2021 KitchenAid Dishwashers Reviewed

2021 KitchenAid Dishwashers Reviewed

Do you want to learn more about KitchenAid dishwashers? Or maybe you’re trying to figure out which KitchenAid dishwasher model is the best for your home? In this article, we’ll give you an overview of KitchenAid’s best features and discuss how these dishwashers stack up against the competition.

Over the last couple of years, KitchenAid has lost its top position in the market due to the fact that its dishwashers were too noisy. However, KitchenAid dishwashers are now quiet and are considered to be one of the best dishwasher brands on the market.

KitchenAid Dishwasher
Watch our exclusive video review of best dishwashers in 2021

Are KitchenAid Dishwashers Any Good?

KitchenAid dishwashers score well in three important areas that are key for user satisfaction; noise level, high load capacity, and powerful cleaning tools.

Noise Level: Are KitchenAid Dishwashers Quiet?

KitchenAid was not always known for quiet dishwashers. In fact, it was this very factor that cost them their top place in the premium dishwasher market. The brand has made a lot of improvements since then, including removing the hard food disposer on the bottom (which was the main culprit of noisy operation.)

However, KitchenAid currently has some of the quietest dishwashers on the market. All the newer models have noise levels at or below 46dB, which is the current standard and just as quiet as a hushed conversation. One of our best KitchenAid dishwasher models, the KDTE334GPS, has a noise level of 39 dB, which is one of the lowest. To put this into perspective, 39 dB is only slightly louder than the sound of rustling leaves.

Noise Level Comparison Chart

But wait! You’re probably wondering what a decibel (db) rating is. Or maybe you’re asking questions like, “How do I know if a dishwasher is quiet?” We’ve covered this topic in detail in other articles and videos – and even included audible examples:

Quietest dishwashers with live audible sound test

Do They Clean Well?

Cleaning performance is the most important feature of a dishwasher, and KitchenAid dishwashers are one of the best in this category. Top KitchenAid dishwashers allow you to wash as many as 14-15 full place settings in one load. This provides enough space for a day’s worth of dishes (in a single wash) for the average family.

Sidenote: We will talk about capacity in the next section, covering the interior and exterior design of KitchenAid dishwashers.

KitchenAid’s wash system revolves around the following three technologies: “ProWash,”“effective filtration,” and “water distribution/coverage.”

ProWash
The ProWash option takes the soil level into consideration and uses it to determine the best wash cycle for each load. Other manufacturers call this feature “sensor wash.” This is a feature that helps modern dishwashers clean distinctly better than their predecessors.

Triple Filter System
Many people become frustrated when their old dishwasher no longer cleans their dishes properly. This is the textbook description of a filtration issue. Water jets help remove soiling, but smudges make their way back onto the clean dishes (in technical terms, this is known as “redeposit”).

All KitchenAid dishwashers have a triple filter system (a screen filter, coarse particles filter, and microfilter) to remove built up food and debris from the wash water. This allows the dishwasher to save energy by reusing the water. It also prevents the drain hose from becoming clogged with food.

KitchenAid-Filter

Higher-end models employ the clean water wash system, which includes a self cleaning ultra-fine filter.

Water Distribution/Coverage
The traditional wash arm on KitchenAid dishwashers is designed to deliver water to every corner of the interior. Higher-end models come with a dynamic wash arm that helps to distribute water effectively.

KitchenAid-Dynamic-Wash-Arm

Additionally, most KitchenAid dishwashers have the ProScrub feature, which cuts through tough messes on the lower rack with the help of 40 targeted spray jets. This eliminates the need to prewash or soaks pots and dishes, saving you both water and precious time. Some KitchenAid dishwashers even allow you to target the ProScrub system on the upper rack alone for concentrated washing.

KitchenAid-ProScrub

These features are responsible for the maximum efficiency KitchenAid dishwashers are known for. There’s also the extra Bottle Wash for cleaning sports and baby bottles, which other dishwashers do not provide.

KitchenAid-Bottle-Wash

Do KitchenAid Dishwashers Dry Well?

Another area where KitchenAid excels is drying performance. While it doesn’t beat Bosch dishwashers, it towers high above popular brands thanks to its extra fan-enabled ProDry system.

The ProDry system makes use of a recessed heating element to draw moisture off of plastic dishes. This means less drying time and increased sanitation. The extended ProDry even keeps the heating element activated for a longer period of time. However, you might prefer to use the condenser drying option if you own primarily ceramic and metal dishware.

Cycles and Washing Options

A dishwasher’s cycles control how well and thoroughly it cleans dishes. However, most dishwashers have similar cycles with different names. While the number of cycles does improve the washing and drying performance, it is not always a matter of “how many” but “how well.”

All KitchenAid dishwashers have the primary Normal, Tough, and Light cycles. The newer models also include the ProScrub, ProDry, and Extended ProDry features. The ProWash option also comes in handy for heavy-duty cycles (the KDTM804ESS complements that with its Dynamic Wash Arm).

In addition to the cycles we already mentioned, you can expect to find their Express Wash and the Rinse Only cycles. Other options include the Heat Dry, Hi-Temp Wash, Bottle Wash, Sani Rinse, Top Rack Only, and the 1-24 Hour Delay Option. Sani Rinse is particularly interesting, especially for homes with infants. With this option, the dishwasher maintains the dishes at 155°F, keeping them sanitized.


What are the Popular KitchenAid Dishwasher Styles?

Dishwasher Door Design Options

Most KitchenAid dishwashers have the PrintShield Finish, which makes the exterior stainless steel finish fingerprint-proof. You will find this dishwasher door design and finish on their black stainless steel model, which is hard to find in most other brands.

Other remarkable outer design features of KitchenAid dishwashers include

  • Classic front Controls
  • Hidden top controls and Towel bar handle
  • Hidden top controls and Pocket handle (which is suitable for most kitchen designs)
  • Panel ready dishwasher designs (which you can find in models like the KDTM504EPA)
  • Door with a glass window (in models like the KDTM384ESS).

KitchenAid-Dishwasher-Styles1

A quick word on the glass window: This style is different in that there is no real-life benefit associated with it. You will not be able to tell how much time is remaining in the cycle or whether or not the dishes are clean by simply looking in the window.

KitchenAid-Dishwasher-Styles2

KitchenAid has one major problem in the external design category. The dishwashers are either 24 1/2 or 24 ¾-inches deep (even without the handle). This means they all stick out of a standard 24 inch kitchen cabinet. This makes it hard for kitchen designers to achieve a seamless finish.

Interior Design

A dishwasher’s interior design tells a story, as it communicates how a brand thinks of its customers and their needs. Generally, popular brands like Samsung, GE, Bosch, and even Whirlpool dishwashers excel in this category. A good dishwasher design features a smart arrangement of compact tines and racks. A stainless-steel interior also offers better drying than the plastic tub option.

KitchenAid dishwashers all have stainless steel interiors, which help to improve drying by condensation. Besides the compact tine arrangement that allows space for more dishes, some KitchenAid dishwashers like the KDTE334GPS and the KDTM804ESS come with a third rack.

KitchenAid’s SatinGlide feature enhances smooth rack movement. You will appreciate this when you have to move heavy dish loads in and out of the dishwasher. Most KitchenAid dishwashers have this smooth glide feature on the upper rack only. Only high-end KitchenAid dishwashers have the smooth glide feature for the bottom rack as well.


Are KitchenAid Dishwashers Reliable?

When it comes to reliability, we have to lean towards other popular brands. While they have been improving steadily and garnering more positive reviews recently, KitchenAid hasn’t always scored as high as other top brands. That being said, KitchenAid dishwashers are still more reliable than the average dishwasher brand on the market.

Connectivity and Smart Features

Wi-Fi connectivity is a feature some home appliance brands are beginning to explore. However, this amenity comes with a larger price tag.

KitchenAid dishwasher models do not have a connectivity feature. KitchenAid appliances with wifi connectivity are currently limited to cooktops and ovens.

What Is The Price of KitchenAid Dishwashers?

KitchenAid Dishwasher KDTE204KPS

Several factors influence the pricing of dishwashers. These include the stainless-steel interior, sleek design, integration, and smart features. Generally, the prices of a good dishwasher range from $799 to over $1,999.

KitchenAid is a premium dishwasher brand with prices ranging from $899 to $1,799. However, you can still get a good KitchenAid dishwasher like the KDTE204KPS for a little over $899.

Energy Efficiency

Most KitchenAid dishwashers make use of heat drying to amplify the regular stainless-steel condenser drying. This makes it hard for the brand to score high in terms of energy efficiency.

But even at that, you can still find some models, like the KDTM404ESS, which have the ENERGY STAR certificate for energy efficiency. Our top-rated model, the KDTM354ESS, and the older version, the KDTM354DSS, are known to be water-saving. These models show how much effort KitchenAid puts into energy efficiency despite the heat-drying obstacle.


3 Best KitchenAid Dishwashers

KitchenAid has over 20 dishwasher models on the market. Besides the pricing, these dishwashers have pretty similar features in terms of functionality, making it difficult to pick the best model. In the end, we focused on value, price, and noise level.


1) Best Price vs Value: KitchenAid KDTE204KPS

KitchenAid Dishwasher KDTE204KPS

The KDTE204KPS packs impressive features that put it among the best dishwashers on the market. While it may not compare with high-end KitchenAid dishwashers in functionality, its price point makes it a great choice.

At 44dB, the KDTE204KPS’s noise level is about the same as that of a library and just below the market standard. It also has a third rack for improved washing and to accommodate more per load. It also has a PrintShield Finish which resists fingerprints and smudges on the stainless-steel exterior.

The KDTE204KPS is one fingerprint-resistant model with a third rack and offers excellent value. It is our recommended option if you are looking to make a budget-friendly yet classic choice.


2) Most Quiet: KitchenAid KDTE334GPS 39dB Built-in Dishwasher with Third Rack

KitchenAid Dishwasher KDTE334GPS

Most independent reviews pick the KDTE334GPS as the best KitchenAid dishwasher – and they aren’t wrong. Not only is the KDTE334GPS the quietest KitchenAid dishwasher available, but it is also one of the quietest on the market in general. At 39dB, it’s almost noiseless. Besides that, it also has some remarkable features.

Like most KitchenAid dishwashers, it has bottle sprays that offer concentrated washing. The top rack has specialized sprays for baby or sports bottles. Its ProScrub system with the high-pressure spray is located at the bottom of the dishwasher for effective scrubbing. The model also comes with a third rack and has a stainless-steel interior for better drying ability.

The KDTE334GPS is our recommended option if you want a fully integrated and noiseless dishwasher. The official KitchenAid price varies throughout the year and can be anywhere between $700 – $1100. However, you can get the dishwasher at its standard price from authorized retailers.


3) Best Value: KitchenAid KDTM354ESS 44dB Dishwasher

KitchenAid Dishwasher KDTM354ESS

The KDTM354ESS is one of the latest dishwasher models from KitchenAid, and comes as an improvement to the KDTM354DSS. Without a third rack, it’s not exactly the best at accommodating load, but its other features make it stand out from the crowd.

It comes with an ultra-fine filter that removes food particles while washing and helps to reduce water and energy usage. It also has a 40-jet spraying option for stubborn messes and a load sensor for determining how dirty the dishes are. This enables it to select the best washing option, thereby reducing the cycle time.

The KDTM354ESS has topped the list of best KitchenAid dishwashers in several independent reviews, as it offers excellent value for the price. It is a fully integrated dishwasher with electronic touch controls that blend into your kitchen’s classic design.


Final Thoughts

KitchenAid has some of the best dishwashers on the market, known for their high load capacity, powerful cleaning tools, and noise levels. They are a little less reliable than those of other popular brands, but their premium features offer a lot of value for the price.

We hope that this buying guide leaves you better equipped to select the KitchenAid dishwasher that best meets your needs!


FAQs

Where are KitchenAid dishwashers made?
KitchenAid is an American-based home appliances brand owned by Whirlpool Corporation. All of its dishwashers are manufactured in Findlay, Ohio.

How long do KitchenAid Dishwashers last?
A dishwasher has an average lifespan of 7 to 12 years. The average KitchenAid dishwasher can last for as long as ten years with proper maintenance and care.

Semi-Integrated or Fully Integrated?
An integrated dishwasher allows you to mount a custom kitchen cabinet panel to the front of it. This helps to create a seamless finish by matching surrounding kitchen cabinets. The controls are usually placed at the top of the dishwasher panel and hidden from view.

KitchenAid dishwasher models are either premium built-in, semi-integrated, or fully integrated. The semi-integrated models, like the KDFE104HPS, have front controls that are pretty visible. Other KitchenAid dishwasher models, like the KDTE234GBL and the KDPM354GBS, are fully-integrated. The KDTM504EPA model even comes with a panel-ready design for custom integration.

Who makes KitchenAid Dishwashers?
KitchenAid, as a brand, is owned by Whirlpool Corporation. The company also owns other brands like Maytag, Amana, JennAir, and Whirlpool.

Do KitchenAid Dishwashers have Wi-Fi?
No, KitchenAid dishwashers do not have the Wi-Fi connectivity feature. The connectivity feature is only found in KitchenAid cooktops and ovens.

Why do you need a water softener in a dishwasher?
As the name suggests, a water softener is necessary to soften hard water (like well water and New Jersey water). This prevents the deposit of minerals on the insides of the dishwasher, prolonging the machine’s lifespan. Soft water also enhances sparkling results, leaving no streaks or water spots on the dishes.

The bad news is that KitchenAid does not have any dishwasher models with a water softener. The feature is limited to some Bosch, and Miele dishwasher models. You should make use of rinse aid in your washing water to enhance drying and produce shiny results.

Does KitchenAid make 18-inch small dishwashers?
Unfortunately, no. At this time, KitchenAid does not make 18-inch small dishwashers.

Does KitchenAid make ADA compliant dishwashers?
KitchenAid does not make ADA compliant dishwashers.


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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on August 19, 2021. However, we regularly update our content as we test more products and new models are released. We also listen to the feedback of our customers and make changes to our product recommendations based on their experiences. So don’t be surprised if you see some old comments below! Since reader comments contribute to the topic, we have decided not to delete them.

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