Author: Nicole

Nicole Manktelow

May 13, 2019

Buying a dishwasher? At CHOICE we put dishwashers through loads of testing - with dishes as dirty as they get in real life, on settings you’ll actually use.

We test hundreds of dishwashers as part of regular rigorous product testing throughout the year. We test them in our own labs, under conditions that reflect how a dishwasher will perform in your own home - right down to the day-old debris on dirty dishes.

Our experts have selected 3 picks for best performance, best value and best budget buy, with retailer links, if you want to buy online. For this comparison we've considered standard-sized, freestanding dishwashers only.

Best performance



If performance is a priority, this top-scoring LG is a quiet achiever.

Dimensions: 850mm high, 600mm wide, 600mm deep

Price last updated: May 29, 2019, 2:00 PM
How do these links work?

This LG stainless steel freestanding dishwasher tops our tests as of March 2019. We give it an overall CHOICE score of 81%, with strong results for washing, excellent drying and good energy efficiency.

The LG has room for 15 place settings, and useful features like auto wash, auto-opening door, and handy fold-down plate racks.  On the downside it’s expensive to run, takes longer than most to complete a cycle, and doesn’t display how long your wash has to go. Thankfully it’s pretty quiet compared to other machines in the test.

Best value


Bosch SMS40E08AU

This freestanding Bosch lets you have your cake and wash the plate too.

Dimensions: 850mm high, 600mm wide, 600mm deep

Price last updated: May 29, 2019, 2:00 PM
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If you’re looking for a balance of features, cost and performance, the Bosch SMS40E08AU has it all.

This freestanding stainless steel model earns a CHOICE score of 77%, with strong performance in washing and drying on its automatic program.

This unit includes child lock controls and delayed start. The Bosch also displays time remaining, but doesn't have an audible end-of-cycle alert. Features like half-load and rinse-only modes add to its appeal - the only setting it lacks is a dedicated delicate/glassware cycle.

On the inside it has space for 14 place settings, with fold-down plate racks and adjustable height baskets. Bosch tops the dishwasher category for brand reliability, according to CHOICE member surveys.

On the downside, however, it’s expensive to run and has a long time cycle – so it won't wash your dishes in a hurry.

Best budget buy


Haier HDW13G1X

You'll get great results with this budget-priced Haier.

Dimensions: 850mm high, 600mm wide, 600mm deep

Price last updated: May 29, 2019, 2:00 PM
How do these links work?

This freestanding stainless steel dishwasher from Haier is our pick if you’re budget conscious. With a CHOICE score of 76%, it offers solid washing and drying performance and has an excellent energy efficiency score.

A 13-place model, the Haier gives great results on automatic settings. But on the down side, it doesn’t have foldable plate racks, there’s no half load option and it’s relatively noisy to run. It’s also worth noting that CHOICE doesn't have brand reliability scores available for Haier as the brand only has a small market share in Australia.

At around $500, you can’t argue with the price of this budget Haier. As added bonus, this dishwasher is very cheap to run, so it will continue to save you money over its lifetime.

For full details of all 33 products tested, including CHOICE scores, check out our dishwasher reviews

Why we're different

CHOICE is unbiased and completely independent. We don’t use ‘review’ units or vendor-supplied samples.  We're member-funded and buy our dishwashers anonymously from major retailers – just like you do.

Our test is based partly on the current Australian standard and partly on the IEC Draft standard

We check market figures to see what’s selling, so the products we choose for testing are generally the same ones you're looking for. That’s why you’ll see big brands covered in our research - because we focus on what’s available in stores.

We’re testing dishwashers every four to six weeks (usually six machines at a time), which helps us stay on top of new models.

We test in our own NATA-accredited labs with industry standard reference machines and calibrated measurement tools (you can even book a tour!). That means our experts can confidently provide the data you need before you buy.

Our expert product testers sit on various national and international standards committees. Our tests are based on the Australian standard, however we have modified our testing based on how Australians typically use their dishwashers, so our results will more closely reflect what you will experience in your own kitchen.

We survey our members and even invite them to send us pictures of how they load their dishwashers, so we can test under the same conditions. (If you’re curious about how to load a dishwasher, we’ve also got that covered.)

We use a standard detergent and standardised set of crockery and cutlery every time we test machines. Then we make each load of dishes dirty for testing – very dirty.

We test with stains from oats, spinach, egg yolk, baby cereal, butter, tomato juice and tea stains that have been dried overnight.

We coat plates with oats, eggs, spinach, baby cereal, butter, tomato juice and tea, then leave it all to dry for 15-18 hours. All that so we're creating real life, left-out-overnight stubbornness. We score the machines on their washing performance, without rinsing the plates first.

How we check against manufacturer ratings

We measure water and energy use of dishwashers in the same way you use them in your home. Our scores often differ from the mandatory energy and water labels - the star-rating stickers on the front of machines in store. That’s because those ratings allow manufacturers to test using any wash setting (as long as it's stated in the product literature). That means they may not reflect how most people actually use the machine.

We’re different: we compare the settings our members tell us they actually use. That’s automatic or sensor wash when available in premium models, or the default ‘normal’ wash setting on more basic models.

What the scores mean

We observe washing, drying and energy efficiency in various tests and score them separately. The CHOICE overall score is our bottom line result, for easy product comparison.

How well a machine washes makes up 65% of the overall CHOICE score. How well it dries contributes 25% to the overall score. Here we measure how dry the dishes are 30 minutes after the cycle is finished.

Energy efficiency testing looks at a normal or auto/sensor wash, and accounts for 10% of the overall score. It’s calculated using the amount of energy used per place setting.

A note about noise

All dishwashers make some noise. Some are quieter, that’s why we also measure the maximum noise levels during a wash.

Reliability and loyalty

Testing how well a dishwasher lasts is a long and costly process. By the time we can complete that kind of test, most models may no longer be on the market. So we do the next best thing, surveying our members to find out how well their dishwasher performs and whether they'd buy the same brand again. These are our brand reliability and brand satisfaction scores.

Affiliate links on the CHOICE website

CHOICE is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to helping consumers. Clicking a link will take you to a retailer's website to shop. While we make money if you buy through some retailer links, this doesn't influence any rankings. 100% of the money we make goes straight back into our non profit mission. We're currently testing this service and will consider providing more shopping links in the future. Tell us what you think.