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Best dishwashers 2024: Freestanding options from £399

A trio of dishwashers

Dreaming of sparkling dishes without the elbow grease? This is our pick of the best dishwashers to buy

The best dishwashers can make light work of cleaning plates, glasses and utensils – so you can leave your washing-up gloves in the kitchen cupboard. However, you’ll only feel the full benefit of this effort-saving appliance if you can pick a model that suits your household and lifestyle.

There’s a surprising degree of variety among different dishwashers, from their capacity (measured in ‘place settings’) and energy efficiency to finer details like the design of their water jets. Our team of consumer journalists and product reviewers has cast a critical eye over hundreds of these machines, and one thing’s crystal clear: some dishwashers are much better than others. If you’ve had more than one model, you’ll know this is true.

In the mini reviews below, we’ll introduce you to a carefully curated selection of top-performing dishwashers, providing some key pros and cons for each. We’ll focus on standard-width, freestanding models, as we have separate guides to the best slimline dishwashers and the best integrated dishwashers. And to help you pick the right product, we’ve also got a buying guide to help you pick your next dishwasher.

Want to learn more? Jump to the buying guide

Best dishwashers: At a glance

Best under £500Bosch Series 2 SGS2ITW08G (~£399)Check price at John Lewis
Best mid-range freestanding dishwasherSamsung Series 11 DW60A8060FS (~£850)Check price at AO
Best high-end optionMiele G7410 SC (~£1,329)Check price at Miele

The best dishwashers you can buy in 2024

1. Bosch Series 2 SMS2ITW08G: Best affordable big-brand dishwasher

Price when reviewed: £399 | Check price at from John LewisGreat for… reliable, straightforward dishwashing 

Not so great for… adjustability 

This might be one of Bosch’s most affordable full-size freestanding dishwashers, but the Series 2 SGS2ITW08G has all the essentials that any household needs to get those dishes sparkling.

There’s a refreshingly simple selection of programmes on offer. You get four to choose from: Eco 50°C, Auto 45-65°C, Intensive 70°C and Express 65°C, and you can tailor those to your requirements with the Extra Dry and Half Load options. There’s also a Machine Care programme, which is designed to prevent the build-up of grime and bacteria.

If you’re one of those people who always wonder which dishwasher programme is going to get your dishes gleaming, then you’ll love the Bosch’s Auto 45-65°C option. Set it going, and it automatically adjusts water temperature and the amount of time it spends rinsing to get the perfect results. If you’re keen on keeping those energy and water bills low, then this can only be a good thing.

We’ve noticed that you don’t get as much adjustability as pricier models, but the Series 2 does allow enough wiggle room to accommodate awkward loads. The Vario baskets allow you to adjust the height of the top basket, you get foldable plate racks in the bottom basket and – for those who like traditional designs – you also get a standard cutlery basket that nestles in the bottom basket. It’s a simple feature, but we’re fans of the Rack Stopper feature which stops the bottom basket flying out onto the kitchen floor when you grab it a bit too vigorously.

The whole package is rounded off with a reassuring ten-year warranty against rust-through. This means you don’t have to worry about your dishwasher disintegrating from the inside out after many years of keeping your dishes sparkling clean.

Key specs – Type: Freestanding; Place settings: 12; Rated efficiency: E; Wine glass support: Yes, short stem; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery tray: No, basket; Adjustable basket: Yes

Check price at John Lewis

2. Beko BDFN15430X: Best efficient Beko dishwasher for under £400

Price when reviewed: £339 | Check price at AOGreat for… affordability without compromising on effectiveness 

Not so great for… lovers of premium features

Low running costs are becoming an even more important factor in our decisions about which appliances to buy. This E rated Beko dishwasher earned itself a bronze award for energy saving from independent energy insight company Youreko, and we’d class it as one of the most efficient models available under £400.

What’s more, with 14 place settings, it’s roomy enough for all of a large household’s dishes, so you won’t have to switch it on more than necessary. The 58-minute quick wash is handy for when you’re in a hurry, while the auto programme makes use of sensors to adjust the settings according to how dirty your dishes are.

This dishwasher has a dazzling reputation for thorough cleaning that goes beyond the average affordable competitor – and it’s not the first Beko appliance we’ve come across that outshines its peers.

Key specs – Type: Freestanding; Place settings: 14; Rated efficiency: E; Wine glass support: Yes; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery tray/basket: Basket; Adjustable basket: Yes

Check price at AO

3. Samsung Series 11 DW60A8060FS: Best mid-range freestanding dishwasher for style

Price when reviewed: £850 | Check price at AO

Great for…subtle design

Not so great for… country-style kitchens

Samsung’s discreet and streamlined stainless steel dishwasher features a hidden control panel, so the subtle blue countdown timer is the only eye-catching feature you see while the door is closed. Its sleek lines and angles will look at home in modern and minimal kitchens, but it isn’t all style over substance.

B-rated for energy efficiency, the dishwasher cleans up to 14 place settings without making too much of a mark on your energy bill. Its flexible rack system allows you to configure the space to suit your kitchenware and crockery, while the 55-minute quick wash is handy for when you need items cleaned in a hurry. We’re also big fans of the open-door drying feature, which uses air to help dry the washing. Cutlery can be placed in the dedicated drawer at the very top of the dishwasher, and this flexible space can be adjusted to allow room for larger utensils, too.

It might be a little pricey but in our opinion, this dishwasher offers a great mix of core and premium functionality, while also looking the part in your kitchen.

Key specs – Type: Freestanding; Place settings: 14; Rated efficiency: B; Wine glass support: Yes; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery tray/basket: Basket; Adjustable basket: Yes

Check price at AO

4. Miele G7410 SC: Best high-end dishwasher

Price when reviewed: £1,329 | Check price at Miele

Great for… energy efficiency dishwashing

Not so great for… up-front affordability 

If it’s top-of-the-range design you’re after, and you’re happy to up your budget to get it, then we can strongly recommend Miele as the brand for you. Thankfully, since this is a super-efficient A-rated dishwasher, it will reward you with lower running costs versus most other models on the market. In addition, Miele dishwashers are designed to last a very long time, which goes some way to justifying that higher price tag.

This is a quiet dishwasher with fully adjustable baskets and a roomy capacity, with space for up to 14 place settings. Furthermore, it features Miele’s AutoDos system that works in conjunction with Miele-branded detergent capsules to automatically dispense just the right amount of detergent. The capsules last for 20 washes, meaning you will benefit from the convenience of not having to add detergent tablets with every cycle. Note, however, that at around £0.48 each, they work out a bit more expensive per wash than most other dishwasher tablets.

There are six wash programmes to choose from, including a quick wash and dedicated glass cycle. And, as you’d expect, there’s app connectivity to deliver additional functionality. Overall, this dishwasher is our top pick for efficient cleaning and easy-loading – with some lovely bells and whistles attached.

Key specs – Type: Freestanding; Place settings: 14; Rated efficiency: A; Wine glass support: Yes; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery tray: Yes; Adjustable basket: Yes

Check price at Miele

Don’t want a freestanding, full-sized dishwasher?

How to choose the best dishwasher for you

What’s the first thing I should look for?

The control panel may be the first thing you notice – is it metal or plastic, cheap or classy? – but ultimately it’s what’s inside that matters most. The more you spend, the better equipped the interior and the better the quality of the machine’s hidden components.

What do the energy ratings mean?

Energy ratings give you an indication of each machine’s running costs and, as of March 2021, the old EU ratings have been replaced with a new scheme. 

The new energy ratings provide you with a helpful overview. The top-level energy efficiency for each machine is rated A to G, and the sticker clearly shows the amount of water used per wash and how long that wash takes. These figures are based on each machine’s Eco wash programme. One further helpful change is that operating noise level is now both measured in dB and given a broad A to D rating for quick, easy comparison.

In truth, we’re pleased to see the back of the old rating system because the previous +, ++ and +++ ratings weren’t very clear. 

Freestanding or integrated?

Freestanding machines are the most popular as they can be installed pretty much anywhere. All full-size freestanding dishwashers are around 60 x 60 x 85cm (WDH). Consequently, any freestanding model will fit a 60cm gap between your kitchen cupboards. Just be sure that there’s a water outlet and drainage nearby.

Integrated models are designed to fit flush with your existing kitchen units; some models’ front panels can even be removed and replaced to match your existing colour scheme. However, integrated models have their drawbacks. For one, because the machine is installed in the kitchen units, chances are you will need to leave it behind if you move.

Also bear in mind that the control panel and display will be hidden away, so you can’t see the timer or even tell if it’s on without opening the door to check.

What about slimline models?

Slimline dishwashers measuring around 45cm in width are handy for those with small spaces. But be sure to choose a model that’s in the mid-priced range as budget models don’t have a great reputation. Most slimline models have the capacity for around ten place settings. If you’re in the market for a slimline model, check out our guide to the best slimline dishwashers.

Cutlery basket or cutlery tray?

Most budget dishwashers use a basket on the lower rack for cutlery storage. This can get in the way if you have large pots and pans to wash. Pricier models give you a range of positioning options, so you can fit it around other items, while the cheaper ones tend to have a fixed basket position.

High-end machines often feature a top-mounted slide-out cutlery tray instead of a basket. This is a bit slower to load, as every knife, fork and spoon needs to be correctly positioned. However, it’s much more space-efficient and gives the cutlery a more thorough washing.

Why do dishwashers need salt and rinse aid?

According to Finish, the salt provides sodium for the dishwasher’s “ion exchange resins”, which attract and trap the magnesium and calcium ions that cause hard water. This keeps the interior of the dishwasher free of limescale and other unwanted build-ups. Used salt is pumped out with the wastewater so regular top-ups are a must.

Rinse aid, meanwhile, is what helps your dishes and glasses sparkle. It’s a bit of a misnomer, though, as it has more to do with drying than rinsing: in short, it lowers the surface tension of water so it doesn’t form into droplets. That’s why your glasses come out of the machine without streaks and watermarks.

How do I clean a dishwasher? 

Great question. If you want to keep your dishwasher working optimally, then it pays to give it a bit of TLC on a regular basis. Cleaning the inside of the dishwasher can help to both remove and prevent build ups of bacteria, and ensuring that the filter isn’t clogged with scrap of food ensures that you’re not rinsing today’s dishes in yesterday’s leftovers. If you want to learn more, then head on over to our dedicated guide to cleaning your dishwasher. 

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