Best Compact Dishwasher: You Can Wash Your Dishes Even in Small Apartments

Appliances are often the items in your home that take up the most space. 

It’s not always easy to fit them into your kitchen so that you can make your life easier. 

A compact dishwasher is a must if you have a lot of dishes to wash but you live in a small apartment.

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What’s a compact dishwasher? It’s basically a counter or under-counter dishwasher that saves floor space and frees up some of your kitchen counter for other tasks.

There are many models to choose from that can save you space while cleaning your daily dishes.

So, where should you start your hunt for the best compact dishwasher to suit your needs?

Right here, with our guide to the best compact dishwashers on the market.

But first, let’s take a look at how you can choose the dishwasher that’s best for your needs by comparing traditional in-built dishwashers with compact dishwashers.

Best Compact Dishwasher: EdgeStar Built-In Dishwasher

EdgeStar BIDW1802BL Review

This sleek, small dishwasher is a powerful appliance that has six wash cycles, so you have options whether you want to do heavy washing, a normal wash cycle, or a gentle one for your glass items. 

It’s only 17.75 inches high with a width of 22 inches. It weighs 52.9 pounds, so this is the best 18 inch dishwasher that will fit snugly into your kitchen without creating a fuss.



Extra features

Buying advice

This compact dishwasher costs about $380. 

It’s right up there with conventional dishwashers, but it has smart features that make it great for apartment living, like its extra storage space and slim design. 

This is the best small dishwasher on the market.

Best Countertop: Black + Decker Compact Countertop Dishwasher

This small dishwasher looks like a microwave with its compact square design. 

It only weighs 46.2 pounds and has a height of 17.2 inches as well as a width of just 21.5 inches, so it’s actually less wide than the average microwave.

When washing a heavy load, consisting of items that have dried food on them, a cycle will take only 100 minutes to clean, or just under two hours.



Extra features

Buying advice

The Black + Decker compact dishwasher costs about $360, making it quite a bargain, especially if you don’t have a lot of dishes to wash. 

Its features make it one of the best dishwashers for small kitchens.

Best Countertop Runner Up: hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher

This countertop dishwasher is perfect for tiny kitchens, thanks to its width of 21.6 inches and height of 17.2 inches.

It only weighs 44.1 pounds and is considered a high efficiency model when compared to other small sized dishwashers.

Its cycle times vary, depending on the type of cycle you’ve chosen, but they range from 75 to 120 minutes.



Extra features

Buying advice

This dishwasher costs about $350.

It’s perfect if you like doing quick and easy wash cycles and if you don’t mind its noise.

Alternative Product: Danby Countertop Dishwasher


This model looks almost exactly the same as the hOme Labs model, and it also has a six-plate setting capacity. 

It weighs 46.3 pounds, and has a width of 21.65 inches as well as a height of 17.24 inches. 

This enables it to fit under most kitchen cabinets. 

A heavy load of washing will take about 100 minutes to do, which seems to be the standard with small sized dishwashers that are on the market.



Extra features

Buying advice

The Danby countertop dishwasher costs about $220.

It’s value for money because it’s efficient while also offering nice extra features, such as running on batteries to make it portable.

In addition, if you have a lot of dishes to wash and larger plates, this countertop dishwasher is a great one for you.

Best For The Money: DELLA Portable Compact Countertop Dishwasher

DELLA Portable Compact Countertop Dishwasher Review

This compact dishwasher is small and stylish, thanks to its black appearance.

It’s got a width of 21.5 inches and a height of just 17 inches, while weighing only 20 pounds! 

Just like other models in this buying guide, the DELLA portable compact dishwasher has six wash cycles.

A heavy load of washing that contains dirty dishes will take 100 minutes, so its speed is right up there with other compact dishwashers.



Extra features

Buying advice

With a price tag of about $270, the DELLA compact dishwasher is value for money. 

It gives you the same efficiency as pricier models, but with an eye on some nice extras that will be valued by its owner.

Compact Dishwasher FAQ

Compact Dishwashers

What is the smallest size dishwasher?

Let’s look at some comparisons between a standard dishwasher and a small dishwasher. 

The standard size of a conventional dishwasher is 35 inches in height, while a compact dishwasher can reach up to 32 inches in height.

When it comes to weight, the difference is more pronounced. A conventional dishwasher can weigh between 150 and 175 pounds, while a compact dishwasher usually weighs around 10 to 50 pounds! 

That’s a huge difference and it means that you can easily move the compact dishwasher around much easier than a conventional dishwasher.

What widths do dishwashers come in?

These days, there are many compact dishwashers on the market that are really small for greater convenience.

The average compact dishwasher size has a width of just 18 inches. When compared to a conventional dishwasher that has a standard width of 24 inches, these 18 inch dishwashers offer a lot of counter space in your apartment kitchen!

When an apartment size dishwasher is so small, this not only makes it easier to install on a countertop, but it also offers you the possibility of building it into cabinets or attaching it to the sink via a hose. 

This makes apartment size dishwashers much more versatile and easier to incorporate into a tiny kitchen.

How much space do you need in front of a dishwasher?

Since you have to open the apartment size dishwasher door in the front when loading and unloading it, you need to make sure that you have enough space in front of the unit. 

This is something you might not consider when purchasing a compact counter dishwasher, but it’s very important to ensure so that using it is much more convenient and free of hassles.

How much space should you keep in front of the dishwasher? When it comes to standard dishwashers, you should leave about 24 inches of clearance in front of the door so that it can swing open properly. 

This might be a bit too much for your compact dishwasher, so you can reduce the number a little. However, the important thing is to make sure that there’s enough space in front, even when your dishwasher is resting on a counter.

Are all slimline dishwashers the same size?

Slimline dishwashers tend to be the same size – their standard width is 45 cm, or 17.7 inches. Because they’re nice and narrow in design, they make the most of the space you have in your kitchen. 

They can also fit into tight spots without a hassle so you don’t have to give up the idea of having a dishwasher.

However, they do vary when it comes to other characteristics. 

They have load capacities that can range from nine place settings to 10 place settings, which is the equivalent of approximately 90 to 100 pieces.

A slimline apartment size dishwasher is a type of integrated dishwasher, which means that a kitchen unit is fitted to the dishwasher’s door so that you just see the operating panel of the unit, as AO reports. 

The rest of it is integrated into the kitchen unit. An integrated dishwasher is installed underneath a kitchen counter or worktop.

The great thing about a slimline dishwasher is that’s perfect for spaces where you’d usually think that there’s not enough room for a dishwasher. This half size dishwasher can make washing up the dishes much easier, no matter how tiny your apartment. 

Pros of combo washer-dryers Cons of combo washer-dryers
Water usage An in-built washing machine will use about 11 liters of water, CNET reports. Portable dishwashers also use 11 liters of water per load, but things change when we consider energy-efficient models.
Water usage with energy-star appliances Regular size energy-star dishwashers use less than 4.25 gallons of water for every load. Compact energy-star dishwashers use less than 3.5 gallons, as SFGate reports. That will save you water and money.
Versatility Built-in dishwashers will have to remain in your house if you move in the future, because they’re installed in your kitchen. This means you will have to buy a new dishwasher for your new place. This dishwasher is portable so it can be taken with you when you move homes. It’s also easier to install.
Extra features Built-in dishwashers have more features than other types of dishwashers, such as when it comes to their spray arms and targeted spray functions for more intensive cleaning. These dishwashers do have nice extra features that can benefit you, such as timers and many different wash cycles.
Storage Built-in dishwashers can be space-consuming in your home because they have to be installed underneath the counter. These dishwashers encourage greater storage space in your current home because they don’t have to be installed underneath your kitchen counter.
Cost An in-built dishwasher costs more than a freestanding model. The average cost of a built-in dishwasher can be anything from $400 to $700. These can be much cheaper, and you can find quality dishwashers for less than $400. In addition, you can save money because you don’t need special installation for your portable dishwasher, such as by enlisting the services of a plumber.


When you’re in the market for a new dishwasher, you have to consider various factors so that you choose the right model for your kitchen.

This includes considering your kitchen layout and how much space you have at your disposal for a new dishwasher.

Luckily, there are many compact dishwashers available that are sleeker and smaller than conventional units.

They can really help you to wash your daily dishes with greater ease without worrying about them taking up a lot of space that can go to other appliances and furniture.

By choosing a compact dishwasher from this buying guide, you’ll be on your way to equipping your small apartment with all the essentials you need.

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