Best 18 Inch Dishwashers For Compact Kitchens

30 Models Considered
59 Hours of Research
6 Experts Interviewed
236 Reviews Analyzed

Name and Features Image Rating Price
1. Bosch SPX68U55UC (Editor’s Choice)
Sleek design and fantastic functionality – a dishwasher that ticks all the boxes
Bosch SPX68U55UC
2. SPT SD-9241W (Best Portable Dishwasher)
A portable option, a good choice for those looking for a water-saving dishwasher
SPT SD-9241W
3. Bosch SPE68U55UC (Quietest Operation))
Another great model from Bosch, this is truly one of the quietest dishwashers on the market
Bosch SPE68U55UC
4. EdgeStar BIDW1801SS (Best Built-in Dishwasher)
This dishwasher will wash and dry your dishes to squeaky perfection – while being reasonably priced, too
EdgeStar BIDW1801SS
5. Danby DDW1801MWP (Budget Pick)
The best choice for those looking for a compact dishwasher on a budget, without wanting compromise on quality
Danby DDW1801MWP
6. Avanti DW18D1BE (Best for DIY Installation)
With its three-stage filter system, you can be confident that not only will your dishes be clean, your trusty dishwasher will always be in top working order
Avanti DW18D1BE
7. Frigidaire FFBD1821MS (Best Self-Cleaning Dishwasher)
Great-looking dishwasher, with plenty of space – superb choice for those with a large household, but limited kitchen space
Frigidaire FFBD1821MS
Best 18 Inch Dishwashers For Compact Kitchens
Features
  • Wash cycles: 5
  • Place settings: 10
  • Overall dimensions: 32 x 17.6 x 23 inches
  • Weight: 76 lb
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Extra features: EnergyStar efficiency rating, 44dBA noise level, 24/7 AquaStop leak protection, InfoLight

OVERALL RATING: 9.9 out of 10

Manufactured by one of the best dishwasher-making companies in the world, this Bosch model blends excellent cleaning power with highly customizable settings and quiet operation. This dishwasher comes complete with a third rack, so you can easily stack your large utensils and silverware while having enough room below for taller items. Thanks to the Sanitize option, you can be sure your dishes are hygienically cleaned cycle after cycle.

Users liked the advanced sensors that detect the level of soil on your dishes. The PrecisionWash feature means that not a drop of water is wasted, because the dishwasher only used the precise amount needed for the dishes inside. With the half-load option, you can reduce both water consumption and cycle time for those days when you only want to fill half or less the capacity. The time delay function lets you pre-select a program for the start time of your choice, and thanks to the InfoLight function, you can easily see if the dishwasher has finished its cycle.

Quiet operation is a feature most users want in a dishwasher, and the Bosch SPX68U55UC delivers high-performance cleaning with low noise levels. The two brushless motors feature rubber suspenders to minimize vibrations, so you can even run the dishwasher at night without bothering anyone. Thanks to the quiet operation at only 40 to 45 dB, this dishwasher is also a great choice for open areas and eat-in kitchens.

PROS:
  • Third rack
  • PrecisionWash feature
  • Quiet operation

CONS:
  • Price

Features
  • Wash cycles: 6
  • Place settings: 8
  • Overall dimensions: 26 x 17.7 x 36 inches
  • Weight: 121 lb
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Extra features: Energy Star certified, Time Delay feature

OVERALL RATING: 9.6 out of 10

A portable dishwasher that you can easily move in all directions, the SPT SD-9241W dishwasher is a suitable choice for a small kitchen and for families who want lots of versatility when it comes to the placing of the dishwasher. This energy-efficient, quiet dishwasher can accommodate up to eight place settings, making it ideal for a family of four. Using only 3.7 gallons of water per wash cycle, this dishwasher is highly economical. The full panel control console gives you easy access to the six different wash programs, while the rinse agent warning indicator lets you know when there’s a problem with the appliance.

The SPT SD-9241W dishwasher has two wash arms that are easily removed so you can clean them thoroughly. Two rack rows can handle all kinds of tableware, ranging from pots and plates to fine glassware. Users raved about how easy it is to use this dishwasher in an apartment because of the lightweight design and wheels that make it easy to move.

Connecting the SPT SD-9241W dishwasher to the faucet is easy with the connection and hose provided, and you don’t need to keep it connected at all times – only when it’s in use. User cite the lack of a replacement hose and a small rack space on the downside of this dishwasher, but overall this is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a portable model that offers them a high degree of flexibility.

PROS:
  • Lightweight and small
  • Portable
  • Energy-efficient

CONS:
  • Small rack space

Features
  • Wash cycles: 5
  • Place settings: 10
  • Overall dimensions: 32 x 18 x 23 inches
  • Weight: 80 lbs
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Extra features: Energy Star rating, ChildLock setting

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10

A perfect small dishwasher for those who want an appliance that is so quiet you won’t even know it’s working, the Bosch SPE68U55UC had an efficient layout which means that there is no wasted space and the cleaning arms hit every object inside precisely. The silverware makes loading and unloading silverware extremely simple, and its V-shape means that there is enough room left below for taller items.

The Sanitize option of this dishwasher means that your dishes will be washed thoroughly with every cycle. You can opt for the sanitized option with many of the programs and increase the temperature to fit your preferences. For those days when you don’t have a full dishwasher, but you still need to clean your dishes, you can use the half-load option, which uses less water to wash your dishes, saving you both time and energy.

Users raved about the flexibility features of this dishwasher, with its adjustable middle rack that you can position to three different heights, to fit your pots and pans comfortably. Other features include a 24-hour delay start timer and a multifunction LED that allows you to see the remaining time in a washing cycle. This Bosch dishwasher can handle up to 10 place settings and is very energy efficient at 259 kwh/year.

PROS:
  • Adjustable middle rack
  • Energy efficient
  • Half-load function
  • Quiet

CONS:
  • Expensive

Features
  • Wash cycles: 6
  • Place settings: 8
  • Overall dimensions: 32.5 x 18 x 22 inches
  • Weight: 55 lb
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Extra features: Jet-Dry rinse agent removes spots and prevents new film build-up

OVERALL RATING: 9.3 out of 10

One of the best built-in dishwashers on the market, the EdgeStar BIDW1801SS is an 18 inch model that comes in the perfect size for a small apartment kitchen. Standing at 32.5 inches and sporting a depth of 22 inches, this dishwasher is almost invisible. The machine comes with two pull-out racks for your trays, plates, and bowls, and with a silverware basket and a cup tray.

Users loved the controls located on the front of the dishwasher that let you select one of the six wash cycles. The lighted button shows you whether the machine is operating or not, and there is also an end of wash cycle sound that alerts you when the dishes are clean.

Thanks to its slim design, this dishwasher makes it easy to reach into for filling and emptying and it also works well for people with disabilities. The dishwasher runs very quietly, and users often mentioned that the stainless steel design works perfectly well with other kitchen appliances. You can feed the dishwasher with up to 8 place settings for one cycle. Unlike many other models, this small dishwasher has a drying cycle. The main downside mentioned by users is that you need to manually shut down the dishwasher at the end of the cycle.

PROS:
  • Stylish design
  • Easy to use
  • Seamless installation
  • Heated and dry cycles

CONS:
  • Needs to be shut down manually at the end of the cycle

Features
  • Wash cycles: 6
  • Place settings: 8
  • Overall dimensions: 36 x 17.7 x 26 inches
  • Weight: 125.7 lb
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty

Extra features: Energy Star certification – up 13.2 liters of water per wash

OVERALL RATING: 9.0 out of 10

This portable dishwasher is our top choice for those on a budget. The Danby DDW1801MWP is easy to connect with most kitchen faucets and is ideal for small kitchens that don’t have a designated space to fit a regular dishwasher. The roll castors make it easy to store the appliance and move it around the kitchen as needed. This 18-inch dishwasher has a low water consumption rate and features high-tech electronic controls so you can program it with ease. There are six total wash cycles included with the machine, and it has a capacity of up to 8 place settings.

Users loved how easy it is to fit the Danby DDW1801MWP in a small kitchen and that the dishes come out clean and dry, just like you would expect from a built-in or freestanding dishwasher. The durable stainless-steel interior is easy to maintain, and the dishwasher only consumes up to 3.5 gallons of water per wash so you don’t get hit with high electricity bills.

Many users agree that this little dishwasher is ideal for two people and because it is counter-high, it can add valuable counter space in a small kitchen. Even though it might seem like a hassle to connect a dishwasher to the faucet every time you use it, it is actually very easy to do so with this model.

PROS:
  • Easy to connect
  • Affordable
  • Energy-efficient

CONS:
  • Doesn’t fit too many dishes

Features
  • Wash cycles: 4
  • Place settings: 8
  • Overall dimensions: 32.5 x 22 x 17.8 inches
  • Weight: 58 lb
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Extra features: Energy Star certified, 3-stage filtering system

OVERALL RATING: 8.6 out of 10

The Avanti DW18D1BE is a no-frills 18-inch dishwasher that is easy to install and use. An installation kit is available for you to order with the dishwasher if you want to complete the installation by yourself. This dishwasher has four washing cycles that allow you to choose the right one, depending on how soiled your dishes are. The 8-place setting capacity makes the Avanti a good choice for a family of two or three. Users like how all dishes came out sparkling at the end of any cycle.

Besides being the perfect size for a small kitchen, the Avanti is also a good way to increase the sophistication of your kitchen thanks to its black color and stainless-steel interior. This built-in dishwasher has a three-stage filtering system, which means that you are less likely to experience blockages caused by food debris.

Users mentioned that the dishwasher is very easy to load and unload, and that the electronic controls are intuitive. The only downside mentioned was that the Avanti doesn’t come with a plug-in electrical store, but you can order one at the same time you purchase the dishwasher.

PROS:
  • Easy to install yourself
  • Attractive price
  • Stylish design

CONS:
  • Doesn’t come with a plug-in electrical cord

Features
  • Wash cycles: 6
  • Place settings: 10
  • Overall dimensions: 35.2 x 18 x 23 inches
  • Weight: 65 lb
  • Warranty: 1-year limited

Extra features: Energy Star certified, 55dB noise level

OVERALL RATING: 8.5 out of 10

Featuring multiple cycle options and a removable, self-cleaning filter, the Frigidaire FFBD1821MS works well for small kitchens without compromising on cleaning quality. The dishwasher comes with multiple cycle options, including Light Wash, Heavy Wash, and Energy Saver. The stainless-steel interior is durable and easy to clean, and users raved about the looks of the stainless-steel exterior that looks great in any kitchen.

One of the things most users mentioned about the Frigidaire is the energy-saver dry option, which means that the appliance dries your dishes without using any heat, thus saving you money on the electricity bill. A China/Crystal cycle is available for glassware and dishware that require gentle cleaning. When you run this cycle, the dishwasher reduces wash pressure by 30 percent for delicate cleaning. Users liked how the utensil holder is organized, as it has enough room for different types of utensils of various sizes.

The Frigidaire has a delay start of two to four hours and is ADA compliant, as well as Energy Star certified. The quiet performance of the appliance at 55 dB means that it won’t drown your conversations in the kitchen or open-plan living areas.

PROS:
  • Quiet
  • Self-cleaning filter
  • Energy Saver dry option

CONS:
  • No quick wash cycle

Buying Guide

A quality dishwasher means kissing goodbye to washing up by hand. Even though one dishwasher may look like another, our tests and research revealed that there can be huge differences in the way they clean and dry your dishes. Below you will find a buying guide that answers all the questions you may have before parting with your money.

Reasons to choose an 18-inch dishwasher

One of the main reasons to choose an 18-inch dishwasher is a small kitchen. These appliances have a slim build, which means they are designed to fit into a small space while still doing the job of washing up a decent number of dishes. These dishwashers are also a good choice for homes with just one or two people because you don’t have to wait as long for the appliance to fill up before running a cleaning cycle. Finally, these dishwashers need a lower amount of water and energy than their larger counterparts.

18 Inch Dishwasher

Features to consider when choosing an 18-inch dishwasher

As with any other appliance, there are multiple factors to consider when choosing an 18-inch dishwasher. Some of the most important are the wash cycle selection, size, capacity, sound level, and energy star certification. Below is a summary of the most important features to consider in a dishwasher.

Wash cycle selection

As a rule of thumb, 18-inch dishwashers offer similar settings to full-size models, so it’s not a question of having to give up anything in exchange for a compact model. The more settings a dishwasher offers, the more control you have over the washing cycle. For example, if your number one priority is saving water, you need a model that offers that. However, if you want to be sure that all dishes will be fine inside, no matter how tough or delicate they are, you need a model that has both heavy and delicate cycle settings.

Place settings

The capacity of an 18-inch dishwasher is essential because these compact models offer a limited space. You can expect to be able to wash nine to ten place settings at a time, which should work well for small households.

Number of racks

The number and types of racks differ from one dishwasher to another, and you should choose a model that works for the way you intend to use them. For example, if you want the dishwasher that can accommodate your stir fry wok or your large pots, you should opt for a model that has flexible racking. Other models come with a drawer at the top to secure delicate items such as glassware and knives.

Overall dimensions

As their name suggests, 18 inch dishwashers are 18 inches wide and often a little less deep than conventional models. Many of them are designed to fit in the space taken by a kitchen drawer, and just like in the case of full-size dishwashers, their door will open downwards.

Sound level

Dishwashers can get pretty loud, so if you want an appliance that doesn’t drown your conversations, you should look for a model with a reputation for being quiet. Even though many brands advertise their dishwashers being particularly quiet, it’s important to have a look at customer reviews and see what other users have to say about the level of noise of the appliance. Models range from quiet (36 dB) to moderately quiet (55 dB), and you can also find appliances with overnight cycles, which means that you can set the dishes to wash without disturbing anyone’s sleep.

Built-in or free standing

Whether you choose a built-in or freestanding dishwasher depends on the layout of your kitchen and your preferences.

Built-in models typically have more features than freestanding ones, such as specialized wash cycles, multiple spray arms, and targeted sprays for dishes that are more tasking to clean, such as baking dishes or pots.
Built-in dishwashers fit under your countertop and provide a streamlined look that many people prefer for their kitchen. On the other hand, freestanding dishwashers can be placed anywhere in the kitchen, as they are finished on all sides, as well as on the top. Because built-in dishwashers are permanently installed, it means that you can’t take them with you when you move, something that you can do with a freestanding model. Finally, a freestanding dishwasher may provide you with extra storage space and also with additional cutting or prep space because you can use its top for these purposes.

Delay feature

The delay feature many dishwashers come equipped with means that you can program the appliance to start at a later time, so you can have clean dishes when you come back from work, for example. Some models such as the Frigidaire FFBD1821MS have a delay of two to four hours, but you can also opt for models with up to 24 hours delay time, with an example being the Bosch SPE68U55UC.

Energy Star Certification

The energy Star certification for dishwashers range from very efficient, A+++, through to D.  There are models that have intelligent features, such as using the perfect amount of water for every type of cycle. While a dishwasher with an ultra-efficient energy star certification is preferable, it’s important to note is that using a dishwasher is much more efficient than washing by hand, no matter the energy rating of the appliance. This happens because dishwashers use less water, so you save energy, water and money.

ADA Compliance

Being ADA compliant means that the dishwasher is safe to use by people with disabilities.

Most of the models available on the market are ADA compliant, but if you or a member of your family has a disability, it’s essential to confirm the existence of the feature before deciding on a model.

Weight

Even though a dishwasher is not something you move too often, it’s important to consider its weight to make sure it’s relatively easy to transport and move when needed. Some models such as the EdgeStar BIDW1801SS only weigh 55 lbs, whereas others can go up to 125 lbs. The weight is an important factor to consider in portable dishwashers, as a lightweight model is easier to handle on a daily basis.

Warranty

Most dishwashers come with a one-year limited warranty that covers the parts and labor, but you can generally purchase extended cover that goes up to five years if you want some extra peace of mind.

How to clean and maintain your dishwasher

Keeping your dishwasher clean is essential of you want to get a perfectly washed load every time. To clean the dishwasher, make sure you switch off the electricity supply beforehand. You should try and clean the filters after each use, because this is where food debris gets caught. A simple rinse should suffice to eliminate the debris stuck in the filter. Running the dishwasher regularly is one of the best ways to ensure that the appliance is free from excess buildup.

Make sure that you inspect and clean the spinning arms regularly by spraying water onto them. If there is too much build up on them, your dishes won’t be sparkling.  You should also unclog and clean the drain at least once a month, and de-scale your dishwasher by placing a special descaling powder in the detergent dispenser and running a cycle on empty.

FAQ

You can install a dishwasher by yourself, provided you have the right tools and follow the installation instructions from the manual. A typical dishwasher will take approximately 1 to 1.5 hours to install, but this doesn’t account for any additional electrical or plumbing work that may be necessary.

Depending on the existent plumbing and wiring of your kitchen, you may need extra supplies to install your dishwasher. Most models come with the hose pipe required for installation, but you may need self-cutting valves to fit a new water supply.

It is never a good idea to use hand-dishwashing detergent in a dishwasher, because the foamy suds this type of detergent creates will fill the dishwasher and overflow. Always use detergent designed for use with a dishwasher.

All dishwashers dry dishes, but they may use different methods to do so. The most common of them include heated rinse, which means that the appliance increases the water temperature towards the end of the cycle and then pulls the moisture away from the dishes; heated air, which is common with older models; and fan, which circulates air to dry the dishes.

It is not necessary to pre-rinse dishes before putting them into the dishwasher, because they need to be dirty for the dishwashing detergent to do its job. Moreover, pre-rinsing in the sink is a waste of energy and water. You should, however, scrape off any leftover food from the dishes before washing them.

Our Verdict

Our guide provided you with reviews of seven of the best 18-inch dishwashers available on the market. Our top pick as best all-around dishwasher was the Bosch SPX68U55UC, as it offers outstanding cleaning quality in a slim body, while being very silent and energy-efficient at the same time. If you’re looking for a portable dishwasher that you can move around freely in your kitchen, out best choice is the SPT SD-9241W. For those who want a built-in model to integrate with their kitchen counters, the EdgeStar BIDW1801SS is an excellent choice. No matter what kind of dishwasher you’re looking for to get rid of the chore of washing up by hand, it’s crucial to consider the amount of dishes you need to clean daily as well as the level of noise and energy efficiency of the appliance, among other features.

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