* '''Wash Tiers'''
** The places that water sprays from are known as '''wash tiers''' or''' wash levels'''.
** The better dishwashers have three; discount "builder's models" may only have one.
** More tiers are always better. Unless you plan to use your dishwasher for only very light cleaning (like in a wet bar), you definitely want at least two tiers. Three or more is the standard number in most of the top-performing dishwashers.
** If your kitchen opens up to the living or dining room, choosing a low-noise dishwasher should be a high priority.
** Generally, '''noise is inversely correlated with price'''.
** A more expensive dishwasher will be quieter because it has better insulation.
* '''Cycles and Speed'''
** 80 to 150 minutes total on most models, but the time-saving cycle feature cuts down cycle time.
** Many new dishwashers come with delay timers. (However, running the dishwasher while you are asleep or not home is not recommended.)
** Some special cycles, like a delicate cycle for china or wine glasses, may be a good idea if you use these items often.
** Many of the more expensive models have stylish exteriors, but do you really need a $1200 Thermador dishwasher that doesn't clean any better than many less expensive models?
** Control buttons should be designed for convenience and usability.
*** Some models have hidden or partially hidden controls for a sleeker appearance.
** Front panelling is available at an extra cost, or you might be able to do it yourself.
** Stainless steel is timeless, but it picks up fingerprints easily. It also adds $100-$200 to the cost of the model.
* '''Rack Configuration'''
** Make sure there is enough space for the items you expect to wash.
** Some models come with '''foldable tines''', '''rearrangeable racks''' and other features that will allow you to load the dishwasher any way you like.
** Some models come with a third rack, often below the two main racks, for large flat items like serving trays.
*** However, a third rack may not be as convenient as it sounds. According to ''''''ConsumerSearch'''''', many users complained that third racks just made it harder to load the dishwasher.
* '''Efficiency Rating'''
** Check Energy Star ratings to save money on electricity and water.
** More efficient models may cost a little extra, but the '''savings''' on your energy bill will quickly make the additional cost worthwhile.
** Efficient models are also more environmentally friendly.
* '''Heavy-duty disposal options'''
** Food-grinder/garbage disposal.
** Some dishwashers have built-in solid food disposals; other models require you to clean the filter every few weeks.
* '''Warranty '''and in-area servicing.
** Dishwashers are usually pretty reliable, but a warranty is always a good thing to have.