Best Countertop Dishwashers of 2020

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Categories Dishwashing
They don’t take up a lot of space, but they do a lot of work. 

If you’re sick of washing dishes by hand, arguing over whose turn it is and running short on time, then you’re in need of a dishwasher. But not everybody has space for a dishwasher in their kitchen. That’s where countertop dishwashers come in.

Get most of the same benefits of a normal dishwasher — lots of cycle options, energy-efficient washing, saving time — but without taking up any cupboard space! Simply sit the dishwasher on your countertops, load it up, turn it on and enjoy sparkling clean dishes.

Perfect for small apartments, dorms and RVs. With our list of the best countertop dishwashers on the market, you’re in for a treat!


Are Countertop Dishwashers Any Good?

We think so! While they’re not up to par with standard dishwashers, they’re great in their own right. With countertop dishwashers, you have lots of cycle options, it does a thorough clean and it’s awesome for smaller households, such as a single person or a couple.

You should note that countertop dishwashers are obviously a lot smaller than standard dishwashers. So there may not be space for all your daily dishes, especially if you cook everything from scratch. They’re also a bit louder than standard dishwashers.

Weigh up the pros and cons of each model and decide if these dishwashers are best for you.

Portable vs Countertop Dishwashers

Although lots of people use these terms interchangeably, and countertop dishwashers are technically portable, these are different types.

Countertop dishwashers are made for going on your countertop. They don’t have wheels, and they can’t be built into your kitchen cabinets. You can place them on a separate cart or table, as many people choose to do but most need to be near a sink for water supply.

Portable dishwashers, on the other hand, are a bit bigger. They’re smaller than standard dishwashers, but bigger than countertop dishwashers. They’re usually on wheels so you can transport them easily.

This post focuses on countertop dishwashers only.

Where Do Countertop Dishwashers Drain?

It depends on your model. Some options have a built-in water tank that you fill and empty before and after each cycle. Some need to be plumbed into your main sink. This, of course, means they need to be near your sink on the counter. So make sure you have free space there before purchasing one of those types.

Keep in Mind

Many countertop dishwashers need to be plumbed into the main faucet for the water supply. This renders your kitchen sink unusable while the dishwasher is in use.

How to Choose the Best Countertop Dishwashers

Countertop dishwashers vary depending on the brand and model. So how can you choose the best one? That’s up to you. We recommend looking at these factors to narrow it down!

Size

Countertop dishwashers come in a range of sizes. Always look at the dimensions to check it will fit your kitchen space. Also consider the capacity. How many place settings can it hold at once?

Noise

Dishwashers measure their noise in decibels. Countertop dishwashers are usually between 50 and 65 decibels, with 50 being the quietest and 65 being the loudest. If low noise is important to you, keep that in mind when shopping.

Budget

We won’t hide the fact that countertop dishwashers are expensive. They’re cheaper than standard dishwashers, but not by much! If you’re on a budget, look at the prices to find one that suits your price range.

Performance

Consider the wash cycles, what the dishwasher can do, child lock abilities, and plate capacity. You may also want to check if it’s Energy Star certified, and other features practical for your habits.

Ease of Use

Once you get the hang of these best countertop dishwashers, you’ll find they’re simple to navigate. But if you aren’t tech-savvy, we’ll let you know which ones may be best!

You should also consider one with an LED screen that lets you know how long left is on the cycle. Lastly, you may want one with a built-in water tank so you don’t have to do any plumbing.

Durability

Countertop dishwashers won’t be as durable as standard dishwashers, but always check the warranty to see how long it’s ensured to last. Also, consider one with a stainless steel interior which is more durable than plastic.

Warranty

As mentioned, check the warranty. It’s likely to be around one year — but always double-check for extra assurance.

Design

Finally, consider the appearance and style. Countertop dishwashers take up a bit of counter space, and they can look quite clunky. If you want to avoid that, check out ones with extra style, nice features and a more aesthetic appearance.


The Best Countertop Dishwashers of 2020

To create this list of the seven best countertop dishwashers, we’ve spent hours researching. We’ve looked at expert advice, real customer reviews, and user manuals. With that in mind, we’re sure you’ll find one that works for you and your dishes!

1. NOVETE Compact Countertop Dishwasher

Best Quiet Countertop Dishwasher

Portable Countertop Dishwasher, NOVETE Compact Dishwashers with 5 L Built-in Water Tank & Inlet Hose, 5 Washing Programs, Baby Care, Air-Dry Function and LED Light for Small Apartments, Dorms and RVs
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Shhh… Do you hear that? Great! That’s the way we like our dishwashers: whisper quiet.

For a quiet countertop dishwasher, the Novete compact option is super impressive.

At only 50 decibels, that’s similar to a quiet conversation or the hum of a refrigerator. So while it’s running, especially if you’re in another room, it shouldn’t bother you at all.

Why We Love It

Water Tank

This dishwasher has a five-liter water tank so there is no need to plumb this in. It makes it super easy to fill and empty, as well as transport. If you’re on the move a lot, this is the perfect dishwashing companion! On the other hand, there is the option to connect it to your water hoses or a faucet.

Five Washing Cycles

There are five useful washing cycles for this dishwasher. Choose from normal, speed, eco, baby care or heavy, and fruit.

The water temperature can reach up to 167°F which can sanitize your dishes. This is especially useful for the baby care cycle! If you are in a rush, opt for the speed cycle which cleans the dishes in only 29 minutes. The normal cycle, the longest, is only 69 minutes. So overall, these cycles are nice and quick.

Dry Dishes

The dry cycle can help with drying your dishes. It gives 60 minutes of hot air to make sure the dishes are as dry as possible.

If you need to store the dishwasher, there are 72 hours of automatic intermittent ventilation so the dishwasher is dry before going into storage. You can use the dry cycle with any other cycles, except the fruit one, to help with drying.

Keep In Mind

No Faucet Adapter Included

If you plan to hook it up to a faucet, keep in mind that there is no adapter included. While it may fit some faucets, it’s not universal. So plan ahead so you’re not left without an adapter in the meantime.

Plastic Interior

While plastic is fine for a dishwasher, we think stainless steel is better. Firstly, plastic isn’t as durable. Secondly, it clings to moisture so it won’t get your dishes 100 percent dry, despite the drying cycle.

Additional Specs

Size 16.86 x 16.75 x 18.05 inches
Noise 50 dB
Wash Cycles Five
Energy Star Certified No
Water Setup Water tank, hose or faucet connection

2. Farberware Professional Countertop Dishwasher

Best Energy-Saving Countertop Dishwasher

Farberware Professional FCD06ABBWHA Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 6 Place Settings and Silverware Basket, LED Display, Energy Star, White
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This Energy Star certified dishwasher is one to consider if you want to save energy.

There is also a light cycle if you want to save water and electricity.

Overall, the estimated annual cost to run this dishwasher is $27 with electric and $18 with gas.

Why We Love It

Quiet Operation

While the decibel for this dishwasher isn’t specified, customers love that it’s quiet. For a countertop dishwasher, people are impressed! If you live in a studio apartment, or an RV, then a quiet dishwasher is a big bonus.

Useful Cycles

The seven washing cycles are all useful, and you’ll find some options that aren’t often found elsewhere. The baby care cycle which is great for sanitizing bottles, pacifiers and other items.

Another thing we think is super cool is that this dishwasher has a self clean cycle. The dishwasher cleans itself so you don’t need to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Extra Drying

The extra drying function circulates extra heat during the final rinse to help with drying results. While this doesn’t ensure the dishes are 100 percent dry, it’s definitely better than some of the other options. It can be used in conjunction with the heavy, normal, light, glass and baby care cycles.

Keep In Mind

Extra Steps for Spotless Dishes

While a quality dishwasher doesn’t require pre-rinsing your dishes, you may find you need to with this appliance.

When using the heavy cycle, it’s important not to overload the dishwasher or dishes won’t come out spotless.

Overall, this dishwasher isn’t super effective on grease and grime.

Small Inside

Although it’s quite a bulky dishwasher, it’s not so spacious on the inside. If you have plates larger than 10 inches, you’ll struggle to fit them upright. In total, there are six place settings, but customers found this meant the plates or bowls were too close together and didn’t always get clean.

Additional Specs

Size 21.7 x 19.7 x 17.2 inches
Noise Not specified but it is quiet
Wash Cycles Seven
Energy Star Certified Yes
Water Setup Faucet connection

3. Farberware Complete Countertop Dishwasher

Best Small Countertop Dishwasher

Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 5-Liter Built-in Water Tank, 5 Programs, Baby Care, Glass & Fruit Wash-Black/White
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Utilizing your space, especially when you live in a smaller place, matters.

This compact dishwasher is perfect for tiny homes, apartments, dorms, and RVs. It’s only 17.3 by 16.5 by 17.3 inches in size.

Plus, it has a built-in water tank, so you don’t need to plumb it into your sink. You can place it anywhere in the room, as long as it’s near an outlet.

Why We Love It

No Hookups Needed

Forget difficult installation and plumbing experience. Just plug this compact dishwasher into an outlet, fill up the water tank and you’re good to go! However, if you’re not a fan of that option, you can choose to hook it up to the kitchen faucet.

Keep in Mind

The adapter isn’t included, so you may need to purchase that separately.
Five Washing Programmes

Everybody loves options. This dishwasher has five cycles to choose from. This includes normal, rapid, baby care, glass and fruit wash. They’re all pretty self-explanatory, but we think the fruit wash is a fun feature! There is a fruit basket included and you can let the machine wash your fruit so it’s safer to eat.

Air Refresh

Countertop dishwashers aren’t amazing at drying dishes, and even with this setting, don’t expect perfect results. But it’s a nice feature to have. The air refresh setting can be used with any of the other cycles to help aid the drying of dishes.

Keep In Mind

Awkward Sizing

This dishwasher is small, so it’s got just enough space for two people’s dishes and a few extras. However, it still takes up a bit of counter space, especially between uses.

For one, it’s quite tall so it may not fit under upper cabinets. Also, to remove the water tank, you may need to move the dishwasher to reach it. Finally, the door is either fully opened or fully closed, so when airing out dishes, the door sticks out.

Detergent Compatibility

The dishwasher manual advises against rinse aids and detergent pods. If you live in a hard water area, this is not a good choice for you. Plus, if you love pods — they are super practical — then you may get frustrated by this dishwasher.

Additional Specs

Size 17.3 x 16.5 x 17.3 inches
Noise Decibels not specified — customers say it’s quiet
Wash Cycles Five
Energy Star Certified No
Water Setup Water tank or faucet connection

4. SPT Compact Countertop Dishwasher

Best Easy-to-Use Countertop Dishwasher

SPT SD-2225DS Compact Countertop Dishwasher/Delay Start-Energy Star Portable Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Interior and 6 Place Settings Rack Silverware Basket/Apartment Office Home Kitchen, Silver
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Customers love how easy this dishwasher is to install. It isn’t complicated and doesn’t take too long at all.

As for using it, it’s easy to load because of the different compartments. And it’s easy to select your cycle.

There are a few cycle options, but once you get the hang of them, it’s a breeze to use.

Plus, there’s a screen which tells you how much time is left on the cycle so you can plan your day around it!

Why We Love It

Six Cycles

There are six cycles to choose from. This includes heavy, normal, ECO, glass, speed and rinse. So whether you have heavily soiled dishes or just need to rinse a few dishes — you can customize the settings accordingly. You can also delay the start time by two, four, six or eight hours if you want to time it in with your schedule.

Easy Installation

If you want to get to using your dishwasher right away, then this is one to consider. It’s super easy to connect and set up the dishwasher. It comes with a universal adapter so you can connect it to most kitchen faucets! Turn it on, fill it up, add your dishwasher detergent, choose your cycle and relax while your dishwasher cleans your plates.

Safety Indicators

This dishwasher has an indicator if something goes wrong with the water supply or the rinse aid. It removes some of the guesswork if you’re unsure why your dishes aren’t totally clean. It lets you know where the issue is so you can fix it quickly and effectively.

Keep In Mind

Lacks Space

Customers find that this dishwasher lacks space for everything. Even for two people, it’s tight on space, especially if you cook from scratch. You can’t pack the dishwasher full either, or it won’t clean as well. If you have taller plates, too, they may not fit properly.

Long Cycles

Some of the cycles on this dishwasher are as long as standard dishwashers. While you may be saving time by not hand-washing dishes, the cycles still run on for a while. Keep that in mind so you can plan accordingly.

Additional Specs

Size 21.65 x 19.69 x 17.24 inches
Noise 55 dB
Wash Cycles Six
Energy Star Certified Yes
Water Setup Faucet connection (universal)

5. EdgeStar Energy Star Rated Dishwasher

Best Stylish Countertop Dishwasher

EdgeStar DWP62BL 6 Place Setting Energy Star Rated Portable Countertop Dishwasher - Black
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Countertop dishwashers can look a little clunky, and many brands don’t prioritize style.

But the EdgeStar dishwasher is a stylish option that can look good in your kitchen.

Plus, it comes in three different color options so you can choose one that matches the rest of your decor!

Whether you want black, silver or white — you’ve got options.

Why We Love It

Lots of Room

For a countertop dishwasher, this is on the more spacious side. It has room for six place settings, so you can fit all the daily dishes for single people or couples. Or you can run it a few times a day for families. It even has a dish rack, cup shelf and a cutlery basket for the extra items! We love that it fits plates up to 10.5 inches in diameter, so you should hopefully be able to squeeze in your dinner plates.

Seven Cycles

Sometimes one cycle option doesn’t cut it. But seven? Now we’re talking. With this dishwasher, you can choose between heavy, normal, light, glass, baby car, speed and rinse cycles. No matter what you’re aiming for, this dishwasher has the option! Don’t forget that the heavy wash cycle goes up to 149°F to get rid of germs and bacteria.

Practical Structure

There are two details with the design and structure of this dishwasher that we love. First, it has a stainless steel interior for maximum durability. This also ensures the dishwasher doesn’t cling to moisture like plastic does, so your dishes should come out a bit dryer.

Secondly, it’s an energy-efficient dishwasher. EdgeStar claims this appliance uses 61 percent less energy than other countertop dishwashers. So it’s a bit more affordable to run annually!

Keep In Mind

No Detergent Pods

You cannot use detergent pods with this dishwasher! Using detergent pods will cause the dishwasher to overflow. These pods are designed for standard dishwashers so they are too powerful for countertop dishwashers. Read the user manual for specific advice on detergent.

Less Is More

Use a liquid or powder detergent, but keep in mind that less is more. If you use too much, there will be residue on the dishes.
Button Readability

There are seven cycle options so it’s a lot to remember. Unfortunately, the cycle names aren’t listed on the control panel. They are labeled P1, P2, P3 and so forth. You’ll have to refer to the user manual every time you start your dishwasher to remind yourself which button is for which cycle. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to memorize the settings.

Additional Specs

Size 19.63 x 21.63 x 17.31 inches
Noise 52.3 dB
Wash Cycles Seven
Energy Star Certified Yes
Water Setup Faucet connection

6. Danby Countertop Dishwasher

Best Budget Countertop Dishwasher

Danby DDW621WDB Countertop Dishwasher, White
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Countertop dishwashers aren’t cheap, but if you are looking for something priced on the lower end, we recommend the Danby dishwasher.

A bit more of an affordable dishwasher, but still super awesome. It has a more classic look, and is a little more spacious than some of our other recommendations, too. Perfect for couples!

Why We Love It

Spacious Design

Compared to some other countertop dishwashers, this doesn’t slack on space. There is room for six place settings, so two people can fill the dishwasher all day long. Or if you have a dinner party — you can get everyone’s dishes washed in one cycle!

It also has a bigger cutlery rack than some models so there’s room for lots of forks, knives and spoons.

Cycle Options

This dishwasher has six cycle options: Intensive, Normal, Economy, Rapid, Glass and Soak. So you can customize your cycle depending on the type of dishes you’re washing.

But that’s not all — this dishwasher has a delay timer. You can push the start time back two, four, six or eight hours to suit in with your schedule.

Rinse Aid Option

We love that there is a rinse aid dispenser in this dishwasher. Not every countertop dishwasher has that option. If you live in a hard water area, and rely on a rinse aid to get your dishes streak-free, then this is an option to consider.

Keep In Mind

What About Tall Plates?

If you have taller plates, exceeding 10 inches in diameter, watch out. Customers reported these didn’t fit in the dishwasher! This can be frustrating as you might need to buy new plates. Plan ahead if you are considering this dishwasher.

No Drying Cycle

Warning: there is no drying cycle. Dishes will come out of this dishwasher pretty wet, so you may need to dry them by hand or let them air dry before putting them away.

Additional Specs

Size 19.69 x 21.65 x 17.24 inches
Noise 52 dB
Wash Cycles Six
Energy Star Certified No
Water Setup Faucet connection

7. BLACK+DECKER Countertop Dishwasher

Best Heavy-Duty Countertop Dishwasher

BLACK+DECKER BCD6W 6 Place Setting Compact Countertop Dishwasher
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Looking for something with a bit more oomph? Something that can clean your plates, cups, and bowls, but also pots and pans?

Say hello to the Black and Decker countertop dishwasher.

Customers absolutely love that this can scrub clean pots and pans, provide heavy-duty cleaning, and offer spotless results every time.

Why We Love It

Sleek Stylish Design

Just looking at this model, it’s clear that it’s sleek and stylish. It has a black and white finish which looks good in all kitchens. The control panel is very modern, too. The LED screen tells you exactly how much time is left on the cycle so you can plan around it. No more guesswork!

Spacious Interior

There are six place settings in this dishwasher, so you can clean all your plates, bowls, mugs and cutlery from one day. There is also room for pots and pans, if you’re up for a bit of dish Tetris!

This dishwasher also accommodates size for plates up to 10.5 inches tall. Finally, there is a separate upper rack and a cutlery basket.

Seven Wash Cycle Options

There are seven wash cycles: Intensive, Normal, Eco, Glass, 90 Minutes, Rapid & Soak. We recommend the Intensive cycle for your pots and pans, and heavy-duty cleaning. It delivers best results, even if it is a little longer than some of the other cycles.

Keep In Mind

Wet Dishes

This dishwasher does not dry dishes. There is no option for drying, so be prepared for the dishes to come out quite wet. You may need to air dry or towel dry them before putting them away.

Annoying Installation

Customers had a difficult time installing this. Whether it was a part that didn’t fit, a missing part or confusing instructions — it took them a bit of time. Keep that in mind before purchasing and maybe equip yourself with some how-to videos and better quality connecting pieces.

Additional Specs

Size 17.2 x 21.5 x 21.7 inches
Noise 60 dB
Wash Cycles Seven
Energy Star Certified Yes
Water Setup Faucet connection

Countertop Dishwasher Comparison Chart

Product Best Size Noise Wash Cycles Energy Star Certified Water Setup
NOVETE Compact Countertop Dishwasher Quiet 16.86 x 16.75 x 18.05″ 50 dB 5 No Water tank, hose or faucet connection
Farberware Pro Countertop Dishwasher Energy-Saving 21.7 x 19.7 x 17.2″ N/A 7 Yes Faucet connection
Farberware Countertop Dishwasher Small 17.3 x 16.5 x 17.3″ N/A 5 No Water tank or faucet connection
SPT Compact Countertop Dishwasher Easy-to-Use 21.65 x 19.69 x 17.24″ 55 dB 6 Yes Faucet connection
EdgeStar Energy Star Rated Dishwasher Stylish 19.63 x 21.63 x 17.31″ 52.3 dB 7 Yes Faucet connection
Danby Countertop Dishwasher Budget Pick 19.69 x 21.65 x 17.24″ 52 dB 6 No Faucet connection
BLACK+DECKER Countertop Dishwasher Heavy-Duty 17.2 x 21.5 x 21.7″ 60 dB 7 Yes Faucet connection
Jump to the Full Countertop Dishwasher Reviews

Countertop Dishwasher FAQs

Can You Put a Countertop Dishwasher Under the Sink?

Countertop dishwashers need to access an electrical outlet and the kitchen faucet. If you place it under the sink, you’d need to keep the cabinet door open during use and ensure there was an electrical outlet under there. Countertop dishwashers are intended for countertops, but some customers put them on a separate cart.

Do You Use Hot or Cold Water for a Countertop Dishwasher?

Check the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific model, but you should usually use cold water. The dishwasher will heat the water itself so you’re not upping your hot water and electricity bills.

Pro Tip

Some users like to run hot water at the start to get the water heated faster. But after a few minutes, they’ll turn the water to cold.

Can I Leave a Countertop Dishwasher Running Overnight?

Check your manufacturer instructions. In general, you can run it overnight if you put the timer on and are sure you’ll be awake before the cycle is finished. This is because you need to turn the water supply off after the cycle is finished to avoid water buildup and damage to your dishwasher.


More Space, More Time

Countertop dishwashers are a handy thing to have if you’re looking to save time, but also utilize your kitchen space. While they’re not as practical as standard dishwashers, once you get the hang of them, we think you’ll love them. Especially if you choose one of the best countertop dishwashers on the market.

Be sure to consider the size, purpose, wash cycles and warranty of the dishwasher. That way, you’re getting one that works for you — and you’re getting your money’s worth.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!
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