If you’re wondering how to choose a dishwasher, take note that it is not necessarily a hard process. However, it can be a little tedious. Follow our guide below for some nifty tips and tricks.
Appliances tend to have a decent lifespan. Thus, it may have been a while since you have actually had to purchase a new dishwasher. Once you get out there, you may be surprised to see how advanced these kitchen helpers have become.
New models are oozing with features and technological additions such as Bluetooth connectivity and wifi monitoring. You may suddenly feel intimidated or confused – especially if you add in some sticker shock. So how do you figure out which dishwasher to buy so that you get the best value for your money? This article will help give you things to consider before you buy your next dishwasher.
1. How to Choose a Dishwasher: Space Is Key
One often overlooked step when thinking about how to choose a dishwasher is taking into consideration how much space the appliance will occupy.
So break out that tape measure and get the area dimensions. Do not forget to measure out about how far a dishwasher door can open uninhibited and still allow room for you to stand while you load.
If space is a luxury you can’t afford all that much, we recommend looking for countertop models. While they don’t have as many place settings as full-fledged models, they get the job done and they’re affordable. We especially recommend these dishwashers if you live alone or with just one other person.
You may be enchanted by that ultra-modern dishwasher that seems to be calling your name.
However, we all have budgets we need to keep in mind. This will likely be one of the main ways to narrow down the playing field of how to choose a dishwasher.
If you are low on cash, do not worry there are plenty of lower cost washers that will still serve the purpose. Plus, many lower priced washers will still look high end so they can still compete with higher end one and still give you that expensive look you want.
So, step 2 in our “how to choose a dishwasher” guide is to figure out your price range and stick to it. For those who are especially tight on cash, we recommend checking out our budget-friendly category to see some excellent dishwashers that do a lot for a relatively small sum of money.
3. Write Out a List
Before you even step foot into a store, it is a good idea to have in mind what you expect from a dishwasher. Think about your dishwashing habits and cater your list to it. Here are a few things to consider in how to choose a dishwasher:
- Family size – Larger family, larger capacity need
- Entertainer – Larger capacity, faster wash, quieter wash
- Wine aficionado – Need a gentle cycle
- Kids – A dry cycle option to get plastic items clean
- Chef – Adjustable racks to fit all those oddly shaped cooking contraptions
- Budget-Friendly – For those money-conscious, a washer with energy efficiency can keep a little extra cash in your wallet every month.
Take a few minutes to skim through current models in a catalog or online to familiarize yourself with newer features available. You can write a secondary list of things that may not be necessary but you would love to have.
If you want to delve deeper into all the dishwasher specs currently available on the market, check out this page. You’ll find descriptions about all the functions you should look for and a few of the best models that feature the things you want from such an appliance.
4. Specifics: Size
Size is an important consideration. Not only does it have to fit where your old washer sat, but it needs to have a capacity to match your needs.
Larger families will need larger dishwasher capacities. If you do a lot of entertaining you may also want something that can hold more place settings to make your life easier after a party.
A career bachelor may not want, nor need, all that room and can save some energy costs by buying a smaller model. Whatever the case may be, if you need more place settings than what a countertop model offers but don’t have enough space for a full-fledged dishwasher, you might want to consider some of the best portable options.
5. Specifics: Noise
You will find decibel ratings on each machine. This is the noise level you can expect while it is running. Here are some reasons you may need a quieter machine:
- You do housework while your child or infant naps
- Keeping up with house parties can be quite difficult if the dishwasher disturbs your guests
- You have an open floor plan and do not want to be disturbed by the noisy dishwasher in the kitchen.
- Your spouse works third shift and sleeps during the time you do your wash
Now, to be fair, the general rule goes as follows: the quieter the dishwasher, the higher the price. However, we have also created a list of the best quiet dishwashers which also features some models that are below the $700 mark.
6. Specifics: Energy
For environmentally-conscious individuals or people looking to save money on energy costs, energy use is an important feature to consider.
Look for Energy Star ratings on the model you’re purchasing or look at the energy guides that give you a general annual cost. There are also models that have a hybrid drying or energy-saving wash and dry options to help you save even more.
7. Specifics: Cycle Options
Think of your cooking habits as you figure out how to choose a dishwasher. Do you do a lot of gourmet cooking? Are you a baker?
Then you may want some wash cycles that tackle heavy-duty needs or baked-on foods. If you want to entertain guests, you may need cycles that are gentle or cater to China and other delicate items such as stemware.
Usually, you’ll find more wash cycle options on high-end dishwashers, but there are also cheaper models that can satisfy your needs. Like with all our previous points, it all depends on hitting that sweet spot between what you want and what your budget is.
8. Do Your Due Diligence
Take the time to peruse washers within your budget that you are interested in that have the features you want. Then, take a look at the consumer reviews.
You may find that that perfect dishwasher has an issue that most people are experiencing. You may find that there is a feature everyone assumed it had but were upset to find out it did not.
For example, many people may be complaining about the washing power of the model. They may be saying that there is a definite need to pre-rinse your dishes. If pre-washing dishes is something you may want to avoid, then maybe you should look for dishwashers that negate pre-rinsing or pre-scrubbing.
Or, you may find that it is perfect or that the issue is so minor or will not pertain to your situation. Taking the time to read other people’s experiences can possibly save you the headache of buying a washer with a serious issue that ends up costing you more money in the long run. It’s probably the most important step in any “how to choose a dishwasher” guide.
Protect your investment by making sure a decent warranty backs it up. A warranty can help cover unexpected costs for a length of time.
Make sure you read what parts the warranty will include or exclude. Be aware that some warranties will cover parts but not labor. Thus, budget-wise, it may be a better choice to go with a dishwasher that includes both if you are tight on cash.
Similarly, you can opt to get an optional extended warranty. While that increases the initial investment, it can be a real life saver down the line. Sure, dishwashers tend to last for years and years. But you can never know for sure if the specific unit you’ve purchased cam with overlooked defects. Thus, it is better to cover your investment with a warranty. Think about it the same way as you’d think about insurance.
10. How to Choose a Dishwasher If You Have a Lot of Plastics
Maybe you have a baby and need to sanitize their milk bottles and whatnot. Or maybe you like packing your lunch for work.
Whatever the case may be, plastics tend to dry slower than porcelain or glass dishes. In this case, you might want to take a look at some of the best drying dishwashers out there.
Having a sanitize cycle or a heated drying cycle can greatly reduce the waiting. It is also important to note what material the dishwasher’s interior tub is made out of. We recommend going to stainless steel tubs simply because they prevent rust and mold buildups. And they also help increase heat, which further improves drying performance.
11. What brand of dishwasher is the best?
There are a lot of brands that offer great dishwashers for decent prices. However, not all are created equally.
Generally speaking, we recommend going with dishwashers from brands that have proven themselves worthy. Newer brands have some great offerings, but since their models haven’t stood the test of time, you get the picture.
For more details, click the following link to see the best dishwasher brands.
How to Choose a Dishwasher: Conclusion
We’ve made this guide because many people wonder how to choose a dishwasher but don’t even know where to start.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea about what you should focus on for your next purchase. Choosing a dishwasher involves a decision that will affect you for years to come, so it’s best to take your time and do your research.