Dishwasher Size Guide – All The Measurements You Need To Know
You might be thinking, “A dishwasher’s a dishwasher, right?” Well, not exactly. There’s probably more choice than you realise, and the dishwasher size can really impact your kitchen.
Whether you’re renovating your kitchen, replacing an old dishwasher, or becoming a first-time dishwasher owner, understanding the dimensions and variations in size is key to making a smart, informed decision.
In this post, I’ll explain why dishwasher size matters, what the various types of dishwashers are, along with their sizes and capacities. As well as answer some common questions about the topic.
Let’s get into it!
Why Dishwasher Size Matters
When selecting a dishwasher, it’s easy to focus on features and overlook the basics. However, size is an aspect you definitely can’t afford to ignore. Here’s why the size of your dishwasher matters:
Affects Your Kitchen Layout
The size of your dishwasher can significantly impact your kitchen’s layout and overall aesthetic. It needs to fit seamlessly into your existing cabinetry and not hinder the kitchen’s traffic flow.
If you have a smaller kitchen, choosing a full-size dishwasher will take up potential cabinet storage as well as impact the design and layout options of your kitchen.
The size directly affects the dishwasher’s capacity. Obvious, I know, but the larger the size, the more dishes it can accommodate in a single cycle, and vice versa. If you’re part of a big family or regularly host dinners, a dishwasher with a higher capacity – and thus, a larger size – might be your best bet.
On the other hand, smaller households might find a slimline dishwasher perfectly sufficient.
The dishwasher size plays a role in energy and water efficiency. Larger dishwashers use more water and power per cycle compared to slimline models. However, if a smaller dishwasher needs to be run multiple times a day to meet your needs, it may end up consuming more resources than a single run of a larger model.
A critical consideration when choosing a dishwasher size is its compatibility with your kitchen cabinets’ height and depth. Not all dishwashers are the same size. You may need one with a shallower depth to avoid those pipes, or you might be looking for an extra tall model to make the most of your cabinet’s height.
What is the standard dishwasher size?
A standard size dishwasher is generally about 60cm wide, 60cm deep, and around 85cm high (24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and approximately 34 inches high).
However, these are general standard dishwasher dimensions. The exact sizes (usually height and depth) and capacities can differ from brand to brand, so always check the exact dimensions of the specific model you’re interested in.
For instance, the height can sometimes vary slightly depending on the type of dishwasher, adjustable feet or the presence of a top control panel. But don’t worry, this height is designed to fit comfortably under a standard kitchen countertop, which is usually 87-89cm (approx 35 inches) from the floor to the underside of your countertop.
It’s important to note that these are the external dimensions. Internally, standard full-size dishwashers typically have space to hold between 12 to 16 place settings, making them a good fit for families or households that generate a substantial amount of dishes.
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Types of dishwashers (+ Dimensions & Capacity)
Knowing the different types of dishwashers and their respective sizes is crucial in making the right choice for your kitchen. In this next section, I’ve outlined the different types of dishwashers as well as their approx sizes and capacities.
1. Full-Size Integrated Dishwashers
A full-size integrated dishwasher is designed to blend seamlessly with your kitchen cabinetry, as it’s fully hidden behind a door that matches your kitchen units.
Approximate dimensions: Width 60 cm (24 inches), Depth 55 cm (22 inches) + cabinet door, Height 82 cm (32 inches)
Capacity: 12-16 place settings
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2. Full-Size Freestanding Dishwashers
Full-size freestanding dishwashers, as the name suggests, are standalone units. They don’t require a cabinet door on the front as they will have a finished door and sides as part of the appliance. Most commonly in stainless steel or a white plastic finish.
Approximate dimensions: Width 60 cm (24 inches), Depth 60 cm (24 inches), Height 85 cm (33.5 inches)
Capacity: 12-16 place settings
3. Slimline Integrated Dishwashers
Slimline integrated dishwashers are narrower versions of their full-size model counterparts. They are designed to fit into smaller spaces while maintaining the sleek look of integrated units. They’re sometimes referred to as compact dishwashers.
Approximate dimensions: Width 45 cm (18 inches), Depth 55 cm (22 inches) + cabinet door, Height 82 cm (32 inches)
Capacity: 8-10 place settings
4. Slimline Freestanding Dishwashers
Slimline freestanding dishwashers are ideal for small kitchens or for households that don’t generate many dishes, and like full-size freestanding models, they’re already finished on the sides and door front. No need to buy an additional cabinet door front to fit on it.
Approximate dimensions: Width 45 cm (18 inches), Depth 60 cm (24 inches), Height 85 cm (33.5 inches)
Capacity: 8-10 place settings
5. Semi-Integrated Dishwashers
Semi-integrated dishwashers are a hybrid between freestanding and integrated models. They have a visible front control panel at the top, but the rest of the unit is concealed behind a door matching the kitchen units. Usually, instead of a standard 720mm high door front, they will use a 570mm high door.
Approximate dimensions: Width 60 cm (24 inches), Depth 57 cm (22.5 inches), Height 82 cm (32 inches)
Capacity: 12-14 place settings
6. XXL Integrated Dishwashers
XXL dishwashers were created to maximise the under-counter space of kitchens that have cabinets a little taller than the ‘standard’ size. Most often, but not limited to, more contemporary kitchen styles and manufacturers. I first encountered them when I sold contemporary Italian kitchens.
They’re slightly taller than their standard integrated model counterparts by approx 5cm. It’s not huge but it does give those extra large dinner plates a little bit more breathing (washing) room.
Approximate dimensions: Width 60 cm (24 inches), Depth 55 cm (22 inches), Height 87 cm (34 inches)
Capacity: Up to 14-16 place settings
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7. Dishwasher Drawers
Dishwasher drawers are a stylish and practical choice, especially for smaller kitchens or as a secondary dishwasher in a large kitchen, if you opt for an additional single-drawer version. They come in single and double-drawer variants that slide out horizontally.
Both size types are available as freestanding or integrated models. The dimensions are quite similar though.
Single Drawer Dishwasher Approximate dimensions: Width 60 cm (24 inches), Depth 57 cm (22.5 inches), Height 45 cm (18 inches)
Capacity: 6-7 place settings
Double Drawer Dishwasher Approximate dimensions: Width 60 cm (24 inches), Depth 57 cm (22.5 inches), Height 82 cm (32 inches)
Capacity: 12-14 place settings
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8. Countertop Dishwasher
Countertop dishwashers (sometimes called tabletop dishwashers or portable dishwashers) are the smallest type and are perfect for small apartments, offices, or households with fewer dishes. As the name suggests, these compact units are designed to fit comfortably on most countertops.
Standard dimensions are tricky here as these appliances can vary the most of all the types on this list. However, I’ve given a popular size you might expect to find.
Approximate dimensions: Width 55 cm (21.5 inches), Depth 50 cm (20 inches), Height 45 cm (18 inches)
Capacity: 4-6 place settings
Remember: These are all general dimensions and can slightly vary depending on the brand and model. It’s always a good idea to double-check the specifications before purchasing a dishwasher.
What Does ‘Place Settings’ Mean In Dishwashers?
The term ‘place settings’ in the context of dishwashers refers to the number of dishes and cutlery that the dishwasher can fit and clean in one cycle. It’s essentially a measure of a dishwasher’s capacity.
So, what exactly does a ‘place setting’ include? A single-place setting typically consists of the number of dishes and pieces of cutlery that one person might use during a three-course meal. This generally consists of:
- A dinner plate
- A dessert plate or soup bowl
- A small snack plate
- A glass
- A tea or coffee cup with its saucer
- A set of cutlery (consisting of a knife, a dinner fork, a small salad fork, a soup spoon, and a teaspoon)
For example, if a dishwasher is advertised as having a capacity of ’12 place settings’, it means it can hold and clean dishes and cutlery equivalent to what 12 people would use for a three-course meal.
However, keep in mind that this is a general measure, and actual capacity might vary based on the design and flexibility of the dishwasher’s interior. Some dishwashers have adjustable or foldable racks, special holders for items like wine glasses or large knives, or other features that can influence how much they can hold.
Using ‘place settings’ as a measure helps standardize the dishwasher capacity across different brands and models. It just helps to make it easier for you to compare and choose a dishwasher that suits your needs.
How To Measure For A New Dishwasher
Choosing the perfect dishwasher requires more than just picking out a model with the features you like. It also means ensuring that the appliance will physically fit in your kitchen.
To do this, you’ll need to take some measurements. But don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it may seem! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to measure your kitchen space for a new dishwasher:
- Step 1: Measure the Width
Take a tape measure and measure the width of the cabinet opening space where you plan to install your dishwasher. Make sure you measure from the left to the right edge of the space at its narrowest point.
- Step 2: Measure the Depth
Next, measure the depth of the space. To do this, measure from the back of the space to the front. Take note of any pipes or other obstructions that may affect the depth. If it’s a new build and the pipes aren’t in place yet, factor in around 5cm (2 inches) of space between the back of your dishwasher and the wall for the pipes to go.
- Step 3: Measure the Height
Measure the height from the floor to the bottom of the countertop. If you have a floor covering like tiles or linoleum, ensure that you measure from the top of that, as your dishwasher will need to sit on the same level.
- Step 4: Measure the Door Clearance and Working Space
For this step, imagine your dishwasher fully installed and the door dropped down in its open position.
First, check the depth of the dishwasher when the door is fully open (most product manuals will provide this measurement). Then compare it with the available space in your kitchen, from the front of the dishwasher location to any potential obstruction.
- Step 5: Measure the Doorway (For Access)
Don’t forget to measure the width and height of your doorways to ensure that your new dishwasher can actually make it into your kitchen! That goes for any other appliance or cabinet as well. It’s got to be able to fit in the building!
- Step 6: Note Down Your Measurements
Write down all your measurements and keep them on hand when shopping for your new dishwasher. Measurements 1-3 will give you want’s usually called your ‘rough opening’ dimensions. Always compare these measurements with the ones of your selected model to ensure it will fit.
If your kitchen has an unusual layout or tight spaces, here are a few additional considerations:
- Obstructions: Keep in mind any potential obstructions, like cabinets, kitchen islands, or pipes that might affect installation.
- Door Clearance: You need to ensure there’s enough space for the dishwasher door to open fully without hitting a cabinet, a wall, or any other obstruction, especially in a galley kitchen or a kitchen with an island.
- Working Space: Also consider how much space you’ll need in front of the dishwasher to stand and load or unload your dishes comfortably. Ideally, should be enough room for you to be stood in front of the open door and move around without tripping or feeling squeezed.
- Integrated or Semi-Integrated Dishwashers: These models require a cabinet door of the same size as the dishwasher. Make sure you have one available that matches your kitchen units and remember to factor this into the cost.
- Connections: Make sure your chosen location is near enough to the necessary water, drainage and electrical connections.
Which Dishwasher Size Is Right For Me?
Deciding on the right dishwasher size for your kitchen boils down to three key considerations: your kitchen space, your dishwashing needs, and your lifestyle. Here’s a handy guide to help you make the right decision.
1. Analyze Your Kitchen Space and Layout
Before considering any dishwasher models, take a good look at your overall kitchen size and layout. Understanding the spatial constraints and design of your kitchen will help narrow down the dishwasher sizes that can realistically fit.
Your kitchen’s layout will dictate where a dishwasher can be installed. The ideal location has access to necessary hookups for water, electricity, and drainage. If your kitchen is smaller or has a unique layout you may need to consider slimline or dishwasher drawer models.
It’s not just about finding a dishwasher that fits into a certain spot, but also about finding one that blends seamlessly with your kitchen’s design and doesn’t obstruct movement. Understanding your kitchen’s layout and dimensions is a crucial first step.
2. Evaluate Your Dishwashing Needs
The number of place settings you need depends on the number of people in your household and how often you run the dishwasher.
- For small households of 1-2 people or those who prefer to run the dishwasher frequently, a slimline dishwasher may suffice.
- Medium households of 3-5 people would likely be more satisfied with a standard or full-size dishwasher.
- Larger households or those who entertain often might prefer an XXL dishwasher or even planning your kitchen layout for two dishwashers. (Which I’ve done on more than one occasion).
3. Consider Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle and personal preferences also play a role in deciding the best dishwasher size for you.
- If you’re living in a rented space or move frequently a freestanding, portable or countertop dishwasher might be a convenient choice.
- If you prefer appliances to blend with your kitchen decor, an integrated model would be ideal.
- For those seeking flexibility with different load sizes, a double-drawer dishwasher could be a great fit.
Remember, the best dishwasher size for you strikes a balance between fitting perfectly in your kitchen and matching your dishwashing needs. It’s not always about going for the biggest or the smallest. It’s about choosing what’s best for your unique situation.
Are all dishwashers the same depth?
No. While there are ‘standard’ sizes for dishwashers, it’s important to note that not all dishwashers are the same depth.
The majority of full-size and slimline dishwashers usually have a depth ranging from around 55-60cm (or about 22-24 inches).
Typically, freestanding dishwashers have a greater depth of around 60cm (24 inches). Whilst their integrated counterparts are around 55cm (22 inches).
However, with integrated models, you’ll need to factor in the thickness (depth) of the cabinet door as well. And with freestanding models, you may need to factor in the depth of a handle.
Even within the same category, some variation in depth can occur due to different design features or brands. Some models might have a slightly protruding door or control panel, adding a few extra centimetres to their overall depth.
Therefore, while you can start with the standard dishwasher depth as a general guideline, it’s always wise to check the specific measurements of the model you’re interested in. Always measure your available space accurately and compare it to the product dimensions to ensure a proper fit.
Are all dishwashers the same width?
No. Dishwashers are not all the same width. They will vary depending on the type and model of the appliance.
The most common widths are:
- Standard Dishwashers: Whether they are freestanding or integrated, standard dishwashers usually have a width of approximately 60 cm (or about 24 inches).
- Slimline Dishwashers: As their name suggests, slimline dishwashers are narrower. They typically measure about 45 cm (or approximately 18 inches) in width. Ideal for a small space.
Are all dishwashers the same height?
No. While many dishwashers do fall within a common height range, not all dishwashers are the same height. The height of dishwashers can differ depending on the type, brand, or model.
As well as this, dishwashers come with adjustable feet, allowing you to slightly alter their height for a more perfect fit under your countertop.
The most common heights are:
- Integrated Dishwashers: Typically 82 cm (32 inches)
- Freestanding Dishwasher: Typically 85 cm (33.5 inches)
- XXL Integrated Dishwashers: Typically 87 cm (34 inches)
What Is A Standard dishwasher opening size?
The standard dishwasher opening size refers to the amount of space you need to install the dishwasher, including opening the door fully.
A dishwasher opening size can vary based on the model, but as a general guideline, you should account for a total depth of around 115 to 125 cm (or 45 to 50 inches) when the dishwasher door is fully open.
Don’t forget to consider your working space as well! You’ll want enough room to stand and move freely when loading or unloading your dishes. This is particularly important in kitchens where space is at a premium, such as galley kitchens or kitchens with islands.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about dishwasher sizes.
I hope this guide has helped you understand the nuances of dishwasher dimensions, types, and capacities, and how to go about measuring your kitchen space accurately.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to dishwashers. What works best is what fits your kitchen and your lifestyle perfectly. While size is crucial, also consider the dishwasher’s features, energy efficiency, and of course, your budget.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.