The typical dishwasher width of around 24" just doesn't cut it for small spaces. For narrow kitchens, small apartments, and other situations, many people turn to the 18-inch dishwasher to maximize space. In this article, we compare five of the best 18-inch dishwashers on the market to help you get the best bang for your buck!
We focused on built in models here, but we also compared the best portable dishwashers if that's what you're looking for. Here are our picks for the best 18-inch dishwashers of 2021 - in no particular order, numbered for your convenience. Check out our dishwasher buying guide for more info on choosing a great new dishwasher!
Table of Contents
- GE Profile PDT145SSLSS
- Electrolux EIDW1805KS
- Danby DDW1804EBSS*
- Whirlpool WDF518SAHM
- Frigidaire FFBD1831US
*This is the cheapest model that we recommend. Retail price is around $499.
What You Should Know About 18 Inch Dishwashers - ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE A FIRST-TIME BUYER!
These dishwashers are smaller, but they're usually not cheaper than a standard 24" wide model. Most are around $700 and up. Mainstream brands like Electrolux, GE Appliances, Whirlpool, and Frigidaire make them, as well as smaller brands like Danby and Summit.
The external height of an 18-inch dishwasher is also slightly shorter on average than for a 24-inch model. A full-size built-in dishwasher is usually about 33.9" tall, while many 18" dishwashers are between 32-33" tall. This is convenient for issues like shorter countertops or raised sub-floors that limit the vertical space for installation. However, with tall countertops, you may see a gap between the dishwasher and the floor if the kickplate isn't tall enough to conceal it.
Rack spacing can be an issue with these smaller models, both between racks and within them. If you have "chunky" earthenware or stoneware plates and bowls, tine spacing and angles are of particular concern. You'll also want to consider the diameter of your full-sized plates and whether they'll fit in the lower rack without catching on the upper wash arm.
Cycle times for dishwashers have gotten longer as they have become more energy efficient. You can expect a typical wash cycle to last about 2 hours, just like with a standard-size dishwasher. This can be inconvenient if you have a lot of dishes to wash.
They work best for small households of 1-3 people, or people with light dishwashing needs. Many 18" dishwashers claim to have an 8-10 place setting capacity*, while a full size dishwasher will usually fit 12-14. Whether you can actually fully utilize the claimed capacity will vary because cups, bowls, etc are not standard in size and thickness. If you have smaller cup diameters and porcelain plates and bowls, you'll have better luck.
*You might be asking: What the heck is a place setting? One "place setting" equals:
1 dinner plate
1 smaller snack plate
1 coffee cup
1 drinking glass
Learn more about choosing a new dishwasher in just 6 minutes!
5. Frigidaire FFBD1831US - 52 db - $799
Last but not least in our reviews of the best 18-inch dishwasher models is the Frigidaire FFBD1831US, a front control model with a pocket handle available at $799 in stainless steel and at $749 in black or in white. While it's not as quiet as the other models in this post, with its 52-decibel operation, it's still quieter than older dishwashers. It's also ADA compliant.
For its price, you get multiple cleaning cycle options you're familiar with, like Heavy Wash, Quick Wash, and Rinse Only. This model is Energy Star rated and has an Energy Saver program. It also features the NSF-certified Sanitize option that eliminates 99.9% of common household bacteria and the heated drying system helps dry your dishes more quickly. For a thorough clean, you can rely on its dual spray arm system. Cycle status indicators let you know when the dishwasher is in delay, wash, dry, and clean mode.
There are many positive customer reviews. One of the complaints people have had with this model are that it doesn't dry well despite the heated drying, and some people also had issues with the model leaking. Although the happy reviews outweigh the unhappy ones, we think the other models on our list are worth a second look.
6 Programs: Heavy, Normal, Quick, China Crystal, Energy Saver, Rinse Only
4 Options: Sanitize, High Temp, Heat Dry, Delay Start (24 Hours)
8 place settings capacity
Stainless steel tub
Front controls with pocket handle
Click here to read over 110 real customer reviews of this product!
That's it for our list of the top five best 18-inch dishwashers of 2021. Most dishwashers have 8 place settings capacity. Even the cheapest models on our list have Energy Star ratings, durable nylon-coated racks, and stainless steel tubs. If you prefer the smooth look of hidden top controls, check out the GE Profile model (#1) and the Electrolux model (#2).
Which of these options is your favorite? Do you value the quiet models or a basic model like the Whirlpool option? Leave us a comment below - We’d love to hear from you!
Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in May of 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy as of the publication date noted above.