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Maytag MDB7959SKZ dishwasher review

Want some help in the kitchen? The Maytag MDB7959SKZ dishwasher is designed to lighten your load, but does it offer enough for its higher price?

Maytag MDB7959SKZ review
(Image: © Lowe's)

Our Verdict

Maytag's pedigree speaks for itself, and the MDB7959SKZ lives up to the name. With a range of high-tech cleaning and drying features, this kitchen powerhouse is well worth the investment.

For

  • Advanced cleaning and drying tech
  • Fingerprint-resistant stainless steel build
  • Energy-efficient

Against

  • Only has two racks
  • Not as quiet as others

If you're anything like us, you'll hate having to rinse pots and pans before putting them in the dishwasher – and drying them once they come out isn't much fun either. The Maytag MDB7959SKZ is designed to take care of such niggly jobs, boasting a series of advanced features that promise to reduce your workload. 

As with all the best dishwashers, Maytag's top-rated machine comes in a sleek, modern package that should segue nicely into any contemporary kitchen set-up. In our Maytag MDB7959SKZ Dishwasher review, we look at the machine in terms of spec, design, features and user reviews, with the latter aiming to give you more of a thorough idea of what you can expect if you were to make room in your kitchen for this appliance.

Looking for advice on other appliances? Then also check out our guides to the best countertop dishwashers and the best side-by-side refrigerators. For now, here’s our Maytag MDB7959SKZ Dishwasher review…

Maytag MDB7959SKZ Dishwasher review: Overview      

Looking at this modish bit of kit, it's hard to believe that Maytag was founded way back in 1893. In the ensuing decades, the US company has gained a reputation for manufacturing high-quality white (and stainless steel) goods, and now sells its wares in pretty much every corner of the globe.

Maytag MDB7959SKZ review

(Image credit: Lowe's)

That said, Maytag was relatively late to the dishwasher party, launching its very first model in 1992. 14 years after that, the company was acquired by its current owner, Michigan-based Whirlpool. The home appliance giant has a pretty decent pedigree of its own, with plenty of its machines attracting very positive reviews. Want an example? Just read our Whirlpool WDF520PADM review and you’ll see why.

Maytag's dishwasher line-up comprises five models, four of which are top-controlled. The only front-controlled machine is the base MDB4949SKZ model ($749). At $799, the Maytag MDB7959SKZ, which we’re looking at here, is the next-cheapest variant in the range. From there, prices gradually rise as specifications become more impressive. 

Maytag's most expensive model, the MDB9979SKZ, comes with three racks, a PowerDry feature and a slightly quieter decibel level, though you will pay a hefty MSRP of $949 for it, which is $150 more. 

Maytag MDB7959SKZ Dishwasher review: Features

Maytag MDB7959SKZ Dishwasher review: Specs

Dimensions (WHD): 23.88” x 33.5” x 26.75” 

Control location: Top, hidden

Noise rating: 50dBA

Holds: 14 place settings

Racks: 2

Cycles: 5

Energy star rated: Yes

Extras: Dual Power Filtration, Steam Sanitize, PowerBlast and Heated Dry features

Warranty: 10-year limited parts 

Considering good dishwashers start at around $300, Maytag's range (from $749 to $949) can be classed as premium. As you might expect, the MDB7959SKZ offers a superior spec to most of the budget machines on the market, despite being the second-cheapest model in the Maytag line-up. 

As we hinted at earlier, the Maytag MDB7959SKZ comes with a whole bunch of features designed to keep your chores to a minimum – we'll talk about those in more detail in the Performance section below. 

Aside from its washing and drying prowess, the MDB7959SKZ packs an intelligent Leak Detect system that measures the flow of water at various points throughout the machine. If it senses something amiss, it'll drain the water to prevent your kitchen flooding, and alert you to the problem so that you can get it fixed.

As for how noisy it is, the MDB7959SKZ is rated at 50dBA. That's by no means loud – it's certainly not going to disrupt your TV watching – but it does compare unfavourably to all of the more expensive dishwashers in the Maytag range (top-priced model the MDB9979SKZ is rated at 44dBA). Even some of the much cheaper models from Bosch, Beko and Grundig are a little quieter than the MDB7959SKZ. For an example, read our Samsung DW80R9950US review.

Finally, this dishwasher is Energy Star certified, meaning it should use less energy than non-certified machines. And, in line with all Maytag products, it comes with a 10-year limited parts warranty.    

Maytag MDB7959SKZ Dishwasher review: Design

One of the first concerns when choosing a new appliance is whether it will fit in your chosen kitchen space. Happily, the Maytag MDB7959SKZ is roughly the same width (24 inches) and height (33.5 inches) as most standard dishwashers, meaning it should comfortably fill that hole next to your spin dryer or sink. 

Maytag's machine will fit in aesthetically with any kitchen, too, thanks to its neutral, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel build. Neutral can still be nice-looking, by the way, and while we're loath to call the MDB7959SKZ stylish (it is, after all, a dishwasher), it’s better-looking than most. Perhaps with the exception of the KitchenAid KDPE234GPS.

As previously mentioned, the Maytag MDB7959SKZ is a top-controlled dishwasher, meaning the various touch-buttons and digital display are positioned along the top of the pull-down door as opposed to on the front of it. We prefer this design to the front-controlled type, as it means the controls are discreetly hidden away once the door is closed; and also, front-controlled machines can sometimes necessitate crouching down in order to see what you're doing.

Nearly all of Maytag's appliances are opened using a pocket handle (where you insert your fingers into a slot). The only exception being the most expensive model in the range, the MDB9979SKZ, which gets a towel bar. We don't really have a preference, we're just intrigued as to why the manufacturer hasn't been consistent across the range.  

Another key difference between Maytag's models is the number of racks you get. Both this one and the cheapest model, the MDB4949SKZ, come with two racks, while the more premium machines further up the range get three. Two racks (enough for 14 place settings) could be limiting if you use a lot of dishes, and you might find yourself having to do more than one wash to get through them all. 

Maytag MDB7959SKZ review

(Image credit: Lowe's)

But if you're a couple or a small family, it's ideal. Handily, the upper rack has an increased height, enabling you to accommodate some of the bulkier items you don't have room for down below. Without it, you might've had to wash them by hand. If you want an appliance that will handle a large range of dishes and pans, read our LG LDT6809SS review.        

Maytag MDB7959SKZ Dishwasher review: Performance 

All of the aforementioned features are nice to have, but the most important consideration when choosing a dishwasher is, of course, how well it can wash dishes. And this is where Maytag's machines start to justify their comparatively high price. It may look fairly nondescript but behind that stainless steel door, the MDB7959SKZ is crammed with tech that'll get to work on obliterating your dinner detritus as soon as you hit the start button.

Yes, there's no need to spend ages swilling off leftover gunk before putting your dishes in the machine; the MDB7959SKZ's Dual Power Filtration should take care of that, disintegrating any food scraps and then filtering them out of the wash water so that they don't return during the rinse stage. 

A normal cycle takes around three hours, but if the grime on your dishes is particularly stubborn, you might want to activate the slightly longer PowerBlast cycle, which uses high-powered jets, increased water temperature and hot steam to obliterate any resistance. 

Among the five cycles this machine offers, there's also a quick cycle, which takes around an hour; ideal if you need some plates or cutlery cleaned at the last minute. And if you're the type of person who's paranoid about germs, this dishwasher will put your mind at rest, its Steam Sanitize option killing 99.9% of food soil bacteria.     

One of our favorite things about the MDB7959SKZ is its drying technology. An internal heater inside the dishwasher reduces excess moisture, ensuring that your dinner set or breakfast bowls are cupboard-ready as soon as the cycle finishes. And to ensure you don't waste energy unnecessarily, there are two settings: a Long Heated Dry for larger loads and a Short Heated Dry for smaller ones.

Maytag MDB7959SKZ

(Image credit: Lowe's)

Maytag MDB7959SKZ Dishwasher review: User reviews

If you look for the Maytag MDB7959SKZ on Amazon, you won't find it. However, plenty of people have left comments on Maytag's own website. At the time of writing, there are 53 reviews in total, resulting in an average score of 4.2 out of 5 stars. The Maytag MDB7959SKZ dishwasher is rated 4.2 for quality, 4 for value, 4.3 for design and 4.2 for ease of use.

One five-star reviewer was impressed by the dishwasher's quiet operation and washing ability, writing: “Because we have an open floor plan and the dishwasher is close to our main living area, I was concerned the noise from the dishwasher would be distracting. Turns out you can barely hear anything! It cleans beautifully as well.”

Another customer praised the machine's performance but wasn't so convinced by the amount of noise it makes. Awarding it 4.0, they explained: “I bought this dishwasher about a month ago. Not as quiet as I thought it would be. Overall, looks good and runs decent.”

Most of the other comments on the site are similarly positive, however a couple of people have noted that the pump on their machine broke within a year of purchase.

Should you buy the Maytag MDB7959SKZ Dishwasher?

Maytag appliances aren't what you'd call cheap, but they do boast a range of impressive cleaning and drying features that you won't get with most lower-priced machines. As one of the cheaper models in the range, the Maytag MDB7959SKZ doesn't feature a third rack, but with enough room for 14 place settings it should suffice for all but the largest of households. 

And the fact that its controls are located on top of the door instead of on the front means that it's probably better for less-abled people, as it doesn't require you to crouch down to program your cycle. Add in energy efficiency and a generous warranty, and we'd argue that the Maytag MDB7959SKZ is definitely worth the outlay.