Dishwasher - Photo Copyright Jo Bourne (cc)

This article lists the different types of dishwashers available in the UK.

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Finding the right dishwasher for you is easy with our quick guide. For what has now become a staple item you’d be surprised at how many types of dishwashers there actually are. So we’ve put together a list of types and features for you.


Energy Saving Trust Recommended

You can check on the Energy Saving Trust website here to find a Energy Saving Trust Recommended Dishwasher. This should save you money and the environment at the same time. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that if all old dishwashers were replaced with recommended models, £47 million a year would be saved – and almost 200,000 tonnes of CO2.

Types of fitting

Integrated Dishwashers

These are dishwashers that are installed as part of a kitchen fitting rather than being standalone machine. The advantage of this is a seamless kitchen finish; but the disadvantage is that it is very difficult to relocate the dishwasher should you decide to move or re-design. Generally an integrated dishwasher will give you slightly more internal space and will produce less noise.

Freestanding Dishwashers

These are dishwashers that can be fitted anywhere there is a water supply so offer an obvious advantage over integrated models. They are generally less expensive than fitted machines.

Types of Dishwasher

Full size

A full size dishwasher is suitable if you have a large or busy household and regularly see dishes piled high up on every surface. They have a large capacity of up to 60, or so, larger items (Plates, bowls etc).


A slim dishwasher is ideal if you want to squeeze as much as possible into your kitchen, if you have a small space to work with or if you have a small household. They have a reduced capacity being able to take 20-30 larger items.


A compact dishwasher sits on a counter top or in a cupboard and is roughly the same size as a microwave. These are perfect for flats or bedsits as they don’t get in the way too much.

Dishwasher functions

Different dishwasher types will have different functions but most are available in some configuration on all the types of machine listed above.

Half load function

This function allows you to save water and electricity when you have not filled your dishwasher. It sets the machine to only use half the normal amount of water – whilst still providing an efficient wash.

Rinse only function

This function allows you to quick wash dishes without using too much water. It is great if you have been eating light foods and don’t have greasy pots and pans to wash.

Delicate only function

This function allows you to wash items lightly so that they don’t get damaged. It is useful for washing fine crystal glasses and patterned china that you don’t want to risk breaking.

Temperature control function

This function is useful for saving energy when you only want to wash lightly used plates and cutlery. Grease and other sticky cooking by-products need a high temperature to clean properly. Delicate patterns require a lighter temperature to prevent damage. Being able to adjust your temperature saves electricity and your fine china so is very useful.

Timer function

This function lets you set when you wish your dishes to be washed. This is great if you live in an area where you have the option to use off-peak energy at a reduced rate.

This covers the key features to look for in dishwasher types and will allow you to choose which models will be most beneficial for you.

Useful websites

If you are thinking of buying a dishwasher or want to find out more about different types of dishwashers these websites may be useful:

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