The best dishwasher is naturally “the best one you can afford and fit in your kitchen.” From our testing, the Bosch Serie 8 SMS88TW02G offers the best blend of features, cleaning power and price.
If you’re after something altogether more serious, and have money to rinse, we recommend Miele’s range-topping G6890 SCVi K2O. The 45cm wide Siemens iQ500 SR26T891GB is our favourite slimline model.
Bosch Serie 8 SMS88TW02G
Type: Freestanding | Size: H 845 x W 600 x D 600 | Energy efficiency: A+++
This dishwasher uses ‘zeolites’ for the ‘best drying results with the highest possible energy rating’. No, a zeolite is not a tiny political fanatic wielding a dishcloth, it’s a mineral that absorbs moisture, releasing heat in return. In a dishwasher, this means that all that steam created during the washing cycle is magically absorbed by the zeolites and, in the process, extra, naturally-created heat is provided for the drying process. This Bosch machine also features a 60ºC programme that is hot enough to remove even the hardest substance known to mankind: dried Weetabix. And at just 42dB, it’s pretty quiet, too. The A+++-rated Serie 8 has the capacity for 14 place settings and features a three-stage Rackmatic system that makes it a cinch to change the height of the upper basket even when fully loaded.
Miele G6890 SCVi K2O
Type: Built in | Size: H 805 x W 598 x D 570 **Energy efficiency:** A+++
A thing of considerable beauty and cost, Miele’s flagship G6890 SCVi K2O dishwasher boasts an A+++- 20% energy rating, uses as little as 6.5 litres of fresh mains water per wash, and adjusts water and power consumption depending on the fullness of the machine. Opening with just a tap on the door, it lights up once open, and has assisted closing, too. The only way it could be more helpful would be if it could also somehow fill itself, although at this price, we’d argue that it probably should. Other highlights include app control, ‘enhanced cutlery tray’, a ridiculous 11 wash programmes including ‘Extra Quiet’, plus a QuickPowerWash programme cleans and dries in just 58 minutes, with ‘A’-rated cleaning performance. Our favourite luxe features: AutoOpen Drying – the door actually opens slightly at the end of a programme to let steam out, so dishes dry more fully – and best of all? There’s an IN-DOOR SALT CONTAINER container, people! So good.
Type: Freestanding | Size: H 845 x W 600 x D 600 | Energy efficiency: A++
Owned by our favourite Turkish industrial conglomerate, Arcelik and Koc Holding, the Beko brand now lays claim to a decent slice of the European market with a range of budget to mid-priced products that represent excellent value for money. For the price, this freestanding, A++ rated, 13-place machine comes with an impressively comprehensive assemblage of tech, including an extra lower spraying arm for the pummelling of much detritus, a half-load option that saves up to 25% in energy and water consumption, and a separate wine glass basket replete with special SteamGloss program. Oh, and there’s an additional cutlery tray that’s long enough for a night of the long knives and a top basket that can be adjusted even when fully loaded. Top budget choice.
Siemens iQ500 SR26T891GB
Type: Freestanding | Size: H 845 x W 450 x D 600 | Energy efficiency: A+
If you have minimal kitchen space, then this handsome, 45cm brushed stainless steel dishwasher from the house of Siemens is your perfect Mini Me. Despite its reduced size, the iQ500 claims capacity for 10 place settings and features a number of USPs: varioSpeed Plus for faster crockery washing; a special hygiene function that whacks up the heat during the final rinse; a height-adjustable top basket; and a varioDrawer for stashing big ladles, salad servers, long knives and also smaller items of crockery, such as espresso cups. A whisper-quiet motor, an A+ energy rating and even distribution of detergent using Siemens’ DosageAssist feature completes an impressive slimline package.
Swan Retro SDW7040
Type: Freestanding | Size: H 850 x W 598 x D 570 | Energy efficiency: A+
Available in a host of colours including sky blue, vintage green, rich red, traditional cream, contemporary black, grey and pastel pink, the Retro SDW7040 dishwasher is part of an extensive collection of similarly-styled kitchen appliances from Swan. This 60cm machine can easily accommodate 12 place settings. Programmes run from rapid to intensive, while foldaway baskets make the most of the dishwasher’s capacity, allowing larger items to be crammed in more easily.
AEG ProClean F67622VI0P
Type: Built in | Size: H 818 x W 596 x D 550 | Energy efficiency: A++
This mid-priced, 13-place offering from AEG has five different spray strengths along with an extra Satellite Spray arm that rotates separately, spritzing water into places a regular sprinkler might not reach. The Prozone programme, meanwhile, varies the water temperature and pressure between the upper and lower baskets, ensuring that each item is washed under the right conditions while a bank of sensors monitors the size of the load and level of filthiness, so the most optimum program can be selected, saving water and leccy in the process. Beam On Floor is another cool addition that projects a red or green light onto the floor to let you know where it is on its cycle. There’s no need to worry about your priceless Riedel Vintage Sommelier’s Champagne flutes too, thanks to soft glass grips that keep them in place and away from danger.
Smeg D4SS-1 Slimline
Type: Freestanding | Size: H 850 x W 448 x D 600 | Energy efficiency: A+
This 45cm-wide stainless steel number is very reasonably priced, especially coming from the premium stable that is Smeg. Furthermore, being both slimline and freestanding, it’s as easy to install as dishwashers get. Despite its diminutive dimensions, there’s still space for 10 place settings – the maximum plate diameter is 30cm – and a bewildering variety of washing programs, from Soak, Rapid (a 27 minute blast), Crystal and Delicate Quick to ECO, ECO Quick, Auto 45-65, Normal Quick, Super, Strong and Fast. AquaTest tech means it can measure the amount of muck that accrues in the water after the first drenching and then adjust both the heating and water usage during the rest of the wash accordingly – unusual in a slimline dishwasher.
Hotpoint Ultima FDUD 43133 X
Type: Freestanding | Size: H 850 x W 600 x D 600 | Energy efficiency: A+++
Hotpoint’s pulled out all the stops with its current range of appliances, and this elegant, tech-filled dish bather is a case in point. The super-quiet, stainless steel-clad Ultima provides capacity for a 14-place smorgasbord and comes with its own tranche of washing cycles, from a quick 30-minute dose to a delicate wash for fragile items. It also features zone washing and the obligatory flexible loading basket. Hotpoint’s boffins have also addressed an issue that affects most dishwashers: after smell. You know, that slightly cloying scent of musty water, detergent and dissolved grease that seems to emanate from the machine the moment you open the door. So the Ultima’s Active Oxygen process ‘releases natural oxygen molecules to purify the internal atmosphere, removing up to 70% of odours even after 24 hours’. Lovely.
Type: Built in | Size: H 815 x W 598 x D 550 | Energy efficiency: A+++
If you have a smart modern, handleless kitchen, then this nifty Neff could be just what you’re after. Beneath the modernist exterior is capacity for 13 place settings and comes with an armful of practical features including a three-stage, height-adjustable top basket for easy loading, a Zeolite drying function similar to the Bosch Serie 8, seven program settings (from a 70ºC blast to a 45º quick wash) and a DosageAssist dispenser that distributes the contents of the detergent tablet evenly across the entire interior. The gentle NeffSparkle glass-washing function is an especially neat feature; just the ticket for those who would never normally risk their favourite flutes in a dishwasher.