What Dishwasher Should You Buy
Our essential guide to helping you choose a new dishwasher
We get asked this. Not as much as we do for washing machines but, a fair amount.
Just as is the case with washing machine the quality of dishwasher that you get can vary dramatically from one brand to another or even between models that have the same brand name on the front.
What brand name is on the front of a dishwasher will often not mean that’s who made it!
Just as is the case with washing machines, the past couple of decades have seen manufacturers race to the bottom on price which, inevitably, means a huge downturn on quality and, most of the brand names that you know and perhaps even trust, probably aren’t even who you think they are now.
We Are Impartial
Since the demise of ISE who were one of the very few quality brands out there ceased trading in 2014 we’ve got no stake here.
We do not make dishwashers. We do not sell dishwashers. We just deal with spare parts.
We have no vested interest at all in what dishwasher you buy and, this article is free of advertising (ignoring the Google ads) and any affiliate links unlike many other sites so, all you’re getting is the truth, even if many people both inside and out of the industry might not like it.
Many may not agree with our opinions and that’s fine.
Top Of The Market
This sector of the domestic washing machine market is widely considered to be products above the £600-700 barrier.
What’s left is Miele and V Zug in domestic dishwashers, for the UK at least.
That’s it. Everything else is compromised in one way or another.
Buy either of those and understand that you will get a good dishwasher but that spare parts and service on either are limited and probably going to be very expensive when you need them. However on the upside of that, you won’t need those often at all.
Performance wise you will struggle to get any better, there’s usually little to fault them on as the dishwashers are extremely well designed and tested, the performance is unlikely to be beaten.
Expect to get way in excess of ten years from these machines in normal domestic use, most will go for twenty years or longer which makes this sort of buy for integrated dishwashers a good idea as, you really don't want to be swapping one of those out if you can avoid it.
Large initial outlay for sure but, way better performance and they will last way longer.
Upper Mid Market
The upper mid market is where many of the more widely know brands sit, the like of Smeg, Siemens, some Bosch, some AEG and so on with enough kudos in their brand name to justify the more premium pricing.
However there’s a lot in here that’s little more than tarted up lower end stuff with a posh name on the box, some clever aesthetics and marketing spin. Oh, as well as often having pointless and largely useless features to encourage you to spend more, think on it like the pointless "extras" you get on cars, they are often designed solely to entice you to spend more and over the odds.
Most of this will be roughly in the £300-500 bracket.
Yes, we know we missed out £500-600, because there’s largely nothing in that area or, not much of note other than dressed up versions of cheaper dishwashers.
There are a few exceptions, for example Smeg and LG only produce under their own label as do Samsung (although Samsung’s aftersales is rubbish) but apart from those virtually all the dishwashers that sit here either sell the same stuff under other brands or, they supply the same stuff to other brands.
The chance of you buying a dishwasher in this price bracket that’s what you think it is or that is unique to the brand name on the box, not far off zero.
The chance of you buying something that’s just a rebadged version of a lower spec model or one tarted up with additional (often useless) features, pretty high.
Just as with washing machines, the further down the price food chain you go, the higher the chances that all you would buy is a posh version of a cheaper machine, very high.
Performance here varies with most of the established brands offering up good performing dishwashers in terms of results but don’t expect them to be as good as the top end machines as, they’re not.
The lower down you go, the more the performance is liable to degrade.
Depending on the use you put them to, expect in the region of five to ten years from these machines.
This section is regarded as being anything below the £300 mark but we’re going to split it in two as we did with washing machines in order to highlight problems we see almost daily with spare parts and service.
Known brand names in this sector are the stripped out cheap versions of whatever the manufacturers have to offer. Or, what they have production lines set up to produce huge volumes on.
It’s also where a lot of the the true junk starts to appear although, you can see that on the level above albeit not often although far more common with integrated dishwashers.
From the large groups, Electrolux, Whirlpool, Bosch, Beko, Smeg etc that you can find out more on in the manufacturer section on the site, you have a fighting chance of getting spares and decent service support. Many other lesser known brands but still known in the industry and decent enough companies such as Amica, Lamona, Candy and some others are the same.
A lot of the others, not a chance.
Many are or, seem to be, almost throw-away machines with little (if any) support at all.
Performance in this sector is passable for most but some of the rebadged own brand label junk we see, well it’s not very good at all.
In respect to durability, for normal use anything between three and eight years will be what you can expect here depending on what dishwasher you choose.
We have seen a rise in complete stupidity on some though with the likes of basket wheels or rollers that you can only buy as part of a complete basket assembly, at over £50 usually. This is complete madness as most basket wheels are only a couple of pounds or so.
This sort of thing is extremely common on Chinese produced dishwashers. If you can get parts, period.
But we also see rubbish basket designs, poor quality plastics used, components that you would think were made by cavemen, poor quality electronics and wiring looms and a host of other things that just aren't nice. All in the aid of getting a lower ticket price in store.
Almost all integrated dishwashers in this price bracket, especially toward the lower end of it, will be rebadged Chinese stuff or Turkish dishwashers just rebadged. Often, they’re garbage to passable, maybe.
There are a whole host of rebadged dishwashers you can buy under the £200 mark now, some for under £150 and to be blunt, they are generally rubbish.
These are the cheap and nasty machines and used to be the preserve of brands most people had probably never heard of. Now though just as with washing machines we have been seeing “known” or “familiar” brands being used in the section to try to flog more as loads of people will buy it as, it’s cheap and, they know the brand and trust in that alone.
Thing is, that brand is almost certainly not who people think it is.
Don’t be fooled by this. If it looks too good to be true, it probably will be.
Almost all the machines here are going to be coming from Turkey or China in the main. Produced at a price with little spare part back up, often no technical support and if there is service available for them it’s probably not going to be very good, even in warranty.
That’s fine if you’re a single home occupant and it’s likely to last a while but, for heavier family use you can expect to burn through one of these dishwashers in a few years, easy.
They are cheap but you will have to accept that after a short time you could well be dropping it off at the local council tip and heading off to Argos or wherever to buy a new dishwasher, again.
Whatever you do, do not buy a dishwasher at this price on finance. If it falls over and dies you could end up paying for the one you’ve thrown out and be faced with having to buy another. We’ve seen this happen many times, the finance is more durable than the dishwasher!
If you’ve gotten to this page as you’ve been out hunting on the internet for dishwasher reviews then please take note of this part of the article.
Most of them are complete and utter garbage. A lot are PR releases dressed up as reviews. Or articles dressed up as a review to promote affiliate links, that web publishers get paid for if or when you buy. Yes, many are designed to get a slice of your money from you as a part for the sale and very often we see these from sites that have absolutely zero knowledge of appliances and have never tested one, other than the one/s they might own.
They are often about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike as the saying goes.
Even ones you can trust from the likes of Which? cannot tell you about durability, won’t tell you who really made the machine and not just the name stamped on it or anything about service and spare parts.
What those can tell you is stuff about the ease of use, the programs, performance maybe and so forth. It won’t tell you much else, like how long it will last. But it is at least something.
This infographic shows you what Which? can tell you and, they do test dishwashers so the results are valid:
Just as with washing machine reviews, user reviews we’ve seen range from those made a few days after people have gotten a new dishwasher, which his hardly indicative of long term performance to some that are, will we say, a bit suspicious in origin. Maybe even some that are perhaps fraudulent to try to dupe buyers, maybe.
By all means please do look and research but do have some pinches of salt to hand, you’ll probably need them.
Where you choose to spend your money and what on is entirely your choice of course and we are not trying to say that you will only get a dishwasher that suits your individual needs buy spending at the very top end of the market.
There are some reasonable choices for less but, the lower down you go the more danger areas there are. It is also the case that, chance are you will not be buying what you think you are buying or even from the company you think you are buying it from.
Badge engineering in the appliance industry is almost unrivalled and many would argue that this is a very deliberate thing designed to confound and confuse you, the buyer. Some would say, to dupe you in what is effectively bait and switch tactics.
You might think you are getting a bargain dishwasher from a trusted and reputable manufacturer but, often as not, you won’t be. It may well prove not to be a bargain at all.
Use the manufacturer section and get advice in the forums, it could save you a fortune or from a dishwasher disaster.
Please browse the other articles on the site, they are intense to help you find a good dishwasher at a reasonable price but by all means please do ask in the forums about specific models, the guys will give you honest and sensible advice there.