Dishwashers: How to buy the best dishwasher Dishwasher types, sizes and prices

Before you hit the high-street or search online, make sure the appliance you choose - whether full-sized, slimline or compact - is right for you and your kitchen. See which models are Best Buys in our dishwasher reviews

Full-sized dishwashers

Full-sized dishwashers have room for 12-15 place settings

Full-sized dishwashers

The smallest full-sized machines have room for 120 pots, pans, plates and pieces of cutlery. The biggest dishwashers can squeeze in more than 150 items - so they’re well capable of coping with the washing up after large dinner parties. 

Full-sized dishwashers can be freestanding or built-in. Built-in dishwashers fall into two categories: fully integrated - where the entire front panel of the dishwasher is hidden behind a kitchen-cabinet door; or semi-integrated - where most of the front is covered, but the control panel is left visible at the top.

Size and capacity

Width 60cm Capacity 120-150 items

Price 

From £190  for a basic model from a lower budget brand, to around £700 for a top-of-the-range machine from a premium brand. Which? Best Buy full-sized dishwashers start from £200.

Pros 

Can wash at least 120 items at once, best for water and energy efficiency

Cons 

Might be too big for a small kitchen, smaller households may struggle to fill up a whole load 

Best slimline dishwashers

Slimline dishwashers have room for 90-100 items

Slimline dishwashers

When space is tight in your kitchen, a slimline machine can be a good option. At 45cm wide, these are 15cm slimmer than full-sized machines, but still capable of washing around 100 items at once. 

Like full-sized models, slimline dishwashers can be freestanding or built-in.

Size and capacity

Width 45cm Capacity 90-100 items

Price

From £180 for a basic model from a lower budget brand, to more than £530 for a top-of-the-range, built-in machine from a leading brand. Which? Best Buy slimline dishwashers start at around £300.

Pros 

A great option if space is at a premium 

Cons 

For the amount of dishes washed, a large machine will be more energy and water efficient

Best compact dishwashers

Compact dishwashers can sit on a work surface and hold 4-6 place settings

Compact dishwashers 

Compact or table-top dishwashers sit on top of kitchen counters. They are a good choice if you want a dishwasher but have no available floor space to squeeze in a full-sized or slimline model. 

They are a little bit bigger than a very large microwave oven, and have a very small capacity of around 50 items, so you won’t be able to wash too many dishes at once. Compact dishwashers use more water and energy per item than slimline and full-sized machines.

Size and capacity

Width 56cm Capacity 40-60 items

Price

From £185 for a basic model from one of the lower-priced brands, to £700 for a top-of-the-range machine from a premium brand. Which? Best Buy compact dishwashers start from £335.

Pros 

A good option if you don’t do too much washing up, or prefer not to have to bend down to load the dishwasher

Cons 

Small capacity, hard to fit in some very large items

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