Best Small/Compact Dishwashers

Do you know that there are small dishwashers that can clean your dishes as efficiently as the full models without requiring much space? Yes, we have prepared a detailed article to tell you the best small dishwashers you can find in the market today, information on how they work, pricing, and how you can install one in your home.

Reviews of the Best Small/Compact Dishwashers in 2022

Farberware Portable Dishwasher

Dimension: 17.3 x 16.5 x 17.3 inches

Cycles: 5 wash cycles-normal, rapid, babycare, fruit wash, glass

The Farberware Portable dishwasher is one of the best small dishwashers in the market because it’s highly versatile and can work in many situations from small houses, apartments, RVs, boats, and during camping. It’s perfect for small loads and does a thorough job. You can read more on the best portable dishwashers we have reviewed.

Unlike its peers which require a water source and hooking up to a faucet, the Faberware dishwasher has a built-in five-liter water tank, which allows you to use your kitchen sink even when it’s running. Also comes with an optional hose; if you don’t want to fill it up you can just hook it up to your sink faucet.

The other great thing about it is that it requires no assembly or installation; once you have filled the tank, you are ready to go. The interior is surprisingly roomy and can fit even large 12-inch dinner plates. And because it’s ultra-compact and sleek, you can leave it on your counter or even a table.

This dishwasher has five wash programs to clean your dirty dishes, baby bottles, and fruits. It operates quietly and leaves your dishes sparkling within 40 minutes with the rapid wash cycle.

The only downside is that it doesn’t fit pot and pans, so you have to hand wash these.

Pros

  • Doesn’t need a water source or hooking up to your kitchen faucet
  • Has fruit wash and sanitize option
  • Operates very quietly

Cons 

  • It can be tricky to fill water from the top without missing the mark

hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher

Dimensions: 17.2 x 19.6 x 1.6 inches

Capacity: 6 place setting

Wash cycles: 6- heavy, normal, eco, glass, rinse, speed

Energy efficiency: energy star certified

The hOmeLabs countertop is also one of our top choices for small dishwashers because of its compact design, great features, and efficiency. It’s so small that it fits perfectly on the counter next to the sink and is easy to put away when not needed or take with you when you move. It is a best-seller which proves it to be an excellent product.

It is made of a stainless steel interior and exterior which makes it durable and easy to clean. Anybody can set it up without needing any special tools as it comes with all the accessories needed, including a faucet adapter and inlet and drain hose.

With six place settings and six different wash cycles, the hOmeLabs dishwasher takes care of all the cleaning needs of a small hold or office and leaves everything sparkling clean. The controls are simple and easy to use.

It has a delay feature that is very convenient if you are a busy person who needs to organize things throughout your day.

Pros

  • Quick and easy setup and comes with all the accessories needed
  • User-friendly digital controls
  • Operates with very low noise
  • Certified energy efficient
  • Affordable pricing

Cons 

  • No-rinse only option
  • Keeps beeping after finishing the cycle

Frigidaire 18″ Built-In Dishwasher

Dimension: 17 x 23 x 32 inches

Capacity: 8 place settings

Cycles: 5 wash cycles

Energy efficiency: Energy Star certified

The Frigidaire 18 inch dishwasher is a great choice if you are looking for a small built-in model with features of full-size dishwashers. It features stainless steel exterior and interior that gives it a sleek look, an 8 place capacity, and six different wash cycles for efficiency. The heavy cycle cleans out most stubborn food bits, while the sanitize option cleans your baby bottles. There is also a china-cycle which is great for glassware and other delicate items.

The Frigidaire dishwasher is the only one on this list and one of the few dishwashers in the small category that will completely dry your dishes without needing you to open the door after a cycle. It has both heated drying, and Energy Saver Dry Option, which optimizes drying to save power. This is a great feature since it ensures dry dishes every time and saves you money.

There is also a two to four-hour delay, so you can start your wash cycle whenever it’s convenient for you.

Pros

  • Sleek and attractive
  • High quality and durable with stainless steel tub
  • High capacity with a space-saving compact design
  • You can choose between heated dry or energy save (no heat) dry option
  • Low noise

Cons 

  • A bit expensive

Danby Portable Dishwasher

Dimensions: 26 x 17.7 x 36 inches

Capacity: 8 place settings

Wash cycles: 6

Energy-efficient: Energy Star compliant

The Danby portable dishwasher is another great 18-inch model perfect for small kitchen spaces. It has easy-roll casters that make it easy to move around and store.

This dishwasher provides six different wash cycles, including intensive, normal, economy, glass, rapid, and soak, and uses only 3.5 gallons of water per wash.

It’s impressive that it can accommodate up to eight place settings including a cutlery basket so you can clean your mountain of dirty dishes in just one load.

Set up is super simple, only takes about a minute, and includes hose connections that you need to set it up in your kitchen.

Pros

  • Stainless steel interior
  • Low water consumption to help reduce your bill
  • Large capacity
  • Easy setup
  • Runs quietly

Cons 

  • Doesn’t dry dishes after washing

Edge Star Dishwasher

Dimensions: 21 x 19 x 17 inches

Wash cycles: 7

Capacity: 6 place setting

Energy Efficiency: Energy Star Certified

Last but not least, we have the Edge Star Dishwasher as one of the best small dishwashers that you can choose, particularly if you are keen on cutting your electricity and water bills. According to the manufacturer, this dishwasher uses 2.85 gallons per wash and 200 kilowatts per year, which is about 61 % less than other countertop dishwashers.

It’s very small in size, allowing it to fit under most kitchen cabinets and under sink spaces. It’s easy to set up and comes with a faucet adapter and a drain hose.

Unlike its competitors, this dishwasher heats up water up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit to give you clean dishes that are free from disease-causing germs and bacteria.

It has seven different wash cycles and is easy to operate. All the settings are easily visible and adjustable on the LCD display. There is also a Start Delay function that helps you set each wash cycle’s length.

The interior can accommodate up to six place setting capacity with a dish rack, cup shelf, and cutlery basket, keeping everything well organized.

One issue with this dishwasher is that you cannot use pods, powder, or tabs. It only uses liquid detergent.

Pros 

  • Saves you a lot of money on water and electric bills
  • Easy to operate with digital display
  • Stainless steel interior
  • Raises water temperature to up to 149
  • Quiet operation
  • 1-year warranty

Cons 

  • Only use liquid soap

small dishwasher for apartment

hOmeLabs compact countertop dishwasher is the best for apartments because it’s tailored to meet the needs of small living. The dishwasher’s small size and lightweight design let it easily fit on the counter or table, and is easy to store away when not in use. For a small household, the six place setting and wide selection of wash programs, along with affordable pricing, this dishwasher makes an excellent addition.

18-inch small dishwasher

Danby is one of the best 18 inch small dishwashers in the market because it’s easy to move around with casters and consumes less water (3.5 gallons per wash) to help reduce the water bill every month. With eight place setting capacity and six different wash cycles, this small dishwasher is sufficient to meet the needs of any household that need an 18-inch dishwasher.

small dishwasher with a water tank

Faberware is the best dishwasher if you are looking for one with a tank. It comes with a 5-liter built-in tank and a 1.8-liter pitcher for refilling water so that it doesn’t rely on a water source or hooking up to your sink to work. Plus, it has a reputation for cleaning dishes flawlessly and dries them completely if the door is left open after the cycle. If you buy it you will find it to be a handy addition to have in your home.

Small dishwasher to fit in a cupboard

If you are looking for a small 18-inch dishwasher, the Frigidaire is the best option as it has a slim design that will fit between your kitchen cupboards and a stainless steel interior and exterior that makes it look good. You will love having a large 8 place setting capacity along with and six different wash cycles to choose from and a heated drying option that dries out your dishes the first time. Plus, it is Energy Star certified, saving you time, effort, and money. Compared to other 18 inch dishwashers, the Frigidaire dishwasher gives you the best value for your money.

How to put a dishwasher in a kitchen without one

Installing a dishwasher in a kitchen without one is not easy unless you use portable and countertop dishwashers that do not interfere with your kitchen setup, water line, or need plumbing. They simply hook up to your kitchen faucet using a special adapter and hoses to get water supply and drain in the sink. These types only need to be connected to the kitchen faucet during use and removed afterward.

However, if installing a built-in model, the process needs careful planning, great care, and plumbing skills. You have to consider water, power, drainage, and kitchen space requirements and traffic patterns. You will need to:

  • Choose a location

It’s advisable to install a dishwasher on one side of the sink where the dishwasher will easily access existing water and drain lines. You can also install it as close to the sink as possible so long as it won’t create design flaws such as colliding doors or blocking the entrance. Alternatively, you can install it on an island directly behind or across the sink, although this usually requires more complex plumbing challenges.

  • Create Space

Depending on the dishwasher size you have in mind, measure the dimensions of the under-counter space and opening to ensure it will fit. You can get details of the size opening you need for a dishwasher from the manufacturer’s website and on the manual. 

Try different locations to get one with the right size and have the space framed. You must also ensure that the floor is leveled and a means of attaching mounting brackets, and maybe insulation.

  • Make connections

Every dishwasher needs fresh water, electricity, and drainage for dirty water. Freshwater is supplied by a steel braided flex hose or copper tubing connected to your water supply via a separate shutoff valve. The dirty water is drained from the dishwasher through a pipe attached between the dishwasher and a drain line feeding into the sink. Some places also have building codes that may require you to install an air gap device to ensure that there will never be any direct connection between the dishwasher drain and the sewer.

  • Attach securely

When you have installed the dishwasher, it needs to stay put to prevent it from tipping forward, which can be quite damaging, especially if it tips when fully loaded. This is where mounting brackets come in. Some models have brackets on top that require being screwed to the underside of the countertop or cabinet. Others have brackets that can be relocated to the side of the dishwasher. And for stone countertops, there are kits you can use to attach, such as epoxy adhesive, a narrow strip of wood, or use metal across the top of the dishwasher opening.

Are there small dishwashers?

Dishwashers come in many sizes, including large, standard, and small. Small dishwashers are defined as units less than 24 inches wide.

Small dishwashers or compact dishwashers are ideal for small kitchens, RVs, offices, and families that don’t use a lot of dishes. These compact dishwashers not only save space they also use less water and are energy efficient.

They come in different designs and styles from built-in, portable models, countertops, and more.

Are there different sizes of dishwashers?

Standard size dishwashers are the most commonly sold since most cabinet openings are made to fit a standard dishwasher size.

But, if you need a small or larger model, these are also available. Small dishwashers are about 18 inches wide, while large models range anywhere from 30 to 42 inches wide. I previously did a detailed reviews on the overall best dishwashers in the market today here.

How to choose dishwasher size

The trick to knowing which dishwasher size is right for your family is by checking available space and the size of your household.

If you are choosing an under-counter dishwasher, you need to measure the width of your cabinet opening to ensure it will fit properly. It should fit snugly with enough allowance to slide all the way back. Please note that all dishwashers are designed with standard 24-inch depth and 35-inch height, so the only difference between them is the width.

If you have a smaller household of about two to three people, an 18-inch dishwasher with 6 or 8 place settings may be perfect. While a 24-inch dishwasher with 10 place settings or larger is a better choice for the needs of medium and large households.

What’s the smallest dishwasher – how wide is a small dishwasher, how big? Dimensions

A dishwasher is labeled as small if it is less than 24 inches wide. Most of these are 18 inches dishwashers measuring 18 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 35 inches high. However, there are also a few 16-inch dishwashers.

Small Dishwasher vs Large

Both small and large dishwashers have a similar height of 35 inches and a depth of 24 inches. The only difference in size is their width, with small dishwashers measuring 18 and 16 inches wide while large models vary from 30 to 42 inches wide.

Both small and large dishwashers produce the same cleaning effect and are energy efficient. The only difference is that large models have a large capacity with up to 16 place settings to accommodate many items at once.

How much is a small dishwasher

The prices for small dishwashers range anywhere from $250 to over $ 1000 to suit everyone’s budget. The pricier models have high-end features like a flexible third rack, water softener, ultra-quiet operations, streamlined panel design, and more.

How to load a small dishwasher

Some people have referred to loading a dishwasher as art, and this is somehow true. You have to do it correctly to ensure you get the best cleaning performance and optimize your cycle, so you don’t end up doing multiple loads.

When loading a dishwasher, there are some important rules that generally apply to all dishwashers, whether small or large. These are:

  1. Scrape away large food bits from the dishes, do not pre-rinse- the detergent should have food bits to cling to and wash away; otherwise, it could attach to your dishes leading to scratches and spots.
  2. Place everything with the dirty sides facing the center and angled downwards where the water jets are.
  3. Don’t let your dishes stick to each other or nest as it can make it difficult for water jets spray to reach inside them.
  4. Do not put gold, copper, silver, bronze, aluminum, cast iron or wooden items in the dishwasher as they might get damaged.

With this in mind, this is how to load the proper way:

Upper rack

This rack is suitable for cups, glasses, baby bottles, small soup bowls, and dishwasher-friendly plastics. They should be placed upside down and angled downwards to allow all the water to drain. You can also add long utensils like ladles if there is enough space or between rows of cups and glasses.

Bottom rack

This rack is where you place plates and big bowls with the dirty side facing inward and angled downwards towards the water jets. For maximum coverage, you can stagger large and small plates. Platters, pots, baking dishes, and large pans should go at the back or along the sides.

Silverware basket

If your dishwasher has a cutlery basket, this is where you put your knives, forks, and spoons -mix them all up to avoid nesting, which is very common if you place forks or spoons together. Place the knives with handles up for safety.

The arrangements of dishwasher racks vary depending on the model, so it’s important to check the manual for any specific loading instructions. However, applying the tips we have shared will help your dishwasher deliver optimum cleaning results. Remember, small dishwashers have a limited capacity of 6 to 8 place settings, so they can only accommodate small loads. Some countertops may not have enough room for large dinner plates or cooking pots, requiring you to wash these by hand.

How does a small dishwasher work?

18-inch built-in dishwashers are plumbed into your water line, so they are permanent installations. On the other hand, countertops and portable models use an adapter to hook up to your kitchen sink during use for supply and to drain.

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