Thermador Topaz DWHD640JPR Dishwasher Review
The crown jewel of the kitchen
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By The Numbers
The Thermador DWHD640JPR is a solid dishwasher. Our tests found that this machine delivers thorough cleaning ability without hitting your utility bill too hard.
The panel-ready Thermador Topaz DWHD640JPR dishwasher (MSRP $1,499) slots just beneath the $1,699 DWHD650JPR, which is part of the Sapphire series.
Functionally, the two dishwashers are identical. Both feature a third rack, excellent cleaning ability, and a 22 7/16-inch depth measurement that allows either one to be installed flush with cabinetry. Yes, the Topaz is rated at an ultra-quiet 44 dBa, while the Sapphire is an even quieter 42 dBa, but unless you're sleeping in your kitchen or have it installed on stage at Avery Fisher Hall, you probably won't notice the difference.
The only other extras you get from the Sapphire won't get your dishes any cleaner, but they will up your dishwasher's cool factor by about a million points: more fold-down tines, stainless trim on interior handles, and really attractive blue-tinged interior lighting. It's one of the best-looking dishwashers we've ever seen.
If you can do without those über-luxe touches, however, the Topaz is still a gem you’ll be happy to show off. It comes with a two year parts-and-labor warranty overall, and additional warranties on electronics and racks that last five years. And thanks to Thermador's One Two Free promotion, you might be able to pay zero dollars for the DWHD640JPR if you buy a suite of Thermador appliances.
The DWHD640JPR didn’t leave much dirt behind for us to talk about and that’s just the way we like it. We ran test stains through the Quick, Normal, and Pots & Pans cycles to see how much of it would get washed off, and it was an awful lot.
Most notably, the DWHD640JPR handled our tough burnt cheese test especially well compared to other dishwashers, possibly as a result of the Pots & Pans cycle’s high use of water. This stain is particularly stubborn, and it usually takes the one-two combo of detergent and powerful mechanical action to blast it off.
We noticed that with all cycles, anything loaded on the rear corners of the upper rack weren’t getting cleaned. Although the manual recommended putting glasses or mugs back there, the ones we loaded would come out soiled. By contrast, every other glass came out virtually spotless.
Ready for anything
Flexibility is important in a dishwasher. Some nights, you’ve ordered takeout and you're just washing a few dinner plates and silverware. Others, you've hosted a dinner party and need to cram every pot, pan, and baking sheet you cooked with. With a compact cutlery basket, a third rack, and a multitude of foldable tines, the DWHD640JPR is ready to fit dishes big and small, short and tall.
The controls are set up in a simple, intuitive left-to-right layout. Just power on, pick your cycle, pick any options you want to add, and hit Start. The buttons light up in brilliant blue, and an LCD screen in the center of the control panel gives you an estimate of how long a cycle will take. The dishwasher is extremely quiet, so it beams a light on the floor to let you know when it’s running.
Aesthetics are also important. Luckily, the DWHD640JPR is ready to accept a custom panel, so you can be sure that it matches perfectly with the rest of your kitchen's look. It comes with a template for drilling holes into a panel for a perfect fit. The tub is uniquely designed to be capacious enough to fit lots of plate settings, but shallow enough that the dishwasher can be installed flush with cabinetry for a modern, unified look.
If you want a stainless steel finish, you can buy the DWHD640JFM with a contemporary Masterpiece handle or the DWHD640JFP with a pro-style Professional handle for the same price you.
In terms of water and energy consumption, the DWHD640JPR has some highs and lows that ultimately add up to an overall average dishwasher utility bill. Our meters recorded that the Normal cycle used 0.69 kWh of power and 2.36 gallons of hot water, which are both very low figures. However, the Pots & Pans cycle ate up 1.18 kWh and 6.91 gallons. That cleaning power has to come from somewhere, after all.
In total, we calculated an annual utility cost of $29.17, which is about average among dishwashers currently on the market. You’re not getting hit in the wallet by the annual cost, but you’re not exactly saving the environment, either.
Solid cleaning power
Thermador is part of BSH, the parent company that also owns Bosch and Gaggenau. All three brands of dishwashers are based on the same general design. As such, we expected this Thermador's performance to be similar to Bosch dishwashers—which is generally very good—and we weren't disappointed.
The DWHD640JPR will get your dishes clean in a reasonable amount of time. Normal and Pots & Pans both take around two hours to finish, which is what you can expect from most dishwashers. However, the Quick cycle took 1 hour and 13 minutes to complete, not quite earning its name. Unfortunately, that’s the fastest cleaning cycle on this dishwasher, so you might be out of luck if you run out of flatware during a party.
This Thermador has a few specialty options to change the way a cycle washes. Half Load causes the dishwasher to use less water and power, shaving some time off of a cycle’s duration. It's perfect for when you’re not doing a full load of dishes. Powerboost is the exact opposite: This option uses extra heat and water pressure to obliterate stains.
Most cycles reached temperatures as high as 162°F—hot enough to kill most bacteria.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Why We Like It
Upscale, but not overboard
If you've decided to buy a suite of Thermador appliances, you'll be glad to know you're getting a great dishwasher.
The Thermador Topaz DWHD640JPR is certainly upscale, but it isn't overwrought. A solid cleaning machine with just the right amount of flexibility, adjustable parts, and extra features, this Thermador doesn’t try to overwhelm you with full-color displays, dazzling interior lights, or cycles that you’ll only use once in a blue moon.
A great dishwasher doesn’t necessarily have to innovate; Sometimes, all we need is a box that cleans our dishes and fits in with the rest of the kitchen’s aesthetics.
We were able to fit eleven place settings and a serving setting inside the DWHD640JPR. The cutlery basket and third rack provided plenty of room for silverware and serving utensils, while a fold-down shelf on the upper rack can be used for ramekins or espresso cups—or for keeping delicate stemware from moving around too much.