The 6 Best Countertop Dishwashers for People Who Hate Doing Dishes
Just because your tiny apartment didn't come with a built-in dishwasher doesn't mean you're stuck hand-washing every plate until you move. An easy solution? Countertop dishwashers. Compared to traditional full-size models, these mini dishwashers take up significantly less space in the kitchen and don't require any pricey remodeling.
In addition to how much time you'll save by not having to clean your dishes by hand, you'll also help the environment by conserving water. That's because Energy Star-certified dishwashers (like some of the countertop appliances below) use significantly less energy and water than hand-washing does—it makes sense when you think about how much water literally goes down the drain without even touching the dirty dishes.
So if you want to make cleaning up after dinner much easier, a countertop dishwasher is the appliance your small kitchen needs. To help out, we scoured the internet and rounded up six top-rated countertop dishwashers that you can buy online from Amazon and Wayfair.
These are the best countertop dishwashers of 2021, according to customer reviews:
- Best Overall: Farberware Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher
- Best Value: Danby Countertop Dishwasher
- Best Design: Black+Decker Compact Countertop Dishwasher
- Best for Small Apartments: CalmDo Portable Countertop Dishwasher
- Best Features: Danby Stainless Steel Countertop Dishwasher
- Quietest Option: Whynter Countertop Dishwasher
When shopping for countertop dishwashers, size is probably the most important factor to consider. That's why we listed the dimensions for each model. You want to make sure that it's compact enough to fit in the space you have available, especially so your kitchen cabinets don't get in the way. If you're really tight on counter space, some people place their mini dishwashers on carts and wheel them to the sink as needed.
How do countertop dishwashers work?
Countertop dishwashers work very similarly to regular dishwashers. Most of the options on this list have hoses that connect the appliance directly to your kitchen faucet. Depending on which dishwasher you choose and the type of faucet in your kitchen, you might need to purchase a separate adapter (they're relatively inexpensive) to connect the two.
Alternatively, you could choose a countertop dishwasher with a built-in water tank, like this one from Farberware. Since it doesn't connect to your faucet, you can use your sink while it's running. Just keep in mind that even dishwashers with water tanks need to be near the sink to drain dirty water—but some customers have found success by directing the drainage hose into a bucket instead.
While you shouldn't need to pre-rinse your dishes, don't forget to scrape off any excess food before loading them into the dishwasher for best results. These small appliances also have filters that need to be regularly cleaned, so check the owner's manual for instructions on how to clean your countertop dishwasher.
Keep reading to learn more about the best countertop dishwashers from top-rated brands like Farberware and Black+Decker.
Best Overall: Farberware Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher
This countertop dishwasher from Farberware earns the top spot for quite a few reasons: In addition to having nearly 1,000 five-star ratings, the dishwasher has a small footprint, an attractive design, and a built-in water tank that doesn’t require a faucet hookup. (You still have the option to connect it directly to your sink, though.) There are five different settings to choose from, including a 40-minute rapid cycle and a baby care option that uses steam to sanitize bottles. The compact dishwasher can accommodate plates up to 12 inches in diameter, but they may need to be placed at an angle to fit properly. “We bought this for our apartment in the city that doesn’t have a built-in dishwasher,” wrote a shopper. “You simply plug it in, pour water into the dispenser, and press start. It’s pretty cool to watch the cycle through the glass window, and I must say it’s very quiet.”
Dimensions: 17.3 x 16.5 x 17.3 inches
Best Value: Danby Countertop Dishwasher
At $260, Danby’s countertop dishwasher is the most affordable model on this list—and it’s an Amazon best-seller with hundreds of five-star ratings. It’s designed to fit up to six place settings at a time, and it even comes with a silverware basket to keep forks and knives secure. There are six wash cycles, ranging from an intensive mode for heavily soiled dishes to a shorter option designed for glassware. The mini dishwasher has an all-white exterior, and while it might not be as aesthetically pleasing as some of the other models, customers say it’s “not so big that it looks intrusive” on your countertops. “My dishes have come out perfectly clean and spotless on all of the settings I've tried so far,” one person wrote. “I've gone from being a slob with a sink full of dishes to a neatnik overnight. I can't get over how much easier it makes my life.”
Dimensions: 19.69 x 21.65 x 17.24 inches
Best Design: Black+Decker Compact Countertop Dishwasher
Since your countertop dishwasher will likely be on display in your kitchen 24/7, it’s no surprise that an attractive design is one of the most important qualities for some people. Black+Decker’s countertop dishwasher has a stainless steel finish that customers describe as “super sleek” and “very easy on the eyes.” It has an LED touch panel with easy-to-use controls, where you can select one of the seven different wash programs. There’s even a child lock feature to prevent kids from pressing buttons and a delayed start option that turns on the appliance up to 24 hours later. Shoppers especially love that Black+Decker is a name they recognize: “I chose this brand because I already have a lot of [its] small appliances,” one person wrote. “I am very satisfied with how well this dishwasher cleans my dishes… Best gift I ever gave myself!”
Dimensions: 19.6 x 21.7 x 17 inches
Best for Small Apartments: CalmDo Portable Countertop Dishwasher
This countertop dishwasher from CalmDo is a great choice for anyone with limited space in the kitchen—especially in small apartments. It measures approximately 16 inches wide and just over 18 inches tall, so it won’t take up too much of your valuable counter space. Just like the Farberware model, this dishwasher comes with a built-in water tank so you don’t need to mess with your apartment’s faucet to install it. Plus, customers love that they can change how the racks are set up inside, which helps them fit various sizes of dishes and food storage containers. “I’m in NYC so I have a tiny apartment without a dishwasher. This little machine has been a major time-saver,” wrote a customer. “Not only are you saving on water, but this dishwasher is mighty at getting your dishes, glasses, and utensils sparkling clean and dry.”
Dimensions: 17.44 x 15.98 x 18.3 inches
Best Features: Danby Stainless Steel Countertop Dishwasher
This countertop dishwasher from Danby is an upgraded version of the brand’s affordable model above. Besides its sleek stainless steel finish, the appliance was updated with an LED screen and improved cleaning features (like the spray arm and filter). It also features the most wash cycles out of this entire list: There are eight options in total, including a special “mini-party” setting that takes just 20 minutes from start to finish. For comparison, the standard cycle lasts 110 minutes while the energy-conserving mode takes 75 minutes. “This dishwasher has worked perfectly,” said one shopper. “It's just the right size to fit on my counter under my kitchen cabinets. The dishes have come out sparkling clean every time, and I love the different cleaning cycle options and the countdown timer. There's enough room inside to accommodate the dishes of my family of three.”
Dimensions: 19.69 x 21.65 x 17.24 inches
Quietest Option: Whynter Countertop Dishwasher
If you’re looking for a super-quiet model, Whynter’s countertop dishwasher might be your best bet. At just 45 decibels (somewhere in between the noise level of a library and a quiet office), this six-cycle dishwasher is the quietest one we’ve come across. This makes it a great choice for anyone who wants to run their dishwasher at night without the risk of waking up anyone. One reviewer said it’s so quiet, they had to double-check that it was running. It’s a bit bigger than some of the other countertop dishwashers on this list, but the brand claims it fits up to six standard place settings. “We have an old farmhouse and no room for a conventional dishwasher, but no one likes to do dishes [so] this is a great option,” another customer wrote. “It's relatively light so if we want to put it away when we have company, we can.”
Dimensions: 21.75 x 21.75 x 17.25 inches