3 Best Countertop Dishwasher for Small Apartments, RVs, Boats

Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by

For your small household, boat, RV/camper, or dorm, you need the best countertop dishwasher. And this review article recommends some compact countertops that blew us away and would do the same to your kitchen.

The best countertop dishwasher has to be lightweight and compact enough for a small apartment, RV/camper, boat, and dorm. Regarding functionality, look for the wash cycles, place settings, dish drying features, LED control, and energy/water efficiency. It should also feature child lock safety.

Before you discover our reviewed countertops, take a moment to know what a typical countertop dishwasher can do.

Are countertop dishwashers efficient?

Speaking of efficiency, countertop dishwashers are more efficient compared to most full-sized (portable and built-in) dishwashers. They are, of course, also economical, specifically due to their compactness.

Compact countertop dishwashers typically hold 4-6 place settings, which consume 3 gallons of water, about 11 liters.

Handwashing, CNET confirms, uses up to 27 gallons of water. So, your compact countertop dishwasher takes up less water than you would hand-wash.

Speaking of electrical energy, a countertop dishwasher runs on about half the amount of electricity used by full-sized units (typically below half of 1800 watts of electricity per load).

Do countertop dishwashers heat the water?

Some countertop dishwashers do heat water. If your tabletop compact dishwasher uses a small built-in tank, it is most likely facilitated to heat the water internally.

Other countertop dishwashers rely on an external hot water source, including your kitchen faucet. Such countertops do not feature a water heater for heating.

And if yours has a reservoir, you only have to add water to it, getting rid of the need for a running water source. The reservoir may be able to hold 1-3 gallons of water it heats for wash cycles.

Best countertop dishwasher

Here, we have a great compilation of the best countertop dishwasher for households, specifically small-sized homes.

The selections are made based on affordability and reliability.

HOmeLabs HME010033N Compact Countertop Dishwasher – Energy Star Portable Mini Dish Washer in Stainless Steel Interior for Small Apartment Office and Home Kitchen

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HOmeLabs HME010033N is an Energy Star certified and convenient and small dishwasher for dish tasks. It is a great piece of space-saving.


HME010033N features a control panel and light indicators for seamless convenience.

Wash cycles

Like any best countertop dishwasher compact enough for your space, it uses up to 6 wash cycle options, including normal, heavy, eco, rinse and speed. Each of these cycles runs on different intensities to give the best result.

Quicker installation

HOmeLabs made sure installing this machine is simpler for your DIY. It arrives with a quick connect assembly and installation accessories, including a faucet adapter, inlet, drain hose, and male or female threads underneath.

Rinse aid dispenser

The rinse aid dispenser helps you to dry the glassware, mugs, and plates spotlessly. The indicator light helps you to tell when the dispenser needs to be refilled.


For its compact size, this machine measures 17.2 x 19.6 x 21.6 inches. It features 6 place settings for any kitchen with limited space. Your dorm, RV/camper, and boat will easily accommodate this dishwasher.

Our first impression:


At 44 pounds, this machine is not so heavy after all. However, it is not the lightest out there. Its weight sits comfortably on tabletops.

Delay start

We could use the delay start feature to schedule the wash cycle. This feature is smartly designed for convenience.


The material used is stainless steel and not plastic. Being plastic does not make it a bad choice in any way.

Permanent installation

You can plumb this small dishwasher for permanent installation even though it is not designed for it.

Fits pots and pans

You would think your pots and pans are still up for handwashing but this machine can do the job. When buying pots and pans, consider the ones the last the longest.

What we do not like:

No food grinder

Sadly, you only get a filter, no food grinder. This filter can also be easily cleaned.

No sanitize setting for baby bottles

You do not get the sanitize option, which is traditionally designed for baby bottles.


This dishwasher is supposed to dry but it does not do a great job of drying. Instead, we open the door and pull the rack for dishes to air dry. It does not use automatic air dry like other dishwashers.

The quick mode

The speed mode almost does nothing as it implies. Nonetheless, the regular wash makes up for it but takes longer to wash. It sometimes takes longer if you use the dryer option.

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Danby DDW621WDB Countertop Dishwasher with 6 Place Settings, 6 Wash Cycles, and Silverware Basket, Energy Star-Rated

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We also picked Danby DDW621WDB. It is a great dishwashing piece for space-saving.

Easy setup

It took a shorter time than other dishwashers in this compilation to set this up with the kitchen faucets.

Energy efficiency

This is an Energy Star compliant machine. It runs off 680 Watts and amperage of 5.7. It uses only 3.1 gallons of water per wash.


Features 6 place setting capacity and a silverware basket. The interior is stainless steel and not plastic.


It runs at a 52db noise level, below normal human conversation but not the quietest compact countertop dishwasher.

Male your dishwasher evem quieter with these steps.

Wash cycles

Up to 6 convenient wash cycles, including intensive, economy, glass, normal, rapid, and soak

Our first positive impressions:

Delay start

We were able to use the delay start to schedule washing by 2, 4, 6, and 8 hours.


This machine uses durable steel.

Installation components

Arrived with the drain hose, inlet hose, and quick connect faucet adapter, saving up time to visit the hardware store.

Wash baby bottles

This tabletop dishwasher model washes baby bottles well enough.


Not the lightest model but weighs only 46.30 pounds.

Permanent installation

We permanently installed this dishwasher even though Danby advises against it. We hooked it up to a water line but Danby says the waterline pressure “may” cause issues to the water inlet valves.

What we don’t like:

No use of extension cord

Danby is also against using an extension cord with this model.

Drying dishes

This dishwasher does not completely dry your dishes. You could simply open it to naturally air dry.

No rubber feet

This compact tabletop countertop dishwasher has no feet.

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Farberware FDW05ASBWHA Complete Portable Countertop Dishwasher with 5-Liter Built-in Water Tank, 5 Programs, Baby Care, Glass & Fruit Wash-Black/White

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Farberware FDW05ASBWHA is our third selection, the last impressive countertop dishwashing machine we experienced.


It is a perfect fit for any small apartment, dorm, RV/camper, and boat. This is a 24-inch dishwasher, so you can tell it fits everywhere.

Water tank

It comes with a built-in water tank, so you do not have to hook it to a water source. However, it comes with a water hose for a direct water hookup to the kitchen faucet. There is no adapter in the package.

Wash programs

Up to 5 washing programs, including normal, rapid, baby care, glass, and fruit wash. The lower and upper spray arms are also designed to deep-clean your dishes.


It uses a unique air refresh function that works in any washing program for enhanced drying.


The LED digital controls offer picture-view clarity that shows when the correct water level is reached.

What we like about Farberware FDW05ASBWHA:

Item weight

Weighs only ‎45.5 pounds.


This tabletop dishwasher features a built-in water tank and can heat the water itself.

What we don’t:


The dishes come out wet or beaded with water. Farberware FDW05ASBWHA needs some work on the drying.


There is no at the back of this dishwasher to attach drain hose/sink hookup. Instead, we used the drain hose to connect to the kitchen sink.

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What to look for when buying a countertop dishwasher

One countertop will not give you all the desired features. However, when buying a countertop dishwasher, look for the following to ensure that you are buying the very best:

  1. Wash cycles

Buy a countertop dishwasher with 5-7 wash cycles or programs. The wash cycles may include normal, speed, baby care, eco, fruit (if you are a fruitarian), rapid, or any other unique program.

  1. LED display

You need a digital dishwasher you can easily navigate using electronic touch controls. You should be able to see the remaining cycle time and delay start time on the display.

  1. Installation

Decide if you want to permanently install or be moving your dishwasher about. If you would be moving it about, you need a countertop dishwasher with a quick-to-connect assembly.

  1. Water heater

Some countertop dishwashers arrive with water heaters of varying power. Dishwashers with water heaters also usually have 2 or more settings for the heater.

You would also get a water tank or reservoir, so you do not have to get water from your faucet.

  1. Efficiency

Check the water and energy efficiency of the countertop dishwasher. Most importantly, it must be Energy Star rated or in compliance with any other reliable metric.

The water consumption should not exceed 3 gallons per load. Some compact countertop dishwashers even use less water per load, like 2 gallons.

  1. Child lock

If you have children around, the child lock will be important to lock the buttons on the control panel to keep children from accidentally starting the countertop compact dishwasher.

  1. Capacity

Look for a countertop dishwasher that offers up to 5-7 place settings. It should be space-generous for your mugs, bottles, plates, bowls, glasses, pots, and pans.

Can a countertop dishwasher be built in?

EdgeStar thinks, “a countertop dishwasher is not designed or intended to be built in under a counter or inside of a cabinet.” Although this is true, you can install your countertop dishwasher permanently.

Most manufacturers will advise against permanent installation but we permanently installed two of the countertops from our compilation.

A manufacturer like Danby uses the word ‘may’ to say permanent installation may damage the water inlet valves.

How do I install a countertop dishwasher permanently?

Installing your countertop dishwasher permanently is easy. Do the following:

  1. Find a position near a faucet and sink

You need a place for the inlet hose to be connected to the water source. It should also reach the drainage system to get rid of dirty water.

  1. Connect the inlet and outlet hose pipes

The back of your countertop dishwasher should have two threads you use to connect hose pipes. The inlet hose is smaller in size, which connects your countertop to the water source.

The outlet hose is the larger thread, which passes waste from the dishwasher.

To install both pipes, line up both intake threads. Connect the threads and hook up in a clockwise motion using your hand.

Connect the outlet thread following the same procedure, and attach both threads firmly. Put the end of the outlet hose in a drainage source like your sink.

Make sure to place the outlet pipe on the surface. Hanging it up will make the dirty water run backward, which can damage the countertop dishwasher.

You can install a manual thread at the back of the water source for connecting the inlet pipe with a water source. Alternatively, you could use an extra thread to connect the source of water with an inlet hose.

  1. Complete the installation

After connecting the hose, filling the cleaner boxes, and placing your dishes on the rack, inspect your completed installations.

Perform a test wash to confirm if you got the installations right. Plug the countertop dishwasher directly into an electricity source.

Turn the countertop dishwasher on. If it uses LED, you should get the LED light indicating the compact dishwasher is running.

  1. Select a wash program

Finally, pick a wash program by selecting the appropriate program button. You would typically find different washing modes in the dishwasher you can select from.

Run a mode that is applicable to your dishes, or that will save time. For instance, if you have fruits to wash, you would select the fruit mode if your dishwasher has the feature. But if you want to speedily do your dishes, you select the speed mode.

Check and ensure that the inlet is receiving enough liquid supply from the connected water source before you start cleaning.

Read also: Electric kettles known for faster boiling

Always scrape food off the dishes before loading them into the dishwasher. Do not pre-rinse, it increases water consumption.