Dishwashers, this appliance is definitely different than refrigerators. Not just the obvious differences but not everyone has one and for many who do, some don't even use it!
Approximately 54% of American households have a dishwasher and use it at least once a week. Almost 20% of Americans have a dishwasher but don't use it.
According to the EIA, "Dishwashers are among the least-used appliance in American homes today". Yet, you will use less energy and water by using a dishwasher versus doing the dishes by hand. Dishwashers, as a product as a whole, have the highest rates of Energy Star qualifications. Meaning most dishwashers on the market today, and consistently over the years, meet Energy Star qualifications.
In 2015, over 80% of dishwashers on the market met Energy Star qualifications. In 2011, over 90% of dishwashers met the qualifications. Only about 45% of refrigerators and 55% of clothes washers on the market met Energy Star qualifications in 2015.
While preparing this article, in 2022, there were 126 dishwasher models that received Energy Star's "Most Efficient" award. Compared to other appliances, there may have only been a select few or none under certain categories.
In this article, we are going to cover some of the best dishwashers on the market today in terms of energy and water efficiency. However, since there are many to choose from we had to lean on other attributes as well. We will also give you some tips on buying and using dishwashers.
For making the selection of dishwashers below, the EnergyBot team considered the following key attributes:
Since the size of a dishwasher impacts energy and water use the most, we have provided options under these two categories:
There is an "Oversized" option as well; however, they are not common enough to include. For reference, a standard model generally holds between 10 and 12-place settings.
The efficiency rating of a dishwasher is pretty straightforward, you have energy and water separate. Energy is measured in Annual Energy Use, kWh per year. Water is measured in gallons per cycle.
Energy Efficiency = Annual Energy Use (kWh/yr)
Water Efficiency = Water Use (Gallons/Cycle)
A standard dishwasher has at least three washing modes rinse, normal and heavy wash cycles. Most dishwashers also have a heated dry option.
When considering the extra razzle-dazzle, other features also include adjustable racks or an extra third rack at the top, cycles with superior water filtration or higher heat, and other sensors such as soil measurement.
Another big buying factor with dishwashers is noise. This is important in your open floor plan house. While relaxing on the couch after dinner, you don't want the noise of the dishwasher competing with your favorite TV show.
Decibels (dBA) ratings are often included in the specs. You can find levels as low as 40 dBA.
Like anything these days, our appliances seem to be getting smarter, so just consider how much you use it when considering efficiency and price.
Starting in the compact section, Bosch has a dishwasher rated as "Most Efficient" by Energy Star. This sleek design is stainless steel and beautiful for a small yet powerful appliance. It has a rack spec specifically designed for cups and bowls.
Frigidaire is a common brand that comes through in our Best Budget section. They have great reviews, which make it a solid choice for the price. For this compact Frigidaire dishwasher, you will get a fairly standard set of features but still reach Energy Star qualifications.
Samsung comes in at Best Overall, considering energy rating, price, reviews, and decibel levels! At 46 dBA, maybe you can consider sleeping in the kitchen. This sleek design is modern and fingerprint resistant.
Similar to the Best Overall in our compact section, we have selected the larger version of this model for the Most Energy Efficient dishwasher for our standard size. The standard size also comes with some additional features including being even quieter at 39 dBA, an autorelease door to improve drying, and smartphone connectivity.
With almost 5000 reviews, Frigidaire is our Best Budget selection again. This standard-size dishwasher provides high-performing basic features without all the frills. No need to get a smaller appliance to save money because this is a great option.
This Best Overall option fits a lot into a standard size. Tines are the little pegs that hold the dishes up, they have adjustable ones to fit larger pans. It has adjustable racks in 9 possible positions, it runs at 44 dBA, and a flexible third rack to hold smaller items. You don't have to break the bank to get get a great dishwasher!