Best integrated dishwashers for 2021
The top integrated dishwashers from our testing will fit nicely into your kitchen. They do a great job of leaving your dishes clean and dry, and your glasses looking gleaming – all without sending your utility bills rocketing.
But we’ve also found integrated models that were dreadful at dealing with our dirty dishes, and left them still smeared with stains or spattered with food residue. You'll need to watch out when unloading these Don’t Buy integrated dishwashers, as you could find yourself soaked from plastic containers still filled with puddles of dishwater.
Best fully integrated dishwashers
Best semi-integrated dishwasher
Last updated: April 2021
Don't Buy integrated dishwashers
What is an integrated dishwasher?
Integrated dishwashers are designed to be incorporated into built-in kitchens, but they're usually more expensive than their freestanding counterparts, generally because they're not produced in the same large quantities.
In the shop, they can be even more difficult to choose between than standard dishwashers.
They're designed to be covered by a cupboard door, so they all look the same from the front.
So before you install a new dishwasher in your built-in kitchen, it's worth being sure that you're choosing the best one for your home. Read on to find out the answers to key questions about integrated dishwashers.
What type of integrated dishwasher should I buy?
There are two types of integrated dishwasher to choose from: fully and semi-integrated.
Which best suits you will mainly depend on whether you'd prefer a completely streamlined kitchen or a model with a control panel that can be accessed easily.
We've found some excellent Best Buy models for both that will make dealing with dirty dishes a dream, but what's the difference and how much do you need to spend?
Fully integrated dishwasher
These dishwashers are hidden entirely by a kitchen cabinet door, making them the ideal choice for people who want a streamlined and stylish kitchen.
The control panel for setting the program or options is found inside the door, along the top edge.
Some models will use lights projected on to the floor to let you know the progress of cycle, while others will beep once the cleaning is completed.
Fully integrated models are generally more common than semi-integrated dishwashers, so it's easier to find one that's in your price range and has all the features you're looking for.
Semi-integrated models are the middle ground between fully integrated and freestanding machines.
Most of the door of a semi-integrated model will be covered by a kitchen cabinet, but the control panel remains visible at the top.
This means that you can access the dishwasher's controls and see its display (if it has one) while the door is closed, even when the cycle is running.
Some semi-integrated models have their own front panel rather than requiring a custom-designed cabinet door.
For example, compact models typically have a large drawer and a front panel built on to the machine.
The image below shows a fully integrated dishwasher on the right and a semi-integrated on the left for comparison.
How much does an integrated dishwasher cost?
We've tested integrated dishwashers that cost as little as £160 and premium models that will set you back over £1,000.
Generally speaking, pricier models tend to offer more features, but a good integrated model that cleans and dries well can be found for £450 or less.
In contrast, fantastic freestanding models with handy features are regularly available for £300 to £350.
Are cheap integrated dishwashers any good?
Some of the affordable dishwashers we've tested have done so well in our tests we've awarded them Best Buy status.
However, we've also found that many are mediocre and others are disappointing.
What dishwasher features should I look for?
Regardless of whether you opt for an integrated or freestanding dishwasher, there are a few key features that you may want to look for.
Adjustable upper racks
Look for dishwashers with height-adjustable upper racks that are easy to use. The easiest have two quick-release clips on either side of the rack. This means you can lower or raise the height to fit large items in the lower rack, even if the upper rack is full of dishes.
Roller systems allow you to adjust the rack's height, but this isn’t always easy and you won’t be able to do it if the rack is full.
Dishwashers with fold-down prongs make loading large items easier. Look for dishwashers with fold-down prongs in both the upper and lower racks.
Large spray head
Large spray heads can be used on extremely dirty items, such as a roasting trays.
Removing the lower spray arm and attaching the large spray head concentrates the water in one direction.
Most dishwashers come with a delay timer, which allows you to set the dishwasher hours before you want the wash program to start.
This is handy if you can make use of cheaper night-time electricity, or if you like to time your dishwasher so that your plates are warm for dinner.
This is a reasonably common feature that prevents unwanted changes being made to settings while the dishwasher is in use.
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.
This measures how dirty the water is in the machine, and adjusts the temperature and length of the wash accordingly. It's frequently found on more expensive models.