Buying Guides

Dishwasher Buying Guide Hero

Buying a Dishwasher

If you’re already thinking that life’s too short to be washing up, you might be cheered to know that dishwashers can use as little as 6 litres of water per cycle, compared to the 9 litres used in the typical bowl of washing up.

In terms of cleanliness and energy efficiency, a dishwasher can be more effective than hand washing – for your electricity bill as well as the environment.

We can also install your new dishwasher upon delivery, and dispose of your old one - find out more.

Types of dishwasher

Choose from a range of sizes and decide whether you want a freestanding or integrated model


The amount of space you have available doesn’t have to dictate whether you can get a dishwasher. Full size dishwashers and slimline models are designed to fit under a standard worktop – some even have a removable top if you need a bit of extra space.

Dishwasher capacity is measured in place settings:this means the maximum number of plates and eating utensils the machine can wash, excluding any serving dishes, saucepans or utensils. A typical 12-place setting capacity includes:

  • 12 x 24cm dinner plates
  • 12 x 23cm soup plates
  • 12 x 18.5cm dessert plates
  • 12 tea cups and saucers
  • 12 tumblers
  • 12 knives, forks, soup spoons, teaspoons and dessert spoons

Full size

Choose a full-sized dishwasher from one of our leading brands, ranging from 10 to 16 place settings. Even if there's only one or two of you, if you tend to use lots of pots and pans, you might want to consider getting a full-sized machine.



Compact dishwashers are ideal for smaller households or kitchens, or when you need an additional ‘overflow’ machine. A compact model is ideal if you have very limited space, and if a capacity of 4 place settings will adequately meet your needs.


Integrated, semi-integrated or freestanding

As well as a variety of sizes, you can choose from different ways to fit your appliance into your space.

Replacing an integrated dishwasher?

Semi- and fully-integrated dishwashers are not interchangeable.

The only exception would be if your kitchen manufacturer supplies you with the correct height furniture door for your new appliance.

Features & programmes


These include:

  • Child lock: Protect curious hands while keep your wash cycle uninterrupted
  • Smart technology: Control your dishwasher even when out, using an app
  • Glass care: Programmes dedicated to more delicate items, including glass and china
  • Quiet Mark: Awarded to machines that run quietly
  • Quick wash: Allows you to deal with lightly soiled items you need in a hurry
  • Digital display: See what stage your machine is at while it’s running
  • Time remaining indicator: At-a-glance views of the time remaining for a wash cycle
  • Time delay: Set your machine to run during the night to take advantage of cheaper electricity tariffs
  • Cold fill: All dishwashers fill with cold water, meaning they aren't reliant on your boiler
  • Built-in flood protection: All the dishwashers we stock have built-in protection against flooding, activated by a sensor which closes off the inlet valve


These vary according to the machine, but there’ll usually be at least 3 programmes to suit your needs. Some you can expect:

  • Normal 65ºC wash: Especially good for pots and pans
  • Economy, quick or light programmes: Handy for daily washes
  • Delicate or glass cycles: For items that need a little more care
  • Rinse only: Useful for removing food debris if you want to wait for a full load without leaving dirty dishes in the machine
  • Half-load cycles: Convenient and economical when you don't have a full load
  • Rinse and hold function: Perfect for very heavy soiling. Some machines even have sensor features designed to adapt the programme to the load in the machine, sensing how soiled dishes are and reducing or increasing the amount of water or rinses needed

Dishwasher-safe tips:

  • Wash patterned, decorated or gold-trimmed fine china on a delicate wash
  • Lead crystal glasses should be washed using a glass care programme
  • Take care with cutlery that has wooden, plastic, bone or pearl handles
  • Wooden spoons and similar items can be washed in a machine – but it's worth noting that the colour may bleach out over time
  • Wash silver or chrome-plated cutlery separately from stainless steel so that it doesn't oxidise. A dishwasher with a cutlery drawer rather than a basket can protect cutlery more
Energy efficiency

Every dishwasher receives an energy efficiency grading ranging from A through to G, with A being the most efficient and economical.

Standardised tests, monitored by Trading Standards, are carried out across the industry and manufacturers are responsible for grading their own machines, taking into account water consumption, washing and drying performance.

You might also want to check out our YourEko tool. Designed to help you make informed decisions, it highlights the life-time running costs of your machine.


Delivery, Installation & Disposal

Our dedicated services make light work of installing your new dishwasher and disposing of your old one.

Installation costs:

Dishwasher: £25

Integrated machine: £90

If you live within the delivery area of a John Lewis shop your new appliance will usually be delivered by one of our vans, unless it's coming direct from a supplier.

We'll connect your appliance to the water and waste pipes, switch it on, and do a test wash.

We'll remove and dispose of all packaging responsibly

Disposal costs:

Dishwasher (freestanding or integrated): £20

See our services page for more information.

Alternatively, you can take your old appliance to a local recycling centre to be recycled free of charge. Visit (link opens in new window) to find your nearest site.

Watch our video guide to your appliance installation

Watch our video guide to your appliance installation

Guarantees and care


Our dishwashers come with a minimum 2-year guarantee, and John Lewis own-brand appliances have 3 years. Other manufacturers may offer extended guarantees, and you can also buy Added Care, as well as repair and protection plans.


Site your dishwasher as close as possible – approximately 1.2m – to your kitchen sink for ease of plumbing. Plumb it in before a water softener in order to maintain the performance of the machine.

Daily maintenance:

  • Use dishwasher salt to help with the water softening process
  • Rinse aid helps to reduce drying time and leave dishes shiny and smear-free
  • Detergent in powder, tablet or liquid form. The efficiency of 4-in-1 and 3-in-1 tablets may vary in hard water areas.
  • Using separate detergent, rinse aid and salt is usually cheaperIf you do use all-in-one tablets, still add salt and rinse aid to your dishwasher, but set both the dispenser dial for rinse aid and the salt regeneration dial to minimum
  • Many machines also have indicators on the control panel to show you when to refill salt or rinse aid reservoirs

Dishwasher cleaning:

  • Daily: Use a dishwasher freshener if you want a fresh fragrance when you open the door
  • Weekly: Clean out the filters where food debris gets caught. They're simple and quick to remove – then just rinse through under a hot tap
  • Every two months: A dishwasher cleaner used every couple of months will descale, degrease and freshen

Loading your dishwasher:

  • Use the top basket for smaller, less soiled or more delicate items as the spray arm is shorter
  • Use the bottom basket for larger and more heavily soiled pieces
  • Read the manufacturer's instructions for guidance on loading and suitability of items for dishwashing


Our rewards credit card gives you 1.25% back in points towards vouchers when you shop with us.



Our rewards credit card gives you 1.25% back in points towards vouchers when you shop with us.

John Lewis plc, 171 Victoria Street SW1E 5NN acts as a credit broker. Credit provided under exclusive arrangements with the lender John Lewis Financial Services Limited