If you've ever washed up the dishes by hand after a large dinner party, you can appreciate how much work a dishwasher does within a relatively small space. If you're uncertain exactly how large a standard dishwasher is, the exact dimensions will depend upon the dishwasher type. In addition to the most common built-in dishwasher, there are a few other models, such as compact dishwashers designed to spare tired hands in kitchens of any size.
Built-in Standard Dishwashers
More likely than not, your dishwasher is a "built-in standard." It fits within an under-counter nook in your kitchen and measures between 24 and 30 inches wide, 25 inches deep and 34 inches high. This standard size dishwasher comes with standard features, such as a drop-down door operated by a hinge near the floor. Its front may be stainless steel or it may have a leaf of your cabinetry attached to the front to better blend in with the rest of the kitchen. In general, these standard dishwashers require around 2.4 gallons of water per load. If you're looking to install a dishwasher permanently in one home, and you regularly wash large loads of dishes, the built-in standard is most likely the most suitable machine for your needs. Only standard-size dishwashers are eligible for the Energy Star rating, demonstrating high energy efficiency.
If you'd like to approximate the functioning of a full dishwasher but you have limited space, your best option is a compact dishwasher. These machines are ideally suited to small apartments or homes or even RVs. They measure 18 inches wide, taking up between two-thirds to half as much space as a full-size standard dishwasher. The typical depth is 22 1/2 inches and height is 32 1/2 inches. Despite the smaller size, compact dishwashers operate in roughly the same manner as full-size machines, simply holding slightly fewer dishes. A normal load corresponds to around eight place settings.
For a truly compact dishwasher, you can purchase an "in-sink dishwasher," which literally fits inside your kitchen sink. These dishwashers' extremely small size makes them ideal for very small kitchens without any extra cabinet space. The in-sink dishwasher measures 34 1/2 inches wide, 22 inches deep and 21 inches high. Its small size accommodates very small loads, but it operates relatively quickly.
For renters or anyone planning to move soon, a portable dishwasher handles a relatively large load of dishes but can be moved relatively easily. Designs vary, with some models made to sit on the countertop, hooking up to a sink faucet. The model also works well for kitchens with little cabinet space but extra countertop space. Measurements vary somewhat, though width is around 24 inches, depth 28 inches and height 36 inches.