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Stainless steel is as popular as ever. With a sleek modern appearance, it’s a natural choice for appliances, giving any kitchen a timeless, elegant appeal. The refrigerator may get all the glory in kitchen design, but a stainless steel dishwasher is just as important.
But looks aren’t everything. A stainless finish usually costs more than black or white, so you’ll want to ensure that the dishwasher you choose has great cleaning power and dries the dishes well.
Why stainless steel dishwashers are a better choice
A stainless steel dishwasher isn’t just sleeker—it’s quieter. A stainless interior holds back dishwashing noise much better than plastic. That’s essential when you want to have conversations in the kitchen, and is especially important for homes with an open floor plan. The sound of a dishwasher should never overpower the volume of the TV.
In addition to being quieter, stainless steel models offer other advantages. Stainless dishwashers can give you cleaner and more sanitary dishes because they can deal with higher water temperatures. A stainless interior gets hotter than a plastic interior, which can give dishes a better chance at drying.
How and why we test all dishwashers
All the dishwashers that come into Reviewed’s labs go through the same testing process, where we evaluate performance, features, and usability.
Credit: Reviewed / Julia MacDougall
We stain dishes with milk, spinach, egg, oatmeal, meat, spinach, and more. Then we load them in a dishwasher and determine how much stain the dishwasher removed.
We smear dishes with food stains that include milk, spinach, egg, oatmeal, meat, and more. Then we load them and run them through the three major cycles on a dishwasher (Quick, Heavy, and Normal). We evaluate the amount of stain removed from each dish.
Redeposit is what happens when a dishwasher removes food particles from some dishes that get stuck on other dishes. We give a higher score to dishwashers with little or no redeposit.
Number of dirty dishes
After a dishwasher cycle completes, we count the number of dishes that are not 100% clean.
Shorter cycle times are far more convenient, especially when it takes more than one load to clean the dishes after a holiday meal.
It’s reasonable to expect a dishwasher to be able to produce dry dishes that you can put on the table as soon as you unload them. Many dishwashers fail, especially on plastics. We penalize a dishwasher for each dish that comes out wet.
Every dishwasher is also evaluated on its specific features. A third rack makes excellent use of real estate inside the machine.
The main cycles, Normal, Heavy, and Quick, are essential, but a Sanitize cycle can be useful if there’s a baby in the home or when someone in the family is ill. Frequent hosts might look for a dishwasher with stemware holders and a Delicate cycle to clean wine glasses.
Everyone’s needs are different, so you should decide before you shop which features are most important to you. The dishwashers that do best in our tests have the shortest cycles, do a stellar job removing food stains, and dry the dishes well.
Which stainless steel dishwasher should I buy?
After we tested dozens of stainless steel dishwashers in our labs, these models rose to the top of our list.
Bosch 800 Series SHPM98W75N (2017) Credit: Bosch
This gleaming stainless steel Bosch 800 Series dishwasher has a contemporary look with a pocket handle. It came out at the top in our testing.
The Bosch 800 Series dishwashers are the best we’ve ever tested. They look sleek, get dishes sparkling clean, dry them well, and operate quietly. The 800 Series dishwashers have six wash cycles, along with desirable features.
Some of our favorites include touch controls, a third rack for silverware, a detergent dispenser made for detergent pods, and a running light that shines on the floor while a cycle runs. That’s a useful feature because these dishwashers operate so quietly, you might accidentally open the door while it’s running.
Get the Bosch 800 Series SHPM98W75N dishwasher for $1,119.10 at Appliances Connection
Bosch 500 Series SHPM65W55N Credit: Bosch
The Bosch 500 Series dishwasher is quiet, cleans dishes to a spotless shine, and comes with many extras that make it a stellar value. It dries dishes as well as it cleans them.
Bosch’s 500 Series dishwashers perform almost perfectly, quietly cleaning dishes to a sparkling finish and drying them well. Each SHPM65W55N dishwasher rocks a smooth-gliding third rack, an extra drying option, and a Quick cycle.
Get the Bosch 500 Series SHPM65W55N dishwasher for $849.10 at Appliances Connection
Bosch 300 Series SHXM63WS5N Credit: Bosch
Bosch 300 Series dishwashers look as sleek as pricier Bosch models and remove almost 100% of stains. It offers a third rack, an adjustable upper rack, and solid drying.
With a smooth, sleek exterior, quiet operation, and excellent stain removal on each of the main cycles, this dishwasher is a great value. It offers five cycles, a standard third rack, and solid drying performance.
Get the Bosch 300 Series SHXM63WS5N for $1,029.10 at Appliances Connection
Samsung DW80R995OUT Credit: Samsung
This Samsung DW80R9950UT has an elegant look and a deep third rack. Its cleaning and drying performance is near-perfect.
With top-notch cleaning performance, near-perfect drying, minimal redeposit, and a third rack that holds silverware, ladles, and whisks, this dishwasher is outstanding. The speedy cycles, futuristic control panel, and fingerprint-resistant exterior save time and keep the kitchen looking its best.
Get the Samsung DW80R995OUT for $844.70 at Appliances Connection
LG LDF5545ST Credit: LG
The LG LDF5545ST is an excellent affordable dishwasher. The controls are responsive, the racks are sturdy, and the layout makes it easy to load.
This dishwasher has a handsome look with a unique integrated handle, but the best part is behind the door. Quiet, efficient, and boasting a terrific cleaning performance, the LG leaves dishes spotless. Its Heavy Cycle removed 100% of stains on every dish with no redeposit. This model is feature-filled and well-priced.
Get the LG LDF5545ST for $569 at Appliances Connection
LG LDP6797ST Credit: LG
This dishwasher is all about customization. Cleaning is solid, and the seven cycles and numerous temperature and drying options let you decide how to run each load.
Customization is this dishwasher’s strong suit. With adjustable racks, two spray zones for partial loads, seven cycles, and a number of temperature and drying settings, this dishwasher permits you to choose the options that work best for your dishes. The Heavy cycle is better at cleaning than the Normal or Quick cycles, but since it is somewhat slow, it may be best to run it at night.
Get the LG LDP6797ST for $805.10 at Appliances Connection
Bosch 800 Series SHPM88Z75N (2019) Credit: Bosch
The latest dishwasher in the Bosch 800 series is sleek looking, excellent at cleaning, rocks well-machined racks, and dries dishes impeccably, even plastics.
Rocking Bosch’s trademark good looks, very quiet operation, and effective cleaning, this new model contains zeolite, a mineral that ensures dry dishes. This Bosch removes the toughest stains, though you may see a small amount of redeposit occasionally.
Get the Bosch 800 Series SHPM88Z75N for $1,254 at Appliances Connection
Bosch Benchmark SHE89PW55N Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar
The Benchmark Series dishwashers are Bosch's flagship models. They are made in Germany to exacting standards.
Bosch Benchmark series dishwashers are made in Germany to exacting standards. The SHE89PW55N is the quietest Bosch dishwasher we’ve tested and its performance is a marvel on the Normal, Quick, and Heavy cycles. Priced for those who appreciate the finer things, dishwashers in the Benchmark series deliver LCD touchscreens, telescoping racks, a deep third rack, and bright lighting.
Get the Bosch Benchmark SHE89PW55N for $1,699 at Appliances Connection
Electrolux EI24ID81SS Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar
The Electrolux EI24ID81SS is a great-looking dishwasher that cleans very well. The Heavy cycle is the best but it runs slowly.
An attractive model that cleans as well as it looks, this model provides nine different cycles and offers a high temp setting, a stemware cycle, and Eco wash. The 30-minute Fast cycle lets you wash lightly-soiled dishes quickly but if you’re in no hurry and you have to clean really dirty dishes, the much slower Heavy cycle is the one to use.
Get the Electrolux EI24ID81SS for $1,073.10 at Appliances Connection
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.