etc., will generally cost more but may save you money on power and water in the long run.
Economical dishwashers use the residual heat in the tub to dry the dishes. In most cases, this is sufficient. However, some dishwashers come with options for extra drying and may include a heating element to dry the dishes coupled with a fan to circulate the warm air that expedites the drying process.
Extra features above and beyond the standard options are what sets one dishwasher apart from another. However, the more features the appliance has, the higher the price tags. Here are some common extra features available on dishwashers. 041b061a72