Statistics show that dishwashers are a necessity for most families, right up there with clothes washers and dryers. Having an appliance clean up after a meal rather than hand washing is preferred as people are busy with work, school, sports, activities, and hopefully the occasional relaxing movie night. Plus, dishwashers use less water than hand washing and can sanitize dishes and cutlery with super-hot water.
Many spacious homes have the kitchen either open to the living quarters or very close by within listening distance, so having a quiet dishwasher can be critical. There's nothing worse than hearing a continuous humming sound while you're trying to read a book or talk with friends and family. In some cases, dishwashers can run over two hours depending on the cycle, so quietness matters!
Let's compare Bosch and KitchenAid and take a close look at two of their quietest dishwashers under $1,000. (Before we dig in, check out our writeup on dishwasher decibel levels for more info!)
The Bosch SHP865ZD5N - $999 - 44 dB
Bosch is one of the most demanded brands in the industry when it comes to dishwashers. Model SHP865ZD5N from the 500 Series is a consumer favorite due to its quietness and flexibility. Dishwasher racks are one of the main things to look at in the process of searching for a new dishwasher. This model features a RackMatic adjustable upper rack with nine possible positions, which will allow taller items to be placed on top if the lower rack is full, plus a removable third rack for long utensils, silverware, and other items. The third rack adds 30% more usable cleaning area. A full stainless steel inner tub and door assembly keeps it quiet and the sensor wash system assures sparkling clean performance.
Running at 44 dBA, this dishwasher will certainly allow you to easily carry on a conversation while it's operating. To put that 44 dBA in context, the average conversation takes place at about 60-65 dBA, and a whisper is about 30 dBA. The cycle and option controls are located at the top edge of the door above the towel bar style handle, hidden from view when the dishwasher is closed. Its five cycles and five options will allow you to select the perfect wash for any of your dishes.
For flood protection, Bosch has created "AquaStop." This is a leak protection system that will recognize any water droplets outside the tub assembly, even if the dishwasher isn't running. If water reaches the sealed bottom of the dishwasher, a moisture pad will tell the dishwasher to close off the water intake valve and also start the drain pump to get rid of any water in the tub.
Bosch does not use a heating element to heat the water or dry the dishes. Their wash and dry design utilizes an in-line hot water heater and condensation drying. The in-line heater will boost water temperature to the appropriate heat for washing and sanitizing. This model's condensation drying is handled by the cooling of the stainless steel cavity which draws moisture off of the dishes, glasses and silverware. Aside from the drain pump periodically discharging water, there is no electricity being drawn to dry.
Priced at $999 in stainless steel, black, or white, this design looks sleek and would be a welcomed addition to any kitchen.
The KitchenAid KDTE234GPS - $999 - 46 dB
KitchenAid is another well-known brand that has been known to perform flawlessly for consumers throughout the years. Like the Bosch dishwasher, the KitchenAid Model KDTE234GPS also offers a full stainless steel tub, third rack, and adjustable SatinGlide upper rack. Operating at a quiet 46 dBA, this model is quiet enough to operate near the main living area without interfering with conversation or entertaining your guests.
Loaded with user-friendly options, this dishwasher makes after-dinner clean-up a breeze. The five cycles, consisting of Express Wash, Normal, ProWash, Rinse Only and Tough, are all conveniently located on the integrated control panel, allowing you to select a cycle for any job. Use the Heat Dry option to ensure completely dry dishes, or use the ProWash cycle to let the dishwasher's sensors select the best cleaning process for you.
KitchenAid dishwashers have an overall capacity for 14 place settings and the optional selection of SaniRinse, which reaches a final rinse temperature of 155 degrees to get rid of 99.999% of bacteria - great for baby bottles or any item where sanitization is needed.
Priced at $999 in PrintShield fingerprint-resistant Stainless Steel or $1,099 in Black Stainless Steel, this model has a lot of features that give the competition a run for the money.
Cycles & Options: The KitchenAid model offers Heat Dry, but both models come with 1-hour quick washes and Sanitation options. At this price level, you'll find very nicely featured dishwashers, and these models keep cycles and options simple so it's easy to choose what you need.
Look & Feel: Both models have hidden top controls and bar handle designs. The Bosch model doesn't have a brand badge like the KitchenAid model, so it's a good option if you like to have your appliance brands match. The KitchenAid model comes in black stainless steel, and both models come in black, white, or stainless.
Quietness & Other Features: Both models come with third level racks and ball bearing glides on the upper racks. Bosch wins out in quietness with a rating of 44 decibels, while KitchenAid is slightly louder at 46 decibels. This is about as quiet as you can get for under $1,000!
When shopping for a new dishwasher, keep these brands in mind. If you value flood protection and want the lowest decibel level you can find, you may prefer the Bosch model. If you want totally dry dishes after every cycle, you may like the KitchenAid's heated dry option. Both feature premium styling and hidden controls that look sleek and refined! It will be up to you to choose which is better based on your tastes and preferences. These are definitely some of the quietest dishwashers under $1,000.
To get a dishwasher around 40 decibels or even quieter - a truly "whisper quiet" dishwasher - you'll have to spend around $1,200 or more.
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Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in February of 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy as of the publication date noted above.