If you’re short on space in your kitchen, the best countertop dishwashers will save the day. Handwashing can quickly take up time and space in a small kitchen, but if you can’t quite squeeze in one of the best dishwashers, that doesn’t mean you have to be left with no other option. Portable dishwashers have all the same handy features as a regular dishwasher, just in a version that can sit neatly on top of your counter rather than taking up all that precious cupboard space.
Of course, the best countertop dishwashers don’t have quite the same level of space inside as a full-sized dishwasher does. Nevertheless, most of the models in our lineup can still comfortably fit small plates, bowls, mugs and cutlery. Some models may also be able to fit smaller pots and pans too. Just look out for models with a larger capacity and over six place settings.
Getting a countertop dishwasher takes away the trouble of fitting a full-sized dishwasher too. One of the biggest perks is that you won’t need to call out a plumber to install your machine because you can connect it to a water tank or faucet yourself with just a little tinkering. If it’s a water tank you opt to use over a faucet, just be sure to keep an eye on the water level and make sure it’s topped up regularly.
The best countertop dishwashers are also well-equipped with cycles that will add some shine to your dishes. These could include eco settings, baby care and heavy cycles. Overall, five or more cycles is a good number for the best countertop dishwasher.
Best countertop dishwasher overall
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 countertop dishwasher with a built-in tank
Although at the slightly higher-priced end of compact dishwashers, the Novete TDQR01 packs a lot of features and performance into one of the most compact, convenient and stylish-looking portable dishwashers we’ve seen.
The Novete TDQR01 can be connected to the faucet with the included hose and connector, or you can easily top up the 1.3-gallon built-in water tank and enjoy the freedom to place the dishwasher anywhere you like, even in an RV.
The Novete TDQR01 has received glowing praise across several consumer sites including Amazon and Walmart, with customers expressing their satisfaction at the machine’s compact good looks and the freedom afforded by its water tank or faucet connection. Users love how quiet the Novete TDQR01 runs and how generally inconspicuous the machine is (until that fairly divisive blue light appears, that is). Some have expressed disappointment at the Novete’s limited capacity, however, with some users struggling to load it with larger pans or pots, but if you’re willing to trade some load capacity for versatility and performance then most customers agree that the Novete TDQR01 is a great choice for a compact countertop dishwasher.
The Novete TDQR01 is simple to use thanks to a clear LCD control panel, and offers five wash programs: Normal, Speed, ECO, Baby Care/Heavy, and a Fruit rinse mode with the included fruit basket. The Novete also offers an Air Dry function as well as ventilation that protects against the build-up of odors should you need to leave your dishwasher unattended for a time.
While this portable dishwasher offers clean, modern looks, it is only available in white. Sadly, while an interior LED light provides some welcome illumination and complements the dual-layer viewing window, the deep blue color might be a little off-putting for some.
The TDQR01 is also among the quietest – if not the quietest – dishwashers we’ve reviewed and is rated at only 50 decibels. Unfortunately, the appliance is not Energy Star Certified that we could see.
Best energy-efficient countertop dishwasher
The Danby DDW621WDB offers a simple and elegant solution if your home doesn’t have the space for a full-size dishwasher. In fact, the Danby DDW621WDB performs every bit as well as larger machines, thanks to six wash programs and room to fit up to six standard place settings, five to six cups and assorted silverware in the included basket.
Simple to install and operate, the Danby DDW621WDB includes all the hoses and attachments needed to hook it up to your faucet, while all of the machine’s functions are clearly displayed on an LED dial. We would have liked to have seen a digital LED timer, however.
The Danby DDW621WDB scores very well among Amazon users, with around 71% of customers scoring the appliance five stars. Overall, customers have been impressed with the machine’s generous capacity and the simplicity of its installation, its energy-efficiency and almost whisper-quiet volume while running. Some users found the tray layout a bit limiting when stacking regular dishes with larger items like saucepans, but nearly all customers were impressed with the machine’s cleaning performance.
The Danby DDW621WDB is also among the most energy-efficient portable dishwashers we’ve reviewed. It is Energy Star certified and is rated to use approximately 203kWh per year, and each wash only uses around 3.1 gallons of water. Add to that the fact that the Danby DDW621WDB emits only around 52 decibels while in use and you have a dishwasher that is not only economical but is about as unobtrusive as such machines get.
While it would have been good to be able to choose other color and style options other than white, the Danby DDW621WDB is still an attractive and reliable countertop dishwasher for most homes.
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 countertop dishwasher for range of features
For such a compact, low profile countertop dishwasher, the EdgeStar DWP62BL punches well above its 44Ib weight, offering almost as many features as a full-size dishwasher but with adequate space to accommodate six standard place settings, a cutlery basket, and a rack that can hold up to six cups or mugs.
Better yet, the EdgeStar is not only among the more affordable countertop dishwashers but also the most economical too. The machine is Energy Star certified and is rated to use only about 200kw a year through normal operation.
The EdgeStar DWP62BL scores highly with customers impressed by the machine’s ample capacity, wide choice of wash cycles and ease-of-use, with over 73% of Amazon reviews handing the EdgeStar five-star ratings. While some expressed disappointment that the dishwasher does not have a drying function, a significant majority of users praised the EdgeStar’s convenient compact form and dependable performance.
Installing the EdgeStar is a breeze as the machine comes with all the connectors needed to hook it up to your faucet. The machine is operated via a simple console displaying an impressive seven cycles (light, normal, heavy, glass, baby care, speed and rinse), with indicators to tell you when you’re low on rinse aid and how much time is left on your current cycle.
We’d have liked to have seen more support for the product in the form of a longer warranty, but user experiences indicate that the EdgeStar DWP62BL is nonetheless a reliable machine that performs brilliantly over many years of use.
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.
Are countertop dishwashers worth it?
Countertop dishwashers are absolutely worth it – especially if you are short on space, on a budget and can’t face washing your dishes by hand. Whether you are lacking in under-the-counter space or have got a motorhome, countertop dishwashers essentially offer up another pair of hands in the kitchen and save you from doing all the washing up.
Due to their small size, they are perfect for those living alone, couples or for washing up after small get togethers. Many of the best countertop dishwashers can fit around six place settings and some are big enough to fit pots and pans. Many of the best countertop dishwashers also come with at least 5 different wash cycles including the likes of: a standard rinse, a quick rinse and a heavy wash. Many also have the option of a delayed start function and depending on the model you choose, others have a baby-care cycle to sterilize bottles. However, if you’ve got a large family, we’d suggest investing in a full-sized dishwasher so you don’t run out of space.
How do countertop dishwashers work?
Countertop dishwashers work just like a standard size dishwasher. They each come with place settings, cutlery baskets and space for glasses. These small kitchen appliances need to be plugged into a socket to operate, however they don’t need to be plumbed in. Essentially there are two different types of countertop dishwashers available. Some work by attaching to a faucet while others have their own built-in water tanks for added convenience.
If your countertop dishwasher needs to be connected to a faucet, it will have two hoses that join together with a ‘quick connect hose faucet’. Usually positioned around the back of your machine, one hose channels in fresh water to clean your dishes with. While the other hose drains the dirty water back into the sink.
For countertop dishwashers that have their own built-in water tanks, you simply top their tanks up with H2O and let the handy kitchen gadget get to work. The latter are particularly ideal for those who may not have access to a water source.
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.
What to look for in a good portable countertop dishwasher
Before you rush into snagging your new appliance, there are a couple of technical bits you’ll want to wrap your head around first. You’ll want to weigh up whether your kitchen design is best suited to a countertop dishwasher with a built-in water tank. If you don’t have easy access to a water faucet, then this is a more practical choice.
Practicality is pretty key when it comes to size too. With a small dishwasher, you’ll naturally have less room, so if you’re not willing to sacrifice your pots and pans to a hand wash, you’ll want to aim for a roomier option or one with a flip-down plate rack to create more space. Dishwashers can be quite noisy too, so be sure to look into how loud each model is.
Then, of course, there is the capacity to think about. Most models will have up to six place settings so that you can rely on squeaky-clean crockery.
Where can I buy countertop dishwashers?
Hunting down the best deals is where things can get tricky. Handily, most major online retailers lay out a good selection of countertop dishwashers on their websites. Over on Amazon, you’ll find our best choice Farberware, as well as other reliable brands including hOmeLabs and Black + Decker, with an average price of around $340. Home Depot also stocks good household names, including Farberware, Magic Chef, and Danby for a pretty even and affordable price range, between $270 and $350.
We’d say that $350 is the average price point for countertop dishwashers from major retailers. While Lowes has some picks as pricey as $600 or so, this isn’t the same story with Sears, which stocks Darberware and other models such as Costway and Danby with prices ranging between $300 and $430.
Whatever you’re looking for, our on-page pricing feature will automatically pull through the cheapest price available for each product.
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