If you’ve spent any time at all in the market for a high-quality dishwasher, you’ve likely encountered the brand names Bosch and Miele. Both represent the highest pinnacle of dishwasher and appliance design, and both uphold an uncompromising focus on quality and precise manufacturing. But what sets one apart from the other? And how can you decide which of these two highly respected brands is right for you and your own unique needs?
To start, it’s important to develop a brief understanding of where each of these two brands come from and the way their histories inform the products they create today.
History of Bosch
Founded in Germany in 1886, Bosch immediately began to innovate within the world of powered equipment and technology. A year after their founding they went on to introduce the world’s first low voltage magneto designed for gas engines. This was the forerunner for magnetos in cars that would become critical twenty years later. From this beginning, Bosch went onto innovate in the automobile and machinery industries before eventually branching into consumer goods and home appliances. Many people don’t know that Bosch’s precision in design extends to the world of power tools, where they own Dremel and other brands known for their durable and dependable tools.
Today, Bosch maintains the highest level of dedication to both innovation and consistent quality, producing some of the most dependable dishwashers in the world along the way.
History of Miele
Also founded in Germany in the 19th century, but with a closer initial tie to domestic products, Miele began as a manufacturer of cream separators, butter churns and tub washing machines. One of the most remarked upon elements of Miele’s history is that they almost immediately began marking every one of their machines with their trademark logo. Their logo became so iconic as a symbol of quality and dependable design, that a study of German consumers found that they could identify it based solely from the letter “i” alone.
Miele has been building washing machines for over a century. Nowadays, the brand is represented in 47 countries across the world and operates a U.S. headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey. They are often considered the largest manufacturer of premium quality home appliances in the world.
Bosch or Miele Dishwasher?
Bosch and Miele are more than their history or corporate story. Consumers purchase these German dishwashers by the millions for the quality, design, features and cleaning power they provide. So how do these two brands stack up in six major measurements of dishwasher quality?
1. Quiet Operation
When it comes to noise, Bosch has a reputation for being incredibly quiet in their dishwasher design. The Bosch 800 series boasts models with noise levels capping out at 42 dBA, with some as low as 39 dBA. Bosch Benchmark series features a model with 38 dBA rating. That’s far softer than the sound of a quiet whisper.
But don’t worry—your Miele dishwasher won’t be waking up anyone in your house, either. Many of their own models boast a 39 dBA noise levels and you will not hear them working.
Both manufacturers take quietness seriously and do not resort to popular shortcuts most manufacturers opt for such as measuring noise during wash operation while skipping water intake and pump out sequences etc.
Needless to say, if you’re opting for a Miele or Bosch dishwasher, noisy operation is guaranteed not to be a concern.
2. Cleaning and Drying Performance
With a wide range of dependable wash cycles and an interior tub design that allows for fast, safe drying, you can rest assured that both a Bosch and a Miele machine will consistently clean your dishes while keeping them free from damage or other wear for years to come.
What it will come down to most when making your buying decision is what matters most to you—more robust and unique cycle types, or more effective and speedy drying? Maximum loading space or organized, versatile storage racks? Water softener to keep water marks away? (Please see the Features section below where we went over myriad of features offered by both manufacturers in detail.)
When comparing two of the most dependable, high-end and consistently award-winning dishwasher brands on the market, the differences in performance are minimal within equivalent price bands. It is important to note though Bosch offers many dishwasher options for under $800, while Miele dominates the high-end feature-rich segment of $1399-$2499.
At Designer Appliances make selection easy by giving you tools to compare the features of various models and find what works best for your needs and price range.
For more information on Bosch dishwashers check out our in-depth review which we update frequently with the latest models and customer feedback.
As the cultural tastes of interior décor have changed over time, the designs of both Bosch and Miele machines have changed along with them. That’s not to say they’ve sacrificed quality for good looks—they’ve simply adapted their visual approach to suit what the market demands. The most common finish for models in both brands is stainless steel, a look that both Bosch and Miele pull off with effortless style and sophistication
But what has mainly stayed consistent across both brands’ success has been their dedication to minimalist, sleek design. Even their most fully-featured flagship models tend to present a sleek façade with as few visible buttons as possible. This is all in an effort to help their machines work not only as a functional home machine, but as an inspired element of the interior décor.
Having said that Bosch features many unique styles such as their flagship pocket handle on SHP878ZD5N, recessed handle, bar handle and so forth.
Both manufacturers offer specialty units that cover ADA height to accommodate raised floors, 18" width for small kitchens, and panel ready dishwashers to blend with adjacent cabinetry.
Miele offers a unique style which is called "knock to open" a.k.a. "k2o". This style gives interior designers the ability to hide all controls as well as handles for a completely seamless front. G6885SCViK2O in luxurious Lumen series is a good example for knock to open technology. On the ultra-premium side, the Diamond series features model G6987SCViK2O with knock to open.
Miele has a minimalist design and a strong line up with different door styles as well as handles to match their suite of appliances. It is very often that you will find a Miele dishwasher in most exclusive kitchens as they match well with any color and design.
It is important to note that unlike their North American counterparts both Miele and Bosch dishwashers will not stick out of your cabinets. Yet their interior design is super efficient.
Both manufacturers offer all features expected out of a modern dishwashers. In fact, both Bosch and Miele are the front runners of innovation in dishwasher technology.
Program cycles and Options: Bosch keeps it simple even on most advanced units at 7 cycles and 7 options (5 on basic models). Miele on the other hand offers up to 14 cycles and 7 options under each cycle. Important to note that entire line up for both manufacturers have express cycles. Sanitize, pots & pans and intensive wash cycles can also be found in most dishwashers.
Stainless steel interior: Most of us hated the old white plastic tubs that discolored in our ancient dishwashers. Therefore, we all desire a clean stainless steel interior. Miele offers stainless steel interiors on all of their dishwashers. Except for entry level Ascenta series, Bosch features all stainless interiors.
Sensor wash: Modern dishwashers are able to sense the turbidity (relative clarity/murkiness) of the water during the wash cycle to adjust the duration of the wash in a given program. However, only Miele dishwashers will take 3 measurements during the wash cycle to make decisions on program duration, amount of water used and water pressure coming out of the spray arms. Miele dishwashers also take the measurement at the sump level to minimize the risk of distortion from soap foam.
Condensating dry without the plastic-melting heater element: Heating elements are common in North American dishwasher while they dry dishes very well (how can you not when you have a giant metal that gets super hot at 170 F in a small box) they end up baking on any food residue or calcium on dishes. Not to mention plastics especially on the lower rack will not be spared.
Both Bosch and Miele offer condensation drying which will allow moisture to be absorbed by the stainless steel walls and washed down. Bosch enhanced this technology in their 2018 release by pumping extra heat to the dishwasher cavity. As of 2019 Bosch introduced highly effective CrystalDry feature on select high-end dishwashers. Miele, elevated this technology even further with the ability to circulate ambient air to absorb remnant moisture.
Auto Open Door for Drying: This used to be a unique Miele feature found on all Miele's except for the entry level Classic series. Becomes super handy when you start the cycle before you go to bed and you will find your dishes full clean and dry in the morning with the door open ajar. i.e. no musty smell inside the dishwasher.
As of the summer of 2019 Bosch is introducing this feature in its select 500 Series dishwashers with the marketing name AutoAir Dry.
Interior lights: Adds luxury and added convenience. Both manufacturers offer this in their premium models.
Cutlery tray/3rd Rack: Invented by Miele originally this 3rd rack is super helpful in saving you space at the coveted bottom rack. Miele cutlery trays are super flexible and allow you to place long stem glasses on the rack below. Most Bosch dishwashers also come with a 3rd rack albeit not as flexible as Miele but still far better designed compared to competition. However, it is worthwhile to mention the MyWay rack from Bosch is remarkable as it allows for cups and large ladles. Also, we found 800 Series and Benchmark 3rd racks to be much more user friendly compared to that of entry level Bosch dishwasher series.
Leak Prevention: Both manufacturers design their dishwashers to detect leaks to shutdown water source.
Auto Close Door: Exclusive to Miele Diamond series this nifty convenience feature softly closes the door when it is left ajar.
Water Softener: This is an important feature for those who have hard water in their neighborhood (such as Northern New Jersey). Water softeners help combat calcium residue and get you crystal clear results without spots on your glassware. Bosch offers models with water softeners in select 800 Series and Benchmark models. Special application 300 models such as ADA height units also have water softeners. In turn, all Miele dishwashers on Crystal series and above come with a water softener.
Number of Spray Arms: Miele dishwashers come with 3 full size spray arms, one at the bottom of the cavity, one below the middle rack and one on the top wall dedicated to the cutlery tray. Bosch also features strong water distribution from 2 full size spray arms and a sprayer head on the top wall.
We get this following question a lot. "Do hoses and powercord come standard with dishwashers?" Unlike their North American competition, Bosch and Miele both include discharge hoses in the packaging. However, Miele is the only brand along with Asko and Fisher Paykel to include the intake water hose in standard packaging. Small detail may be but it shows the commitment from Miele not to compromise on any aspect of quality. As for the powercord, Miele dishwashers come with the powercord that you can plug to your outlet. You can also install them via hardwire connection. However, we recommend that you use a wall recepticle to make things clean while going through the trouble of replacing a dishwasher. Bosch dishwashers come with hardwire connections. You can also buy an additional Bosch part to accommodate a wall recepticle.
China and crystals: You can trust Miele or Bosch with your fine dishes and glasses. Miele's Crystal series and up models have special programs that adjust water hardness, dispense detergent based on need and regulate water pressure to get the optimum clean while protecting your fine china. In Bosch dishwashers 800 series and up models are more suitable for this level of trust. Generally, the water softener models do a good job with fine dishes and glasses. It is worth mentioning that Miele Diamond series dishwashers are great for wine glasses for those who have a discriminating taste for wine. Miele is the only dishwasher in the US market that can wash dishes without the rinse aid to eliminate the chance of any element coming between the wine glass and the wine.
Ability to handle partial loads: Both brands on all models are able to handle partial loads to save water and energy.
5. Durability and Longevity
Miele is often considered the most closely integrated manufacturer of appliances in the world, meaning nearly every single one of their parts being manufactured directly by the company itself. This has allowed them to advertise a 20-year lifespan of regular use without any drop in functionality. Miele machines are built to keep on going for decades, and that’s evident in every part from the buttons to the racks and the wheels they glide on.
But Bosch is no slouch when it comes to durability and longevity, either. They test their dishwashers to withstand a minimum of ten years of use. And their dedication to using only the highest-quality parts has long been a hallmark of the brand.
Bosch Dishwasher Pricing
Bosch edges out Miele in terms of general affordability. As an example, Bosch 100 series dishwashers are stripped down in functionaly to the point of featuring plastic tubs and cost about $500.
Bosch 300 and 500 Series possess most features desired by modern customers and offered at a price point lower than $800. Also, Bosch runs many promotions during the year to help accelerate sales of these models.
Only at 800 Series you will start noticing the advanced features and visible quality enhancements among Bosch dishwashers. (e.g. better racking, flexible interior, most quiet operation etc.).
Bosch Benchmark Series have all luxury features and are priced between $1100 - $2000. Again, many Bosch Benchmark dishwashers come with rebates that might save you $200 per dishwasher. Keep in mind Bosch runs kitchen package promotions throughout the year with a simple 10 - 15% savings opportunities.
Miele Dishwasher Pricing
Unlike Bosch and rest of the manufacturers, Miele does not compromise on features and quality of their dishwashers based on model series. That’s not to say that Miele machines are overpriced—they simply occupy a slightly more high-end space within the market. Along with those premiums come more powerful operations, additional features and added functionality. From the entry level to the commercial line all Miele dishwashers share the same industrial pump system. All parts are heavily tested and feature the latest technology.
Miele Classic Plus series dishwashers start at $999 during promotional times and fit the needs of most families.
Miele Crystal Series have most advanced features and convenience such as water softener, auto-open door and start at $1499.
Miele Diamond Series start at $2499 and are fully featured. In addition, the 5 year warranty is standard in this series.
Miele offers professional grade dishwashers for home as well as for commercial and scientific use. Miele professional dishwashers feature NSF certified sanitization, super fast cycles (6 minutes), ability to load with specialized racks.
It’s all about deciding for yourself what exactly you want and need out of your dishwasher. Both Miele and Bosch machines demand a premium price for their premium quality, but good new is that there is a range of machines at various price points from which to choose.
Weighing whether to purchase a Bosch or Miele machine is a decision with no bad outcome. Both brands have a proven, decades-long history of providing consistent, long-lasting, durable and downright beautiful machines that are a pleasure to use and get the job done time after time. Which brand you ultimately decide on will depend largely on your budget, plus which design features matter most to you. In the end, you’ve already made a wise choice by narrowing your search to these two world-class brands.