Bosch and KitchenAid dishwashers are two brands that have remained at the top amidst good competition. If you are in the market for a dishwasher, chances are your final choice will boil down to Bosch vs KitchenAid.
That is precisely why we’ve created this article – to help you make an informed decision. We’ll examine both the small and significant factors that you should consider before going for either of these powerhouse brands. We will also share our favorite dishwasher models from both Bosch and KitchenAid.
How Do Bosch and KitchenAid Dishwashers Stack Up?
KitchenAid was the top dishwasher brand for a long time before Bosch entered the market. The German brand introduced quiet dishwashers at a time when dishwasher noise was a huge problem. Bosch slowly edged past KitchenAid in reliability, cleaning performance, and drying. In fact, our coveted best dishwashers list does not include any KitchenAid dishwashers.
That being said, KitchenAid still measures up with its remarkable features, especially in the washing, storage, and filtration categories. Newer KitchenAid dishwasher models also offer high-load capacity and silent operation, as well as powerful cleaning tools.
Bosch dishwashers have five classes separated by feature richness. There’s the regular 100 series models with a plastic bottom tub, the 300 series with stainless-steel interior and ADA/18-inch variants, and the 500 series with innovative design and AutoAir drying that opens the door ajar. The 800 series and the Benchmark series have premium dishwasher features which include Wi-Fi connectivity, water softener, Crystal dry, the lowest silence ratings, and custom finishes.
Overall, KitchenAid and Bosch are great and reliable dishwasher brands that are similar in quality. Their similarities cut across cycles, stainless steel interior, and rack adjustability. The differences between the two brands are in style, reliability, price, and washing and drying performance.
Bosch offers superior selection with over 100 dishwashers covering a variety of features, visual designs, and price points.
Let’s look at the similarities and differences between Bosch and KitchenAid in detail. Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about our criteria see our choosing a dishwasher guide.
Quietness between Bosch and KitchenAid
Finding the quietest dishwasher is a huge factor for most people. You don’t want to have a dishwasher disturbing your sleep when you can easily select a quieter option. Bosch makes the quietest dishwashers in the US market. Most Bosch dishashers hover around 38db and 44dBs.
All of the newer KitchenAid dishwashers have noise levels at or below 46dB, which is as quiet as a library. But KitchenAid wasn’t always known for quiet dishwashers. It wasn’t until Bosch entered the market with quiet dishwashers that KitchenAid considered getting rid of their noisy hard food grinder.
In contrast, all Bosch dishwashers have noise levels below 48dB, which is less noisy than the average computer keyboard strokes. Bosch dishwashers are so quiet that they beam a projected light on the floor to indicate that they are working.
Bosch makes the quietest dishwashers on the market. The company has a vast selection of ultra-quiet dishwashers.
Do They Clean Well?
Both KitchenAid and Bosch score pretty high in the washing category. They have similar and impressive wash cycles/options that ensure dishes are sparkling clean after wash.
KitchenAid’s strong points lie in its high load capacity and the filtration system. With the average KitchenAid dishwasher, you can wash as much as 15 full place settings in one load. That provides space for more dishes than the average family can use in a day.
For effective filtration, KitchenAid makes use of a triple filter system that includes an ultra-fine filter for removing dirt particles from the wash water. While KitchenAid’s filtration system is very remarkable, Bosch water softener places it at par with KitchenAid in the washing category.
The water softener is an important feature that not only ensures a better wash (if using hard water) but also prolongs the life of the dishwasher. Besides that, Bosch dishwashers also come with two full-size wash arms, a top nozzle that serves the 3rd rack, and a sound filtration system.
Both KitchenAid and Bosch dishwasher have superior cleaning performance. If you live in an area with hard water consider Bosch with a water softener over KitchenAid.
If we are to leave out their nearly similar wash cycles and performance, we’ll have to give KitchenAid the edge. Their Bottle Wash feature for washing sports and baby bottles is quite thoughtful and innovative too. However, we recommend getting a rinse aid to make up for the lack of water softener.
Bosch easily beats KitchenAid in this category, thanks to its two new drying options – the AutoAir Dry and the CrystalDry.
KitchenAid’s high drying performance is thanks to the ProDry system and the optional extended ProDry. The fan-enabled ProDry system makes use of a recessed heating element that draws moisture off dishes and also sanitizes them. This is a remarkable improvement on the interior stainless-steel condenser drying method.
But the ProDry is no match for Bosch’s zeolite-based CrystalDry system. The CrystalDry option raises the temperature inside the dishwasher to 176F for optimum drying, and it does this without extra energy consumption! The AutoAir Dry opens the dishwasher automatically after cleaning to let in fresh air for enhanced drying.
Bosch offers 3 different drying options. As the price point gets higher, drying performance elevates from good to the best in class.
While KitchenAid has a better drying performance than some of the popular dishwasher brands, Bosch remains the best in the industry.
Cycles and Wash Options
Bosch and KitchenAid have very similar wash cycles and options. High-end KitchenAid dishwasher models like the KTDE334GPS have the Normal, Light, Tough, ProWash, Express Wash, Rinse Only, ProDry, and Extended ProDry cycles. The washing options also include the Heat Dry, Sani Rinse, Bottle Wash, Hi-Temp Wash, Top Rack Only, and 1-24 Hour Delay.
For Bosch 800 series, the cycles include the Normal, Auto, Eco, Heavy, Rinse Only, and Speed60, as seen in the SHXM88Z75N. The washing options include the CrystalDry, Eco, Delay, Half Load, Delicate, and Sanitize. These are very similar in performance to those of the KitchenAid KTDE334GPS.
Both brands have comparable selection of cycles and options.
In reliability, we test for how much complaints users make for each particular brand, and how long it takes before the average dishwasher user has to make repairs on a new dishwasher.
Bosch dishwashers are generally more reliable than KitchenAid dishwashers. This, however, does not mean a Bosch dishwasher won’t need repairs or give you problems.
Available Design Styles
Away from functionality, dishwasher design is one of the most important factors to consider, especially if you are one to pick aesthetics over performance.
Let’s look at how Bosch and KitchenAid measure up under these headings.
Door Design Options
Bosch dishwashers come in 5 major door design options:
• Recessed Handle: The dishwasher has a visible control panel with a reach-in handle.
• Pocket Handle: The control panel is hidden to create a clean profile; the door has a reach-in handle.
• Bar Handle: The control panel is hidden too, but the handle is a towel-bar style.
• Scoop Handle: Hidden controls with elegant reach-in handle.
• Custom Panel: The door can accept custom cabinet panels for a seamless kitchen finish. Controls are hidden too.
KitchenAid dishwashers have four similar major door design options:
• Hidden Top controls and Towel Bar handle
• Hidden Top controls and Pocket handle
• Panel ready designs (which makes models like the KDTM504EPA very desirable)
• Door with a glass window
Panel Ready Dishwashers to Match Your Cabinets
Panel ready dishwashers category is, perhaps, where Bosch completely outclasses KitchenAid.
KitchenAid dishwashers have a very major downside. No model is truly 24 inches (the depth of the standard kitchen cabinet). They are either 24 ¾-inches deep or 24 1/2 -inches deep, even without considering the handle. For this reason, most kitchen designers prefer the completely flush Bosch dishwashers for a seamless kitchen design finish.
Bosch dishwashers are made to seamlessly fit with your cabinets. They have plenty options if you want the front of the dishwasher to match your kitchen cabinets.
Bosch also has several panel ready dishwashers, like the Benchmark SGV68U53UC, for all price points, unlike KitchenAid with just the KDTM504EPA. If you truly want a custom kitchen finish, you are more likely to achieve this with Bosch than with KitchenAid.
Special Cases: 18-inch Dishwashers & ADA Height
Unlike KitchenAid, Bosch makes 18” Dishwashers, like the 800 Series SPX68U55UC, for small apartments and other kitchen uses. This also works well for those who may like to have a dishwasher for a secondary kitchen by the pool or at the bar.
Bosch also makes dishwashers that are considered suitable for raised floors and shorter countertop heights. ADA dishwashers have reduced height (32-inches as opposed to 33 or 34-inches). The controls and knobs also must be accessed readily with one arm. KitchenAid does not have ADA-compliant dishwashers.
KitchenAid does not make ADA height or 18-inch wide slim dishwashers. Bosch is a category leader for specialty dishwashers.
In interior design, the similarity between both brands ends in the stainless-steel interior and also the third rack, which is present in most of the models. The stainless-steel interior helps to improve drying (by condensation) than the plastic tub interior of earlier dishwasher models.
Let’s look at the differences between KitchenAid and Bosch in interior design:
High-end Bosch dishwashers have inner lights to light up the interior of the machine. There is also the InfoLight that projects on the floor to show that the dishwasher is working. KitchenAid dishwashers do not have interior lights or the InfoLight feature.
While both KitchenAid and Bosch have a 3rd rack in most of their top models, Bosch makes the extra rack function more exciting thanks to the MyWay Rack feature. The particular application is ideal for cereal bowls, ladles, ramekins, and more. This feature enhances 3rd rack flexibility and is reserved for high-end Bosch dishwasher models. Bosch also reserves a nozzle at the top for cleaning items on the third rack.
Adjusting the racks and tines
Rack adjustment may not matter much to you until you have to wash a big pot, and you realize it can’t fit into the dishwasher. This is where you will appreciate a dishwasher with a flexible rack system. Bosch dishwashers have an adjustable rack system that makes it easy to accommodate large pots and bowls. High-end KitchenAid dishwashers have racks that can be adjusted as well but are not as flexible as Bosch’s.
For the tines, KitchenAid dishwashers have a compact tine arrangement that enables you to fit in a higher number of plates than Bosch dishwashers. That is also partly responsible for their high load capacity. Both Bosch and KitchenAid (high-end) dishwashers also have an adjustable tine system, which makes it easy to place awkward items on the racks.
Connectivity and Smart Features
This is another category that clearly sets Bosch apart from KitchenAid as a dishwasher brand. KitchenAid has no dishwasher model with smart or connectivity features. Connectivity in KitchenAid home appliances is limited to their ovens and cooktops.
Some high-end (800 series and Benchmark) Bosch dishwashers come enabled with the connectivity feature. They have the voice control option and made to connect to the Bosch HomeConnect app. The HomeConnect app is one of the best and most responsive connectivity apps in the home appliances industry.
Both Bosch and KitchenAid have dishwashers for all price points and levels. Bosch has a better dishwasher distribution (by price) thanks to its five series – the 100, 300, 500, 800, and the Benchmark series. Each higher level has extra features (both in design and functionality) added to the models in the series.
You can choose to get a dishwasher from the 100 series or the 800 series, depending on your budget. If you desire the ultimate dishwasher experience, then you should go for the Bosch Benchmark series. KitchenAid is a premium dishwasher brand, so you should expect to get good dishwashers for higher prices (around $900).
Our Best Bosch and KitchenAid Dishwashers
Let’s briefly look at our top three dishwashers from both of the brands.
Top Three Bosch Dishwashers
1) Best Performance: Bosch SHPM65Z55N 500 Series
It comes with a flexible rack system (with EasyGlide) to accommodate large pots and an elegant pocket handle design that matches any kitchen environment.
To complement the drying system, the SHPM65Z55N has the AutoAir drying option and also spots the Bosch InfoLight feature.
2) Best Overall: Bosch SHXM78Z55N 800 Series
The SHXM78Z55N -or also known as SHX878ZD5N– is the best of the renowned Bosch 800 series and also our top Bosch dishwasher. At 42dB, it is very quiet and comes with InfoLight, which lights up when the dishwasher is in operation.
There is the flexible rack system (with EasyGlide) and an impressive MyWay Rack 3rd rack. The dishwasher also has the zeolite-based CrystalDry option for the best drying performance.
Just like some 300 series dishwashers, the Bosch SHXM78Z55N has variants – the ADA-compliant and the 18” dishwasher. These all have Wi-Fi connectivity and also connect to the HomeConnect app.
If you are looking for the ultimate dishwasher experience, then the almost-noiseless SHV88PZ63N is our recommended dishwasher.
It’s packed with features like the Wi-Fi connectivity, InfoLight, MyWay Rack, which is present in the SHX878ZD5N, and extra ones like water softener and interior lights.
The SHV88PZ63N also comes with a panel ready design for a custom and luxury kitchen finish.
Top three KitchenAid Dishwashers
KitchenAid 46dB KDPE234GPS (Budget Pick)
At 46dB, the KDPE234GPS is just as silent as a library room. It comes with a third rack to accommodate more load and also has the unique KitchenAid PrintShield fingerprint-proof finish. The model may not compare with high-end KitchenAid dishwashers, but its features are quite impressive for its low price.
KitchenAid 39dB KDTE334GPS (Most Quiet)
The KDTE334GPS is the quietest KitchenAid dishwashers and is almost noiseless. Besides the low silence level, the model is integrated, and also has the BottleWash system for washing baby bottles. It has a third rack for accommodating higher load and also has the ProScrub washing option for effective scrub.
KitchenAid 44dB KDTM354DSS (Best Value)
The Architect Series KDTM354DSS may not have a third rack for accommodating a higher load, but it does make up for that with some of the coolest features in the industry. It’s ultra-fine filter arguably makes it the dishwasher with the best filtration system in the market. It has a 40-jet spray option for concentrated washing and also a load sensor for determining the best washing option for each load.
KitchenAid and Bosch dishwashers are both excellent dishwasher brands that offer good value for the money. But besides the similarities in washing cycles and the stainless-steel interior, Bosch dishwashers manage to edge past KitchenAid in design, functionality, clearning performance, reliability, and even price.
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SIDENOTE. This post was last modified on April 30, 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.