Each dishwasher in the 500 Series can also be flush-mounted with cabinetry to achieve a built-in aesthetic, and we love this series' convenience features like the optional split-apart cutlery basket, customizable tines on the middle rack, and—of course—that third rack. With three handle designs and three different finishes to choose from, you'll likely find a 500 Series dishwasher to fit your kitchen. (If you don't need a third rack, you can save a little money and buy the otherwise-identical 300 Series.)
It isn't all about show, though: Judging from the many weeks we've spent putting 500 Series dishwashers through their paces, we can confidently say consumers can expect an excellent quick cycle, a near-perfect Heavy Duty cycle, and low utility costs from all of these dishwashers.
This video was recorded inside a Bosch Benchmark, which has a similar wash system to the 500 Series.
Like nearly all Bosch dishwashers sold in the U.S., the 500 Series is made in New Bern, N.C. Within the 500 Series, buyers can choose from pocket handles or recessed handles in stainless, black, or white finishes. Only one model—the SHX65T55UC—features a transitional bar handle, and it's only available in stainless.
Which version you choose depends on your needs. Pocket and bar handle models hide their control panels above the door (under your countertop), for a more seamless aesthetic. But models with recessed handles incorporate a front-facing control panel that's arguably easier to use. It's up to you.
Additionally, pocket and bar handle models are also equipped with InfoLight, a handy feature that projects a small red beam onto the floor beneath the dishwasher when a cycle is in operation. Since these dishwashers are so quiet and their controls are hidden, it keeps users from inadvertently opening the door while dishes are washing.
Some consumers complain that they have trouble fitting their dishes into Bosch dishwashers. Indeed, thicker plates can be tough to prop up against tightly-packed tines—so if you use a lot of decorative tableware, it may be worth it to bring a few plates to an appliance showroom to see how well they fit.
No matter which 500 Series dishwasher you choose, you should expect the same performance. After all, the only difference is the door. Like all Bosch dishwashers, the 500 Series use a filtration system and evaporative drying.
Normal cycles do a good job removing food stains but for one issue: redeposit. That's when food gets washed off one dish and onto another, and it's particularly problematic with spinach and other leafy greens. The 500 Series didn't wash away all the spinach in our tough redeposit test, but it came closer than most dishwashers. Otherwise, we liked that these cycles only take two hours—about average for a modern dishwasher—and leave plates clean and dry.
Alternatively, expect near-perfection from the Heavy cycles, which also take only about two hours, but pick up the slack of the Normal cycles with more water usage. Redeposit isn't an issue here, and our dishes emerged spotless.
Certain 500 Series dishwashers also come with Speed Perfect, which cuts cycle times in half, but uses more water. We clocked this cycle at less than an hour and didn't spot much redeposit, but our thick milk and egg stains weren't cleaned off completely.
If you're looking for value, here it is: On sale, you can snag a Bosch 500 Series dishwasher for around $810. Yes, some dishwashers are as cheap as $299—but our tests show that you really do get superior cleaning for for that money you'd be hard pressed to find another option with the same combination of features and performance.
An exceptional Heavy cycle, conveniences like the third rack, and a wide selection of cycle and customization options make these dishwashers stand way out, and your neighbors will think you spent twice as much.
If the 500 Series feels too basic, you could spend between $50 and $100 more for the 800 Series. That sports a flexible third rack for better fitting spatulas and ramekins, plus slightly different controls and racks. If you want to save between $50 and $100, you could skip the third rack altogether and choose the 300 Series.
All three series wash dishes the same way, but the 500 Series seems to have the best price-to-feature ratio.
Meet the testers
Chris was born and raised less than ten miles from our editorial office, and even graduated from nearby Merrimack College. He came to Reviewed after covering the telecom industry, and has been moonlighting as a Boston area dining critic since 2008.
Johnny Yu writes news, features, and reviews for Reviewed.com. He graduated from U-Mass Boston with a Bachelor's in Social Psychology and spends much of his free time expanding his gaming horizons. Sometimes, he does his laundry at work.
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