A dishwasher is a terrific utility to have, but most dishwasher types are bulky, and they take up precious space in the kitchen. Not every home has sufficient floor space to slide a dishwasher into a predetermined slot within the fitted kitchen cabinets.
If you’re looking to find a dishwasher suitable for the smallest of kitchen spaces, or perhaps even a caravan, then a table top dishwasher could be the perfect choice. It requires considerably less water or power to operate and can either sit on the kitchen countertop or fit into cupboard spacing, in much the same way as a microwave does.
In this post, we will guide you through the available dishwasher types that may be suitable for a small kitchen or caravan and suggest the best options for you.
Table of Contents
Available Dishwasher Types for Small Kitchen Spaces
For kitchens with less space, the main choices are:
- Table Top Dishwashers
- Integrated Slimline Dishwashers
- Freestanding Slimline Dishwashers
Typical Sizes Of Smaller Dishwashers
The typical size of a slimline dishwasher is different to a full-size one. As the name suggests, it’s necessarily slimmer to better fit into a slot within the kitchen cabinetry or in another accessible part of the kitchen.
An integrated or freestanding slimline dishwasher usually measures roughly 46 x 50 x 85 cm.
With a table top dishwasher, these are usually about half as deep, perhaps slightly taller but wider than slimline models. Their dimensions are usually around 50 x 54 x 44 cm.
Plumbing in the Dishwasher
The plumbing is more intensive with the integrated slimline model when compared to the freestanding one. A plumber will be required to get a slimline dishwasher working though.
A table top model just needs a water line coming in and can feed wastewater out to the sink during use. It’s much quicker to set up within just a few minutes.
Dishwasher Features and Capacity
The majority of slimline models (freestanding or integrated) offers most, if not all, the major features of a full-sized model. Little compromising is required – mostly you have a little less space and may need to run two cycles instead of one for huge family gatherings. The number of features possible with a table top version is considerably less due to the limited opportunity to build them into the equipment.
For a table top dishwasher, a model might hold 6 place settings whereas a slimline model (freestanding or integrated) usually can hold 9 settings. There will be items for cleaning that simply may not fit inside a table dishwasher and must be washed by hand; with a slimline dishwasher of either type, that’s rarely the case.
Portability, Such as Using it in a Caravans or Motorhome
Only a freestanding slimline dishwasher or a table top dishwasher could fit into a caravan. However, only the larger caravans would have kitchens large enough to accommodate a slimline model. The power requirements are substantial with a slimline dishwasher which is worth bearing in mind other than when you’re plugged into shore power and a water source at a caravan site.
When it comes to portability, the freestanding slimline dishwashers are moveable. However, such is the limited floor plan in a caravan that one has to be realistic about that. It also must be secured against a wall to prevent it from moving around when driving too.
A table top dishwasher is perfectly designed for a caravan. It requires considerably less water or power to operate. It will also fit onto any countertop in much the same way as a microwave does. It’s the ultimate in portable too, so it can be moved elsewhere when spring cleaning the kitchen.
Table Top Dishwashers
Table top dishwashers are a perfect solution for people who are renters and cannot get permission to install a slimline dishwasher, have a smaller kitchen, or are looking for something portable.
When there’s insufficient space between the floor level cabinet units to slide in a slimline dishwasher and position a freestanding one to the side, then a table dishwasher on the countertop is ideal.
The Klarstein Amazonia 6 is an impressive table top dishwasher that delivers much in a smaller package. It has 7 wash programs to give renters or homeowners many options of different ways to clean the plates, dishes, cutlery and assorted utensils to wash up. There’s a six-place setting capacity in all.
Along with the A+ energy rating for energy-conscious buyers, there’s an Eco mode to do more with less and at the other end, an Intensive mode for heavily soiled plates and dishes too. It’s also quiet at 49Db so it won’t wake the neighbours in the flat next door either.
Models are available in black and white colours too.
The Amazonia 6 does permit a full install if that’s desired too (fitting is explained) but it’s not necessary. Aqua stop is included and a cutlery basket to keep things organised too.
Product manuals:Check Price On Amazon
Table Top Dishwasher FAQs
Do table top dishwashers need to be fitted using a plumber?
It depends on the model, but in most cases, it’s not required. Some models like our top pick, the Klarstein Amazonia 6, does have this option but explains how to do so.You can read more about plumbing in a table top dishwasher here.
Is a table top dishwasher the best option for a caravan?
In most cases, it is. Sometimes, a freestanding slimline model might just fit into a larger caravan.
Can I wash up everything with a table top dishwasher?
It’s true that they have a smaller capacity. Also, larger items might not fit inside and need to be washed by hand. It’s a trade-off between compactness, flexible location and affordability.
What’s the best small dishwasher model for a caravan?
You cannot go wrong with the Klarstein Amazonia 6 which ticks a lot of boxes.
I’m a renter – is a table top dishwasher the best option?
Because you will want to take it with you when moving, it’s far more convenient than the slimline or even, full-sized dishwashers. Come moving day, you’ll be grateful that you selected something smaller and easier to handle.
Integrated Vs Freestanding Slimline Dishwasher?
An integrated slimline dishwasher is suitable for a pre-designed space left for a dishwasher. It can fit perfectly into the free space and look immediately at one with its surroundings. The integrated type should be thought of as fitting because it’s not very manoeuvrable and won’t suit being placed elsewhere within the kitchen because it’s bare on the sides. It will also need water and other lines arranged with a plumber required to complete the installation.
A freestanding slimline dishwasher is more manoeuvrable, still stands at floor level but does provide the option to place it in different positions over time. This is because it has side panels on it, so it won’t look out of place anywhere within the kitchen. It still needs plumbing to get it working with the water supply and existing systems in the kitchen.
Integrated Slimline Dishwashers
The integrated slimline dishwasher has a significantly narrower profile than a full-sized dishwasher. However, what it lacks in size it makes up for in features. With scores of place settings and multiple tray levels, there’s excellent capacity too. It also gets wired into the kitchen to fit flush with the existing cupboards at waist level and below.
The Bosch Serie 2 is an integrated slimline dishwasher that gets our vote.
It operates quietly at just 48 dB, so it will barely be noticed when running a cycle.
The two pull-out trays store 9 place settings are more than enough for most families. The top tray can also be adjusted for height, so taller dishes can still fit below when making the right adjustment. Conveniently, there’s also a built-in child lock system to prevent children from reaching up and pulling the door open while a cycle is in mid-flow. For drinking glasses and other delicate items, there’s the Aquamix protection system for them too.
There are also various wash modes including energy-efficient ones that can determine the total load and modifies the water and energy expended. The detergent detector is useful to avoid running a cycle and forgetting to add any suds! The Aqua stop – is a lifetime warranty protects against any water damage caused by the machine too.
Product manuals:Check Price On Amazon
Integrated Slimline Dishwasher FAQs
Are slimline dishwashers more energy efficient than other appliances?
Many have A+ energy ratings. Features like load sensing and modification to energy and water usage help to make them more eco-friendly.
Do dishwashers offer child protection features?
The better models prevent the door from being opened mid-cycle by a mischievous member of the household which avoids a watery mess on the floor!
What’s a feature to look out for with slimline models?
We like the detergent detection feature because it saves you time and money running a cycle that fails to clean properly.
Are the shelves adjustable for height?
Some slimline models offer this feature to support larger plates.
Is a slimline integrated dishwasher better than a freestanding one?
They look more in keeping with the overall aesthetic of the kitchen once fitted and you don’t need to find a separate space for them. Also, they don’t have side panels, so they should only be used in between existing cabinets.
Freestanding Slimline Dishwashers
A freestanding slimline dishwasher is designed to fit into different sized kitchens but offers greater flexibility than an integrated one. It can be positioned to the side of the kitchen cupboards and so is a great solution when there isn’t a dedicated place to fit it between existing cabinets.
The Bosch Serie 2 an extremely capable dishwasher with a slimmer profile, so it will fit into smaller spaces pretty well.
The model supports 9 place settings to handle expansive families with ease. There are trays to support plates, bowls cutlery and glass wear without a problem. There’s also a spray head attachment for stubborn oven trays with stuck-on bits.
The 29-minute quick wash cycle means not having to wait around for too long. To avoid pulling out plates that are still wet, their ExtraDry option is great. An ActiveWater feature lets the Serie 2 use water frugally to reduce total water usage. The EcoSilence mode comes with this model to reduce noise levels during a cycle.
Also, the A+ rating ensures that adding a dishwasher to your kitchen won’t boost your energy bill alarmingly either.
Product manuals:Check Price On Amazon
Freestanding Slimline Dishwasher FAQs
Are freestanding slimline dishwashers better than integrated ones?
That really depends on whether you have a dedicated space in your kitchen or not. Freestanding units having side panels offer greater flexibility about where they can be positioned.
Do they have far fewer features compared to a full-size dishwasher?
Not at all. Slimline models offer almost all, if not all, the same features.
Is a freestanding slimline dishwasher going to be good for a renter?
It will be larger to remove and relocate to your new home. A table top dishwasher might be a better option for you.
How’s the energy rating?
The energy rating is A+. Most dishwashers that have an A+ rating don’t cost more than £40-50 per year to run. There are different modes to reduce costs further too.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Which dishwasher is best?
For renters, overwhelmingly a table top dishwasher is the best type to get. For homeowners who have a dedicated place in their kitchen for an integrated dishwasher, then go with that. Alternatively, when a slimline dishwasher needs to go off to the side of other cabinets to make space for it, then a freestanding slimline dishwasher is a great choice because it has side panels (integrated dishwashers are bare on the sides).
Should caravan owners only purchase a table top dishwasher?
On some occasions, a freestanding slimline dishwasher might fit into a caravan. However, perhaps that space is better utilised with a washer/dryer instead?
Can you put a table top dishwasher in a cupboard?
It’s not the best place to situate this kind of dishwasher as it still has water hoses that it must have access to.
Do you lose features by choosing a slimline dishwasher over a full-sized dishwasher?
Fortunately, the answer is no. The majority of the features that buyers want to have been included in slimline models. There are just fewer place settings available.
Is it possible to have a dishwasher with no plumbing?
Usually, only the table top dishwasher doesn’t necessarily require plumbing to fit them. For more information on plumbing this type of dishwasher, see this guide.
How to fit a dishwasher in a small kitchen?
Measure the space you have under the counter-top where you plan to have it fitted. Ensure you have access to the water supply from there.If there’s too little space between existing cupboards, see if there’s space elsewhere in the kitchen where a freestanding unit can be situated.
When there’s no space for either option, then a table top dishwasher that sits on the counter-top is the next best choice.
Founder of homeappliancegeek.com, avid cook, and lover of Asian food.
Signature dishes include Thai Red Curry, Chicken Saag, Bibimbap and Sushi.
Massive clean freak; a habit baked-in after spending 9 years in the catering industry.
The one appliance he couldn’t live without? Easily the dishwasher (total relationship saver!).