IKEA dishwasher

Best Inexpensive™ Dishwasher

Just this past week I heard from my dear reader Penny who is frustrated in the face of needing to purchase a new dishwasher. She writes: 

“Our dishwasher is more than 20 years old and every time I think I have decided on a new one and read the reviews, I back out. I know that you recently purchased new appliances. What brand dishwasher did you go with? How does one filter all the reviews, good or bad?”

IKEA dishwasher

My husband and I have just completed our big kitchen remodel. It’s been nearly a year since we started planning so you can be sure I’ve been researching appliances ad nauseam. 

Here’s my conclusion based on credible evidence, product reviews and long conversations with appliance professionals: They just don’t make ‘em like they used to! 

These days you won’t find a dishwasher with an expected lifespan of 20 years. The best we should expect from new dishwashers is 8 to 10 years, which is by design. Industry insiders call this “planned obsolescence.” And we have to assume that those will not necessarily be trouble-free years. It’s sad but true. 

Nearly all appliances these days come with a one-year warranty. Most appliances pros will tell you that if an appliance is going to fail, it is most likely to do that during the first 90-days, so a one-year warranty is supposed to be sufficient. Anything beyond that is called an extended warranty, which brings up another matter, altogether. Let’s just say it gets complicated.

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There are two brands I suggest you stay away from—Samsung and LG. While their appliances are lovely when they’re in good working condition, these companies do not have a solid infrastructure for service and repair in the U.S. That means you’ll have a difficult time finding someone to repair them whether they’re under warranty or not. And when you do, you could wait weeks for parts to arrive from overseas. 

On the other hand, the Whirlpool family of appliances (Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana to name a few) are made in the U.S. Whirlpool has a reputation for making good appliances with repair, service, and parts readily available. 

With all that being said, I do have some really good news—and a solid recommendation, which may surprise you.

IKEA has entered the kitchen appliance business, offering an excellent line of appliances with brand names you’ve never heard of. That’s because, in keeping with all of the IKEA products, they have Swedish names. 

However, and I know this from the many hours we spent with the kitchen planners at the IKEA store in Centennial, Colo., all IKEA appliances are made by Whirlpool in the U.S. 

IKEA kitchen appliances come with 5-year warranties provided by Whirlpool Corporation with service executed by IKEA. Five-year warranties are all but unheard of in the appliance industry, so this is remarkable. And if a 5-year warranty isn’t enough, IKEA offers a 365-day money-back return policy on all of its products, including appliances. Again, remarkable.

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IKEA has six dishwashers to choose from, ranging in price from $245 to $935, plus shipping—my pick for Best Inexpensive™ Dishwashers.

While IKEA is my newest Best Inexpensive™ pick for all kitchen appliances, it is important to know that IKEA products are designed for European standards when it comes to scaling. While they meet standard U.S. measurements for kitchen spaces, these appliances are designed for compact living conditions. For this reason alone, Harold and I did not opt for IKEA appliances in our otherwise new IKEA kitchen. Our space is large and in the interest of scale, investment and resale, we opted for a Fisher & Paykel Double Dishdrawer.

Our son remodeled his kitchen in the past year and he went with IKEA all the way—from cabinets to lighting, appliances, and hardware, too. It’s a dream kitchen, for sure. A man with exquisite design abilities and high standards, he couldn’t be happier with his choices—especially the IKEA dishwasher. Given his personal standard for excellence, I would offer his 5-star review as one you can rely on with confidence.  

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While you can purchase all IKEA products online, I suggest you make a trip to the nearest IKEA store if you are able. Talk to the people in the kitchen department. Look at the entire line of appliances, then prepare to be amazed.

Stay tuned: I will be posting before, during and after photos of our big kitchen remodel very soon.

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5 replies
  1. Maria
    Maria says:

    Hi Mary,
    I really read with interest this post today since we’re planning to buy another house this year and I keep thinking we’ll probably have to redo the kitchen. You never know. Anyway, I’m so looking forward to seeing photos of your new kitchen. I remember when you did the kitchen in the house in California and loved what you did then. Please share! Thanks!

    Reply
  2. Jackie
    Jackie says:

    I actually have the cheapest dishwasher. It is the kitchen sink. My husband and daughter do the dishes and it takes only about a half hour to do them. We had one when we moved into the house we now live in but my husband tore it out because we live in a area that is very dry (we live in the dessert of New Mexico) we just could not see wasting the water that a dishwasher would use. When they are finished with the dishes my husband will take the dishwater and water my roses or the few tree’s and cacti that we do have.

    Reply
  3. Jazzlover
    Jazzlover says:

    Every appliance in our house is made by Whirlpool and I will not by anything else! Glad to know that IKEA is now selling the most reliable appliances in America!

    Reply
  4. labbie1
    labbie1 says:

    Mary, I read this article with interest. My husband worked for Maytag before it was sold to Whirlpool which sent the Maytag factories to Mexico. Most of their appliances are no longer made in the US. There are a few of the premium line appliances that are assembled in the US but not made in the US as they used to be with the great quality for which they have been known. ( Items labeled “Made in America” must have all their significant parts and processing of U.S. origin according to Federal Trade Commission rules. Otherwise, you may find them labeled with phrases like “Made in U.S.A of U.S. and imported parts” or “Assembled in U.S.A.”). A very few of the premium line appliances have been reshored to the US in places such as Amana, Iowa. The top freezer and side by side models are typically made offshore, with the bottom freezer or french door fridges being manufactured in the US.
    Likewise Whirlpool products are a mixed bag, many made in Mexico with some of the premium lines made in the US.
    I personally had a Whirlpool refrigerator that after 8 months quit working. Whirlpool did nothing to be of help even though it was well under warranty time. They ignored, prevaricated, said they had no service people in our area (which I found to be unbelievable as I live in one of the largest cities in Texas) and fiddled around for more than 6 months. They NEVER replaced nor serviced my refrigerator. The home builder who put the fridge in our home finally replaced our refrigerator with a new Frigidaire which is still working 3 years later. That home builder is no longer installing anything in the Whirlpool lines in their homes because of the poor service from Whirlpool.
    At the same time, I had an almost identical refrigerator in our other house with the Kenmore label on it. It was purchased through Sears and the identical problem happened with that refrigerator as happened with the Whirlpool refrigerator at about the same time period–9 months after purchase on the Kenmore. I called Sears who came right out with the part, replaced the part and we were up and running in just a few days. As it turned out, when I called, they had the part on hand because it is a part that has had a failure history so they keep the parts in stock and ready to go. My Kenmore, because of the Sears service backing, is still running fine today and working well.
    My LG 10th anniversary edition Washer and Dryer pair (not made in the US) were purchased in early 2014 (largely due to the Consumer Reports excellent reviews for LG front loaders) and have been solid for us. A friend has the same set which had a problem that was able to be dealt with in about a week total from time of service call which seems reasonable.
    This is to say that I would never buy an appliance unless it has the backing of a store like Sears, Lowe’s, Home Depot or someone because Whirlpool is not going to back up their warranty on a personal level or even for a major home builder. My house will never have another Whirlpool appliance (or any of it’s brands) in it again due to the poor service we received from Whirlpool. Ever.
    I have found that there are some really good names out there like Bosch (who are oddly made in the US for the US market) that do have the backing of their manufacturer and I am sticking to those brands–but even then, it can be a real crap shoot these days.
    They truly don’t make ’em like they used to.

    Reply
  5. Maria Robbins
    Maria Robbins says:

    Hi Mary, I was trying to leave a message under your Home Remodel part 4 and find there is no area for comments.
    Anyway, I wanted to let you know that your new kitchen is absolutely beautiful and was wondering if you could share the island’s quart’s name. I love that white countertop and how it lightens things up. Thanks, Mary & enjoy it!

    Reply

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