Powerful Normal cycle
Well-designed top rack
However, some of the features on this dishwasher have some major drawbacks. That top third rack has special spots for extra place settings, but it takes away from the cutlery section. The Express Wash cycle took a whopping hour and 13 minutes to run, and it provided a below-average clean.
About the KitchenAid KDTM404KPS
- Dimensions: 26 3/4" x 32 1/2" x 23 7/8" (D x H x W)
- Cycles: ProWash, Normal, Express Wash, Tough, Rinse Only
- Capacity: 16 place settings
- Third rack: Yes
- Finishes: Stainless steel, black stainless steel
- Warranty: Two-year warranty on parts and labor, five-year warranty on parts
What we like
The interior has flexible storage
Our testing showed that the KDTM404KPS is capable of handling tons of different situations. Overall, you can fit up to 16 place settings, where most dishwashers can only fit 14. This comes from a combination of third rack storage and well-spaced tines in the main cavity.
It has two cutlery baskets, one in the bottom rack and one in the third rack. The middle rack can be lowered and raised.
Its third rack can fit a little of everything
KitchenAid calls the unique third rack in the KDTM404KPS “FreeFlex.” Half the rack has deeply angled tines that can accommodate six-inch glasses and coffee mugs. For the bakers amongst us, you can even put small muffin pans and mixing bowls.
What sets this third rack over the top is that it has rotating spray jets that actually do a decent job of cleaning. While it’s not unusual for third racks to have their spray arms, it’s pretty special for them to have their own dedicated jets capable of spraying into the nooks of pans and cups. Having a third rack that can deal with mugs and glasses frees up so much room on the lower racks.
Stain removal performance is top-notch
Our cleaning tests include a whole gauntlet of stains, ranging from burnt-on cheese to plastered-on spinach. On the Normal and Tough cycles, the KDTM404KPS put up some really impressive numbers, removing 99.9% and 99.7% of stains, respectively.
To put that in perspective, the Bosch SHPM88Z75N, a dishwasher that costs $250 more, removes 95.6% of stains on its Normal cycle and 97.5% of stains on Heavy.
It's quiet to run
The KDTM404KPS achieved all of its impressive cleaning performance while remaining very quiet. This dishwasher is rated for 44 dBA, which means you can run it and not hear it from another room.
The stainless steel interior really helps dampen the noise. Take, for example, the Whirlpool WDT730PAHZ, which are made by the same parent company so they share a lot of DNA. It’s a mid-tier dishwasher with a stainless steel door, but a plastic interior. It has a noise rating of about 51 dBA, and sounds like light rain against your window.
What we don’t like
Cycles are slow
We clocked the Express Wash at 74 minutes. We’d expect something closer to 60 minutes for this type of cycle, especially considering the results were below-average. The Normal cycle took two hours and 40 minutes to cross the finish line. Finally, the Tough cycles finished in three hours.
To put that in perspective, the Bosch SHEM3AY52N cleans about as well, but it’s Normal cycle and Heavy cycles are about two hours and 15 minutes.
The third rack isn’t for everyone
The FreeFlex third rack on the KDTM404KPS is a departure from the traditional design that only allows for utensils. While it is one of the deepest third racks we’ve ever tested, space is still very limited. You may find yourself putting glasses and small bowls up there all the time, or, if you’re used to the older style third rack, decide that there’s not enough space for your utensils and not bother.
What users are saying
The user reviews of the KitchenAid KDTM404KPS are overwhelmingly positive. At Lowe’s, 95% of people who reviewed it recommended it. Users cite how quiet the unit is and how well it cleans.
Should you buy the KitchenAid KDTM404KPS?
Yes. If you’ve ever felt like you always run out of room in the dishwasher, this is the model for you. The spacious interior and FreeFlex third rack are your ace-in-the-hole when tackling the dishes. Bosch might have a slight edge when it comes to speed, but the KDTM404KPS has a style none can match.
Meet the testers
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
Kyle Hamilton is a product tester at Reviewed, specializing in home appliances and technology.
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