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Top Control vs. Front Control Dishwasher How to choose

Top Control vs. Front Control Dishwasher: How to choose?

When shopping for a new dishwasher, many options are available to make you scratch your head countless times while trying to find the right one for yourself. 

One pivotal decision that drastically narrows down your options is whether you want a top-control or a front-control dishwasher. These two variants present designs and features, each catering to different preferences and priorities. 

From sleek, minimalist aesthetics to intuitive control placement, the differences between top-control and front-control dishwashers can significantly impact the overall user experience.

As we look into these two dishwasher variants, we aim to provide clarity and guidance to help you in your quest about top control vs. front control dishwasher and which is the right decision for your needs.

Alongside choosing between top control and front control models, selecting the right dishwashing detergent is paramount for optimal cleaning performance.

What is a top control dishwasher?

A top control dishwasher has a control panel on the top of the appliance. Because the controls are tucked away on the dishwasher door, the appliance promotes a streamlined, sleek, and modern feel in your kitchen. 

What is a front control dishwasher?

A front control dishwasher has a control panel on the exterior of the dishwasher, typically located on the upper section of the door. This design offers easy access to the controls, making operation straightforward and intuitive for users of all heights and abilities.

What’s the difference between top control and front control dishwashers?

Apart from the placement of the control, the following are some of the most prominent differences between the top control and front control dishwasher.  

  • Aesthetic appeal: Top control dishwashers offer a more sleek and minimalist appearance due to hidden controls, while front control dishwashers have a more traditional look with visible controls. 
  • Accessibility: Front control dishwashers provide easy access to the controls, making operation straightforward for users of all heights, whereas top control dishwashers may be less accessible, especially for users with shorter heights.   
  • Resistance to accidental activation: Top control dishwashers are less prone to accidental button presses due to the out-of-reach position of the controls, as they are along the top edge. In contrast, front control dishwashers may be more susceptible to unintentional activation.  
  • Installation considerations: The placement of the control panel may influence installation decisions, particularly in kitchens with limited space or unique layout configurations, potentially impacting the overall design and functionality of the dishwasher.

What are the pros and cons of top control and front control dishwashers?

To help you in your decision-making process, let’s consider the positives and negatives of both dishwasher types.

Pros of top control dishwasher

  • Easy access to controls with closed doors.
  • Minimalist, sleek, and on-trend design enhances kitchen aesthetics.
  • Hidden controls reduce accidental activation and are easy to clean.
  • The external handle on select models can be used as a hanging rack for dish towels.
  • The control panel is hidden from view for a seamless appearance.

Cons of top control dishwasher 

  • Controls may be less accessible to people with shorter heights.
  • Generally, they are more expensive than front control dishwashers. 

You may prefer a top control dishwasher if: 

  • You don’t like to see your dishwasher’s control panel.
  • You like a seamless and modern appearance.
  • You want an external handle that can be used to hang your hand towels.

Pros of front control dishwasher

  • Classic dishwasher design with control panel always in clear view. 
  • Most have pocket handles to keep the appliance flush with cabinetry.
  • Easy access to controls with the door closed.
  • Large capacity and compact size options.

Cons of front control dishwasher 

  • The front controls may be prone to accidental activation.
  • The front control panel makes the appliance less seamless in design. 

You may prefer front control dishwashers if: 

  • You want quick access to your dishwasher’s controls.
  • You want a classic design.
  • You want a pocket handle to flush the appliance with your cabinets.

When choosing between a top control or a front control dishwasher, it is important not to overlook the significance of dishwasher detergent. A high-quality, reliable, and effective dishwasher detergent like Finish ‐ recommended by the leading dishwasher manufacturer. 

It ensures ultimate clean and diamond shine every time by effectively removing food residue, grease, and stains, preventing the buildup of limescale and other deposits, and preserving your dishwasher's efficiency and performance over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Usually, top control dishwashers stick out more vs. top control dishwashers due to an external handlebar sticking out.

Whether doing physical store shopping or purchasing a dishwasher from retailer websites, you’d also want to consider loading options, programs and cycles, drying options, and other settings, styles, and prices.

Although the place of a dishwasher’s control does not affect how well the appliance cleans or its energy use, it does affect accessibility, aesthetic appeal, and potential for accidental activation.