Dishwashers have become a must-have kitchen appliance for many home owners, rather than the luxury item they once were, but the size of some machines and the plumbing requirements mean that not all homes can install them. Portable dishwashers and countertop dishwashers are a more affordable alternative that connect to the water supply via the taps and provide convenient, energy-efficient dish washing for apartments and even office kitchens – the former being wheeled into place as required and the latter sitting on the counter beside the microwave. This guide to the best countertop dishwashers and best portable models will look at the functions, designs and cleaning power to help prospective buyers make their choice.
There are many different brands looking to become the top manufacturer of countertop dishwashers
SPT 2201W Countertop Dishwasher
As the SPT Countertop Dishwasher is currently the bestseller in Amazon’s dishwasher category, it makes sense that it should be the first brand discussed in this selection of countertop models. The main aim of any of these machines is to provide a compact option for small space – this one being designed for those apartments and office kitchens mentioned above– and buyers seem to be pretty happy with capacity of 6 place settings. It is worth noting that the specification says that it will fit between “most” counters and kitchen cupboards, but this is true of most machines and brands as the designers play it safe.
Convenience is the other important aspect of these machines and this another big factor with this SPT model because of the way that it quickly connects to the water supply via the tap and the general ease of use. From there, the machine seems to be pretty easy to operate with a great clean and no real need to pre-rinse, the only real issue being that the heavy duty cycle takes quite a long time. Add to this the fact that it is quite quiet, generally energy efficient and offers low water consumption and it is easy to see why they have shifted so many units.
Koldfront Portable Countertop Dishwasher
The SPT is a prime example of what a countertop model should do but the Koldfront Portable Countertop Dishwasher is not that far behind in terms of its capabilities. It has the same capacity as the SPT and even though there is the addition of the cup shelf and cutlery basket to the dish rack, buyers seem to find it easy to load and fit in most of their dishes. Also, buyers are quick to point out the speed of the rapid eco setting and the way that it still provides a great clean without relying on a heavy duty mode, unlike the machine above.
This Koldfront model may look a little nicer and sleeker with its black design, rather than the old fashioned white of the STP Countertop, but there are a few issues that hold it back slightly. It may follow the SPT in boasting a low water consumption and a quick connect adapter but the adaptor is not compatible with all taps and the hose has had a few faults, decreasing the sense of quality slightly. Secondly, there are some users pointing out that while the cleaning cycles are fantastic, there is no drying cycle.
Danby DDW611WLED Countertop Dishwasher
Returning to the idea of a quality, compact white good with a white exterior, we have a third brand vying for the attention of consumers with Danby and their DDW611WLED Countertop Dishwasher. This is promoted as a family-friendly model, due to its capacity and apparent ability to save time and money while offering a good result, and promises to be as as convenient as the rest in order to compete.
This Danby model does a good job at replicating the features of many of the other top models as it has a familiar number of cycles and a standard capacity, a stainless steel interior, automated dispensers for the rinse aid agents and detergent and a LED display to help users out even further. The problem for some buyers is that it goes so far to match the specification of these machines but not the performance because some have suggested that users pre-rinse their dishes before loading for the best result – something that is not mentioned with most of the others. Also, it shares the loading issues of the other products, with large plates and thicker items struggling in the narrow racks.
As the list of the best countertop dishwashers continues, there are some clear similarities in these top models
SPT SD-2202S Countertop Dishwasher
Going back to SPT for another countertop model, this time in silver, we come to the SD-2202S Countertop Dishwasher. Like the previous models, this machine has a durable stainless steel interior, 6 wash cycles and a capacity for 6 place settings but it has the key selling point of the delay start, of up to 8 hours, to really ramp up the convenience factor for consumers juggling their time management. Continuing along this theme, it also has a series of indicators and automatic functions for the detergent and rinse aid to make things even easier.
There is a definite sense that this is a user friendly machine and buyers are generally happy with way that the dishwasher works and the simplicity in getting in connected, something that was lacking with the Koldfront model; however, it seems that once again SDT have not done so well with the size issues. All of the models highlighted here in the countertop section claim to hold 6 place settings, suggesting that this is the standard for all models, but in some cases this is more of a problem then others because some machines are able to manage the space and others have issues.
EdgeStar Countertop Dishwasher
The final model to mention regarding these countertop, compact machines comes from a different brand again – the EdgeStar Countertop Dishwasher. This machine is also a nice shiny shade of silver and has the delayed start feature to match the popular STP model but there are some additional extra features to note such as the digital LED display to read all the settings and times and a child lock for safety. This additions are great but there are some reviewers that would like to see a longer hose as well.
Just as every model so far seems to have space for 6 places settings, they all have 6 wash cycles –although they do vary in their power, style and ability to really get the dishes clean. Some struggle on really tough dirt and there is a sense of experimentation with this EdgeStar model to get it to clean perfectly – partly due to the low quality of the manual – but once it is on the right setting it does a fantastic job and there is little need for pre-rinsing by hand.
When a countertop model is too small, there are always portable dishwashers
Danby DDW1899WP Portable Dishwasher
The first of these maneuverable, portable models to be mentioned here is another Danby machine – the DDW1899WP. This machine is not unlike the previous Danby in style and functionality, with its white exterior, wash cycles, and “simple electronic controls”, but it does have a much larger body, some helpful casters and the ability to hold 8 rather than 6 place settings. It is a good job that these controls are simple and intuitive because the manual is terrible
It was previously mentioned that a lot of the features and limitations of the countertop models were repeated across different models and brands and it is interesting that this is still seen with some of the alternative, portable models. For almost all models there is a least one customer commenting upon the fact that there is no drying cycle and it is no different with this portable machines. The cleaning power is more than adequate – this Danby showing that can deal with stuck-on grease well – but there is the continual piece of advice to open the door a little and air dry the dishes.
SPT 18 Inch Portable Dishwasher
As this guide started with SPT and has been using their models as a benchmark for many of the other brands, it makes sense to end with their highly rated SPT 18 inch Portable Dishwasher. In many ways this too is very familiar as it has many of the same features and connection methods and 6 different wash cycles, it just does the same as Danby and translates the mechanics to a much larger, stainless steel machine that can be wheeled around the kitchen floor. This machine retains the rinse aid indicator, refill reminder and timer delay function to ensure that they have convenience across the board but there are still some issues.
Despite the larger size, there are still complaints about how much this machine can hold and how it holds them, with some saying that the racks are still too narrow and it is best suited to a couple rather than a family, and that old complaint about drying dishes comes back again. Having said this, this is still a much-loved machine due to this ability to clean and the general ease of use and it shows why SPT make some of the best portable dishwashers around.