How to find the best new dishwasher models

Posted at 8:05 AM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 12:58:20-04

Dishwasher manufacturers continue to add bonus features, such as WiFi connectivity, but as you stand in front of a sink stacked with dirty dishes, you need an appliance that aces its primary job—getting dishes spotless.

The testers at Consumer Reports keep that top of mind, of course, in our dishwasher lab. But we also keep an eye on consumer behavior.

“Most consumers still rinse their dishes before loading the dishwasher,” says Larry Ciufo, who oversees CR’s dishwasher tests. The thing is, rinsing your dishes is a waste . When you do, the soil sensor determines that the dishes aren’t all that dirty. As a result, the machine uses less water and runs a shorter cycle, which can leave food stuck on your plates.

“That’s why we made our cleaning tests tougher by coating plates with baked-on food—instead of food that’s somewhat easily rinsed off,” Ciufo says.

We spend 28 hours in the lab evaluating each dishwasher. Our testers load each model with 10 place settings of white ceramic dishes with baked-on food, then run the load on the normal cycle or its equivalent. When the cycle is complete, we use a photo-imaging machine to determine precisely how clean each dish is.

You’ll see more than 20 brands in our ratings, from familiar names such as Amana, Bosch, Frigidaire, and GE, and lesser known brands like Beko and Blomberg. Manufacturers in the high-end price range include Electrolux, KitchenAid, Miele, Thermador, and Viking.

So which dishwashers clean up in our tests?

CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of five high-scoring dishwashers that earn an Excellent rating in our washing test. They’re all from brands that earn a Very Good or Excellent rating in predicted reliability, according to our survey of CR members.

See our dishwasher buying guide and full dishwasher ratings for more details and even more options.