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Frigidaire vs Whirlpool: Which dishwasher brand suits your needs best?

Frigidaire vs Whirlpool: Which dishwasher brand suits your needs best?
(Image credit: Getty)

Frigidaire vs Whirlpool is a match that deserves your attention. These are two of the biggest white goods manufacturers and they both make models that are regarded as some of the best dishwashers around. If you're looking to buy a kitchen appliance now or in the near future, then these two US giants are likely to be in the mix.

In this comparison, we'll be focusing specifically on the two companies' dishwashers. Both Frigidaire and Whirlpool offer a wide range of dishwashers for a variety of budgets, family sizes and kitchen styles, and both have earned plaudits for their engineering and energy ratings. 

But which brand of dishwasher is better suited to your requirements? To help you decide, we've compared Frigidaire's and Whirlpool's offerings in a number of key categories, including price, product range, design, and features.

Frigidaire vs Whirlpool: Prices 

When buying a kitchen appliance, your choice of brand will often come down to pricing. In that respect, though, there's virtually nothing to separate Frigidaire and Whirlpool. 

Frigidaire’s dishwashers start at $439 for the FDPC4221A W/B. That money will buy you a fairly basic built-in dishwasher with 14 place settings, a relatively high noise rating (62dBA), and no Energy Star rating. It currently has a user rating of 4.1, though, so it can't be all bad. At the other end of the price spectrum is the FPID2498SF ($1,149), a sleek and classy Professional-series machine that's not only eerily quiet at 47dBA but comes with advanced features such as PrecisionPro Wash Zones and EvenDry. It still only has 14 place settings, though.

As for Whirlpool, its line-up starts at $479 for the WDF330PAH B/W/T/S, a built-in machine that's better looking and quieter (55dBA) than Frigidaire's bottom-rung model, but only handles 13 place settings. And at the top of the range, there's the WDTA75SAHN, a gorgeous, fully integrated dishwasher that'll take 15 place settings, has a range of smart features and, at 47dBA, is very quiet. While the usual price for this model is $1,099, it’s often reduced to under $900.

Winner: Whirlpool

Both of these brands offer a similar price spectrum, but Whirlpool edges this category as we feel you get more for your money.

Frigidaire vs Whirlpool: Which dishwasher brand suits your needs best?

(Image credit: Whirlpool)

Frigidaire vs Whirlpool: Product range 

When it comes to dishwashers, different households have different requirements – and this is something that both Frigidaire and Whirlpool have acknowledged with their broad product ranges. 

Starting with Frigidaire, the Tennessee-based manufacturer has 12 dishwashers in its portfolio, which are divided into three distinct categories: standard models, Frigidaire Gallery models (which come with a range of time-saving features – see below), and Frigidaire Professional models (luxury appliances that are designed to make a statement).

Most Frigidaire dishwashers come in a range of finishes (White, Black, Stainless Steel, or Black Stainless Steel) to suit a variety of kitchen colors, and all but one measure 24-inches in width – the exception being an 18-inch variant for smaller kitchens. While there's a mixture of front and top-controlled machines, pocket and bar handles, two and three racks, the range is let down by the fact that none of the dishwashers are freestanding – it's built-in or nothing.

  • Frigidaire FDPC4221AS (MSRP $489) – front-controlled dishwasher with a five-level wash system and an energy-saver drying option. Not Energy Star rated. 
  • Frigidaire FGIP2468UD (MSRP $899) – top-controlled dishwasher with powerful cleaning and drying features, along with Energy Star certification.  
  • Frigidaire FPID2498SF (MSRP $1,149) – top-controlled dishwasher that cleans hard-to-reach spots, dries evenly, and is Energy Star rated. 

On to Whirlpool, and the Michigan company has chosen not to divide its 17 dishwashers into flashy-sounding categories. It does, however, offer some snazzy colors, including things like Biscuit (yes, really!) and Sunset Bronze. There's even a panel-ready model (the FPID2498SF) that can be fitted with a bespoke fascia to match up with your kitchen units.

Beyond that, Whirlpool offers a choice of front or top-controlled machines, pocket or bar handles, and two or three racks. While most of its dishwashers are the full-size built-in variety, there are a small number of compact and portable models, too. 

  • Whirlpool WDF330PAHB (MSRP $479) – front-controlled dishwasher with a one-hour wash cycle and an AI-style soil-sensing feature. Energy Star rated. 
  • Whirlpool WDF550SAHB (MSRP $799) – front-controlled dishwasher with intelligent memory features and quiet operation. Energy Star rated.  
  • Whirlpool WDTA80SAKZ (MSRP $1,049) – top-controlled dishwasher with a third rack, ultra-quiet 41dBA operation,a 'triple wash spray' and Energy Star rated. 

Winner: Whirlpool

Both Frigidaire and Whirlpool cater to a range of requirements and tastes, but Whirlpool offers both built-in and freestanding models, plus a wider choice of colors.

Are you looking for a smaller appliance to fit your kitchen space? Then check out our guide to the best compact dishwashers.

Frigidaire vs Whirlpool: Design 

The level of a dishwasher's attractiveness really comes down to personal taste, but across the whole range, we think that Frigidaire's machines just about edge it – they're just sleeker and more modern, which is exactly what you want from an appliance. That said, we are rather partial to the aforementioned WDTA75SAHN, whose minimalist fascia and flamboyant Sunset Bronze will make it the talking point of any kitchen. 

Speaking of fascias, both Frigidaire and Whirlpool offer dishwashers that come with a fingerprint-resistant finish, which is a useful feature if you have young kids. In both cases, though, you'll need to go higher up the range to find models with that particular asset. The same applies to the material that the inside tubs are made of – with both of these brands, the cheaper models come with plastic tubs while the top-end models get the much more robust stainless steel type.

The other thing we like about the Frigidaire range is that there are more dishwashers with a third rack – i.e. a dedicated rack for cutlery. We prefer this design, as being able to put knives and forks side by side seems more hygienic than stuffing them all in together, as you would with a cutlery basket – though we accept that the latter method is quicker! 

Winner: Frigidaire

There are a lot of similarities between the two brands in this area, but Frigidaire's dishwashers are marginally sleeker – and more of them have the all-important third rack. 

Frigidaire vs Whirlpool: Which dishwasher brand suits your needs best?

(Image credit: Lowe's)

Frigidaire vs Whirlpool: Features 

Both Frigidaire and Whirlpool have been in the appliance game for a long time, so it's no surprise that their dishwashers are packed with the latest technology. But which brand offers the cleverest and most useful features?

Frigidaire's headline act is undoubtedly OrbitClean. Available on all models from the mid-range up, this super-powered wash system uses four times the usual amount of water coverage to batter your leftovers into submission. DishSense technology automatically adjusts the cycle time depending on how dirty your dishes are – saving on your energy bills. Frigidaire is renowned for its drying technology, and whether your model comes with SaharaDry or the newer EvenDry, your teatowel should remain redundant. Finally, if you go for a Frigidaire Gallery model, you'll benefit from time-saving features such as a 30-minute wash – handy for when you need some last-minute cereal bowls!    

Whirlpool is a lot less liberal with the fancy-sounding names – but that doesn't mean it's frugal with the features. Even the cheapest model in the range (the WDF330PAHB) comes with handy functionality, such as a one-hour wash cycle and a soil sensor that adjusts the dishwasher's power level based on how dirty your dishes are. Unlike Frigidaire, Whirlpool also makes a smart dishwasher (the WDTA75SAHN) that enables you to control your cycles using a phone app and even your voice.

Winner: Frigidaire

Yes, Whirlpool offers smartphone connectivity, but it's only available on one of its models, and taken as a whole Frigidaire's features are more unique and dynamic.

Frigidaire: Top features

OrbitClean – four times the usual amount of water coverage blitzes stubborn debris

DishSense – automatically senses how grubby your dishes are, and adapts wash to suit

EvenDry – Frigidaire's latest drying technology ensures that every dish is drip-free

Whirlpool: Top features

One-hour wash cycle – available even on budget models, this is a handy time-saver

Soil sensor – does a similar job to DishSense, helping you to save money on bills

Smart technology – only one model has it, but it's mighty cool nonetheless

Frigidaire vs Whirlpool: Which dishwasher brand is better for your home? 

The first thing to consider here is whether you need a built-in or a freestanding dishwasher. If it's the latter, then Frigidaire is a no-no as all of its models are the built-in variety. If you need the integrated type, then you'll find a good selection on both the Frigidaire and the Whirlpool websites. 

We feel that Frigidaire's dishwashers are generally a bit sleeker and more modern-looking, but there really isn't much in it and we'd advise you to base your decision on things like capacity, features, and energy/noise rating rather than aesthetics. That said, we think Frigidaire's features are slightly more impressive, too – unless you're after smart connectivity, which is only available on Whirlpool's range-topping model.

Ultimately, both of these brands come with a proud pedigree, so, whichever you choose, there shouldn't be any worries about quality or customer service.      

Paul Dimery

Though Paul has been a freelance writer on Top Ten Reviews for just a short time, he’s racked up plenty of articles on some of Future’s most prestigious brands, including MusicRadar and T3. Paul began his career writing for magazines over 20 years ago, but has since transitioned to the world of online journalism. He has a broad range of interests, but is particularly experienced at writing about personal health and grooming tech, plus home appliances.