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The dishwashers buyers' guide

Less than half of the UK’s households currently have a dishwasher; but with evidence showing dishwashers produce cleaner dishes and save money, water and arguments, there are plenty of strong reasons to invest. 

With dishwashers saving you an average of nine days a year of scrubbing and rinsing, you can spend your time doing things you actually want to do.

If you’re looking for a new dishwasher but feeling a little lost with such a huge variety available, all with techy features and special selling points, fear not: we’re here to get you clued up on all the information you need to make an informed buying decision.

At Crowdstorm you’ll find dishwasher deals from all the best manufacturers, such as Neff and Bosch, available directly from your favourite trusted retailers – everyone from Argos to Currys. And we’re constantly updating our prices, so you’ll never miss a sale.

Dishwasher types

Dishwasher size is measured by capacity of place settings that can be washed in one cycle. For example, a dishwasher with a 12 place setting capacity can hold 12 dinner plates, 12 soup plates, 12 dessert plates, 12 tea cups and saucers, 12 tumblers, 12 sets of cutlery.

Standard: A family or busy household would most likely benefit from a full-sized model, around 60cm wide, or a slimline machine with flexible storage inside. Full sized dishwashers are designed to be stored under work surfaces and the standard number of place settings is 12. You can also find larger (15 and above), with some models as large as 90cm wide.

Slimline: A slimline model is usually around 45cm wide and can hold around 9 place settings – great for couples or smaller households. Slimline dishwashers have been designed to conveniently fit under a work surface.

Compact: If you live on your own a compact dishwasher may be the best option for you. It can be integrated into your existing kitchen and takes up half the space of a regular dishwasher with a capacity of around 4 place settings.


Most standard dishwashers will have 3 main programs and a rinse cycle:

  • 65-75 degrees: 'Intensive' uses the most energy and is designed for pots, pans etc with baked-on food
  • 55-65 degrees: The 'standard' wash cycle
  • 40-50 degrees: 'Light' wash, only for the most delicate items

Many will also have eco, delicate and quick wash settings for different load sizes and types. A half load option is ideal for saving water by cleaning only one level of the machine, for example. 

A pre-wash or soak option is great for very dirty dishes or pans and a quick wash option, that normally takes around 30 minutes, is best suited to items that aren’t very dirty.

Dishwasher features

Once you've got your mind set on the basics, there are lots of little extras you may want to look out for. Decide if any of them are essential before you buy, as these can often put the price up but can also be worth it in the long run:

  • Rinse hold: Super useful. Gives the stuff you put in a quick blast of water to keep the grime damp, so if you don't run the wash until later it isn't stuck to your plates.
  • Cutlery tray: These are perfect to keep your irons and your breakables as far from each other as possible...
  • Timed delay: Make the most of cheaper night time rates by using a timed delay.
  • Washing baby’s products: Certain models now come with an integrated hygienic program for washing your baby’s products.
  • Adjustable baskets: Height adjustable racks and baskets will make storing dishes in your dishwasher much easier.
  • Load sensing: Some dishwashers adjust cycle and water depending on the weight of a load.
  • Electronic LCD display: For more options and customizable programs.
  • Glass program: Protect glass and delicate dishes with a specific program.
  • Intensive program: For extra dirty dishes.
  • Self-cleaning filters: Do what they sy on the tin!
  • Anti-leak mechanism: To protect against flooding. Some dishwashers have an in-built protection against flooding, or technology to detect changes in water pressure with a valve to cut off water supply in an emergency.

Noise level

If you have an integrated kitchen/living room or an open plan kitchen it’s a good idea to shop for a dishwasher that is low-noise – look for a model with a decibel (dB) level of less than 45, as some can reach 50dB or more.

Dishwasher energy efficiency

All dishwashers have an EU-rated energy efficiency and performance rating from A-G, with A being the most economical and G being the least. Manufacturers are responsible for grading their own products and Trading Standards monitor standardised tests across the industry.

Some online retailers also have top of the range dishwashers that are even more efficient than A-rated models. These are A+, A++ and A+++.

  • A+ models achieve up to 10% reduction in energy consumption compared with A models
  • A++ models can reduce your energy consumption by up to 20%
  • A+++ models can save you the most money – up to 30% compared with A models

It is often the case that the more expensive the model the higher graded it will be in terms of energy efficiency and the more energy-saving features there’ll be, including time delays and temperature settings. This isn’t to say that cheap dishwashers won’t be energy efficient; many machines will feature temperature settings and programs for shorter/more economical cycles.

Water consumption may be of greater importance to you if you’re on a water meter – look out for dishwashers with a time delay so you can take advantage of cheaper electricity at night time and look for dishwashers that use the least amount of water possible. For example, brands such as Whirlpool and Hotpoint make full sized machines that use only 12 litres of water per wash. Bosch even have a model that uses as little as seven litres of water per cycle.

Not suitable for dishwasher cleaning

Bear in mind that the following should not be put in a dishwasher for cleaning:

  • Decorated fine china
  • Crystal glasses
  • Gold/silver trim china
  • Cutlery with wooden, plastic, bone or pearl handles

What next?

Having narrowed down your search for the perfect dishwasher to suit your needs refine your search further on our shopping pages with the settings in the left column. 

By narrowing down type, specs, size and energy efficiency, you can begin to compare models and styles. 

Then all that’s left to do is click and buy - beats getting the dog to do it, huh? And remember that you’re not buying from Crowdstorm, you’re buying directly from your favourite trusted retailer. 

We simply help you find the best deals before sending you directly to their website (we make our money from advertising, not directly from you).