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Published Apr 28, 2022 8:06 AM

Dishwashers are used in many homes across the world, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that there are different sizes of dishwashers available to help keep your kitchen clean. If you don’t have a big home or you are renting an apartment that won’t allow the installation of a standard dishwasher then opting for a countertop dishwasher is a great solution. 

Countertop dishwashers provide enough space for about four to six place settings, making them ideal for households with only a few people. We’ve compiled the important features and our top picks to help you decide on the best countertop dishwasher for your home. 

How We Picked the Best Countertop Dishwashers

Before deciding on the best countertop dishwashers, we researched the cycles, installation methods, sizes, portability, and capacity of more than 25 different countertop dishwashers helped to narrow the selection down. 

Given that countertop dishwashers are designed to help save space while offering the same convenience as a standard dishwasher, it was important for the products to be compact and versatile. Products with several unique cycles, like Baby Care, Rinse, or Dry, were ‌preferred over models that only had basic wash functions. Similarly, the portability of a countertop dishwasher was based on size, weight, and whether the product featured a built-in water tank.  

Any additional features, like anti-flood protection, safety locks, or a sensor wash function helped to choose between two or more similar products because these add-ons provided the user with a benefit the other models lacked.

Best Countertop Dishwashers: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher

With six practical cycle options and handy bonus features, this great all-arounder helps keep the kitchen clean and uncluttered. hOmeLabs

Why It Made the Cut: Multiple cycles, a removable utensil basket, and foldable cup shelf make this Energy Star-certified countertop dishwasher a versatile, energy-efficient solution.

Specs:

  • Cycles: Heavy, Normal, ECO, Glass, Speed, Rinse
  • Capacity: Six place settings
  • Dimensions: 21.6 inches W x 19.6 inches D x 17.2 inches H 

Pros:

  • Energy Star-certified operation
  • Stainless steel interior
  • Removable utensil basket
  • Delay wash function

Cons:

  • Must be connected to a water source

There’s a lot to like about the hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher. With six different wash cycles, including Heavy, Normal, ECO, Glass, Speed, and Rinse, this versatile appliance can take on a variety of cleaning tasks. Although much smaller than its full-size counterparts, it can still hold up to six standard place settings, and includes a removable utensil basket and foldable cup shelf. Despite its larger capacity, it measures just 21.6 inches in width by 19.6 inches in depth by 17.2 inches in height, meaning it won’t take up too much space on the countertop. 

In addition to its stainless steel interior and Energy Star certification, this dishwasher’s eco-friendly bona fides also include a delay wash function that allows the user to postpone the wash cycle. This is especially helpful for individuals that are charged a higher electric or water bill based on the time of day because they can simply fill the dishwasher before leaving for work and delay the start time to ensure the dishwasher isn’t running during the premium hours of the day.

Keep in mind that this model does not come with a built-in water tank, so it isn’t the best option for those looking to take their dishwasher along on RV or camping trips.

Best Value: KAPAS Portable Countertop Dishwasher

Give this dependable countertop dishwasher a permanent place in your kitchen or take it on the next camping trip for fast, effective automated dishwashing. KAPAS

Why It Made the Cut: Excellent for small households, this countertop dishwasher can be directly connected to a sink or used with the built-in water tank.

Specs:

  • Cycles: Standard, Quick, Strong, ECO, Fruit, Dry 
  • Capacity: Four place settings
  • Dimensions: 16 inches W x 16 inches D x 17.5 inches H(WxDxH)

Pros:

  • Compact and portable
  • High temperature cleaning
  • Built-in water tank

Cons:

  • Small capacity

Whether the goal is to wash a small amount of dishes at home or to make campsite life more convenient, the KAPAS Portable Countertop Dishwasher has it covered. This compact dishwasher measures just 16 inches in width by 16 inches in depth by 17.5 inches in height, making it an ideal choice for small kitchens or dishwashing on the road. 

The countertop dishwasher can be connected directly to a sink, if one is available, or it can be used with  the built-in 1.32-gallon water tank. Load the dishwasher and choose from one of the six cycles, including Standard, Quick, Strong, ECO, Fruit (Rinse), and Dry. Its high heat output makes this small appliance an effective option for sanitizing dishes as well. However, it should be mentioned that while its size is great for portability, that comes at the cost of capacity. Users should expect to only be able to fit about four place settings into this dishwasher, and large dinner plates can only fit if they are placed in the dishwasher on an angle.

Best Stainless Steel: EdgeStar DWP62SV Portable Countertop Dishwasher

Best Stainless Steel

Improve the look of the kitchen with this attractive stainless steel appliance. EdgeStar

Why It Made the Cut: In addition to its stylish design, this countertop dishwasher features several helpful cycles to provide the ideal wash for a range of dishes and accessories.

Specs:

  • Cycles: Heavy, Normal, Light, Glass, Baby Care, Speed, Rinse
  • Capacity: Six place settings
  • Dimensions: 21.6 inches W x 19.6 inches D x 17.3 inches H 

Pros:

  • Energy Star-certified 
  • Seven cycle options
  • Stainless steel interior
  • Quiet operation

Cons:

  • Heavy and difficult to carry

Talk about options—the EdgeStar DWP62SV Countertop Dishwasher gives the user seven different wash cycles to choose from. In addition to the standard Light, Normal, and Heavy cycles, it also includes a Baby Care setting for sanitizing bottles and a Speed setting for users that are in a hurry to clean up before guests arrive.

The dishwasher measures 21.6 inches wide by 19.6 inches deep by 17.3 inches high, and it looks great in most kitchens due to the silver exterior and spotless stainless steel interior. However, this dishwasher doesn’t just look good — it’s also Energy Star-certified and functions as just 52 dB, which is about as loud as a fan or a quiet conversation.  At 44 pounds, this countertop dishwasher is one of the heavier options, so it’s better-suited to keeping the kitchen clean than being hauled around on camping or RV trips. 

Best for Quiet Operation: Hermitlux Countertop Dishwasher

Best for Quiet Operation

Clean the kitchen without causing a commotion with this quiet countertop dishwasher. Hermitlux

Why It Made the Cut: Operating at just 50 decibels, running this dishwasher won’t create a racket.

Specs:

  • Cycles: Standard, Quick, ECO, Strong, Fruit
  • Capacity: Four place settings
  • Dimensions: 16.9 inches W x 16.9 inches D x 18.1 inches H

Pros:

  • Attractive glass door design
  • Extremely quiet operation
  • Built-in water tank

Cons:

  • Small capacity

Sometimes it can be difficult to get a free moment to clean up the kitchen, especially with young kids running around. In these instances, naptime is the best opportunity to tackle some chores, and having a dishwasher like the Hermitlux Countertop Dishwasher that can clean the dishes without making a lot of noise is a lifesaver. This impressive appliance doesn’t take up a lot of space in the kitchen and it only operates at about 50 dB, which is equivalent to the noise produced by a fan.

Depending on your cleaning needs, this dishwasher can be set to one of five cycles: Standard, Strong, Quick, ECO, or Fruit. Two washing arms, mounted to the top and bottom of the dishwasher, ensure that even dishes with tough, stuck-on food come out clean the first time. This appliance comes with a built-in water tank for portable cleaning and it measures just 16.9 inches by 16 inches by 18.1 inches. Just keep in mind that the smaller size means that this dishwasher is only big enough to accommodate about four place settings per cycle.

Best for Quick Cleaning: NOVETE Portable Countertop Dishwasher

Best for Quick Cleaning

Finish the dishes before guests arrive with the 29-minute wash cycle. NOVETE

Why It Made the Cut: With the ability to wash four place settings in less than half an hour, this countertop dishwasher makes quick work of a tedious chore.

Specs:

  • Cycles: Normal, Speed, Soft, Baby Care/Heavy, Fruit
  • Capacity: Four place settings
  • Dimensions: 16.9 inches W x 16.8 inches D x 18 inches H

Pros:

  • Upper and lower spray arms provide a more thorough clean
  • 29-minute wash cycle, 19-minute rinse cycle
  • Built-in water tank

Cons:

  • Small capacity

Don’t get caught with a stack of dirty dishes when guests come to visit. This NOVETE Portable Countertop Dishwasher can complete a full cycle in just 29 minutes. If fruit or vegetables need a quick rinse, put them in the dishwasher and choose the 19-minute Fruit cycle. Keep in mind that the Heavy cycle also functions as a Baby Care cycle because of the high temperature used to sanitize the dishes, utensils, and bottles.

At just 16.9 inches in width by 16.8 inches in depth by 18 inches in height, this compact countertop dishwasher is ideal for small apartment, dorm rooms, or even as a campsite convenience thanks to its built-in water tank. The dishwasher has two spray arms to wash the dishes thoroughly without any obstructions. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Countertop Dishwasher

If your apartment or condo didn’t come with a dishwasher, or you live solo or in a small household, a countertop dishwasher is a convenient solution. But it’s important to learn more about the important features while selecting the best countertop dishwasher for your home. 

Cycles

Not every dishwasher has the same number of cycles or even the same wash cycle functions, so if you have a favorite setting on your current dishwasher or you are looking for an appliance with specific wash cycles, then it’s necessary to research potential options to find the right countertop dishwasher for your kitchen.

  • Wash: The most basic function for a countertop dishwasher is a simple wash cycle, but most products will offer a light, medium, and heavy wash cycle. The light cycle may also be called an ECO cycle, while the medium wash cycle can be labeled as ‘normal.’ 
  • Speed: Whether the manufacturer lists this cycle as ‘Speed,’ ‘Rapid,’ or ‘Fast,’ the result is the same. A quick wash cycle is great for light duty cleaning, though isn’t the best option for heavily soiled dishes. 
  • Rinse: If you just want to rinse off the dishes in the dishwasher without setting the appliance to run a full load, then the ‘Rinse’ cycle is a good option. This function can also be labeled as a ‘Fruit’ cycle because fruit and vegetables can be put into the dishwasher for a quick rinse. 
  • Baby Care: Setting the countertop dishwasher to the ‘Baby’ or ‘Baby Care’ setting will ensure that the water used during the cycle is hot enough to kill any viruses or bacteria in order to keep kids safe.
  • Dry: After washing and rinsing the dishes, a dry cycle provides even heating throughout the dishwasher so you don’t have to deal with soaking wet dishes when you open the dishwasher door. 

Capacity

Countertop dishwashers are designed to be smaller than a standard dishwasher, making them a poor option for large families. However, if you have a smaller home or only a few people living there and you are relatively on top of your dishwashing duties, then the reduced capacity of a countertop dishwasher is a great idea. 

Capacity is typically provided based on the number of full place settings the dishwasher can hold. One place setting includes a cup, a small bowl, a small plate, a large plate, a spoon, a fork, and a knife. For instance, if a countertop dishwasher has a capacity of four place settings, this would typically mean it has enough space for four cups, four small bowls, four small plates, four dinner plates, four spoons, four forks, and four knives in one load. 

Size and Portability

The entire purpose of a countertop dishwasher is to have a compact appliance for washing dishes that doesn’t take up as much space, use as much water, or take as long as a standard dishwasher. In addition, these small appliances are often designed with a built-in water tank, allowing the dishwasher to clean the dishes at home, in an RV, or even at a campsite. 

If you know that you will be using your countertop dishwasher as a portable appliance, then it’s a good idea to look for a product with a built-in water tank that is lightweight and has built-in handles to help lift, hold, and carry the dishwasher. Keep in mind that most countertop dishwashers weigh about 25 to 40 pounds.

FAQs

Q: Can I permanently install a countertop dishwasher?

Most countertop dishwashers are designed to function as a semi-permanent addition to the kitchen or even as a portable dishwasher when you are on the road or camping. However, a countertop dishwasher can be permanently installed as long as it has a direct connection for the water. 

Q: How much does a countertop dishwasher cost?

Due to the small size, many countertop dishwashers are an affordable option for apartment renters, condo owners, and any homes with one or two people. On average, you can expect to pay about $300 to $600 for a countertop dishwasher.

Q: Do countertop dishwashers save water?

Other than the lower price and space-saving design, countertop dishwashers typically require less water to wash a full load than a standard dishwasher. So, if you live alone, with a partner, or even in a small family of three or four, it may be beneficial to switch to a countertop dishwasher to help conserve water and save on bills. 

Final Thoughts

With a six-place-setting capacity, six cycles, and removable utensil basket, the Energy Star-certified hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher is an excellent addition to any kitchen. Or, take advantage of the built-in water tank to use the KAPAS Portable Countertop Dishwasher at home, in an RV, or at the campsite.

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