We've updated this article to include the Frigidaire FFID2426TD, an affordable dishwasher that completely dries your dishes. We're constantly testing dishwashers, so stay tuned for further updates!
Here at Reviewed, we've spent thousands of hours studying, testing, and writing about dishwashers. Who doesn't love an appliance that saves you from having to roll up your sleeves and spend valuable time scrubbing the burnt-on leavings of a delicious casserole dinner?
Fortunately, we've done our homework on both fronts. We can give you the lowdown on what it takes to get a dishwasher quieter than the ambient noise in a library, as well as our list of the quietest dishwashers on the market.
And if you're looking to buy a dishwasher, but not eager to take on the inevitable chore of towel-drying every plate at the end of a cycle, we have you covered there, too. We've pulled together a list of the (surprisingly affordable) dishwashers that earned top marks in our drying tests. Our current favorite is the LG LDF5545SS(available at AppliancesConnection for $670.10) because of its stellar drying and stain removal abilities.
Here are the best dishwashers that actually dry your dishes ranked, in order:
Bosch 800 Series SHPM88Z75N (2019)
Bosch 500 Series SHPM65Z55N (2019)
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The LG LDF5545SS may look futuristic, but behind its unique, integrated handle is a quiet, efficient, stainless steel dishwasher with a plethora of cycles and features. Amazingly, this LG dishwasher has a cleaning performance that is comparable to that of our highest-rated Bosch dishwashers, but only costs half as much. The LDF5545SS has the best Heavy cycle that's ever come through our labs—it removed 100% of the stains on every single dish, and showed no evidence of redeposit. On top of that, each and every dish came out 100% dry. The Heavy cycle took about two and a half hours to finish, but we can hardly complain when extremely dirty dishes come out spotlessly clean and so dry that we could skip the manual towel-drying step.
With a solid warranty and relatively low price, this dishwasher will give you a lot of bang for your buck.
We have plenty of experience testing these products in the lab, but we've also used them as anyone 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 onto 15 to 20 dishes, which are then loaded into the dishwasher per the manufacturer's loading directions. The stains include milk, spinach, egg, oatmeal, meat, and more. At the end of each cycle, we determine how much stain has been removed from each dish. Ideally, each dish is 100% clean, but that level of cleaning perfection can be harder to achieve in real life.
• Redeposit —Redeposit is when, during the course of a dishwasher cycle, water jets remove bits of food from one dish, only to accidentally get them 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% 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, when you may need to reuse dishes from dinner 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.
Why Won't My Dishes Get Dry?
If you ever used a dishwasher growing up, chances are that you remember each dish coming out sparkling clean, dry, and warm to the touch. Now, as an adult, confronted with water droplets on your nice plates and standing water in your tupperware containers, it probably seems like a betrayal of your dishwasher memories of the past. However, as it turns out, there are two very good reasons why your dishes may not come out perfectly dry: energy efficiency and plastics.
Many dishwashers used to include an exposed heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher. At the end of a dishwasher cycle, the dishwasher would automatically turn on the heating element, which would heat up the inside of the dishwasher and cause the leftover water to evaporate away. Now, though, in an effort to make dishwashers more energy efficient (and more easily able to meet Energy Star requirements), many manufacturers have done away with the heating element.
If you do see a drying option on your dishwasher's control panel, but it doesn't explicitly say that heating is involved, it's probably a ventilation fan that will help get rid of condensation inside the dishwasher after a cycle is over. If your dishwasher has a "heated dry" option, then your dishwasher has a heating element. However, there are tradeoffs for heated drying—slightly higher energy bills and the possibility of melted Tupperware if it gets too close to the heating element. That brings me to the second reason why your dishes might not be getting as dry as you would have hoped.
Dishwashers have a harder time drying plastics (such as Tupperware, sports bottles, baby bottles, etc.) because plastics are harder to dry in general. Plastics do not retain heat the same way ceramic, metal, and glass do, so while residual heat from the warm water of the dishwasher cycle can make normal dishes warm enough that they can evaporate away any remaining water droplets, plastics do not share that ability. Additionally, most plastics are light enough that they can be tossed around by the water jets, so even though you placed your Tupperware containers upside down on the upper rack, there's still a good chance that it will end up right side up, with water at the bottom.
How Do I Get Drier Dishes?
Other than buying one of the dishwashers on this list, you can use rinse aid, which will make it easier for your dishwasher to dry all of your dishes. Despite its name, rinse aid has very little to do with rinsing and everything to do with drying. Rinse aid's hydrophobic properties make it more difficult for water to collect and stay on your dishes; most water slides off, leaving the dishes water- and water-spot-free. You can easily buy rinse aid in any grocery store or online.
Other Dishwashers We Tested
The GE GDT605PSMSS doesn't come with a third rack. However, if you lay down some extra cash, you can buy GE's third rack dishwasher kit, which allows some GE dishwashers to be retrofit with one. We actually tried the third rack accessory kit out on the GDT605PSMSS, and found that it was a breeze to install; if you have a relatively new GE dishwasher with a plastic tub, this kit is a quick and easy way to instantly add extra storage and versatility.
As for its performance, we found that the GDT605PSMSS performs similarly to the GE GDF630PGMWW, especially when it comes to their shared ability to perfectly dry dishes. All three major cycles had issues with our dirty test dishes. The Heavy cycle did the best cleaning job, but even that cycle really struggled with one of our hardest stains, the baked-on spinach. If you're shopping on a budget, and want the flexibility of having a third rack dishwasher (or not), take a look at the GE GDT605PSMSS.
If you assume that affordable dishwashers are under-served with features, the GE GDF630PGMWW gives you a chance to reconsider. Between the height-adjustable upper rack, the included third rack, the bottle jets on the upper rack, and top-notch drying ability, we give this GE dishwasher two big thumbs up when it comes to features that add value. If the white plastic finish isn't your favorite, you can spend a few extra bucks to get the same model in slate, black slate, or stainless steel.
Like the GE GDT605PSMSS, though, the cleaning performance isn't perfect. With long cycle times and difficulty removing baked-on stains, we think the GDF630PGMWW is best for a family that isn't doing a lot of intense cooking or baking.
A third rack, bottle jets, and many other features
If you want a Bosch dishwasher, but you're on a strict budget, look no further: The Bosch SHEM3AY52N, part of Bosch's 100 Series line of dishwashers, gives you all the cleaning performance you need at a price you can afford. With a noise rating of 50 dBA, it's a bit louder than other Bosch dishwashers on the market, but we didn't find the sound very noticeable during testing. For best stain removal results, we recommend using the Normal and Heavy cycles, which do a great job at getting rid of really tough stains. It also got our test dishes 100% dry on both the Normal and Quick cycles.
While the dishwasher's control panel is basic, you can use the buttons to access a number of different wash and cycle options. This model comes in black, white, and stainless steel finishes, but the stainless steel finish, unsurprisingly, costs a bit extra. Lastly, while this dishwasher doesn't have a true third rack, it does have a small utility rack that sits atop the second rack, and is large enough to fit ladles, short glassware, or more cutlery. Bosch's 100 Series dishwashers make some of the best Bosch features available to those who couldn't afford them previously.
If you want clean dry dishes without breaking the bank, you’ll love the Frigidaire FFID2426TD dishwasher. Even better, its top-mounted control panel and sleek stainless steel finish make it an aesthetically pleasing addition to any kitchen.
While this dishwasher doesn’t have the myriad of cycles and customization options that are typical on more expensive dishwashers, it has all you need to get the job done: a Normal Wash cycle and a Heavy Wash cycle. The FFID2426TD lacks a Quick cycle, but for those who can afford to wait for 1.5-2 hours for the Normal cycle to finish, you’ll appreciate the results. The Normal Wash cycle and the Heavy Wash cycle removed more than 94% and 96% of our food stains, respectively, and the heating rod at the bottom of the dishwasher ensured that each dish came out completely dry. For stellar stain removal at an affordable price, be sure to check out the Frigidaire FFID2426TD.
The Bosch 800 Series SHPM88Z75N (2019) is everything we've come to expect from Bosch—quiet, efficient, and stylish. With a sound rating of 40 dBA, it's one of the quietest dishwashers that's ever come through our labs. This dishwasher did an amazing job removing some of our more difficult stains, like burnt-on cheese and spinach; however, as is the case with most dishwashers, the spinach that got blasted off of our test dishes was occasionally redeposited onto other dishes.
The major selling point of the SHPM88Z75N is its CrystalDry feature. Using zeolite crystals, this dishwasher completely dries all of your dishes, even the plastic tupperware that always seems to need a couple of passes with a dish towel before you can put it away. If your primary method of storing food is with plastic food storage containers, the SHPM88Z75N will save you a lot of extra time and effort when it comes to getting your dishes clean and dry.
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. Fortunately, though, the dish drying on those two cycles was near-perfect. For everyday messes or special dish-cleaning needs, be sure to check out the LG LDP6797ST.
The KitchenAid KDTE334GPS is a gorgeous appliance with a ton of features and operation so quiet that you can barely tell it's actually running. This dishwasher has a third rack, bottle jets, and additional drying options. The best part is, we didn't need to use any drying options beyond the default setting for each cycle to get near-perfect dish-drying results.
Unfortunately, this KitchenAid dishwasher didn't perform as well when it came to stain removal. It really struggled with the spinach stain. Admittedly, spinach isn't an easy stain to remove, but we've seen dishwashers at similar price points do it better. If you're not going to be making a lot of dirty dishes, though, and you really want your appliances to look like they belong in a lifestyle magazine, the KitchenAid KDTE334GPS is an easy choice to make.
The Whirlpool WDT730PAHZ is an affordable dishwasher with basic features—a height-adjustable top rack, a few extra wash options, and a cutlery basket with cut-outs for individual knives, forks, and spoons. It performs best on the Normal cycle, where it removes nearly 100% of the food stains, and each dish comes out bone dry.
The only downside is that the cycle times are a bit long; both the Normal and Heavy cycles clock in at over two hours. The 1-Hour cycle, however, lives up to its name and finishes in about an hour. The 1-Hour cycle is not as good at stain removal as the Normal cycle is, but it is able to successfully tackle less dirty dishes. The Whirlpool WDT730PAHZ is a great budget option for those who primarily rely on the Normal cycle to deal with the weekly dish load.
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.
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.
A pretty basic model that does a surprisingly good job of stain removal, the Frigidaire FFCD2413US is great for those on a budget. Plus, despite being one of the cheaper dishwashers on this list, it got our test dishes nearly perfectly dry. Considering that dishwashers that cost twice as much struggle with dish-drying, you're really getting a bang for your buck when it comes to this Frigidaire dishwasher.
However, this dishwasher did struggle with one major aspect of our testing—redeposit. While it did a pretty good job of removing the spinach stains from the test dishes, a lot of that spinach got spattered onto other clean dishes, which is not ideal. For what it costs, though, the Frigidaire FFCD2413US is a bargain that would satisfy most customers.
If you’re looking for a basic dishwasher that gets the job done and won’t hurt your wallet, the Whirlpool WDF520PADM is a great choice. With only four cycles and a few cycle options (including Heated Dry and High Temp), you won’t have to use the manual to figure out how to get your dishes clean. The heating element does a great job of getting regular day-to-day dishes dry, although, like most dishwashers, it doesn’t get plastics completely dry.
While the cycles are a bit on the longer size (the shortest cycle is the 1-Hr Wash cycle), the cleaning performance is solid. We recommend using the Normal cycle for most dish loads. If you want an affordable dishwasher with great drying performance, the Whirlpool WDF520PADM is the dishwasher for you.
Based on our reviews of other Bosch dishwashers, it’s not surprising that we also love the Bosch 500 series SHPM65Z55N dishwasher. While it’s still on the pricier end of what you might want to pay for a dishwasher, you’re getting a lot of bang for your bucket. With Its quiet operation (44 dBA), adjustable tines, and third rack, you’ll be able to wash many different sizes and types of dishes without worrying about loud noises disrupting your conversation during a dishwasher cycle.
The dishwasher cycles are a bit on the longer side (the Quick cycle clocks in at about an hour), but the cleaning results are worth it. This dishwasher removed nearly all of the stains from our test dishes during the Heavy cycle, which is a rare feat. Additionally, the Auto Air function, which opens the dishwasher door after a cycle has ended to expedite dish drying, is pretty effective; almost every test dish in the Normal and Quick cycles came out bone dry. If you want a Bosch dishwasher but don’t have the budget for a dishwasher in the Bosch 800 series, the Bosch 500 series SHPM65Z55N is a great option.
The KitchenAid KDFE104HPS dishwasher is a great value. With its solid cleaning performance, stellar dish-drying abilities, and its fingerprint-resistant stainless steel finish, this is one dishwasher where you won’t have to compromise on looks, features, or stain removal in order to stay within your budget.
The adjustable top rack and the wide tine spacing means that you shouldn’t have trouble fitting large or awkwardly-shaped items into your dish load. The only downside to this great dishwasher is its long cycle times. The Quick cycle clocks in at about an hour, the Normal cycle is about 90 minutes long, and the Heavy cycle approaches four hours in duration. If long cycle times don’t bother you, though, nice little extras like wine glass holders and options like Sani-Rinse and Hi Temp Wash make the affordable KitchenAid KDFE104HPS dishwasher feel like a luxury purchase.
The Whirlpool WDP370PAHB is a full-sized, 24-inch portable dishwasher with three cycles and a sturdy metal cabinet that won’t embarrass you when you roll it toward the sink. Another plus: This model’s laminate butcher block top provides additional counter space for your kitchen. The WDP370PAHB has a plastic interior, and it’s relatively noisy for a dishwasher at this price point. However, most owners were very happy with their purchase.
In our tests, this model dried well and cleaned the dishes passably, with its best performance on the Heavy cycle. Its issue is with redeposit of food particles onto otherwise clean dishes, which is not something you want to see when you unload your dishes at the end of a cycle. If you're only washing dishes with relatively light food loads, then you don't have to worry much, but this dishwasher has a tougher time tackling baked-on stains or food detritus that can easily migrate to other dishes.
Its laminate top provides additional counter space
This 24-inch full-size dishwasher is convertible; you can either keep the castor wheels on and roll it around, or remove the wheels so that it sits flat on the kitchen floor. Even better: if you have tighter size constraints, the GE GPT145SSLSS is the 18-inch version of the GPT225SSLSS, and it cleans dirty dishes nearly as well as the full-size version does. For those with a flexible budget, limited space in the kitchen, and lots of dirty dishes, the GE GPT225SSLSS won’t let you down.
If you need more from your dishwasher than a great Normal cycle, the Frigidaire FGIP2468UF dishwasher gives you plenty of options. In addition to water temperature options like Sanitize and High Temp, this dishwasher also has a number of extra cycles and cycle options (like China Crystal, Energy Saver, Top Rack Only, and more) that can deal with any dish scenario. It even has a built-in heater to expedite dish drying.
The FGIP2468UF did a great job of cleaning our test dishes, although, like most of the dishwashers we test, it stumbled a bit on the spinach stain. Thanks to the built-in heater, the dishes that came out sparkling clean were almost perfectly dried. The Frigidaire FGIP2468UF is a dishwasher that balances both strong cleaning performance and neat features and cycle options.
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, washing machines, refrigerators, and more. She also determines the testing methods and standards for Reviewed's "The Best Right Now" articles.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager 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.
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.