Types of Kitchen Dishwashers

Kitchen dishwashers are excellent appliances to have in any household.

In addition to helping to save a consider amount of time, a dishwasher is also effective in sanitizing dishes and reducing the risk of illness caused by germs and bacteria.  

Dishwashers are available today to suit the needs of various lifestyles, homes and families. Each of these dishwashers varies when it comes to installation requirements and portability.

Before you hit the local appliance store or shop online for a new dishwasher, it is important that you know which one is right for you and your kitchen.

Full Size Dishwashers

A full size dishwasher has the ability to accommodate over 120 pans, pots, plates and cutlery pieces. In fact, with some of the largest models, you may even be able to squeeze in as many as 150 different items for washing.

A full size dishwasher is great for someone who hosts large dinner parties and has a lot of washing to do. These kitchen dishwashers are generally about 24" wide and they are usually water and energy efficient. If you have the need and the space, a full size dishwasher is your best option. Full size dishwashers are available built-in or freestanding.

Built-In Dishwashers

Built-in dishwashers can be fully integrated with the entire front panel hidden behind a cabinet door. They can also be semi-integrated with most of the front panel covered, but with the control panel visible. Because built-in dishwashers are most common, they have the most available upgrades and model varieties.

Built-in kitchen dishwashers provide easy access with no need for relocation to the sink for use. There is no faucet hookup, so the sink can be used for other things when the dishwasher is running. This type of dishwasher requires installation into the plumbing of the home. A permanently installed dishwasher is not recommended for rental homes or apartments.

Freestanding Portable Dishwashers

Full size freestanding dishwashers are similar to the more traditional built-in models. This type of dishwasher is ideal for rental homes, apartments and for anyone who relocates often. These dishwashers do not require any special plumbing installation, just a parking space.

Operation of a freestanding dishwasher is simple. When not in use, it can be rolled into a laundry room or against a back wall in the kitchen. To wash dishes, just wheel it over to the kitchen sink, connect the adapter to the faucet and use it just like a conventional built-in dishwasher.

In general, freestanding dishwashers have the same capacity and features of built-in models, and they provide the same cleaning quality as well. Unlike with their build-in counterparts, this type of dishwasher does not require the sacrifice of any storage space, but you should review your kitchen format to ensure you have a convenient location for it.

Slimline Kitchen Dishwashers

The best option for a kitchen without a lot of space available is a slimline dishwasher. At only 18" wide, they are smaller than traditional full size dishwashers are, but are still able to accommodate as many as 100 items per load.

Just like the full size dishwashers, slimline dishwashers are available built-in or freestanding. Built-in slimline dishwashers can be fully integrated or semi-integrated just like the traditional built-in models. These dishwashers are ideal where space is limited, but for the number of dishes washed the larger models are more water and energy efficient.

Counter Top Dishwashers

Another option when space is a concern is the countertop dishwasher. Usually, these portable dishwashers are roughly the size of a large microwave and available in two different styles.

The most popular and effective countertop dishwashers use electricity to operate. The other type of countertop dishwasher relies solely on water pressure, which is fine as long as sufficient water pressure is available. The electric models feature built-in water heaters, which gets dishes cleaner and saves energy.

Countertop dishwashers usually have a capacity of about 50 items, which will accommodate roughly four place settings. They are more energy and water efficient than full size and slimline kitchen dishwashers.

Drawer Dishwashers

Drawer dishwashers are also often referred to as dishdrawers. These unconventional dishwashers are typically costly, but are regarded as the most convenient type of dishwashers available and can change the way you do dishes. However, only a few brands are available on the current market.

Things to know about drawer dishwashers include that they are available in two different styles: single-drawer and double-drawer. Both styles require the same permanent installation of a traditional built-in dishwasher.

The main benefits of a two drawer dishwasher are due to the drawers operating independently of one another. This means that you can opt to run both or just one at a time. It is even possible to use different wash cycles for each drawer.

These kitchen dishwashers save energy by washing smaller loads. Dishwasher drawers are ideal for someone living alone or couples that only have a few dishes to wash. No bending is required to load these dishwashers and they include similar features and cycles to many high-end models.


Dishwashers are a great way to save time and effort in the kitchen.

Regardless of home and family size, a dishwasher is available to suit your specific needs. Once you have determined the type of dishwasher that is right for you, the next step is to choose the features that you want.


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