There are mainly two dishwasher types in the market the standard built-in dishwashers or portable dishwashers. We will touch upon the two types of dishwashers below so you can quickly decide which one is right for you. We included additional helpful resources under each section for you to deep-dive based on your needs and interests.
Standard Built-in Dishwashers
We are most accustomed to seeing standard built-in dishwashers in our kitchens. These products go under the counter and blend with cabinets. They offer a high level of convenience and aesthetically pleasing design. Built-in dishwashers come in a wide range of finishes, from stainless steel to black or even cabinet-matched. Within this style type, available products in the market range in size, designs, features, and overall quality.
Built-in dishwashers are predominantly 24-inches wide. Some manufacturers also make 18-inch wide dishwashers for smaller kitchens, pool, or bar areas.
Only one manufacturer, Fisher Paykel, focuses on making dishwasher drawers. These come as either double-drawer or single drawer format.
If you have non-standard counter height, or if your floors were done after the dishwaser was installed you may need a slightly shorter dishwasher. Not to worry, there is a solution. ADA compliant dishwashers are about 2-inches shorter than their full-size cousins and there are plenty of manufacturers that make them.
Standard dishwashers connect to your water source and drain pipe beneath your kitchen sink, and often feature a full-size, tall tub that offers added interior space for your large items.
Portable dishwashers are not a common sight but solve a big problem (nobody likes doing dishes by hand) for people who live in small apartments, RV's and vacation homes. They're basically movable units on wheels, and they don't require separate plumbing to operate. Some smaller models can even be placed on a countertop. Simply hook it up to your kitchen faucet to operate.
Best portable dishwashers save drawer space but take up floor space in your kitchen. And if you're accustomed to running dishwashing loads often, the inconvenience of wheeling it back and forth to your sink can be frustrating.
Portable dishwashers come in 24-inch and compact 18-inch variations. That being said, the 24-inch variety is much more common and competitive on the market, and you'll find these models generally have greater features and value.
Summary & Additional Resources
If you are in the market for a new dishwasher, most probably you are going to need a standard (a.k.a. built-in) dishwasher. We've done the research for you an prepared a comprehensive dishwasher buying guide. In addition, if you want our take on the best dishwashers on the market today check out ranked list.