Which dishwasher is best? | Dishwasher buying guide | Argos

Dishwasher Buying Guide

A guide to dishwasher sizes, features and installation.

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Why buy a dishwasher?

We doubt anyone loves washing dishes, but is a dishwasher really worth the investment? We think so - here's how a dishwasher can save you more than you think...

Save water

Washing by hand may seem the greener option, but dishwashers actually use less water. Many are rated A++ for energy efficiency too and can tailor the amount of water and electricity based on load size.

Save time

A dishwasher takes the hard work out of washing up so you'll spend less time in soapy suds. Many dishwashers also have quick wash and delayed start settings - so you can set it to suit your schedule.

Save space

If pots, pans and plates are clogging up your work surface, a dishwasher could be for you. You'll load dirty dishes out of sight into the dishwasher until it's full - when the wash and dry is done you can tidy straight into your cupboards.

Integrated or freestanding?

The main difference is how they'll look in your kitchen, but portability and ease of installation are also factors to consider.

Integrated dishwasher Shop all integrated dishwasher

There is no front panel when you buy an integrated dishwasher. It will be hidden by a facade that matches your own kitchen units.

Why they're great:

  • Seamless design - they'll match the look of your kitchen.


  • They're harder to install compared to freestanding dishwashers, so bare this in mind if you'll want to reposition or move it from house to house.

Freestanding dishwashers Shop all freestanding dishwasher

The front door of a freestanding dishwasher is visible.

Why they're great:

  • Easy to install - Just plug in and go.
  • Easy to move - They're self contained so are simple to reposition or rehome


  • The front of the dishwasher will be visible.
  • If you want it covered to match your kitchen cupboards you'll need to choose an integrated dishwasher.

How much space do you have?

While integrated dishwashers run slightly smaller than freestanding models to allow for facade fixings, the height and width of dishwashers are generally standardised to fit under the average kitchen countertop.

Slimline and full-size widths are available for both freestanding and integrated dishwashers.

Slimline dishwashers Shop all slimline dishwashers

TWith a smaller load size, slimline dishwashers are ideal for compact kitchens.


Standard dimensions:
H82 x W44.8 x D55

Capacity: 9-10 place settings


Standard dimensions:
H85 x W45 x D60

Capacity: 9-10 place settings

Full-size dishwashers Shop all full-size dishwasher

Great for families, full-size dishwashers give you more capacity and features.


Standard dimensions:
H82 x W59.8 x D55

Capacity: 12-16 place settings


Standard dimensions:
H85 x W60 x D60

Capacity: 12-16 place settings

Dishwasher programmes

A quick guide to dishwasher settings and cycles.

Quick wash programme

Most dishwashers have a quick wash programme that take as little as 24 minutes to clean a full load.

Why it's useful:

Need to use the same tableware for starters and dessert? The dishwasher will run while you're eating your main.

Economy programme

Again a standard for many dishwashers, this setting conserves water and energy.

Why it's useful:

It's eco-friendly and can save you money whilst still giving great results - although it will take a little longer.

Intensive programme

Blasts dishes with higher settings to get rid of stubborn stains.

Why it's useful:

If you usually have to soak pan and dishes consider a dishwasher with this time-saving setting.

Baby care programme

An especially hygienic cycle that removes 99.9999% of bacteria.

Why it's useful:

Can be used as a steriliser to prepare bottles and thoroughly clean toys.

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Glassware programme

A delicate wash that use a lower temperature and steam to clean dirt.

Why it's useful:

Can be used to clean glasses and fine china.

Half load programme

Slightly reduces energy & water usage to wash a half-filled dishwasher.

Why it's useful:

If you're in a rush and can't wait to fill a load it can be a handy function - although it's more efficient to wait for a full load.

Features to look out for

Top specs that we think are worth having.

Delayed start

Means you can set the load to finish when you wake up, get home from work or run overnight on a cheaper energy rate.

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Flexible racks and baskets

Top and/or bottom racks move so you can reconfigure the dishwasher to fit in larger items.

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Sensor wash

This smart feature automatically adjusts the run time and energy used based on how full the load is - saving you money and time.

Wi-Fi connect

Very handy when out and about. You can set the dishwasher going while your busy using an app on your smartphone.

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Child lock

A relatively common feature, keeps curious fingers from changing settings while the dishwasher is running.

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Anti-flood protection

For added peace of mind, sensors will detect if water is building up in the machine and stop it flooding.

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Broken appliance?


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Argos Care Added peace of mind for life on the go

When faults or accidents happen, it can be frustrating, and make your item unsafe to use. On top of that there's the expense of having to buy a replacement. With Argos Care, you can save yourself the hassle and pay nothing for replacements.

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Argos monthly care, Breakdown Care, Jewellery & Watch Care and Replacement Care are provided by Domestic & General Insurance PLC. Argos Furniture Care is provided by Acasta European Insurance Company Limited and administered by Castelan limited.

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