The best countertop dishwashers offer a convenient solution if you don’t have room for one of the best dishwashers in your kitchen. These neat portable dishwashers sit next to your kitchen sink and connect temporarily to the faucet, while some models also take water from a built-in tank too.
The best countertop dishwashers come with all the great design elements of a full-size dishwasher and include features such as delayed start, glass cycles, and cup shelves too. While these compact appliances might not suit all households, they offer an excellent solution to renters who do not have a dishwasher in their kitchen, and you can also use them in RVs leaving more time for leisure and less time on household chores.
Here we look at a range of portable dishwasher options from the likes of RCA, Magic Chef, and Black + Decker - all of which offer great cleaning at lower prices than full-size machines. If you are looking for a countertop dishwasher option that comes with a water tank, then we’ve also included the Farberware FDW05ASBWHA that provides even more convenience for your money.
If you need other compact appliances for your kitchen, check out our guide to the best mini fridges. Whichever small appliance you’re after, take note of how many people it has been designed for, as most of these models won’t be suitable for families of more than two people. For now, though, let’s take a look at the best countertop dishwashers for 2021.
As convenient as countertop dishwashers are, many of these appliances take their water directly from your faucet. This means you have to place the dishwasher near your sink, which might not suit your kitchen setup. However, the super-convenient Farberware FDW05ASBWHA comes with a built-in five-liter water tank so it can be operated away from the faucet.
The Farberware FDW05ASBWHA’s ratings on Amazon are 75% five-star ratings. Users liked that this model comes with a tank and that the water hoses spray from the top and the bottom of the machine. Some users, however, weren’t pleased to find that they couldn’t fit pots and pans in this countertop dishwasher, and some also found the wash cycles to take a long time.
While it will still need a large enough receptacle to drain the water into as it washes, this appliance provides more freedom in your small kitchen, especially if space is particularly tight. It’s also convenient for use in RVs.
Other features of the Farberware FDW05ASBWHA include a fruit-cleaning cycle as well as a baby-care cycle for sterilizing bottles and toys. This also makes it handy for larger kitchens where extra back-up is needed for additional tasks. What’s more, it looks great too with a see-through front so you can see it in action as it washes.
Best quiet countertop dishwasher
Living in a small apartment often means you will hear every squeak and creak in your living space – not great if you work from home or want to relax in the evening. However, this neat little countertop dishwasher from Magic Chef is perfect if you want to keep noise to the minimum – with just 52 dB of noise it’s quiet enough for you to barely notice it’s there.
Users rate the Magic Chef MCSCD6B5 highly for how quietly it operates. Others were also impressed with how affordable it is to run, with one user claiming their “water bill went down by a substantial amount.” There are some negative reviews too. These include comments about how this countertop dishwasher failed to dry dishes.
The Magic Chef MCSCD6B5 includes six wash cycles to choose from including Heavy, Normal, Light, and Quick, plus there’s also a glass cycle and standard rinse. Other great features include a delayed-start function so you can control when it starts your chosen wash cycle. It also comes in two colors – black or white – to fit in with your kitchen decor.
What’s more, the Magic Chef MCSCD6B5 has a handy delay-start feature so that you can set this dishwasher 24-hours before you actually want it to start washing. Its filters are easy to clean, and it’s also fitted with an anti-flood sensor. Unlike some other models, the Magic Chef MCSCD6B5 should also be able to fit pots and pans in without too much struggle either.
Best small countertop dishwasher
Size matters when it comes to kitchen appliances especially if space is at a premium. But just because you have a small kitchen it doesn’t mean you have to skip on the luxuries either, which is why hOmeLabs’ Compact Countertop Dishwasher is a great solution for one- or two-person small-apartment living.
Users rate the hOmeLabs’ Compact Countertop Dishwasher highly for its easy set up and also how quietly this model works too. An impressive 76% of Amazon.com reviews have five star ratings. It’s not without its faults, though, as some users said they felt the need to rinse everything thoroughly before using the dishwasher, and that it’s not the most powerful.
This countertop dishwasher comes with all the great features you’ll find with many of our other recommended machines, but with its compact size of 21.6 x 19.6 x 17.2-inches and great looks too, it will seamlessly blend into your kitchen to offer all the convenience you need.
And while cheaper models exist, having six wash cycles and enough room to wash pots and pans might be worth the price. The hOmeLabs’ Compact Countertop Dishwasher is also nicely quiet in operation, making it even more essential for your small home.
Best budget countertop dishwasher
The RCA RDW3208 countertop dishwasher is a winner when it comes to affordability. It’s not only a great option for everyday washing-up chores, but it packs a lot in too, easily coping with six place settings and, with its convenient flip-down plate-rack, it can also take pots and pans.
Users rate the RCA RDW3208 highly across a range of retailer websites. Praise for this machine includes comments on how quietly it operates, how well it accommodates pots and pans, and how easy it is to set up and switch on.
Not all users rave about this countertop dishwasher though. Criticisms come in the form of users wishing they were able to stack plates properly, rather than having to slant them. Users also claim this dishwasher uses a lot of counter space too.
Supplying this countertop dishwasher with water is straightforward – simply use the included easy-connect kit, which comes with everything you need to provide the appliance with water from your faucet.
Other perks for the price include a cutlery basket and cup shelf for an efficient and thorough wash, while its neat dimensions ensure it fits perfectly into your small kitchen. While a few more wash cycle choices would have been welcome, and a longer warranty would be great too, we can’t complain too much as this budget option does exactly what you need to get the job done.
Best high-end countertop dishwasher
The Black + Decker BCD6W will appeal if you prefer to shop with trusted brands and don’t mind paying for the name.
There are seven wash programs on offer, all of which deliver tip-top cleaning and efficiency. On top of the regular Heavy and Normal cycles are Babycare, Eco, Glass, Speed, and Rinse programs - all welcome additions no matter what size your household. The Babycare wash an added bonus for keeping on top of busy family life.
Users rate the Black + Decker BCD6W highly for how easy it is to install and how efficiently it works too. Other reviews add that this countertop dishwasher works quietly and “cleans dishes perfectly”. Some users do mention that the connection hose for this portable dishwasher isn’t very good and is prone to leaking. A few comments also state how much space this appliance takes up, despite its small capacity.
The Black + Decker BCD6W countertop dishwasher also includes handy child-lock and pause features – little extras that make this appliance just that little bit more convenient. And with room enough for six settings, there’s plenty to love about this great-looking dishwasher.
However, if you want all the great features, but are looking for more in the way of affordability then you might want to check out one of our other top picks.
When should you buy a countertop dishwasher?
Countertop dishwashers are a fantastic solution for those that are simply sick of washing up and don't have the space for a standard size dishwasher. What's more, countertop appliances are also typically cheaper because they're not as big and they don't tend to cost as much to run either.
Some countertop dishwashers do require connecting to your faucet, however, and they can be pretty big, despite being designed for your countertop. Unless they have a tank, they'll also need to be positioned near the sink so that they can have a supply of water and somewhere to drain into.
If you're already tight on space, we'd definitely recommend measuring the space where you're planning on placing a countertop dishwasher, and also considering whether there is space for it right next to the sink.
Do you need a plumber to install a countertop dishwasher?
You won't need a plumber to install a countertop dishwasher. That's because these types of appliances aren't actually plumbed into your mains water supply. Many simply sit on your countertop and connect to your faucet.
Other types of countertop dishwasher have a built-in tank. That means you won't need to connect them to a faucet for them to begin washing the dishes, but you will need to provide them with somewhere to drain after.
These types of appliances are often called portable dishwashers and it's true, you really can connect these units and then disconnect them and put them away should you need to.
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