The best dishwashers in 2021 aren't just life-changing and time-saving. They're also more effective and efficient than ever before, delivering superb cleaning performance without wasting water or using frightening amounts of electricity. No matter how big your kitchen, there's a machine here to get your cutlery sparkling, your plates shining and your pots free from even the most burnt-on bits.
Every kitchen is different, and that's why we've put together this guide to the best dishwashers: we'll show you standard sizes and compact ones you can fit on a countertop, integrated ones that blend in with your units and all-singing, all-dancing premium ones that use clever tech to deliver even better cleaning.
Whether you're looking for a small dishwasher for a galley kitchen or something spectacular for an open-plan one, the best dishwasher will save you tons of time you can spend doing something more fun than doing the dishes. Here are our current favourites.
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How to buy the best dishwasher
If you've not bought a dishwasher for a few years (or ever) you may be surprised to find that the cutlery basket at the bottom is now a cutlery drawer at the top. We initially found these fiddly to fill – more so than dumping a load of spoons and forks in a basket, certainly – but we've come to appreciate the improved cleaning and increased space on the bottom shelf.
By definition however, cutlery drawers do leave less space in the top shelf, so tall wine glasses, for instance, will now have to be relegated to the bottom.
That aside, buying a dishwasher is pretty simple: measure up, pick a budget and get down the shops to inspect the goods, if possible. We don't recommend slimline dishwashers unless space is really at a premium; they're just never as good (and usually, not very space-saving either).
We don't really subscribe to the idea that there is a 'correct' way to load a dishwasher. So long as you don't totally overload your machine, and keep it topped up with salt and rinse aid, you should get decent cleaning results for years, even from the better cheapo machines.
But how do you know which ones are better? Easy. These are the 7 best dishwashers, with our favourite first and the rest in roughly descending order.
Take up your tablets, rinse aid and massive bag of cheap salt and prepare to learn T3's choice of what the best dishwashers you can buy today are…
The best dishwashers, in order
Bosch produces lots of dishwashers and most of them are exceedingly efficient and highly reliable.
The T3 Award Winning SMS67MW00G is a top-notch example that features Bosch’s PerfectDry technology. In a nutshell, it uses zeolite, a magical mineral that turns moisture into heat, in this case to dry dishes without using extra electricity. And by dry we mean bone dry – plastics and all.
The SMS67MW00G has lots of other features to offer anyone with piles of dirty dishes to get clean. There are 14 place settings and the way the unit has been designed means you can easily find a home for any grubby plate, cup, or item of cutlery, along with pots, pans and all the rest of it. We love the Vario basket system and cutlery top-mounted cutlery tray, too,
Choose from any one of seven programs with a host of temperature settings, with a quick wash option clocking in at just 29 minutes for those with an urgent need for a dinner setting. We’re also impressed with the ExtraDry program that reduces streaking, while the Glass 40°C wash is ideal if you have a lot of delicate glassware to get through. This machine also scores highly for its low noise operation, thanks mainly to its clever Silence function.
If you’re scouring the market for superbly specced premium machine at less than premium prices then put this at number one on your shopping list. We have.
If you're looking for the best budget dishwasher – one that does a decent job without costing you much money at all – then the Bosch Serie 2 SMS24AW01G might be exactly what you're looking for. With a simple, intuitive design and a brand name you can trust, this dishwasher has a lot going for it besides the relatively low price.
There are 12 place settings here, including ones for tableware, cutlery and glass, and you get adjustable racking as well as automatic load adjustment with this model. In short, you get a lot of convenience in an appealing form, and while some people might bemoan the lack of a digital display, the physical dials are fine.
As you would expect from a dishwasher making this list, washing and drying performance is excellent, and with four different routines to pick from you can customise the washing and drying routine to match whatever it is you've been eating and drinking. There are dishwashers out there that offer more in the way of features, but not many can match the Bosch Serie 2 SMS24AW01G in terms of value.
You know you're living in the future when you're controlling your dishwasher from your smartphone, and that's exactly what you get with the Miele G7310 SCi semi-integrated dishwasher – you can start washing and drying cycles remotely, check up on the status of the machine, and even order more detergent through the accompanying app (or via voice control).
There's an integrated system for holding enough detergent for up to 20 loads, and dispensing just enough each time, so you don't have to measure detergent out every single time you want to get some plates, knives, forks and glasses cleaned. You also get what's called a 3D Multiflex tray, specially designed to allow you to load smaller items like cutlery or chopsticks more efficiently.
The economy of the Miele G7310 SCi is really good, the controls are nice and straightforward, and included among its modes is a quick power wash setting that's handy if you want to give the contents of your dishwasher a fast blast with soap and hot water. Definitely one of the best dishwashers around at the moment.
We're impressed with what the Bosch Serie 4 SPS4HKW45G dishwasher has to offer, and that starts with the look and design of the appliance: its slimline aesthetics mean that it can slot into places that other dishwashers can't, so it's perfect if your kitchen is on the smaller side and you've got a limited amount of space available.
There are some really cool features on offer here besides that slimline design, not least remote control from your smartphone. There's an extra dry mode for difficult-to-dry loads, as well as a silence on demand feature that will quieten down the dishwasher for 30 minutes. It's touches like this that make the Bosch Serie 4 SPS4HKW45G an easy inclusion on our list of best dishwashers.
You've got six different programmes to play around with, including an economy mode, and a flexible basket system that can be adapted to accept a wide variety of cleaning loads. Well worth checking out if you're after a dishwasher that offers plenty of features as well as top-notch washing and drying.
Take one look at the Bosch Serie 4 SMS46II01G and straight away you know that it means business: this is a kitchen appliance with a serious number of features and functions to put at your disposal, and if this is the freestanding dishwasher that you invest in then we don't think you're going to be disappointed with your purchase.
We're particularly keen on the Silence Plus mode that this dishwasher brings with it: at just 46dB, you can get your crockery and cutlery nice and clean without keeping the kids up or waking up the neighbours – and that's not something you can say for every dishwasher out there.
You also get plenty of flexibility when it comes to loading this dishwasher, as well as a HygienePlus setting that hits the contents of the appliance with a final rinse of hot 70°C water to make sure every bit of bacteria is gone (it's perfect for allergy sufferers or families with small children, for example).
The Beko DVN04X20W is particularly suitable for anyone looking to spend as little money as possible on their next dishwasher: you can pick this up for a very affordable price indeed, giving you more money to spend on kitting the rest of your kitchen out. You miss out on some extra bells and whistles as a result, but it's a trade-off that a lot of people are going to be fine with.
What you do get with the Beko DVN04X20W are 13 place settings, four programmes to pick from (including an economy mode), and four different wash temperatures. It's a straightforward, no nonsense dishwasher that's not going to let you down in terms of the speed or the quality of its washing cycles.
There's a quick 30 minute cycle for when you need those plates or glasses ready as soon as possible, as well as a half load function that means you don't have to wait for the dishwasher to be full before setting it off. All this, plus the great price, and it's a star in terms of water and energy consumption as well.
The SMEG DF344BX is good enough to get into our list of the best dishwashers several times over: it's excellently designed, it offers a ton of features designed to make washing and drying as convenient as possible for you, it gets great results every time, it's flexible and versatile, and with room for 13 place settings it has enough capacity to deal with the demands of larger families.
The Smeg comes with the firm's Flexiduo Cutlery Basket, a cleverly designed cutlery tray that has two movable sections that you can adjust to make room for big utensils or tall glasses. It also has Smeg's patented Planetarium Wash system, which uses an eccentric rotation pattern to make sure that the spray arm reaches the furthest corners of your load, and Dry Assist, which automatically opens the door at the end of the wash to speed up the drying process. According to Smeg that reduces the energy consumption by up to 20% as there's no need to keep the heating element on once the door is opened.
Bosch doesn’t do things by halves although in this instance, perhaps it does. The Serie 4 is a table-top dishwasher for those who don’t have the space but still despise washing dishes by hand.
It comes with enough space to accommodate six average-sized dinner plates, a few side plates, a quartet of mugs, a carving knife or two and a clutch of cutlery.
Like most mid-priced dishwashers, it also comes equipped with a sensor that measures the level of contents within and adjusts water consumption accordingly. And because it’s pretty quiet, it shouldn’t disturb the peace if you live in a studio or open-plan.
The Serie 4 features five washing cycles from 40 to 70 degrees C, and does a solid job with most things. It’s pricy for its size, but if you're allergic to doing the washing but strapped for space, the Serie 4 could be an absolute godsend.
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