The 7 best dishwashers 2018: get clean dishes with zero effort and low energy bills

Reduce your time at the sink in 2018 with one of these tech-laden crockery wranglers

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The dishwasher is one of the greatest inventions of all time, and these are the best dishwashers you can buy.

Getting a freestanding or built-in dishwasher for your kitchen means you can enjoy mealtimes without having to dwell on the clean-up operation that typically comes after, allowing you to relax with a digestif and let dinner go down in style.

What is the best dishwasher?

The best built-in dishwasher right now if you want the cutting edge of cutlery (and everything else) cleaning is the AEG FSS62800P. This offers a lower shelf that rolls out then actually rises up to around waist height for easy filling and emptying. A raft of other great features is also built in to this flagship machine.

Further down the scale, the top-rated and marginally more expensive Miele G 6630SC cleans and dries to near perfection (as you’d expect). But if you’re looking to spend less, then the Bosch Serie 6 SMV68MD02G and even cheaper Beko DIN29X20 pass a great deal of muster.

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

AEG ComfortLift FSS62800P

1. AEG ComfortLift FSS62800P

The current state of the art in dishwashing

Specifications
Type: Built in
Place settings: 13
Energy rating: A++
Size: H 818 x W596 x D550mm
Reasons to buy
+ComfortLift drawer for easy filling+Third drawer for cutlery+Great all-round performance
Reasons to avoid
-A tad over-specced for many users

AEG has really been cranking up the tech innovation over the past year or so and has now pulled off the unlikely feat of creating a sexy and exciting dishwasher. Well, it's all relative, isn't it?

With three drawers – the usual two plus a very low profile cutlery drawer at the top, in which you lay your knives, forks and – more importantly – irritatingly massive utensils, flat. Soft grip 'spikes' hold your precious glassware equally safely.

The A++ energy and A cleaning/drying performance are as good as you'd expect. Drying is thorough but not to the extent that you won't ever need to wipe the odd glass when it's finished. However, the fact that the door opens by 10cm during the final stage, to gently let condensation out, is jolly clever.

However the real pièce de résistance is the multiple award-winning ComfortLift bottom drawer. As its name suggests, this pulls out, then rises up, to about waist height, so you can fill and empty it with ease.

The cutlery drawer is arguably a bit overly fiddly for standard cutlery, but it is handy for large utensils.

With 13 place settings, a good, 30-minute quick wash, and quiet (44dB) operation, this is the ideal dishwashing choice for tech lovers. It's totally over the top, and we love it.

MIELE G6630SC

2. MIELE G6630SC

One of the best dishwashers on the market

Specifications
Type: Freestanding
Place settings: 14
Energy rating: A+++
Size: H 845 x W598 x D600mm
Reasons to buy
+Superior performance
Reasons to avoid
-Not that cheap

This Miele is superbly economical (it uses just 6.5 litres of aqua per automatic wash) and encompasses the German family-run company’s full gamut of design flourishes, including open-drawer drying, a brilliant cutlery tray that can be adjusted to accommodate salad servers and spatulas and a new ultra versatile basket system.

Wash wise, this machine takes no prisoners: it’s expert at cleaning glassware and it excels at removing even the most ingrained muck off your tableware. Many dishwashers struggle to dry plastics properly but this one walks it. Aside from the obligatory Auto, Normal and Eco modes, it also has a 58-minute QuickPowerWash, a gentle care cycle for glasses and moderately soiled stuff, and an Intensive 75˚ deep clean ditty for deeply dirty dishes. A veritable Teutonic titan, that’s what this is.

This chic crockery cleanser tops Which?’s Best Buy list and is the recipient of a multitude of five-star user reviews on the John Lewis website; the ‘creme de la crème’ of dishwashers as one user puts it.

Bosch Serie 6 SMV68MD02G

3. Bosch Serie 6 SMV68MD02G

Best dishwasher under £700

Specifications
Type: Built in
Place settings: 13
Energy rating: A++
Size: H815 x W598 x D550mm
Reasons to buy
+Excellent quick wash programmes+Generally very quiet+Mysterious but useful-sounding 'intensity zone'
Reasons to avoid
-Not much space on that top shelf

This is a classic Bosch dishwasher. There's nothing very sexy about it, apart from the way it projects the remaining time for each programme on floor. But, it sure does wash dishes. And very quietly too, with a quoted loudness rating of 44dB, which can be cut to just 40dB by using 'SuperSilence' mode. 

The slightly iffy thing about this Serie 6 model is that it has about 900 wash programmes. However the great thing about it is that they all seem to clean really well. A 35-minute quick wash and 1-hour hot wash (65ºC) give really good results so long as you're not cleaning up after a barbecue or Sunday roast.

In addition, the longer programmes can be cut short by using "VarioSpeed+" – where Bosch comes up with these names from I have no idea.

The Eco wash seems the best all-rounder to me – slow but effective and, of course, energy and water efficient – but when shit gets real, there's a 70º intense wash. 

There's also an 'intensity zone' button which can be deployed with most of the programmes, and blasts the lower shelf with more water (on the understanding that that's where your really mucky roasting tins and so on will be). As to whether this actually improves cleaning performance, I have no idea, as things seem to come out pretty pristine regardless. 

The down side to the Bosch's design is the same as most dishwashers with a cutlery drawer at the top. It's fantastic for cutlery, and the bottom shelf has loads of space, but it leaves the top drawer decidedly cramped. You will have to get used to doing wine glasses at the bottom, or hand washing them, I'm afraid.

That aside, a textbook dishwasher. Those who hunger for more tech might prefer the Serie 6 SMI68MS06G, which is very similar, but supports Bosch's Home Connect app via a Wi-Fi connection. This supports remote control (not very useful) and also fault/sundries diagnostic info (potentially handy).

BEKO DIN29X20

4. BEKO DIN29X20

Best budget washer of dishes

Specifications
Type: Built in
Place settings: 14
Energy rating: A++
Size: H820 x W600 x D550mm
Reasons to buy
+Great price+Superbly designed interior+Excellent cleaning results
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing to grumble about

For the price, this cracking 14-place, built-in model comes with a surprisingly comprehensive assemblage of tech, a great interface and more wash programs than you probably need, including a 30-minute cycle for quick shifties and a Fast+ function that shortens the selected program duration by up to 70%. It’s very gentle on leccy and water bills, too.

Storage wise, the Beko features the obligatory lower basket for dinner plates, pots and what have you, and an adjustable upper basket for cups, mugs, side plates, etc. Rather handily, it also comes with a separate wine glass basket that’s best used with the special SteamGloss program, and two cutlery areas – a top-mounted tray for long knives and spatulas and a removable sliding cutlery basket on the floor.

To say this machine has been well thought through is an understatement. In fact, its interior design is arguably the best on this page; a testament borne out by many of its current owners who also praise the excellent results it produces. Hardly surprising, then, that Which? has seen fit to garner the machine with a commendable 84% score and both Best Buy and Energy Saver status.

For price, efficiency and economy, you could do a lot worse than give this slice of Turkish delight a right good gander.

Miele G6890 SCVi K2O

5. Miele G6890 SCVi K2O

Best premium dishwasher

Specifications
Type: Built in
Place settings: 13
Energy rating: A+++
Size: H 805 x W 598 x D 570mm
Reasons to buy
+Lights up when you open the door+Great cleaning+Salt tank in door, not on floor
Reasons to avoid
-Not the cheapest of items

A thing of considerable beauty and cost, Miele’s flagship G6890 SCVi K2O dishwasher boasts an A+++- 20% energy rating, uses as little as 6.5 litres of fresh mains water per wash, and adjusts water and power consumption depending on the fullness of the machine. 

Opening with just a tap on the door, it lights up once open, and has assisted closing, too. The only way it could be more helpful would be if it could also somehow fill itself, although at this price, we'd argue that it probably should. 

Other highlights include app control, ‘enhanced cutlery tray’, a ridiculous 11 wash programmes including ‘Extra Quiet’, plus a QuickPowerWash programme cleans and dries in just 58 minutes, with 'A'-rated cleaning performance. 

There's AutoOpen Drying so, as with the AEG, the door actually opens slightly at the end of a programme to let steam out, so dishes dry more fully, at least in theory. 

Best of all, there’s an IN-DOOR SALT CONTAINER container. Anyone who's spent time refilling the salt in its usual, bottom-of-the-washer position will know what a great move this is.

SIEMENS IQ500 SN258106TG

6. SIEMENS IQ500 SN258106TG

Top Germanic workstation

Specifications
Type: Freestanding
Place settings: 14
Energy rating: A+++
Size: H845 x W600 x D600mm
Reasons to buy
+Flexible rack system+Dosage assist+Glass care function
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap

This handsome silver-clad model has recently been added to Siemens’ ample roster and it’s a corker. The iQ500 isn’t cheap but you do get a shedload of beguiling features and functions for your dish cleaning needs.

Let’s start with its zeolite drying process. Zeolite is a clever little mineral that converts absorbed moisture into heat energy. In this instance it helps dry the dishes and is especially effective at making glassware shimmer. And speaking of glasses, the machine comes with a specific glass wash programme and a new wine glass tray so you can rest assured your expensive flute collection (the glass, not the musical instrument, obviously) will be gently cleansed and remain intact.

Other tempting features include a space-saving top-mounted cutlery tray, an outstandingly flexible three-position top rack system and one of the most user-friendly touch control panels on the market. The ice blue interior ‘emotionLight’ is a nice touch when loading the machine, though it mystifyingly switches off when you open the door after the machine has completed its cycle and switched itself off. One disgruntled user describes it as ‘a fridge light in reverse’.

This A+++ model is also equipped with a whisper-quiet, brushless iQdrive, Siemens’ ‘dosageAssist’ feature (pre-loaded detergent tablets are dropped into a catch pan where they’re thoroughly dissolved before dousing the dirty contents) and the bafflingly useless Home Connect system, which lets you control the dishwasher from your phone while lounging on Copacabana Beach. As you do.

Bosch Serie 4 SKS62E22EU

7. Bosch Serie 4 SKS62E22EU

Best tabletop dishwasher

Specifications
Type: Tabletop
Place settings: 6
Energy rating: A+
Size: H500 x W550 x D450mm
Reasons to buy
+Perfect for smaller homes+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Basic functions

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.