Cleaning the dishes, as tedious as it can be, is necessary to maintaining the sanitation of the kitchen as well as keeping cookware and tableware safe to use. Thankfully, dishwashers have evolved to make after-meal cleanups less of a drag. In addition to being superior time and water savers, modern dishwashers boast amazing cleaning power, efficient energy consumption, and some sort of dirt-detect technology. Some models can even be scheduled to clean at a specific time and can connect to the Wi-Fi for convenient control on the go.
Whether you prefer a no-frills, cheap dishwasher or want one with all the bells and whistles, there is bound to be something that will suit your needs and budget. Below are the best cheap dishwasher deals happening right now at the nation’s favorite retailers. We’ve done the research for you and pooled together numerous brand-name models in varying sizes, with different features, and at multiple price points. We also tossed in a few buying tips to help you take home the perfect one for your kitchen on the cheap.
Today’s best dishwasher deals
- — $ 300, was $ 430
- — $ 380, was $ 530
- — $ 595, was $ 800
- — $ 570, was $ 800
- — $ 1043, was $ 1350
How to choose a dishwasher
Picking a dishwasher starts with setting a budget and determining the most appropriate type for the size of your home and the size of your household. Built-in models are arguably the most popular and come with many benefits. Since they are surrounded by cabinetry, their operating noise is somehow muffled by materials. A built-in dishwasher is also installed along with the cabinets which allows for a neater kitchen layout and only requires a one-time connection to your plumbing system. If you don’t want to worry about having special cabinet plans drawn up, a freestanding unit is a great choice. In case you move and want to take it with you, you can easily do so without the need for expert help.
Those who rent, move often, or don’t have a way to pipe water to a dishwasher will find it best to invest in a portable unit. Most portable dishwashers on the market offer full-size capacity and even come with wheels which make them easy to move around. Countertop models, on the other hand, are the most compact options and are a great pick for couples, smaller families, offices, and homes with a limited kitchen space. Aside from being more budget-friendly, portable and countertop models are also not permanently installed in the kitchen and easily hook up to a faucet.
Having a dishwasher do all the dirty work for you will undoubtedly save you personal time and effort. But if you want to cut water and electricity costs as well, choose a dishwasher with the Energy Star symbol. Models with this label meet strict guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. Dishwashers with a higher energy efficiency rating tend to be more expensive, though, but it will surely balance with the savings you make in the long run. Also, make sure to look out for other water- and energy-saving features such as soil sensors, half-load options, economy cycle, quick wash, and delay start.
For cleaning performance, it’s important to take into account the dishwasher’s wash systems and cycles. Systems with multiple tiers and washer arms as well as strategically placed blast jets will naturally deliver more intensive cleanups. Most dishwashers offer similar basic washing cycles (light, normal, and heavy), although some models have specialized options that bring in extra cleaning power and even let you customize cleaning depending on the load.
You’ll want to consider the interior and exterior finishes, the placement of the control panels, handle, and the type of load access as well. Most models come in black, white, off-white, stainless steel, and stainless-look finishes and fit in nicely with modern aesthetics. Custom panel-ready options have unfinished doors so you can attach a panel that complements your existing cabinets. The interior tubs of dishwashers, on the other hand, come in either plastic or stainless steel. Dishwashers with a stainless-steel tub are usually more expensive, but they are more durable and offer more stain and odor resistance. They also help reduce energy costs since stainless steel holds heat longer, making dishes dry quicker.
Front-control models are ideal for easy viewing and selection of cleaning options, while top-control ones are a great pick if you want the appearance of a seamless transition between the dishwasher and the cabinets. For handles, you’re going to want to stick to recessed and pocket handles as they make it easy to clean the front of the dishwasher. In terms of load access, a drawer-style dishwasher offers the convenience of not having to keep bending over to load and unload.
Are dishwashers all the same size?
Most dishwashers are the same size: 24 inches in width, 35 inches in height, and 24 inches in depth. A standard 24-inch by 35-inch dishwasher is recommended for family use as it has a generous capacity for 12 to 16 place settings, which works out to about 150 different items that you can wash at once. Countertop or tabletop models are smaller and can wash up to six place settings at a time.
Do dishwashers have filters?
Yes. Dishwashers normally have one or more filters to get rid of food particles from the wash water during the cycle. Some use self-cleaning filters, while others come with manual filters. As the name suggests, self-cleaning filters clean themselves and rarely need your attention. They have a grinder that pulverizes the food so it flows easily down into the drain. This type of filter is generally more convenient than manual ones but the grinding of food particles inevitably creates unwanted noise.
If the noise level is of concern to you, some self-cleaning filters now have an ultrafine mesh instead of a grinder. It delivers a quieter operation wherein water forces the food through the filter while breaking it into tiny particles. Manual filters also produce no noise but require occasional cleaning and maintenance.
Do dishwashers dry dishes?
Most dishwashers utilize one or several methods in drying dishes. Some do have a heating element at the base which heats the air for quick drying of dishes, while some are built with a fan that circulates the air around the dishes. Other dishwashers simply air dry and can even automatically open the door after the cycle to let hot air and humidity escape. Another common drying option is the heated rinse method wherein the dishes are rinsed with very hot water toward the end of the cycle. The stainless-steel interior will then attract the heat and pull the moisture away from the dishes.
Do dishwashers use cold water?
No. Dishwashers use a heating element to increase the temperature of the water to a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water, combined with the dishwasher’s heat cycle, effectively cleans and sanitizes the dishes.
Looking for more ways to upgrade your kitchen arsenal without missing out on savings? Check out our compilation of the latest and most exciting deals on refrigerators, juicers, blenders, Instant Pots, and other kitchen tech stuff.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.