The Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N has enough room for 16 place settings. To compete with the best dishwashers, though, this 24-inch built-in appliance would need to offer more than just a large capacity, and in this review, we'll be exploring how well it cleans and dries, how many racks it has, how it rates in terms of noise and energy efficiency, and any other features it has up its sleeve to help ease your kitchen workload.
Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N dishwasher review: Overview
Founded way back in 1886, Bosch has gone on to become one of the world's most prominent manufacturers. Synonymous with quality and experience, it now produces a wide range of consumer goods from its factories across the globe, several of which are in the US.
Bosch's dishwasher production has come a long way since the company launched its first machine in 1964. Nowadays, there is a huge choice across five sub-ranges, from budget options right up to premium models.
Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N dishwasher: Specs
- Dimensions (WHD): 23.5 x 34 x 23.75 inches
- Control location: Front
- Noise rating: 44dBA
- Holds: 16 place settings
- Racks: 3
- Cycles: 5
- ENERGY STAR rated: Yes
- Extras: PrecisionWash, one-hour wash option, 24hr Delay Start Timer, Extra Shine, Sanitize, adjustable upper rack, AquaStop leak detection
- Warranty: 1-year labor and parts (entire appliance)
Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N dishwasher review: Design
This dishwasher is a built-in model, meaning it's designed to fit in with the rest of your kitchen units. As such, it features standard built-in dimensions (23.5 x 34 x 23.75 inches) – note that Bosch also offers narrower, 18-inch wide dishwashers should you not have the space for one of the normal-sized models.
Bosch also manufactures both front and top-controlled machines, but this particular model fits into the former category. Ordinarily, we're not so keen on the front-controlled design, as it can mean having to kneel down in front of the machine in order to see what you're doing. However, the 300 Series SHEM63W55N bucks the trend somewhat, its front-facing control panel angled upwards slightly inside the pocket-handle recess, meaning you don't have to stoop so low to program your cycles. We also like the fact that this dishwasher has push buttons, as we sometimes find that touch controls can be a little insensitive and require a bit of force to activate them. One thing this model does lack, however, is a fingerprint-resistant fascia, so you might want to keep your little ones at arm's length.
Inside the machine is a large stainless-steel tub that houses three racks. These more or less conform to the traditional set-up found in most dishwashers – so, there's a rack at the bottom for larger items such as plates and pans; a middle rack for smaller things like glasses, mugs and bowls (this can be height-adjusted to three different settings, depending on your requirements); and a cutlery rack at the top for laying out your knives, forks, utensils, etc. It's worth mentioning here that this V-shaped third rack is slightly deeper than some we've seen, meaning you can also use it to stash things like ramekins and tea cups. If you run out of room for your cutlery, the machine also comes with a large cutlery basket that can be inserted into the bottom rack.
Finally, a quick word about how this dishwasher looks. While it's not really for us to tell you whether it's attractive or not – ultimately, that comes down to personal taste – we think the German manufacturer has got the aesthetic just right. With its sleek, modern lines and uniquely designed control panel, the 300 Series SHEM63W55N left us feeling that we'd be happy to have it in our kitchen.
Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N dishwasher review: Features
As we often say when reviewing dishwashers, a pleasing design is nothing without a good set of features – the most important of which is, of course, an ability to thoroughly clean and dry your plates, pots, cups, etc. Bosch has certainly not cut any corners in this department, with the 300 Series SHEM63W55N containing a number of the core features that you’d find in more expensive competitors.
With some dishwashers, the only way you can guarantee that your dishes will come out sparkling clean is to give them a good rinse before putting them in the machine. Bosch's PrecisionWash technology aims to save you this hassle. Once you've started one of the five cycles (1 Hour, Auto, Normal, Pots & Pans, or Rinse), intelligent sensors will continually monitor the progress of your wash to detect any areas that still need work. Powerful precision spray arms will then target those areas, to make sure that your entire load comes out looking clean. For extra peace of mind, you could activate the Sanitize option, which raises the temperature of the water to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria.
Got guests coming and want your dishes to gleam as you set the table? The machine's ExtraShine option will raise the wash temperature and extend the drying time to ensure that your plates and cups come out looking as good as new. There might also be times when you only need to wash a few lightly soiled items. In that case, you can activate the Half Load option, which reduces the cycle time and therefore the water usage, meaning you won't end up spending more money than you need to. Whichever cycle you choose, the machine's bright LED display will show you how long there is left, meaning you won't have to rely on guesswork.
You might want to time your dishwasher cycles so that they don't clash with people taking showers and use up all the hot water. Achieving this is simple, thanks to the 24-hour Delay Start Timer. As well as that, this machine also comes with a number of safety features, including a self-latching door that prevents children from injuring themselves, and an AquaStop leak detection system that'll shut down the machine if something is amiss.
Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N dishwasher review: Performance
When it comes to judging a dishwasher's performance, it's not just how well it cleans and dries the dishes that you need to consider. Energy and water efficiency are important too, as they can make a real difference to how much your bills are at the end of each month.
In terms of energy expenditure, the Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N uses 269kWh/yr. That's not good enough to place it in this list of the most efficient dishwashers, but it's still decent enough to earn the appliance an Energy Star rating. As for water consumption, it's estimated that the machine will use a total of 624 gallons per year.
Though other dishwashers rate more highly in these areas, Bosch reckons that this machine's third rack increases its load capacity by 30%. In theory, that should mean you'll need fewer washes, which will save you some money in the long run.
One area in which this machine does excel is noise rating. In a recent study, Bosch was found to be the quietest dishwasher brand in the US, and, while this particular model isn't the most muted in existence (it's no GE Profile Smart GDT530PSPSS, for example), with a rating of 44dBA it certainly isn't going to be keeping anyone awake at night.
Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N dishwasher review: User reviews
The user rating for this dishwasher is displayed right at the top of its page on the Bosch website – and there's a good reason for that. Based on more than 5,000 reviews, the 300 Series SHEM63W55N has earned an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Bosch has also enabled its customers to rate this machine in a number of specific categories, and here, again, the dishwasher has performed brilliantly, scoring 4.7 for the range of programs, 4.5 for loading comfort, 4.5 for cleaning and drying results, and 4.9 for operating noise.
One five-star reviewer described the appliance as “unbelievably awesome”, adding that “the removal of deeply embedded stains in some of the grooves in the design of my plates, etc, I would have never thought possible, but seriously miracles do happen. I couldn’t be more pleased, or should I say elated, at the results.”
Another user had a mixed experience with the machine. Acknowledging that it was “extraordinarily quiet”, the three-star writer added: “I am not a fan of how the items smell after a wash. They just don't smell clean, even after a sanitizing wash.”
While one-star reviews are very much in the minority, they do exist and one dissatisfied customer was particularly unhappy with the machine's drying capabilities: “Not at all what I expected for a top named product,” they complained. “You must use the Extra Dry cycle if you want the dishes to be dry, and even then you still have to dry the glasses.”
For balance, we should add that the Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N dishwasher scores 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, based on 57 global ratings.
Should you buy the Bosch 300 Series SHEM63W55N dishwasher?
If you need a dishwasher with a larger capacity, then the 300 Series SHEM63W55N should definitely be in the running. While it's not particularly cheap for a mid-range machine, you get what you pay for and Bosch's reputation for quality is reflected in just about everything this appliance does: it's robust, it looks good, it cleans well, it's quiet and it's safe. Sure, it only offers a small selection of cycles and options, but even that has its benefits, as it means you're less likely to be bamboozled by permutations. A great all-rounder, the 300 Series SHEM63W55N deserves your attention.