What You Should Know When Buying a Dishwasher

September 16, 2022

Are you in the market to buy a new dishwasher and not sure where to start? Howard’s is here to help you get started and provide you with insight into the most important things to consider when buying a dishwasher.

ge cafe kitchen

Why Should You Buy a Dishwasher

Most people can agree that dishwashers bring added convenience to the home and save time. Whether handwashing or dishwashers are more efficient is a more widely disputed topic though.

Several studies have proven that dishwashers use less water and energy than handwashing does on average. In fact, according to Energy Star, the average dishwasher can save 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime.

Purchasing a dishwasher for your home can not only be good for the environment but can help to lower your stress and give you more time for the things you truly enjoy doing.

Bosch Dishwasher

Types of Dishwashers

If you are getting ready to shop for a new dishwasher, the first decision to make is whether to purchase a built-in dishwasher or a portable one.

Built-In Dishwashers

A built-in dishwasher is the most common type of dishwasher installed in homes. They are available in standard and compact sizes. They have a water line running directly to them and a drain connected to the kitchen sink drain.

Because built-in dishwashers are so common, they often feature the latest updates and features. If you decide to purchase a built-in dishwasher, you will have a wide range of models from leading brands to choose from.

Dish drawers are built-in dishwashers that pull out like a drawer rather than a door that folds down like standard dishwashers have. Based on your kitchen layout, this may be more ideal. Models are available with single and double drawers. Oftentimes, dish drawers are more efficient, more ergonomically friendly, and help save on kitchen space.

Portable Dishwashers

A portable dishwasher is another great option for smaller spaces such as apartments, campers, or small homes. Portable dishwashers come on wheels making them easy to stow away in a closet or another area of the home when not in use. To run a portable dishwasher, you will need to have it near the sink so it can drain water.

Things to Consider

Evaluate Your Kitchen

Before you start shopping, you will need to consider the amount of space available in your kitchen. Measure the area you have available for a dishwasher. This will help you choose a model that fits well in your space.

If you know you are planning to purchase a portable dishwasher, don’t forget to measure the space you plan to store it in to be sure it will fit.

Built-in dishwashers are either 18 or 24 inches wide and range from 32 ½ to 34 inches tall. Dish drawers are available in shorter heights, generally starting at 16 inches. Portable dishwashers vary between 22 to 37 inches in height and 18 to 24 inches in width.

You will also need to consider the location or presence of water supply hookups, drain line connections, and electrical plug-ins. If your kitchen is not equipped for a built-in dishwasher and you are set on having one, you will need to consider the potential need for electrical work or plumbing.

Exterior Finish

It can be helpful to narrow down your options by choosing the finish type you would like before you start shopping. Decide what will look best in your kitchen and match well with other kitchen appliances. Keep in mind that colors can vary from one brand to the next.

Must-Have Features

Below you will find some of the best features to look for when shopping. They can save you time, money, and effort.

  • Adjustable Racks and Loading Aids
  • Durability
  • Soil Sensor
  • Rinse/Hold Cycle
  • Wash Zones
  • Built-In Filter
  • Special Wash Cycles
  • Stainless Steel Tub
  • Heated Dry
  • Hidden Touchpad Controls
  • The Noise Levels


Another factor that you will also want to consider is cost. Lower cost models are often great performers but may have limited features. Be sure to start your shopping experience with a list of must-have features so you have a better idea of the price range you’re looking at.

Need to extend your budget? Howard’s offers special promotional financing and lease-to-own options.

Purchase Your Dishwasher at Howard’s Appliance

If you’re ready to purchase a new dishwasher and want help deciding which one works best for your lifestyle, our experts have the insight you need.

Visit one of our appliance stores to start planning today. We have sixteen locations all over the California area including Alhambra-South Pasadena, Corona, Covina, Glendale, Huntington Beach Experience Center, Irvine, La Habra Experience Center, Laguna Hills Experience Center, Long Beach Experience Center, Outlet Store- Pico Rivera, Riverside, Torrance Experience Center, Victorville, West Los Angeles Experience Center, and West Valley-Canoga Park. Find a Howard’s appliance store location near you to get a better insight into which dishwasher works best for your home.

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