Dishwasher vs Dishdrawer | Your Appliance Comparison Guide

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Dishwashers are appliances that are designed to save our time doing mundane chores such as hand washing dirty dishes: they also help make our lives easier. But a newer innovation which is designed to use less water, occupy less space, and consume less energy is the dishdrawer dishwasher.

So are dishdrawers better than traditional dishwashers because they are newer innovations? These and more are the arguments we will tackle in this dishwasher vs dishdrawer debate.

To help you make an informed purchasing decision, we’ll delve into the dishdrawer vs dishwasher debate to discover which will be better for your living condition.

Let’s find out the differences between a dishwasher and a dishdrawer.

Differences between A Dishwasher vs A Dishdrawer

The major difference between a dishwasher and a dishdrawer is in the amount of load they can do per time.

A dishdrawer dishwasher is designed to do small loads of dishes at a time while saving on water and electricity. And for the double-drawer dishdrawers that can clean larger loads, they allow you to separate fragile items from other kitchenware like pots and pans. Dishwashers, on the other hand, are designed to clean larger loads: although they consume more water and electricity.

The second main difference between a dishwasher and a dishdrawer is in their design.

A dishdrawer is designed with flexibility in mind so that the single-drawer model can fit in small kitchens while the double-drawer model which has two drawers in one can fit in spaces reserved for a standard-sized dishwasher and allow you to segment your dishes. A dishwasher doesn’t offer this flexibility.

To have a better sense of which of these appliances will be great for cleaning your dishes, we’ll explore both individually.

What is a dishwasher?  A dishwasher is a kitchen appliance that uses hot water and detergent in cleaning dishes, cookware, and other hard items. It sprays small amounts of water and detergents on the items they clean and rinse them afterward with water.

A dishwasher is designed to clean large loads that will be too energy-intensive to clean by hand. Also, it cuts down on water usage as it uses less water than handwashing as it reuses the water from the beginning of the cleaning process – A dishwasher uses no more than 5 gallons of water. Those with Energy Star rating use 3.5 gallons per cycle.

What is a dishdrawer? A dishdrawer, also called a dishwasher dishdrawer or a drawer dishwasher, is an innovative dishwasher that’s designed like a filing cabinet (drawer). It was developed by Fisher & Paykel as a more space-, water-, and energy-efficient alternative to traditional dishwashers.

The top feature of dishwasher dishdrawers is their flexibility. There are two models – single drawer and double drawer models – that are designed to fit different situations. The single dishdrawer can fit in small kitchens due to its smaller size and can serve two people. While the double drawer model can fit in a standard dishwasher’s space as it can serve a larger family of more than 3 members.

The drawback of dishdrawers is their small size which limits the kinds of dishes and items that people can place in them. You can’t put large or odd-shaped objects in them.

Superiorities of a dishwasher to a dishdrawer

The benefits of owning a dishwasher in place of a dishdrawer are its larger capacity and cheaper price. Standard dishwashers have a capacity of 14 place settings which is double what drawer dishwashers have. They can also accommodate odd-shaped and larger cookware and dishware.

Larger capacity

When compared to a drawer dishdrawer, a dishwasher is designed to clean large loads of dishes and items.

The dimension of a standard dishwasher is 24 inches wide, 35 inches tall, and 24 inches deep. There are also more portable models with 18 inches widths and countertop models with 17 inches in height. The standard 24-inch dishwasher has a capacity of up to 14 place settings and can cater to three or more people. Here are the use cases of a dishwasher.

Single dishwasher dishdrawers, on the other hand, measure similar dimensions to countertop dishwashers. They measure 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 16 to 19 inches tall. While a double drawer dishwasher measures 33 inches tall – keep in mind that it’s made up of two single models as opposed to only one unit. The single model’s smaller size means it can only clean dishes for a maximum of three people and hold around 6 place settings – the double-drawer model doubles this capacity. However, both models can only fit small plates of not more than 13 inches

More affordable

When you compare a dishwasher to a dishdrawer, the dishwasher is the more affordable buy despite its larger size.

Dishwashers cost between $250 and $1,500 while drawer dishwashers cost around $700 and $1,800.

Superiorities of a dishdrawer to a dishwasher

The advantages of owning a dishdrawer over a dishwasher are their versatility, energy efficiency, quieter operation, and space- and water-saving features. These features make a drawer dishwasher more cost-effective than a regular dishwasher.

Small washing load

When compared to a dishwasher, a dishdrawer is designed to do smaller loads, and this is the main reason for the development of this appliance.

A family of two or three that uses fewer cookware and dishware at a time may not need a full-sized dishwasher as it’ll use up too much water in washing a few dishes. In this case, a dishdrawer dishwasher will be a better option.

More versatility

Dishwasher dishdrawers come in a variety of styles to fit your living style. If you’re a couple with little dishwashing needs living in a house with a small kitchen, the single drawer dishdrawer will suffice.

But if you want more versatility, the double drawer model is even better. You can run different cycles in the two drawers while segmenting your washing in the two drawers – you can wash delicate dishware in one drawer and other utensils and cookware in the other drawer.

Depending on your preference, you can choose to install the drawers by stacking one over the other or placing them side by side.

Space saving

The primary idea behind the drawer dishwasher is to save space and fit in small kitchens. Unlike standard traditional dishwashers that are large, dishdrawers are compact and can fit in small undercounter spaces.

Also, the doors of most dishwashers open outward, dropping down and taking up 21 inches of the walkway which is too much space for a small kitchen to give up. Conversely, dishdrawers have drawers that can partially open up to let you load your dishes.

Energy saving

While there are energy-efficient dishwashers, drawer dishwashers are more energy-efficient.

The average dishwasher consumes between 1500 watts and 1800 watts of electricity which amounts to around 1.5kWh. While a dishdrawer uses far less – 380 watts, and a maximum of 1200 watts.

Water saving

The average dishwasher uses 5 gallons of water per washing cycle while a dishdrawer uses around one-half of that.

More cost-effective

When compared to regular dishwashers, drawer dishwashers are more expensive. But when you compare their water and energy consumption, a dishdrawer is more cost-effective as it uses less energy and water.

Quieter operation

When compared to dishwashers, dishdrawers are quieter appliances. Dishdrawers make noise ranging from 44 to 45 dB while dishwashers make noises of 46 to 60 dB.

loading a dishwasher

Item Differences between A Dishwasher and A Dishdrawer

Except for the size restrictions of drawer-style dishwashers, both appliances can wash the same cookware, dishware, and utensils. Here are some of the items you can clean with either a dishwasher or a dishdrawer.

What items can you wash in a dishwasher and dishdrawer?

Aside from washing plates, pots, pans, and utensils with your dishwasher and dishdrawer, you can use these appliances to clean the following items and kitchenware;

  • Gardening tools
  • Kitchen sponges and brushes
  • Grooming tools: combs and hair brushes
  • Fridge shelves and bins
  • Plastic utensils
  • Manicure and pedicure tools
  • Bathroom accessories
  • Cabinet drawer and hardware
  • Microwave trays
  • Vacuum cleaner attachments
  • Kids and pet toys
  • Metal fixtures
  • Vases and glass art items
  • Plastic utensils

Here’s how to use a dishwasher.

Using a dishwasher and a dishdrawer

Dishwashers and dishdrawers perform the same function in the kitchen – clean dirty dishes and other items around the house. However, they differ in their capacities which makes it a good idea to have both for different situations.

What are the instances where a dishwasher and a dishdrawer can be used together?

A dishwasher can do larger loads of dirty dishes, so it’s great for you if you have a household with more than three members. However, it also makes sense to have a dishdrawer to do your smaller loads and cut down on water and electricity usage.

What are the instances where a dishwasher and a dishdrawer should never be used together?

You shouldn’t use a dishwasher and a drawer dishwasher if you live alone or with a partner. Either of the appliances can serve your needs.

Dishwasher vs Dishdrawer Purchasing Tips

Dishwashers and dishdrawers are alike in a lot of ways. While you may have a preference for one over the other based on a recommendation from a friend or an online resource, here are the factors you need to consider to determine which of these appliances is best for you.

What are the types of dishwashers?

There are three types of dishwashers: built-in, portable, and countertop dishwashers.

Built-in dishwashers are the most common and expensive dishwashers. They are usually 34 inches and are installed under the kitchen counter. A built-in dishwasher has a capacity of up to 16 place settings and can wash dishes for a family of four or more members.

Portable dishwashers are designed for people living in small rented homes and RVs. Although they’re bigger than countertop models, they can easily be stored away from sight when not in use. They’re designed to hold up to 12 place settings.

Countertop dishwashers are the smallest dishwashers and are designed for placement on the kitchen counter. Their 24-inch height means they can only accommodate 8 place settings.

There are two types of drawer dishwashers: single and double drawer models.

A single drawer dishdrawer is designed for a family of not more than three members. They’re 19 inches tall and can hold up to six place settings. The double drawer dishdrawer has a height of 33 inches and is designed to fit in spaces that are cut out for full-sized dishwashers. They can hold around 10 to 14 place settings.

How much noise does a dishwasher make?

Dishdrawer dishwashers are quieter than regular dishwashers. Dishdrawers have noise levels of around 40 to 46 dB which are virtually silent while standard-sized dishwashers can make noise reaching 45 to 60 decibel levels.

How much water does a dishwasher use?

Dishdrawer dishwashers are designed to cut water usage. Where regular dishwashers use 5 gallons of water, dishdrawers use one-half of a dishwasher’s consumption.

Are there energy-efficient dishwashers?

Dishdrawers are more energy-efficient than dishwashers. However, there are dishwashers with an Energy Star rating – these are more expensive than regular dishwashers and use less energy.

Does the dishwasher have a dryer?

Dishwashers that come with a heating element or a fan for drying dishes are more economical and consume less energy than models without one.

How much does a dishwasher cost?

Dishwashers cost less than dishdrawers. The price of a good dishwasher costs between $300 and $500 while the price of a dishdrawer costs between $850 and $1,200.

Dishdrawer with dishes

Best Brands for Dishwashers

The five dishwasher brands are Bosch, KitchenAid, Miele, GE, and LG.


Bosch is one of the best brands making the best dishwashers. Their models have cool designs that make them look great in modern kitchens. But one feature that makes them have lots of raving fans is their affordable prices. They make a variety of budget-friendly integrated and freestanding units.


When you’re searching for some of the best features in dishwashers, look no further than units made by KitchenAid. They have impressive drying performance and other innovative technologies that make their units effective cleaners.


The German company is another reputable brand making some of the best kitchen appliances. Their units are durable and will last long. They have both high-end and budget-friendly dishwashers that are very efficient in carrying out their cleaning duties.


General Electric is known for making some of the most reliable appliances. Their units are as effective as other high-end dishwashers you can find on the market, and they have impressive drying capabilities. They make a variety of dishwashers ranging from full-sized to portable and countertop models.


LG is a tech giant reputable for making some of the best and most reliable home appliances. And their dishwashers are just as innovative as their other appliances. They make some of the smartest dishwashers. Their smart models are WiFi-enabled so you can operate them with your phone. They’re also quiet on operation and have speed cleaning features to help you wash your dishes in under an hour.

Best Brands for Dishdrawers

The five best dishdrawer dishwasher brands are Fisher and Paykel, Midea, Frigidaire, Danby, and EdgeStar.