The last thing you want is the sound of your dishwasher to wreck your evening by making everything from watching TV to hosting very difficult and frustrating.
This article is all about the noise level of dishwashers: how much noise they can make, how much noise you want one to make, what decibel level (dBA) means, what typical dishwasher dBA is and how to buy a quiet dishwasher.
What is Dishwasher dBA?
The noise produced by most appliances, including dishwashers, is calculated in dBA. This stands for “A-weighted decibels” and is used to measure how loud a noise will sound to most people.
There is one principle to understanding dishwasher dBA: the higher the dBA level of a dishwasher, the noisier the appliance will be.
PRO TIP: Most people can identify a sound level increase of 5 dBA. Keep in mind when looking for a new dishwasher that it only takes a few decibels to make a difference in noise level¹.
How Many Decibels is a Quiet Dishwasher?
One question often asked is if a 50 dBA dishwasher is quiet?
It’s up to you to decide if this could potentially interfere with your daily life, whether that means disrupting your sleep or preventing you from having a conversation near your kitchen.
As a guideline, any dishwasher with a decibel level of 44 dBA or lower is generally considered quiet. The quietest models, going as low as 38 dBA, are considered practically silent.
How to Buy a Quiet Dishwasher
Due to innovations that include improvements in sound insulation and quieter motors, among others, many new dishwashers have lower dBA levels.
Some of the factors that may contribute to a dishwasher’s noise level include:
The quality of materials can really make a difference for noise output². Also, the thickness of the insulation may impact the decibel rating³.
Remember that a dishwasher with a stainless steel tub should produce less noise than a dishwasher with a plastic tub⁴. Furthermore, sound dampening on the outside of the tub can help reduce noise⁵.
Water movement contributes to the noise level a dishwasher makes. The process where water is pumped into the dishwasher, then cycled through before being pumped out again, creates a lot of the noise that is produced⁶. Dishwasher manufacturers have been able to minimize this noise through innovations in wash cycles, the speed and the amount of force used to spray water, and by implementing quieter pump systems into modern dishwashers⁷.
Dishwashers that come with a food disposal are often noisier than those without one⁸. You can always choose to purchase a dishwasher with an easy-to-clean food trap system to help ensure that the dishwasher is relatively quiet when operating⁹.
PRO TIP: If your dishwasher is too loud or an older model, you can install insulation in the form of sound-deadening material to reduce the noise.
Dishwashers should make your life easier by washing loads of dirty dishes, bowls, cutlery and mugs without disrupting your life by being too loud.
We hope you better understand dishwasher dBA now and feel well equipped to make a more informed purchase.
Use this Dishwasher Buying Guide Tool and find the right dishwasher for you.