Best slimline dishwashers 2018: The best space-saving dishwashers to buy from £199

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Slim dishwashers don’t have quite the same capacity as their bigger stablemates, but you’d be surprised at how much you can fit in. For smaller families, they’re perfect. 

Choosing the right one can be a challenge, however, as there’s a proliferation of makes and models to choose from. That's why we've taken the time to study the specs, round up the reviews and check the prices of practically every slimline model on sale in the UK to identify the five best time- and space-saving appliances. It’s time to bin the Marigolds.

How to choose the best slimline dishwasher

What makes a dishwasher “slimline”?

A standard dishwasher measures 60cm in width, while slimline models measure just 45cm across. That means capacity is smaller, but you can still fit a lot in. Most slimline models will accept nine or ten “place settings” - each one representing one dinner plate, a side or dessert plate, a soup bowl, a glass, a teacup and saucer and five pieces of cutlery. That compares to 14 place settings in a full-sized machine.

Which settings are suitable for a slimline dishwasher?

Slimline dishwashers are perfect for one-bedroom flats, studios, narrowboats, small mobile homes, country cabins and holiday homes; basically, they’re a good choice anywhere that space is at a premium.

What features should I look for?

The external design and the control panel will be the first thing you notice, but ultimately it’s what’s inside that matters most. It goes without saying that the more you spend, the better the quality of the machine’s interior components.

Most budget slimline dishwashers use a basket for cutlery storage. This reduces the space available for pots and pans, and it’s not ideal for cleaning as items tend to end up in contact with each other. If you can afford it, choose a machine with a slide-out cutlery tray instead. These are much more space efficient, and the cutlery gets a more thorough washing. Another worthwhile feature is the ability to adjust the height of the upper rack to allow as much space as you need for larger pots and pans.

Freestanding or Integrated?

Freestanding slimline machines are the most popular, as they can be installed pretty much anywhere. All you need is a suitable space with an electricity supply, a cold water outlet (or both hot and cold if the machine has twin inlets) and access to a drainage pipe.

Integrated models are designed to fit flush with your existing kitchen units. They look smart, but they do have drawbacks. For one, they’re effectively a permanent installation: you’ll probably end up leaving the appliance behind if you move. And the control panel is normally hidden away, so you can’t check the timer without physically opening the door. That’s not a universal issue, though: the Neff model reviewed below bucks that trend.

What do Energy Ratings mean?

An energy rating is a great way to estimate the machine’s annual running costs. The standard ratings run from D (the worst) up to A, with additional plus signs denoting even better efficiency. Machines with an A++ rating are your best choice - you can expect these to cost around £50 per year in electricity use - but A+ is still well worth a look. Water, tablets, salt and rinse aid are all extras.

The best slimline dishwashers to buy 

1. Bosch Serie 2 SPS40E32GB: The best slimline dishwasher under £350

Price: £307

This excellent budget Bosch may take a while to perform its duties – especially if you select the longwinded 195-minute Eco 50˚C program – but users report that it washes very thoroughly and dries exceptionally well. And if you select the VarioSpeed function, it’ll reduce the washing cycle by up to half – a great option for mid-meal wash-ups.

This nine-place model is extremely simple to operate, partly because there are only four programs to choose from: the aforementioned Eco 50˚C plus Intensive 70˚C, a 45-minute quick wash and a pre-rinse; the most vital options, in other words.

It’s got some decent tech on board, too. AquaSense technology adjusts the amount of water being used during the rinse cycle: if the interior sensors detect a few wayward spaghetti strands clinging to some of the dishes, it’ll lengthen the cycle. Or something like that. The LoadSensor, meanwhile, detects the size of the load and adjusts water consumption accordingly. This means it won’t use a full quantity of water if all you’ve loaded is a few pots and a couple of soup bowls.

As with most 45cm models, maximum loading is an art that involves a bit of shuffling. Similarly, quite a few users have pointed out that the top basket is especially tricky to load because the knife rack keeps getting in the way. The machine also uses more water per wash (up to 14 litres) than most of the other models on this page.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of owners give this great little budget-priced performer a veritable thumbs up.

Buy the Bosch Serie 2 SPS40E32GB now from John Lewis

Key specs – Type: Freestanding; Place settings: 9; Energy rating: A+; Water consumption: 14 litres; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery basket/tray: Basket; Adjustable upper rack: Yes

2. Bosch Serie 4 ActiveWater SPS40E12GB: The best slimline dishwasher under £400

Price: Around £379

This Teutonic freestander is an exemplary addition to the Bosch portfolio, offering pretty much all you want from a slimline dishwasher. With just four programmes and one main function dial, it couldn’t be easier to use. Intensive 70˚ gives the grubbiest pots and plates a thorough seeing to, while the Eco 50˚ mode keeps electricity usage to a minimum without affecting results (the water is cooler, but it runs for a bit longer). For modestly soiled items, select Quick 45˚ and it’ll all be over in about 30 minutes. And if you hit the VarioSpeed button during the cycle, it’ll reduce the time taken by roughly half.

The ActiveWater feature is an especially clever water-saving addition that uses sensors to detect how much dirt has been mixed in with the pre-rinse water. If the water is clean enough, it’s reused for the main wash. The final rinse is also carefully monitored, using internal light beams. The whole process is said to save between three and six litres of water per wash.

The Serie 4 provides enough space for up to nine place settings and uses an excellent basket system that can easily be adjusted to accommodate large pots and pans. It also has twin spray arms in the top so everything receives a good dousing, while the heat exchanger ensures the final rinse water is gently heated to prevent shocking the life out of your prized Swarovski toasting flutes. Top choice.

Key specsType: Freestanding; Place settings: 9; Energy rating: A+; Water consumption: 9.5 litres; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery basket/tray: Basket; Adjustable upper rack: Yes

3. Beko DFS05010: The best slimline dishwasher under £250

Price when reviewed: Around £210 

Turkish brand Beko specialises in high-quality, low-cost appliances. The DFS05010 offers an impressive range of features for the price - though bear in mind that it may not be economical to repair if something goes wrong outside of the warranty period.

It’s available in three colours – white, silver and, for those with slate-coloured kitchens, pure black. Inside, there’s space for up to 10 place settings, which is one more than most. Some owners have reported that it won’t accept dinner plates larger than 31cm, even with the upper rack raised to its maximum height, but that’s often the case even with full-sized machines.

The Beko comes with five programmes, including a quick 30-minute wash at 35˚ and a full-blown 70˚ intensive blast that takes 115 minutes to complete. It has a 50˚ eco function, too, which uses less electricity to heat the water at the expense of a longer 200-minute running time. Its water consumption (13 litres) is higher than most, but if you’re watching the pennies then this well-equipped washer will definitely suffice.

Buy the Beko DFS05010 now from John Lewis

Key specsType: Freestanding; Place settings: 10; Energy rating: A+; Water consumption: 13 litres; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery basket/tray: Basket; Adjustable upper rack: Yes

4. Miele G 4722 SC: A brilliant slimline dishwasher, if you can afford it

Price: Around £849

Many reviewers recommend Miele, and for good reason: although they’re more expensive to buy than their competitors, they’re also among the most efficient and reliable appliances on the market. Engineers also like them because they’re easier to fix.

This high-end, AA+ rated freestander supports up to nine place settings and comes with a top-mounted cutlery tray rather than a traditional basket. Not only does this give you more space at the bottom of the machine, it ensures that your cutlery will be properly cleaned.

Feature-wise, this model has six programs: Automatic, Eco, Quick, Normal 55˚C, Gentle for delicate glassware and Intensive 75˚C for dealing with obstreperous foodstuffs like hardened muesli. It also features open door drying – the door automatically pops open a smidge at the end of the drying cycle – a height-adjustable top rack to make way for tall-stalk glasses and a SensorDry function that ensures crockery and even plastic items come out bone dry. Its hot water connector, meanwhile, reduces electricity consumption by up to 50%. Water consumption is also exemplary – on average, the machine uses just six-and-a-half litres (that’s less than the capacity of an average kitchen sink).

This is the perfect machine for a small trendy flat or a holiday cottage, although you’ll need to dig a little deeper into your pocket for the privilege of owning such a smooth operator.

Buy the Miele G 4722 SC now from John Lewis

Key specs – Type: Freestanding; Place settings: 9; Energy rating: A++; Water consumption: 6.5 litres; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery basket/tray: Tray; Adjustable upper rack: Yes

5. Neff N70 - S58T69X1GB: The best integrated slimline dishwasher under £700

Price: Around £659 

If your kitchen is swathed in bespoke cabinetry then an integrated machine like this highly-rated Neff is the way to go. It’s rated A++, so it won’t cost much to run, and its TARDIS-like interior will swallow up to ten place settings.

The Neff offers a tantalising spread of features and functions, including a three-stage height-adjustable top rack, a space-saving, top-mounted cutlery tray, and six different main program cycles – Auto 34-45˚C, 45˚-65˚C, 65˚-75˚C, Eco 50˚C, QuickWash 45˚C and Pre-Rinse for very dirty contents. It will also handle half loads without using too much water and electricity in the process. And, like the AEG, it comes with a TimeLight display that projects the remaining time in minutes onto the kitchen floor.

Users praise this very quiet machine for its cleaning and drying power, the DosageAssist detergent dispenser that pre-soaks the tablet for better distribution and its space-saving top-mounted cutlery drawer. Given it’s a Neff, you can also expect rock-solid reliability. 

Buy the Neff S58T69X1GB from John Lewis

Key specsType: Integrated; Place settings: 10; Energy rating: A++; Water consumption: 9.5 litres; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery basket/tray: Tray; Adjustable upper rack: Yes

6. AEG FSS63400P: Amazing cleaning performance and whisper quiet

Price: Around £549

Here’s another excellent Germanic dishwasher to add to your shopping list – and this one has one very tempting feature on-board. While most machines get by with a single lower spray arm, this one has an additional short satellite arm, fitted to the end of the main arm, that spins independently, distributing water to every corner of the machine.

The integrated AEG comes with a commendable A+++ rating for energy efficiency, and is whisper quiet while running. There are six wash programs, including Intensive 70˚C, a 30-minute Quick Wash and an AutoSense cycle that utilizes sensors to control the length and intensity of both the washing and drying cycles.

The biggest issue with integrated dishwashers is that the main control panel is invariably situated in the top of the door. This means it’s difficult to know if someone has already switched the machine on. Indeed, with some machines, opening the door mid-cycle can even cancel the program. By contrast, this model comes equipped with a clever feature that beams the remaining time on the floor (it’s called TimeBeam), so you always know at a glance whether the machine is on or off and how much program time is left.

If you prefer your appliances to be hidden from view but don’t have the biggest kitchen in the neighbourhood, then this efficient and very quiet built-in model is definitely worth considering.

Buy the AEG FSS63400P now from Currys

Key specs – Type: Integrated; Place settings: 9; Energy rating: A+++; Water consumption: 9.9 litres; Quick wash: Yes; Cutlery basket/tray: Basket; Adjustable upper rack: Yes

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