For tiny kitchens, installing built-in appliances like a standard dishwasher can be a problem. That’s because they are often bulky and tend to take up space.
It’s a good thing though that there are countertop dishwashers which offer the same full sized experience of washing dishes but minus the bulk. These compact machines are a great energy and space-saving solution for washing dishes and all it requires is just enough counter space beside the kitchen faucet.
In general, a countertop dishwasher comes with two hoses that join a “quick connect” mount which attaches easily to any standard faucet. One hose delivers fresh water, while the other drains the dirty water into the sink. Some models come with a bypass button so you don’t have to disconnect it from the faucet in order to get fresh water but in most models, you have to disconnect it after use.
Despite its mini size, there’s enough room in its rack for place settings. The standard number is 4 but some can accommodate up to 6 place settings of dishes and glassware. They also come with assorted accessories like pull-out racks and fold-down cup shelves depending on the brand.
If you want to save on water, a countertop dishwasher is your best option. That’s because these only use around 2 gallons of water. That’s less than a built-in dishwasher which uses about 3 gallons. And when compared to hand washing which uses 27 gallons of water, a countertop dishwasher is really the best option for reducing water wastage.
For RV and tiny homes, a compact countertop will go a long way towards reducing your eco-footprint. You’ll also get cleaner dishes too because they are equipped with a variety of cleaning cycles and heating elements.
Some countertop dishwashers even have features that make them convenient for first-time parents. These have a sterilizing function that uses steam to sanitize and dry baby bottles. You can also use the dishwasher to store these bottles so that they can be kept sterile until the baby is hungry again.
Countertop dishwashers are very popular in the US which is why most of the in-demand brands are often out of stock on Amazon. But you can still get pretty decent ones, even if they don’t have a high-end brand name attached to them. Here are my current top picks for the best countertop dishwashers for your tiny kitchen.
Table of Contents
- The Best Countertop Dishwashers
- 1. BLACK+DECKER 6 Place Setting Compact Countertop Dishwasher
- 2. Danby Countertop Dishwasher, Stainless Steel
- 3. SPT Compact Countertop Dishwasher/Delay Start-Energy Star Portable Dishwasher
- 4. Farberware Professional Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 6 Place Settings
- 5. Farberware Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 5-Liter Built-in Water Tank
- Buyers Guide To Picking The Best Countertop Dishwasher
The Best Countertop Dishwashers
- BLACK+DECKER 6 Place Setting Compact Countertop Dishwasher
- Danby Countertop Dishwasher, Stainless Steel
- SPT Compact Countertop Dishwasher/Delay Start-Energy Star Portable Dishwasher
- Farberware Professional Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 6 Place Settings
- Farberware Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 5-Liter Built-in Water Tank
1. BLACK+DECKER 6 Place Setting Compact Countertop Dishwasher
This compact countertop dishwasher can hold 6 place settings and 10-inch dinner plates. It is equipped with a LED display with electric touch controls for 7 wash programs: Intensive, Normal, Eco, Glass, 90 Minutes, Rapid & Soak.
It’s easy to install and use. It comes with a faucet attachment and includes a slide out dish rack and a removable utensil basket.
It features a Delayed Start Option for up to 24 hours and includes Child Lock settings. Energy Star certified with a high Efficiency Rating, this product has a 1-year warranty.
- Water/energy efficient
- Not for larger plates
- Doesn’t come with a force air drying cycle for dish drying purposes
2. Danby Countertop Dishwasher, Stainless Steel
This compact dishwasher uses 670 watts and has a quick connect feature that’s compatible with most kitchen faucets.
It has a stainless steel interior and can accommodate 6 place settings. It is equipped with an electronic LED display that shows the range of its 6 wash cycles. You can easily program it for Intensive, Normal, Economy, Rapid, Glass, or Soak. It also has a delay start option by 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours.
This dishwasher is water-efficient. It only uses 3.1 gallons (11.7 liters) of water for a normal cycle. Its average cycle takes about 110 minutes to complete.
It also has a unique Function button that allows you to extend the time used for washing, rinsing, or drying.
Other features include a silverware basket and an auto detergent and rinse agent dispenser. Energy Star compliant, it comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and labor.
- Has a heating element for drying dishes
- Cleans dishes without any need for pre-rinsing
- Not designed for hooking up directly into the water line
- The discharge cycle is very loud
3. SPT Compact Countertop Dishwasher/Delay Start-Energy Star Portable Dishwasher
This compact countertop dishwasher is easy to install because it comes with a universal faucet adapter for easier connection to most kitchen faucets.
It has 6 wash cycles: Heavy, Normal, ECO, Glass, Speed, and Rinse. A complete cycle takes about 130 minutes to fully complete. It also has a Delay Start for 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours.
The electronic LED display shows the remaining time or current running state. This machine also has a water supply warning indicator and a rinse aid warning indicator.
This model has a 1-year product warranty
- Timer delay
- Lightweight and easy to install
- No dry cycle
- Prop 65 label
4. Farberware Professional Compact Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 6 Place Settings
This product has a 6-place setting capacity that can wash dishes up to 1 inch in diameter.
It’s easy to install because it comes with accessories and adapters that will easily connect to a standard faucet.
It’s easy to operate because it has simple one-touch digital controls that offer a full size dishwasher cleaning experience despite its compact frame. There are seven washing programs: Heavy, Normal, Baby Care, Light, Glass, Speed Clean 45 min, and Self Clean.
There’s also an Extra-Drying Function that can only be used with the Heavy, Normal, Light, Glass, Baby care modes. It allows you to add extra heat to the rinsing process in order to enhance the drying results.
Safety features include a Child Lock function that locks the control panel buttons so that your kids cannot accidentally start the machine. Other accessories include folding down rack shelves and a cutlery basket.
This product comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
- This machine can be installed permanently
- Sanitizing feature for baby items
- Some users strongly recommend a plumber for installing this
- Interior space is small; one user said that it only fits 5 plates, 2 bowls and 1 cup
5. Farberware Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 5-Liter Built-in Water Tank
This is a more expensive Farberware model that has a built-in tank so you don’t have to hook it into a kitchen faucet. It comes with a water hose though if you do want to hook it up to the faucet.
This is best for a small household. One user said that it can hold 2 cups, 2 saucers, 2 plates, and 2 bowls but not pans. Another said that it can accommodate 3 dishes if they aren’t large. Meanwhile, the manufacturer says it can fit 12-inch dishes but at an angle.
It has 5 wash settings: Normal, Rapid, Fruit Wash, Baby Care, and Glass. It’s also equipped with lower and upper spray arms to eliminate the streaks that appear on the dishes after deep cleaning.
It has a variety of special functions. There’s a Steam function for sanitizing baby bottles and glassware, a rapid wash cycle that quickly cleans dishes in only 40 minutes and an automatic air circulation function that eliminates smells while improving the drying performance.
Wash controls can easily be accessed through the LED digital controls. These controls also have an automatic water level indicator that shows you when the correct water levels are reached.
Accessories include a fruit basket for easy cleaning of fruits and vegetables. The warranty period for this product is 1 year.
- Interior light
- No drying element
- Doesn’t come with an adapter
Buyers Guide To Picking The Best Countertop Dishwasher
Size is an important consideration and it’s not just because you need to consider the available space on your countertop.
Size also corresponds to the number of place settings your dishwasher can accommodate. A unit with 4 place settings is smaller than one that can accommodate 6 place settings.
If you want a model with a larger capacity, then you should have adequate space for it. The average size for a dishwasher is usually around 22 in (56 cm) wide, 17 in (43 cm) tall, and 20 in (51 cm) deep. Whatever size you pick, take exact measurements of the available space beforehand.
If you plan on moving the unit from one counter to another, pick one that’s lightweight. The lightest countertop dishwasher in the market weighs around 10 pounds; the heaviest is at 50 pounds.
Consider the shape of the unit too. The square ones are more portable and easier to lift and carry around than the rectangular ones.
Energy and Water Efficiency
Pick a unit that has the most efficient use of water and energy. Some models will have longer cycling times or will have a feature that allows you to speed up the cleaning process. This helps to further lessen water usage. Pick the one that meets most of your needs.
Depending on the brand, the number of washing cycles will vary. Some will have a sterilizing feature which is ideal for baby glass bottles, others may have an eco-mode that speeds up the rinsing process and allow you to save water. Some will also have a dry cycle so you don’t have to manually wipe the dishes dry. Choose the one with the best number of washing cycles that works for you.
Get one with a pump if you plan to place your countertop below the level of your sink drain. The pump feature will allow the water to drain conveniently into the sink.
If you have children in the household, consider getting a unit with a child lock safety feature. This function locks the dishwasher so that it won’t turn on accidentally if a child played with its control panel.
In general, compact dishwashers are quiet during the washing cycle. It’s during the discharging cycle when the water drains into the sink that the appliance can be quite noisy. Read the comments on its product page to learn what users think of its noise level. Still, you can find countertop dishwashers with a noise level of 55dB. That’s just like the hum of a refrigerator or an air conditioning unit.
The standard warranty period for such machines is 1 year. Check the product pages for user reviews on their after sales services. If the company is responsive and prompt in answering inquiries and resolving complaints, it’s a good sign that the brand is reliable when fulfilling the terms of the warranty.