Built-in dishwashers integrate visually into the kitchen design, deliver sparkling clean dishes and perform their function almost invisibly. Here we show what a built-in dishwasher is and what you should consider when buying one. We also explain terms relating to built-in dishwashers and provide helpful installation tips.
What is a built-in dishwasher and what are its special features?
Built-in dishwashers blend harmoniously into the kitchen unit so that they are hardly noticeable visually.
Visual decorations in the kitchen
Unlike freestanding dishwashers, built-in dishwashers adapt to any kitchen style and open up new perspectives on interior design. When it comes to design harmony, built-in dishwashers are therefore at the top of the list. Regardless of whether it’s a country-style kitchen, a retro look or a modular system. The matching front panels ensure a harmonious look that makes the useful helper appear invisible in your kitchen unit. The built-in dishwasher is usually placed under the worktop and can alternatively be accommodated in a tall cabinet.
Built-in dishwashers are available in three variants:
If the model is described as “decor-compatible”, the decor/design of the built-in dishwasher can be matched to that of the kitchen unit to create a homogeneous visual image.
Fully integrated dishwasher
The entire appliance front is covered with the decor of the kitchen for a kitchen design of one piece. Buttons and controls are concealed on the top edge so they are not visible when the door is closed. Special door hinges ensure minimal gaps. If you prefer a handleless kitchen, you will need a built-in dishwasher that also does without handles. Opening mechanisms ensure that the door is opened by pressing, knocking or tapping on the front.
Fully integrated dishwashers often come without a front display for visual reasons.
Partially integrated dishwasherWith this built-in dishwasher, most of the appliance front is covered with the décor of the fitted kitchen. Alternatively, partially integrated built-in dishwashers are available with a stainless steel front. This allows the appliance to visually match the appliances or cabinets. As a rule, the control panel and display are located at the front of semi-integrated models, which is the biggest difference to fully integrated dishwashers.
Undercounter dishwasher for installation
Undercounter dishwashers integrate into the kitchen counter and are installed under the worktop. The models are available with a front panel in the popular colours cream, brown, white, black or stainless steel.
Who is a built-in dishwasher suitable for?
Anyone who doesn’t like to wash dishes by hand, wants to save time or needs a lot of dishes for cooking and eating every day is perfectly served by a built-in dishwasher. It is ideal for anyone who prefers a visually harmonious look in their kitchen and likes to have the assistant in the immediate vicinity of the sink.
What should I bear in mind when buying a dishwasher?
When buying, you should pay attention to the optimal dishwasher size, equipment, water and electricity consumption. Height-adjustable baskets make sense, as they can be adapted to different loading situations. Even oversized pots and bulky items such as baking trays will find enough space. Here is a short list of what you should pay attention to when looking for a new appliance:
Machine size – width and height
Built-in dishwasher sketchBefore you buy a built-in dishwasher, be sure to measure the dimensions of the installation hole. It would be sad if you can’t fit the machine you want into your kitchen because of a few centimetres.
The standard width of a built-in dishwasher is 60 cm with a height of 81. If the kitchen is particularly small, narrow appliances are available that are 45 cm wide. The base or feet of many built-in appliances can be raised and ergonomically adjusted.
There are extra-high XXL dishwashers with a height of 86 cm. These offer a larger upper basket and are practical if long-handled glasses or large coffee mugs are often to be cleaned at the top.
A built-in dishwasher adapts to your needs and this list will help you decide what is important to you:
Type and number of programmes
Cleaning programmes can be controlled according to the type of dishes, time required and degree of soiling. Economy programmes” up to 50 degrees Celsius ensure low consumption. Insensitive and heavily soiled dishes can be cleaned with an “automatic programme”. This programme uses rinse water sensors to detect the degree of soiling and automatically adjusts the programme requirement. Some models offer high-pressure nozzles that use steam to get to grips with the dirt and remove germs and bacteria at the same time. An “intensive and pot programme” is especially suitable for heavily soiled dishes. The “fine programme” offers optimal glass care. “Flash programmes” ensure that dirty dishes are clean within a maximum of 20 minutes.
If you often don’t get your built-in dishwasher full, it is advisable to choose one that is equipped with “automatic load detection”. This feature controls the water flow for the built-in for the lower and upper basket separately.
Aqua-Stop and Extra-Sparsam
Dishwashers equipped with the “Extra Economical” option extend the soak times and lower the heating temperature, resulting in reduced power consumption. The “Aqua-Stop” safety system is built into all high-quality models. This safety system immediately shuts off the water supply in the event of a defect, so there is no need to worry about flooding in the kitchen.
Zeolite or EDS drying
Zeolite or EDS drying optimises the drying of dishes. With both systems, the moisture in the interior is reduced and passed on to the next dishwashing cycle. This means that the dishes can also be dried at low temperatures and come out of the machine less hot.
The whisper-quiet ‘night programme’ is particularly suitable for open-plan kitchens and small flats. The noise level is reduced by the low water spray pressure so that you are not disturbed when the machine is doing its work. In addition, there is a “timer” with which you can programme the desired starting time.
Customer experiences and tests
Before buying, it is of course always advisable to find out about other customers’ experiences with the machine. We have summarised these for you on the respective product pages. You will also find information on possible test results.
However, we would particularly like to recommend our interactive dishwasher test. Here you can find out which dishwasher really meets your requirements.
Where are good built-in dishwashers available?
High-quality dishwashers at a reasonable price are probably best found on the internet. If you know what requirements you want your built-in dishwasher to meet, you can start a targeted search online. Our interactive dishwasher test is a great help.
If you order your built-in dishwasher online, you don’t have to worry about transport, because many suppliers include delivery in the service – sometimes even connecting the machine. Premium brands among built-in dishwashers include Miele, AEG, Bosch, Siemens, Beko, or Gorenje.
Install it yourself or hire a professional?
For a complete layman, it is less advisable to install the dishwasher yourself. A professional knows his way around, installs the appliance quickly and saves you from stress. Many suppliers on the Internet work with professional companies that will professionally install and connect the appliance for you. Alternatively, there are specialist companies on site if you need help.
If you are a little technically savvy and are familiar with the installation, you should not have any major problems.
Where should you not install a dishwasher?
If you want to install a built-in dishwasher in your existing kitchen, you should not do so under a free-standing hob. Overheating or condensation will cause damage to both appliances.