kitchen appliances

Caked on, baked on, grease, and grime: grimy dishes don’t stand a chance when you’ve got a dishwasher to clean and sanitize them with the touch of a button.

If you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, you’re probably thinking a dishwasher is a dishwasher is a dishwasher, right? Not at all. There’s a lot of choice available for anyone in the market for a new dishwasher.

Take a look at this dishwasher buying guide, and you’ll find it easy to choose a new dishwasher.


Table of Contents

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    1. What size of dishwasher do you need?
    2. What type of dishwasher do you need?
    3. Dishwasher Features



What size of dishwasher do you need?

The size of your kitchen and the size of the opening for your dishwasher, if you have one, will determine what size of dishwasher you buy.

Although most dishwashers are 24” across, the best way to determine how big of a dishwasher you can have is to measure your dishwasher opening.

How to measure for your dishwasher

measure for dishwasher

If own a home with a dishwasher already installed, you’ve got an easy job ahead of you. Most dishwasher cut outs are slightly larger than the standard dishwasher size: 24 inches wide by 35 inches high and are 24 inches deep. 24 inches is the standard size of most fabricated kitchen cabinets as well, so a built-in dishwasher will slide right in and line up seamlessly with your cabinets.

Depending on brand, some variations in dishwasher size happen occasionally, so your best bet is to measure the opening before you go shopping and look at the measurements of the dishwasher you’d like to buy. Some models may be slightly deeper than your cut out. Take the Bosch dishwasher for example: although one model is 3” deeper than a standard built in size, it’s designed to fit flush in your dishwasher opening.

Measuring for a dishwasher is really simple. First, measure the width of the opening for your dishwasher. That involves putting your tape measure from the right to the left of the opening. Record that measurement, and then move onto the height.

To measure the height of your dishwasher you’ll set your tape measure on the floor next to edge of the opening and measure to the bottom of your counter top or the frame of your cabinet. Record that measurement.

Last, to measure the depth, put your tape measure on the back wall of your dishwasher opening and measure all along the edge to the front of the opening. Record that measurement, and you have the width, height, and depth of your dishwasher opening.

built in dishwasher

What type of dishwasher do you need?

Dishwashers come in two main types: portable dishwashers and built in dishwashers. The type you choose depends on your kitchen. If your pre-cut opening is ready for your new dishwasher or you have a space allocated, your best choice is a built in dishwasher. If space is at a premium in your kitchen and you don’t have the room for a built-in, you can choose a portable dishwasher.

Built-in Dishwashers

A built-in dishwasher is what you’ll commonly see in a kitchen. Measuring in at approximately 24 to 30 inches wide and as tall as 34 inches high, built in dishwashers basically look the same. Most have two or three racks inside and a control panel on the inside top or front of the dishwasher.


portable dishwashers Portable Dishwashers

When you don’t have a lot of space but you still want to have a dishwasher in your kitchen, portable dishwashers are your best option. These dishwashers can be stored in the corner and then wheeled to the sink when you want to use them. All you have to do is connect the hose to the faucet and plug it into a standard electrical outlet.

Portable dishwasher sizes range from 18”, 21”, to 24”, so you can find one to match any space, and you can find most of the same features in a portable as you would in a built in.

Dishwasher features

Not all dishwasher models are created equal, and once you decide between built in and portable, it’s time to check out the different features you can find on a new dishwasher.

Tall Tub dishwashers

A tall tub dishwasher is one of the most popular types of dishwasher, but you won’t have to worry that your counter top needs to be extra high to accommodate one. What tall tub means is that the wash arm is attached to the upper rack. That leaves the entire lower rack of your dishwasher as usable space because there is no cut out in the center for a wash arm. You can wash items you’ve never washed in a dishwasher before when you have a tall tub dishwasher, and big items like stock pots, large cookie sheets, and platters are no problem.

You’ll find tall tub models in Bosch dishwashers, but you can also find them in Samsung, Kitchenaid, and LG dishwashers.

dishwasher buying guide soil senors

Adjustable, folding racks, and third racks

Some dishwasher models offer a third rack option. Available in Samsung dishwasher and Bosch dishwashers among others, it on top of the upper rack of your dishwasher. You can use the third rack for flat utensils or just for addding a few plates.

Folding and adjustable racks mean that the arms that hold your plates and cups in place will fold down to accommodate different items. This is especially handy if you have a load of pots and pans.

Soil sensors

Certain models of dishwashers have soil sensors built in, and those soil sensors will adjust the cycle and how much water you use. Soil sensors make sure even heavily soiled dishes come out sparkling clean.

Samsung wash zones dishwasher Wash Zones

Newer dishwashers offer wash zones. Generally wash zones come in twos: upper and lower. Having wash zones means you can load heavily soiled cups and cutlery on your upper rack, and you can choose to give that upper zone a boost during the wash cycle.

Special wash cycles

Although you’ll find a few options for wash cycles on most older dishwashers; light, heavy, and normal, newer dishwashers offer a more options. Some models like the Samsung dishwasher offer you quick wash for a speedy and thorough 60-minute clean, steam clean, or sanitizing cycles.

Stainless steel tubsstainless steel tub dishwasher

There’s a reason why the interior of a brand new dishwasher looks different than your older model. Stainless steel tubs are available as an alternate to the plastic interior you may be used to seeing, and it works to resist stains you’d get inside your dishwasher after constant use.

Energy Star dishwashers

You’ve probably seen the Energy Star on appliances and wondered if you should opt for an energy efficient model. For anyone who’s interested in saving the world’s resources as well as money on energy and water costs, Energy Star dishwashers are the best choice.

An Energy Star dishwasher can save an average of 1,300 gallons of water over its lifetime, and because it uses less energy to heat your water, you save money on your electric bill.

Take the next step

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You’ve measured, decided what features are perfect for you needs. Now you are ready to make a decision; you can find a dishwasher that’s perfect for you at









For more resources on dishwashers, check out Best Buy Canada’s major appliance help hub.




  1. Hi my old dishwasher broken (WHIRLPOOL , QUIT PARTNER 1). what do you recommend something close OR A LITTLE BIT HIGHER to the old one.

    • Hi Aaron,

      You should select a new dishwasher to fit the space as closely as possible. Here is an article we did about “how to measure for a dishwasher“. As Shelly mentions in the article, most dishwashers have similar dimensions, but you want to be cautious that whatever you get, fits the space and looks right in your kitchen.

      best regards,

  2. Hi, my old dishwasher (Samsung DMT800RHS) is not working . I think buy the lowest price dishwasher and any type.

    Please tell me which one,thanks.

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