Should Your Dishwasher Be Super Quiet?…Or Does It Even Matter?

Should your dishwasher be super quiet?…or does it even matter?

Dishwasher manufacturers passionately showcase how quiet their dishwashers can be by measuring dBA or decibel ratings. A dBA rating shows a weighted decibel level putting in human terms how quiet or loud a sound is to our ears. This is because we humans interpret differences in sound with less sensitivity at extreme volumes. In the current marketplace, dishwashers can range from 37-64 dBA, but what actually matters the most when it comes to being quiet? ….and what’s just hype?

When we talk at about 60 dBA, we can measure that to light rainfall which registers at 50 dBA, or a quiet night in a suburb which registers at 40 dBA or perhaps a whisper, which registers at 30 dBA. In the old days, dishwashers used to average around 65 dBA. Nowadays, most dishwashers have a dBA in the low 40s to 50s. That’s somewhere between scattered showers and chatter at the table during dinner. Not only is that a sizeable improvement over what you may likely have in your kitchen, but the professionals at Conner’s Appliance bet it will clean far better too.

The dishwashers that are the most quiet compete on a mere one or two dBA levels — a difference that is really unnoticeable or barely so to a trained ear. Some brands like Miele have models that shine at 37 dBA when used with certain quiet programming modes; otherwise, they can be rated around 42 dBA. Bosch comes in a close second with models that operate at 38 dBA in normal operation.

Miele asserts that dirty dishes often lead to louder sounds in competing brands, primarily because the dishwasher must work harder than during testing. The lowest difference between testing its competitor’s dBA says using both dirty and clean dishes was around 3 dBA levels, which can be barely noticeable. Conner’s Appliance recommends that such a slight difference should not be your deciding factor when purchasing a dishwasher. On the other hand, you most like will notice 10 dBA levels, which is the doubling of the audible sound.

With that said, in order to not interrupt your life, how quiet does your dishwasher really need to be? Some home layouts have kitchens that are much more open to the rest of the house, but…what the dBA levels don’t tell you, is that the dishwasher’s sound dissipates at a greater distance.

Perhaps you are conversing with your kids at the counter or catching up on some reading, maybe you’re never anywhere in the general area where you wash your dishes. If you’re not executing important tasks near your dishwasher, take these dBA ratings with a grain of salt. Consider price, racking, capacity and performance, because most times, we have found that those factors are more important to consumers.
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Anna Conner