The Best Dishwasher Reviews & Best Buys for 2021: Our Recommendations
Firstly, thanks for visiting! I hope we can make your search for a new dishwasher as quick and painless as possible.
My name is James, and I’m the editor of this site. I’ve been reviewing appliances for several years now, struggling to find concise buying information online and feel a need for a site like this.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying there is a shortage of information on the internet – if anything, there’s too much. The problem I found was wading through all the dishwasher reviews to come out with a shortlist and ultimately pick the best option for my budget.
Surely, if you know you have, say, £300, to spend, it shouldn’t be that hard (or time-consuming) to find the best option, or at least narrow it down to 2 or 3 possibilities?
I aim to list all the best-selling and top-rated UK dishwashers on the market in 2021 and then make recommendations of what I would buy given various budgets and criteria (i.e., do you want a freestanding or an integrated model?
Slimline or standard width?). You’re then, of course, welcome to do as much, or as little, further research as you like, but at least I’ll hopefully have pointed you in the right direction.
So, without further ado, below are the machines I think you should definitely take a look at. I’ve broken down our recommendations for each dishwasher type by price, as most people tend to have a rough budget in mind, but I’d still recommend taking a look at both lists as you might find that there’s a great machine that is just a small amount over budget but ticks all of your boxes.
What Are the Different Types of Dishwasher?
If you’re not quite sure what sort of dishwasher you’re looking for, below is an explanation of each of the main types. The primary consideration is, what size space do you want the machine to fit in?
If you have enough room for a full size (known as ‘standard’) machine, these are your options.
Standard Freestanding Dishwasher
A standard-sized freestanding dishwasher (like the example shown left) is 60 cm wide and, at approximately 85 cm high, is designed to fit under the vast majority of kitchen worktops. The depth of various models varies but will most likely be about 60 cm.
A machine like this will be designed to wash 12/13 place settings (a place setting being a dinner and dessert plate, soup bowl, teacup and saucer, glass and cutlery set.
This is a very popular choice as these machines have a large capacity and can be very reasonably priced.
Standard Integrated Dishwasher
Integrated (also known as built-in) dishwashers are designed for use in fitted kitchens. They can fit into the slot under the kitchen worktop just like freestanding models, but they have a fascia panel mounted on the door (please see the example on the left) to make the appliance blend in seamlessly with your other kitchen units.
If you’re having a brand new kitchen installed, this is almost certainly an option you’ll want to consider as this can enhance the look of the end result. You’ll pay a little more, but the results really can be worth the extra investment.
Standard Semi-Integrated Dishwasher
Another great option for fitted kitchens is a semi-integrated dishwasher (also known as a semi built-in dishwasher) like the example shown on the left. Semi-Integrated machines are similar to integrated ones in that they have a fascia panel matching your other kitchen units mounted to the door, so the unit blends in nicely.
The difference is that there is a small, exposed panel (normally at the top) where the machine controls are visible. The benefit of this is that you can see the display, for example, to find out how long a washing cycle has left to run. Also, the controls tend to be a little bigger than if they were embedded in the top of the door, so they can be easier to use.
Like integrated units, these tend to be a little more expensive than freestanding models. Ultimately, it’s a question of taste as to whether you think one of these might look better in your kitchen than a fully integrated model.
If you’re spending a fortune on your new kitchen and opting for top-of-the-range Miele appliances, you might like the idea of the branding being visible – there’s no point spending an arm and a leg on top-class appliances then hiding them away, right? Or maybe you find the controls in the top of the door a little fiddly to use? Either way, semi built-in machines are an option you may want to consider.
Slimline and Compact Models
Don’t have room for a full-size dishwasher to clean dishes? No problem! Check out the space-saving options below for more compact dishwasher alternatives.
Freestanding slimline dishwashers, like the example shown on the left, are exactly the same as standard freestanding models except for their width (and corresponding capacity), normally in the region of 45 cm. This can be a great option if you don’t have the room for a full-size machine or smaller families who don’t need the extra capacity.
You’ll find that slimline (sometimes known as ‘narrow’) models are a bit cheaper than their regular-sized counterparts, but the savings aren’t always as big as you might think – you won’t be paying half the price, for example.
The technology that goes into the machine is the same, and, if anything, squeezing it all into a smaller package is harder; hence the savings aren’t massive. Having said that, if narrow models suit your needs, they can be a great addition to any kitchen offering all the functionality you need in a very space-efficient package.
They will normally handle around 9 or 10 place settings which isn’t that much less than the average standard-sized machine (at around 12-13), so you can still get a substantial amount of washing up done per load.
An integrated slimline dishwasher (also known as a ‘built in’ slimline or narrow dishwasher) is, as with the standard-sized version above, simply an appliance that is fitted into your kitchen units and which has a fascia panel affixed to the front to give the impression of being ‘just another cupboard door’. These look very smart and maintain the nice clean lines of a fitted kitchen.
If you’re having a new kitchen installed and are going for the ‘fully-fitted’ look, this is most likely the way to go. The only real difference between a slimline and a standard model (other than the slightly inflated price) is the width – a slimline model is normally about 15 cm narrower than a full-size model.
The capacity will be smaller too, normally 9-10 place settings instead of 12-13. For most small families, a narrow machine will be more than adequate and will leave you more room for additional storage if space is at a premium.
Like the rather fancy Neff shown here, a compact integrated dishwasher is similar in size to a table top model. Still, it is built into your kitchen units in the same way as other integrated units. The height is likely to be in the region of 45 cm, so it’s approximately half the standard unit’s height (normally fitted at the top with a cupboard beneath).
You won’t find a huge number of these on the market as demand is pretty limited, but they do exist and serve a need for people who really can’t find the space for anything bigger. You’re unlikely to choose this over a larger model to save money as they tend to be a little pricier (the model shown is over £450), so available space really is the key consideration when choosing this option.
Functionality-wise the model shown will handle 6 place settings which aren’t inconsiderable but are still about 40% less than a slimline model, so you won’t fit a huge volume of washing in but for a single person or a couple it would most likely be perfectly adequate for dirty dishes.
You’ll struggle to fit large pans / baking trays etc., in alongside your plates, though, and this can be an inconvenience. To sum up, not an option that would suit most people but worth considering if you’ve completely maxed out your available kitchen unit space but still really want a dishwasher.
Table Top Dishwasher
Table Top dishwashers (also known as ‘Counter Top’ or ‘Compact’ Dishwashers) are small freestanding units that you can install in any kitchen where you have some free worktop space. They take up about the same space as a large microwave, so they are generally not too difficult to accommodate.
Capacity-wise, a compact model can generally handle 6 place settings, which should be more than enough for a single person, couple or small family.
Why Would You Want One?
- You don’t have enough space for either a standard-sized or integrated machine.
- You’ll find it difficult to bend down, so loading & unloading at the counter level is more comfortable.
- You have a small household and don’t think a larger machine is justified.
One of the main questions we get asked about countertop models is how easy they are to install/plumb in and what is involved? Most models come with a kit that will enable you to use your kitchen tap as a water source and will have a waste hose that you can position into your sink for wastewater to escape.
This won’t exactly look ideal but has the benefit of being a minimal hassle if you want to get up-and-running ASAP. You will also have the option to plumb your machine in on a permanent
basis exactly as you would with an under-counter model.
If you’re a competent DIY’er, you can most likely do this yourself. If not, you’ll need to get a plumber in to do the install for you, but it shouldn’t be oppressively expensive –get a few quotes from local plumbers before going ahead.
They will need to drill a hole in your worktop to run the pipes through and then hook into your existing pipework for either your sink or washing machine. Obviously, the closer you locate the unit to one of these, the easier/cheaper the job will be.
As with compact ‘integrated’ models, this is unlikely to be a super-cheap option, so it is only really worth considering if size/space (or height) is an issue. Having said that, if this type of machine does suit your needs, there are some very fine options on the market which are well worth a look at.
Compare Prices and Save £££s
Once you’ve decided upon the dishwasher you want to buy, you’ll want to make sure you get the best deal you possibly can! Fortunately, the internet’s growth has made pricing more transparent than ever, and you can now compare prices at a wide range of online stores in a matter of seconds.
Good luck with your search, and please feel free to get in touch if we can help further.
1. Best Overall Bosch SMS25EWOOG
- Dimensions: 84.5 x 60 x 60 cm
- 13 Place Settings
- Cutlery Holder Type Tray
- 48dB Noise Level
Our recommendation for the best overall dishwasher is the Bosch freestanding dishwasher. It can hold up to 13 place settings, making it ideal for medium to larger sized households. The upper baskets feature adjustable racking, and there is automatic load adjustment. With this feature, the dishwasher automatically adjusts the water level if you have a smaller load, saving you time and money.
You will also find a child lock, cutlery tray, and an easy to use and easy to read digital display among these features. It uses a heat exchanger drying system, making sure each load of dishes is cleaned, dried, and sanitised. You will find that even your more delicate glassware and porcelain can be washed without sustaining damage due to the water temperature’s shock with the heat exchanger. The water is pre-heated in the rinsing tank, so you always have the right water temperature for each load.
With the time delay, you will find it more convenient to wash the dishes on your schedule. You can pre-select any programme you want and have it start anytime within 24 hours.
The load sensing technology allows you to save water and energy by using only the amount of water needed for your dishes’ load and soil level.
You will also find a VarioDrawer on the third loading level of the dishwasher. This dishwasher drawer is the perfect area to load your flatware and smaller utensils.
2. Best Budget Beko DVS05C20W Slimline Freestanding Dishwasher
- Dimensions: 85 x 45 x 60 cm
- 10 Place Setting Capacity
- Quick Wash Programmes
- Half Load Function
- A++ Energy Rating
- Removable Cutlery Basket
- 49 dBA Noise Level
- Delay Timer
- 5 Programmes
This Beko Slimline Freestanding Dishwasher is small and compact but still loaded with many of the premium features you are looking for when purchasing a new dishwasher. It has a 10 place setting capacity, five wash programmes to choose from, including a 30 and 58-minute quick wash programme if you have slightly soiled dishes.
Don’t have a full load? You can use the half load function to save water and time and not have to wait to start a dishwasher cycle until the dishwasher is full.
The included cutlery basket is removable and can be repositioned; however, you see fit and allows you to make room for any larger dishes, pots, and pans you may have to load into the dishwasher.
The lower decibel noise level is good for quiet operation, and the delay timer can be set at 3, 6, or 9-hour increments so you can do the dishes whenever it is most convenient for your busy schedule.
3. Best Semi-Integrated Miele G4203Sci Active-Semi Integrated Dishwasher
- Dimensions: 84.5 x 59.8 x 60 cm
- 14 Place Settings
- Cutlery Tray
- 46 dB Noise Level
- Adjustable Racks
- Child Lock
- Digital Display
- Condenser Drying System
- Overflow Protection
- Quick Wash Cycle
We have chosen this Miele dishwasher as our choice for the best semi integrated dishwasher because of its many features and enhanced functionality. It has a large capacity capable of washing up to 14 place settings at a time. It is both a reliable and more modern dishwasher option ideal for a medium to large-sized household.
You will also find various premium programmes to choose from that allow you to wash your more delicate items and those dishes with caked on and stubborn food particles. The cutlery tray makes the dishwasher easier and more convenient to load and frees up space you need in the lower basket for larger items.
4. Best Integrated Bosch SMV46JX01G
- Dimensions: 81.5 x 59.8 x 55 cm
- 13 Place Settings
- Cutlery Basket 46dB Noise Level
- Adjustable Racks
- Automatic Load Adjustment
- Delay Start Feature
- Digital Display
- Heat Exchanger Drying System
- 6 Programmes
This Bosch Integrated Dishwasher made our list today because of its many features and how easy it is to use. Its adjustable racks make it easier for loading, and the cutlery basket makes it more convenient to wash your smaller utensils and flatware. It has a delicate wash programme that allows you to safely and effectively wash your glassware and other delicate dishes.
Among its other features and functionalities, you will also find a child lock for safety, a programme sequence indicator to tell you where you are at during the washing process, and a quick wash programme if you are in a hurry and need clean dishes right away.
5. Best for Smaller Households Bosch Serie 4 SKS62E32EU Table Top Dishwasher
- Dimensions: 45 x 55.1 x 50 cm
- 6 Place Settings
- Adjustable Plate Spikes
- Auto 3-in-1 Detection
- Cutlery Basket
- Delay Timer
- Inherent Heat Drying Method
- A+ Energy Rating
If you lack kitchen space and have a smaller area to work with, then a countertop dishwasher or table top option is the ideal choice. This Bosch Serie 4 table top dishwasher can wash up to 6 place settings at a time. If you are in a hurry, it has a 29-minute quick wash programme suitable for any busy lifestyle.
This Bosch dishwasher also features a VarioSpeed feature meaning it uses extra water for shortening a standard cycle by up to 50%. The special intensive wash programme is a good choice if you find yourself with stubborn stuck and burnt-on food particles that require more washing power.
It has a slightly higher noise level at 49 dB but is still considered unintrusive. Among its other programmes we have mentioned, you can also find an economy wash programme, glassware and delicate wash programme, and pre-rinse. There are five different wash temperatures to choose from as well.
This option is also a more portable dishwasher option due to its compact size.
Top Considerations When Purchasing a Dishwasher
When looking for a new dishwasher, make sure to keep the following in mind:
- Value for money
- High energy rating
- Water usage
- Product guarantee
- Quiet Mark Certified
- Style and colour
- Tray cutlery holder or basket cutlery holder
- Time indicator
For more information on what to look for when purchasing a new dishwasher, make sure to read our dishwasher buying guide for even more helpful tips and advice.
Cutlery Tray Versus Basket
When it comes down to the cutlery tray versus basket debate, you want to determine which is best for your household needs. The cutlery basket is often considered the old school standard. It is a removable basket that you can easily load and unload. The utensils can be placed in the cutlery basket in whatever direction you want. It is also useful for keeping the utensils from nestling together during the wash cycle.
An inside door basket is very similar to the lower level cutlery basket we already described. However, this door basket is fixed and not removable, proving to be inconvenient for some. However, with the cutlery basket being attached to the inside door, you will find that it frees up more space in the main compartment of your dishwasher.
A cutlery tray is often included in newer dishwasher models and makes loading a bit more time consuming because you aren’t just loading your utensils into a basket. However, it does make unloading a bit easier and more convenient because you can see everything laid out. It also makes it easier to load those larger and more awkward utensils that might not fit in a cutlery basket. The tray may also take up some room you may want for larger dishes, pots, and pans.
What Is a Smart Dishwasher?
A smart dishwasher utilises the most innovative technology to make it easier and more convenient to control and manage your dishwasher remotely. Some smart dishwashers can be controlled through an app. Others are smart enough to automatically adjust the water level and energy consumption to match the size of the load and the necessary amount of cleaning. This allows you to use less water consumption and less energy for each dishwashing cycle.
What Size Dishwasher Do I Need?
Typically, the dimensions of a dishwasher are determined by the opening size of the space they are designed to fit into rather than the dishwasher’s dimensions. Most dishwashers in the UK come in a standard size of 60 x 63.5 x 86.5 cm. However, integrated panel dishwashers may be slightly smaller and shallower because they are designed to look like your other kitchen cabinets.
If you have a family size of four people or more, then you want to look for a dishwasher that can hold up to 12 place settings at a time. Slimline models are in a more compact size, and many of them have this capacity if you are short on space but still have a larger household.
We hope our dishwasher reviews and best buys for 2021 have helped you narrow down your choices, so you can find the best and most suitable dishwasher for your needs and household size. When buying any kitchen appliances for your home, you always want to take your time and research each available option.