Picture this… you are looking for a dishwasher, and eventually, you narrow it down to two similar dishwasher models from Miele and KitchenAid. Which would you pick over the other? What features and factors would you consider before making your choice?
If you have little knowledge about dishwashers and the unique offerings of each brand, you may find it hard to pick the right dishwasher for your kitchen. But that’s precisely where we come in – to provide you with enough information to make your choice an easy one.
Ready to get on this ride? Read on…
How Well Do Miele and KitchenAid Stack Up?
Miele and KitchenAid are among the top dishwasher brands in the market. They both have been in the industry for decades, and make quality dishwashers with excellent cleaning efficiency and reliability.
Miele dishwashers set the pace for excellence in the functionality and design of today’s dishwasher. Every Miele dishwasher is built to last twenty years, which is twice as long as what other dishwasher brands offer. They are ultra-quiet and can safely wash delicate dishes, unlike some KitchenAid models.
KitchenAid once dominated the US market but lost its top spot to Bosch due to quietness concerns. Recent KitchenAid dishwasher models are considerably quieter and offer a better cleaning option for baked-on dishes and bottles. KitchenAid also has more affordable dishwasher price points than Miele.
Miele towers high above KitchenAid in connectivity. While Miele has some wifi enabled dishwashers, KitchenAid has none. Connectivity in KitchenAid home appliances is only found in their cooktops and ovens.
Watch our in-depth video about the Miele dishwasher lineup:
Let's see how these two brands measure up. Starting with:
It is hard to determine which brand is quieter, given that there is no standard measuring body. In a bid to improve their ratings, most manufacturers take their measurements during the washing operation, leaving out noise generated while pumping in or out water.
But Miele takes quietness seriously. For many years the company resisted the idea of reporting on quietness in order not to dignify statistically insignificant measurements of their competition. As of today, most Miele dishwashers are at between 39dB and 42dB ratings. Even the entry-level Miele Classic series are extra quiet at 46 dB. This makes the brand one of the quietest dishwashers in the industry. In case you are wondering what dB (decibel rating) means, we covered dishwasher quietness in an article and video.
KitchenAid was not always known for its quiet dishwashers. But in recent years, the company has dramatically improved in that category, producing dishwashers with noise levels as low as 46dB. The KDTE334GPS at 39dB is KitchenAid’s quietest dishwasher and is just a bit louder than the rustling of leaves.
One very remarkable feature of Miele dishwashers in the cleaning category is the variable pump speed. You are more likely to find this in commercial dishwashers, and rarely in-home dishwashers. Miele equips all dishwasher models manufactured from 2015 to date with industrial pumps.
With commercial-grade pumps, Miele dishwashers can adjust the spray pressure for each washing program. This is one of the main reasons why Miele dishwashers have superior cleaning performance. Industrial pumps are also less likely to break down, which adds to the longevity of your dishwasher.
Both brands also have a sensor for measuring the level of soiling and determining the best wash time and temperature for each load (as an example - longer times and higher temperatures for loads that have excessive soiling). KitchenAid calls this feature the "ProWash".
Although Miele is the pioneer of the sensor technology, it simply provides a superior clean and does not bother adding to the marketing jargon. We should also note that unlike its competition, Miele takes more than one measurement instead of just one and covers the sump area for its measurements for utmost accuracy.
Miele is also the only dishwasher brand with a full wash arm at the top to clean the 3rd rack effectively.
Thus, Miele is the best dishwasher brand for fragile dishes such as expensive china and delicate crystals.
All Miele dishwashers in the Crystal Series and above are equipped with a water softener. This is another feature absent in KitchenAid dishwashers. Water softener ensures a great cleaning job in localities with hard water. As an example, you will not see streaks on the dishes and water stains on your glassware.
Both brands have similar programs and options such as, normal, sani-wash, and pre-rinse. Miele, especially for its higher echelon of dishwashers, has a rich setup programming. Most Miele dishwashers also come with a self-clean program to keep the interior fresh.
Both Miele and KitchenAid have excellent drying systems.
Miele pioneered the condensation-drying method, which is energy efficient and does not melt plastics. The hot stainless-steel walls of the Miele dishwashers act as a sponge and draw moisture from the surface of the dishes.
KitchenAid, on the other hand, has the "ProDry" i.e. the code word for "condensation-drying" that corresponds to Miele's drying system. High-end KitchenAid dishwashers employ a heating element in addition to "ProDry" (i.e. "Extended ProDry"), which is the most reliable drying solution in a dishwasher (just make sure not to place plastics in the tub).
But Miele matches KitchenAid in the drying category with its CleanAir system that collects moist air within the dishwasher and dissipates it outside as water. High-end Miele models (the Lumen, Dimension, and Diamond series) have the AutoOpen Door option, which makes the doors pop open after each cycle to let ambient air in. So, if you typically turn on the dishwasher when you go to bed, you will not observe a musty smell when you open the door of your dishwasher.
We recommend that you use your favorite dishwasher rinse aid in both brands to enhance drying.
Miele’s rich history and commitment to quality are probably the reason why their dishwashers are some of the most reliable in the industry. The brand set unmatched standards in dishwasher durability, performance, and energy-efficiency. Each dishwasher will have to withstand running 7,500 times, and its door opened 100,000 times to guarantee steady operation at peak efficiency.
The average KitchenAid dishwasher is quite reliable and can last for as long as 12 years if maintained properly. But the average Miele dishwasher has a lifespan of 20 years and is more reliable.
Miele towers high above most other dishwasher brands, including KitchenAid, in terms of design. Miele dishwashers are known for their minimalist designs without compromising functionality. KitchenAid also has some high-end models which have remarkable designs.
Door Design Options
Miele has one very unique door design option that sets it apart from any other dishwasher brand in the industry – the knock to open (K2O) door option. You can find this in models like the Lumen Series G6885SCViK2O and the Diamond Series G6987SCViK2O. The dishwasher door is handless and opens up to reveal the controls when you knock twice on the door. Cool, right?
Miele door design options include
• Pocket handle design with visible control panel
• Towel bar handle with different handle options and hidden control panel
• Knock to open door design without handle
• Panel ready designs with black glass control screen.
KitchenAid equally has good door design options
• Pocket handle design with hidden top control panel
• Towel bar handle with hidden top control panel
• Panel ready designs (like in the KDTM504EPA)
• Door design with glass window
Panel Ready Dishwashers to Match Cabinets
KitchenAid dishwashers have a significant design issue. There’s no model with the standard 24” kitchen cabinet depth (they are either 24 ¾-inches or 24 1/2 -inches deep even without considering the handle). The dishwashers stick out of a regular kitchen cabinet and make it hard to achieve a flush and seamless kitchen decor design.
Miele, just like Bosch, provides better dishwasher options if you are looking to achieve a seamless kitchen design finish. Miele dishwasher models do not stick out of a standard 24” kitchen cabinet. The company also has 6-inch high toe kick dishwasher models for uniform fit in kitchens with high-end European cabinets.
18-inch Width & ADA Compliant Specialized Models
Miele, unlike KitchenAid, manufactures dishwasher models that are ADA-compliant. ADA-compliant dishwashers can fit under the counter even if the surrounding floors have been raised.
If you like to have a separate dishwasher for your pool or secondary bar, Miele also makes 18-inch variants of some of its dishwasher models. These dishwashers, like the Miele G4780SCVI, are meant for galley kitchens, and small apartments with limited kitchen use. Again, Miele provides a stainless steel finish with or without visible controls, as well as custom panel ready models. KitchenAid does not have 18-inch dishwasher models at this point.
- Read our guide: Best 18-inch Dishwashers for Apartments
You will be able to fit 16 place settings in a Miele dishwasher (A typical KitchenAid dishwasher holds 14 place settings and higher-end models feature 15 place settings). The interior is laid out intelligently and will give you the flexibility to handle odd pieces and large pots and pans. Its tines have surgical grade coating; therefore, they do not discolor or chip. Miele uses bright yellow color markers in its dishwashers to indicate that you can either remove or flip the part in several ways.
Miele's middle rack is easily adjustable up or down even when it is loaded. Miele invented the cutlery tray (a.k.a. the 3rd rack) in dishwashers for silverware, ladles, spatulas, and ramekins. Miele's 3D design allows the 3rd rack to move out of the way when you have tall stem glasses in the rack below. It comes with many other convenient traits to make the chore of dishwashing a bit easier.
Miele dishwashers, unlike other brands, have all their racks built to glide smoothly. Most KitchenAid dishwashers have the smooth glide feature reserved for one rack only. Without the smooth glide, you will find it hard moving the rack, especially if it contains heavy dishes.
Miele dishwashers all have a unique double-waterproof system – a feature you may not find in regular dishwashers with the exception of Bosch. This may not mean much because good dishwashers typically do not leak. But the double-waterproof design (and a leak detection system) is designed to give you the peace of mind.
The way this system works is that dishwasher will shut off the water supply if it detects moisture a the bottom basin. Over the years, Miele went even further and included the leak detection systems in its hoses. Therefore, you will notice that unlike other brands, the Miele dishwashers will come with their own factory supplied intake and drain hoses.
Due to the extra length the brand goes to ensure longevity and durability, Miele dishwashers are considerably costlier than other brands. Some of the least expensive Miele dishwasher models can still be as high as $999 (occasional promotions bring the price down to $899). This makes sense, given the longevity, quality, and top performance Miele offers.
KitchenAid dishwashers have lower price points, and the company is known to run frequent promotions. While it’s also a premium brand with premium-priced models, you can still get a decent KitchenAid dishwasher for as low as $600-$749.
Let’s look at our top picks from both brands.
4 Best Miele Dishwashers
The Miele Dimension G6745SCUCLST meets all regular dishwasher features and also packs all the exciting Miele dishwasher features that we love. At 40dB, this dishwasher is one of the quietest dishwashers in the industry. It also has an impressive 16 place settings in a single load, which can accommodate a full day’s worth of dirty dishes.
The G6745SCUCLST has a built-in water softener, a cleaning system made up of 3 rotary sprays, and the AutoOpen door design. There’s also the superior 3D cutlery tray design for accommodating and washing bigger cutlery.
We are particularly impressed by its self-cleaning feature. Simply put your favorite cleaning agent (or baking soda and vinegar) in the tub and let the program make your dishwasher squeaky clean and smell fresh.
Comes in 3 styles:
- Stainless steel, visible controls with a pocket handle
- Stainless steel, hidden controls with a towel bar handle
- Custom pane ready with hidden controls
The Crystal series dishwashers perform at a very similar to the Dimension series. AutoOpen door and water softener systems are helpful in achieving great cleaning and drying performance.
The difference between the Miele Crystal and the Dimension series are:
- Miele Dimension series delivers ultra quiet 40 dB experience vs the 45 db of the Crystal series.
- Self clean and extra potent cooktop grates and ventilation filter clean programs.
The reason why we included this dishwasher in our list is that the price point is $200 less expensive compared to the Dimension series and Miele seldom runs promotions to bring the price even lower.
The G4228SCUSS is about the best average Miele dishwasher you can get in the market. With a silence level of 46dB, it is a little louder than a quiet library room. It comes equipped with the cutlery tray third rack and has a cleaning system with three rotary spray arms.
Just like most high-end Miele dishwashers, the G4228SCUSS has the AutoSensor technology for customizing wash cycles based on the level of soiling and amount of load. The model also has 16 full place settings for maximum load capacity.
The Diamond series dishwashers are at the pinnacle of Miele's dishwasher technology. The G6987SCVIK2O packs amazing features that set it apart from the rest. First among these is the knock to open (K2O) and handless door feature, which makes it great for seamless kitchen design. Just a gentle knock will open the dishwasher for you.
The G6987SCVi K2O comes equipped with the Miele AutoClose feature, which closes the door slowly and automatically if you leave the door ajar. There is the Miele BrilliantLight technology that lights up the interior of the dishwasher.
As expected, this Miele dishwasher is ultra-quiet at 42 dB and incorporates the usual Miele features such as water softener, AutoOpen drying, and flexible interior design.
Wifi connectivity allows using your iPhone or Android phone to access cycles and maintenance information. Cleaning and drying programs are fine tunes in Diamond series so much so that you may skip using a rinse aid (a particularly sought after feature among wine enthusiasts).
The G6987SCVi K2O is your choice if you want to experience the premium Miele kitchen touch.
3 Best KitchenAid Dishwashers
1) Best Budget: KitchenAid KDPE234GPS
The KDPE234GPS may not be as impressive as other high-end dishwasher models, but it has some talking points for its low price. Besides the regular dishwasher features, it has the standard noise level of 46dB, a third rack, and also has the KitchenAid PrintShield fingerprint-proof finish.
2) Best in Quietness: KitchenAid KDTE334GPS
The KDTE334GPS is the quietest dishwasher of all top 6. At 39dB, it is almost noiseless and has the least silence rating in the industry. Besides the silence rating, it has a special bottle sprays for concentrated bottle washing and a third rack too. It also has the classic KitchenAid ProScrub option, which offers one of the best cleaning performances in the industry.
3) Best Value: KitchenAid KDTM354ESS
The KDTM354ESS comes as an improvement to the KDTM354DSS and has the best washing performance of KitchenAid dishwashers. It may not have a third rack, but its ultra-fine filter, load sensor, and 40-jet spraying option (for concentrated washing) make it one of the best in functionality. It also has an electronic touch control panel that amplifies your kitchen’s classy look.
Miele and KitchenAid dishwashers both present impressive features. Miele surpasses KitchenAid models in terms of durability, longevity, connectivity, and cutting-edge design. But that also makes Miele more pricey. KitchenAid dishwashers are more affordable compared to Miele.
Ultimately, your choice will depend on your priorities when it comes to cleaning performance, how you want your kitchen to look, and how much you would like to budget for it.