Are you in the market for a new dishwasher but don’t know which type to choose?
This article will help you decide between buying a built-in or drawer dishwasher by comparing the two on 20 factors such as installation, capacity, size and design, energy efficiency and noise level, loading and unloading convenience, cleaning performance, and more.
Read on to find out which type of dishwasher is best for your needs.
Comparing Factors Between Built-In Dishwasher And Drawer Dishwasher
When it comes to dishwashers, built-in models require a more involved installation process.
They need to be fitted under the kitchen counter and require plumbing and electrical connections, which often entails cutting the cabinet to make room for the unit.
On the other hand, drawer dishwashers such as the Fisher Paykel DD24DAX9N 24 Inch Drawers are freestanding and require very little installation effort.
These models can be placed in any convenient location in the kitchen and only require a water connection, making them an excellent option for those who want a dishwasher that’s easy to set up and use.
With its freestanding design, the Fisher Paykel DD24DAX9N can be moved around as needed, providing flexibility and convenience.
When it comes to capacity, built-in dishwashers typically offer more space than drawer dishwashers.
The EdgeStar BIDW1802WH 18 Inch Wide 8 Place Setting Energy Star Rated Built-In Dishwasher is a great option for those looking for a built-in dishwasher with a good capacity.
With its 18-inch width and ability to hold up to eight place settings, this dishwasher is perfect for smaller to medium-sized households.
Drawer dishwashers such as the Fisher Paykel DD24DAX9N have a smaller capacity, but their flexible design allows for customizable load sizes.
With two independent drawers, you can wash smaller loads more frequently, which can save water and energy.
This makes them an excellent option for smaller households or those who don’t have a lot of dishes to wash on a regular basis.
Ultimately, the choice between a built-in dishwasher with more capacity or a drawer dishwasher with more flexibility will depend on your personal preferences and needs.
Size and Design:
Built-in dishwashers are designed to be concealed under the kitchen counter and have a standard size of 24 inches in width, 24 inches in depth, and 34 inches in height.
On the other hand, drawer dishwashers are available in various sizes and designs, with the most common sizes being 24 inches, 30 inches, and 36 inches in width.
Both built-in and drawer dishwashers have an Energy Star rating, which means they meet the energy efficiency standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
However, drawer dishwashers are more energy-efficient than built-in dishwashers because they have smaller capacities and use less water.
When it comes to noise level, there are some differences between built-in and drawer dishwashers.
Drawer dishwashers are generally known for being quieter than built-in dishwashers due to their design features.
They are typically equipped with advanced insulation technology, noise-reducing materials, and vibration dampeners that help to minimize noise and vibration during operation.
Built-in dishwashers, on the other hand, may produce more noise due to their placement and installation.
Because they are installed under the kitchen counter, they are more likely to be affected by vibrations from other kitchen appliances, as well as the sound of water rushing through the pipes.
Loading and Unloading Convenience:
Built-in dishwashers have a standard loading configuration, with the racks placed vertically.
On the other hand, drawer dishwashers have a horizontal loading configuration, with the racks placed side by side.
This makes it easier to load and unload dishes from drawer dishwashers, especially for people with mobility issues.
Both built-in and drawer dishwashers have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to cleaning.
Built-in dishwashers typically have more powerful motors and larger spray arms, which means they can clean heavily soiled dishes more effectively.
They also tend to have more washing options, including high-temperature wash cycles, which can kill bacteria and sanitize dishes.
Drawer dishwashers, on the other hand, use less water and energy than their built-in counterparts.
While they may not have the same level of cleaning power, they are better suited for lighter loads of dishes.
Additionally, drawer dishwashers have a flexible design that allows for customizable load sizes, which can be useful if you have smaller loads to wash.
Ultimately, the cleaning performance of a dishwasher depends on various factors, including the quality of detergent used, the water temperature, and the wash cycle selected.
It’s important to choose a dishwasher that meets your specific needs and preferences, whether that be a built-in dishwasher with powerful cleaning capabilities or a drawer dishwasher that uses less water and energy.
When it comes to cost, built-in dishwashers are generally more expensive than drawer dishwashers.
This is because built-in dishwashers typically offer larger capacities, more powerful cleaning performance, and more advanced features than drawer dishwashers.
However, the cost difference between the two types of dishwashers can vary greatly depending on the specific models and brands you’re comparing.
Built-in dishwashers can range in price from around $300 to over $2,000, depending on their capacity, features, and brand.
High-end models can cost significantly more, with some luxury built-in dishwashers priced at over $5,000.
Drawer dishwashers, on the other hand, are generally more affordable, with prices ranging from around $500 to $2,000.
Maintenance and Repair:
While both types of dishwashers require regular maintenance to keep them in good working order, built-in dishwashers can be more complex to maintain and repair than drawer dishwashers.
Built-in dishwashers are typically installed by professionals, which can make repairs more expensive.
In addition, the plumbing and electrical connections for built-in dishwashers are more complicated, which can make it more difficult for homeowners to perform repairs themselves.
If repairs are needed, it may require calling a professional repair service, which can be costly.
Drawer dishwashers, on the other hand, are relatively easy to maintain and repair.
They have a simpler design and can often be repaired by homeowners with basic plumbing knowledge. This can save you money on repair costs over the lifetime of the dishwasher.
Built-in dishwashers are considered standard kitchen appliances and can add value to a home.
However, drawer dishwashers are a relatively new appliance and may not add much value to a home.
Drawer dishwashers are more accessible than built-in dishwashers because they can be placed at a convenient height, eliminating the need for bending down to load and unload dishes.
Drawer dishwashers are more flexible than built-in dishwashers because they can be placed anywhere in the kitchen, and their design allows for more creative use of space.
Water and Energy Usage:
Drawer dishwashers have become more popular in recent years due to their water and energy efficiency.
These dishwashers typically have a smaller capacity and a compact design, which allows them to use less water and energy per cycle.
In general, drawer dishwashers use less water than built-in models because they only need to fill one or two drawers instead of an entire tub.
They also tend to have shorter cycle times, which further reduces water usage. In terms of energy efficiency, drawer dishwashers use less electricity than built-in models because they have smaller heating elements and less interior space to heat.
Built-in dishwashers, on the other hand, tend to use more water and energy per cycle due to their larger size and capacity.
However, many modern built-in models are designed with energy-saving features such as eco-cycles and delay-start options, which can help to reduce water and energy usage.
Both built-in and drawer dishwashers are generally reliable appliances.
However, built-in dishwashers have been around for a longer time and have a more established reputation for reliability.
Drawer dishwashers, on the other hand, are a relatively new appliance and may not have as much data on long-term reliability.
Brand and Model Availability:
There are many brands and models of both built-in and drawer dishwashers available on the market.
However, built-in dishwashers have been around for a longer time and have a wider selection of brands and models to choose from.
Both built-in and drawer dishwashers have a user interface that allows users to select various wash cycles and options.
The user interface on drawer dishwashers is generally more user-friendly and easier to navigate due to their smaller size and simpler design.
Style and Aesthetics:
Built-in dishwashers are designed to be concealed under the kitchen counter, making them invisible when not in use.
This design allows them to blend in with the rest of the kitchen’s cabinetry and décor.
Drawer dishwashers, on the other hand, have a more modern and sleek look and can add a touch of style to the kitchen.
Cycle Time and Options:
When it comes to cycle time and options, both built-in and drawer dishwashers offer a range of wash cycle options to choose from, including normal, heavy, light, and delicate cycles.
These options allow users to adjust the wash intensity and duration based on the type and amount of dishes being cleaned.
However, if you’re looking for a dishwasher with more powerful cleaning performance and larger capacity, a built-in dishwasher like the EdgeStar BIDW1802WH Built-In Dishwasher might be a better fit for your needs.
Built-in models often have extra features such as steam cleaning, high-temperature wash, and dry cycles, which can result in longer cleaning times but provide more thorough cleaning.
On the other hand, if you have a smaller household or don’t need to wash as many dishes at once, the Fisher Paykel DD24DAX9N might be a good option.
Drawer dishwashers generally have shorter cycle times due to their smaller capacity and reduced cleaning power, but they still offer various wash options and can clean dishes effectively.
In addition, both built-in and drawer dishwashers offer additional features such as smart connectivity, eco-friendly modes, and customizable wash options.
However, it’s important to note that these added features can come with a higher cost.
Both built-in and drawer dishwashers have a drying performance option, which dries the dishes after they are washed.
However, built-in dishwashers typically have a more powerful drying performance due to their larger size and more powerful heating elements.
Both built-in and drawer dishwashers have a relatively low environmental impact, with an Energy Star rating that ensures they meet energy efficiency standards.
However, drawer dishwashers are more eco-friendly due to their smaller size and lower water and energy usage per cycle.
Which type of dishwasher is best: built-in vs drawer?
When it comes to choosing a dishwasher, it can be a tough decision. Both built-in and drawer dishwashers have their pros and cons, so it really depends on your specific needs and preferences.
For me personally, I have a smaller household and don’t usually have a ton of dishes to clean at one time.
That’s why I really love drawer dishwashers – they’re smaller and more compact, making them perfect for smaller kitchens like mine.
I also find that they’re easier to load and unload since you don’t have to bend down as far to reach the dishes in the back.
However, if you have a larger household or frequently host dinner parties, a built-in dishwasher might be the better option for you.
They typically have a larger capacity and can hold more dishes per cycle, which can be a big time-saver.
If you’re in the market for a dishwasher, my recommendation would be the Fisher Paykel DD24DAX9N 24 Inch Drawers.
It has two independent drawers, each with its own wash cycle, allowing for greater flexibility and customization.
Plus, it’s Energy Star rated, so you can feel good about saving energy and money on your utility bills.
Which type of dishwasher is more energy-efficient?
Drawer dishwashers are generally more energy-efficient than built-in models due to their smaller size and reduced water usage.
Which type of dishwasher is more expensive?
Built-in dishwashers tend to be more expensive than drawer dishwashers, as they require more complex installation and offer larger capacities and more advanced features.
Which Type Of Dishwasher Is Easier To Install?
Drawer dishwashers are typically easier to install than built-in models, as they don’t require any major modifications to kitchen cabinets. They simply need to be connected to a water source and plugged in.
Which Type Of Dishwasher Is Better For Small Kitchens?
Drawer dishwashers are better suited for small kitchens, as they take up less space and can be placed in more convenient locations. Built-in dishwashers require dedicated space under the kitchen counter.
Which Type Of Dishwasher Is More Durable?
Both built-in and drawer dishwashers can be highly durable if properly maintained and repaired when needed.
However, some brands and models may have better reliability and longevity than others.
The main difference between a built-in dishwasher and a drawer dishwasher is their design and installation.
A built-in dishwasher is typically installed under the countertop with a hinged door and offers more space for dishes.
In contrast, a drawer dishwasher is a more compact option and can be installed in various ways, including as a standalone unit or under a countertop.
Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on personal preference and kitchen layout.