A Complete Guide To Types Of Dishwashers 2023

Are you searching about complete Guide To Types Of Dishwashers? Whether you’re a cooking enthusiast or want to save time and effort on cleaning up, dishwashers deserve recognition for taking care of the mess. At the same time, you focus on your culinary creations. A suitable dishwasher can significantly reduce your workload, allowing your kitchen to run smoothly. When choosing the perfect dishwasher for your household, the options can be overwhelming. However, understanding the different types of dishwashers available can help you make an informed decision that suits your needs, budget, and kitchen space. In this article, we will explore the various types of dishwashers and their benefits, ensuring that you find the ideal dishwasher to make your life easier in the kitchen.When selecting a dishwasher, it’s crucial to consider the size of your family, your budget, and the available kitchen space. These factors will help determine the most suitable type of dishwasher for your needs. Let’s explore the different dishwasher types to assist you in making an informed decision.

Types of Dishwashers 

Various dishwasher types are available in the market, including built-in, portable, countertop, integrated, commercial, and drawer dishwashers. These options cater to different needs and preferences regarding kitchen appliances.

1. Built-in dishwasher

Built-in dishwashers are the most commonly chosen and easily recognizable type of dishwasher. It is widely known and preferred by many homeowners. They are designed to be installed under the kitchen counter, resulting in a seamless and stylish appearance. These dishwashers are available in a standard width of 24 inches, but there are also smaller 18-inch options suitable for compact kitchens. Built-in dishwashers have various features, including energy efficiency and specialized washing capabilities. However, it’s essential to consider their pros and cons before deciding.


  • Built-in dishwashers take up no counter space and minimal floor space. They are installed under the counter, blending with your kitchen cabinets and creating a neat and attractive look.
  • Built-in dishwashers may offer specialized washing and drying settings, larger capacities, and a third rack for additional storage.
  • Due to being surrounded by cabinets, built-in dishwashers are quieter than other models. 
  • Built-in dishwashers have dedicated plumbing connections, allowing them to receive water and drain out wastewater directly from your plumbing system. 
  • By being installed with your kitchen cabinets, built-in dishwashers seamlessly integrate your kitchen design. 


  • Installing a built-in dishwasher requires professional plumbing and electrical work. You’ll need a plumber to connect it to your kitchen’s plumbing system and potentially an electrician for the wiring. It can involve additional costs.

2. Portable dishwasher

If you cannot install a dishwasher under your kitchen cabinets, a portable dishwasher is a convenient alternative. These compact units don’t require dedicated plumbing and can be connected to your sink using an adapter. Portable dishwashers are ideal for small apartments or those who frequently move and don’t want to replace full-size appliances. Popular brands include Danby, GE, and Whirlpool.


  • Portable dishwashers are a space-saving alternative for kitchens without built-in dishwasher space.
  • They are ideal for small apartments, RVs, and vacation homes.
  • Portable dishwashers are portable and easy to move around.
  • They can be taken with you when you move.
  • They don’t require separate plumbing and can be connected to the sink faucet.
  • Some models offer additional countertop space, especially those with butcher block tops.
  • Portable dishwashers are generally more affordable than built-in dishwashers.
  • They save water compared to handwashing.
  • They have fast wash cycles.
  • They are gentle on delicate dishes.
  • Portable dishwashers are just as effective as built-in models.
  • They come in different sizes to suit various needs.
  • Some models can be converted to built-in dishwashers if needed.


  • Smaller capacity compared to built-in dishwashers.
  • It may require running more frequent wash cycles.
  • Setup and cleanup can be inconvenient due to the sink faucet connection.
  • Not suitable for larger families or frequent hosting of large gatherings.
  • It takes up counter space, especially countertop models.
  • It may only be compatible with some types of kitchen faucets.
  • Connecting and disconnecting can be a hassle for each user.

3. Countertop dishwashers 

Countertop dishwashers are compact and portable alternatives to traditional built-in dishwashers. They are designed for individuals or small families living in apartments, RVs, or homes without a standard dishwasher. These mini machines offer convenient and hands-off cleaning power for plates, glasses, silverware, and more.


  • Countertop dishwashers are compact and ideal for small kitchens or limited countertop space.
  • They can be easily moved around and are suitable for apartments, RVs, and vans.
  • Countertop dishwashers connect to the sink faucet, eliminating the need for separate plumbing.
  • Some models provide extra workspace, especially those with butcher block tops.
  • They are generally more affordable than built-in dishwashers.
  • Countertop dishwashers save water compared to handwashing and use less energy.
  • They offer fast wash cycles, allowing for efficient cleaning.
  • Countertop dishwashers provide effective cleaning while gentle on fragile items.
  • They come in different sizes to accommodate various needs.
  • Some models can be converted to built-in dishwashers if desired.


  • Countertop dishwashers have a smaller capacity and may only accommodate small loads or oversized items.
  • They may not be ideal for washing many dishes or cookware, such as after hosting a dinner party.
  • Countertop dishwashers rely on access to the sink for water intake and drainage.
  • Certain countertop dishwashers require manually filling the water tank.
  • They occupy valuable countertop space and may limit other kitchen activities during operation.
  • Countertop models may have fewer advanced features and options than full-size dishwashers.

4. Integrated dishwasher

An integrated dishwasher is a type of dishwasher that is sold without any front, top, or side panels. It is designed to be installed in your kitchen and hidden behind a panel that matches your kitchen cabinetry. It seamlessly allows the dishwasher to blend in with your kitchen design.

There are two main types of integrated dishwashers

  •  Fully integrated 
  • Semi-integrated

A fully integrated dishwasher is completely hidden from view behind a kitchen panel. Everything, including the control interface and LED panel, is concealed. However, this can sometimes be inconvenient because you must see how long a cycle has to run or if the machine is on. Some modern dishwashers have addressed this by using LEDs that shine light onto the floor to indicate if the machine is running.

On the other hand, a semi-integrated dishwasher still has visible front control panels. These control panels are built into the front of the door panel and can be seen from the exterior even when the dishwasher door is closed. This dishwasher allows for a more straightforward interface and doesn’t compromise the aesthetic lines of your kitchen. Many semi-integrated dishwashers also use exterior status lights to show the progress of the cleaning cycle.


  • Seamless design that blends with kitchen cabinetry for a sleek appearance.
  • Operate quietly and discreetly.


  • Generally higher cost compared to freestanding dishwashers.
  • Due to its complex installation process, it needs additional paneling.
  • Limited portability as integrated dishwashers is not easily moved between homes.
  • Fully integrated models may require keeping the door open to access controls.

Difference between Built-in Dishwashers and Integrated Dishwashers

Built-in and integrated dishwashers are designed to be permanently installed in your kitchen, but there is a slight difference between the two. Built-in dishwashers are installed under the kitchen countertop and have a visible front panel. On the other hand, integrated dishwashers have a front panel that can be customized to match the surrounding cabinetry, resulting in a seamless and integrated look. In essence, all integrated dishwashers are built-in, but not all built-in dishwashers are integrated.

5. Commercial Dishwasher 

A commercial dishwasher is a powerful and large-scale machine used in restaurants and food service establishments to clean many dishes, glasses, and utensils efficiently. It is specifically designed for heavy-duty use, with different types and sizes available to accommodate various kitchen spaces. These dishwashers consume significant water and energy but offer the potential for savings through efficiency. Choosing the right commercial dishwasher is crucial for maintaining cleanliness, meeting health regulations, and preserving a positive reputation in the food service industry.

These are some common types of commercial dishwashers

Conveyor Dishwasher

  • Large and powerful, used in high-volume operations like cafeterias and hospitals.
  • It Processes a high number of dish and flatware racks daily.
  • It is made of stainless steel and often equipped with microprocessors and easy controls.

Door Type/Rack Dishwasher

  • A smaller version of the conveyor dishwasher.
  • They are designed to connect to clean or dirty dish tables.
  • Ideal for localized operations like small restaurants.
  • Can process a moderate number of dish and flatware racks per day.

Undercounter Commercial Dishwasher

  • Suitable for compact kitchens or bars.
  • Cleans dishes steadily, processing a moderate number of racks per hour.
  • It fits conveniently under the countertop, minimizing distance and time for clean dish retrieval.

Glass Washer

  • It is specialized in cleaning glassware efficiently.
  • Suitable for high-volume establishments like bars and hotels.
  • It can wash many glasses per hour, ensuring a steady supply.

Pot Washer

  • Designed for cleaning large pots, pans, and trays.
  • It saves on water and labor costs compared to handwashing.

Drawer Dishwasher

A drawer dishwasher, or dish drawer, is a compact and flexible option with one or two independently operated drawers. These drawers slide out horizontally for easy loading and unloading of dishes. Drawer dishwashers are ideal for small kitchens and can run different wash cycles in each drawer. They consume less water and energy than standard dishwashers and can be seamlessly integrated into kitchen cabinets for a streamlined appearance. 


  • It Can operate one or two drawers separately.
  • Easy loading and unloading, suitable for those with back or knee issues.
  • Compact option for small kitchens.
  • Use less water and electricity than standard dishwashers.
  • It can be installed anywhere in the kitchen.
  • Separate storage for delicate items and cookware.
  • Option to run both drawers simultaneously.


  • Avoid overfilling a single drawer for effective cleaning.
  • Generally more expensive than regular dishwashers.
  • Unable to accommodate extra-large dishware.
  • Older models had higher chances of malfunctioning.


In conclusion, dishwashers offer convenience, efficiency, and cleanliness. Factors such as size, features, and budget need to be considered when purchasing a dishwasher. Freestanding dishwashers are affordable but harder to install, while built-in dishwashers are more expensive but energy-efficient and easier to install. Compact dishwashers are suitable for small kitchens or apartments but have limited capacity. Considering individual needs and budgets, the right dishwasher can be chosen to enhance the kitchen experience.