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Top five best cheap dishwashers for 2018

By Aaron West

Bag a bargain dishwasher with our pick of the best cheap models we've tested, including a Best Buy for around £200.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

A dishwasher is a big purchase, particularly if the old one suddenly needs replacing or you’re installing a whole new kitchen. The good news is that we’ve found Best Buy dishwashers for all budgets. 

Our testing has found that price is no indicator of quality – in fact, our most expensive Don’t Buy dishwasher costs over £800 while our cheapest Best Buy dishwasher will set you around £200.

Here we take a look at the best budget machines from our tests, and picked out three to avoid. And keep reading to find out what you might be missing out on by opting for a bargain, and what features to look out for.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Best cheap freestanding dishwasher

Lowest price (in stock) £379.00
Which? score 78%
Reviewed May 2017
Cleaning:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Drying - plates & cutlery:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Place settings:
Member exclusive

This dishwasher is great at cleaning and drying plates and cutlery, and does a decent job of removing watermarks. It's energy and water efficient on both the eco and auto programs. It's not as easy to use as it could be, though, and quite noisy.

Best cheap fully integrated dishwasher

Typical price £230.00
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Oct 2018
Cleaning:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Drying - plates & cutlery:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Place settings:
Member exclusive

Apart from being noisy, this dishwasher is fantastic, and it passed our tough cleaning tests with flying colours. It dries well, doesn't leave watermarks and the eco program doesn't use much water or electricity.

Best cheap semi-integrated dishwasher

Lowest price (in stock) £383.00
Which? score 69%
Reviewed Oct 2017
Cleaning:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Drying - plates & cutlery:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Place settings:
Member exclusive

We were impressed by how well this dishwasher cleaned and dried dishes - it excelled at both, and even did a good job of drying plastic. It's energy and water efficient too. Is it the budget model for you?

Best budget dishwasher

Typical price £190.00
Which? score 73%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Cleaning:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Drying - plates & cutlery:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Place settings:
Member exclusive

This dishwasher is budget friendly, and kind to your utility bills. Will this full-size dishwasher be the perfect pick?

Best cheap slimline dishwasher

Typical price £250.00
Which? score 66%
Reviewed Jul 2018
Cleaning:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Drying - plates & cutlery:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Ease of use:
2 out of 52 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Place settings:
Member exclusive

This dishwasher cleans well, dries well and doesn't use much water or energy to get the job done.

Not found the product for you? Browse all of our dishwasher reviews.

And here are three cheap dishwashers to avoid

There are some great dishwasher bargains to be had, but we’ve also found plenty of cheap options that simply aren’t worth the money. These models will leave you stuck at the sink rewashing grubby crockery and cutlery by hand, or reaching for a tea towel when unloading wet dishes. These difficult to use Don’t Buy dishwashers are best avoided.

Cheap Don't Buy dishwashers

Lowest price (in stock) £269.00
Which? score 41%
Reviewed Dec 2015
Cleaning:
2 out of 52 out of 5
Drying - plates & cutlery:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Ease of use:
1 out of 51 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Place settings:
Member exclusive

This dishwasher's cleaning and drying are nothing to write home about. But what will really put you off is how loud and difficult to use it is.

Lowest price (in stock) £209.99
Which? score 39%
Reviewed Jun 2014
Cleaning:
2 out of 52 out of 5
Drying - plates & cutlery:
2 out of 52 out of 5
Ease of use:
2 out of 52 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Place settings:
Member exclusive

This dishwasher's cleaning is mediocre and it leaves dishes quite wet. It’s noisy, and isn’t the easiest model to use either. Make sure you avoid this model.

Typical price £300.00
Which? score 38%
Reviewed Mar 2017
Cleaning:
1 out of 51 out of 5
Drying - plates & cutlery:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Place settings:
Member exclusive

This dishwasher leaves your plates and cutlery dry, but still dirty. Watermarks are an issue too.

What do you miss out on by going cheap?

Cheaper dishwashers often have fewer programs. This has no effect on how well the dishwasher cleans or dries, but it does limit your choices. 

For example, some expensive dishwashers have a 'silent' wash, which reduces the noise made by the machine during the rinsing and washing cycles. This makes it ideal to use when you have friends round, or on a timer overnight.

Other programs that are often missed in basic dishwashers include:

  • Delicate wash: uses a lower temperature for glassware and china
  • Higher temperature wash: for an extra hygienic clean, often recommended for items like baby bottles
  • Two zone wash: where the top or bottom rack will get a more intense wash, so you can wash a baking tray in the same load as glassware

Occasionally very cheap dishwashers even scrimp on the display. This means you won’t be able to check how long you have left before the cycle completes.

Not sure what you do and don't need?
Read our guide on
how to buy the best dishwasher.

Find out which features you do need

While a lot of cheap dishwashers will have less features and programs than pricier models, that doesn’t mean you will necessarily be missing out completely. Decide which of the features below are the most important to you before browsing our reviews. The right features will help a dishwasher fit seamlessly into your lifestyle, without feeling like a waste of money.

Adjustable upper racks Height adjustable upper racks will give your dishwasher more versatility, letting you fit in large plates or platters and long stemmed wine glasses. Most full size dishwashers will let lower or raise the height.

Delay start More than 80% of the dishwashers we’ve tested come with a delay start option, so you should be able to pick a model with this regardless of your budget. It allows you to set the dishwasher hours before you want the wash program to start.

Child-safety lock This is a reasonably common, but important, feature that prevents unwanted changes being made to settings while the dishwasher is in use. A good option for those with children or grandchildren in the house.

Anti-flood protection This prevents flooding if something should go wrong. 'Float switches' detect water in the base of the machine and stop it from filling further, while an 'aqua stop' prevents flooding if the hose that fills the dishwasher spills or leaks.

Sensor wash or fuzzy logic This measures how dirty the dishes in the machine are, and adjusts the temperature and length of the wash accordingly. It’s more common on expensive models, but some cheaper models will come with an option for this program.

Built-in wi-fi This is a relatively new feature, and lets you control your dishwasher via an app or link it in with other appliances in your house. It’s a feature mostly found on more expensive machines at the moment, but it would be worth keeping an eye out for machines in the sale if this sounds like a must-have feature for you.

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