Most of us don’t like doing the dishes – it takes time, dries the skin, and causes arguments over whose turn it is. That’s why dishwashers have become a staple of modern kitchens. As well as saving us the trouble, a lot of new models, especially ones that are Energy Star certified, save more water than washing by hand.
However, a regular dishwasher can be pricey and too large for your specific needs or limited kitchen space. That’s why portable dishwashers are a great alternative. The best portable dishwashers with steel interiors are durable, lasting many years, and work almost as well as regular dishwashers. They are also compatible with smaller kitchens, dorms, and RV’s, are easy to set up, and are significantly cheaper.
To help you choose the best portable dishwasher for your kitchen, we have prepared a list of our top recommendations along with a buying guide. We include options that vary in size (slim, countertop), function (wash cycles, time delay), and water and energy preservation, so that you can make the best decision for your needs.
- Best Overall: SPT SD-9241W Energy Star Portable Dishwasher
- Best Countertop Model: hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher – Portable Mini Dishwasher
- Top Eco-Friendly Pick: EdgeStar DWP62SV 6 Place Setting Energy Star Rated Portable Countertop Dishwasher
- Best Budget Buy: Magic Chef MCSCD6W3 6 Place Setting Countertop Dishwasher
- Most Versatile: Whynter CDW-6831WES Energy Star Countertop Portable Dishwasher
In This Guide
- 1. Best Overall: SPT SD-9241W Energy Star Portable Dishwasher
- 2. Best Countertop Model: hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher – Portable Mini Dishwasher
- 3. Top Eco-Friendly Pick: EdgeStar DWP62SV 6 Place Setting Energy Star Rated Portable Countertop Dishwasher
- 4. Best Budget Buy: Magic Chef MCSCD6W3 6 Place Setting Countertop Dishwasher
- 5. Most Versatile: Whynter CDW-6831WES Energy Star Countertop Portable Dishwasher
- Buying Guide
- What’s Next?
1. Best Overall: SPT SD-9241W Energy Star Portable Dishwasher
The SPT SD-9241W Energy Star Portable Dishwasher is one of our top recommendations because of its user-friendliness, functionality, high dish capacity, slim, ergonomic shape, and low consumption of energy. This portable dishwasher is ideal for a small, cramped kitchen, as it fits perfectly in tight spaces. It’s also ideal for families, as it has room for more dishes (place settings) than most other portable dishwashers.
Note: this dishwasher is not an option for anyone looking to put their dishwasher on a countertop.
One of the best features of this dishwasher is that it provides most of the functionality of a regular dishwasher while being slim and portable. It has the capacity to accommodate up to eight place settings (other portable dishwashers generally accommodate up to six), and it can still be easily wheeled from one place to another.
Another reason to love this model is that it is very user-friendly, both in setup and in use. It can be connected directly to the kitchen faucet, so it does not need to be hooked up directly to the plumbing. It also comes with a time-delay program, which allows you to stop and restart the machine in a 24-hour period, and six wash cycle options (including Speed, Rinse, Heavy, Light, Normal and All-in-1.). Satisfied customers report that it works out of the box, cleans the dishes well, and is very easy to use.
Additionally, this dishwasher is Energy Star certified – which means it’s energy efficient. It’s also very quiet, so you won’t be bothered when it’s working.
Lastly, this dishwasher comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
One of the drawbacks of this dishwasher is that the longer wash cycles are not very economical or eco-friendly. A few reviewers have also complained that for the price, some of the parts seem to be of lower quality and can break down within a year. However, this is where the warranty will keep you safe.
Additionally, the SPT cannot be used on the countertop.
2. Best Countertop Model: hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher – Portable Mini Dishwasher
The hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher is our favorite portable mini dishwasher because of its durability, user-friendliness, and affordability – it’s great value for the money. This model is ideal for a cramped kitchen and small-sized household, as it can accommodate up to six standard place settings.
This dishwasher is quite durable thanks to its stainless steel interior and spray arms. It comes with a 2-year warranty, which is longer than most other portable dishwashers.
Another thing to love about this model is that it includes a cup rack, detergent dispenser, cutlery basket, large basket, and plate holders – so that it can fit a variety of dishes.
One of the best features of this dishwasher is that it’s very easy to set up and easy to use. The filter, rinse aid, drainpipe connector, and dispenser inlet pipe connector are ready to go as soon as you set up the dishwasher on any countertop in your kitchen. The controls are quite user-friendly, as the dishwasher features a control panel and light indicators, with six wash cycle options – heavy, normal, ECO, glass, speed, and rinse. It also includes a delay button to postpone the wash cycle.
Another great thing about this dishwasher is that it’s economical in both price and performance. As well as being a highly affordable purchase, it is also Energy Star certified, meaning it’s quite energy efficient.
Happy customers report that the dishes come out streak-free and squeaky-clean!
Some customers have expressed that this dishwasher does not always dry the dishes very well. Additionally, some have found the instruction manual to be a bit difficult to comprehend.
3. Top Eco-Friendly Pick: EdgeStar DWP62SV 6 Place Setting Energy Star Rated Portable Countertop Dishwasher
The EdgeStar DWP62SV Energy Star Rated Portable Countertop Dishwasher is our favorite eco-friendly recommendation, as it uses less water and electricity than other products in this category. Additionally, this dishwasher has room for larger plates. As with other countertop dishwashers on this list, this one is a great choice for a cramped kitchen and a small household. Its low water and electricity consumption make it an ideal economical and eco-friendly option.
One of the greatest perks of this Energy Star rated unit is that it uses less water and electricity than competing options. The water consumption rate is about 2.85 gallons on normal mode. Plus, this model uses about 61% less energy than other products in this category, making it the most energy efficient.
Another great feature of the EdgeStar is that it can fit plates up to 10.5 inches in diameter, which is larger than most other brands. It also includes sections for cutlery and mugs, with the total capacity for six standard place settings.
Thanks to features such as the drain hose, which can easily be placed in the sink for drainage, a quick connect faucet adapter, a 5-foot long hose for hook up, and dimensions that fit under most cabinets, the EdgeStar is very user-friendly and accommodating.
Something else to love about this model is that it comes in three color options – so that you can choose between black, white, and silver, based on what looks best in your kitchen.
Lastly, the stainless steel interior makes this unit durable, plus the product comes with a 1-year warranty.
Some parts of this dishwasher, such as the handle of the cutlery basket, have been considered flimsy by a few customers. Yet, considering the affordability of the product, they don’t take this to be a serious issue.
Additionally, as is the case with a lot of dishwashers, the dishes don’t always come out fully dry.
4. Best Budget Buy: Magic Chef MCSCD6W3 6 Place Setting Countertop Dishwasher
The Magic Chef MCSCD6W3 Countertop Dishwasher is our top budget option, with a price under $250. This dishwasher works great in washing dishes even on cold water, so you won’t need a hot water supply to get clean dishes. This makes it a great budget option if you need it for spaces with limited resources, such as RV’s, dorms, and small apartments.
The prime feature of this portable countertop dishwasher is that it is a highly affordable solution for specific needs and limited resources – such as access to only cold water or lack of space. Like most other products in this category, the Magic Chef can fit up to six standard place settings. Satisfied customers have reported that even if they use cold water, the dishes come out squeaky-clean.
Another reason to choose this dishwasher is that it has a floating switch detector that prevents flooding in your sink. As most portable dishwashers have hoses that allow water to drain in the sink, a clogged sink can lead to water overflowing. The floating switch on the Magic Chef detects the level of water and stops operation.
The unit is also quite user-friendly, as it has an automatic detergent and rinse-aid dispenser, an easy-to-use LED display, five programs, including a quick wash, and a simple rotatable knob. Additionally, the model comes with a quick setup kit, which makes hook-up even easier.
Lastly, the Magic Chef has a durable stainless steel interior and comes with a 1-year warranty.
Although this dishwasher has a great cleaning capacity and is highly affordable at purchase, it is not very energy efficient, which means that you may end up with higher electricity bills.
Additionally, some users have expressed concerns that the hose may sometimes retain water, which makes emptying it a bit difficult after disconnecting it from the sink.
5. Most Versatile: Whynter CDW-6831WES Energy Star Countertop Portable Dishwasher
The Whynter CDW-6831WES Energy Star Countertop Portable Dishwasher is one of the most versatile options, as it has a number of features that make it adaptable to the needs of different users. It is small (perfect for countertops), easy to move around, has a timer and delay function, and a Baby Care cycle – which make it ideal for families with babies or small children, households on the move, and those with small kitchens that require frequent rearranging.
One of the best features of this model is that it can adapt to your household’s specific needs. The six standard wash cycles include an Eco cycle, while the water consumption is about 2.8 gallons at normal wash. This places the Whynter among the less water-consuming dishwashers in this category. Additionally, the 1-24 hour timer and delay function will allow you to not only save water, but also save time by deciding when the dishwasher runs according to your schedule.
In terms of eco-friendliness, this unit is also Energy Star qualified, which makes it energy efficient.
Another reason why this dishwasher is quite versatile is its Baby Care cycle. This setting gently washes more delicate items, such as baby bottles. Additionally, it comes with a dish rack, silverware basket, drain and inlet hose, an automatic detergent/rinse aid dispenser, and a quick connect adapter which is suitable for most faucets, making the dishwasher quick and easy to setup and use.
One of the best features of this model is that it can fit just about anywhere in your kitchen, and is really easy to move, as many customers have reported. The sleek design and small frame make it a subtle and stylish addition to your countertop.
The stainless steel interior makes the Whynter durable, and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
Some customers have found that the user manual lacked information regarding the proper hookup to the faucet, which may lead to over-pressurization and damage.
In the end, the best portable dishwasher for you depends on your specific needs. Our top recommendation, the SPT SD-9241W Energy Star Portable Dishwasher, is the ideal choice for a small family that has a cramped kitchen, as it has the capacity for the most place settings out of any of the options on the list, while it fits perfectly in tight spaces on the floor. However, if you are looking for a countertop portable dishwasher, the best choice is the hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher, which can fit just about anywhere, is easy to transport, and is very user-friendly.
If you are looking for something eco-friendly and economical that saves water and energy, the EdgeStar DWP62SV Energy Star Rated Portable Countertop Dishwasher is your best choice. This dishwasher is also a great pick for those who need space for plates with a wider diameter.
If you are looking for the cheapest option, the Magic Chef MCSCD6W3 6 Place Setting Countertop Dishwasher is the way to go. This budget buy also works great with cold water, making it a good choice for RV’s. If you have a baby or prefer a dishwasher which is easy to transport and has more wash cycle functions, the Whynter CDW-6831WES Energy Star Countertop Portable Dishwasher is the best option for you.
To go over the different factors you should consider in choosing a portable dishwasher, read on to our buying guide.
Depending on the number of household members, you should consider what the optimal capacity of the portable dishwasher would be. While most products on this list can accommodate up to six place settings, the SPT SD-9241W Energy Star Portable Dishwasher can accommodate eight. At the same time, some dishwashers have the capacity for a greater variety of dishes than others (like wider plates or more cup space).
Size and Placement
One of the best features of portable dishwashers is that they can easily fit into cramped spaces. Still, consider whether you prefer a slim, floor-based dishwasher, or a countertop dishwasher, depending on where you want to position it in your kitchen.
Energy and Water Consumption
Both for economic and environmental reasons you may prefer to choose a dishwasher that saves water and energy. The Energy Star certified options fulfill this criterion.
Consider what your budget is when choosing your new portable dishwasher. In addition to the initial purchase, consider the costs that accumulate over time from water and electricity bills. You want to choose an option that has an affordable price but would also be economical over time.
Hopefully, you found our review and buying guide of the best portable dishwashers useful for choosing the ideal option for your kitchen. By now, you should have a clearer idea of what choice has the features that match your need and preference.
To learn more about any of the models, you can click on the title links of the reviews to check current prices, compare full feature lists, and read up on some more customer reviews.
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Now you can lie back and relax, while your new kitchen-helper is doing all the dirty work!