And it's a stylish dishwasher that exemplifies the elegant handleless kitchens you might see on Houzz. It doesn’t need a handle. Knock on it twice, and the motorized door opens.
We realize that this dishwasher isn't for most of us, but aren't you curious?
We were, so we tested it in our labs. Our tests showed that this dishwasher does its job well. That's an understatement. Here are some of its best features:
• QuickIntenseWash — A one hour cycle that cleans just about perfectly.
• EcoTech Heat Storage — A tank holds onto hot water from the previous cycle to heat water for the next cycle.
• Knock-2-open — A sleek, handle-free exterior integrates into the kitchen.
• Auto-open — The door cracks open a few inches after the cycle runs to help help the dishes dry.
And there are many more.
Custom Detergent Preferred
Miele is so worried about maintaining the quality of its clean that they require you to add a special salt to soften the water, and expect you to use their own custom detergent tabs. The tabs are pricey, but they have a cult following among Miele owners.
I like that the first year’s tabs are on Miele right now: they’ll ship 14 boxes of tabs to your home, free of charge. Obviously, after that, they expect you to pay the full freight for the next batch.
The idea of clean dishes in an hour is appealing, and Miele promises that QuickIntenseWash (gotta love the name) can give you that. This is where those Miele detergent tabs really make a difference.
In our lab, running the QuickIntense wash took 67 minutes using regular detergent pods. But surprise! Running the quick wash using Miele's tab actually knocked the time down to 58 minutes, while using significantly less energy.
So, it's a good idea to save some of the free tabs for QuickIntenseWash, and use another brand if you want when you run a Normal cycle, where you won't see a significant difference.
Brilliant LEDs illuminate the interior. You can see everything that’s inside easily.
Our model had no cutlery basket, because silverware is meant to go up on the third rack. You can make simple adjustments to accommodate larger serving utensils.
If you can adjust a shelf or tab, it's colored bright yellow, which shows up well in the stainless interior.
This dishwasher's controls are clear and responsive. It's not one-button-for-one-cycle easy, but pressing the start button and tapping the down arrow select a cycle. A light goes on to indicate the setting.
Choose from a full range of cycles: Normal, Pots & Pans, China & Crystal, QuickIntenseWash, Saniwash and Additional (options you might rarely use.)
We got our model with a stainless finish, but you can buy the dishwasher panel ready, if you want to integrate it to match your cabinetry. I’ve seen similar dishwashers installed in islands, which is a nice way to go if you have plumbing in yours.
More about the "Knock2open" feature: when you double tap the top part of the door, it opens about four inches. It took me a few tries to figure out how to get it to open all the way. Since there are no handles, you need to pull fairly hard on the grips inside the top of the door to release the lock, which feels like a safety feature.
If you’re looking for flexibility in terms of loading dishes, this dishwasher offers multiple choices. Some of the tines on the bottom rack can fold down to make room for different arrangements or larger items. It may not be intuitive to figure out where to put everything, but you will likely figure it out quickly.
Rubberized yellow tabs hold stemware in place on the upper rack, though it was a little tricky to use them. It’s easy to lower the cup rack shelf to load in another row of (small) cups, or even shot glasses.
And this is a smart dishwasher. You can download the Miele@mobile app from the App Store, if you care.
How It Works
In our lab tests, on the Normal cycle, this dishwasher did a just-about-perfect job cleaning off residue from most foods, including milk, egg, and spinach. Both Normal and the quick cycle did a tiny bit worse on plates with ground meat smeared on them. Running on Heavy got everything 100% clean.
You’ll never hear this dishwasher running. It emits only 42 dBA, so you can whisper in the kitchen, and it won’t drown you out.
Once the cycle is complete, auto-open kicks in. The door pops open a few inches all by itself, and steamy air is released to make the dishes dry more completely. That pop could have been a big surprise if I wasn’t expecting it, but the tests showed that it could have helped: the dishes came out very dry.
It may sound funny to say this about such a high-priced machine, but the Miele Futura Lumen is a penny-pincher. It takes just over two gallons of water per wash in the Normal and QuickIntenseWash cycles, and three gallons in the Heavy cycle. It will cost you about $23 a year to run, on average.
This dishwasher takes efficiency to a new level with its EcoTech heat exchanger. It saves on pre-heating the water for the next cycle by using water from the previous cycle. It's a very creative way to approach this, and can be useful if you're doing multiple back-to-back loads, say, after a party.
You can drain the water if you won’t be running the next load soon.
The Bottom Line
This is a new model, and I haven’t seen user reviews yet. But Miele has a great reputation for reliability, and the dishwasher feels sturdy and well built.
There’s nothing mass-appeal about this machine. But if you’re that person who appreciates German engineering, energy-saving features, great functionality, and refined European aesthetics, consider this model. It's one of the best dishwashers we've tested recently.
If you opt for the Miele Futura Lumen and install it with a custom panel, go ahead and have a party. Invite the whole group into your kitchen. (They’ll be there already.)
Play a round of “find the dishwasher” and then, let everybody knock twice to open it. I can practically guarantee they’ll be delighted. I know I would be.
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.
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.
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.