A dishwasher can be a wonderful investment in your home. Even the most basic dishwashers can provide you massive savings, both in time and in water use. We've compiled a list of five of these dishwashers — all of which are Energy Star certified, and all of which cost less than $500 — for people who want to benefit from these feature-rich dishwashers and still manage their budget.
The Frigidaire FFID2426TS is a sleek, modern design that fits into any 24-inch space. While its stainless steel exterior is minimalist and fully integrated, hiding the buttons in the top of the door, the polymer interior is full of advanced features that ensure your dishes will come out clean on the first try. For instance, its OrbitClean spray arm makes sure the water reaches your dishes from every possible angle, and the DishSense sensors adjust the running time based on how soiled your dishes are. Meanwhile, its NSF-certified sanitize cycle kills 99.9% of the bacteria on your dishes.
At only 18 inches wide, the Avanti DW1831D0WE is compact but powerful, making it a great choice for smaller kitchens. It holds up to 8 place settings in each cycle, and its soft touch controls let you easily select between its 6 automatic wash cycles and 3 extra options (including "high temperature wash" and "sanitize"). Its timed rinse aid dispenser and 3-stage filtering system break down even the toughest food particles that are left on your dishes, and its nylon racks and one-piece silverware basket ensure that this dishwasher will last you as long as possible.
The Danby DDW1804EW is another 18-ish dishwasher, and this one is designed to improve quality of life in small ways. It can hold up to 8 place settings, and even with its compact size it manages to insulate most of the sound from the cycle. When running, it measures only 52 dBA — quieter than a normal conversation — which means that you can use the delayed-start feature for scheduling convenience instead of noise reduction. Its Smart Wash function minimizes the water used and cycle time on smaller or lightly-soiled dishes, and it even has a cycle specifically for glass to ensure that even your most delicate items are cleaned intact.
As the only all-black dishwasher on this list, the Beko DUT25401B would be a stylish addition to any home. Its SilentTech insulation technology absorbs both sound and heat, and its ProSmart inverter is twice as quiet as traditional motors. Its interior is incredibly customizable: while its 24 inches of internal width can handle up to 14 place settings, its adjustable-height top rack means you can wash your oversized dishes easily, and its half-load function means you don't have to worry about waste for smaller loads. Its three spray arms make sure that detergent and water get everywhere they need, and its stainless steel interior is corrosion-resistant and easy to maintain.
The Samsung DW80R2031US is another great value in the world of dishwashers. Its fully integrated touch controls blend seamlessly into the top of the 24-inch stainless steel door, and its adjustable rack can hold up to 14 place settings. At only 55 dBA, it's one of the quietest dishwashers on this list, and its Advance Wash System uses only 249 kWh of energy in an average year. It has a digital water leakage sensor that shuts the electronics down as soon as water goes anywhere it shouldn't be, and the tub itself is designed to speed up drying time.
Can dishwashers break if left unused?
Dishwashers are at their best when they're used regularly — leaving them alone for more than two or three weeks at a time can cause the seals to dry out and can lead to mechanical failures.
Is a dishwasher always more efficient than washing dishes by hand?
Because dishwashers recirculate the water they use and because they can heat the water up to a higher temperature than humans can handle, dishwashers are nearly always more efficient than washing multiple dishes by hand.