Are Benchtop Dishwashers More Efficient?

In the world of kitchen appliances, the dishwasher is a time-saving marvel that has evolved over the years to cater to various needs and space constraints. One intriguing addition to the dishwasher family is the benchtop dishwasher, also known as a countertop or compact dishwasher.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the world of benchtop dishwashers, examining their key features,and efficiency metrics, including energy consumption and water usage, and comparing them with their traditional counterparts to see whether it is really efficient enough. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Benchtop Dishwashers

near sink Benchtop Dishwashers

A benchtop dishwasher is a compact, portable, and space-saving alternative to the typical built-in dishwasher. As the name suggests, it sits on the kitchen countertop, requiring no permanent installation. This makes it an ideal solution for small kitchens, apartments, or situations where a full-sized dishwasher may be impractical.

Key Features of Benchtop Dishwashers

  • Compact Size: The primary advantage of benchtop dishwashers is their compact size. They are designed to accommodate smaller loads of dishes, making them suitable for individuals or small households.
  • Portability: Benchtop dishwashers are often portable, allowing you to move them around the kitchen as needed. This flexibility can be advantageous for those who frequently rearrange their kitchen space.
  • Ease of Installation: Unlike traditional dishwashers that require professional installation, benchtop dishwashers can be easily set up by the user. They connect to the kitchen faucet for water intake and typically have a drainage hose for wastewater disposal.
  • Affordability: In terms of upfront cost, benchtop dishwashers are usually more affordable than built-in models. This makes them an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers or those with limited kitchen space.

Efficiency Features of Benchtop Dishwashers

white Benchtop Dishwashers

Now, let’s delve into the efficiency features of benchtop dishwashers, focusing on two crucial aspects: energy consumption and water usage.

Energy Consumption

Benchtop dishwashers are known for their energy-efficient designs. They typically have smaller heating elements and use less electricity to heat the water for washing. Some models also incorporate advanced technologies, such as heat exchangers, to further minimise energy consumption.

Energy Star ratings are a useful indicator of a dishwasher’s efficiency. While not all benchtop models carry the Energy Star label, many are designed with energy efficiency in mind, meeting or exceeding industry standards.

To enhance energy efficiency, some benchtop dishwashers feature multiple wash cycle options, allowing users to choose shorter or eco-friendly cycles based on their needs.

Water Usage

One of the significant advantages of benchtop dishwashers is their reduced water usage. These compact appliances typically require less water to complete a wash cycle compared to their larger counterparts.

Advanced water-saving technologies, such as sensors that detect load size and soil levels, contribute to optimising water consumption. Some models even offer half-load or eco-friendly settings to further reduce water usage.

The use of efficient spray arm designs and targeted water jets ensures that dishes are thoroughly cleaned with minimal water wastage.

Comparison of Benchtop Dishwashers with Traditional Dishwashers


When selecting a dishwasher, there are various aspects to take into account. Countertop dishwashers and traditional dishwashers are two commonly considered options. Let’s examine the distinctions between these two dishwasher types.

Size and Capacity

Benchtop Dishwashers are designed for smaller kitchens or households with limited space since they are compact and typically have a lower capacity compared to traditional dishwashers. They are ideal for singles, couples, or small families with lighter dishwashing needs.

On the other hand, traditional dishwashers are mostly built-in dishwashers that come in various sizes and capacities to accommodate larger loads of dishes. They are suitable for families with higher dishwashing demands and those who entertain guests frequently.

Installation and Portability

You can easily install a benchtop dishwasher. It is also portable and suits renters or those who may relocate frequently. Its connection to the kitchen faucet allows for quick setup and flexibility in placement.

However, as traditional dishwashers are meant to be built in, they require professional installation and are a permanent fixture in the kitchen. They are ideal for homeowners looking for a seamless and integrated kitchen design.

Energy and Water Efficiency

When it comes to efficiency, benchtop models are designed to be energy-efficient, with smaller heating elements and advanced technologies to minimise both energy consumption and water usage. This feature makes them an environmentally conscious option, allowing you to embrace a more sustainable future while continuing to enjoy the convenience that a dishwasher brings.

While modern traditional dishwashers also prioritise energy and water efficiency, their larger size may result in slightly higher energy and water consumption per load when compared to benchtop models.


small Benchtop Dishwashers


Generally, countertop dishwashers are more affordable when it comes to the initial cost. As mentioned above, countertop models offer a budget-friendly option for those with cost constraints or limited kitchen space.

In contrast, traditional dishwashers typically have a higher upfront cost due to their larger size and additional features. However, they may offer long-term savings through increased capacity and efficiency.

Features and Customisation

While benchtop models come with essential features, they may offer fewer customisation options compared to traditional dishwashers. However, many modern benchtop dishwashers come equipped with a variety of wash cycles to cater to different needs.

Alternatively, traditional dishwashers often come with a broader range of features, including specialised wash cycles, adjustable racks, and advanced drying options. They are designed to accommodate a diverse range of dishwashing requirements.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Dishwasher for You

Among the wide range of dishwasher models, the choice between benchtop and traditional models ultimately depends on your specific needs, available space, and lifestyle. Benchtop dishwashers shine in smaller kitchens, offering portability, energy efficiency, and affordability. They are a practical choice for individuals or smaller families with lighter dishwashing demands.

Nevertheless, traditional dishwashers provide larger capacity, seamless integration into kitchen design, and a broader range of features. They are well-suited for larger households, those who frequently entertain guests, or homeowners seeking a permanent and integrated kitchen appliance.

In the end, whether you opt for the compact efficiency of a benchtop dishwasher or the robust capabilities of a traditional dishwasher, the key is to choose a model that aligns with your lifestyle, space constraints, and long-term expectations. Our verdict is that if your priorities are efficiency and convenience, a countertop dishwasher could be an ideal addition to your kitchen.