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14 June 2021

Best dishwashers 2021

Choose the best dishwasher for you using our expert buying guide and independent dishwasher reviews.
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Which?Editorial team
Woman loading dishwasher

Whether you want an integrated or freestanding dishwasher that’s compact, slimline or full-sized, we’ve got a top-scoring model for you.  

Hundreds of dishwashers have passed through our labs, including models from Beko, Bosch, Hotpoint, Miele, Zanussi and others. 

We assess how well each dishwasher dries, and whether it leaves a lot of streaks or watermarks on cutlery, crockery and glassware, too. 

But we’ve also found models that are not only awkward to load, but that will leave you with food smeared or still wet dishes that need some elbow grease to get them up to scratch.

Best dishwashers for 2021

We've selected our pick of the best dishwashers to help you find the right model for your home.

These models are great all-rounders and will leave your dishes sparkling clean - they are the very best dishwashers that we've tested this year.

Best dishwashers overall

  • 86%
    £921.97

    Balancing cleaning and drying power with energy efficiency is a tricky task, but this model does just that. It can whisk away a whole menu of grime and dirt, all while saving you money on your energy bills.

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  • 85%
    £625.00

    This dishwasher flew through our tests without breaking a sweat. It cleans and dries fantastically and is easy to load and unload. Sure, we've found others that are a little bit more efficient. But what sets this dishwasher apart, and gives it a lead over most, is that it runs almost silently.

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Best dishwashers by size

Whether you want a compact, slimline or full-sized dishwasher, we’ve got a top-scoring model for you.

Dishwasher size graphic

The picks in the table below are some of the very best dishwashers we’ve tested.

Best full-width dishwasher

  • 86%
    £921.97

    Balancing cleaning and drying power with energy efficiency is a tricky task, but this model does just that. It can whisk away a whole menu of grime and dirt, all while saving you money on your energy bills.

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Best slimline dishwasher

  • 75%
    £510.00

    This is one of the best slimline dishwashers we’ve ever tested. It cleans and dries brilliantly enough to be a Best Buy.

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Best compact dishwasher

  • 58%
    £839.00

    This semi-integrated one-drawer dishwasher that has room for 60 items. It has a child lock, a delayed start feature and six programs to choose from. But can this dinky drawer dishwasher get your dirty dishes sparkling clean? Read the full review to find out how it coped with sticky baked-on egg, spinach and mince in our tough lab tests.

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View all compact dishwasher reviews  and find out how to buy the best compact dishwasher from our experts.

Best dishwasher by type

Freestanding dishwashers are designed for front door to remain fully visible. They're available in a range of colours white, black, grey and silver.

Integrated dishwashers are designed to be incorporated into built-in kitchens. 

They fall into two categories:

  1. Fully integrated - hidden behind a kitchen cabinet door. 
  2. Semi-integrated – where most of the front is covered, but the control panel is left visible at the top.

Best freestanding dishwasher

  • 83%
    £899.00

    This Miele is a superstar cleaner, efficient, a breeze to use, and quiet. Aka, it's one of the most well-rounded dishwashers we've ever tested.

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Best fully integrated dishwasher

  • 86%
    £921.97

    Balancing cleaning and drying power with energy efficiency is a tricky task, but this model does just that. It can whisk away a whole menu of grime and dirt, all while saving you money on your energy bills.

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Best semi integrated dishwasher

  • 80%
    £1269.00

    This dishwasher is among the most efficient we've ever tested - even among other Eco Buy dishwashers, it would save you money. The fact that it also still gives five-star cleaning and drying is nothing short of magic.

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How much should you spend to buy the best dishwasher?

Whether you’re looking for the best integrated dishwasher or the best slimline dishwasher, our experts discovered that spending a fortune doesn’t guarantee quality. 

In fact, Which? have uncovered an £800 dishwasher that does such a bad job we've labelled it a Don't Buy, and Best Buy-rated models for half the price.

We currently have 50 Best Buy dishwashers including a budget option that costs less than £220 and our top-rated model is under £630. 

Cheapest Best Buy dishwasher

  • 76%
    £400.00

    This dishwasher's eco program is so energy efficient that we have labelled it an Eco Buy. Unlike many eco programs, though, it does a great job of getting dishes thoroughly clean and dry.

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Find our picks of the best cheap dishwashers for 2021 including freestanding, semi-integrated and fully integrated. 

Video: how to buy the best dishwasher

Buying a great dishwasher means kissing goodbye to washing up by hand. 

Our expert video guide tells you what you need to know to buy the best dishwasher for your home.

Although one dishwasher may look like another, our rigorous tests have revealed huge differences in how well they clean and dry. 

The best will leave your crockery gleaming, while the worst will see you standing at the sink re-washing still grubby plates and bowls.

Picking the right model for you also comes down to your budget, the size of your kitchen and the capacity and features you want.

Best dishwashers: what features to look out for?

  • Adjustable racks - if you regularly host dinner parties you might want adjustable racks so you can fit platters and wine glasses in with ease.
  • Automatic open door drying – this opens the door of your dishwasher slightly near the end of your wash to let the steam escape, allowing your dishes to dry better.
  • Child-safety lock - will protect your dishwasher’s control panel from curious little fingers.
  • Delay start - most dishwashers come with a delay timer, which allows you to set the dishwasher hours before you want the wash program to start.
  • Sensor wash or fuzzy logic – a more advanced feature, this measures how dirty the dishes are, and adjusts the temperature and length of the wash accordingly.
  • Smart features – this allows you to control and monitor your dishwasher remotely via an app on your smartphone or tablet.

Which? experts offer advice on how to buy the best dishwasher in our dishwasher buying guide

Energy efficiency and running costs

We don't just test how well a dishwasher will clean your dirty plates and glasses, we calculate the annual energy running costs  as well as the amount of water the machine uses. 

Dishwashers will have an official EU rating for energy efficiency, but this doesn't guarantee that you're getting the most efficient machine. 

The least efficient dishwasher we've tested would add £64 to your yearly energy bills, while the most efficient adds just £27.  

We've also found significant differences between the most and least efficient machines, regardless of their energy label.   

Although most dishwashers have an official A-rating for energy efficiency, we've found plenty of models that use both water and electricity inefficiently - even on the eco program. 

Which? gives each model a star rating of one to five for energy and water use. Look out for dishwashers with a Which? energy efficiency rating of four stars or more. 

If you want the most efficient dishwashers we've tested, head over to our guide on the most energy efficient dishwashers to find our top Eco Buys.

Litres of water used to wash up a meal for two

When it comes to water use, we've found full-sized machines that use just half a litre of water per place setting. 

Slimline models tend to be less efficient, but the most efficient we've tested still used less than a litre of water per place setting - far less than the amount used while handwashing.  

Compare the best dishwashers by brand

Discover the best and most reliable dishwasher brands, according to our Which? independent test lab reviews and survey of dishwasher owners.

We’ve asked thousands of Which? members about their dishwashers, to find out which brands impress when you install them at home. 

Our tough tests have also uncovered plenty of Best Buy machines that will leave your crockery and cutlery spotless, but we've also found some that fail to shift grime.

Our research means you can now see at a glance the brands that should give you unrivalled cleaning over a number of years and those that could prove a costly waste of money.

Find out what we’ve learnt about the big dishwasher brands – such as Beko, Bosch, Hotpoint, Indesit and Miele.

Or find out how customers rated these brands in our guide to which dishwasher brand to buy.

Don't Buy dishwashers to avoid

Some dishwashers do such a poor job of cleaning and drying in our tests that we’ve labelled them with our Don’t By warning. They're annoyingly noisy and the worst are a chore to load and unload, too. The Don't Buy dishwashers below are definitely best avoided.

  • 45%
    £349.00

    Having to clean the filters out every few washes isn’t good enough, and as such this a Hisense a Don’t Buy.

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  • 45%
    £349.00

    This Hisense is a Don’t Buy because of how quickly the filters at the bottom of the dishwasher become blocked.

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  • 42%
    £369.99

    Despite coming from a reputable brand, this dishwasher disappointed. Quite simply put, it is one of the worst cleaners we've ever seen.

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  • 33%
    £780.00

    This semi-integrated one-drawer dishwasher that has room for 60 items. This 2017 model, however, failed to clean our dirty dishes, and is a disappointing Don't Buy.

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How we test dishwashers

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our dishwasher recommendations are influenced only by our test results.  We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

With more than 50 years expertise in testing appliances, you can trust that we’re the experts in separating the good from the bad.

Every dishwasher is assessed in the Which? test lab using a strict range of criteria. From how easy the machine is to load to how much water and energy it uses, our tests will reveal everything you need to know about a dishwasher.

Most importantly, we check how well each dishwasher cleans. We bake each dish in our tests with a variety of foods to see how well each dishwasher cleans.  

How we test dishwashers

We test dirty dishes with milk, tea, minced meat, eggs, oat flakes, spinach and margarine, baking on these substances in a heated cabinet to ensure we give dishwashers a tough, realistic test. 

We then go one step further and add in some clean dishes to the load, to see if the dishwasher spreads grime around the dishwasher - you wouldn’t want to buy a machine that just moves dirt from one plate to another.