If you want exceptional quietness but find the Bosch SHX98M09UC too pricey, the Kenmore 12783 is worth a look. Just a hair less quiet than the SHX98M09UC, it costs about $300 less. This model and the Kenmore brand are highly regarded in professional reviews, but because it's so new, we found only a few owner reviews of the 12783. Cautious types may want to wait for more comments before making the investment.
Highly effective at cleaning. While the Kenmore 12783 is too new to garner many user reviews, the few we did find, along with analyses by professional reviewers, indicate this model cleans exceedingly well. On the plus side, the J.D. Power and Associates annual consumer survey of kitchen appliances finds that overall, the Kenmore Elite brand of dishwashers ranks highest in customer satisfaction. The only area where owners indicate the Kenmore 12783 performs less than perfectly is when it comes to drying -- but that is true of many dishwashers we've reviewed. Of the users who post comments about the 12783, one says that dishes "sparkle" when they come out of the dishwasher. There is, however, one report of a mechanical breakdown three years after purchase.
Easy to load with a roomy top rack. The Kenmore brand, as well as the 12783 model, gets good reviews for convenience and ease of use in the professional and owner reviews we found. The machine's adjustable tines and roomy top rack are considered strong features, with one owner noting that an entire slow cooker can fit into the top shelf, and the machine still closes easily -- exceeding expectations. The delay-start feature adds convenience, and the silverware space is generous, reviewers say. On the downside, one reviewer registers disappointment that the filter must be cleaned manually. While the 12783 is new and thus has garnered few owner reviews, it's worth noting that the Kenmore Elite brand in general earns the highest marks in J.D. Power and Associates' annual survey of kitchen appliance brands.
Near-silent operation. Like our top-rated quiet dishwasher, the Bosch SHX98M09UC, the Kenmore 12783 stands out as a remarkably quiet machine. While it currently has relatively few user reviews, both owners and professionals agree that quietness is among its best attributes. One owner comments that it's hard to tell that the machine is even on, noting, "We have an open area kitchen/family room and our old dishwasher would drive us out ... forget about watching TV." The owner adds that the 12783 provides "peace and quiet!" Another reviewer is pleased with having "paid a little extra" for the 12783 in order to enjoy its low sound level. In J.D. Power and Associates' most recent consumer survey of kitchen appliance brands, Kenmore Elite as a whole gets a rating of "Among the Best" in the performance and reliability category, which includes consideration for noise level.
Pricey, but energy savings and rebates may be an offset. At an estimated $1,200, the Kenmore 12783 is an expensive machine, especially when our favorite dishwasher is nearly half the price. Still, reviewers say this model's energy efficiency is extremely high, which may mean saving money on water and energy over time. In addition, the model has an Energy Star rating, which can result in rebates from local utilities that offer such programs. Possibly because the model is new, there are just a handful of user reviews, so it's hard to get a sense of the machine's long-term durability. The 12783 carries a one-year warranty on parts and labor. While we found no owner comments specifically related to this warranty, the J.D. Power and Associates consumer survey of kitchen appliance brands rates Kenmore-brand warranties as "Better than Most" -- the second highest of four possible ratings.
ConsumerReports.org evaluates 214 dishwasher models, with extensive analyses of their cleaning ability, energy efficiency, noise level, ease of use and cycle time. Tests are conducted using dishes soiled with egg yolk, jam, peanut butter and other foods. Noise is evaluated on the basis of both listener judgments and sound measurements. The Kenmore 12783 is one of the tested models.
Review: Recommended Dishwashers, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2013
2. J.D. Power & Associates
In its most recent survey of kitchen appliance brands, J.D. Power and Associates polls consumers regarding six issues related to dishwashers: ease of use, performance and reliability, styling and appearance, features, price and warranty. More than 4,000 responses are tallied. Kenmore Elite earns the award of "highest overall satisfaction." The survey does not ask consumers to rank or review individual dishwasher models.
Review: 2013 Kitchen Appliance Satisfaction Study: Dishwasher, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, July 17, 2013
The Kenmore 12783 garners only about a handful of reviews at Sears.com -- far fewer than the 100 or more posted for many other dishwasher models on this website. This may be because it's a newer model, according to the description on Kenmore's website. Nevertheless, the owners providing feedback are extremely positive. The machine's quietness is noted in comments; on the "con" side, one reviewer complains about the "garish green" light that signals the end of the cycle.
Review: Kenmore Elite 24'' Built-In Dishwasher - Stainless Steel Energy Star(R), Contributors to Sears.com, As of July 2013