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The 7 Best Dishwashers for 2021

Posted by Jeff Allaire on May 28, 2021 8:30 AM
Jeff Allaire

Best Dishwasher of the Year - KitchenAid Lifestyle Image

 

Are you looking to upgrade your old dishwasher in 2021? The dishwasher has evolved a lot over the past decade, becoming sleeker, quieter, and more efficient. We’ve compiled some of the best dishwashers on the market for 2021 to help you discover some of the amazing options available! With high-quality features like stainless steel wash tubs and third racks, you have more options than ever before! (For more information on buying a new dishwasher, check out our dishwasher buying guide!)

Let’s explore some of your choices from a variety of brands and at a range of price points. All of them feature stainless steel tubs, and many have third racks to boost capacity. There are many other cool features. The pricing ranges from $799 up to $1,149 (but keep in mind that promotional periods, package deals, and rebates can knock 20% or more off of the list price).

 

Table of Contents

  1. Bosch SHS863WD5N*
  2. Whirlpool WDTA50SAKZ*
  3. GE GDT665SSNSS*
  4. Bosch SHP878ZD5N
  5. LG LDT7808SS
  6. Maytag MDB8959SKZ*
  7. KitchenAid KDTM404KPS

Models retailing at under $1,000 are marked with a *. Note that holiday sales and rebates can knock 20% or more off of the retail price.

 

3 Quick Buying Tips - Features to Consider

  • Decibel Ratings. Decibel levels are all the rage! As a general rule, any dishwasher under 55 decibels will be quieter than older models from the mid-2000s and earlier, which were typically 60+ decibels. The typical conversation takes place at around 60 decibels, while a whisper is around 35-40 decibels. Dishwashers under 50 decibels will be very quiet, and dishwashers around 43 decibels and below are considered "whisper quiet." Want to learn more? Check out our article on dishwasher decibel levels.

  • Rack Options. Get a look at the dishwasher interior in person, and consider if you want extra features to boost your dishwasher's capacity and flexibility. Height-adjustable upper racks can make room for tall items above or below, and third racks can increase the overall capacity by 30%. Fold-down tines and stemware holders are useful, too. Some dishwashers even offer nozzles in the upper rack for spraying inside of tall items like vases and water bottles! Learn more with our article on dishwasher racks. If you have thick plates, like earthenware, you'll want to pay extra attention to rack spacing.

  • Drying Performance. Today's dishwashers mainly use condensation drying, which takes advantage of stainless steel interior tubs to pull moisture off of your dishes. Some brands and models offer additional features to improve drying performance, although heated drying doesn't always outperform other methods. If you often wash plastics, you should consider the drying features since plastic is harder to dry than glass or metal. 

If you haven't bought a dishwasher in 10 or more years, you might be surprised by the increased interior tub space!

 

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

 

 

 

1. Bosch SHS863WD5N - 44 dB - $849

The first option on our list of the best dishwashers for 2021 is an affordable and popular model: the Bosch SHS863WD5N, available in stainless steel at $849. It features stylish hidden top controls and a scoop pocket handle. Many of Bosch's models now come standard with third racks, and this model is no exception! Bosch's quiet operation and reliability have made them a consumer favorite.

 

(Pictured below: The third rack that comes with this dishwasher.)

Bosch Standard 3rd Rack Dishwasher

 

The V-shaped third rack leaves room in the adjustable middle rack for taller items. The RackMatic adjustable upper rack can be adjusted to three different heights. Bosch claims that the third rack boosts the loading area by 30%! It provides extra room for utensils and flatware, and you can also remove it entirely if you need extra space for particularly tall items. Fold-down tines are a must for washing large pots and pans, and you'll find fold-down tines on the upper and lower racks. The silverware basket can be split into two pieces and placed anywhere for extra flexibility.

The wash cycles and options allow you to load up just about anything with great results. Bosch includes a Speed60 one-hour wash option, as well as a Sanitize option and an ExtraScrub option increases, wash pressure, and temperature in the lower rack. Although dishwasher cycles have gotten longer overall, Bosch typically performs well in this area. (The Bosch SHX3AR75UC offers some of the shortest cycle times in Consumer Reports' testing at 95 minutes!) This dishwasher offers flexibility, great performance, and quiet operation, making it a great option for a 2021 dishwasher upgrade!

 

Features:

  • 5 Cycles: Auto, Normal, Heavy, Rinse, Speed60 (1-Hour Wash)

  • 5 Options: Delay Start (24 hours), Half Load, Sanitize, Extra Dry, ExtraScrub

  • 24/7 AquaStop leak protection

  • Stainless steel tub

  • Three-position adjustable upper rack and removable third rack

  • Detergent tray on rack helps improve detergent pod performance

 

Click here to read over 555 real customer reviews of this product!

 

Bosch SHS863WD5N - $849

Bosch SHS863WD5N Dishwasher

                     

 

2. Whirlpool WDTA50SAKZ - 47 dB - $799

KitchenAid is Whirlpool's high-end line, often competing for best dishwasher brand with Bosch dishwashers. If you want to step down from premium models to their well-known Whirlpool line, you'll find the next model in our review. Whirlpool is the industry’s best-selling dishwasher brand and has had the lowest repair rates for 20 years. The Whirlpool WDTA50SAKZ is one example of their high-quality dishwasher offerings! Featuring a recessed pocket handle and hidden top controls, it’s designed to blend in. It’s available in fingerprint-resistant stainless steel at $799, premium black stainless at $899, white at $699, and biscuit at $749.

This dishwasher features a stainless steel wash tub, which helps reduce odor buildup, speed up drying, and reduce noise during operation. Its tall tub design means it has more room inside for washing more at once and handling oversized dishes, plates, and other items. The adjustable upper rack lets you wash tall items like water bottles more easily, and an in-door silverware basket frees up more space in the lower rack for place settings. This new model now also comes with a third rack for flatware and other small items.

Options for heated dry and vent dry will get your dishes dry ASAP, and the 1-Hour Wash option is a great feature for quickly cleaning lightly soiled dishes. This quiet dishwasher offers great flexibility for oversized and oddly shaped items, meaning less hand washing for you!

 

Features:

  • 5 Cycles: Sensor Wash, Heavy, Normal, Quick Wash, Soak & Clean

  • 6 Options: Delay Start (24 hours), Control Lock, Hi Temp Wash, Sani Rinse®, Heated Dry, Extended Dry

  • In-door silverware basket

  • Adjustable upper rack

  • Third rack

  • LED indicator light shines on the floor during operation

 

Whirlpool WDTA50SAKZ - $799

Whirlpool WDTA50SAKZ Dishwasher

 

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUR FREE DISHWASHER BUYER'S GUIDE

 

 

3. GE GDT665SSNSS - 46 dB - $919

Another premium-quality option among the best dishwashers available is the GE GDT665SSNSS, available in 6 colors: GE fingerprint resistant slate or stainless steel at $919, GE fingerprint resistant black slate or fingerprint resistant black stainless steel at $1,019, and in white or black at $819. That's a lot of colors! To learn more, read our complete review of all the new colors. With a tall tub design and stainless steel tub, plus hidden top controls and quiet 46 dB operation, this dishwasher is already shaping up to be a great choice!

A hidden vent with fan dry helps speed up the drying process in an energy-efficient way. The ball bearing glide upper rack can be adjusted to accommodate tall glassware and more while still leaving tons of space in the lower rack. Bottle Jets in the upper rack (pictured below) are a great feature for washing the interiors of vases, tall water bottles, pitchers, thermoses, and other tall, narrow items. There's also a third rack.

 

Best Dishwashers GE GDT655SBLTS bottle jets

 

This dishwasher may be a good option for people who want an easy way to ensure tall, narrow items are consistently clean and sanitary thanks to the Bottle Jets. Another cool feature is the Steam + Sani option, which you can add to any cycle to loosen baked-on food while sanitizing your dishes. This model also offers an improved quick wash cycle compared to previous GE dishwashers with a one-hour long wash. GE keeps the cycles simple while offering you a lot of options to choose from to customize the cycle! 

 

Features:

  • 5 Cycles: 1 Hour Wash, Auto Sense, Heavy Wash, Light Wash, Normal Wash

  • 10 Options: Bottle Jets, Child Lock, Delay Start (12 hours), Dry Boost™, Heated Dry, Steam + Sani, Steam PreWash, Wash TempBoost, Wash Zone Lower Only, Wash Zone Upper Only

  • Bottle Jets in the upper rack for cleaning tall items like vases and bottles

  • Piranha hard food disposer with removable filter - chops up food particles to prevent clogging of spray arms

  • Full-extension smooth-glide adjustable upper rack with stemware holders, plus a third rack

 

Click here to read over 955 real customer reviews of this product!

 

GE GDT665SSNSS - $919

GE GDT665SSNSS Dishwasher

 

 

 

dishwasher buying guide

 

 

4. Bosch SHP878ZD5N - 42 dB - $1,149

If you have an open floor plan or spend a lot of time in your kitchen, the best dishwashers for you may be the quietest ones. For most people, that means Bosch. The Bosch SHP878ZD5N dishwasher operates at 42 dB, which is close to silent! It’s available in stainless steel for $1,149 and includes a flexible third rack and an adjustable upper rack.

New for 2019, Bosch has included Zeolite drying technology under the Crystal Dry option. Inside of this Bosch dishwasher is a lab-created mineral called Zeolite that absorbs moisture and releases heat. It produces significantly better drying results, even if you have an upper rack full of plastics, without increasing energy usage! The Zeolite system is completely safe and will last for the life of the dishwasher, too. This feature is definitely going to put Bosch ahead of the game when it comes to drying performance!

The pocket handle and hidden top controls make this dishwasher blend right in with your counters, and an InfoLight LED shines on the floor to let you know when the dishwasher is in operation. The fast one-hour Speed60 cycle plus the third rack make this dishwasher a great choice for busy households. When you want to wash as much as possible in one load, a third rack is indispensable!

 

Features: 

  • 6 Cycles: Heavy, Auto, Eco, Normal, Speed 60, Rinse

  • 6 Options: Delay Start, Half Load, Delicate, Sanitize, Crystal Dry, Extra Scrub

  • Flexible third rack adds 30% more loading capacity

  • RackMatic upper rack adjusts to three different heights

  • Crystal Dry Zeolite system boosts drying without changing energy consumption

  • Speed60 1-hour wash and dry cycle

  • AquaStop 24/7 leak protection

 

Click here to read over 515 real customer reviews of this product!

 

Bosch SHP878ZD5N - $1,149

Bosch SHP878ZD5N Dishwasher 800 Series

 

 

5. LG LDT7808SS - 42 dB - $1,149

LG is another great brand to consider when shopping for the best dishwasher. If you love smart appliances, the LG LDT7808SS dishwasher with SmartThinQ technology might be for you! This technology allows the dishwasher to send a notification to your smartphone when a cycle is complete, as well as giving you access to the Smart Diagnosis troubleshooting system. It also works with Alexa or Google Assistant.

LG has a variety of modern color options for your dishwasher upgrade as it is available in PrintProof stainless steel at $1,149 and in black stainless steel at $1,199. This Energy Star rated dishwasher comes with a bar handle, and it has hidden controls at the top. The adjustable upper rack and third rack help you maximize your washing space, while QuadWash spray arms with two Multi-Motion rotating arms ensure total cleaning coverage. It also boasts LG's TrueSteam, where steam is used during the wash cycle. This helps break up baked-on food while being gentle on delicate items. Plus, this dishwasher is whisper quiet at just 42 dB, so this is good for you if you prefer quiet operation!

This dishwasher is a good option for busy, tech-savvy households. If you want to have your dishwasher unloaded and ready for more dirty dishes ASAP after a cycle is completed, the smartphone notifications can be a great way to keep your kitchen running smoothly. It also comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor, five-year warranty on the control board and rack parts, ten-year limited warranty on the direct drive motor, and lifetime warranty on the stainless steel door liner or tub. Find out more about the LG dishwasher lineup in our LG dishwasher reviews.

 

Features:

  • 10 Cycles: Auto, Heavy, Delicate, Refresh, Normal, Turbo, Download Cycle, Machine Clean, Rinse, Express

  • 9 Options: Dual Zone, Half Load, Energy Saver, Steam, High Temp, Extra Dry, Delay Start, Control Lock, Night Dry

  • QuadWash - four spray arms, two Multi-Motion arms that rotate back and forth while spinning to clean from every angle

  • LG SmartThinQ technology sends a notification to your smartphone when a cycle is complete

  • Adjustable third rack and upper rack

  • Glide Rail upper rack pulls out smoothly

 

Click here to read over 170 real customer reviews of this product!

 

LG LDT7808SS - $1,149

LG LDT7808SS Dishwasher

 

 

6. Maytag MDB8959SKZ - 47 dB - $899

Maytag focuses on power and durability with the Maytag MDB8959SKZ. Choose from fingerprint-resistant stainless steel at $899 or classic black or white at $799. With hidden top controls, a sleek pocket handle, and no brand badge on the front, this model will blend in beautifully with your kitchen. 

This dishwasher comes with Dual Power Filtration, a new feature for 2020 that combines Maytag's stainless steel chopper with microfiltration. It's maintenance-free and effective. There's also a new third level rack with room for mugs and bowls, not just flatware! Leak Detect is another great new feature that now comes standard on all Maytag dishwashers.

The PowerBlast® cycle uses high-pressure spray jets plus increased temperature and hot steam to blast away baked-on gunk and debris. This dishwasher also has the most powerful motor on the market among leading brands, handling dried-on egg yolk and peanut butter with no need to pre-rinse. The 2X Life Tested Motor is built to last and the nylon racks feature a premium DuraGuard® heavy-duty coating. Maytag's warranty covers select parts for 10 years!

 

Pictured below: The spacious premium third rack!

Maytag 3rd Rack Dishwasher

 

If you’re looking for a tough and durable dishwasher that will be in it for the long haul, this Maytag dishwasher is a great choice for your home. Busy families with lots of dirty dishes can have a dishwasher that works as hard as they do! You can read our full review of the Maytag dishwasher lineup here.

 

Features:

  • 5 Cycles: Auto, Normal, PowerBlast, Quick, Rinse

  • 5 Options: High Temp, Sani Rinse®, Short Heated Dry, Long Heated Dry, Delay

  • Dual Power Filtration combines hard food disposer with microfiltration

  • Premium third rack

 

Maytag MDB8959SKZ - $899

Maytag MDB7959SKZ and Maytag MDB8959SKZ Dishwasher

 

 

7. KitchenAid KDTM404KPS - 44 dB - $1,099

Last but not least on our list of the best dishwashers for 2021 is the KitchenAid KDTM404KPS, available in PrintShield black stainless steel for $1,199 or PrintShield stainless steel for $1,099. This dishwasher focuses on a thorough clean and dry with the maintenance-free Advanced Clean Water Wash System and options for fan-assisted drying and heat drying

 

 

 

A new feature is the FreeFlex third rack! Most third racks only have enough height room for spatulas or perhaps espresso cups, but this FreeFlex rack can fit bowls, 6" glasses, and mugs easily! It has a dedicated wash arm as well as a drying bar with tabs that help prevent water marks around the lips of your glasses. The second rack is height adjustable, and you can fit a KitchenAid stand mixing bowl in it! 

This model definitely has a premium look and feel! It comes with a two-year warranty on parts and labor plus five years parts only on select parts. It's also available with a pocket handle and sleek stainless steel front controls - check out model KDFM404KPS. Keep in mind that KitchenAid's dishwashers can often be found at significant discounts during holiday sale periods.

 

Features:

  • 5 Cycles: ProWash, Normal, Express, Tough, Rinse Only

  • 5 Options: Hi Temp Wash, Sani Rinse®, Delay Start (8 hours), Heated Dry, Extended Heat Dry

  • Advanced Clean Water Wash System

  • Heat dry and vent dry options

  • FreeFlex third rack and adjustable upper rack

  • SatinGlide rails on second and third racks

 

KitchenAid KDTM404KPS - $1,099

KitchenAid KDTM404KPS Dishwasher

 

RECOMMENDED ARTICLE:  Dishwasher Buying Guide 7 Important Steps!

 

Some of the great features present in all of the dishwashers on our list include stainless steel wash tubs, plus fold-down tines and adjustable upper racks, which help you clean more dishes at a time even if you need to wash bulky or oddly shaped items. If you want a smart dishwasher, the LG model (#5 on our list) may be your favorite. All of the options are very quiet while in operation. If you want a dishwasher with serious drying performance, the Bosch Crystal Dry model (#4) is a must-see. Want bottle jets? The GE model (#3) is a good option!

Which of these options is your favorite? Leave us a comment below - We’d love to hear from you!

 

Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in January of 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy as of the publication date noted above.

Topics: Dishwashers

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