Whirlpool dishwasher loaded with items

A Guide to Dishwasher Size and Capacity

Choosing the Right Dishwasher Size and Capacity

The best size dishwasher for you will require precise measurements, decoding capacities, and choosing the features you'll most appreciate. With the help of this guide, you can find a dishwasher that suits both your kitchen and your family's needs.

How Big Should My Dishwasher Be?

The dimensions of most home dishwashers fit into cabinets that measure 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 35 inches high. This is considered to be a standard dishwasher size, and most modern kitchens are built in this size. Whirlpool® offers a wide selection of standard-sized dishwashers with a range of load capacities and features that simplify your family's clean-up, so it's easier for you to get back to what matters.

Whirlpool dishwasher loaded with several items Whirlpool dishwasher loaded with several items

Retailers commonly list dishwasher dimensions in relation to cabinet openings needed for installation. For instance, a dishwasher that is 23-½ inches wide may be listed as a 24-inch dishwasher because that is the size opening it requires. When shopping on Whirlpool.ca, you can find the specific dishwasher dimensions in the product details section. Ensure that the dimensions of the dishwasher match the space you have available before you purchase it.

Measuring the Dishwasher Cabinet Opening

All sides of a built-in dishwasher, including the top, must be completely enclosed once it is installed. You do want a dishwasher that will fit your cabinet opening as closely as possible, but a unit too snug will not go in all the way. It’s better to have a little extra space that can be covered with additional trim if needed. Find the right dishwasher size for your kitchen with this easy dishwasher measuring guide.


Utility connections vary by dishwasher model so make note of the connection location within your cabinet opening to plan ahead when shopping for a new dishwasher.

Chart showing dishwasher width guidelines Chart showing dishwasher width guidelines

1. Measuring Dishwasher Width

  • Measure the distance between the cabinets in your rough opening.
  • To ensure accuracy, first measure near the top of the opening, and again near the bottom. If there is any difference, always go with the smaller of the two measurements.
hart showing dishwasher height guidelines hart showing dishwasher height guidelines

2. Measuring Dishwasher Height

  • Measure the distance between the floor and the lowest point of your countertop.
  • If the underside of the countertop appears even, take two measurements to account for any minor sloping that could affect clearance. First, measure near the back of the opening and then measure again near the front.
  • Most dishwashers have adjustable feet to add a little height where needed and to level the unit.
    Note: Always measure an empty opening rather than trying to estimate this distance with an existing dishwasher in place. If new flooring has ever been placed in your kitchen, it may not have been installed underneath the dishwasher. This means the floor under your dishwasher could be lower than the rest of your kitchen.
Chart showing dishwasher depth guidelines Chart showing dishwasher depth guidelines

3. Measuring Dishwasher Depth

  • Measure the distance from the back of the dishwasher opening to the front edge of your cabinets.
  • It’s best to measure along the sides of each cabinet to account for any variations between them.
  • Keep the dishwasher door clearance in mind when deciding where to install your dishwasher or what size dishwasher to buy. You’ll want the ability to fully open your dishwasher door and slide out the racks while still freely moving around your kitchen as you create and clean. A minimum of 27 inches beyond your cabinets is usually required.

If you're planning your kitchen, you may need to consider where handle placement, towel bars, and controls for your dishwasher will be located.

The features won't change rough opening requirements, but they will change how you interact with your new appliance. Front control dishwashers keep settings and cycles within view, at your fingertips and flush with the dishwasher door. Fully integrated dishwashers, or top control dishwashers, keep controls hidden away for an extra sleek look. Dishwashers with handles can add a premium touch to your kitchen design but if your dishwasher is installed in a high-traffic area, dishwashers with pocket handles help reduce the overall dimensions. You can read more about the different types of dishwashers in our Dishwasher Buying Guide.

Shop Popular Front-Control and Top-Control Whirlpool® Dishwashers

What Is the Best Dishwasher Capacity For Me?

Mother and daughter unloading Whirlpool dishwasher Mother and daughter unloading Whirlpool dishwasher

A dishwasher's dimensions are different from its capacity. Larger dimensions do not necessarily mean you can fit more dishes inside. Each dishwasher interior is different, including rack arrangements, tine placement and features that allow machines to handle more dishes within the same dimensions. Once you’ve determined which dishwasher dimensions will fit your space, consider the capacity and available features to find a dishwasher to suit your family’s needs.

Dishwasher capacity refers to how many place settings a model can hold, with most standard-sized dishwashers holding between 10 and 12 place settings. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers considers 1 place setting to include the following:

  • Large dinner plate
  • Bowl
  • Knife
  • Small snack plate
  • Coffee cup
  • 2 Teaspoons
  • Saucer
  • Drinking glass
  • Dinner fork + Salad fork

Enhance Dishwasher Flexibility With a Third Rack

Woman loading Whirlpool dishwasher with third rack Woman loading Whirlpool dishwasher with third rack

Innovations such as dishwashers with a third rack give you extra rack space up top. Third racks can range from slim spaces for kitchen utensils to ones that fit dishes such as cups or bowls. The Whirlpool® Large Capacity Dishwasher with 3rd Rack lets you load more and run less in this dishwasher with 3rd rack. Load hard-to-fit utensils or measuring spoons in the 3rd rack to free up more space for dishes below. This adjustable rack gives you the freedom to place even taller items where you want. Additionally, you can move or separate the flexible 3-piece silverware basket to make extra space.

More Dishwasher Features To Simplify Your Cleanup

When shopping for a dishwasher, look beyond its load size capacity and consider its features to find one that suits your family. To make cleanup a snap, you can take advantage of our dishwashers featuring Quick Wash Cycle, which will thoroughly clean your dishes in a hurry no matter if they are plates, pans, or glasses. You can also be interested in our dishwashers with a Sensor Cycle feature that automatically gets the right wash and dry settings for each load with two sensors that measure temperature and soil level during prewash and the wash cycle.

Find Your Perfect Dishwasher Size

Determine how much space you have available when choosing your dishwasher size. You can choose from standard dishwasher sizes to compact and oversized options. Then look for a capacity that makes sense for you with features that fit the dishes your family uses the most.

Get ready to load more and run less so you can maximize time spent with your family. Our dishwashers are designed to simplify your life and cleaning routine.

Ready to install? Find the dishwasher parts and accessories you need to get started.

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