Spray jets inside a KitchenAid dishwasher in operation.

Dishwasher dBA Explained

When shopping for a new dishwasher, you may want to consider how much noise it will make when operating.

This is especially important for people living in an open floor plan or smaller spaces.

This article will help you learn more about dishwasher sound so you can make an informed purchase. It will do this by introducing you to decibel levels (dBA), what a normal range of dishwasher dBA is, how to buy a quiet dishwasher and much more.

What is Dishwasher dBA?

Like other major appliances, dishwasher noise is calculated in dBA, which means “A-weighted decibels”. It measures how loud certain noises will sound to the human ear.

Understanding dishwasher dBA is important when shopping for a dishwasher, and it comes down to one basic principle: the higher the dBA level of a dishwasher, the noisier it will be.

A KitchenAid dishwasher situated between grey cabinets and drawers. On the counter are a cutting board with carrots and beets, a bowl of salad and various cutting boards and containers. A KitchenAid dishwasher situated between grey cabinets and drawers. On the counter are a cutting board with carrots and beets, a bowl of salad and various cutting boards and containers.

Naturally, sound is subjective and what is preferred or tolerable can vary per person. What’s important for consumers to understand is that a sound level increase of only 5 dBA can produce a change that is considered to be identifiable for most listeners1. So, when shopping for a dishwasher, remember that it only takes a slight increase in decibels to make a difference2.

1 https://www.abdengineering.com/blog/perception-vs-reality/#:~:text=In%20fact%2C%20you%20have%20to,a%20far%20cry%20from%203dB
2 https://learn.compactappliance.com/dishwasher-decibel-ratings/

What Is the Decibel Level of a Quiet Dishwasher?

A popular question among those shopping for a dishwasher is if a 50 dBA dishwasher is quiet enough?

Any dishwasher with a decibel level of 44 dBA or lower is usually considered to be quiet.

For most, a rating of 40 dBA and below is considered to be virtually silent no matter the wash cycle setting.

As mentioned, sound is very subjective so choosing the right dishwasher dBA for your home is based on personal preferences.

Purchasing a Quiet Dishwasher

Due to improvements made in sound insulation and the advent of certain innovations, most notably, quieter motors, many new dishwashers have achieved lower dBA levels.

Concerning reducing the noise output in dishwashers, several factors play a key role. Some of these contributing factors include:

The quality of materials can make a pronounced difference to the noise a dishwasher will make3. Additionally, the thickness of the insulation will affect the decibel rating4.

A dishwasher with a stainless steel tub is designed to produce less noise than those with a plastic tub. Additionally, sound dampening on the outside of the tub can help lower the amount of sound produced. All KitchenAid® dishwashers are made with a stainless steel tub with exceptional sound dampening. They are also able to resist streaks, stains and odours while retaining heat, allowing owners to enjoy improved drying performance.

Dishwashers with food disposals can make more noise than dishwashers without one. Many models now feature a food trap system that enables the dishwasher to operate more quietly. As a bonus, it is also easy to clean.

3 https://learn.compactappliance.com/dishwasher-decibel-ratings/
4 https://learn.compactappliance.com/dishwasher-decibel-ratings/


Many KitchenAid dishwashers offer Advanced Clean Water Wash which provides many benefits but can push dBAs over 40. This feature uses microfiltration to continuously remove food particles during the wash and rinse cycles and circulates clean water to dishes in all three racks. This allows dirty cookware and delicate glassware to be washed together in the same load.

Water movement is one factor that can impact the noise a dishwasher may produce. This noise is the result of water being pumped into the dishwasher, then cycled through before being pumped out again.

Spray jets inside a KitchenAid dishwasher in operation. Spray jets inside a KitchenAid dishwasher in operation.

You can install sound-deadening material, which works as insulation, on older dishwashers or models that may be too loud. Always consult your use and care guide or the manufacturer for recommendations beforehand.


The largest third rack available1 has a deep, angled design that can fit 6" glasses, mugs and bowls.

Learn More

Shopping for a new dishwasher for your kitchen?

Use our buying guide to learn about other key considerations you should make in addition to the noise level.

Explore the styles, features and interiors of KitchenAid® dishwashers here.

Learn more about KitchenAid® dishwashers here.