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8 July 2021

What are the most energy efficient dishwashers?

Choosing an inefficient dishwasher could add almost £300 to your energy bills over its lifetime and be much worse for the environment.
Aaron West
Dishwasher eco programme

The true cost of your dishwasher, on both your wallet and the planet, will vary wildly depending on if you get an energy-efficient model or one that's wasteful.

See which is the best dishwasher or head to our dishwasher reviews.

Best Eco Buy dishwashers

  • 83%
    £799.00

    This is one of the best dishwashers currently available. It shows that you can match style with substance by backing up its many flashy features with simple but impressive cleaning and outstanding energy efficiency. In fact, it's so efficient, it's an Eco Buy - meaning it will have a smaller environmental impact on the planet.

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    First month only £5, then £9.99 per month, cancel any time

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  • 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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  • 77%
    £330.00

    It's so energy efficient on its main auto program and the eco wash that we’ve made it an Eco Buy.

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  • 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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Dishwasher energy running costs explained

When we test and review dishwashers, we calculate the annual energy running costs – as well as how good they are at getting your plates sparkling clean – to make it easy for you to identify the models that are cheapest to run.

Although most dishwashers have an official A rating for energy efficiency, we test hundreds of dishwashers and we've found significant differences in electricity and water use.

'How we test' box

Which? gives each model a star rating of one to five for energy and water use - where five stars is the best and one is the worst. The most inefficient dishwasher we've tested would add £75 to your yearly energy bills, while the best adds just £39. 

You can find information about the running costs of each model in our dishwasher reviews.

Why you can't always trust energy labels

Energy labels are based on a manufacturer nominated program – so always the eco program. But this doesn’t give a good indication of how efficient the machine will be on its auto or normal program.

For example, compare these two 14 place setting dishwashers:

  • The auto program on the Miele G5260 SC would cost around £55. It gets a C rating.
  • The E-rated Bosch SMV46NX00G costs £10 less a year to run, despite the worse rating.

In March 2021, the energy label was changed to remove the A+++, A++ and A+ ratings. It now goes from A to G and has been adjusted to reflect modern standards. Although it is still only based on the eco program. Find out more by reading our story on what does the new energy label mean for you and your home.

Dishwasher energy-saving tips

Use your dishwasher's eco programs

Run your dishwasher on its energy-saving or eco program. This will take longer than the main program to get your dishes clean, but will use less energy and water. 

Eco programs wash dishes at lower temperatures and with less water, but for longer to still ensure a thorough clean. On average, economy programs use 30% less energy and water compared with the main program.

Load your dishwasher properly

Aim for a full load each time, but be careful not to overfill the dishwasher. Make sure water from the spray arms can reach every item, if not some won't get cleaned properly. 

Large items should go at the back and sides of the racks, too. If big plates are at the front, they can stop the water from reaching the detergent dispenser.

Check out guide on how to load your dishwasher for more advice.

Check out cheap electricity tariffs

Some electricity tariffs, such as Economy 7, charge less per unit at night than in the daytime to encourage power usage in off-peak times and to smooth out demand on the grid.

If you're on one of these tariffs, using the delayed-start function to run your machine at night will knock some money off your electricity bill.

We can help you save money on your energy bills. Use our independent free switching site, Which? Switch, to find the cheapest energy deal.