What to Look For
Panel ready dishwashers within the same price bracket tend to share a considerable number of key features. This includes sound rating (ranging between 40-46 dBA), cycle selection (5-7 main programs), energy rates (in the range of 270 kWh/year), and interior capacity (14-16 place settings).
Major differences are concentrated within the wash system design that slightly varies in efficiency and power from model to model. If you require frequent cleaning of heavily soiled cookware and serving items, look out for dishwashers with advanced wash systems that include extra spray jets and upgraded spray arm consustruction.
Interior capacity is also an important quality to consider, and more specifically the addition of third-level racks or dedicated sections for items like bottles and plastics.
Review of the Best Panel Ready Dishwashers
The KitchenAid KDTE204EPA is a panel ready dishwasher with three-level racking and improved spray application.
With a 5-level wash system and 40 additional powerful jets, this KitchenAid dishwasher delivers top grade cleaning performance at lower energy consumption rates.
The racking system consists of 3 nylon racks, adding up to 14 place settings.
Mounted on smooth SatinGlide® max rails, the 2-position adjustable upper rack also features a fold-down shelf with 4 stemware holders, 2 light item clips and 2 spray zones in the front corners to accommodate tall or oddly shaped items.
The lower rack provides a row of fold-down tines, and the removable third-level rack is a perfect place to put culinary items that are unfit for other sections.
There are 6 cycles, including ProWash™, Tough, Normal, Light, Express, and Rinse Only. Additional options include Sani Rinse®, ProScrub®, Heated Dry, Hi Temp Wash, and Delay Start.
While the ProWash™ cycle utilizes soil sensors to determine optimal wash settings for each load, the ProScrub® option is able to eliminate even the hardest dried-on stains with a set of 40 targeted jets located behind the lower rack.
To make the best use out of the lower jets, place large and heavily soiled cookware in the back section of the lower rack so that the soil side is facing the jets. This way, the spray blasts soils with high precision, saving you the need to scrub dirty kitchen units by hand.
The durable stainless steel tub battles the effects of rust and contributes to general sound-proofing qualities. The normal operational sound level reaches only 46 dBA.
As a panel ready model, this dishwasher is designed to fit your kitchen seamlessly, while hidden multi-color controls are sensor-based, ensuring easier operation, and the satin-textured handles are smooth to the touch.
This dishwasher is also ENERGY STAR® certified and Kosher Consumer Friendly.
The Bosch SHVM63W53N is a 300 series dishwasher with improved capacity and heavy duty wash options.
As a three-rack model with a smart wash system, this panel ready Bosch dishwasher is able to increase capacity by at least 30% while ensuring each load is delivered completely spotless.
With combined 16 place settings, the racking system offers thee loading levels with expanded options. The upper rack, supported by the RackMatic® technology, is 3-position adjustable, offering up to 9 possible configurations in total.
The lower rack adds more space for large cookware and cutlery with its fold-down FlexSpace™ tines and a spacious silverware basket. Other non-standard culinary items, including various small appliance parts such as blender blades or grater drums, can be placed in the third-level rack located above the upper level.
The wash system operates on the basis of the PrecisionWash™ technology, using precise sensors to detect soil levels and load size to adjust cycle temperature, water pressure, and program duration accordingly.
There are 5 main cycles: Heavy or Power Scrub Plus, Auto, Normal, Speed60®, and Rinse & Hold. Other options include Extra Dry, ExtraScrub, Half Load, Sanitize, and 24 Hour Delay Start.
Among the standout wash options, the ExtraScrub setting is able to battle the oldest and messiest baked-on stains by increasing water pressure and wash temperature in the lower rack, specifically where the large items are placed.
Meanwhile, the Extra Dry option is an effective drying cycle that increases heater-generated air temperature and extends the overall time to improve drying results while preserving the sparkle of your newly clean dishes.
For operational safety, the dishwasher is equipped with the AquaStop® leak protection system that functions 24/7 to monitor for leaks and prevent any water damage.
The indicator system is upgraded with an LED timer display, audible sound alerts, and the InfoLight® feature that shines a red beam on the floor when a program is finished.
This is an ENERGY STAR® certified and ultra-quiet dishwasher, operating at only 44 dBA.
The KitchenAid KDTM504EPA is a panel ready dishwasher with superior coverage and extended drying options.
By incorporating an advanced wash system design, three-level racking, and powerful drying, this KitchenAid dishwasher not only ensures 39% more spray coverage of larger loads, but also delivers exceptional drying results at faster rates.
There are 3 nylon racks that provide up to 16 place settings. Both the upper and lower racks are mounted on SatinGlide® max rails to allow for a smooth and easy extension.
The upper rack is 2-position adjustable and features 2 plastic cup shelves, 8 stemware holders, 4 light item clips, 2 rows of fold-down tines, and a compact built-in utility basket for small items.
The lower rack adds space with a row of fold-down tines and a flexible Culinary Caddy® silverware basket. All of your non-standard culinary items can be safely placed inside the removable third-level rack.
In addition to the nine-arm design of the spray arms installed on each level, the wash system utilizes 40 spray jets located at the back wall of the tub, targeting the toughest soils on pots, pans, and casseroles loaded in the back section of the lower rack. For tall and oddly shaped glassware, the upper rack has dedicated spray zones to ensure deeper reach and better cleaning.
Other advantages include Clean Water Wash supported by the Micro Filtration system that successfully removes all soils from wash water and greatly improves the cleaning process.
There are 6 cycles: ProWash™, Tough, Normal, Light, Express Wash, and Rinse Only. Additional options include ProDry™, ProScrub® and ProScrub® Upper, Hi Temp Wash, Sani Rinse, and 4 Hour Delay.
By using soil sensors, the ProWash™ cycle is able to determine the best wash parameters for each specific load. The ProScrub® option is an effective heavy duty tool that blasts tough dried-on soils with 40 precision-wash jet sprays and removes even old baked-on crust.
Each cycle can be completed by the advanced ProDry™ option that uses the hidden heating element to raise the air temperature and an integrated fan to whisk away the excess moisture more effectively.
This dishwasher is ENERGY STAR® certified and quiet in operation, reaching only 44 dBA during a normal run.
The GE PDT855SIJII is an 800 series dishwasher with WiFi connectivity and improved wash jet system.
There are 7 cycles: Auto Sense, Express, Heavy Wash, Light Wash, Normal Wash, Rinse, and eWash.
The Auto Sense cycle determines the best wash settings based on soil sensor readings, potentially reducing energy and water consumption. Another highly energy-efficient cycle is the eWash that uses around 2 gallons of water and only .8 kWh.
Additional hot wash and command options are Pre Soak, Bottle Jets, Wash Temp, Power Dry, Wash Zones, and 12 Hour Delay Start.
For dealing with heavily soiled items, the best options would be Pre Soak and Wash Temp. When you need to clean smaller loads or only lightly soiled dishes and glasses, load one rack and select the Wash Zone option, either Upper Wash Zone or Lower Wash zone, depending on the rack you’ve chosen. This option shortens cycle time and reduces power consumption.
The drying is conducted by the hidden heating element that boosts the air temperature during the final rinse stage of the cycle and applies the efficient 2 watt fan to rid the dishes of remaining moisture.
There are 3 black pearl nylon racks that account for at least 16 place settings.
The adjustable upper rack features 2 stem-safe utility shelves and a row of fold-down tines, while the lower rack offers enough space for all types of cutlery in its 3-piece silverware basket with cell covers that prevent items from nesting.
The advanced wash system includes more than 140 spray jets in various configurations. With 25 spray jets, the reversing quad blade lower wash arm provides complete coverage and the most thorough cleaning regardless of the load size.
More angles are covered by side jets that create cascading waterfalls to effectively loosen the soils and improve the cleaning process during vital stages of the cycle.
Deep clean silverware jets and bottle jets target cutlery and tall glassware respectively, saving you the need to struggle with hard-to-clean items manually. This may include sport bottles, baby bottles, and large tea or coffee glasses.
To improve the filtration process, this dishwasher employs the Piranha™ hard food disposer with removable filter to remove hard food particles and protect spray nozzles from clogging.
This is a WiFi capable dishwasher with smart controls that can be accessed via your device. You can remotely monitor and control the operation of your appliance and receive status notifications. This model is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Dash, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.
Equipped with a superior sound pack
The ZLINE DW7714-18 is a panel ready dishwasher with compact 18-inch design and quiet operation.
Featuring 2 spacious racks and a removable silverware basket, this dishwasher is able to hold up to 16 place settings.
Multiple filter system with three mesh filters not only keeps clean and dirty water in separate chambers for better cleaning performance, but also improves energy and water consumption rates.
This model comes with a Smart Wash system aimed at optimizing cycle parameters based on the specifications of each load. In cases of lightly soiled or small loads, the system selects shorter or energy-saving cycles. Alternatively, for full capacity loads and heavily soiled dishes, one of the heavy duty cycles is automatically initiated.
The 5 main cycles are Heavy, Normal, Eco, Glass, Rapid, and Rinse. Additional options include Heated Dry, Sanitize, Hi Temp Wash, Energy Save, and 24 Hour Delay.
The longest and most effective cycle designed for hard soils is the Heavy cycle that lasts for approximately 155 minutes. If you need to cut down on energy usage, select the Eco cycle or Rapid cycle. Both require less water, and the Rapid setting only takes 60 minutes to finish.
For more hygienic results you can choose the Sanitize modifier that heats water up to 156.2°F and uses rinse aid to eliminate all common food bacteria.
After each cycle ends, the Heated Dry option raises air temperature with the help of the heating element and removes any excess moisture from your dishes.
This model is easy to install thanks to the front plate template included in the kit. In addition, integrated top controls are neat in operation and design-effective, while the working sound of the dishwasher doesn’t exceed 44 dBA. The appliance also meets ENERGY STAR® requirements for energy consumption.
What does Panel Ready mean for a dishwasher?
Panel ready dishwashers can be customized to match the overall design of your kitchen cabinets. By equipping your new appliance with custom made front or side panels, you can keep the design of your kitchen consistent and uninterrupted.
How do you install panel ready dishwasher?
In terms of hardware connection, panel ready dishwashers have similar installation process as regular dishwashers. The more complex part comes in when it’s time to make sure the appliance is fully flushed with your cabinets and matches the countertop lining. To install the custom panel yourself, refer to the owner’s manual as well as multiple DIY tutorials made by experts. Some manufacturers also provide installation kits that you can purchase together with the dishwasher.
Can you put a panel on any dishwasher?
Only panel ready and custom design capable dishwashers can be cosmetically modified. Regular dishwashers aren’t equipped to handle panel installation.
How do I know if a dishwasher will fit?
Before you begin the search for a new dishwasher, estimate potential placements for the appliance in your kitchen and go with the most likely one. Measure the chosen cut-out space in your kitchen so that you can compare your dimensions to both the product dimensions and cut-out dimensions of any dishwasher that you might be interested in purchasing. Panel ready dishwashers require you to match the handle and the panelling yourself, meaning you must plan for the purchase of identical panelling and accessories to make the dishwasher fit in seamlessly and completely.