A good balance between aesthetic and usability that is sure to satisfy a variety of consumer demands.
While we usually don’t go for front control panels, the is tastefully designed and pragmatic. The steel-backed control panel fits well with the rest of the unit without drawing too much attention (though it is a bit text-heavy). It's impressively intuitive, too: the interface is clearly labeled and features a status indicator with Salt, Rinse Aid and Intake/Drain notifications. Cycles are engaged by scrolling through the wash options and simply hitting the Start/Stop button. Easy enough. If you disagree, the same washer is available with hidden controls for a little more money.
Another high-end perk? The Futura Crystal is quiet to the point of being forgettable, emitting a soothing whoosh that can lull you to sleep...if you happen to sleep in your kitchen, that is.
Our only qualms had to do with the unique rack design, one of the strangest we've come across. It forced us to rethink how dishes should be loaded into a dishwasher, which could be seen as a sign of disruptive innovation. The tines and spindles are narrowly spaced and angled to allow for greater rigidity, and what the top rack has in adjustability it lacks in flexibility. That being said, the layout is practical, with plenty of consideration given to all kinds of dishware.
One of our favorite things about the : there's no cutlery basket! It has it’s own rack and its own wash arm, allowing for greater capacity in the lower rack and a fairly uniform utensil clean, though those Miele buyers who frequently drink from champagne glasses may find this rack impinges on top shelf clearance.
Offers a number of extra features, many of which are available as standalone wash cycles
In addition to the three main washes—Express, Normal, and Pots & Pans—the Futura Crystal includes a SaniWash, China & Crystal cycle, and a Rinse & Hold wash. There’s not much in terms of cycle customization except for a “Turbo” add-on which increases the amount of water and energy that's used in order to shorten cycle length. Extra features include a Delay option, which allows you to postpone the start of a wash by up to 24 hours, and salt dispenser for neutralizing pH levels in case you have hard water. A status display—complete with indicator lights—notifies you when you need to add more rinse aid or salt.
At its core, the is a good machine.
We’ll admit, we were a bit worried that the Futura Crystal’s myriad bells and whistles would merely cover up a subpar wash performance. Fortunately, both the Normal and Pots & Pans cycle were stellar performers, with the latter having the distinction of being one of very few dishwasher's we’ve tested that nearly aced our burnt cheese and lasagna tests. The Express wash, on the other hand, was pretty bad. With a cycle duration of just 37 minutes it's obviously not meant for cleaning the filthiest pots and pans, but it was disappointing even compared to other dishwashers.
The Miele was more efficient than most washers, but still not on par with some other European-made machines that cleaned almost as well.
German design combines with American functionality to create a sturdy machine suitable for any kitchen.
The is one of the most uniquely designed machines we’ve come across. It’s not revolutionary, but its cleaning power is one to be reckoned with. We weren’t as impressed by its efficiency performance, especially when considering other high-end machines like the Asko D5434XLS, and the Express cycle was pretty disappointing. But beyond these points—and the $1,400 price tag—the Futura Crystal is still a market-driving dishwasher that consumers rightfully aspire to own. It may be a little difficult to locate an authorized dealer—and nigh impossible to find one at a reduced sale price—but it's worth a small effort.
The Normal and Pots & Pans cycle proved that at its core, the is a sound dishwasher.
The rotten Express cycle leaves a stain on an otherwise sparkling performance record.
The Futura Crystal performed much better on the Normal wash, with near-perfect scores on our meat, baked oatmeal, and dried milk tests. While the spinach stains still proved challenging, it was never a major concern. The Pots & Pans wash was even more impressive; it takes a bit longer, but its relatively high efficiency maintains its status as a viable cleaning option. What was most impressive was its near-perfect score on our burnt cheese and lasagna tests, which almost never produce perfect results.
The Express wash struggled in nearly every stain category, particularly proteins (meat, egg, and milk), and was downright abysmal in our spinach test. What’s worse, it was inconsistent across multiple passes. We wouldn’t recommend using this cycle much, unless you have a very small dish load and are super concerned about energy and water consumption, or if your dishes are just dusty from storage as opposed to food. Clocking in at just 37 minutes, its brevity may have something to do with its lackluster cleaning power. The Normal and Pots & Pans cycles took 149 and 203 minutes, respectively. This dishwasher takes its time, but that’s because it’s busy cleaning your dishes. Let it be.
A decently efficient machine that received average scores for both electricity and power consumption.
We found the machine consumed 0.12, 1.05, and 1.50 kWh between the Express, Normal, and Pots & Pans cycles, respectively. This makes for an electricity cost of roughly 1 cent per Express wash, 11 cents per Normal, and 16 cents per Pots & Pans. While the Crystal seemed a little excessive in its power consumption, it made up for it with its low hot water use: it consumed 3.92, 5.19, and 5.18 gallons of water between the Express, Normal, and Pots & Pans cycles, respectively. This makes for a hot water cost of just 4 or 5 cents per cycle. As such, it will cost about $34.19 per year to operate, assuming you use the Normal wash about 50 percent of the time.
A separate cutlery rack yields greater overall flexibility.
We were able to fit 10 place settings, including one serving setting. This is a very standard capacity score, but it’s worth noting that the rack layouts—not to mention the separate cutlery rack—allow for significant flexibility when loading dishes.
Meet the tester
Tyler Wells Lynch
Tyler Wells Lynch is a freelance writer and journalist whose work has appeared in Vice, Wirecutter, Gizmodo, The Rumpus, Yes!, and the Huffington Post, among others. He lives in Maine.
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