We love Bosch dishwashers, and we’ve bestowed some of our highest ratings on models we've tested in the past. These machines are super quiet, their performance is top notch, and they provide a wide range of exterior choices to ensure that they look brilliant in every kitchen.
We’ve given props to the Bosch 500 series models for their value, but the slightly more expensive Bosch 800 series dishwashers rock everything we love about the 500, and offer even more excellent features.
You can configure it in myriad ways to make room for your dirty pans and dishes—and you can even adjust the middle rack with three different height positions to make room for taller items on the bottom rack.
If you’re ready to take a leap up from the 500 series, here are some of the extras you’ll get for between $50 and $250 more, depending on the model you choose:
• More folding tines: Lots of adjustable first rack tines give you more loading choices. Our crusty baking pans fit much better in this model than in other Bosch dishwashers, because we could fold down the narrow tines on the bottom rack.
• Even more quiet: While the 500 Series dishwashers are rated around 44 dBA, most 800 Series models are 42 dBA—and some are even as quiet as 39 dBA. That's so quiet, you can watch TV or listen to music in the kitchen while the dishwasher operates.
• The MyWay Rack: Available on the SHXM98W75N, SHXM98W75N, and SHPM98W75N, this third rack is angled to fit espresso cups, ramekins, cereal bowls, and serving utensils. These dishwashers cost about $250 more than other 800 Series models, which feature Bosch's traditional third rack.
• Touch controls: The 800 series has capacitive touch controls, while the 500 series has buttons. It’s a matter of personal preference.
• Smartphone Connectivity: The SHEM78WH5N is compatible with Bosch's Home Connect smartphone app.
Otherwise, the 300, 500, and 800 Series are all made at the same plant in North Carolina, and they share a reputation for being very reliable. If the idea of even more bells and whistles speaks to you, the Bosch Benchmark dishwashers are made in Germany, and have a few additional features. But for the difference in price, we think there’s no need to go there.
There are 30 choices within the 800 Series. Colors include black, white, and stainless.
Both the 500 and 800 series offer traditional bar-style and modern pocket-style handles, but front-facing controls are only available in the 300, 800, and Benchmark Series.
The same goes for a panel-ready design that blends into your cabinetry. If you don’t want to see your dishwasher except when you’re loading or unloading it, the 800 Series lets you do you.
Beyond the features and options, the 300, 500, 800, and Benchmark series dishwashers are essentially the same underneath, so you can expect nearly identical performance from any of them.
You can choose from six wash cycles on these dishwashers, including Heavy, Auto, Eco, Normal, and Express. You can choose an up to 24-hour Delay, while Half Load, Extra Shine, Delicate, and Sanitize options refine the cycles further.
But even if you never go beyond running it on Normal, rest assured that in our labs, the dishwasher removed everything except a little spot of dried spinach. (Our dishes are much dirtier than yours, and we don’t even scrape before loading.)
The Heavy cycle destroyed all stains. You’ll almost never find little flecks of redeposited food on your dishes. We’re talking near-perfection here.
And if you're in a condo building, you'll appreciate the 800 Series' leak-prevention setup. Bosch call it AquaStop, and it’s a system that shuts down the operation and pumps the water out if it detects a leak, even if the dishwasher isn’t running.
The bottom line
The Bosch 800 Series is the best dishwasher we've ever tested.
Yes, we love the Bosch 500 Series, but its limited design options (no panel-ready version, no front-control model) won't work for everyone. We also think the Bosch Ascenta and Benchmark Series aren't as good a value. But if you want the most flexibility for just a little more money, an 800 series Bosch is the machine to buy.
And if you want a recommendation that isn't a Bosch, we also like the KitchenAid KDTM354DSS, which cleans as well and has a slightly different design.
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.