The Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N has the best racks for the money, including a V-shaped third rack and a nine-position middle rack. The extra capacity and flexibility allow it to hold more dishes per cycle (including hard-to-fit items like trays, pots, and cooking tools) than its competitors, all loaded properly so that they should get totally clean. At 44 decibels, the 300 Series is also quieter than others for the price, and most people won’t even hear it unless they’re standing next to it. Bosch dishwashers have one of the lowest repair rates of any brand, and a better warranty and more helpful customer service than most. The 300 Series is also excellent at cleaning stuck-on foods, and is efficient enough to earn the Energy Star badge. On the downside, it leaves plastic dishes a little wet, and doesn’t fit deep cereal bowls as neatly as other models. But overall, we think this is the dishwasher that will make the most people the happiest.
When we talk about the 300 Series, we mean the new models that came out in 2017, with an “M” or an “8” somewhere in the full model number. There are 17 variants of the new 300 Series, and they should all perform identically. The differences boil down to different finishes and door designs, and a few extra features that won’t matter to most people. The two models that we’ve highlighted are the best-selling models, but we’ve made a chart to help you sort through the mess and find the right model for your tastes.
The KitchenAid KDTM354ESS is another easy-to-load, quiet dishwasher, with a few key differences from our main pick. Its heat-dry option is better at drying plastic items, and some people find that its racks are better at holding deep cereal bowls. It’s one of the few models with a self-cleaning filter. The power-washing zone may make it easier to properly load casserole trays. Like most dishwashers, it’s also excellent cleaner and qualifies for Energy Star. The drawbacks? KitchenAid dishwashers have been less reliable the past few years, it has no third rack so fits fewer dishes, and it usually costs much more than our main pick.
The Maytag MDB4949SD is usually the cheapest dishwasher that’s actually good. It has a stainless steel tub, which helps it run quieter and dry better than others at this price (which often have plastic tubs). It also feels sturdier, is backed by one of the better warranties in the industry, and has thousands of reviews over many years to suggest that it’s reliable. Cleaning performance is very good (with a few exceptions) and it has a heat-dry option. Compared with our main pick, the MDB4949SD holds fewer dishes, runs louder, takes longer, and uses more energy. But for the money, you can’t beat it.
If you’re willing to pay more for a dishwasher that will last longer, check out the Miele Classic Plus G4976SC. Miele dishwashers are known to be the sturdiest in the industry, often lasting 15 years or more—about double the lifespan of a typical dishwasher. The G4976SC in particular is the most affordable model in the Miele lineup with integrated (hidden) controls, a stainless finish, a third rack, and short-cycle option. It’s an excellent cleaner, very efficient, and great at drying. It’s modestly louder than our main pick, and doesn’t have as many flashy aesthetic or fast-wash features as some other models at this price. You can step up to a pricier Miele if you want those extras. (Also, make sure Miele has service technicians in your area.) But this model could be the best overall value for a dishwasher with all the useful features.
The Bosch 300 Series SPE53U55UC is like a narrower version of our main pick, meant for 18-inch cutouts in smaller kitchens. There aren’t too many 18-inch models to pick from. But this Bosch is quieter than the other compacts we found, and we think it should be reliable just like larger Bosch dishwashers. It does not have a third rack, but it does come with a tray for water-softening salts.