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Built-in vs. Portable Dishwashers

When you've just finished enjoying a delicious meal with the people who matter most, the last thing you want to do is wash the dishes. The dishwasher is a favorite kitchen appliance because you can easily load dirty tableware in your dishwasher, and after the touch of a button, continue enjoying your guests' company instead of hand washing every dish. If you're looking for a new dishwasher, you'll need to decide whether you want a built-in or portable model. Today’s portable dishwasher models have many of the same bells and whistles that built-in models do, but there are still some obvious advantages and limitations to both options.

Built-in Dishwashers Portable Dishwashers


Save floor space by fitting permanently into your cabinetryTakes up space but can be easily moved out of the way or into another room


Permanent kitchen fixtureFree-standing and equipped with wheels for easy mobility


Needs to be connected to home plumbingConnects directly to your faucet for a shared water line



Built-In Dishwashers

Advantages of built-in dishwashers

  • Convenient Operation - You don't have to move these models around before and after use because they're permanently installed under your counter.
  • More Multitasking - Built-in models have an independent water line, so you'll still be able to use the sink when the dishwasher is in use.

Limitations of built-in dishwashers

  • Initial Setup - Because they need to be connected to your home plumbing to run automatically without needing to be plugged in, the initial installation is more complicated.

Portable Dishwashers

Advantages of portable dishwashers

  • Ease of Use - Free-standing units with wheels can be easily moved around your kitchen and stowed away when it's not in use.
  • Lower Price - It's not a permanent fixture, so you can find a great quality portable dishwasher at a lower price.
  • Transferrable - If you're a renter or someone who moves frequently, these units are easy to take with you.

Limitations of portable dishwashers

  • Limited Sink Access - They work only when connected directly to the sink faucet, so you won’t be able to utilize your sink while the dishwasher is running.