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Best Dishwasher Under $400: 5 Picks to Replace Handwashing

Best Dishwasher Under $400: 5 Picks to Replace Handwashing

Updated on - . 12 min read

Hey there, Dishwashing Enthusiast! Tired of scrubbing away at the sink like Cinderella before the ball? We get it—life's too short for dishpan hands. But don't fret, we've got your back! We've scoured the depths of the dishwasher world to find you the crème de la crème of dish-cleaning machines, all for under $400.

Confused by the whirlpool of brands and features? No worries! We'll break it down for you, making your journey from dishwashing drudgery to automated awesomeness as smooth as a non-stick frying pan.

So, buckle up! We've got a list of top-notch dishwashers that won't break the bank but will break up those stubborn food stains. Let's dive into the ultimate dishwasher buying guide first, shall we?"

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5 Best Dishwashers Under $400

  1. Best Overall: Farberware Countertop Dishwasher
  2. Editor's Choice: COMFEE' Countertop Dishwasher
  3. Best on a Budget: RCA RDW3208 Countertop Dishwasher
  4. Best for Small Spaces: SPT SD-2224DS Energy Star Compact Countertop Dishwasher
  5. Most Versatile: SPT SD-2213W Energy Star Compact Countertop Dishwasher

1. Best Overall

Farberware Countertop Dishwasher

With its sleek design, quick installation, and six cleaning programs, this dishwasher is a well-rounded option. The heat-assisted drying and self-cleaning features add to its appeal, making it the best overall choice for quality and functionality.

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What We Love

  • Affordable Luxury: Best dishwasher under $400 with a sleek design.
  • Quick Installation: Set up in less than 30 minutes.
  • Multiple Programs: Six cleaning options for versatile washing.
  • Extra-Drying Function: Heat-assisted drying for spotless dishes.
  • Self-Cleaning: Keeps the machine bacteria-free.
  • Child Lock: Added safety feature.
  • Quality Build: Stainless steel interior and cutlery basket.

What to Keep in Mind

  • Limited Capacity: Six-plate setting may require multiple runs for large families.
  • Specialized Hookups: Best for small spaces with available hookups.

Why It Might Be Right for You

Envision a bustling day where you're juggling work, errands, and family time. The last thing you want is to be stuck at the sink, scrubbing away. Enter the Farberware Countertop Dishwasher. Not only does it fit into your compact kitchen, but it also offers a quick, efficient cleaning solution that lets you reclaim your time. It's like having an extra pair of hands that work silently in the background, allowing you to focus on what truly matters. Ideal for those who crave efficiency without compromising on quality.

Customer Review (source: Amazon)

This dishwasher is my little hero, especially for my mental health. It's portable and perfect for my tricky kitchen setup. I fill its tank manually, and it does the job well. It's been a game-changer for me, helping me keep my kitchen clean and my spirits up. Even after four years, it's still going strong, though I've had to adapt to some minor issues. But hey, it's been a lifesaver in my battle against depression.

2. Editor's Choice

COMFEE' Countertop Dishwasher

With its no-installation-needed feature, ultra-compact design, and multiple program options including high-temperature hygiene, this dishwasher stands out as the most versatile and convenient choice for various lifestyles and needs.

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What We Love

  • No Installation Needed: Just add water manually to the 5L built-in tank.
  • Ultra-Compact: Fits 30+ items and takes up minimal space.
  • Versatile Programs: Six options to meet all your dishwashing needs.
  • High-Temp Hygiene: Boosts water temperature up to 192℉ for thorough cleaning.
  • Stay Fresh: AIR REFRESH mode removes moisture and odor.

What to Keep in Mind

  • Water Pressure: Requires a specific range of water pressure (0.04 - 1.0MPa).
  • Detergent Limitation: Standard dishwasher powders or detergents only.

Why It Might Be Right for You

Picture yourself living in a cozy apartment where every inch of space counts. This dishwasher not only fits seamlessly into your compact kitchen but also eliminates the hassle of plumbing. It's like having a little helper that doesn't ask for much but gives you the freedom to enjoy a cup of tea instead of scrubbing dishes. Perfect for those who value both hygiene and convenience.

Customer Review (source: Amazon)

Wow, this dishwasher is a lifesaver for anyone stuck in an apartment without one. It's super easy to set up, and you don't even need to connect it to a water supply. The best part? It's budget-friendly and makes my glassware shine like it's brand new. Trust me, this is the stress-free dishwashing solution you've been waiting for.

3. Best on a Budget

RCA RDW3208 Countertop Dishwasher

This dishwasher offers efficient cleaning and low water consumption. It's a great choice for those who are budget-conscious but still want a reliable and efficient dishwasher.

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What We Love

  • Affordable: One of the best budget dishwashers under $250.
  • Efficient Cleaning: Removes food stains effortlessly.
  • Quiet Operation: One of the quietest dishwashers available.
  • Low Water Use: Consumes only 3.43 gallons in a normal cycle.
  • Stainless Steel Interior: Durable and stain-resistant.
  • Quick Installation: Easy faucet connection within minutes.
  • LED Display: Provides all essential information.

What to Keep in Mind

  • No See-Through Window: If you prefer a window, this may not be for you.
  • 6-Place Setting: Good for its size but may require multiple runs for larger households.

Why It Might Be Right for You

You're a budget-conscious individual who values both quality and efficiency. The RCA dishwasher slides into your kitchen, almost as if it was always meant to be there. You connect it to the faucet, and it gets to work, quietly and efficiently. As you sit back and enjoy your evening, you realize that quality doesn't always have to break the bank. This dishwasher is for those who want a blend of affordability and performance without any fuss.

Customer Review (source: Amazon)

This dishwasher is a gem for my RV life. As a senior citizen, I set it up all by myself and ran multiple loads without a hitch. It's quiet, efficient, and leak-free. The only hiccup was its size; it's a bit hefty, so I got a wheeled cart for easy movement. Highly recommend!

3. Best for Small Spaces

SPT SD-2213W Energy Star Compact Countertop Dishwasher

With its compact design and quick connect feature, this dishwasher is perfect for small apartments, RVs, and office kitchens. It's also Energy Star certified, making it eco-friendly.

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What We Love

  • Compact Design: Perfect for small spaces, measuring just 17.2" in height.
  • Quick Connect: Easily attaches to sink taps without installation.
  • Multiple Wash Cycles: Seven options for customized cleaning.
  • Delayed Start: Schedule washes up to eight hours in advance.
  • Energy-Efficient: Energy Star certified for eco-friendly operation.
  • Water Supply Indicator: Alerts you when the faucet is off.

What to Keep in Mind

  • Size Limitations: Can't fit standard-size plates without tilting.
  • Best for Small Families: Six-place setting may not suffice for larger households.

Why It Might Be Right for You

Picture a busy weekday evening in a small apartment. You've just finished dinner and are dreading the pile of dishes in the sink. The SPT dishwasher becomes your silent ally, fitting snugly into your compact kitchen and taking on the task with ease. You set the delayed start and head to bed, knowing you'll wake up to sparkling clean dishes. It's the little conveniences like this that make your life simpler and more enjoyable. Tailor-made for those who live life on the go but still want the comfort of a clean home.

Customer Review (source: Amazon)

This countertop dishwasher was a lifesaver after my divorce left me in a small apartment with just a sink. At first, I got a lemon, but the company's customer service was stellar. They sent me a new one that's been running like a champ for two years. It's so good, even my handyman was impressed. If you're in a tight space or just hate doing dishes, this is your game-changer.

4. Most Versatile

SPT SD-2224DS Energy Star Compact Countertop Dishwasher

This dishwasher offers a variety of seven wash cycles and a design that accommodates standard plates without tilting. It's versatile, efficient, and fits most kitchen faucets, making it a strong choice for a range of situations.

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What We Love

  • More Wash Cycles: Seven options including soak for versatile cleaning.
  • No Tilt Required: Taller design accommodates standard plates.
  • Quick Connection: Instant faucet attachment with included accessories.
  • Delayed Start: Convenient scheduling up to eight hours.
  • LED Display: Shows remaining time or current state.
  • Efficient: Energy guide capacity of 203 for cost-effective operation.

What to Keep in Mind

  • Faucet Compatibility: Adapter may not fit all faucets, risking leaks.
  • Water Usage: Incompatibility could lead to excessive water use.

Why It Might Be Right for You

Think of a weekend gathering at your place. Friends have come over, and the mini party wash cycle is a lifesaver for the pile-up of dishes. You connect the dishwasher to the faucet, set the delay, and join the laughter in the next room. The LED display keeps you informed, so you never have to guess. It's the ideal companion for those who love to socialize but dread the after-party cleanup.

Customer Review (source: Amazon)

This dishwasher is a beast in size but a breeze to set up. It's so quiet and efficient that you can shower while it's running without running out of hot water. The actual buttons are a nice touch, and it cleans dishes beautifully. Just note that the cycle times are longer than what's listed in the manual. But so far, it's been a solid purchase that I don't expect to give me any issues.

How We Chose Our Top Picks

When it comes to finding the best value dishwashers under the $400 range, we knew that countertop models would be the most practical and budget-friendly options. So, we began by selecting all countertop models under the $400 range.

Next, we assessed each product's value for money. We aimed to find dishwashers that offered the most features and best performance at their respective price points. At the high end of this budget, we looked for models that provided a comprehensive set of features, including multiple wash cycles, energy efficiency, and ease of installation. At the lower end, we focused on dishwashers that excelled in the basics—cleaning efficiency, low water consumption, and durability.

Finally, we turned to customer reviews to gauge user satisfaction. We selected models that had high ratings and positive feedback regarding their performance and overall customer experience. This led us to the final five dishwashers, each excelling in different categories to meet various needs and preferences.

Dishwasher Buying Guide

Types of Dishwasher

The first thing that you should ask yourself is what type of dishwasher you need. You can find dishwashers in a variety of sizes and styles. Most dishwashers fall under the following types: countertop, slimline, freestanding, and integrated.

Countertop Dishwasher

Countertop dishwashers are placed on the kitchen counter. These dishwashers are generally the most budget-friendly option out there. Their installation is also easier than the other type of dishwashers. However, they have limited capacity. So you might end up running dishwasher cycles three to four times to get all the dishes done.

Integrated Dishwasher

Integrated dishwashers are built-in within the kitchen and designed to match the kitchen decor. Generally, a built-in dishwasher has the highest capacity and looks good. However, they are costly to purchase and install. Installing them might also mean that you may need to modify your kitchen.

Free-Standing Dishwasher

Like any other appliance, freestanding dishwashers can be placed on the kitchen floor. They generally have a large capacity and are easier to install. However, these dishwashers are more expensive as compared to countertop models.

Slimline Dishwashers

Those who are short on space may prefer slimline dishwashers. These can be integrated or freestanding. These dishwashers have more capacity per the space they occupy. Slime-line dishwashers are generally more expensive as compared to others.


When you decide on the type of dishwasher you want to buy, you also determine its capacity to some extent. Yet, the same category of dishwashers can have different capacities. If you have a large family that often eats together, look for a dishwasher that fits more dishes in a single cycle. You can also consider dishwashers with flexible racks to accommodate different cutleries.


Under the $400 budget, you can find dishwashers with at least three dishwashing cycles. However, you can even find six cycles in some of the dishwashers. The standard is four cycles; if the number of programs is not important to you, stick to the basics. Most budget dishwashers that offer fancy features compromise on the overall quality and build of the product. The most important program setting you should be looking for is rinse and speed. This program saves utility bills by letting you clean various load configurations and providing rinse aid.

Drying Performance

Dishwashers that have a heated fan-assisted drying option give the best drying performance. However, these dishwashers are a little hard to come by under the $400 range. If you are on a tight budget, you should be looking for boosted ventilation drying option. It is found in mid to low-range dishwashers and is very effective. You can also do good with simple circulation drying, which takes a little more time to dry but does its job well.

Background Noise

The background noise made by dishwashers varies greatly. Some dishwashers have uneven background noise, which is sometimes loud and sometimes soft. You would want to look for a comparatively quieter dishwasher with consistent background noise. It will help you spend your time in the kitchen in peace. These dishwashers are a little expensive but can be found under the $400 range.


Being on a tight budget does not mean that you would have to compromise on quality. Most dishwashers within the $400 range are primarily made up of stainless steel material. These dishwashers will also feature stainless steel tubs and cutlery baskets. Yet, you may have to make some compromises here and there. Just ensure that these compromises are not the major ones and do not affect the longevity of the dishwasher.


All good dishwashers are efficient and help you reduce your electricity bills. Wherever possible, you should look for Energy Star-compliant dishwashers. These are the most efficient dishwashers. It also helps to check the energy consumption rate of the dishwasher, which is measured in Kilowatt-hours (kWh). The lower this unit, the more efficient the dishwasher is.

Frequently Asked Questions

What dishwasher features should I look for in a compact countertop dishwasher?

When shopping for a compact countertop dishwasher, look for features like multiple wash cycles, a stainless steel tub for durability, and a silverware basket for better organization.

How affordable is this portable dishwasher?

This portable dishwasher is designed to be an affordable dishwasher option, offering great value for the features it provides. It's perfect for those on a budget who still want quality performance.

Does it have a stainless steel tub?

Yes, our dishwasher comes with a stainless steel tub, which is not only durable but also helps in better cleaning and drying of your dirty dishes.

How well does the dishwasher clean?

Our dishwasher cleans exceptionally well, thanks to its multiple wash cycles, including a sanitize cycle that kills 99.9% of bacteria.

Is there a specific place for silverware?

Yes, the dishwasher comes with a dedicated silverware basket, making it easier to wash your utensils separately and more efficiently.

What is the sanitize cycle?

The sanitize cycle is a special feature that uses high-temperature water to kill almost all the bacteria on your dishes, ensuring they are as clean as possible.

Can it handle really dirty dishes?

Absolutely! The dishwasher's heavy cycle is designed to tackle even the most stubborn grime and grease, leaving your dishes sparkling clean.

What Option of Dishwashers Under $400 Is Best For You?

We hope that this article has given you some clarity and helped you narrow down your decision. When it comes down to it, all of the dishwashers we presented can be great options - it just comes down to personal preference.

Thanks for reading!

Items reviewed:

  1. Best Overall: Farberware Countertop Dishwasher
  2. Editor's Choice: COMFEE' Countertop Dishwasher
  3. Best on a Budget: RCA RDW3208 Countertop Dishwasher
  4. Best for Small Spaces: SPT SD-2224DS Energy Star Compact Countertop Dishwasher
  5. Most Versatile: SPT SD-2213W Energy Star Compact Countertop Dishwasher

Best Overall: Farberware Countertop Dishwasher

With its sleek design, quick installation, and six cleaning programs, this dishwasher is a well-rounded option. The heat-assisted drying and self-cleaning features add to its appeal, making it the best overall choice for quality and functionality.

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Please note that the reviews on this page have been edited for readability and clarity while maintaining the essence of the original content.

Fruther Reading

  • If you're looking for a top-of-the-line cleaning experience and don't mind a slightly higher price tag, consider investing in the HAVA R01 Compact Countertop Dishwasher for superior performance and convenience.