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What to Look for in a Dishwasher

Nov 04, 2021

A woman loading dishes into a dishwasher

A dishwasher is one of the most useful appliances in the kitchen. It's what allows you to wash dishes without having to do them by hand, which would otherwise be time-consuming and tedious. But what should you look for when shopping for a dishwasher? There are many factors that need to be taken into account including what needs your dishwasher will fill, what features are included and how much it will cost you. This article breaks down each factor to consider so you can shop for dishwashers with more informed options. Let’s get into it!

Factors to Consider

When you're looking for a new dishwasher, you want to make sure you're taking your needs into consideration. If you don't have many family members or rarely use your dishwasher, then it's likely not worth spending a lot of money on one with lots of features that you'll never really use. It may be better to invest in something more basic and affordable instead. However, if you frequently host large dinner parties or have a large family, you will likely want to invest in a dishwasher with more features and additional room so you can accommodate your family’s needs.

How it Cleans

There is nothing more frustrating than putting dishes into a dishwasher and having them come out dirty. A dishwasher with a good cycle will clean, rinse and dry all of your dishes to leave you with nothing but sparkling clean silverware, plates and glasses. Many of today’s newest dishwasher models even have enhanced cleaning features like jets, independent spray arms, and rotating filters to give your dishes even more shine and sanitization.

How it Dries

It's important that dishes get dried properly after they have been through a cycle. These days most dishwashers come with some sort of drying feature to make sure that your dishes are dried once the cycle is complete. It’s important to do your research and read consumer reviews about the dishwasher you are considering. Many consumers will leave comments and ratings about how well a dishwasher dries, which can be helpful as you assess various models.

Noise Level

Noise level is another important factor to consider because even though some dishwashers are designed for a more compact space, they can still be extremely loud when in use. If you have an open floor plan or live in a small apartment with paper-thin walls then you will want what is called a "quiet" model, meaning it won't disturb the rest of your house while the dishes are being done.

Cycle Capabilities

Many of today’s latest dishwasher models offer the same basic washing cycles like light, normal and heavy, which are mainly used for pots and pans. More advanced dishwasher models, however, also include specialized cycles that add extra cleaning power or tackle different types of dishwashing chores. With more cycles and options, comes more ability to customize cleaning for different types of loads. But more cycles and features also come with a bigger price tag, so we encourage you to consider what types of dishes — and how often you plan on cleaning them — when determining a dishwasher with enhanced, specialized cycles. 

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is something that everyone should take into consideration, because what may seem like a small amount on your electric bill can ultimately add up over the years. By leasing an ENERGY STAR® certified dishwasher, you are not only doing your part in helping the environment, but saving on long-term energy costs.


As mentioned, when doing your research on dishwashers, we recommend looking at reviews to see how other people feel about particular models. These reviews might help you narrow your focus on what you’re looking for, and ultimately, help you decide whether a certain dishwasher is right for you.

What To Do Before You Go Shopping

Feeling ready and prepared before you start shopping for a dishwasher can help you save time and money. Doing your research is key to being prepared before shopping for this important appliance.

It may sound silly, but making a wish list of your favorite features can help you find exactly what you’re looking for in a dishwasher. This can keep you focused and help with staying on budget.

What Works Best for Your Space?

There are traditional built-in dishwashers that are great if you have the space. If you don’t, no fear. Many dishwasher manufacturers offer compact models that are smaller and take up less space.

Set Your Budget

Creating a budget and sticking to it is important so that you won’t be tempted to overspend. Acima understands that dishwashers don’t come cheap, especially if the one you have your eye on includes fancy settings and modern features. That’s what we’re here for — to get you the dishwasher you’d like with a lease-purchase agreement* that works for you. Our no credit option* makes getting your new dishwasher easy and affordable. Plus, we partner with name-brand appliance retailers so you have access to hundreds of today’s latest-and-greatest models.


How can my dishwasher save me money?

At Acima, we advocate for saving money where you can. A couple of ways we recommend reducing costs associated with your dishwasher are to shop for ENERGY STAR® certified dishwashers, running your dishwasher during off-peak times (when energy costs are lower), and running loads when the dishwasher is full instead of doing partial loads.

How much does a dishwasher cost to run?

Generally, it is estimated that running your dishwasher for one hour, five days a week will cost you around $1.17 a week.1

Should my dishwasher be built-in?

Determining if your dishwasher should be built-in or portable depends on your individual needs. You should consider what you will be washing, the size of your kitchen and what appliances already exist in your home before making a decision.

Can I shop for a sustainable dishwasher?

Yes! We encourage people to shop for dishwashers that are ENERGY STAR rated. This will not only help reduce energy costs, but will also help the environment.


  1. How Much Does It Cost to Run a Dishwasher?” — Inspire, April 21, 2021