Dishwasher Buying Guide
Dishwashers are useful appliances to have in any home. They save you the time and effort of scrubbing dishes by hand – and energy-efficient models can even save you money on your bills compared to hand washing. Our dishwasher buying guide gives you all the ‘need-to-knows’ before making your purchase.
We’ll take you through all of the important considerations, including:
- What is a dishwasher and how does one work?
- Choosing your fit
- Dishwasher sizes
- How to measure for a new dishwasher
- Features to consider
- Picking your colour
- Dishwasher brands
- Buying the right accessories
- Dishwasher FAQs
What is a dishwasher and how does one work?
Dishwashers are electronic appliances that use hot water and cleaning detergent to clean, rinse and dry dirty dishware, cookware and cutlery. Unlike traditional hand washing, which relies heavily on physically removing dirt, an electronic dishwasher is designed to save the owner on time, effort and even money.
When buying a new dishwasher, you’ll need to think about things like its size, how you’d like it to fit in your kitchen and any additional functionalities you’d find helpful.
Choosing your fit
First things first, you need to determine the type of dishwasher fit you’d like for your home. There are three different types to choose from: freestanding, semi-integrated and fully integrated. The main things to consider when choosing are whether you’d like the dishwasher to be on show and which fit would be most convenient for you.
Freestanding dishwashers stand independently and a fascia panel is not needed. The exterior and control panel are exposed with a freestanding dishwasher. They can be placed underneath a worktop or anywhere where there's a water connection and a drainage point.
Integrated dishwashers are fully built into the kitchen units. If you opt for an integrated dishwasher, it’ll be hidden behind a cupboard door to give a more unified look. The control panel sits on the top lip of the door, which gives you easy access when choosing your dishwasher program.
Semi-integrated dishwashers are partially hidden. As with a freestanding model, the dishwasher panel will always be on show, but the rest of the appliance will be concealed by a door matching your kitchen cabinets. This fit offers the best of both worlds.
The next step is choosing your dishwasher size. Keep in mind that your dishwasher should complement your needs and kitchen space.
Dishwasher place settings
Dishwasher capacity is measured in ‘place settings’ – this refers to how many sets of dishes, cutlery and glasses an appliance can clean in one go. If you had eight people for dinner, you’d need a dishwasher with a place setting of eight to get everything sparkling clean with one cycle (aside from pots and pans).
One place setting should allow room for:
- One large dinner plate
- One small plate
- One cup
- One saucer
- One bowl
- One drinking glass
- Cutlery: a knife, fork, dessert spoon, and teaspoon
|Place setting||No. of people||No. of items (excl. pots & pans)|
If you have a larger family or love cooking for lots of people on a regular basis, then you’ll need a larger place setting. People with smaller families who don’t tend to cook for large groups will be fine with a smaller place setting.
Full-width dishwashers are usually about 85cm tall, 55-60cm deep and 60cm wide. They will fit 12+ place settings (120-150 items) and are ideal for larger households.
Slimline dishwashers are around 45cm wide. Similar to full-size dishwashers, 55cm tall and 55-60cm deep. They will fit roughly 9-10 place settings (90-100 items) and typically have a ‘small on the outside but large on the inside’ design.
Compact and table-top dishwasher
Compact dishwashers are handy for anyone who has limited space in their kitchen area. They can sit on top of a counter as they’re much shorter in height at around 44-45cm, with a capacity of around 6 place settings (40 -60 items). Keep in mind that they’re not necessarily cheaper than a full size dishwasher.
How to measure for a new dishwasher
It doesn’t matter what type of dishwasher you’ve chosen for your home. The most important thing is to measure the dimensions and make sure it will fit seamlessly into your chosen area. Below we explain how to do this.
- Choose the right model from integrated, semi-integrated to freestanding dishwashers.
- Integrated dishwashers only need the width to be measured (60-70cm) because the height (82cm) and depth (55cm) are the standard sizes. Freestanding dishwashers have a general height of 84cm to 85cm, 60cm width and 59cm to 60cm depth. If you’ve chosen an integrated or freestanding slimline dishwasher, they have a standard width (45cm) and the same height and depth as the relevant standard model.
- Another simple way to measure for your new dishwasher is to measure the dimensions of your current appliance if you are choosing to upgrade. Make note of these for reference.
- You can also measure the chosen area for your dishwasher to be on the safe side. This will guarantee a nice snug fit for your appliance when making your choice of size.
- You can find the dimensions of our products within the product description or feel free to contact us for assistance if you need.
- Once you know the dimensions and are ready to purchase your appliance, select our installation service at the checkout to make the process even easier for you.
Dishwasher energy ratings
There are two main reasons why you should care about efficient energy levels: your household budget and the environment. The energy ratings go from A+++ to D, with A+++ being the most efficient. Larger dishwashers with A+++ ratings tend to be the most efficient. You can achieve the lowest energy and water consumption by making sure the dishwasher is full for each wash cycle.
Features to consider
Many of the dishwashers we stock come with extra features that you might want to consider when choosing your appliance. Below, we’ve explained some useful functionalities that you’ll come across as you shop around for your new appliance.
Smart dishwasher technology
Some modern dishwashers offer smart technology. This allows you to stop, start or activate a delayed start from your phone using Wi-Fi connectivity. Certain models also enable you to monitor energy usage and receive alerts when detergent is low.
If your dishwasher is only filled halfway but you still need to get the dishes clean, the half-load option can help to save on water and energy usage. Appliances with the half-load option can turn off the jets to either the top or the bottom.
You’ll find the delay start functionality on a range of modern dishwashers. This allows you to set your dishwasher to start cleaning at a specified time. Delay start can be used to time your cleaning cycle so that it doesn’t happen when the household needs hot water.
You’ll find the quick wash functionality on many new dishwashers. A quick wash can last between 15 minutes to over an hour depending on the load. It’s a great feature if you’re in a hurry and need to get the cleaning done fast.
Child locks are an additional safety feature that you’ll find on many models. A dishwasher has extremely hot water, depending on the cycle, plus access to sharp objects like knives. It’s advisable to get a dishwasher with a child lock if you have young children.
Dishwashers with a quiet mark feature can wash your dishes without making much noise using a brushless motor. This is great if you live in an urban area or want peace and quiet without being interrupted by the sound of your appliance.
Picking your colour
Aesthetics is as important as function. Consider how the dishwasher will integrate into your kitchen’s design and what colour will best compliment your other appliances. Here we have detailed some of the perks of the most popular colours we sell.
Black: Black dishwashers are becoming an increasingly popular choice. They add a modern, sleek touch to any kitchen décor. The colour makes them hassle-free to clean and very low maintenance.
White: White dishwashers are the classic choice. This colour can help to create the illusion of having a larger kitchen and pairs well with any style of décor.
Stainless steel: Stainless steel dishwashers are hard-wearing, making them the ideal modern, choice for modern family life. This colour gives your kitchen a smart, contemporary look.
More Colours: Use the Quick Search function on our dishwashers page to explore more colours including silver, grey and cream.
We stock a wide range of trusted dishwasher brands. You may want to stick with a particular brand that matches the kitchen appliances that you already have. Alternatively you could compare dbrands and the different functions they offer.
We offer the following dishwasher brands and more:
Buying the right accessories
After deciding on the right dishwasher, the next step is to think about any accessories that you might need. From dishwasher detergents to door panels, these products will help you to get the most out of your new appliance.
You might have lots of questions when choosing a dishwasher. Below are some dishwasher FAQs that customers tend to ask us. Can’t find an answer to your question here? Get in touch with our team today and we’ll be happy to help.
How much water does a dishwasher use?
Dishwashers don’t use much water when compared to handwashing. A dishwasher will use around 11 litres of water per wash cycle. Whereas, hand washing will generally use about 60l. You can save up to 18,000l of water per year with a dishwasher!
How much electricity do dishwashers use?
Dishwashers use roughly 1200 to 2400 watts depending on the type, although, on average, a dishwasher will use 1800 watts. This is the same amount of energy used to power a hairdryer for 10 minutes.
How much does a dishwasher cost to run?
On average, a dishwasher will cost between £40 and £60 per year to run. More energy-efficient models will cost the least.
How long does a dishwasher last?
A dishwasher should last around 10 years.
Where can I install my new dishwasher?
Whichever fit you choose, your new dishwasher will need to be installed near a water supply and drainage point.
What does dishwasher salt do?
Dishwasher salt softens the water to gain better cleaning results. Hard water makes it difficult for dishwasher detergents to dissolve because it has more lime. Hard water affects the cleaning results.
How should I clean my new dishwasher?
The foundation of a lot of odour issues with dishwashers is due to food remnants sitting in the appliance. After each cycle, make it a habit to remove bits of food. Rinse the dishwasher filter by running it under hot water safely. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the filter as you do this. To clean the interior of your dishwasher use vinegar. Fill the safe bowl with 1 cup of vinegar and put it on a hot water cycle. The vinegar will remove any grease, food, residue and grime.