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The 5 Best 18 Inch Dishwashers for 2021

Posted by Jeff Allaire on Feb 17, 2021 7:00 AM
Jeff Allaire

Best 18 Inch Dishwasher - GE Profile PDT145SSLSS Lifestyle Image

 

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

  1. Bosch SPE53U55UC
  2. GE Profile PDT145SSLSS
  3. Danby DDW1804EBSS*
  4. Whirlpool WDF518SAHM
  5. 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 Bosch, 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 saucer

  • 1 bowl

  • 1 coffee cup

  • 1 drinking glass

  • 1 knife

  • 2 teaspoons

  • 2 forks

 

Learn more about choosing a new dishwasher in just 6 minutes!

 

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUR FREE DISHWASHER BUYER'S GUIDE

 

1. Bosch SPE53U55UC - 46 dB - $849

Bosch has made a name for itself as the quietest dishwasher brand. For the best 18-inch dishwasher that's also whisper-quiet, consider the Bosch SPE53U55UC, operating at an ultra-quiet 46 decibels. (To learn more about dishwasher operation noise, check out our article on dishwasher decibel levels.) This ADA-compliant Bosch model comes in stainless steel, priced at $849.

This 18" dishwasher offers a ton of premium features. It has a built-in water softener to reduce water spots, and Bosch's AquaStop Plus leak protection reduces damage from potential leaks as soon as they start. The stainless steel tub stays odor-free and reduces noise compared to plastic tubs. The RackMatic upper rack is adjustable to make room for tall or bulky items on the lower rack. This type of adjustability and flexibility is not always available on 18-inch dishwashers.

Bosch is known for their dishwashers, so it's no wonder that this model and another Bosch model made it to our list! The EuroTub design is also shallow enough that it will install flush with your counters for a built-in, integrated look. If you want a narrow dishwasher that can truly compete with a full-sized model, check this one out. 

 

Features:

  • 4 Programs: Auto, Normal, Pots & Pans, Rinse

  • 4 Options: Extra Dry, Half Load, Sanitation, Delay Start (24 Hours)

  • 9 place settings capacity

  • Adjustable RackMatic upper rack

  • Stainless steel tub

  • Front controls with pocket handle

  • Built-in water softener

  • AquaStop® Plus 4-Part Leak Protection Works 24/7

 

Click here to read over 40 real customer reviews of this product!

 

Bosch SPE53U55UC - $849

Bosch SPE53U55UC Dishwasher

 

 

2. GE Profile PDT145SSLSS - 47 dB - $999

The hidden top controls and pocket handle of the GE Profile PDT145SSLSS dishwasher give it a premium look. The low profile installation works well for 34" tall countertops and raised sub floors. If you're looking for a smart dishwasher, you can add GE's Connect Plus module to receive alerts when a cycle is finished, among other features.

Overall, this 18-inch dishwasher has simple controls and options. The upper rack is adjustable, while the lower rack has fold down tines and room for up to eight place settings. The Piranha hard food disposer pulverizes large food particles to prevent debris from clogging the wash arms. The NSF-certified Sanitize option will use a high-heat rinse to reduce bacteria by 99.999%, ideal for baby bottles and other items that you want to be as clean as possible.

The main complaint we've seen about this dishwasher, although it is by no means universal, is that you have to open the door at the end of the wash cycle to get the best drying performance. This type of drying tends to be less effective on plastic items. Some customers also found that the rack spacing and tine setup didn't work for their dishes, in particular stoneware items.

If you're looking for dishwasher with a premium exterior design, this GE Profile model may be the best 18-inch dishwasher for you! It's available in black, white, and stainless steel.

 

Features:

  • 3 Programs: Heavy, AutoSense, Light

  • 3 Options: Boost (Wash Temp), Sanitize, Delay Start (12 Hours)

  • 8 place settings capacity

  • ADA Compliant

  • Stainless steel tub

  • Top controls with pocket handle

  • Adjustable upper rack

 

Click here to read over 35 real customer reviews of this product!

 

GE Profile PDT145SSLSS - $999

GE Profile PDT145SSLSS 18 Inch Dishwasher

 

 

3. Danby DDW1804EBSS - 52 dB - $499

One of the cheapest 18-inch dishwashers that we'd recommend is the Danby DDW1804EBSS, which retails at around $499 in stainless steel. It is regularly on sale for around $469-$489. It has some great features for that price point and some that are par for the course in a sub-$500 model. If you're on a tight budget, this could be a great option for you.

It has a stainless steel interior tub, which is more durable than plastic and has better drying results. It operates at a respectable 52 decibels - it will be somewhat louder than the other dishwashers on our list, but at this price, that decibel rating is actually pretty impressive.

Although this model has mixed reviews online, in our research, we haven't seen recurring items of concern. Some people weren't aware that the unit didn't ship with a power cord while others didn't know that 18" dishwashers are about an inch shorter than regular dishwashers. The main issue we saw was trouble getting in contact with Danby's customer service. If you're purchasing from a local dealer like us that has their own service team, they can handle any issues in-house.

 

Features:

  • 6 Programs: Normal, Heavy, ECO, Glass, Rapid, Rinse

  • 4 Options: High Temp Wash, Heated Dry, Sanitize, Delay Start (1-24 Hrs)

  • 8 place settings capacity

  • Front controls with pocket handle

  • Stainless steel tub

 

Danby DDW1804EBSS - $499

Danby DDW1804EBSS 18 Inch Dishwasher

 

 

4. Whirlpool WDF518SAHM - 50 dB - $899

Available in stainless steel at $899 and white or black at $799, the Whirlpool WDF518SAHM is another ADA-compliant option among the best 18-inch dishwashers! With 50 decibel operation, it's not the quietest dishwasher around, but noticeably quieter than older models and falls below the typical conversation level of 60 dBA.

Convenient features like the adjustable upper rack and Quick Wash program help you make the most out of a smaller dishwasher. The touch screen controls are a nice upgrade from more basic front control dishwashers, too. The Hi Temp Wash option is a great choice for items like baby bottles. Each rack features its own spray arm to ensure a thorough clean. Heated Dry is a feature many people miss from their old dishwashers. It uses more energy but can help dry dishes more quickly.

Some people found that the rack design didn't meet their needs - the tine spacing may be somewhat tighter than what you'd typically find on a 24" dishwasher, and the utensil rack is placed at the center rear of the lower rack which limits space for larger items.

 

Features:

  • 5 Programs: Heavy, Normal, Quick Wash, Rinse Only, Light/China

  • 3 Options: Delay Start (24 Hours), Heated Dry, Hi Temp Wash

  • ADA Compliant

  • 8 place settings capacity

  • Stainless steel tub

  • Front controls with pocket handle

  • Adjustable upper rack

 

Click here to read real customer reviews of this product!

 

Whirlpool WDF518SAHM - $899

Best 18 Inch Dishwasher_Whirlpool WDF518SAHM

 

 

dishwasher buying guide

 

 

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.

 

Features:

  • 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

  • ADA compliant

  • Stainless steel tub

  • Front controls with pocket handle

  

Click here to read over 110 real customer reviews of this product!

 

Frigidaire FFBD1831US - $799

Frigidaire FFBD1831US 18 Inch Dishwasher-1

 

 

RECOMMENDED ARTICLE:  Dishwasher Buying Guide 7 Important Steps!

 

That's it for our list of the top five best 18-inch dishwashers of 2021. If you're looking for the most place settings capacity, check out the Bosch model (#1), which has 9 place settings rather than 8. If you prefer the smooth look of hidden top controls, check out the GE Profile model (#2). Bosch is the overall winner in terms of high-end features and customer satisfaction, but even the cheapest models on our list have Energy Star ratings, durable nylon-coated racks, and stainless steel tubs. 

Which of these options is your favorite? Do you value the ultra-quiet Bosch model 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.

Topics: Dishwashers

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