18 Types of Dishwashers & Features to Wash Away Your Woes

Updated: | Categories: Appliances, Cleaning, Kitchen
types of dishwashers

Choosing one of the different types of dishwashers can be a tough task, you can stick to a traditional built-in model or choose models with advanced features.

The choice you make will depend on your budget, spacing and specific concerns you want to address.

18 Types of Dishwashers

Let’s take a look at 18 different dishwasher styles that you can choose from.

Built-in Dishwasher

one of the most common dishwasher types are built-in dishwasher

These are the traditional dishwashers that are also quite popular in the market. They get their name on account of being built into the spot under the cabinet. They are a convenient choice for several reasons.

They are usually built flush to the kitchen cabinetry this saves space and you don’t have to find a separate spot for the appliance in your kitchen.

Since they are surrounded by other cabinets, a lot of the noise created during operation is absorbed. This means that they are quieter than other models.

The provision for plumbing and electrical connections for these dishwasher types are already provided inside the cabinet space. This means that you won’t have to do any additional installation work.

Portable Dishwasher

portable dishwasher

Built-in units are usually on the expensive side. So if you are looking for an economical alternative then go for a portable model, but don't expect to fit all your different types of pots in there.

Since they have wheels attached it is easy to move the unit from place to place. Renters usually go for this model as it is easy to move from one home to the next and have lower installation costs.

People who are on a low budget or don’t have a dedicated kitchen space can easily make do with a portable dishwasher. These models are also suitable for kitchens that don’t have the necessary plumbing for a built-in model.

Dishwasher Drawers

there are different types of dishwashers with unique design and dishwasher drawers are one of them

These models are installed flush with the cabinetry like the traditional built-in models, but unlike the traditional units, these are more convenient to use as they have sliding drawer compartments.

The drawer dishwasher styles are easy to load and unload. This new design features two levels or drawers that can be run simultaneously or separately as per your convenience.

This helps save water and energy in the long run as you won’t need to run the device at full capacity even when you have smaller loads.

However, these types of dishwashers can be expensive when compared to other models or alternatives.

Countertop Dishwashers

countertop dishwashers

Countertop dishwashers are compact units that can be easily accommodated on your kitchen counter or a stable cart near the sink. These units are perfect for small apartments and shared living situations that are low on space.

When in operation, they are attached to the tip of your regular types of kitchen faucets. These dishwashers can be moved around easily as they are usually only the size of a microwave oven. Don't expect to slide a bunch of different types of pans in a these smaller options though.

They are more economical and energy saving for individuals, couples and people who don’t cook a lot. They can usually hold about four place settings in one cycle.

Plastic Tub Dishwasher

there are two main dishwasher styles and plastic tub dishwasher is one of the most common one

Most dishwashers usually feature a plastic interior. A dishwasher with a plastic tub is easier to clean and lasts way longer than other tub variants. You don't have to worry about your various types of spoons scratching up the tub in any way that matters (or even vice versa).

So if you don’t enjoy scrubbing and cleaning your dishwasher often, a plastic tub model is a perfect choice. However, these models do have a few drawbacks.

High-temperature cycles cannot be run on these devices. These are also noisier than stainless steel tubs. If you don’t mind some noise and don’t mind dishes that have not been washed down with hot water, these plastic tubs are a solid investment.

Stainless Steel Tub Dishwasher

stainless steel tub dishwasher

Stainless steel interiors are not as common as plastic interiors in dishwashers. Apart from looking more aesthetically pleasing than their plastic counterparts, they are also more energy efficient and less noisy than the plastic versions.

Many people invest in stainless steel tubs as they are better at sanitizing the dishes as the dishwasher can withstand warmer water during cycles.

The drawback of these types of dishwashers are that they are a lot more expensive than the plastic tub model.

Slimline Dishwasher

slimline dishwasher

Slimline dishwashers are not as wide as your standard-sized dishwasher. These models are preferred by people who are short on space but still require a full-sized dishwasher.

These can accommodate larger loads as they are only a few inches smaller in width than a traditional dishwasher.

However, they may not be as energy efficient or water saving as other models since the main attraction here is the space being saved.

Integrated Dishwasher

integrated dishwasher

Integrated dishwasher types are a version of the built-in dishwasher. These are designed to fit into the cavity designed for a dishwasher inside your kitchen cabinetry.

Not only do they sit flush against the cabinets but the outer covering of these models is designed to match your cabinets.

This completely conceals the dishwasher from view and provides a modern and streamlined look to the kitchen.

There are a few downsides to installing an integrated dishwasher. They are not easily portable, repairs involve opening up the entire device to access the control panel and they require special plans to be drawn up to design a cover that matches the cabinets.

Freestanding Dishwasher

freestanding dishwasher

These models can either be built-in or portable, the main attraction is that they are easier to move from house to house. In fact, these are the most common designs people choose to invest in.

Whether they sit flush against the cabinets or stand as a separate unit, the front cover is always fully visible. They very obviously look like a dishwasher.

While you will need expert help to design, install and move an integrated dishwasher, freestanding dishwashers don’t chalk up any of these additional expenses.

Sound Reduction System

sound reduction system

Many high-end dishwashers have a lot of additional features built into them for ease of operation. One such feature is sound reduction.

You will benefit from these types of dishwashers that have a sound reduction feature if you live in a small apartment or if your kitchen is close to your bedroom as dishwashers can get quite noisy when in operation.

Delayed Start Feature

delayed start feature

A delayed start is another advanced feature that many people look for in dishwashers nowadays.

Electricity bills might be less expensive at night, or you might want to return home to warm dishes after a long day at work.

Whatever the reason, a delayed start feature helps you time your wash cycles accordingly. Some people don't like water to pool up on the bottom sides of their various types of bowls and want to be able to wipe them off, and this feature is perfect for them.

Soil Sensor Wash

soil sensor wash

Most high-end dishwasher types come with a soil sensor feature. The sensor adjusts the cycle time and water use depending on how dirty the dishes are in each load.

This helps save water, energy and money in the long run as resources will be used only as per need. With these you can get all of your types of wine glasses and other types of drinking glasses sparkling clean for your next event.

Wi-Fi Operated Dishwasher

wi-fi operated dishwasher

The WiFi connectivity feature enables users to control the dishwasher remotely using a smartphone app.

This is useful for people who don’t spend a lot of time at home and people who want to avail of lower electricity rates even when they are not home to operate the device.

Third Rack Dishwasher

third rack dishwasher

Most dishwashers usually have two racks, a third rack or tray feature is great for people who have a hard time sorting and washing silverware.

When you have a third rack, you can use this tray exclusively for washing silverware or small items. This makes it easier to wash and sort. These types of dishwashers are invaluable to large families.

Steam Prewash

steam prewash

This advanced feature lets you steam the dishes for a while before beginning the wash cycle. This will help loosen tough or dried up food from the plates and clean the dishes thoroughly.

This feature will also ensure that your dishwasher ends up using lesser water during cycles. If you're the kind of person that lets food cake and crust between the tines of whatever types of forks you use, then this can cut down your soak time.

Adjustable Racks

adjustable racks

Most people have a tough time fitting all their dishes into the dishwasher, especially since the racks cannot be adjusted.

Dishwashers with flexible racks give you the freedom to run a fuller load. The racks can be adjusted according to the size of the pots and pans.

People who use a lot of large pots and pans will find this feature quite useful as they won’t have to run multiple cycles to get all their dishes clean. These dishwasher types save time, energy and water.

Auto-Releasing Door

auto-releasing door

An auto-release door feature ensures that the dishes start air drying as soon as the wash cycle is over. This frees you from the hassle of having to hover around the dishwasher waiting for it to finish running.

If the dishwasher door opens automatically the dishes will not sit in damp dishwater for hours.

Hard Food Disposer

some types of dishwashers have a special feature named as hard food disposer which collects food waste during cleaning

If you don’t have a garbage disposal under your sink you will have to carefully scrape off every scrap of food from your dishes before running a wash cycle otherwise the food waste may clog your device.

A hard food disposer built into the dishwasher collects this food waste and ensures that it doesn’t clog the pipes. A drawback is that you will have to clean the food disposer and the bottom of the dishwasher regularly to extend the life of the device.

Types of Dishwashers for Every Mess in Any Kitchen

Whether you are a person who cooks a lot or someone who rarely cooks, doing dishes is never fun. However, with so many different types of dishwashers to choose from, doing your dishes has never been easier.

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Rick Worst Headshot Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast, whose life is consumed by all things home and garden. Started as a hobby, Worst Room has grown into an information and inspiration wheelhouse for professionals and home owners alike. Rick serves as owner and editor for our many content contributors. Learn more about operation here.