5 Best Reliable & Budget Friendly Whirlpool Dishwashers [REVIEW]

Article by

Metin Ozkuzey

Metin is the President of Designer Appliances. He was inspired to start this blog after he got fed up with reading sub-par product reviews from "leading consumer" organizations and "bot farms".

Whirlpool dishwashers are reliable, long-lasting, and efficient. Whirlpool typically targets value price point under $700 when marketing their dishwashers.

For those of us who consider a good dishwasher to be one that can rinse, wash and dry our dishes, the wide range of prices we see from popular brands can be confusing. After all, can there really be that much of a difference between a $1,999 dishwasher and a $599 dishwasher? And while the truth is that high-end brands like Bosch and Miele truly do create superior products, there’s Whirlpool that is delivering high-quality machines at a consistently reasonable price point.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the distinct features of Whirlpool dishwashers and examine top 5 most popular products currently available on the market.

Overview of Whirlpool Dishwashers

Model
Main Features

WDT7x Series
Style – hidden controls with Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steeel Whirlpool curved handle, 1 hr wash, High Temperature Wash, Heated Dry, Do not have the 3rd rack for silverware.

  • WDT710PAHZ Loud at 51 dB, Plastic Tub, Rack is NOT adjustable, Currently on "end-of-life" phase and sold as supplies last, from $619
  • WDT730PAHZ Loud at 51 dB, Plastic Tub Rack is adjustable, FanDry, Sani Rinse, from $629
  • WTD750SAHZ Loud at 47 dB, Stainless Steel Tub, Rack is adjustable, Extended Dry Options, Sani Rinse , Tap touch controls, Total Coverage spray arm with 2x jets, from $714

WDF560SAFM
Style – Front controls with pocket handle, 50 dB, Rack is NOT adjustable, Stainless steel tub, 1-hour cycle, Silverware basket, from $669

WDTA50SAHZ
Style – Hidden controls, with pocket handle to blend in any kitchen, 47 dB, Total Coverage Spray Arm, from $714

WDT9x Series
Style – hidden controls with Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steeel Whirlpool curved handle, 47 dB, 1 hr wash, High Temperature Wash, Heated Dry, 3rd rack for silverware. Stainless steel tub

  • WDT970SAHZ Incorporates all common features listed above from $619
  • WDT975SAHZ Smart features, Wifi, Amazon Dash, Alexa ready, Troubleshooting, Plastics Cyle from $714

WDTA75SAHZ
Style – Hidden controls with decorative thin bar handle, 47 dB, 3rd rack for silverware

Whirlpool runs many promotions during the year that help with individual dishwasher pricing.

Features to Look For in a Modern Dishwasher
1) Quiet Operation

When we ask our customers about chief requirements for their new dishwasher, we always get the same answer – "I need a quiet dishwasher". Silent operation has not been a focus of US based manufacturers up until 10 years ago. At this time, all manufacturers understand the importance of quietness.

So, how do you know if a dishwasher is quiet enough?

The dishwasher industry measures noise levels in decibels (dB or dBA). As an example, 40 dB is the noise level at a quiet library. A regular conversation is about 50 dB. 60 dB can be observed at a crowded restaurant.

As a rule of thumb, dishwashers between 38-45 dB as considered super quiet. Still, anything under 49 dB is pretty respectable, especially since the loudest parts of a cycle are also the shortest.

Whirlpool makes variety of dishwashers to accommodate different price points. Unfortunately, most of their budget dishwashers go above 50 dB. However, there are still many choices around 47 dB quietness level with Whirlpool.

In this review article, we deliberately skipped rating models that are over 50 dB.

We covered dishwasher quietness in our earlierr post.. Feel free to check it out if you want to become a dishwasher Ninja.

Our Video with Live Sound Test on Different Dishwashers2) Cleaning and Drying

TotalCoverage Spray Arm:
While this Whirlpool feature might be a mouthful to say, it is a truly distinctive feature of the brand. It’s designed to cover the entire interior tub with a high-pressure spray via 21 nozzles to ensure that every dish is properly rinsed and cleaned. That can be difficult for many manufacturers, particularly when you consider that the average dishwasher is loaded randomly.

Whirlpool products which prominently feature the TotalCoverage Spray Arm include:WDTA50SAHZ, WDT750SAHZ and WDTA75SAHZ.

Plastic Tub & Stainless Steel Tub Models:
When you go with Whirlpool, whether you get a plastic tub or stainless steel tub will depend on your price range. All Whirlpool models under $500 feature plastic tubs, but many of the higher-end models do boast stainless steel tubs. Although, plastic tubs are not attractive looking, they help keep costs down for Whirlpool. In addition, since Whirlpool uses a heating element for drying, a stainless tub is not an essential need (Stainless tubs -at least stainless steel interior walls- are required for dishwashers that do not have a bottom heating element. The reason is the tub serves as an integral part of the drying system). In addition, stainless tubs tend to absorb noise better and they do not discolor over time. The same set of products we mentioned above feature a stainless steel tub. WDTA50SAHZ, WDT750SAHZ and WDTA75SAHZ.

Fan Dry Option
Speeds up the drying process as it efficiently circulates the hot air inside the tub. The only Whirlpool machine that features this option is the WDT730PAHZ.

1-Hour Wash:
As dishwashers have become more energy- and water-efficient, cycle times have become longer. However, Whirlpool dishwashers all feature a one-hour cycle option that speeds up dishwashing time. Sure, you won’t be doing the environment any favors, but if you need your dishes done before that big dinner party tonight then the environment will forgive you.

Soil Sensor
This feature is shared by all Whirlpool dishwashers. Sensor determines how dirty the dishes are and adjusts cycle time and water use. Great for energy savings and for those of us who only use one button on the dishwasher (no need to play around with the menu to customize options).

Sensor Cycle
Closely related the the soil sensor, the Sensor Cycle expands on its capabilities. It helps save water and energy. Determines load size, the temperature of the wash. All models have this feature except for Whirlpool WDF520PADM.

Notable Cycles and Options:
Most Whirlpool dishwashers feature enough cycles and unique options to serve most households effectively. These include the Sani Rinse, which removes 99.99% of bacteria, plus the Heated Dry which gets great drying results from plastics which can often be tough to dry in a dishwasher. You can even use Hi-Temp when cleaning baby bottles for an extremely sanitary clean.

3) Smart Features (Wifi Connectivity)

Smart Features:
Newer Whirlpool models feature Wi-Fi connectivity and smart features. As of today, only the WDTA75SAHZ in Stainless Steel and WDTA75SAHZN in Sunset Bronze have the “smarts” when it comes to connectivity. But as home automation continues to grow in popularity, we expect the amount of models with these features to increase.

So what’s included in these smart features on Whirlpool machines?

  • Control Lock Mode is an option that allows you to remotely lock your control panel, keeping children from turning the dishwasher and dishes inside into a playset.
  • You can even download ‘Specialty Cycles’ from your phone app, which is useful if you want even more customizable cycles and options that those that come standard on your machine.
  • If you need to clean your filter, the Whirlpool app will alert you. You can even find troubleshooting and support information that can help extend the lifetime of your machine. And if your dishwasher is in need of service, Whirlpool can automatically send information to its service database and help you set up an appointment for maintenance.
  • Amazon Replenishment will automatically order detergent refills when it needs them as you focus on the other tasks you have to finish.
  • Whirlpool models with smart features also boast integration with Alexa Assistant, Google Home and Nest.

4) Style/Design

Different handle styles
Controls hidden or visible
Colors – sunset bronze, white, black, black stainless, stainless steel

In-Depth Look at Popular Whirlpool Dishwashers

  • WDT730PAHZ Listed at $599, this dishwasher offers all of Whirlpool’s standard features. While its 51dB noise rating is not considered quiet and the plastic tub certainly isn’t as luxurious as the stainless steel, it does feature the Fan Dry option and an effective heating element. The smooth front surface is made from fingerprint resistant stainless steel.

  • WDF520PADM Listed at an affordable price of $499, this model holds 14 place settings—less roomy than most competitors. It’s also fairly noisy at 55dB.

  • WDTA50SAHZ This $699 model boasts added features like the TotalCoverage Spray Arm and modern stainless steel tub. The 47 dB quietness level is solid for this price point. If you’re looking for a towel bar design, consider this model’s cousin, the WDT750SAHZ.

  • WDTA75SAHZ It’s $799, but this is the latest outing from Whirlpool and features modern design upgrades to match. These include smart connectivity, making this a fun dishwasher to use (if such a thing exists). You’ll also enjoy the quiet 47 dB operating noise. If you’re looking for a similar model with a contemporary handle, consider the WDT975SAHZ.

Conclusion

Whirlpool dishwashers may be budget-friendly, but they’re also reliable and dependable. If you want consistently satisfactory clean on the lower-end models, we recommend using the Pots and Pans cycle even for regular loads.

If you don’t mind a plastic tubs but still want your plastic dishware dry at the end of your cycle, Whirlpool is a good bet. (By the way—why are you still using plastic? Consider glass.)

Overall, if you’re willing to spend over $500, you’re sure to get a fairly reliable Whirlpool dishwasher for you and your home.

FAQs

What does Whirlpool mean by "Heavy duty" dishwasher?
Basically, they mean that you would never want to use this dishwasher in a home smaller than the size of an airplane hangar. Unfortunately, these dishwashers are loud and built with the legacy technology. At 65dB, they sound louder than a small truck. Whirlpool still manufactures these dishwashers for special use cases where quietness concerns are trumped by heavy duty constant use.

Does Whirlpool make 18-inch dishwashers for small apartments?
Yes! Here’s a list of all 18” Whirlpool dishwashers.

Does Whirlpool make panel ready dishwashers?
Yes, here is the list of all panel-ready Whirlpool dishwashers.

What is monochromatic stainless steel vs fingerprint resistant stainless steel?
We are equally perplexed by manufacturers’ inside jargon and symphatize with you as the term "monochromatic" is blurry language.

Monochromatic stainless steel basically means that the surface is good old stainless steel but some trim, controls and handles are painted plastic or metal.

Stainless steel appliances look great in any kitchen but they are prone to getting dirty with touch, vapor and overall use. Fingerprint resistant coating helps deflect unwanted marks on appliances.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *