The 5 Best Countertop Dishwashers for Small Kitchens in 2022

Our top pick, the HomeLabs Energy Star Countertop Dishwasher, is compact, efficient, and spacious enough to fit six place settings.

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Best Countertop Dishwashers for Small Spaces
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Just because you don't have the space or money for a built-in dishwasher doesn't mean you have to wash all of your dishes by hand. Countertop dishwashers are much smaller and more portable appliances that can fit in even the tiniest kitchens, and they're typically a fraction of the price of full-size models.

To find the best countertop dishwashers, we spent hours researching various models, considering factors such as dimensions, capacity, and energy efficiency. For expert tips on how to choose and care for a countertop dishwasher, we spoke to Mihail Zhekunov, the service manager at ABC Maintenance, which offers appliance installation and repair services.

According to Zhekunov, the most important aspects to consider when shopping for a countertop dishwasher are the size and the capacity of the appliance. "You have to ensure it fits the intended space, and that it can reach both the electrical and water supplies," he says.

Our top pick is the HomeLabs Energy Star Countertop Dishwasher, which can fit dinnerware for a family of six. Its compact size allows it to fit in even the smallest kitchens.

Here are the best countertop dishwashers.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Countertop Dishwasher: HomeLabs Energy Star Countertop Dishwasher

Best Countertop Dishwashers
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Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want a compact, space-saving dishwasher that can still clean plenty of dishes at a time.

Who it isn't for: People who want a model with a see-through window.

The HomeLabs Energy Star Countertop Dishwasher has all the features you need to efficiently wash dishes in small spaces. It's just over 17 inches tall, so it can easily fit between most countertops and upper cabinets (the standard distance for this space is 18 inches). But just because this appliance is small doesn't mean it compromises capacity. It fits six place settings per cycle, meaning you can entertain a few guests and not have to worry about manually washing the dishes afterward.

There are six different wash cycles to choose from, including one for heavy messes, one for glassware, an eco mode, and a speed cycle. Other features include a cutlery basket, a rinse aid dispenser, and a drinkware rack that's ideal for cups and mugs. For easier setup, this pick comes with inlet and drain hoses, along with adapters for certain types of faucets. This countertop dishwasher is an Energy Star-Certified appliance with a minimalist white finish that can suit any kitchen style.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 19.6 x 21.6 x 17.2 inches
  • Capacity: Six place settings
  • Cycles: Six
  • Energy Star Certified: ‎Yes

Price at time of publish: $360

Best Budget Countertop Dishwasher: RCA RDW3208 Countertop Dishwasher

Best Countertop Dishwashers
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Who it's for: People who want a quiet countertop dishwasher that's more affordable than the competition.

Who it isn't for: People who prefer a lighter model that they can bring out and store away as needed.

For a more budget-friendly alternative, we recommend this pick from RCA. This countertop dishwasher costs significantly less than our best overall recommendation, yet it still fits the same number of place settings. And while many cheaper appliances can be noisy while running, this one is quiet enough that you will barely notice that it's on. You can load it up before bed and run a cycle overnight without disturbing anyone's sleep—plus, you'll be able to take advantage of nighttime utility rates.

It has a heating element that heats the water as necessary for each cycle, so you don't have to use hot water directly from your faucet. This model also has a sleek electronic LED display that makes it easy to select programs and settings. You can choose from normal, economy, rapid, glass, soak, and intensive cycles for those stuck-on situations. Its interior is made from durable stainless steel, which is easy to maintain and keep clean. Just keep in mind that this mini dishwasher is on the heavier side—48.5 pounds—so it won't be super easy to stow away when not in use.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 21.65 x 19.69 x 17.24 inches
  • Capacity: Six place settings
  • Cycles: Six
  • Energy Star Certified: No

Price at time of publish: $230

Best-Designed Countertop Dishwasher: Black+Decker BCD6W Compact Countertop Dishwasher

Best Countertop Dishwashers
Amazon.com

Also available at Walmart and Wayfair.

Who it's for: People who want a mini dishwasher that looks nice on the counter and has more than just the basic settings.

Who it isn't for: People who would rather not spend this much on a small appliance.

Many countertop dishwashers can be an eyesore, but this one from Black+Decker looks more like a high-end compact oven than a dishwasher—making it a great choice for those who want a sleek model to match their other appliances. The Energy Star Certified dishwasher has seven different settings, including a heated drying option, a 90-minute cycle, and an intensive mode for especially dirty dishes. There's even a child safety lock so that little ones don't mess with the settings. And since the controls are fully digital, it's super easy to use.

Like many of the other models on our list, this compact machine can fit up to six place settings at a time. The upper rack is adjustable, which allows larger dishes and taller items (like glassware) to fit. It has a removable filter for easy cleaning, and it comes with quick-connect hoses for convenient setup and installation. We also appreciate that there's a delayed start function, which allows you to program the countertop dishwasher to start up to 24 hours later.

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 21.7 x 17.2 inches
  • Capacity: Six place settings
  • Cycles: Seven
  • Energy Star Certified: ‎Yes

Price at time of publish: $375

RELATED: The 7 Best Dishwasher Detergents for Sparkling Clean Dinnerware

Best No-Hookup Countertop Dishwasher: Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Countertop Dishwasher

Best Countertop Dishwashers
Amazon.com

Who it's for: People who prefer to have their faucet free and don't want to deal with the fuss of installation.

Who it isn't for: People looking for a more affordable countertop dishwasher.

The Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Countertop Dishwasher is incredibly versatile. For starters, if you don't want to hook up the appliance to your faucet, you don't have to. Instead, you can fill up this dishwasher's five-liter built-in water tank before running a cycle. You'll still need to have the drain hose lying in the sink, but your faucet will be free to use. Alternatively, you can move the entire unit away from the kitchen sink and put the drain hose in a bucket or container of over five liters to catch the dirty water.

It has a modern look with a unique square design that looks nice in your kitchen and can hold up to six place settings. Its tinted glass door enables you to look in and see what's happening as the cycle is in progress. The countertop dishwasher also has LED controls, an automatic water level indicator, and five wash settings—including a rapid cycle that takes just 40 minutes to clean your dishes. There's also a dedicated fruit wash setting, which is an easy way to wash fruit and vegetables with the included basket.

Product Details:

  • Capacity: Six place settings
  • Dimensions: 17.3 x 16.5 x 17.3 inches
  • Cycles: Five
  • Energy Star Certified: No

Price at time of publish: $400

Best Small Countertop Dishwasher: Comfee' WQP4-2601 Countertop Dishwasher

Best Countertop Dishwashers
Amazon.com

Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want a compact countertop dishwasher for small kitchens.

Who it isn't for: People who need something that can fit more than two place settings.

If you want to give up as little counter space as possible, then the Comfee' WQP4-2601 Countertop Dishwasher is the ideal option for you. Not only are its dimensions the smallest on our list (17 x 16.5 x 17 inches), but it's also the lightest option at 30.8 pounds. This means that if you don't want to give the dishwasher a permanent spot on your counter, it'll be easier to put it away after each use.

This small countertop dishwasher is ideal for couples and anyone living solo, as it only has the capacity for two place settings per load. It still has six different wash cycles to choose from, and there are two different methods for drawing water. You can either connect the dishwasher to your kitchen faucet with an inlet hose (you'll need an adapter), or you can fill the built-in water tank, which keeps your sink free. We also like that there's a see-through window so you can check on how the dishwashing is going without opening the door and interrupting the cycle.

Product Details:

  • Capacity: Two place settings
  • Dimensions: 17 x 16.5 x 17 inches
  • Cycles: Six
  • Energy Star Certified: No

Price at time of publish: $350

Final Verdict

The Energy Star HomeLabs Energy Star Countertop Dishwasher is our best overall pick thanks to its capacity of six place settings, various cycle options (including heavy, glass, and eco modes), and reasonable price point.

How to Shop for Countertop Dishwashers Like a Pro

Size and Capacity

Countertop dishwashers are typically around 17–24 inches in height, so you have to ensure that the model you choose can sit comfortably in the space between the counter and the cabinet above it (if there is one).

Even the largest countertop dishwashers on the market can only fit a maximum of six or seven place settings per cycle. However, this is likely enough to clean up the dinnerware for a small family. You won't be able to fit any large pieces of cookware in them, although you may be able to wash a couple of small pots and pans on their own or with a load of smaller items.

Features

These small dishwashers often come with an impressive array of features, such as several types of cycles and settings. These could include quick rinse, cold wash, heavy loads, and modes specifically for glassware and delicate items. Some also have an eco mode that uses less water, a delayed start option, and even sanitizing abilities for baby bottles. A countertop dishwasher will either have buttons or a sleek control panel, but you should opt for a model that you find easy to use.

Installation

Depending on whether you want a permanent or temporary setup, there are three ways to install a countertop dishwasher. The first option is to connect it to your kitchen faucet by attaching an inlet hose to the drain hose. With this method, you'll have to connect the hose to your faucet every time you want to use the dishwasher and vice versa.

For a semi-permanent solution, you can install an adapter, like a faucet splitter that diverts the water—this allows you to decide where the water goes with a flip of a switch. It might look a little unsightly if it's an adapter that is made to sit at the faucet's aerator, but it does come with the added convenience of not having to re-attach the hose every time you want to use the dishwasher.

You could also go the professional route: Though countertop dishwashers are designed to be a portable (rather than permanent) solution, a plumber or appliance installation expert might be able to make a connection further down into the pipes, which could leave your sink and faucet free of clutter. But you probably won't want to risk DIYing this method, because you want everything to be installed correctly from the get-go.

You might come across another type of countertop dishwasher called a "no-hookup" model. Instead of drawing water from the faucet via an inlet hose, these dishwashers have water tanks that you fill up. The dirty water is still discarded via a drain hose into the sink (or into a bucket or container that is as big as, or bigger than, the dishwasher's water tank). These models are great for people who don't want to deal with attaching their dishwasher to the faucet.

Energy Efficiency

Since they're so small compared to many of the other major household appliances, countertop dishwashers don't use up that much electricity. You can expect these units to consume anywhere from 120–250 kilowatt hours per year. Some are even Energy Star Certified, which means they use innovative technology that reduces energy and water consumption.

Questions You Might Ask

How do countertop dishwashers work?

Quite simply, countertop dishwashers work almost identically to full-sized versions in that they draw in clean water from the plumbing to clean the dishes via an inlet hose, then expel the dirty water out of a drain hose. The difference is that the countertop dishwasher's inlet hose connects to the kitchen faucet and the drainage hose empties directly into the sink, whereas a standard dishwasher is connected directly to the plumbing.

How do you install a countertop dishwasher?

As mentioned above, there are three types of countertop dishwasher installation types: connecting/disconnecting hoses every time you want to use the dishwasher, using a faucet adapter, or permanently connecting it to the piping. But the most important thing to keep in mind is that every faucet is different, so there's no one-size-fits-all solution for how to install a countertop dishwasher.

If you'll be using inlet and drain hoses, you'll have to install the equipment every time you use the dishwasher—but it's easy enough to do it yourself with a good read of the manual. Once both hoses are attached to the dishwasher, all it takes is connecting the water inlet hose to the faucet and putting the drainage hose (the smaller of the two) into the sink. No other tools are typically required, but a pair of pliers to tighten the connection between the dishwasher and the inlet hose may be beneficial. You then have to open the water faucet and make sure it doesn't have any leaks, and then plug in the dishwasher, in that order. Once all that is done, you can start a cycle.

To install a countertop dishwasher using a faucet adapter, follow the steps above, but instead of connecting the inlet hose to the faucet, you'll be connecting it to the adapter. Some countertop dishwashers come with adapters, but you may want to look into faucet splitters so that you don't have to connect and disconnect the hose from the faucet so often. To install the adapter, you have to unscrew the faucet's aerator and connect the adapter, which the inlet hose will then connect to. You can then follow the rest of the steps above to get your countertop dishwasher set up. When in doubt, be sure to refer to the instruction manual for your specific appliance.

How do you clean a countertop dishwasher?

According to Zhekunov, one of the best ways to keep a countertop dishwasher clean is by making sure you scrape off any excess solid food from dishes before putting them inside. Forgetting to do so will not only make the dishwasher dirtier and dirtier over time, but could also cause damage to the appliance.

Zhekunov also says you should be checking and cleaning the filter every month or so. "Most filters are removable," he says. "Check for food particles. Remove them, then scrub the filter clean in the sink with dish soap and a sponge."

To keep the dishwasher sparkling clean, a periodic spray with a vinegar mixture (three parts vinegar, one part water) inside the whole of the dishwasher works wonders. Let the solution sit for about fifteen minutes, then put it on the hottest cycle.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over ten years of commerce-writing experience. Kat is also the commerce editor-at-large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading U.S. online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, Kat researched various countertop dishwashers and considered factors such as each appliance's size, capacity, cycles, settings, installation, and efficiency. She also spoke to Mihail Zhekunov, service manager of ABC Maintenance, which offers appliance installation and repair services.

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