The Bosch 300 Series has the most versatile and accommodating racks you’ll find in a dishwasher at this price, including a V-shaped third rack and an adjustable middle rack. The extra capacity and flexibility allow it to hold more items (including hard-to-fit things likes trays, pots, and cooking tools) per cycle than its competitors, all loaded properly so that they should get totally clean. At 44 decibels, the 300 Series is also quieter than other dishwashers at this price, and it’s hushed enough that most people won’t even hear it unless they’re standing next to it. (We’re linking to one popular handle style and finish here, but you can get the 300 Series—like most dishwashers—with other handles and finishes if you prefer.)
Really, any Bosch model that fits your budget—from the basic 100 Series to the whisper-quiet, super-adjustable 800 Series—can be a solid choice. (More on all the variants below—there are dozens, when you account for the different handle styles and finishes.) They all use the same cleaning system, and in our cleaning tests, three different models achieved equally excellent results. Out of all the dishwashers we tested, Bosch dishwashers came the closest to fully washing away the toughest types of stuck-on soils—even when we used the shortest (one-hour wash) cycle or a cheap detergent. Like most dishwashers, they’re all efficient enough to earn the Energy Star badge. Bosch is also one of the better brands in terms of reliability and customer service, and its machines offer better leak protection than most. (In the past, we’ve also ranked Bosch high for customer service. Recent reader complaints, however, have given us pause. We will continue to investigate and update this guide accordingly.)
On the downside, the Bosch 300 Series always leaves plastic dishes at least a little wet at the end of a cycle (nearly all dishwashers struggle to dry plastic completely). Though the pricier 500 Series does better in that regard, and the even more expensive 800 Series dries as well as any dishwasher we’ve tested. Some people also find the layout of Bosch’s bottom rack to be inconvenient or inflexible. Those are good reasons to pick a dishwasher from a different brand, but Bosch’s design is the standard by which other dishwashers should be measured, and its lines are a great starting point for anybody’s research.
The Maytag MDB7959SKZ is another great cleaner from a company with a solid reputation for reliability (though not quite as strong as Bosch on either count). It has a few important differences from the Bosch dishwasher that some people will find appealing. Its heated-dry system is much better at drying plastic items than the passive system in the (similarly priced) Bosch 300 Series. The bottom rack is laid out differently, with a grid of vertical tines that some people find to be more accommodating than Bosch’s prescriptive “zoned” approach, especially for bigger items like pots and pans. One drawback is that this Maytag model is noticeably louder (50 decibels on average) than the Bosch 300 Series—you’ll know it’s running even if you’re a room away—but the sound is easily tolerated. The Maytag also has no third rack, so it can’t hold as many dishes and will be more cluttered. And with especially dirty loads of dishes, cycle times are significantly longer than on a lot of other brands’ machines. Maytag is a sub-brand of Whirlpool, and dishwashers from these two brands have a lot in common with each other. So if you mostly like this Maytag model but it’s out of stock, or if you want slightly different features (not counting the finish or handle, which again, you have a choice of with this model), you could consider a variant instead.
Miele dishwashers are built to last for 20 years of regular use, which is about twice as long as a typical dishwasher (such as a Bosch or Maytag) is capable of. So despite the higher purchase price relative to machines from other brands, Miele dishwashers can actually be a great value in the long term. They’re great dishwashers in the other important ways, too: The cleaning performance is strong (though a step below that of Bosch), they’re very quiet, and the racks are versatile and capacious. The unheated drying system does tend to leave plastic damp, though. The Miele G5006SCUSS is usually the most affordable model in the lineup, and it has many of the same features as the Bosch 300 Series does, including a third rack (though that component is actually a flat utensil tray in this model). All Miele models have an excellent quick-wash cycle, as well as some standout racking features (more on the variants below). One caveat: Qualified Miele service technicians are available in most, but not all, areas of the US, so check the service network before you buy. If you have your Miele serviced by a technician who is not certified by Miele before your warranty expires, you risk losing the warranty.
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