Pros and Cons for a Drawer Dishwasher

Ann Frederick

While standard dishwashers have a door that drops down for loading access, "drawer dishwashers" live up to their name by pulling horizontally out of the cabinetry to open. You can buy single- or double-drawer models. There are benefits and drawbacks to choosing a drawer dishwasher.


Double-drawer dishwashers allow you to run different loads at different times, so you don't have to wait until you have a sink full of dirty dishes to start cleaning. Another pro is that they allow you to run loads at different settings, so you could do a quick wash on lightly soiled items while running a longer cycle on extra-crusty dishes.


When the unit is installed at a suitable height, you don't have to bend over to load a drawer dishwasher. The hidden controls offer another pro by providing a more sleek look for your kitchen, though some higher-end traditional dishwashers offer this feature as well. Due to its size, a single drawer dishwasher can fit in a space where a full-size, built-in model wouldn't.


The list of cons for drawer dishwashers begins with the pricing. While prices for built-in dishwashers started as low as $295 at the time of publication, a single-drawer dishwasher started at $556. Double-drawer units ranged from $1,000 to $1,750.


"Consumer Reports" includes repair issues on its list of cons for drawer dishwashers. The publication notes that it found significant problems in three versions of one model it analyzed. "What's more, models from Fisher & Paykel, which introduced these products to the U.S. market, have been repair-prone," the magazine says in its online dishwasher guide.

Energy Use

You might consider it either a pro or a con, but a drawer dishwasher's energy use is similar to that of a built-in model. For example, a Maytag two-drawer dishwasher uses 339 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, costing an estimated $37 to run with an electric water heater. A Maytag built-in model costs $32 to operate with an electric water heater and uses 302 kwh per year.