The 6 Best Portable Dishwashers, According to a Pro

Black+Decker tops our list for both freestanding and countertop units.

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Best Portable Dishwashers

Food & Wine / Brian Kopinski

Having a built-in dishwasher is a glorious convenience. Though unloading one can feel like a loathsome task (just us?), it sure beats standing over the sink and washing every individual fork, plate, and glass by hand. 

But such an appliance isn’t always an option. Whether you’re working with a small space, an older kitchen, or simply a limited budget, there are any number of reasons why it may not be realistic to shoehorn a full-size dishwasher into your current setup. Fortunately, portable dishwashers also exist and can offer real savings both financially and spatially.

“Overall, portable dishwashers are a convenient option for those who don’t have the space or ability to install a built-in dishwasher,” says Tara Spaulding, an interior designer who knows her way around the kitchen. “Portable units work in a similar way to built-in models and can effectively clean and dry your dishes with minimal effort.” Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best portable dishwashers on the market today.

Best Overall Freestanding

BLACK+DECKER 18-Inch Portable Dishwasher

BLACK+DECKER 18-Inch Portable Dishwasher


Pros: Its just-right size and Energy Star certification make this a solid choice.

Cons: It is without a dry setting.

Freestanding portable dishwashers can be pricey — which you’ll see below in our choice for best splurge — but Black+Decker hits all the right spots with this useful appliance. It’s slim in profile, affordably priced in comparison to many other freestanding dishwashers, and has a capacity for eight place settings, which should offer plenty of space for the average household.

It doesn’t have the most robust drying system, but if you can look past a few extra drops of water, you’re sure to appreciate the Energy Star certification and quick-connect system to link the dishwasher to your faucet.  

Price at time of publish: $600

  • Type: Freestanding
  • Dimensions: 35.63 x 23.62 x 17.64 inches
  • Capacity: 8 place settings
  • Cycles: 6
  • ADA Compliant: No

Best Overall Countertop

BLACK+DECKER BCD6W Compact Countertop Dishwasher

BLACK+DECKER BCD6W Compact Countertop Dishwasher


Pros: The compact size and heated dry setting make this a great pick for small spaces.

Cons: It can’t fit plates over 10 inches in diameter.

Portable or not, sometimes there’s just no room for a larger freestanding unit like the GE. In those cases, this Black+Decker countertop model is a great alternative. It can hold six place settings and has a variety of wash modes, plus a convenient dry cycle, so you’re not left with drippy dishes. 

Black+Decker has long been a leading name in appliance and power tools, so you can buy with confidence when it comes to your countertop dishwashing needs. Just be aware that large places — those exceeding 10 inches in diameter — will still need to be hand-washed as they won’t fit in this unit.

Price at time of publish: $360

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 17.2 x 21.5 x 21.7 inches
  • Capacity: 6 place settings
  • Cycles: 7
  • ADA Compliant: No

Best Value

Comfee WQP4-2601 Mini Portable Dishwasher

Comfee' Mini Portable Dishwasher


Pros: The compact size is great for small spaces.

Cons: It has a small capacity.

A countertop unit is probably what comes to mind for most of us when thinking about affordable portable dishwashers, which is exactly what this Comfee appliance offers. Its small footprint can sit nicely alongside your sink and stow away in a closet or cabinet when not in use. 

While capacity is limited to approximately 30 items, including flatware, this portable dishwasher is perfect for small households. It connects easily to your faucet and uses just five liters of water per wash. And at $300, the Comfee may be more in reach than many alternative dishwashers.

Price at time of publish: $312

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 17.1 x 18.1 x 17.1 inches
  • Capacity: 2 place settings
  • Cycles: 5
  • ADA Compliant: Not listed

Best Splurge

GE GPT225SSLSS 24-Inch Portable Dishwasher

GE GPT225SSLSS 24-Inch Portable Dishwasher with 12 Place Settings Capacity

Home Depot

Pros: This unit has the capacity and performance of a built-in dishwasher.

Cons: It’s more expensive than many built-in options.

Just because a dishwasher is portable doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more affordable than a built-in unit — but in the case of this splurge-worthy GE freestanding portable dishwasher, you do get what you pay for. This appliance has the capacity and performance of a conventional dishwasher, but with the convenience of wheels. This does, of course, mean you’ll need a place to store it while it’s not in use, but we suspect you’ll want it close to hand once you’ve tried it out. 

The GE freestanding dishwasher is Energy Star-certified and hooks up to your kitchen faucet without fuss. It cleans your dishes through three cycles and can even connect to your preferred smart home system if you’re into that. 

Price at time of publish: $635

  • Type: Freestanding
  • Dimensions: 36 x 25.4 x 23.6 inches
  • Capacity: 12 place settings
  • Cycles: 3
  • ADA Compliant: No

Most Quiet

RCA RDW3208 24-Inch Electronic Countertop Dishwasher

RCA RDW3208 24 in. White Electronic Countertop Dishwasher


Pros: This is an ultra-quiet, reasonably priced compact dishwasher.

Cons: It won’t win any beauty contests, and it’s quite heavy at 60 pounds.

Aside from its countertop size, this portable dishwasher is about as quiet as it gets. At just 34 dB, the RCA is ideal for apartment living or shared spaces. With room for six place settings, you won’t be able to wash up after a crowd in one go, but the capacity should do the trick for most day-to-day needs.

We also appreciate the price of this dishwasher — the RCA portable is a great option if you’re on a budget; though its hefty 60-pound weight may lead to it keeping a permanent spot on the countertop rather than being stowed away between uses.

Price at time of publish: $312

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 23.81 x 21.85 x 19.8 inches
  • Capacity: 6 place settings
  • Cycles: 2
  • ADA Compliant: Yes

Most Compact

Farberware FCDMGDWH Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher

Farberware FCDMGDWH Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher


Pros: A compact and sleek-looking dishwasher that’ll get the job done.

Cons: Limited capacity, as you’d expect.

This little Farberware portable dishwasher manages to keep size to a minimum while also looking surprisingly great. A window gives you a peek into the action going on inside, and while this dishwasher can only manage about two place settings, when size is the name of the game, this is exactly what you’ll need.

Even better, the Farberware uses just 1.3 gallons of water per wash cycle, and it only weighs 30 pounds — so you might actually put it away somewhere else when there are no dishes to wash. This compact appliance is a little on the pricey side, but it performs well with a minimal footprint. 

Price at time of publish: $400

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 16 x 17 x 19 inches
  • Capacity: 2 place settings
  • Cycles: 5
  • ADA Compliant: No

Our Favorite 

If you’re looking for a freestanding model, the Black+Decker 18-inch Portable Freestanding Dishwasher is a great choice. If a countertop appliance is more your style, consider the Black+Decker Compact Countertop Dishwasher.

Factors to Consider

Countertop vs. Freestanding

This one is fairly straightforward — consider whether you have room for a freestanding dishwasher or if a countertop unit is a better fit for your space (or, is a microwave taking up all the counter space?). Freestanding portable dishwashers will generally have wheels for easy moving, while countertop models will need to be picked up to relocate.

Size and Capacity

“Consider the number of people in your household and the amount of dishes you typically use. Choose a portable dishwasher with a capacity that meets your needs,” says Spaulding. If you live alone, a dishwasher with a capacity for only a couple of place settings is probably fine, but if you are feeding a family, look for one with a larger capacity.

Noise Level

Spaulding also recommends looking for a portable dishwasher with noise-reducing features if you live in a small space, like an apartment.

Hard Food Disposer

A hard food disposer works like a little food processor to chop larger bits of food into disposable sizes. Not all dishwashers have these — many use a filtration process to separate food particles from the water used to rinse dishes — so be aware of your dishwasher’s capabilities before loading heavily soiled dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do portable dishwashers work?

    “Portable dishwashers work in a similar way to built-in dishwashers,” says Spaulding. “But portable units are designed to be easily moved and connected to a kitchen sink rather than being permanently installed under a countertop.” 

    Like a built-in dishwasher, portable versions have a tub, spray arm, pump, heating element, and control panel.

  • How do you hook up a portable dishwasher?

    “Most models come with a faucet adapter that allows you to attach the dishwasher’s intake and drain hoses to your sink’s faucet,” says Spaulding. Be sure to review the instructions that come with your chosen dishwasher to ensure you’ve hooked it up correctly.

  • How much water does a portable dishwasher use?

    “Most portable dishwashers are energy efficient and use less water and electricity than hand-washing your dishes,” says Spaulding. Exact water usage will vary depending on model.

  • How many dishes can a portable dishwasher clean?

    Spaulding says that most portable dishwashers range from four to 12 place settings, but some ultra-compact models may only fit two place settings.

  • How do portable dishwashers drain?

    “After the wash cycle is complete, the dishwasher will drain the dirty water from the tub,” says Spaulding. “The pump will push the water out through the drain hose into your sink’s drain.”

Our Expertise

This article was written by Summer Rylander, a food and travel journalist who has written about food, beverage, and cooking products for Food & Wine, Allrecipes, Serious Eats, and The Kitchn. She made her selections based on in-depth research and conversation with an expert.

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