When you think about tiny houses, space-saving techniques, and kitchens, our minds drift first to the oven or the refrigerator. Rarely do people ever feel like a small space can actually accommodate something as useful as a dishwasher.
In this article, we explore the top dishwasher options for small spaces, as well as some features that make them the best tiny dishwashers on the market. Fair warning: you might never want to wash a plate with your hands again.
Features to Look For
Just because you’re buying the smaller version doesn’t mean you have to compromise on looks. Compact dishwashers feature the three design categories you would find in full-size versions: visible control, panel-ready, and top control. Small appliances now come in sleek, modern looks, which means they won’t stand out in your small abode.
Water softener systems are an ideal feature for anyone who has hard water. “Hard water” refers to water quality that has a lot of minerals. While this is generally safe for drinking, the salts in the water can build up on surfaces like your dishes or the dishwater itself. Households with hard water will often notice spots on their plates even after the dishes have been completely cleaned.
Hard water can also settle in the dishwasher, creating rust and speeding up the wear and tear of your appliance. Although there are products that can help you maintain your dishwasher, having an integrated water softener will make your routine a little bit easier.
Every noise is magnified in a tiny space. Noise is one of the main factors that affect dishwasher price, with quieter models costing more than their noisier counterparts. Anything that is above 60 dB is often too audible in small spaces. Noises 60 dB and below are the most ideal for your compact dishwasher.
Is an 18 In Dishwasher Too Small?
When every square foot matters, an 18 inch dishwasher is the perfect compromise to a notoriously bulky kitchen appliance. Compared to the standard 24 inch dishwashers, the smaller versions still pack quite the punch and offer more than enough room for a tiny household.
Instead of sacrificing oven or refrigerator size, we recommend downsizing your dishwasher instead. At 18 inches, you still have plenty of room to fit in cups, plates, pans, and cutlery. Other compact models can have widths up to 21 inches, which is the biggest we’ll go for in a small space.
What Are the Best Compact Dishwashers for a Tiny House?
We searched high and low for the best compact dishwashers for your beloved home. In this list, we tried to balance out functionality, noise, design, and features in order to provide a comprehensive guide on the best compact dishwasher options on the market.
1) hOmelabs Compact Counter Top Dishwasher
|Size||21.6 x 19.6 x 17.2 inches|
This little appliance comes from the same makers that put amazing dehumidifiers and portable air conditioners on the market. hOmelabs might not be a household name like Bosch and Miele but they’re well-loved for building compact but powerful appliances for small spaces - and this dishwasher is no different.
This powerful machine comes with six wash cycles: heavy, normal, ECO, glass, speed, and rinse. It offers a six standard place settings capacity, built with a dish rack and silverware basket.
Installation is incredibly easy; most buyers say they assemble this piece in as little as 10 minutes, thanks to the no-tools-needed kit it comes with upon delivery. Make sure to pre-wash your food to get the most out of this kitchen helper.
TINY HOUSE TIP: Can you build in a countertop dishwasher?
Yes, but it’s going to be incredibly tricky. Countertop dishwashers to be connected to a source of water. To do this, you’re going to have to link your faucet line and connect it to your dishwasher. It might require you to drill a hole through your countertop, which could be exceedingly challenging if it’s made out of marble or granite. You’ll also need to ensure that there is an “exit” connection for any stored water to avoid the appliance from leaking.
2) GE 18” Profile Dishwasher
|Size||24 x 19.6 x 34.3 inches|
This sleek GE dishwasher is lined with steel interiors and nylon rust-resistant racks. It features 5 common dishwasher features, heavy wash, light wash, normal wash, rinse only, and two cool features: air-dry cycle that dries dishes, minus the hot temperatures; and a glasses cycle that is specialized for a load filled with fragile glassware. It has a 2-rack capacity that leaves more than enough room for pots and pans, cutlery, and dishes.
This design is ADA compliant, which means it’s certified for people with disabilities. The light-touch controls are seamless and easy to operate. Running at 60 dB, it’s not the quietest dishwasher but it’s reasonable for its size and price.
3) Frigidaire 18” Built-In Dishwasher
|Size||34.5 x 25 x 19.6 inches|
This Frigidaire unit comes in stainless steel, black, and white designs. Fit up to 8 place settings in one cycle and get them spotless every time, thanks to the dual spray system. This tiny appliance is National Sanitation Foundation Certified, which means it is built to remove 99.9% of common household bacteria every cycle. This appliance is also Energy Star and ADA rated.
The 18” built-in Frigidaire dishwasher has a heat/no heat option for easy cleaning, making it an awesome washer dryer combo. Cycles are built for intuitive operation, as displayed on the control panel. With a 24-hour scheduling option, you can clean your dishes on the dot, wherever you are.
At a tolerable 52 dB, this powerful machine runs with a barely audible hum, making it a perfect addition to your tiny house kitchen.
4) Bosch SPE68U55UC 800 Series
|Size||32.1 x 17.6 x 22.56 inches|
The Bosch SPE68U55UC is built to stand the test of time: with the Aquastop technology, you have a 4-part leak protection against water damage; the water softener features ensures your dishes and dishwasher are protected, regardless of your water quality. It’s a great appliance for stress-free maintenance and easy cleaning.
A third inconspicuous rack lies at the bottom of the washer, providing 30% more capacity for your appliance. True to its Energy Star rating, this 18” dishwasher features a Half Load cycle that allows you to conserve water for small loads. Testament to its National Sanitation Foundation certificate, this little machine can be set to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and sanitize all loads.
At 44 dB, it’s among the quietest dishwashers on the market, without sacrificing power. Set the 24-hour timer to get your dishes ready whenever you need, and you’re good to go.
Is a Dishwasher Worth It for a Tiny Kitchen?
A dishwasher may be the last thing on your list for your tiny house, but we believe it’s still a great investment for any kitchen. Families and homeowners that enjoy cooking at home and hosting regular dinner parties will find this little helper to be their next best friend. That’s not to say it doesn’t fit in your day to day routines.
If bigger households can have the luxury of automated dishwashing, why shouldn’t you? After all, the lifestyle has never been about living small - it’s about living smartly.
Hey, there! We're Ivan and Manuela from Croatia, and we're crazy about tiny houses. We don't own one (yet).
This website is a result of our passion to share all the knowledge, photos, tips and tricks that we were able to learn while studying everything possible about the tiny house movement.