Which Whirlpool dishwasher is best?
As one of the top appliance brands in the United States, Whirlpool is well-known for reliable, sleek and powerful dishwashers. These dishwashers are energy-efficient, durable and affordable. Plus, they come with various options, including front-control, top-control and even portable models.
If you’re looking for a new dishwasher, it’s hard to go wrong with Whirlpool. For a quiet, modern-looking dishwasher with several wash cycles at an affordable price point, check out the Whirlpool Top Control Built-in Tall Tub Dishwasher.
What to know before you buy a Whirlpool dishwasher
Front vs. top control
Most Whirlpool dishwashers are either front-control or top-control.
In front-control dishwashers, the wash cycle, delayed-start and other settings are displayed on the front of the machine. This makes them highly visible and easy to program.
Top-control dishwashers are made with subtlety in mind. These dishwashers have an interface that’s hidden along the top of the door that’s not visible when the door is closed.
Although most Whirlpool dishwashers are standard in size at 24 inches wide, the company does have some offerings that are compact enough to fit in a small kitchen. Additionally, certain models have wheels, which makes them portable and easy to store when not in use.
While many Whirlpool dishwashers have a stainless-steel finish, some come in a sleek black design. A few Whirlpool dishwashers also offer a panel design, which allows them to blend in with the surrounding cabinetry.
Replacement parts for Whirlpool dishwashers are generally easy to come by. However, parts for most other brands’ dishwashers typically are not compatible.
What to look for in a quality Whirlpool dishwasher
Although many Whirlpool dishwashers have similar cleaning cycles, each model comes with its own options. Here are the most common cycles.
- Normal: Designed for cleaning dishes with an average amount of leftover food or grime, this cycle is efficient and has minimal wasted water.
- Heavy duty: Best for pots and pans with heavy soiling, this cycle uses high temperatures and more water to cut through grease and grime.
- Quick wash: Made for speed, a cycle typically only takes an hour to wash dishes. It does require more energy and water, though.
- Prewash or Rinse: A few Whirlpool dishwashers have a prewash cycle, which negates the need for presoaking dishes. Some models have a rinse-only cycle, which prevents food particles from drying on the dishes before you run the dishwasher.
- Sani-rinse: This cycle uses high temperatures to kill up to 99.99% of all food bacteria during the wash.
- Sensor: Some dishwashers have this cycle, which determines which wash cycle to use based on how dirty the dishes are, optimizing energy and water use.
- Delicate: This cycle is ideal for more fragile dishes such as glass or crystal because it uses a lower temperature and water pressure.
- Heat dry or Extended dry: Both Heat Dry and Extended Dry help the dishes dry better and faster. The Extended Dry option also eliminates water spots from glass.
Many Whirlpool dishwashers come with an adjustable top rack, which can be raised or lowered as needed. In addition to the standard racks, high-end models include a third rack, which offers up to 35% additional space for smaller items.
A few dishwashers also have a silverware caddy built into the door, which leaves the bottom rack free for other items. Certain models even have adjustable inner prongs that allow you to adjust the racks’ capacity based on need.
Many Whirlpool appliances can be managed and operated simply by using the associated Whirlpool app on your smartphone. Some of the newer dishwashers are also voice-enabled through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
Dishwashers with this feature effectively dry the dishes during the wash cycle by blowing out moist air. This means you can put the dishes away the moment the cycle ends, rather than having to wait for them to air-dry afterward.
Most Whirlpool dishwashers are ENERGY STAR-certified, meaning they produce fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and use less energy and money than other machines on the market. They’re also more efficient than dishwashers that aren’t certified.
The quieter a dishwasher is, the higher the price tag will be. Most dishwashers register at around 52 dBA (A-weighted decibels). Some models, such as the Whirlpool Gold Series dishwasher, start at just 46 dBA. For context, normal conversation registers at anywhere from 50 to 60 dBA.
Certain Whirlpool dishwashers come with unique features, including:
- Cycle memory. This allows the dishwasher to automatically select the most recent cycle to run.
- Delayed start. With this, you can program the dishwasher to run as scheduled in a specific time frame (up to 24 hours later).
- Sensor wash. More advanced models use an internal sensor to identify how dirty the dishes are and select the appropriate cycle accordingly.
- Control lock. This feature is useful for households with small children or with front-control dishwashers. The control lock prevents anyone from accidentally changing settings or turning off the dishwasher.
- Light indicator. The Whirlpool Gold Series dishwasher, as well as a few other models, has an indicator light that lets users know when the dishes are done, when the cycle’s been interrupted or if something is wrong.
- Spray arm. Some Whirlpool dishwashers have either a dual spray arm or a total-coverage spray arm. The spray arm provides more coverage and higher water pressure to clean dirty dishes.
How much you can expect to spend on a Whirlpool dishwasher
A basic Whirlpool dishwasher with a higher noise level and fewer features will cost between $400-$600. Higher-end dishwashers range from $800-$1,000.
Whirlpool dishwasher FAQ
What makes a Whirlpool dishwasher better than other brands?
A. Whirlpool has been a leading appliance manufacturer for over a century. In that time, it’s established a reputation for reliability, consistency, efficiency and performance. It’s also a more budget-friendly option than many other brands.
How long will my Whirlpool dishwasher last?
A. Whirlpool dishwashers last an average of seven to 10 years, which puts them on par with similar brands like Bosch and LG. Some models, like the Whirlpool Gold Series dishwasher, have been known to last even longer.
How do I troubleshoot my Whirlpool dishwasher?
A. Your Whirlpool dishwasher should come with a manual that details things like how to use your new appliance, how to troubleshoot or reset it and more. The manual also includes the different dishwasher parts you should know about. Check the Whirlpool dishwasher manual for details.
What’s the best Whirlpool dishwasher to buy?
Top Whirlpool dishwasher
What you need to know: It’s a super-sleek stainless-steel dishwasher that fits perfectly with the modern kitchen.
What you’ll love: This dishwasher is quieter than most models at only 47 dBA, so it won’t disrupt the environment. It’s an Energy Star-certified, high-capacity dishwasher with a third rack that offers 35% extra space. This machine has a Sani-Rinse cycle, Sensor Cycle and several dry settings. Plus, it has a built-in total-coverage spray arm for the perfect clean.
What you should consider: The extra rack doesn’t fit large or bulky items.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Top Whirlpool dishwasher for the money
What you need to know: This easy-to-use Energy Star-certified dishwasher has multiple features that come at a reasonable price point.
What you’ll love: This front-control dishwasher has high-capacity racks that fit up to 14 place settings as well as a convenient silverware basket in the door. It has AccuSense to determine how soiled dishes are and adjust the cycle accordingly, plus two spray arms for a better clean and the Sani-Rinse cycle.
What you should consider: It’s a little louder than other models at 55 dBA. It also doesn’t dry dishes as well as higher-end options.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is a stainless-steel, top-control dishwasher at an affordable price.
What you’ll love: This dishwasher has several cycles, including a Quick Start, Sensor and Sani-Rinse cycle. The display light indicates the different phases of the wash, so there’s no need to guess when the dishes will be done. The appliance also comes with an adjustable upper rack for bigger or awkwardly shaped dishes.
What you should consider: The Quick Start cycle doesn’t dry the dishes well. At 51 dBA, this machine is neither loud nor quiet.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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