Amazing cleaning—one of the best we've tested
Clean, modern design
Runs at a virtually-inaudible 39 dBA.
Its price-to-performance ratio isn't great
Its huge list of configurations can be confusing
The Benchmark Series is all about premium quality. These models are made by Bosch in Germany to exacting standards, and they are extremely quiet. They offer water softener salt for hard water, to make sure the dishes are shiny and free from spots. They light up the interior with a bright white LED. In so many ways, these dishwashers are state-of-the-art.
Not that you need to spend anywhere near this much for a good dishwasher. The Bosch 500 series and 800 series models clean just as well. But if you can afford the SHE89PW55N, rest assured that you’ll get what you pay for.
The exterior of this dishwasher looks fierce! Our test model had a substantial stainless steel door, with a recessed pocket handle. Not only does that make it easy to open and close the door, but it ties the look of your kitchen together, because it doesn’t clash with other handle styles. The door closes with a snap, which feels sturdy and inspires confidence.
The top-mounted control panel hides under the counter when the door is closed. Other Benchmark models have different exteriors, but this one has an LCD panel on the front, displaying the time left in a cycle. That's either a wow factor or a turn-off, depending on your taste. We prefer the hidden controls on other Bosch models, and the red running light they shine on the floor.
Each of the smoothly-gliding racks is excellent in its own way. The lower rack has folding tines, and a side section where the cutlery basket fits. The cutlery basket can be reconfigured from rectangular to square, to make room for a deep bowl or casserole dish on the bottom rack.
The middle rack has folding tines and plenty of stemware holders, and it’s adjustable. But the third rack—Bosch calls it the MyWay rack—is unique. It's designed to hold deep serving utensils, and it can even accommodate cereal bowls. There's room for additional silverware in a special holder, and you may want to use it for knives.
Bosch dishwashers deliver quiet operation. This model emits only 39 dBA of noise, characteristic of a Benchmark. You will not hear it run.
A well-lit interior is a luxury in a dishwasher, and Bosch delivers there, too. You’ll see it illuminate every time you open the door. That's another advantage of the Benchmark series.
If you’re not into keeping a paper instruction manual in the kitchen, this dishwasher gives you an Info button you can tap to display a built-in user guide that explains each function. That is a big convenience. It helped us understand the difference between the Express cycle, a 30 minute cycle for lightly soiled dishes and Speed Perfect, which uses extra water and power to speed clean a regular load in about 35 minutes.
This dishwasher is very careful with water and removed every speck of dirt from our pre-stained test dishes. The Normal cycle got our dishes close to 100% clean with less than two gallons of water. The Speed cycle, which also cleans dishes almost perfectly in an hour and fifteen minutes, takes less than three gallons to do the job.
The Heavy cycle cleaned our filthiest casserole dishes with just 3.5 gallons of water. Its only challenge was removing melted cheese—the kind of mess you would have definitely scraped off before washing. The other dishes all came out spotless.
We predict it will only cost about $31.00 a year to run this dishwasher. Even if you aren't concerned with saving money, you may still want to be careful with resources.
What the users say
This is a 5-star dishwasher, according to user reviews. Every review praises the quiet operation and the sheer number of great features. We were on the same page.
The bottom line
Bosch has a very strong track record, so reliability is a given. This solid machine has every function you could ever want. It’s Bosch’s flagship model, and they are rightfully proud of it.
You don’t choose this dishwasher as much as it chooses you. But if you want to economize a little, and still get a dishwasher you love, we’ve tested other Bosch dishwashers which perform superbly at a lower price point.
The Bosch 500 series is Bosch’s best value, and earned a perfect 10 in our tests, along with our Editors’ Choice badge. We awarded it Best of Year for 2016. You’ll find it for about $900. We called the popular Bosch 800 series dishwasher “awesome” when we reviewed it, declaring it to be one of the best dishwashers you can buy. We awarded it **Best of Year **for 2016, as well. For about $600 less than the SHE89PW55N, you'll get most of the same features.
Meet the testers
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.
Logistics Manager & Staff Writer@ReviewedHome
Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.
Checking our work.
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.Shoot us an email