The Best Third Rack Dishwashers of 2019

By Cindy Bailen, Jonathan Chan, Julia MacDougall, Johnny Yu, and Matthew Zahnzinger, Updated May 17, 2019

Until recently, a third rack was a premium feature only available on high-end dishwashers. But now, the rack is finding a place in more affordable dishwashers. GE Appliances has introduced a third rack for dishwashers with plastic interiors, and the Bosch 100 series models that replaced the company’s old Ascenta line all rock the rack.

Not familiar with the third rack? It’s a sliding tray that makes better use of the limited real estate inside your dishwasher. You might want the third rack because it accommodates those “where do I put this?” items like long-serving utensils or small shallow bowls. Plus, it provides an alternative to the bulky silverware basket that can take up a ton of space on the bottom rack.

After years of testing dishwashers, we’ve discovered that those with a third rack, at a variety of price points, can vastly improve the dishwashing experience.

Currently, our favorite third rack dishwasher is the Bosch SHPM98W75N (available at AppliancesConnection for $1,119.10), in the Bosch 800 Series. With its sleek, angled MyWay third rack, this dishwasher provides tremendous loading flexibility. Of course, beyond its spacious third rack, it also offers amazing stain removal and almost silent operation.

Here are the rankings for the best third rack dishwashers we tested:

  1. Bosch SHPM98W75N (800 Series)
  2. Bosch SHPM65W55N (500 Series)
  3. LG LDT7808ST
  4. Bosch SHXM63WS5N (300 Series)
  5. Samsung DW80M9960US
  6. Bosch SHE89PW55N (Benchmark Series)
  7. Miele Lumen EcoFlex G6885SCVIK2O
  8. GE Profile PDT855SMJES
  9. Miele Crystal EcoFlex G6665SCVIAM
  10. Electrolux EI24ID81SS

Also included:

• GE GDT605PSMSS

• GE GDF630PGMWW

— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Bosch_SHPM98W75N_third_rack Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

Bosch 800 Series SHPM98W75N

Product Image - Bosch 800 Series SHPM98W75N
  • Best of Year 2017

Bosch 800 Series SHPM98W75N

Best Overall

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. Read the full review.

How We Test

The Testers

Hi there! We're Reviewed's appliance testing team. Between the three of us (Jon Chan, Kyle Hamilton, and Julia MacDougall), we've spent many years testing major appliances including washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, and robot vacuum cleaners.

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."

The Tests

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.

Performance

Dishwasher_testing
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall

Stain Removal —We put the three major cycles on a dishwasher (Quick Cycle, Heavy Cycle, and Normal Cycle) to the test by baking food and beverage stains onto 15-20 dishes that 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 percent clean, but that level of cleaning perfection can be harder to achieve in real life.

RedepositRedeposit 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.

Features and Usability

Bosch_third_rack
Credit: Reviewed.com / Matthew Zahnzinger

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 a) how useful the features are, and b) 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 Third Rack Dishwashers We Tested

Bosch 500 Series SHPM65W55N

Product Image - Bosch 500 Series SHPM65W55N
  • Editors' Choice

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. Each 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. Read the full review.

LG LDT7808ST

Product Image - LG LDT7808ST
  • Editors' Choice

LG LDT7808ST

If you're looking for a dishwasher that's truly impressive, you should consider the LG LDT7808ST. Quiet and 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 percent clean in just under an hour, which is nothing to sneeze at. Read the full review.

Bosch 300 Series SHXM63WS5N

Product Image - Bosch 300 Series SHXM63WS5N
  • Editors' Choice

Bosch 300 Series SHXM63WS5N

The Bosch 300 Series continues to offer the same sleek look, quiet operation, and incredible cleaning prowess that Bosch is known for. We tested the 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. Read the full review.

Samsung DW80M9960US

Product Image - Samsung DW80M9960US
  • Editors' Choice

Samsung DW80M9960US

When it comes to dishwashers, we love any feature that makes loading your dishwasher a breeze. So, naturally, we love the fact that all of the tines on the bottom rack of the Samsung DW80M9960US fold down completely. No more trying to jam spaghetti pots or large platters into a forest of tines and smaller dishes; you can just fold down what you don't need, and use a few select tines to keep your dish upright. Even better, this dishwasher makes unloading easy as well; the third rack has a removable silicone tray so that you can take the cutlery to the drawer, instead of needing to make multiple trips to and from the dishwasher.

The dishwasher cycles did a good cleaning job overall, but we recommend using the Heavy Cycle over the Normal or Quick Cycles; the Normal Cycle, which clocked in a nearly two hours, left behind enough food particles that we wouldn't recommend using that cycle for daily cleaning. If you need versatility and flexibility in your dishwasher racks, the Samsung DW80M9960US will allow you to easily clean even the most awkwardly-shaped items. Read the full review.

Bosch Benchmark SHE89PW55N

Product Image - Bosch Benchmark SHE89PW55N

Bosch Benchmark SHE89PW55N

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. Read the full review.

Miele Lumen EcoFlex G6885SCVIK2O

Product Image - Miele Lumen EcoFlex G6885SCVIK2O
  • Best of Year 2017

Miele Lumen EcoFlex G6885SCVIK2O

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, 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. Read the full review.

GE Profile PDT855SMJES

Product Image - GE Profile PDT855SMJES
  • Best of Year 2016

GE Profile PDT855SMJES

If you hate sorting silverware, you'll love this GE 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. Read the full review.

Miele Crystal EcoFlex G6665SCVIAM

Product Image - Miele Crystal EcoFlex G6665SCVIAM

Miele Crystal EcoFlex G6665SCVIAM

Like the Futura Lumen, the Crystal features the one-hour QuickIntenseWash cycle. Our tests show that the QuickIntenseWash cycle cleans just as well as the Normal cycle does, and with a cycle time of about one hour, it will give you an amazingly fast turnaround on your dirty dishes.

While it lacks the Lumen’s Knock2Open and heat exchanger, the Crystal does come with the same auto open feature and third rack as the Lumen. It also has the same glassware cycles, designed to clean delicate stemware and crystal. If the Futura Lumen is a bit too futuristic for you, the EcoFlex Futura Crystal is a great alternative that costs less and still maintains the high standard of cleaning for which Miele is well-known. Read the full review.

Electrolux EI24ID81SS

Product Image - Electrolux EI24ID81SS

Electrolux EI24ID81SS

The Electrolux EI24ID81SS dishwasher has a staggering number of wash cycles, from the regular cycles (Heavy, Normal, Fast) to a cycle just for stemware. There's even an option where you can customize your preferred dishwasher cycle, and then save it as a "Favorite", so that next time, you can activate that cycle with the touch of a button.

As for performance, the Heavy Cycle was one of the best we've seen in our years of testing dishwashers. The EI24ID81SS took no prisoners and only left a few specks of spinach behind. The only downside is that the cycles, with the exception of the 30-minute long Fast Cycle, run long. The Normal Cycle was 2.5 hours, and the Heavy Cycle clocked in at over three hours. If you love having tons of customization options, have a bit of extra cash on hand, and don't need a quick turnaround on your dirty dishes, the Electrolux EI24ID81SS is a great contender for your next dishwasher. Read the full review.

Budget Third Rack Dishwashers We Tested

GE GDT605PSMSS

Product Image - GE GDT605PSMSS

GE GDT605PSMSS

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 a third rack. 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. 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 being able to add a third rack dishwasher (or not), take a look at the GE GDT605PSMSS.

GE GDF630PGMWW

Product Image - GE GDF630PGMWW

GE GDF630PGMWW

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, included third rack, and the bottle jets on the upper rack, 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 with a slate, black slate, or stainless steel finish.

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.

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