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No-one likes washing up, especially after a long and enjoyable meal with friends and family when all you want to do is flop into bed.

A dishwasher saves you time and effort. Simply gather up the dirty dishes, shut them away out of sight in the dishwasher, and then press a button when you’re ready for the machine to do all the hard work of washing and drying (and undoubtedly doing a better job than any of us could do by hand!).

With hundreds of models out there, it can be difficult to choose what to invest in when it comes to purchasing a new dishwasher, which is why we’ve compiled this handy guide to help you pick the right one for you.


Dishwashers specify their size in terms of the maximum number of place settings they can wash at one time, which includes dishes, cups, saucers, tumblers and cutlery. A typical four person family needs a full size one, which takes a 12 place setting, but if space is an issue a slimline model, which is less wide and only fits nine place settings but has the same height and depth, would be more suitable. Smaller dishwashers are perfect for those who live on their own or with just one another, or if you regularly eat out. An alternative is to buy something totally unique, such as Fisher & Paykel’s Dishdrawer, which pulls out like a drawer for easier access, better use of space, and, if you invest in a double drawer model, gives you the ability to do half loads, using less water and detergent.


The features you want will depend on your lifestyle but it is useful to have a cutlery basket, or else a narrow shelf at the top which takes cutlery lying down, a knife clip, a flexible racking system, and space for oversized platters and long-stemmed wine glasses. Other useful features include a child lock, end of cycle beeps, an energy saving delay start option, and quiet operation. Some dishwashers feature a detergent dispenser which pumps water through the detergent to thoroughly dilute it before it enters the dishwasher so that you’re not left with any residue on dishes and others have intelligent sensors which sense the load and only use the amount of water necessary for it.


Look for a dishwasher which offers a variety of wash programmes, including delicate, eco, heavy, and rinse. Not every load is going to be the same so a range of options offers the flexibility to customise each wash.

Energy Efficiency

To save money and help protect the environment, a low energy consumption dishwasher is a must. When it comes to energy efficiency, not all dishwashers are created equal but industry regulations have made it easy for consumers to quickly separate those which are highly energy efficient from those which are less so. Look out for the ENERGY STAR label, which means the product has reached the highest category possible in terms of efficiency, and the energy rating, which rates efficiency on a star system.

With a huge variety of dishwashers on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for you but our guide will help you navigate the options.

Image credit: Fisher & Paykel Appliances Limited