At Omnari, we love anything that lets you spend more time enjoying your home – and dishwashers certainly fit the bill. Perfect for families, entertaining or removing the excuses that lead to takeaways, dishwashers replace the downside of cooking (mountains of dirty dishes) with a much shorter task of loading and unloading.
Though all dishwashers are the same size, either 60cm or 45cm wide, not all perform the same. When choosing your dishwasher, you’re likely to consider a range of features: how well does it actually clean, how energy efficient it is, should you choose a freestanding or integrated unit and what does it actually look like.
However, with the growing trend for open-plan living and especially kitchen-diners and kitchen-living spaces, it’s important to think about how noisy the machine is going to be. With eco-friendly cycles often running for over 3 hours, that’s a long time to listen to the whirring, whooshing and clacking of a loud dishwasher – plus it’s not easy to focus in a kitchen where the dishwasher sounds like a rusted helicopter trying to take off.
How Quiet Should a Dishwasher Be?
Sound is measured in decibels, represented by dB, and most modern dishwashers will tell you how much noise they make. If they don’t, and silence is important to you, that’s the not the model for you.
In the world of numbers, most modern dishwashers clock in at 50dB or below, and can go to as quiet as 38dB. But what does that really mean, especially when all brands will tell you their models are quiet but no brand promises silence?
To decode dishwasher dB figures, remember:
- 50dB is the sound level of a quiet office or a typical home conversation
- 44dB is the sound level of bird song
- 40dB is the sound level of a library or stream
- 30dB is a whisper – no dishwasher currently goes that low
- A change of 3dB is actually a 2x change in sound pressure, which is physics speak; what’s important is that a change of 10dB is actually a 2x change in how you perceive volume or loudness – so the 50dB dishwasher will actually sound twice as loud as a 40dB model
- The perception of volume can be changed by factors including the acoustics of your kitchen, whether you integrate the dishwasher in any storage as well as your distance from the machine
Overall, for a normal fairly open-plan environment where you’re not sitting on top of the machine, a rating of 45dB or lower should provide no intrusion into your life and will quickly seem silent based on distance or being replaced by other household noise.
For a small environment or where you spend a lot of time in a quiet kitchen (so no radio or TV), look for a model that can achieve 40dB – though the calm will come at a premium.
The Quietest Bosch Dishwashers
Bosch are currently the class leaders for quiet dishwashers with even models from their lower Serie 4 range whirring at a respectable 46dB.
However, move up the scale to the top Serie 8 models and some can even go below 40dB using a specific Silence programme which cleans your dishes less intensively but for longer, giving you sparkling results in relative silence.
Neff’s Near Silent Models
Neff are a trusted name in kitchen appliances and rightly so – thoughtful design, quality engineering and high levels of reliability make Neff a good investment. While their top N70 claims to edge out Bosch at 39dB, even the premium mid-range models come in at the mid-40s.
If you like the Neff brand, one thing to note is that all their dishwashers are either integrated or semi-integrated, so good cabinets will assist noise insulation.
Best Budget Quiet Dishwasher Brands
A top of the range Neff or Bosch can set you back £800+, which may be too much cash to splash for your serenity, especially if noise levels are more of a nice-to-have feature.
However, brands like AEG and Blomberg produce quality machines at the £400 mark – and cheaper than the cheapest Neff – that record a very respectable 44dB. Meanwhile, Samsung continue to innovate with new technologies like their WaterWall, which replaces the traditional spinning arm with a moving blade like in a carwash, for improved cleaning and lower volumes.
Shop our top picks for quiet dishwashers below then make your quiet kitchen sizzle with style with our pick of designer kitchen accessories.