Dishwasher Buying Guide

Save time, water, and energy with a do-it-all dishwasher instead of hand-washing in the sink. Modern dishwashers don't require pre-rinsing before loading, saving you more water than ever before. Whether it's a portable dishwasher, compact dishwasher, or standard built-in dishwasher, read our buying guide to discover which one is right for you.

The Right Dishwasher for Your Needs

Long gone are the days of white bulky, boxy dishwashers. Today's dishwashers are sleek, quiet machines with plenty of high-tech features. Whether you're looking for a permanent addition or a temporary appliance you can roll in and out, we've got one that suits your needs.

Types of Dishwashers

There are three main types of dishwashers: compact, built-in, and portable.

Compact Dishwashers

Typically listed as 18 inch dishwashers, they're ideal for areas like wet bars, media rooms, or secondary kitchens. Widths range from 17.5 to 18 in., depths range from 22 to 22.5 in. (including the handle), and heights range from 34.4 to 35 in.


Great Built-In Dishwashers

Installed below the kitchen counter, these dishwashers are usually 24 in. Although different models vary in dimension, most widths range from 23.5 to 24 in., depths range from 23.25 to 28 in. (including the handle), and heights range from 33.75 to 35 in.


Portable Dishwashers

There's no need for special installation, as this type has wheels and hooks up to the sink. Dimensions can vary quite a bit, but most widths range from 20.5 to 24.8 in., depths range from 27 to 30 in. (including the handle), and heights range from 35 to 38.5 in. Taller models often feature an integrated laminate countertop.


Good to Know

Dishwashers with a tall tub design all you to fit a greater variety of item sizes and shapes.

Special Features

Look for these features to make washing dishes even easier.

Cleanability & Performance

Clean and sanitize dishes with advanced wash options like varying wash type (waterwall, rotary spray, high-pressure jets); targeted wash areas; steam clean; bottle jets; hard food disposer; built-in water softener; and built-in water heater.

Noise Level

Check the decibel rating to find a whisper-quiet dishwasher. A rating of 45 or under will be virtually silent — similar to a low discussion in a library or quieter, while levels between 45 and 50 sound similar to a rainfall. A rating of 50 or more is akin to a normal conversation.


Customize tub space to make room for larger dishes, pots, and pans with dishwashers that come with removable racks and adjustable shelves. Some models also have third rack options so you can fit in oversized utensils, as well as stemware holders to protect wine glasses.

Water & Energy Savings

ENERGY STAR® certified dishwashers use less water and less energy than other models. You may be eligible for local rebates when buying qualified ENERGY STAR®-certified appliances.


Look for stainless steel to protect your dishwasher from odours and stains, as moist air condenses on the tub and rolls down to the drain instead of pooling in low spots. If price economy is top of your list, plastic is a good and durable option. For the best of both worlds, shop for a dishwasher that contains both.


Control panels come in one of two varieties: on the front of the door on a recessed handle, where they're fully visible, or on the top edge of the door, hidden to provide a clean, flush look. Lights indicate what cycle is being used and where in the cycle the dishwasher is, letting you know the status at a glance.

Semi-hidden controls are also available. These are mounted on the front of the door in a recessed handle.


Some dishwashers come with self-cleaning filtration systems, while others have removable filters to make that part of maintenance easy.


Sensors help your dishwasher work at top levels for cleaning, performance, and energy savings, with the most common sensor types being: soil level for precise wash times; temperature so the right water temperature is being used; water sensors to maintain the right amount of water needed for a cycle; detergent so dishes get as much soap as is needed; and leak sensors to prevent water damage.


Whether you're washing heavy-duty pots and fines or fine china, select a customized cycle to ensure they're washed according to their needs. Various examples of cycles are: delayed wash, which lets you set the start time anywhere from one to 24 hours ahead; rinse and hold to rinse away food on a partial load of dishes to eliminate bacteria and smell without using detergent; wash programs to provide custom settings for all sorts of loads; quick-wash so you can finish a load of lightly soiled dishes in less time; and sanitize, which kills 99.9% of bacteria, making it great for cutting boards and baby bottles.

Other Features

Other features include fan-assisted drying; heated drying; smart connectivity; fingerprint-resistant finishes, and more.

Energy Savings Rebate Program Ontario

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