If you’ve never owned a dishwashing machine before, or you need to replace one that’s broken down, you might find yourself wondering just what the best dishwasher for you is. From choosing between slimline and full-size models, to deciding whether you want a freestanding or integrated unit, there’s a lot to consider. In this handy guide, we offer tips on finding the best dishwasher to buy for your home so you can get on with the important stuff.
Which Is The Best Dishwasher For You?
Before you can answer questions like ‘what is the best dishwasher’, you first need to get to grips with some technical vocabulary and ask yourself a few basic questions. There are many different dishwasher models available and knowing what differentiates them will help you know which is best suited to your needs.
Integrated or freestanding dishwasher?
A freestanding dishwasher is one that can be positioned anywhere in your home. They are not fixed in place, which allows you to reposition them if you choose to change the layout of your kitchen. An integrated dishwasher is made to blend in with your kitchen and is fixed in place once fitted. In fully integrated dishwashers, the entire machine door is covered by a panel that matches the kitchen décor so that it cannot be easily identified, whereas semi-integrated dishwashers have the control panel of the dishwasher visible above this panel.
Full-size, slimline, or compact dishwasher?
Size can be a very important factor when buying a new dishwasher. The best dishwasher size for you is likely to depend on the space available to you in your home, and the level of use you expect the appliance to receive. The three basic options you have are:
- Full-size dishwashers: approximately 60cm wide, and hold 12-15 place settings
- Slimline dishwashers: approximately 45cm wide, and hold 9-10 place settings
- Compact dishwashers: approximately 45cm wide, and hold 3-5 place settings
It is worth noting that compact dishwashers are usually much smaller in height and depth than slimline dishwashers, and are commonly used on worktops to make them an ideal option for small households and apartments.
Finding The Best Dishwasher For You – What To Look For
When you’re looking for the best dishwasher, reviews and comparison sites can give you a good idea of what to expect from your purchase. Here are a few things to look out for when you’re browsing:
- Energy efficiency: Look for a dishwasher with an A efficiency rating or higher – these days the best dishwasher brands for efficiency can be rated as high as A+++. By choosing these models, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment and contributing to evidence that dishwashers save water and energy over cleaning dishes by hand.
- Features and programmes: Different dishwasher models will have different features – a popular one to look out for is a time delay, which will enable you to run the dishwasher late at night (when electricity is cheaper) or while you’re not in the house. You might also look out for features such as a child safety lock.
- Noise levels: For some, the best dishwasher is one that makes as little noise as possible – if you have an open plan kitchen or live in a small house or flat, you might want to buy a quieter model. If you live in a big house with a separate utility room, noise might not bother you so much.
- Price – your budget will dictate the types of dishwasher you can consider buying, so make sure you set this before hitting the shops.
- Brand – there are many strong dishwasher brands around today and deciding which is the best dishwasher brand is a lot about personal preference. If you have owned appliances by a manufacturer before, and trust their goods, then this could point you in a certain direction, but as long as you’re happy with the warranty offered by the seller it’s really up to you which name you go for.
- Reviews – if you’re not that fussed about brands, or just want to check you’re making the right choice, have a browse online for the best dishwasher reviews. You’ll find lots of users who have submitted their thoughts on today’s models and can compare their comments and situation to your own needs.
Once you have the basics ironed out, it’s time to buy your new dishwasher. We recommend visiting shops to see what the models look like in person before heading online to see if you can find any cheaper deals on price.
Once you’ve worked out the best dishwasher to buy for your home, all that is left to do is enjoy using it. Of course, you’ll need to clean and maintain it to keep it working at its best but our articles on dishwasher maintenance in our kitchen cleaning category can help with that!