Whirlpool dishwashers are reliable, long-lasting, and efficient. Whirlpool believes in clean dishes for everyone and typically targets their dishwasher price point for well under $699. This is the reason why we placed the Whirlpool WDT710PAHZ on our best dishwashers list for 2020.
For those of us who consider a good dishwasher to be one that can rinse, wash, and dry our dishes, the wide range of prices we see from popular brands can be confusing. After all, can there really be that much of a difference between a $1,999 dishwasher and a $599 dishwasher? And while the truth is that high-end brands like Bosch and Miele truly do create superior products, Whirlpool does deliver high-quality machines at a consistently reasonable price point.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the distinct features of Whirlpool dishwashers and examine the 5 most popular products currently available on the market.
Overview of Whirlpool Dishwashers
|WDT7x Series||Style - Hidden controls with Whirlpool curved handle, 1-hr wash, High Temperature Wash, Heated Dry, Do not have the 3rd rack for silverware.
|WDF560SAFM||Style - Front controls with pocket handle, 50 dB, Rack is NOT adjustable, Stainless steel tub, 1-hour cycle, Silverware basket, from $669|
|WDTA50SAHZ||Style - Hidden controls, with pocket handle to blend in any kitchen, 47 dB, Total Coverage Spray Arm, from $714|
|WDT9x Series||Style - Hidden controls with Whirlpool curved handle, 47 dB, 1 hr wash, High Temperature Wash, Heated Dry, 3rd rack for silverware. Stainless steel tub|
|WDTA75SAHZ||Style - Hidden controls with decorative thin bar handle, 47 dB, 3rd rack for silverware, from 894|
A word regarding pricing - Whirlpool runs many promotions during the year to help with individual dishwasher prices. Check our shopping site for savings.
We excluded less expensive but super loud dishwashers with plastic tubs from this review.
Features to Look For in a Modern Dishwasher
When we ask our customers about chief requirements for their new dishwasher, we always get the same answer - "I need a quiet dishwasher". Silent operation has not been a focus of US based manufacturers up until 10 years ago. At this time, all manufacturers understand the importance of quietness.
So, how do you know if a dishwasher is quiet enough?
The dishwasher industry measures noise levels in decibels (dB or dBA). As an example, 40 dB is the noise level at a quiet library. A regular conversation is about 50 dB. 60 dB can be observed at a crowded restaurant.
As a rule of thumb, dishwashers between 38-45 dB as considered super quiet. Still, anything under 49 dB is pretty respectable, especially since the loudest parts of a cycle are also the shortest.
Whirlpool makes a variety of dishwashers to accommodate different price points. Unfortunately, most of their budget dishwashers go above 50 dB. However, there are still many choices around 47 dB quietness level with Whirlpool.
In this review article, we deliberately skipped rating models that are over 51 dB.
We covered dishwasher quietness on our earlier post. Feel free to check it out if you want to become a dishwasher Ninja.
Cleaning and Drying
TotalCoverage Spray Arm:
While this Whirlpool feature might be a mouthful to say, it is a truly distinctive feature of the brand. It’s designed to cover the entire interior tub with a high-pressure spray via 21 nozzles to ensure that every dish is properly rinsed and cleaned. That can be difficult for many manufacturers, particularly when you consider that dishware and cutlery is often loaded in the dishwasher randomly.
Plastic Tub & Stainless Steel Tub Models:
When you go with Whirlpool, going with a plastic tub or stainless steel tub will depend on your price range. All Whirlpool models under $500 feature plastic tubs, but many of the higher-end models do boast stainless steel tubs. Although plastic tubs are not attractive looking, they help keep costs down for Whirlpool. In addition, since Whirlpool uses a heating element for drying, a stainless tub is not an essential need (Stainless tubs -at least stainless steel interior walls- are required for dishwashers that do not have a bottom heating element. The reason is the tub serves as an integral part of the drying system). In addition, stainless tubs tend to absorb noise better and they do not discolor over time. The same set of products we mentioned above feature a stainless steel tub. WDTA50SAHZ, WDT750SAHZ and WDTA75SAHZ.
Fan Dry Option
Fan dry speeds up the drying process as it efficiently circulates the hot air inside the tub. The Whirlpool dishwasher WDT730PAHZ is the only model that features the fan dry option.
As dishwashers have become more energy- and water-efficient, cycle times have become longer. However, Whirlpool dishwashers all feature a one-hour cycle option that speeds up dishwashing time.
This feature is shared by all Whirlpool dishwashers. Sensor determines how dirty the dishes are and adjusts cycle time and water use. Great for energy savings and for those of us who only use one button on the dishwasher (there's no need to play around with the menu to customize options).
Closely related the soil sensor, the Sensor Cycle expands on its capabilities. It helps save water and energy. Determines load size, the temperature of the wash. With the exception of low-budget Whirlpool dishwasher WDF520PADM all models come with this feature.
Notable Cycles and Options:
Most Whirlpool dishwashers feature enough cycles and unique options to serve most households effectively. These include the Sani Rinse, which removes 99.99% of bacteria, plus the Heated Dry which gets great drying results from plastics which can often be tough to dry in a dishwasher. You can even use Hi-Temp when cleaning baby bottles for an extremely sanitary clean.
Smart Features (Wifi Connectivity)
Newer Whirlpool models feature Wi-Fi connectivity and smart features. As of today, only the WDTA75SAHZ in Stainless Steel and WDTA75SAHZN in Sunset Bronze have the “smarts” when it comes to connectivity. But as home automation continues to grow in popularity, we expect the amount of models with these features to increase.
So what’s included in these smart features on Whirlpool dishwashers?
- Control Lock Mode is an option that allows you to remotely lock your control panel, keeping children from turning the dishwasher and dishes inside into a playset.
- You can even download 'Specialty Cycles' from your phone app, which is useful if you want even more customizable cycles and options that those that come standard on your dishwasher.
- If you need to clean your filter, the Whirlpool app will alert you. You can even find troubleshooting and support information that can help extend the lifetime of your Whirlpool dishwasher. And if your dishwasher is in need of service, Whirlpool can automatically send information to its service database and help you set up an appointment for maintenance.
- Amazon Replenishment will automatically order detergent refills when it needs them.
- Whirlpool models with smart features also boast integration with Alexa Assistant, Google Home and Nest.
Whirlpool Dishwasher Style & Design
The Whirlpool dishwasher models for the most part share the same technology. However, different products in the lineup have differentiated handle styles, hidden vs visible controls. Whirlpool dishwashers come in different colors such as: sunset bronze, white, black, black stainless, stainless steel
5 Best Whirlpool Dishwashers
- WDT730PAHZ Listed well under $599 during promotions, this dishwasher offers all of Whirlpool’s standard features. While its 51dB noise rating is not considered quiet and the plastic tub certainly isn’t as luxurious as the stainless steel, it does feature the Fan Dry option and an effective heating element. The smooth front surface is made from fingerprint resistant stainless steel.
- WDTA50SAHZ This $699 model boasts added features like the TotalCoverage Spray Arm and modern stainless steel tub. The 47 dB quietness level is solid for this price point. If you’re looking for a towel bar design, consider this model’s cousin, the WDT750SAHZ.
- WDTA75SAHZ It’s $799, but this is the latest outing from Whirlpool and features modern design upgrades to match. These include smart connectivity, making this a fun dishwasher to use (if such a thing exists). You’ll also enjoy the quiet 47 dB operating noise.
- If you’re looking for a similar model with a contemporary handle, consider the WDT975SAHZ.
- WDF520PADM Listed at an affordable price of $499 during seasonal promotions, this model holds 14 place settings—less roomy than most competitors. It’s also fairly loud at 55dB. However, we wanted to present this option if you are on a tight budget yet still want a reliable dishwasher.
Whirlpool dishwashers may be budget-friendly, but they are also reliable and dependable. Although they are not the quietest in the marketplace, if you stay with the 47 dB models, you'll get the all features and reliability you need.
Whirpool dishwashers lack the advance programming and wash actions of European dishwashers. If you want consistently satisfactory clean for heavy soil, we recommend using the Pots and Pans cycle even for regular loads.
If you don’t mind a plastic tubs but still want your plastic dishware dry at the end of your cycle, Whirlpool is a good bet.
Overall, if you’re willing to spend over $500, you’re sure to get a fairly reliable Whirlpool dishwasher.
What does Whirlpool mean by "Heavy duty" dishwasher?
Basically, they mean that you would never want to use this dishwasher in a home smaller than the size of an airplane hangar. Unfortunately, these dishwashers are loud and built with the legacy technology. At 65dB, they sound louder than a small truck. Whirlpool still manufactures these dishwashers for special use cases where quietness concerns are trumped by heavy duty constant use.
What is monochromatic stainless steel vs fingerprint resistant stainless steel?
We are equally perplexed by manufacturers' inside jargon and also find the term "monochromatic" confusing.
Monochromatic stainless steel basically means that the surface is good, old stainless steel but some trim, controls and handles are painted plastic or metal.
Stainless steel appliances look great in any kitchen but they are prone to getting dirty with touch, vapor and overall use. Fingerprint resistant coating helps deflect unwanted marks on appliances.
What brand of dishwasher is most reliable?
Miele and Bosch lead the pack in manufacturing the most reliable dishwashers in the market. Whirlpool, although not in the same price range, is one of the best examples of reliable American manufacturing.
Does Whirlpool make portable dishwashers?
Yes. In fact Whirlpool's WDP370PAHW is part of our best portable dishwashers ranking.
See what other Designer Appliances readers are saying.