Buyer's Guide \ Dishwasher \ Dishwasher Buying Guide

Dishwasher Buying Guide

Are you planning to fit your kitchen with a new dishwasher? Or perhaps you’re getting one for the first time.
One way or another, our dishwasher buying guide will assist you in choosing an ideal dishwasher for your home.
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Looking to buy a new dishwasher?

Our guide will assist you in choosing an ideal dishwasher for your home.

Wash Cycles

Look for a wide range of washing cycles to fit all types of dishes you may have.


Removable or adjustable racks offer extra loading convenience.


Sensors can adjust the cycle time depending on the load and how dirty the dishes are.

Delay option

Set the dishwasher to run later, like when you’re sleeping or out of the home.


Control your dishwasher remotely using an app.

Check out our Appliance Finder

Our Appliance Finder is a fun tool that will help you find everything you need to know to choose the right dishwasher for you. Try it now!

Table of Contents


A Guide to Dishwashers: What to Know When Considering a Dishwasher

There are so many options on the market that it’s challenging to pick the right brand, type, etc. You have a lot of features to consider if you’re planning to buy a dishwasher. Is the design your priority? Or are versatility and smart features more important?
The whole process is more straightforward when you know what you want and what fits in your kitchen.

What to Know When Considering a Dishwasher

In this dishwasher buying guide, you will learn everything you need to know about dishwashers, from the features and installation through to how they look on the inside. The goal is to help you choose the right dishwasher for you.

For a start, there are a few key questions to consider before you browse for dishwashers.

  1. Is a quiet dishwasher your priority?
  2. Are you looking for something that matches your kitchen design completely?
  3. Do you have big daily wash loads?
  4. What is your budget?

See This Quick Video Guide on Buying a Dishwasher

Buying your first dishwasher or looking to upgrade? Here’s a quick guide to choosing the right model for your kitchen and your needs. There are many great options to consider.

Let’s break them down into 4 key points: Price, style, size and noise.

First of all, take exact measurements of the space where your new dishwasher will be installed. You’ll want a cozy fit – not too big, not too small.

Next, consider noise. Some dishwashers run more quietly than others, and the noise level should be indicated for you in decibels, or dBA. Anything below 45 decibels can be considered a low-noise dishwasher. You may not want to go for a model rated at over 50 decibels.

What about style? Choose the look that suits your kitchen and your preferences.

All these factors impact the price. You’ll want to strike a balance between your desired features and your budget. Happy shopping.


Dishwasher Sizes

Before anything else, measure the space where you plan to set up the dishwasher. Don’t approximate but actually take the measurements. If you have a small kitchen, it doesn’t mean you need to get a small dishwasher. It all depends on the other kitchen appliances and how they’re organized. If you don’t cook frequently but have lots of dishes to wash daily, you can potentially save space by getting a smaller range and a big dishwasher.

The standard dishwasher sizes are 45cm and 60cm (18 inches and 24 inches), and one of them will likely suit your needs.


Noise Level

Don’t think that this is irrelevant when you’re considering a dishwasher. If you live in a small apartment where the kitchen is close to your entertainment area, it’s something to consider.

But how do you know what’s an acceptable noise level? First of all, you look at the sound level generated, which is measured in decibels (dBA). If a dishwasher is rated at a low decibel, that particular model is probably quiet-running.

Learn about sound levels and dBA in our full guide to dishwasher dBA.
Here are a few things to remember:
  • Anything below 45dBA can be considered a low-noise dishwasher.
  • You probably won’t notice a difference of less than 3dBA, so it doesn’t matter if you buy a 39dBA or a 41dBA dishwasher.
  • You may not want to go for a model rated at over 50dBA.

Pick a low-noise dishwasher and keep your home quiet and calm

Check out these quiet dishwashers from Whirlpool brand.

How to Choose an Exterior Style

Just like everything else, your new dishwasher’s exterior style depends on your preferences and lifestyle. Do you want a dishwasher with hidden controls? Do you want to be able to hang a towel and have it ready when you need it?
The typical dishwasher exterior styles are:

Panel Ready

Towel Bar




Semi-Integrated vs. Fully-Integrated Dishwashers

A semi-integrated dishwasher has all the controls visible at the top of the door. This type allows you to monitor the cycle through the exterior progress display.
A fully-integrated dishwasher’s controls are hidden. You can track the cycle progress by checking the status light that changes colours depending on the phase.
Use this helpful guide to learn the differences between integrated and semi-integrated dishwashers.

What Does Panel-Ready Mean?

Those who are indecisive about the finish or haven’t built their kitchen yet may like this option. Panel-ready means that your dishwasher comes with an unfinished door. It’ll stay that way until you decide on a finish later.


Typically, you won’t find dishwashers finished in out-of-the-ordinary colours. Most brands are available in the standard black, white, and stainless steel. They can have a fingerprint-resistant finish, which makes it easier to clean. Stainless steel finishes may be more durable and easier to match with the rest of your kitchen cabinets and appliances.


How to Choose a Dishwasher Interior

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The interior of your dishwasher is just as, if not more critical than the exterior. If you want to make sure you’ve picked a suitable model, take a look at your dishes. How large are your plates? Do you often wash big pans and other dishes that may require lots of space? Do they come in various shapes?
That will help you determine the size of the rack and its shape. Also, some dishwashers come with an adjustable rack so you might want to consider that too.
You can choose a model with a plastic rack but stainless-steel tubes are durable, can handle higher temperatures, and typically make less noise. However, they’re usually more expensive.

Deciding Between a Built-in Dishwasher, Portable Dishwasher, and Countertop Dishwasher

How do you install a dishwasher? This dishwasher buying guide will answer that as well.

What to know about built-in dishwashers

Built-in dishwashers aren’t portable as they’re designed to be built into your kitchen. Sometimes, you can even buy them along with a full kitchen remodel, but most commonly, there’s a spot designed for a dishwasher in any Canadian kitchen. It’s the most-sold dishwasher type.
However, if you decide to install this type of dishwasher, it requires permanent plumbing fixtures. It’s still possible to replace it with a new model, but the plumbing may not be plug and play.
Also, built-in dishwashers are not hard to fit into a kitchen since they’re available in different sizes and can usually be placed under the kitchen counters and between cabinets. That enhances your kitchen’s design and makes it convenient for use. Sometimes they’re even panel-ready so it’s even simpler to match.
Get the facts about built-in dishwashers in our handy guide.

What If a Dishwasher Has Never Been Installed in My Home?

That doesn’t mean you can’t get one, of course. But you may want to consult a plumbing company or a general contractor to see how easy it is to install one in your kitchen. If you’re not sure about the available choices or how much work your kitchen needs, you can contact our experts for help to have all your questions answered. Remember to refer to the owner’s manual for your specific dishwasher for instructions and additional guidance.


Should My Dishwasher Be the Same Brand as My Other Appliances?

Sticking to the same brand for all your kitchen appliances doesn’t have any technical benefits. On the other hand, brands tend to keep the same design across various products. You may find it more visually appealing to get a dishwasher of the same brand as the rest, or the majority, of your appliances.

Dishwasher Performance

The performance can make or break whatever appliances are under consideration. A dishwasher doesn’t have to appear perfect but it’s got to do its job well.
A dishwasher that has heavy wash zones can efficiently clean soiled dishes. These typically come with several spray zones to get the water to all the hard-to-reach spots on your dishes when loaded. Flexible wash arms can do the same as they can cover larger areas within a dishwasher.
If you’re planning to wash different dishes in your dishwasher, make sure it has several cycle options. Crystal, ceramics, and metal are all cleaned at different temperatures and care is advised to avoid damaging your kitchenware.

Dishwasher Loading Ability

You probably won’t wash large saucepans and bowls every day, but be sure to check that they fit in the dishwasher, too. If you like to cook and use different cookware weekly, look for a dishwasher with an adjustable rack. It’ll allow you to wash oversized plates, cookers, and other dishes. Most modern dishwashers come with silverware baskets or a third-level rack, which gives you even more room to organize the dishes and wash them all at once.

Flexibility and Capacity

Versatility is one of the key features to look for in a dishwasher since no one uses just one type of kitchenware. You’ll be washing glasses, pots, china, some more durable and some more delicate. That’s why the racks need to be stable in place before you turn on the dishwasher. You don’t want your favourite wine glasses to break while being washed. Fold-down tines are also a desirable feature.

Drying Technology Options

Most dishwashers come with a preset heated drying option that automatically starts after a washing cycle. However, you can easily switch it off if you don’t want your dishes to be dried this way.
As mentioned, stainless steel is often a better choice than plastic for the tub. After a wash cycle is over, metal can retain heat, which can makes your dishes dry faster.
Some dishwasher models have fans that help with the drying process. They allow room temperature air to enter the dishwasher and remove the humidity from the inside. This feature is usually available on more advanced dishwasher models.

Different Dishwasher Cycles

A typical dishwasher offers a range of washing cycles, and you’ll choose one depending on what you have to wash.
Here are the most common washing cycles available:
  • Delicate
  • Heavy Duty
  • Quick
  • Steam
  • Sanitize
  • Rinse and Hold
  • Half-load
  • Soil-sensing

Features to Look for When Dishwasher Shopping

An ideal dishwasher offers a wide range of washing cycles to fit all types of dishes you may have. It would typically have removable racks (or at least adjustable), be energy-efficient, and have sensors that can adjust the cycle time depending on the load and how dirty the dishes are.
You might also appreciate leak sensors that warn you in the event of a leak, which can prevent a mess in your kitchen. Some models have an option to delay the start of a cycle which can come in handy if you wish to run the dishwasher overnight or when you’re out of the home.

The smart dishwasher takes things to the next level. These Wi-Fi enabled dishwashers can be controlled with an app. You can get the dishwasher pre-loaded and turn it on and check the progress on your phone whenever.


Find Your Perfect Dishwasher

Does all of this information sound like a lot to take in? It might, but it’s better to be well-informed when purchasing appliances you will want to use for a long time. After reading this comprehensive dishwasher buying guide, you can be sure of finding an ideal fit for your needs. Knowing what to look for makes the purchase decision easier. You’ll recognize it when you come across a quality appliance that will enhance your kitchen experience.
Do you think you might get lost among all those specifications and dishwasher models? Our Buying Guide tool can help narrow your search so you can find a dishwasher that meets your needs. Click here to find a dishwasher that meets your needs.
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