The Best Dishwashers That Dry Your DishesBy Cindy Bailen, Jonathan Chan, and Julia MacDougall, April 09, 2019
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?
Like all appliances, though, dishwashers have to continue evolving to meet consumer questions and needs. The most common questions people ask us about dishwashers are "Which dishwasher is the quietest?" and "Why doesn't my dishwasher dry my dishes?"
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 LDF5545ST (available at AppliancesConnection for $545.00) because of its stellar drying and stain removal abilities. Here's how the rest of these dishwashers ranked, in order:
- LG LDF5545ST
- GE GDT605PSMSS
- GE GDF630PGMWW
- KitchenAid KDTE334GPS
- Whirlpool WDT730PAHZ
- Samsung DW80K7050US
- Frigidaire FFCD2413US
- LG LDT7808ST
Updated April 09, 2019
Where To Buy$545.00 AppliancesConnection Buy $548.10 Home Depot Buy $549.00 Abt Buy $549.99 Best Buy Buy
LG LDF5545STBest Overall
The LG LDF5545ST 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 LDF5545ST 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.
How We Test
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.
Features and Usability
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.
Where To Buy$492.00 AppliancesConnection Buy $497.70 Home Depot Buy $493.60 Abt Buy $499.99 Best Buy Buy
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.
Where To Buy$492.00 AppliancesConnection Buy $497.70 Home Depot Buy $493.60 Abt Buy $499.99 Best Buy Buy
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.
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.
Where To Buy$644.90 AppliancesConnection Buy $648.00 Home Depot Buy $649.00 Abt Buy $649.99 Best Buy Buy
The Samsung DW80K7050US is chock-full of useful features. Among the best 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 near-perfect dish-drying.
This dishwasher would work well in a home where people are not constantly producing a lot of really dirty dishes. It 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 recommend 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.
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.
Where To Buy$895.10 AppliancesConnection Buy $898.20 Home Depot Buy $899.00 Abt Buy $899.99 Best Buy Buy
If you're looking for a dishwasher that's truly impressive, you should consider the LG LDT7808ST. Quiet (running at only 42 dBA) and visually stunning, it has every feature you've been wanting, including steam, adjustable racks and tines, and more.
In addition to all of its bells and whistles, we were impressed with this dishwasher's performance. It did a solid cleaning job, especially on the steamy Heavy cycle, and dried dishes almost completely. Perhaps more impressive, though, is the Quick cycle. The Quick cycle is one of the toughest cycles to engineer; not only does it have to be fast, but it has to clean well and be relatively efficient, both water and electricity-wise. On average, the LG LDT7808ST got our test dishes 94% clean in just under an hour, which is nothing to sneeze at.