2017 Dishwasher Reviews
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Canstar Blue reviews and rates dishwasher brands ASKO, Bosch, Dishlex, Fisher & Paykel, LG, Miele and Westinghouse. Brands have been rated on their performance, internal layout, design, quietness, value for money, and overall customer satisfaction.
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Canstar Blue research finalised in May 2017, published in May 2017.
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Miele continues to clean up in dishwasher ratings
Your dishwasher is probably the unsung hero of your home. It’s there for the morning rush, the evening mess, and the dinner party madness. It’s the ultimate kitchen convenience. But it’s also easy to take for granted – until something goes wrong. You should give serious thought to every household appliance you buy, but this is especially true when it comes to dishwashers. You can happily get away with buying a cheap vacuum cleaner or microwave oven and simply replace it when the inevitable happens. But if you want maximum bang for your dishwashing buck, you’ll likely need to splash the cash – at least, if our 2017 customer review is any indicator.
Each year we survey hundreds of households across Australia to find out which dishwashers are cleaning up in the kitchen, and which are leaving consumers disappointed. Once again all of the major brands have featured in our 2017 results, but only one achieved a five-star overall review from customers – Miele. It’s the fourth year in a row that the German appliance powerhouse has been rated the best of the bunch, with ASKO, Bosch and Dishlex recording four-star reviews this year, followed by Fisher & Paykel, LG and Westinghouse on three stars.
Miele is generally one of the most expensive dishwasher brands on the market, but Australians clearly see the benefit in spending extra on quality. In addition to overall satisfaction, Miele was also rated five stars in regards to performance, internal layout, design, quietness, and value for money – which says something considering Miele dishwashers can cost in excess of $4,000! This year’s dishwasher success adds to Miele’s glowing reputation amongst Aussie consumers, who have also rated the brand best for front loader washing machines in 2017.
This year’s survey of consumers who have recently bought a new dishwasher found that:
- Households spent an average of $829
- 21% bought the cheapest dishwasher available
- 22% are often disappointed with their dishwasher’s performance
- 22% wish they had spent more on a better dishwasher
The case for spending a little extra on a quality appliance seems clear, but what exactly can you get for your money? Let’s review what the seven brands in this year’s ratings have to offer, and what you can expect to pay.
Dishwasher brands in Australia
Miele produces a wide range of built-in and freestanding dishwashers. They have a patented 3D adjustable cutlery tray for bulky utensils, short cycle options, ‘Knock2Open’ handleless opening system and an intuitive user interface. In addition to its features, Miele is also known for being a class-leading brand when it comes to water and energy efficiency, boasting highly respectable star ratings on both counts. However, all of this will come at a cost. Most Miele dishwashers are priced around the $2,000 mark, with some costing as much as $5,000! But that doesn’t seem to worry Aussie customers, rating Miele five stars across the board in our 2017 review.
ASKO is a Swedish appliance brand known for making innovative and stylish appliances – most notably dishwashers. ASKO’s dishwasher range encompasses both built-in and fully-integrated models, with the latter often coming in stylish woodgrain finishes to match your kitchen. ASKO dishwashers feature highly flexible rack solutions, with lock-in clips for light objects, an upper cutlery tray for maximum storage capacity, a crystal glass racking facility for wine glasses, and intuitive control interfaces for ease of use. Many models are available for less than $1,500, but most are above this mark, with a few costing closer to $3,000. ASKO was a solid performer this year, rated four stars for overall satisfaction and in most categories, with the exception of value for money and quietness where it was rated three stars each.
Like Miele, Bosch is a German appliance manufacturer with a large range of dishwashers. Many are still made in Germany, but others are made in other European countries. For German-made models, you can expect to pay a slight price premium, however there is a range of prices to suit a lot of customers. Some cost less than $1,000, while others cost well in excess of $2,000. Bosch dishwashers come equipped with a wide range of rack options and flexibility, and many models are modular, meaning their small size can easily fit in more places. Many models boast separate compartments for wine glasses, with ‘GlassSecure’ protective trays for protecting crystal. Many also boast five-star WELS water efficiency ratings, with some consuming as little as 10-12L per cycle. Bosch was a solid performer in our 2017 dishwasher comparison, recording four stars for overall satisfaction and in every other category.
Dishlex is a kitchen appliance specialist, owned by the Electrolux group. Some of its products are still made in Australia, while others are made in either Asia or Europe. Dishlex has a strong focus on budget-friendly prices and simple and effective dishwashing. Dishlex dishwashers cost as little as around $500, while the dearest can be had for just under $1,200 or so. Features are basic, with many models having simple rotary dials to choose your wash setting, and basic yet spacious internal layouts. Most impressive, however, is that most of Dishlex’s dishwashers have smart load sensing, which adjusts water levels to suit your load, which can save on water. Some models use less than 12L per cycle. Dishlex was rated four stars for overall satisfaction, but was rated three stars for internal layout, design, and quietness.
Fisher & Paykel
Adding to the spread of countries represented in this report, Fisher & Paykel is a company from New Zealand and some of its products are still made across the ditch. Fisher & Paykel is perhaps best known in the dishwasher world for its innovative dish drawer solutions, where instead of a folding door, you get a drawer. This makes it easy for apartment dwellers short on space, or for those who just want to plonk their dishes in from the top. While these dish drawer dishwashers are generally less energy efficient than their traditional counterparts, the convenience factor is notable. Fisher & Paykel’s dishwashers start at under $1,000, while the more expensive models cost around $2,200, with double dish drawer models costing a little extra. Fisher & Paykel rated three stars for overall satisfaction in 2017, but scored a respectable four stars for performance, internal layout, and design.
LG is a South Korean electronics giant, known for manufacturing feature-rich appliances, from TVs to mobile phones, to washing machines and dishwashers. LG’s dishwashers feature Smart Diagnosis, whereby you can use a smartphone app to send troubleshooting information from your dishwasher directly to LG’s customer service team. As for LG dishwashers themselves, you can expect some models to feature ‘Hybrid Dry’, which heats dishes from the used hot water to dry the load, and has a built-in fan to accelerate the whole drying process. This can aid in better energy efficiency. Most models also feature smart racks, which have many adjustable elements to suit the wide variety of glasses and dishes the typical Aussie household uses. LG dishwashers start at around $1,000, but you can expect to pay a little more for the most high end models. LG was rated three stars for overall satisfaction and in every category in 2017, except in regards to design where it was rated four stars.
Born out of the USA, Westinghouse is now an Electrolux-owned company and makes all manner of home appliances, including dishwashers. Westinghouse specialises in both freestanding and under-bench dishwashers, with the cheapest models available for around $500, while the most expensive cost more than $1,200. Features that are commonly packed in include cycle sensors to help with water efficiency, super-fast wash cycles, hygiene and water safety systems, as well as adjustable rack solutions. Many models boast WELS ratings better than 4.5 stars, with some consuming less than 13L per cycle. Westinghouse’s dishwashers were rated three stars in every category this year.
Our latest appliance reviews featured in a special 7 News report.
Buying a dishwasher: Things to consider
Any dishwasher worth its salt should be able to fulfil the most basic task of washing your dishes at the end of the evening, but there are several factors worth considering to ensure you buy the best dishwasher for your household’s needs, including size, capacity and internal layout.
The standard size of a dishwasher is 60cm wide and 60cm deep, but the height of dishwashers can vary significant between brands and model types, typically 82-85cm. Slimline dishwashers can be considerably smaller, around 45cm wide. Be sure to take measurements of the kitchen space you have in mind before choosing which dishwasher is best for you. Whichever type you go with, it’s recommended you leave a little space around your dishwasher for ventilation.
A dishwasher’s capacity is measured by the number of ‘place settings’ it can accommodate in a single wash cycle. Most freestanding and fully-integrated dishwashers come with a capacity of 14 place settings, but some high end models can be larger. Smaller dishwasher types often have smaller capacities of around 6-7 place settings. Consider your daily use of dishes and cutlery to decide what capacity would be best for your household. Having to use a small dishwasher twice a day, rather than a large model once, is going to result in higher ongoing costs.
Anyone who has ever felt the frustration of not being able to properly accommodate different sized cooking utensils, saucepans or frying pans into a dishwasher will be able to appreciate the importance of a good – and flexible – internal layout. If you regularly need to wash large and unusual items, look for a dishwasher that provides maximum flexibility – including being able to move or remove other internal elements to create extra space.
Energy efficiency is also an important consideration when picking a new dishwasher. Australia’s Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme (WELS) rates appliances based on how much water they use to get the job done. The labels show star ratings from zero to six, as well as how many litres of water will likely be used. The higher the star rating, the more water efficient the appliance will be. It’s a similar deal when it comes to energy ratings, with the number of stars indicating the efficiency of appliances. Dishwashers with high energy and water ratings will typically cost more to buy, but the trade-off is you stand to save more over time through reduced utility bills.
As well as identifying which dishwasher brands are rated best in Australia, this year’s review can also show what drives overall customer satisfaction when consumers buy a new dishwasher. All of us want to bag a bargain on our major household appliances, but keep these findings in mind when shopping around because they reflect what is important to Aussie consumers once they have got their new dishwasher home and have started using it.
- Performance: 28%
- Internal layout: 24%
- Value for money: 24%
- Design (appearance/finish): 16%
- Quietness while operating: 9%
While price is very important – and no one wants to pay more than they have to – it’s probably best to focus on a dishwasher’s performance credentials first and foremost. If you can also get a great deal on the price, then even better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have bought and used a new dishwasher in the last 3 years – in this case, 751 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.