Bosch Vs. KitchenAid Dishwashers. How do They Stack Up?

KitchenAid VS Bosch Dishwashers

So your dishwasher just went “on the fritz” and its time to install a new one.  Customers most frequently ask to see Bosch and KitchenAid brands when selecting a new dishwasher.  Each manufacturer for years has focused on developing a reputation for reliability, quiet performance, and a pleasing and functional design.   The way that each manufacturer addresses these product requirements is different enough that you’re apt to have a couple of really great options when selecting and installing a new dishwasher.  We’ll delve into those differences in greater detail so that you’ve got a better sense as to what makes each brand’s dishwasher so popular as well as arming you with the information to proactively tackle each brand’s potential installation pitfalls.

Talking about the installation process for these two brands are very different, so we will start with the KitchenAid and its specifics first.  The KitchenAid has space between the feet and bottom of the tub under the dishwasher itself.  This space is useful when your space has plumbing or a power connection towards the bottom of the dishwasher.  With this unit’s extra space, it will be able to accommodate a water connection coming up from the bottom of the floor directly under the dishwasher, or lower on the back wall.  If your space has any of these types of issues, then the KitchenAid would be the way you would want to go.

Installation with the Bosch goes a little differently.  Since the Bosch has a full body tub that goes to the floor there is no space under the unit.  If you have plumbing either low on the wall or coming up from the bottom, then the Bosch will not work for you situation.  The full body tub is there as a water leak security system.  If water leaks into the body and fills to a certain level, then the drain automatically opens and drains out, so you don’t have overflow leaks.

The actual drying system for the KitchenAid dishwasher is one that almost everyone has used before.  It is the standard exposed heating element in the body of the dishwasher itself.   With the exposed heating element, the dishwasher basically goes into a bake dry mode that blasts your dishes with heat from that element.  This does offer a great amount of drying power, but it does restrict how you load the dishwasher.  You are not able to place any plastic dishes or containers on the bottom rack, the amount of heat the element gives off will warp or ruin them.  In some of the higher end models that KitchenAid offers they do have a secondary fan that moves the hot air produced by the element around making your dishwasher work like a convection oven.  This provides a great drying experience and only leaves some water on the bottoms of coffee cups.

The Bosch dishwasher does things a little bit differently.  They have three different drying styles, the first is the basic condensation dry style, which they refer to as “PureDry”.  This version uses the ambient heat in the body of the dishwasher leftover from the heating of the water washing the dishes to dry them.  As the interior of the dishwasher cools down the stainless-steel walls cool first and then draw the leftover water on the dishes to the walls and down the drain.  This provides a good drying experience but you may still have some leftover water in the bottoms of coffee cups and Tupperware lids.  See the following video for what “PureDry” is.

The second dry system, “AutoAir”, uses the same condensation dry mentioned before but adds an extra step at the end. The machine automatically releases the door at the end of the cycle to let moisture escape and fresh air in for dryer dishes.  The next video will tell you about “AutoAir”.

The last version, “CrystalDry”, is the most efficient version of the Bosch drying systems.  The “CrystalDry” system has an intake air valve that directs moist air from the dishwasher into the bottom of the unit.  Then a fan directs the air into the “CrystalDry” chamber.  The chamber contains natural minerals that transform moist air into heat up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity is absorbed and the heat is released and pushed back into the dishwasher to dry dishes. Once that is finished there is a small heating element that recharges the mineral between cycles so it is ready for the next one. This video will explain “Crystal Dry”.

While both brands of these dishwashers are effective at drying dishes, there are other elements that come into play. The main factor people ask me about is noise. Dishwashers have come a long way in terms of loudness while running their cycles, and KitchenAid and Bosch are no exception.

People always ask “How quiet are they, really?” Pretty darn quiet! So, let’s look at the scale below to get a handle on decibel levels and how loud your dishwasher may sound.

I, personally, had a roll-away dishwasher in the past, that I would swear clocked in between industrial noise and pneumatic drill. For this example, lets just look at the louder Bosch dishwashers which test at 50 dB(A). That falls at about the average ambient noise of a wind turbine. That is pretty darn quiet. If you opt for one of the Bosch 800 series dishwashers, which clock in at 38dB(A), or the quietest KitchenAid at 39dB(A), that is about the sound of your bedroom. When installed correctly, you will not even hear your dishwasher run at that level!

Now, let’s take a look at the latest J.D. Power report so we can talk a little about reliability and overall satisfaction. It appears that KitchenAid ekes out a nose ahead of Bosch overall and these ratings that push it ahead are the ones that matter like Overall Satisfaction and price. Regarding reliability, they really are on par with each other.

What it finally comes down to is styling. This is what does it for me, personally. KitchenAid is styled very traditionally, with larger bar handles while Bosch machines with bar handles are a bit more refined.

You can see this refined style as well when comparing the recessed handle models side by side.

Included in each product’s design are interior features aimed at improving loading, optimizing cleaning, and increasing storage.  Some of these features include an adjustable third rack system, special drying cycles and stainless steel tubs.

Really, either of these brands of dishwashers will be a great choice, given that their performance, reliability and loudness are really on par with each other. For me, Bosch, while a little more expensive, offers different drying styles than KitchenAid, without having an exposed heating element. I also like the more unobtrusive styling of the Bosch. The choice in the end is up to you.  Our appliance experts at Metropolitan Appliance would be happy to host you in our showroom to go over the different models in each brand to find you the perfect dishwasher for your own requirements.

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