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Article updated on February 8, 2024 at 6:55 PM PST

Best Dishwasher Features of 2024

These are the features to look out for when picking the best dishwasher for your needs.

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Our Picks

$799 at Walmart
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Best overall
Specialized Jets
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See at Home Depot
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Best usability feature
Good Wine Stem Holders
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$972 at Walmart
amazon-dash.jpg
Best Smart Upgrade
Dash Replenishment
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See at Sears
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Best use of the space
The Third Rack
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See at Best Buy
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Best automation
Automatic Door Opening
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You may think that your dishwasher has every feature you need, but chances are, you could use an upgrade. Every gadget, including home appliances, get new features and capabilities almost every year. Dishwashers are no different, and if you've been considering an upgrade, you should look at some of the features that the modern options have. Some of the tech in dishwashers might surprise those with just a standard one at home. The latest dishwashers on the market have features that can change the way you clean dishes -- and make it a lot easier.

Of course, there is a lot of marketing to navigate. Every major dishwasher brand boasts a long list of features for its models, all promising to make dishwashing a breeze. Some of these features can actually do that, though. When shopping for a new dishwasher, make sure you buy a model that's up to the task and houses the best dishwasher features available. Here are our top picks right now.

I've linked to models from a variety of brands and retailers that include the best dishwasher features discussed below. Note that CNET hasn't tested those individual models at this time. We update this list periodically.

$799 at Walmart

Best overall

Specialized Jets

Aside from the usual jets at the bottom of the tub, some dishwashers have specialized jets meant for specific dishes. I love these. GE and Electrolux dishwashers have bottle wash jets. You clip a baby's bottle or a water bottle to them and they'll spray directly into the bottle to make sure the bottom gets cleaned. Kenmore and Samsung offer jets meant for casserole dishes. Load the dish in the back of the bottom rack, and these jets will hit the corners with a spray.

This is my favorite dishwasher feature because it takes part of the chore of cleaning up off your plate -- instead of having to hand-wash your bottles, the dishwasher can take care of it. I also appreciate this feature because of how specialized it is -- if you're not regularly washing bottles or casserole dishes, you don't need to bother. If you are, this feature is a godsend. 

Better yet, dishwasher manufacturers don't tend to charge a premium for these dishwasher features; you can find them as nice add-ons in ordinary midrange to high-end standard dishwasher models. If you want to hand-wash fewer dishes, consider a dishwasher with specialized jets.

See at Home Depot

Best usability feature

Good Wine Stem Holders

Most dishwashers offer something to keep your stemware in place and most are passable. Generally, it's a plastic piece that lowers onto the stem and braces it. Electrolux and Frigidaire have soft-grip racks that actually secure your glass. Press your stem into the blue plastic and it wraps around the step and grips it. 

We didn't encounter much broken stemware from any dishwasher during our testing, but if you want to feel extra secure with your fragile glasses, most Electrolux and Frigidaire dishwashers ship with these well-designed grips so you won't have to pay a premium. 

$972 at Walmart

Best Smart Upgrade

Dash Replenishment

Yes, internet-connected dishwashers exist. Most let you check on the status of your cycle remotely and can notify you when your dishes are clean. While that's neat in theory, most people I know run their dishwasher cycle at the end of the day or at night when they don't urgently need clean forks. On the other hand, one smart feature is consistently useful -- Amazon Dash Replenishment.

Smart GE, Whirlpool and LG dishwasher models offer this option, which will automatically ship you new dishwater detergent pods when you're close to running out. The dishwashers keep track of the number of pods you ordered and how many times you've run the dishwasher so you can take one item off of your list to worry about when you go shopping. 

Smart models from all three companies tend to be at the higher end of dishwasher price ranges, but the premium is worth considering if you want your dishwasher to be at the cutting edge of tech. 

See at Sears

Best use of the space

The Third Rack

If you regularly run out of room in your dishwasher, consider getting one with a third rack. Most manufacturers offer this feature, but models do tend to be a little more pricey than ordinary two-rack options. The smaller third rack sits above the others and is meant for silverware, small cups, serving utensils and the like. 

While you can only fit small items in a third rack, putting all of your silverware in a separate place lets you fit larger dishes instead of the silverware basket on the bottom rack. Shift the little pieces to the top and you'll have more room in the rest of the dishwasher for whatever else you'd like to wash when you clean dishes. 

See at Best Buy

Best automation

Automatic Door Opening

Several of my family members swear by the practice of opening the dishwasher door at the end of the wash cycle run. They want to let out the steam so the dishes can dry better and with fewer water marks. More recent models from companies like Bosch and Samsung can now do that task automatically.

Both Bosch and Samsung use fans to keep steam from damaging your counter as it's released. Samsung's AutoRelease Dry feature actually opens the door with 5 to 15 minutes left in the wash cycle. The feature is designed to save time and energy by letting in fresh air to help speed up the drying process. 

Honorable mentions

Silence -- Higher-end dishwashers from companies like Bosch have sound ratings as low as 38 decibels. If you were in the same room as that dishwasher while it was running, you wouldn't be able to hear it. Quiet performance is a priority for a lot of dishwasher manufacturers. You'll usually pay more for the quietest models, but it can be a nice option to search for if you live in a small place or are sensitive to noise.

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The Infolight shines when the dishwasher is running, so you'll be able to tell, even if you can't hear it.

Bosch

Infolight -- Some quieter dishwashers also have an Infolight that shines on the ground. They work so quietly that the light helps you know when they're actually running a wash cycle. Bosch and Electrolux models both use these lights, which are a nice convenience and can provide some extra entertainment if you have a cat.

Easy rack -- Certain LG dishwashers let you raise and lower the upper rack with a simple lever. While not a fancy feature, shifting the adjustable upper rack is particularly convenient if you need to fit tall pots and pans on the bottom for one load then tall glasses on top in the next batch. 

Watch this: I'm way too excited about this Electrolux ComfortLift dishwasher

Comfortlift -- The Comfortlift feature from Electrolux's parent company AEG excites me. It would probably be featured higher on this list if it was available in the US. You pull out the bottom rack and it pivots and lifts up so you don't have to bend over to unload and load the dishes. It's awesome, but for now, all we can do is wait and hope that the feature will be available stateside someday. 

With the right feature, a new dishwasher could exceed your expectations when helping out around the house. Check out our dishwasher buying guide to know what else you can expect for your money and you'll be able to find the perfect machine for your household.

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