Types of Dishwashers 101

When you’re investing in an appliance like a dishwasher, it’s important to find one that's just right for you and your household. With so many dishwasher styles to choose from, you’ll definitely be able to find the perfect one to serve all your needs. But the process can be a bit overwhelming, and too many choices can sometimes feel daunting – we get that. That’s why we put together this Types of Dishwashers Guide.  

Read on to learn more about the different types of dishwashers on the market today.   

Browse the full selection of dishwashers at Coast Appliances to learn more about your options. 

In this article, we’ll cover: 

  • What Are the Different Kinds of Dishwashers? 
  • What is the Best Type of Dishwasher? 
  • Best Dishwasher Brands 
  • FAQs About Types of Dishwashers 

What Are the Different Kinds of Dishwashers? 

While every dishwasher is designed to wash dishes, features and kitchen dishwasher design options can vary from one model to the next. Below, you’ll find detailed information on some of the more popular dishwasher styles. 

Front Control 

The front control dishwasher is a classic design and one of the most recognizable types of dishwashers on the market to this day. As the name suggests, these dishwashers have an exterior control panel located at the front and top of the door. It’s a classic design that works beautifully in any kitchen. 

While it’s typically easy to spot the control panel on a front control dishwasher, the handle is often more discreet. Most models have a built-in pocket handle. This design choice helps to keep the dishwasher flush with surrounding cabinets.  


  • Easy-to-access control panel 
  • You can monitor wash cycles without opening your dishwasher 
  • Lots of styles to choose from 

Some of the front control dishwashers available at Coast Appliances: 

Blomberg - 45 dBA Built In Dishwasher in Stainless - DWT52800SSIH 

Top Control 

In contrast to front control models, the top control variety dishwasher has an interior control panel. This panel is located at the top of the dishwasher door and is hidden from view as long as the door is closed.  

With no panel in the way, top control dishwashers have a sleek, modern-looking exterior with no panel in the way. Many models also have large bar handles that can be used to hang towels. Most of these styles are designed to allow you to select your preferences with a simple press of a button and by closing the dishwasher door. 


  • Interior control panel prevents accidental button presses 
  • Smooth, attractive design that’s easy to keep clean 
  • Quick and convenient options

Some of the top control dishwashers available at Coast Appliances:

Asko - 42 dBA Built In Dishwasher in Stainless - DBI663IS 

Built In & Panel Ready 

Most types of dishwashers are built in, which means the appliance is designed to stay in place once it’s installed. Panel-ready dishwashers take things a step further and blend in seamlessly with the rest of your kitchen by covering the appliance with a cabinet face.  

If you have a specific style of kitchen, and you want your dishwasher to match perfectly with the rest of your decor, a panel-ready unit can be an excellent choice. You’ll have the freedom to customize your dishwasher and select a design that looks great in your kitchen. 


  • Fully customizable  
  • Discreet design 
  • Works in any style of kitchen 

Some of the built in and panel ready dishwashers available at Coast Appliances: 

Asko - 40 dBA Built In Dishwasher in Panel Ready - DFI664XXL 

Other Types of Dishwashers 

Although the options above are some of the more popular and standard designs available, there are even more style options from some brands. Other dishwasher styles on the market include: 

Dishwasher Drawers 

Typically, a dishwasher has a pull-down door, but these specialty models have drawers that can be pulled open and rolled out. Most models have two vertical drawers that can be used separately. Dishwasher drawers aren’t available in most stores, but the design is a popular choice for high-end custom kitchens.  

Portable Dishwashers 

Standard dishwashers are installed in your kitchen and connected to your plumbing. A portable dishwasher is attached to your sink and can easily be moved or stored away as needed. These small, compact dishwashers work well and can be a great option in small apartments and homes. 

Countertop Dishwashers 

A countertop dishwasher is a type of portable dishwasher that’s designed to sit on the kitchen counter. Even though these units can be moved as needed, many users opt to keep them in one place. Some units have a water tank, so you can just fill the dishwasher with water without having to connect it directly to the sink.  

What is the Best Type of Dishwasher? 

Every style of dishwasher offers some advantages (and most will have some disadvantages, too). Ultimately, the best one will simply be the machine that best suits your individual preferences and needs. Consider what you want from your appliance so you can find a model that works well and looks great while being functional in your kitchen. 

Picture what different dishwasher models would look like in your kitchen. Try to imagine yourself using the appliance.  

If you’re struggling to narrow your options, our Dishwasher Buying Guide buying guide can help you decide. 

Best Dishwasher Brands 

No matter what style of dishwasher you decide on, you’ll want to make sure your new appliance meets high standards of quality. Coast Appliances has an impressive selection of dishwashers from leading brands, including: 

  • Bosch 
  • KitchenAid 
  • Whirlpool 
  • Samsung  
  • LG 
  • Frigidaire  
  • GE 
  • Fisher Paykel 
  • Asko 

FAQs About Types of Dishwashers 

How many different types of dishwashers are there? 

Dishwashers are available in many styles. In addition to the varieties listed above, there are even more types of commercial dishwashers to choose from.  

What is a full console dishwasher? 

Full console is another name for a front control dishwasher. These dishwashers have an exterior control panel that’s always in plain sight.  

Which is better for a dishwasher – top control or front control? 

Top control dishwashers are a terrific option if you don’t want to look at a control panel or if you’re worried about accidentally pressing buttons when you walk past your dishwasher. However, if you want to be able to monitor your dishwasher’s wash cycle, you may find that a front control dishwasher is the better choice.  

What is a steam cleaning dishwasher? 

Instead of relying entirely on just hot water to clean, these dishwashers use steam technology to give dishes a deep clean. Although these cutting-edge dishwashers usually have longer wash cycles than standard dishwashers might, they still use less water. It’s an energy-efficient dishwasher style with lots of appealing features. 

If you’re preparing to buy a brand-new dishwasher, there are several things to keep in mind. First and foremost, though, you want to consider different dishwasher features and styles so you’ll be able to choose the best possible appliance for your kitchen.  

Browse the full selection of dishwashers at Coast Appliances to start exploring your options.