We've just updated this article to include the Samsung DW80R9950UT. We're testing a lot of dishwashers right now, so stay tuned for further updates!
In a world of ringing cell phones and loud TV commercials, silence is golden. When you finally get your feet up, the last thing you want is a noisy dishwasher disrupting your evening.
Luckily, there are plenty of modern dishwashers that don't sound like a herd of elephants stampeding through a lake. To lend a helping hand, we rounded up a bunch of ultra-quiet dishwashers and brought them to our testing labs. We wanted to find the best dishwasher that could scrub pots and pans in relative silence.
After subjecting the dishwashers to everything from bowls caked in oatmeal to casserole dishes covered in pasta, the Bosch SHPM98W75N(available at AppliancesConnection for $1,119.10) rose to the top. It blasted stains away and was quiet as a church mouse—producing an average of 39 dBA.
Here are all the quiet dishwashers that we think are the best, in ranked order:
Bosch 800 Series SHPM98W75N
Bosch 500 Series SHPM65W55N
Bosch 300 Series SHXM63WS5N
Bosch Benchmark SHE89PW55N
Miele Lumen EcoFlex G6885SCVIK2O
GE Profile PDT855SMJES
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We love all the Bosch 800 Series dishwashers. No matter which one you pick, our tests show you'll get excellent cleaning performance, good drying, sleek looks, and a highly desirable set of features. With easy-gliding racks and an optional MyWay third rack that fits soup bowls, you can choose the look you like best and configure the racks to make room for your dishes and pans. Best of all, it runs very quietly, at around 39 dBA, which is akin to the noise level in a library.
As for performance, the Bosch SHPM98W75N is one of the few dishwashers we've tested with a Heavy cycle that completely removed every stain (including difficult stains like baked-on lasagna and burnt sugar) from our test dishes. If you want a quiet dishwasher that can get your dishes sparkling clean and look good doing it, the Bosch SHPM98W75N dishwasher is the one for you.
The dBA abbreviation refers to "A-weighted decibels," which is the unit that dishwasher manufacturers use to measure how loud a dishwasher is during its operation. You've probably heard of decibels as a measure of loudness before, but the "A-weighting" refers to the fact that certain frequencies are more easily perceived by the human ear than others; for instance, a flute solo sounds louder than a bass solo played at the same volume because the human ear is naturally more attuned to mid- and high-range frequencies than it is to bass-range frequencies. As a result, when manufacturers report how loud a dishwasher actually sounds to someone in the same room of the dishwasher while it's turned on, they report that number in terms of A-weighted decibels (dBA), rather than just decibels (dB).
Why Is My Dishwasher Noisy?
For a long time, people didn't really care about how noisy their dishwashers were. After all, your dishwasher is cleaning your dishes, which saves you time and energy, right? Who cares how noisy it is?
However, with the advent of open floorplans, more people could now hear exactly what goes on in the kitchen, even when they're in another room. Where walls once mitigated the sound of a noisy dishwasher, the lack of walls can now make socializing near the kitchen difficult, especially when you have to contend with loud swishing, gurgling, and pumping sounds.
So why is your dishwasher noisy? Assuming it's working well (since some dishwasher sounds can mean that the dishwasher is malfunctioning), most of the reasons a dishwasher is loud is down to its engineering.
One major reason that your dishwasher might be loud is because of the tub material. There are two types of tub materials in modern dishwashers: plastic and stainless steel. Both materials have their pros and cons, but plastic is more commonly found in lower-end dishwashers, and stainless steel tubs are usually found in more expensive dishwashers. When it comes to noise, the sound generated by water striking a plastic tub is generally louder than it is when it hits the side of a stainless steel dishwasher tub.
The Quick Cycle
If you need your dishes cleaned right away, you may have to deal with more noise when you select the Quick cycle on your dishwasher. Because the Quick cycle is aiming for the same degree of stain removal as the Normal cycle, but at a fraction of the Normal cycle's time duration, each part of the cycle (dish cleaning, rinsing, and dirty water draining) is happening at a higher intensity. This high intensity may translate into more loud water sounds.
Taken individually, all of the components of a dishwasher have the potential to make noise—the water sprayers, the water intake and draining pump, the (lack of) insulation, and the motor. While manufacturers can make changes to the dishwasher components to make them quieter (i.e. substituting a passive filter in place of a food disposer, making the dishwasher's insulation denser or thicker), in general, there's really not a lot you can do as a consumer to reduce dishwasher noise.
We have plenty of experience testing these products in the lab, but we've also used them like normal people would in the course of their daily lives, which means that we have a great sense for what appliances are bargains at their price points, and which appliances have really useful extra features (as opposed to the kitchen-sink approach to features).
With all this in mind, you can feel confident that when we recommend a product, we're giving it our Reviewed stamp of approval, which means two things: firstly, this appliance performs well, and secondly, this appliance is easy to use. We're always reviewing new products, so stay tuned for our reviews and roundups of the latest products in laundry, refrigerators, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners.
Testing dishwashers is a dirty job, and we're happy to do it. We assess each dishwasher on the three major parts of the dishwasher experience — Performance, Features, and Usability.
• Stain Removal —We put the three major cycles on a dishwasher (Quick, Heavy, and Normal) to the test by baking food and beverage stains—milk, spinach, egg, oatmeal, meat, and more—onto 15 to 20 dishes that are then loaded into the dishwasher per the manufacturer's loading directions. At the end of each cycle, we determine how much stain has been removed from each dish. Ideally, each dish is 100 percent clean, but that level of cleaning perfection can be harder to achieve in real life.
• Redeposit —Redeposit is the term for when, during the course of a dishwasher cycle, water jets remove bits of food from one dish, only to accidentally get it stuck on a second dish. Any dishwasher that shows little to no evidence of redeposit is a winner in our book.
• Number of Dirty Dishes —After a dishwasher cycle has finished, we count the number of dishes that are not 100 percent clean; if your dishwasher can't clean most of your dishes the first time, it's not doing its job correctly.
• Cycle Time —Dishwasher cycles can run the gamut from 30 minutes to four hours. Shorter cycle times are much more convenient, especially when it comes to large dinner parties, where you may need to reuse dishes from dinner when it's time for dessert.
• Drying —Whether it's accomplished with rinse aid, a built-in heater, or a built-in fan, customers expect their dishes to be dry as well as clean. We penalize the dishwasher every time a dish comes out wet, whether it's sopping wet or just covered in a few water droplets.
While all of the features in the world can't make a bad dishwasher better, they can really add the finishing touch to a dishwasher that does a killer cleaning job. We look at the various cycles, cycle options, and dishwasher specs and assess both how useful the features are, and how easy it is to actually use those features.
For example, a third rack that primarily holds cutlery can often be a game-changer when it comes to freeing up valuable real estate in the bottom rack. However, if the third rack is rickety, doesn't slide smoothly, or prevents the dishwasher from actually cleaning the cutlery, we would penalize the dishwasher, rather than reward it just for having a third rack. The whole point of a dishwasher is to save you from having to spend time scrubbing every dirty dish by hand; if a particular feature isn't going to make the process of using a dishwasher better or easier, then we don't want it.
The best dishwashers have short cycles, superior stain removal and drying power, and features that make the experience of using a dishwasher a painless one.
Other Dishwashers We Tested
Bosch 500 Series SHPM65W55N
Bosch's 500 Series dishwashers are popular for their quiet performance—as low as 44 dBA—but our lab tests show they're great at cleaning, too. Available with two handle options and three color options (stainless, black, or white), their hidden controls will fit any kitchen design. Every one features a third rack, an extra drying option, leak prevention, a quick wash cycle, and smooth-gliding racks.
Speaking of the extra drying feature, it may prove unnecessary in some cases, since we found that the Normal cycle dried dishes as well as it cleaned them—almost perfectly. The Bosch SHPM65W55N not only cleans your dishes, but also ensures that they're completely dry, free of water stains, and ready to use again straight out of the dishwasher.
The Bosch 300 Series continues to offer the same sleek look, quiet (about 44 dBA) operation, and incredible cleaning prowess that Bosch is known for. We tested the Bosch SHXM63WS5N, which removed nearly 100 percent of the stains on the Quick, Normal, and Heavy cycles, an amazing feat which happens rarely in our test labs.
On top of that, this dishwasher also has a third rack, foldable tines, an adjustable upper rack, solid drying, and an optional water softener. This dishwasher is worth every cent, and even offers more color choices than the pricier 500 Series.
The Samsung DW80R9950UT dishwasher has it all. With a third rack deep enough to hold ladles and whisks (in addition to all of your silverware), adjustable tines that will make fitting even the most awkwardly-shaped dishes a breeze, a futuristic-looking control panel, and a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish, this dishwasher has enough features to please even the pickiest of dishwasher users. What's more, it operates extremely quietly, at about 39 dBA.
Even better, the Samsung DW80R9950UT talks and talk and walks the walk: Its cleaning performance is top-notch. The Normal, Quick, and Heavy cycles were all able to remove more than 97% of our test food stains. The Heavy cycle clocks in at about 2.5 hours, so you won't have to do too much waiting around; some Heavy cycles on other dishwashers take as long as four hours to finish. This dishwasher also has minimal spinach redeposit and near-perfect dish drying. For a user-friendly dishwasher with an outstanding cleaning performance, you can't go wrong with the Samsung DW80R9950UT.
From design to performance, this all-new dishwasher is all about fluidity and grace. Perhaps most importantly, it's equipped with KitchenAid’s Clean Water Wash technology, which continually removes food particles from wash water. That means the KitchenAid KDTM354DSS helps clean dishes to actually stay clean by not spraying food removed from one dish onto another dish. Even with this new feature, it's still one of the more efficient dishwashers we've ever tested, with respect to both water and electricity usage.
With a solid cleaning performance, heating drying, quiet operation (43 dBA), and additional spray jets for really tough stains, the KDTM354DSS is a workhorse that can get the job done right the first time.
The LG LDP6797ST dishwasher is all about customization. The racks are adjustable both with respect to their tines and their heights, so you can fit in large or awkwardly shaped dishes with ease. Two spray zones allow you to focus on a particular rack in the dishwasher if you're only doing a partial load of dishes. With the seven cycles and a variety of temperature and drying options, you can select exactly the options you need to get your dishes clean, whether it's just a couple of cereal bowls, or a whole host of dishes at the end of a dinner party.
When it comes to cleaning performance, the LG LDP6797ST does a solid job. The Heavy cycle has a better cleaning performance than the Normal and Quick cycles, but it clocks in at around 3 hours, so it may be best if you run it overnight. The Normal and Quick cycles do a pretty good job with most food stains, but they both struggled to remove the most difficult stain in our testing, the spinach stain. For everyday messes or special dish-cleaning needs, be sure to check out the LG LDP6797ST.
The Bosch SHE89PW55N is one of the models in Bosch's flagship Benchmark series. While the Benchmark dishwashers may cost a lot more than other Bosch dishwashers, they do offer some niceties for more discerning customers. In addition to a 39 dBA rating—one of the quietest dishwasher ratings we've seen—the Benchmark series offers panel-ready designs, LCD touchscreens, telescoping racks, a deep third rack, and bright interior lighting.
When it comes to performance, though, the SHE89PW55N is a real marvel. Not only were the Normal, Quick, and Heavy cycles all equally effective at removing more than 99 percent of all stains, but the cycles are also extremely efficient; they all use very little water and electricity. While you'll pay more up front for this dishwasher, you'll end up saving yourself from dirty dishes and high utility bills.
A state-of-the-art dishwasher meant for a discerning buyer with an elegant kitchen, the Miele Futura Lumen dishwasher is in a class by itself. It cleans well and quickly, is whisper-quiet (approximately 42 dBA), and has energy-saving features that make it the most efficient dishwasher that's ever come through our labs.
Tapping on the door opens it, and it opens by itself at the end of the cycle. Not everyone wants or can afford to purchase a dishwasher like this, but with the Lumen G6885SCVIK2O, Miele has put in everything but the kitchen sink.
If you hate sorting silverware, you'll love the GE Profile PDT855SMJES dishwasher. Powerful water jets aimed at the cutlery basket blast off stains, even if you just throw all the spoons, forks, and knives in, without separating them.
In addition to other features like Bottle Wash and a 40 dBA sound rating, this GE did a superb job getting dishes both clean and dry. We found the Express Cycle to be particularly notable, since it managed to remove more than 95 percent of the food stains in an astounding 32 minutes. Available in stainless, slate, and panel ready model, this GE does cost a lot—but its convenience is undeniable.
The Samsung DW80K7050US is chock-full of a ton of neat and useful features. Among the best of its features are a third rack, quiet operation with a sound level below 44 dBA, additional water jets that target really tough or baked-on stains, and an autorelease feature that automatically opens the dishwasher door when the cycle is complete to facilitate dish drying.
This dishwasher would work well in a home where people are not constantly producing a lot of really dirty dishes. This dishwasher did a pretty good job of stain removal, and the cycle times were relatively short, but there were enough dishes with leftover food stains on them that we wouldn't this product for someone who often cooks elaborate meals or has a passion for baking. For someone who just needs to wash the dinner dishes on a weekly basis, though, you can't go wrong with the Samsung DW80K7050US.
With its solid build, variety of cycle and wash options, and sleek exterior, it’s not surprising that the KitchenAid KDTM404ESS is one of the pricier dishwashers on this list. For this kind of money, most shoppers are also expecting a dishwasher to not be audibly disruptive during gossip sessions in the kitchen; and with a sound rating of 44 dBA, this KitchenAid dishwasher delivers.
The Tough cycle easily lived up to its name, and left almost all of the stained dishes 100 percent clean. It did have a bit of trouble with a couple of heavily stained items, but those stains would hopefully be defeated by the additional ProScrub jets on the upper and lower racks. If you need a professional-looking dishwasher to fit in with a professional-looking kitchen, this dishwasher both walks and the walk and talks the talk.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Senior Lab Technician at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
Julia is the Senior Scientist at Reviewed, which means that she oversees (and continually updates) the testing of products in Reviewed's core categories such as [televisions](https://www.reviewed.com/televisions), [washing machines](https://www.reviewed.com/laundry), [refrigerators](https://www.reviewed.com/refrigerators), etc. She also determines the testing methods and standards for Reviewed's "[The Best Right Now](https://www.reviewed.com/best-right-now/)" articles.
Cindy Bailen loves writing about major appliances and home design and has spent over 15 years immersed in that. In her spare time, Cindy hosts pledge programs for WGBH-TV in Boston and other public television stations.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.