The 5 Best Compact Dishwashers for Tiny Houses

A tiny house kitchen has to maximize every inch of space to provide enough room for storage, cooking, and clean-up. Trying to fit a dishwasher into such a small space is a challenge, but the best tiny house dishwashers can fit into compact spaces and help make kitchen work easy. 

You might feel like putting a dishwasher into a small kitchen is unnecessary when you can quickly wash dishes by hand. But a dishwasher offers many benefits, from convenience to water conservation. 

Why Buy a Compact Washer?

The main reason for buying a dishwasher is convenience. You scrape dishes, put them in the racks, chuck the utensils into the silverware basket, set it, and forget it. 

Of course, the time-saving benefits of a dishwasher shouldn’t be overlooked. Thanks to these devices, you’ll regain some time each day from cleaning up and be able to spend it in other ways that are more valuable to you. 

Dishwashers also use less water than it takes to handwash the same amount of dishes, so it’s an eco-friendly choice. 

They heat the water to about 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill germs and sanitize the dishes. Even if it’s hot enough to be uncomfortable, the water you handwash with will not be hot enough to sanitize. 

Energy Star certified dishwashers meet government standards for energy efficiency and cost less than $3 per month to run. 

Things to Consider When Buying a Dishwasher

Ask yourself several questions, whether you need a dishwasher for a tiny house or a sprawling mansion. In particular, consider:

  • Which dishwasher fits into your budget?
  • What’s the size of the space where the dishwasher will sit? 
  • Do you want it installed into the water system?
  • How many dishes do you usually have in a day? How much capacity do you need? 
  • Do you want different wash cycles like a steam cycle or heated dry?
  • How do you want it to look, or what finish do you prefer?
  • Should it be visible or be hidden?

Each person will answer those questions differently according to their kitchen design, budget, and personal needs. The answers can help you narrow down your choices.

Compact Dishwasher Types

Which type of dishwasher will work best in a tiny house? It depends on the kitchen layout and whether there’s room under the counter or on the countertop. 

Compact dishwashers come in four varieties. 

  • Built-in
  • Freestanding and portable
  • Drawer
  • Countertop

These dishwashers work well in tiny house kitchens or any kitchen that’s short on space like small homes and apartments.

Built-in Dishwashers

An 18-inch built-in dishwasher can fit into some tiny kitchens beneath a counter. This type of dishwasher hooks directly into the water supply and drains for maximum convenience. 

Portable and Freestanding Dishwashers

These dishwashers hook to the sink faucet, so you don’t have to install them. You can keep one under a countertop if you have the space and roll it out to use it or put it into a storage space. 

Drawer Dishwashers

These dishwashers are the size of one large, deep drawer, so they take up less space than one that sits on the floor in the same place. They’re best for people who have trouble filling up a larger dishwasher. 

Countertop Dishwashers

If a tiny house kitchen has more space on top of the counter than under it, a countertop dishwasher is an excellent choice. They’re also great for people who don’t want to install a dishwasher and have nowhere to store a freestanding unit.

These washers hold fewer dishes than taller units that sit on the floor but are the perfect size for small families and individuals. 

5 Best Tiny House Dishwashers

Here are five of the best tiny house dishwashers that fit into small spaces and clean dishes efficiently. 

hOmeLabs Compact Countertop Dishwasher

If you have more countertop space than floor space or room under the counter, this Energy Star certified hOmeLabs compact countertop dishwasher could help.

It has a six-place setting capacity rack, a separate silverware basket, and six wash cycles, including an ECO cycle. A rinse aid dispenser provides a place for a rinse aid to help dry the dishes without the need for a heated drying cycle. 

An inlet and drain hose hook up quickly, and the unit only uses up to 3.3 gallons of water on the heaviest wash cycles. 

Best of all, it takes up less than 22 inches square of countertop space and weighs 44 pounds, making it one of the best tiny house dishwashers for minimal space.

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Farberware Countertop Dishwasher

This Farberware countertop dishwasher has a built-in five-liter water tank, so you don’t need to hook it to your faucet when you’re ready to run one of five wash cycles. It comes with an attachment if you prefer to hook it up. 

The rapid cycle takes 40 minutes and finishes with air circulation to help dry the load. The unit has a fruit wash cycle and a baby care cycle that steams the contents for teething toys and baby bottle sterilization. 

Steam also cleans glassware streak-free, and the clear door lets you see the washing in progress. This unit takes up about 22 square inches on the countertop and weighs 45.5 pounds.  

Frigidaire 18-inch Built-In Dishwasher

If you prefer a built-in dishwasher that can handle more dishes than a countertop model, this Frigidaire 18-inch dishwasher has an eight-place setting capacity. It’s Energy Star certified and is one of the quietest dishwasher models available. 

Choose between six wash cycles, and enjoy opening the door to dry dishes with its heated drying system. What’s more, you have the option of a white, black, or stainless steel finish. 

Though it will fit in the smallest spaces, it has enough room for dual spray operation to get dishes clean fast. It comes with a sanitizing cycle that removes 99.9% of common household bacteria. 

The dishwasher is 35 inches tall, so you need that much clearance to open the door completely.

EdgeStar 18-Inch Built-In Dishwasher

This Edgestar 18-inch built-in dishwasher comes in white, black, or stainless steel with an eight-place setting capacity. It has six wash cycles, heated drying, and 52-decibel operation, making it one of the quietest dishwasher models.

The actual measurement is 17.75-inches wide, so it’s an excellent choice for a tiny house kitchen. It has two pull-out racks, a silverware basket, and a rinse aid dispenser. 

It also includes a sensor that detects leaks and automatically shuts the appliance off to prevent water damage to your home. 

The unit is 32.5 inches high, shorter than many other 18-inch washers, so you’ll need less clearance to open the door fully. 

GE 18-Inch Portable Dishwasher

If you have room for an 18-inch dishwasher but not necessarily under your counter, this Energy Star certified GE 18-inch portable dishwasher can make kitchen cleaning easy. 

The appliance has GE features typically found in a full-size model, like a delayed start option, a hard food disposer to prevent clogs, a sanitizing option, and a 52-decibel motor that won’t run you out of the room. 

The dishwasher stands 36 inches high and just over 25 inches deep, so you can roll it into an unused corner after emptying it without taking up counter or under-counter space. The dishwasher weighs 133 pounds but comes on easy-roll casters. 

Best Tiny House Dishwashers, Final Thoughts

Using a dishwasher conserves water and saves you time. It also makes washing dishes safer because you won’t have to reach into an opaque kitchen sink of soapy water to find that sharp knife when the appliance does the work for you.

Anyone who has enough space for a dishwasher can gain from considering those benefits. Those building a tiny house should try to plan for a dishwasher from the start. 

The best compact dishwasher brands can fit in incredibly small places, so even most existing tiny houses have enough room. 

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