How to Find the Right Size Dishwasher for You

Dishwashers are a crucial component of contemporary kitchens, and it is imperative to factor them in when contemplating all the necessary appliances for your kitchen. This not only adds the finishing touch to your kitchen but also simplifies cleaning tasks significantly.

To discover the appropriate size of dishwasher for your household, it is recommended to obtain measurements. The sizes of the three primary types of built-in dishwashers differ, necessitating the measurement of the height, width, and depth of your kitchen’s cabinet opening to determine the correct fit.

In general, a small family of three can opt for a compact 18-inch dishwasher, while a larger family of five to six people may require a standard 24-inch dishwasher, and families with more than seven members can consider an oversized 30-42 inch dishwasher.

This piece of writing examines the various types of dishwashers available, each designed to fit a particular kitchen environment. It is recommended that you carefully read through and take measurements to determine which one is most suitable for your needs.

How Do You Know What Size Dishwasher You Need?

Before purchasing a new dishwasher, it is important to determine the appropriate size based on three significant factors:

  • Your Budget
  • Your Kitchen Size
  • Cabinet Opening Size
  • – This refers to the space in your kitchen where you plan to install the dishwasher. It’s important to measure the width, height, and depth of this area to ensure that the dishwasher you choose will fit properly. Keep in mind that some dishwashers have adjustable legs or can be modified to fit certain cabinet sizes, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications before making a final decision.

  • Your Family Size

When looking to buy a new dishwasher for your home, it is important to take into account three key factors. The width of the unit is typically what determines its size, rather than the depth, and while many models have a similar height, it is crucial to consider the width.

The width of dishwashers can vary from 18 inches to 42 inches, with the 24-inch dishwasher being the standard size for most families, accommodating up to 14 place settings and suitable for households with three to four members; however, it is crucial to ensure that this size will fit into the designated space in your kitchen.

However, this is only a typical size for a household dishwasher. If you have the means to acquire a larger and more effective dishwasher, that would be acceptable. It’s important to take into account both your kitchen’s dimensions and your budget when searching for a dishwasher. Additionally, there are compact dishwashers available with an 18-inch width that are suitable for smaller kitchens.

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Alternatively, you have the option of acquiring a portable dishwasher, which eliminates the requirement to measure the cabinet opening and can be placed anywhere in your kitchen with sufficient space. As long as you have the appropriate hookup, you’re ready to use it.

If you have limited space in your small kitchen, especially in a studio apartment, and are on a budget, you may want to consider a countertop dishwasher as an alternative option. This type of dishwasher is smaller in size and can fit comfortably on your countertop while being affordable.

Different Dishwasher Sizes and Who They’re Suitable For

Dishwasher Size Load Capacity Family Size
Compact 6 to 8 place settings 3 people
Standard 12 to 14 place settings 5 to 6 people
Oversized 15 place settings More than 7 people

As previously stated, there are no restrictions on the type of dishwasher you can purchase. However, it is essential to take into account variables such as the dimensions of your cabinets, the overall size of your kitchen, and your budget.

Although there are alternative choices such as countertop and portable dishwashers, our attention will be directed towards built-in dishwashers.

Typically, a standard kitchen will have a gap between the cabinets designated for various appliances, including a built-in dishwasher. To determine the appropriate size of the dishwasher, you must consider the width of the cabinet opening.

Typically, a lot of kitchen configurations have room for a dishwasher that is 24 inches in depth, which is the usual depth of most dishwashers, making the width the deciding factor.

Dishwashers come in different widths and can be classified into three primary sizes:

1. Compact Dishwashers

These are dishwashers that have a width of 18 inches.

2. Standard Dishwashers

These are dishwashers that have a width measurement of 24 inches.

3. Oversized Dishwashers

Dishwashers that fall within the range of 30 to 42 inches in width are referred to as such.

The dimensions of a dishwasher are usually comparable to the width of the available cabinet space, with the actual appliance being slightly smaller for convenience in maneuvering. A perfectly fitting dishwasher may pose difficulties during installation or removal for maintenance purposes.

Encountering the standard dishwasher is a common occurrence in most kitchens, typically found in purchased homes or rented apartments; however, when replacing an existing unit, it is advisable to measure the cabinet opening beforehand.

Although the aforementioned are the main dimensions to contemplate when purchasing a new dishwasher, there are additional aspects that should be taken into account. The profundity of the dishwasher is also significant as certain models are considerably elongated and necessitate a greater depth to accommodate them.

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If the depth of the cabinet opening is less, the dishwasher will stick out. It’s advisable to measure the depth of the dishwasher opening before purchasing a new unit so that you can anticipate whether or not it will protrude.

Furthermore, it is essential to take into account additional aspects such as towel bars and handlebars, particularly in a compact kitchen where space is limited. In these situations, selecting a dishwasher with top controls may be preferable to ensure an unobstructed exterior.

How to Measure a Dishwasher for Proper Installation

Getting the correct measurements is crucial when buying a new dishwasher to ensure it fits perfectly in the cabinet space and avoids purchasing a unit that is too big or small, ultimately helping you find the appropriate size dishwasher.

To find the appropriate size of the dishwasher, begin by measuring the width of the cabinet opening where it will be placed. Use a tape measure to determine the distance from one end to the other, both at the top and bottom of the space.

Next, you should take the height measurement of the cabinet opening by using a tape measure from the top to the bottom of the space, ensuring that you record the readings obtained from both sides of the cabinet opening.
Lastly, you need to determine the depth of the cabinet opening where you plan to install the dishwasher. To do this, use a tape measure and start from the front of the space, stretching it all the way to the back. Repeat this process for both the top and bottom of the opening on both sides – left and right.

After recording all the dimensions, identify the minimum value among them, including width, height, and depth. Based on these measurements, you can determine the appropriate size dishwasher that suits your household needs.

What Dishwasher Capacity Do I Need?

When searching for the appropriate size dishwasher, it’s important to take into account both the exterior and interior measurements. Once you have determined the exterior dimensions, it’s crucial to also consider the necessary load capacity. Dishwashers typically come equipped with racks and layouts designed for dish placement.

Furthermore, there are additional factors to take into account when selecting the appropriate appliance for your household. The number of place settings is a distinct indicator provided by each dishwasher, which aids in determining its capacity.

Typically, the most common type of dishwasher, which is the standard one, has a capacity of 10 to 12 place settings.

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However, the term “place setting” may be unfamiliar to some.

When it comes to understanding dishwasher capacity, the place setting is a crucial factor, with one place setting typically consisting of:

  • 1 Knife
  • 2 Teaspoons
  • 1 Large dinner plate
  • 1 Dinner fork
  • 1 Bread and butter plate
  • 1 Salad fork
  • 1 Saucer
  • 1 Drinking glass
  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Coffee cup

Although the capacity of a dishwasher is determined by the place setting, it’s important to also consider how you load it in order for it to handle the load capacity effectively; therefore, mastering the correct way to load a dishwasher is crucial for efficient use.

There are specific characteristics that can increase the loading capacity of a dishwasher. These features include:

1. Tines and Racks that can be adjusted

You can fit more items in your dishwasher with adjustable tines and racks. This is great for cleaning items that don’t have a standard shape. You can easily adjust the tines to make room for this item and other dishes.

It’s also possible to accommodate more items with adjustable tines and racks in your dishwasher.

It is effortless to remove or collapse the tines when necessary, including when cleaning smaller than average objects.

2. Third Racks

Most dishwashers have two racks, but some models come with an additional third rack that can be beneficial for loading more items per cycle. It is recommended to check if the dishwasher you plan to purchase has a compatible third rack model.

If you are searching for the appropriate size dishwasher, consider selecting a narrower third rack which can accommodate more items such as pots and pans that are used together with serving dishes. Alternatively, if you require additional space for plates and cups, larger third racks may be suitable. Third racks are particularly useful for families with many members.

3. Longer Racks

Upon inspecting a typical dishwasher, one can observe that there is a variation in the height of the racks. The upper rack is designed to accommodate cups, plates, and other similar items, while the lower rack is longer and intended for larger dishes such as pots and pans.

If you have a larger number of pots, pans, and big dishes, it is advisable to look for a dishwasher that has a longer top rack.


Typically, a standard dishwasher is the preferred choice for most kitchens; however, it is possible to opt for a larger or smaller size by taking note of the cabinet opening measurements prior to buying.

Additionally, take into account your preference for an integrated model, a surface-mounted option, or a movable dishwasher.

You can also check this video about “How to Find the Right Size Dishwasher for You”

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