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Best slimline dishwasher 2021: The best space-saving dishwashers to buy

Sasha Muller Derek Adams
12 Nov 2021

Choose the right slimline dishwasher for you with our bite-size reviews and handy buying guide

Slimline dishwashers don’t have quite the same capacity as their bigger stablemates, but you’d be surprised at how much you can fit in. For smaller families, they’re perfect.

Choosing the right one can be a challenge, however, as there’s a proliferation of makes and models to choose from. That's why we've taken the time to study the specs, round up the reviews and check the prices of practically every slimline model on sale in the UK to identify the five best time and space-saving appliances. It’s time to bin the Marigolds.

The best slimline dishwashers: At a glance

We haven't seen any great deals on slimline dishwashers so far for Black Friday, but we'll post them here if we find them. For now, you'll be very well served by either of the two affordable models from Indesit and Whirlpool below. Sadly, though, the Miele seems to have gone out of stock, and it looks like it might not be coming back. We're keeping a close eye. 

How to choose the best slimline dishwasher

What makes a dishwasher “slimline”?

A standard dishwasher measures 60cm in width, while slimline models measure just 45cm across. That means capacity is smaller, but you can still fit a lot in. Most slimline models will accept nine or ten “place settings” – each one representing one dinner plate, a side or dessert plate, a soup bowl, a glass, a teacup and saucer and five pieces of cutlery. That compares to 14 place settings in a full-sized machine.

Which settings are suitable for a slimline dishwasher?

Slimline dishwashers are perfect for one-bedroom flats, studios, narrowboats, small mobile homes, country cabins and holiday homes; basically, they’re a good choice anywhere where space is at a premium.

What features should I look for?

The external design and the control panel will be the first thing you notice, but ultimately it’s what’s inside that matters most. It goes without saying that the more you spend, the better the quality of the machine’s interior components.

Most budget slimline dishwashers use a basket for cutlery storage. This reduces the space available for pots and pans, and it’s not ideal for cleaning as items tend to end up in contact with each other. If you can afford it, choose a machine with a slide-out cutlery tray instead. These are much more space-efficient, and the cutlery gets a more thorough washing. Another worthwhile feature is the ability to adjust the height of the upper rack to allow as much space as you need for larger pots and pans.

Freestanding or integrated?

Freestanding slimline machines are the most popular, as they can be installed pretty much anywhere. All you need is a suitable space with an electricity supply, a cold water outlet (or both hot and cold if the machine has twin inlets) and access to a drainage pipe.

Integrated models are designed to fit flush with your existing kitchen units. They look smart, but they do have drawbacks. For one, they’re effectively a permanent installation: you’ll probably end up leaving the appliance behind if you move. And the control panel is normally hidden away, so you can’t check the timer without physically opening the door. That’s not a universal issue, though.

What do the energy rating labels tell you?

If you want to quickly compare one machine to another, the energy rating label is a good place to start. However, as of March 21st 2021, a new energy rating system is now in place. The previous A-to-D ratings were accompanied by up to three + signs, but now machines are rated on a simpler A-to-G scale. If a machine is rated A, it's one of the most energy efficient appliances you can buy.

For dishwashers, the energy rating label also shows a range of other key information. It states the amount of energy used in kWh per 100 washes, the maximum capacity of the machine rated in place settings, how much water is used per wash and the time taken for that wash. Noise levels are given a broad A-to-D rating as well as a specific loudness measurement in decibels.

The best slimline dishwashers to buy

1. Indesit Push & Go DSFO3T224ZUK: The best freestanding slimline dishwasher under £350

Price: £320 | Buy now from Amazon

The Indesit isn't going to win any awards for its stunningly unremarkable looks, but it's a great slimline dishwasher for sensible money. It squeezes in 10 place settings, and the height-adjustable top rack and removable cutlery basket makes it possible to accommodate awkward loads full of pots and pans with no trouble at all.

It's easy to use, too, and the Push & Go button means you can set a standard wash going with a single button press. Thankfully the results aren't bad either, and the washing performance is good enough to tackle even our toughest tests without embarrassing itself. For a slimline model, the Indesit doesn't skimp on cleaning power.

Read our full Indesit DSFO3T224ZUK review

Key specsType: Freestanding; Place settings: 10; Energy rating: A++; Water consumption: 9l; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery basket/tray: Basket; Adjustable upper rack: Yes (removable)

Buy now from Amazon

2. Whirpool WSFE 2B19 X: A stylish, capable slimline dishwasher for under £400

Price: £350 | Buy now from Amazon

If you're looking for a stainless steel and gloss black style icon for your kitchen, then this dapper slimline dishwasher from Whirlpool is sure to have you in a spin. For a machine which routinely retails at under £350, this is a very handsome machine indeed. 

More importantly, this mid-priced marvel provides enough space for up to ten place settings. You can even remove the top rack completely, and this makes it possible to load up the bottom rack with almost anything. For a compact, slimline dishwasher, this Whirlpool is capable of tackling even the most awkward loads with relative ease. The FleixiSpace tray is a real boon when it comes to accomodating pots, pans or especially tall wine glasses.

You get six handy programs with this model, and the controls keep everything nice and simple. Cleaning performance is up to scratch, too - even if it isn't quite up with the best - but you'll need to make sure to use the Intensive 65 programme if you expect it to tackle tough food stains such as dried on porridge.

Reassuringly, the water supply pipe has an anti-flood device attached, so you can feel safe in the knowledge that you won't end up with a soggy kitchen in the event of a malfunction. A great buy for the money

Key specs – Type: Freestanding; Place settings: 10; Energy rating: A+; Average water consumption: 11.5l; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery basket/tray: Tray; Adjustable upper rack: Yes

Buy now from Amazon

3. Miele G5640SC: A brilliant high-end slimline dishwasher, if you can afford it

Price: £930 | Buy now from Miele

Many reviewers recommend Miele and with good reason: although its products can be more expensive than competitors, they’re also among the most efficient, reliable and durable appliances on the market. Engineers also rate them because they’re generally easier to fix.

This high-end, A++ rated freestander supports up to seven place settings and comes with a top-mounted cutlery tray rather than a traditional basket. This not only gives you more space at the bottom of the machine, but also ensures your cutlery is properly cleaned.

Feature-wise, this model has five main programs: Automatic, Eco, QuickPowerWash, Gentle for delicate glassware, and Intensive 75˚C for dealing with tricky foodstuffs like hardened muesli. It also comes with an ExtraQuiet mode for nighttime use.

The G5640SC is equipped with a height-adjustable top rack to make space for tall-stalk glasses and open-door drying – the door automatically pops open a smidge at the end of the drying cycle to allow air to circulate and ensure that even plastic items come out bone dry.

Water consumption is exemplary, with the machine using just 6.5l on an average wash – less than the capacity of an average kitchen sink. The hot water connector, meanwhile, reduces electricity consumption by up to 50%.

If you’re in the market for a smaller capacity slimline dishwasher that cleans dishes, pots and cutlery expertly well, then this is the machine for you. Granted, at a snip under £950, it’s not a cheap machine to buy, but then the likelihood of it functioning fault-free for many, many years is very high indeed.

Key specs – Type: Freestanding; Place settings: 7; Energy rating: A++; Water consumption: 6.5l; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery basket/tray: Tray; Adjustable upper rack: Yes

Buy now from Miele

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