Hands up – who feels like they spend their lives loading and unloading the dishwasher? With our help, you can find the right dishwasher for you and bring a bit of sparkle back into the kitchen. When looking for the right model, consider your space and what you want on show. Standard dishwashers will take the 600mm-wide space of the average kitchen unit, which will tackle an average of 12 place settings. You may want to integrate the machine into your existing kitchen look, so check with your kitchen manufacturer if there’s a matching door available to affix to an integral model. Go slimline if you have only 450mm to spare or consider a table-top version if space is really limited.
With features such as wifi connectivity, height-adjustable shelves and baskets and sensors to gauge if water is clean enough to recycle for another rinse, there is a lot more to it than soap and water. The energy ratings for models here range from ultra-eco A+++ (Miele) to A (Indesit) and so can all be classed as energy-efficient in terms of cost to run as other new models can score all the way through to a D rating. Eco wash programmes will help save money, too. Although they take longer (typically about three hours) they use cooler water to get results. The decibel reading will also appear on the ratings label, so do consider the noise your dishwasher will make, especially if you are living in an open-plan space. We put a range of machines to the test to find the “best in class” for different size and space needs.
1. Beko EcoSmart Dishwasher with AquaIntense DFN28320
We used this quiet (43db) dishwasher in an open-plan living space and TV viewing was uninterrupted. One of the main benefits of choosing this quiet model is its eco credentials. It has a super-efficient A++ consumption rating and uses only six litres of water per cycle (some use up to 16), so it is a fantastic choice if you are on a water meter. The additional spraying arm on the bottom of the machine helps lift even the most baked-on debris and dried cereal on breakfast bowls. Great value for money. You will also find slimline and integrated models in the EcoSmart range.
2. Hotpoint Ultima Slimline SIUF32120X
At only 45cm wide you may be able to slide this slim dishwasher into the smallest of kitchens. The only stainless steel model we looked at, it had a sleek and neat interior that could fit a surprisingly impressive amount of dirty dishes (up to 10 place settings) thanks to the height adjustment on the baskets and the glass supports, which could be folded or moved completely to accommodate larger pans if need be. At just 25 minutes, the shortest cycle left red wine glasses sparkling.
3. Bosch SMS53M02GB Freestanding Dishwasher
This is very easy to use as the top basket will move downwards to accommodate long stemware or bulky dishes. The side racks can also be flipped to maximise space. If you are in a hurry, use the boosted VarioSpeed function which gives the usual cleaning results in about half the time of a normal cycle. The eco cycle does take a lengthy three and a half hours, however, but if it is washing overnight then that shouldn’t be a problem. It will switch itself off at the end of the cycle, too. A quality, versatile model at a great price.
4. Samsung DW60H9550FW
Samsung’s WaterWall system means that water spray moves in a line back and forth on the base of this dishwasher, rather than dispersing it in a circular motion as in most other models. The benefit? Higher water pressure means more efficient cleaning – we found dried-on egg was shifted from breakfast plates on a short setting. Every rack can be folded flat on the bottom tray, so we managed to give even bulky oven trays the once-over. The top FlexTray (a rubber cutlery insert for the upper rack) inspired us to group everything by type as we loaded and meant it could be removed and put away at lightning speed over at the cutlery drawer.
5. Miele G 6860 SCVI Integrated Dishwasher
This turns dishwashing into high art. There are so many great features here: classy interior lighting, a door that opens automatically to allow steam to escape at the end of a cycle, a whisperingly quiet programme (38db) for nights, trays and baskets with a zillion ways to customise in width and height. You can even trust it with your best crystal with its special GlassCare programme, which took good care of our whisky tumblers that we usually do by hand. Miele’s trademark flat cutlery tray on the top level means even the gunkiest serving spoons are sorted. The cleaning power is superb, with even its 58-minute QuickPowerWash programme reviving our Le Creuset roasting dishes to good-as-new condition. Like the cheaper Hoover Wizard, you can also control cycles, check salt and rinse aid or keep tabs on how much energy you have used via your smartphone.
6. Smeg 50s Style Freestanding Dishwasher DF6FABR2
This freestanding dishwasher is one cool piece of kit but is going to require a larger-than-average space as it won’t fit under the standard work-top. If you want something less showy then opt for the integrated version, which has the same 13 place-setting capacity but in a more compact package. On this machine, there is a fast 27-minute setting here that is perfect for freshening up dusty glassware or lightly soiled plates. Run the Orbital Wash programme and a final blast of hot water ensures tricky-to-clean items, such as stained chopping boards, come out spotless. The self-balancing door is a bonus too as it won’t slam shut if you just want to remove a few items from the top tray.
7. Hoover Wizard Dishwasher DYM 762T WIFI-80
One of Hoover’s range of wifi enabled appliances, we weren’t convinced there was a real need for dishwashing wizardry rather than, say, an oven or washing machine. Yes, it is possible to get a dishwasher salt reminder or monitor energy consumption via the app but surely they are not essential. Then our tester went to bed and realised she had forgotten to start the loaded machine and so took care of business from under the duvet. Sold. On a less techy tip, we liked the way plates stacked in two rows from back to front and there was a deep centre tray up top for bulky utensils and knives. It is efficient at cleaning, if not the best dryer on test here.
8. Indesit ICD661 Table Top Dishwasher
If you don’t have the under-counter space for a dishwasher but could clear a corner of the worktop, this compact and energy-efficient machine may be the answer. In theory, you should be able to fit six place settings in there, but with a medium-size saucepan and a few daytime coffee mugs too, we managed to clear up nicely after a simple supper for three. There are plenty of features you would find in full-size models, including timer delay, an intensive wash programme and something for delicates too. You will have to take it in stages to tackle a Sunday lunch but if it means chucking the scourer, it is okay with us. (It is also worth mentioning the brilliant Mychoice.co.uk site – you can search for your perfect dishwasher by noise level, place setting, energy rating, water consumption and more.)
9. Swan Retro Dishwasher
There are nine other colours to choose from with this model, as well as matching retro-inspired products from sensor bins to kettles and microwaves. Those clean lines mean you will have to open the door to check on controls if you don’t programme correctly first time, but the chunky pull handle made it easy to access. Upper and lower baskets were well positioned at default setting, giving taller glasses room on top. This model’s efficient cleaning and the well-balanced height of its baskets meant tall glasses fitted in its top slot with ease. The timer delay is a great feature if you would rather the machine didn’t run when you are around.
10. Grundig GNF41810B Black
The black gloss exterior of this machine has brushed steel accents for a high-tech look, though the touch-sensitive buttons can take a bit of getting used to. We liked the smaller additional half-size cutlery tray on top level which could be used for larger knives and baby bottle tops. It also meant the traditional basket on the bottom could be removed to make space for larger pans if necessary. It is another dishwasher that uses a mere six litres of water per cycle, so more good news on the water bill front.
In terms of form and function, the
Miele dishwasher we tested was far superior, with the most versatility and cleaning prowess. Not everyone needs to clean cut glass and bone china, though, and the Beko model we tested is a great economy choice. Efficient, economical and at a great price, only t its bog-standard looks let it down a little.
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