Stainless steel dishwasher in gray-green cabinetry.

Standard dishwasher sizes: How to measure a dishwasher

Finding the right dimensions for your dishwasher before you shop can help eliminate the guesswork as you determine what depth, width and height best fits your kitchen’s layout.

From standard to small space, this guide can help you measure your cabinet opening, make decisions on interior layout, and ultimately find the right size dishwasher for your family.

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How to measure for a dishwasher in 3 easy steps

Discovering the dimensions for your dishwasher is a simple process that can save you from the headaches of an ill-fitting unit down the road. Track down your measuring tape, then follow the steps below to learn how to measure the width, depth and height of your dishwasher opening.

Total time estimate

5 - 10 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

Drawing of dishwasher opening with yellow line measuring width.

Step 1. Measure for dishwasher width

Standard cabinet opening width vs. small space cabinet opening width:

  • Measure from cabinet to cabinet, making sure that the sides of your dishwasher will be completely enclosed once installed. It’s better to leave a little breathing room on each side than to have it be a tight fit.

  • You can install close to a wall or cabinet on one side as long as you leave at least two inches between it and the side of the dishwasher door.

Planning Tip:

Utility placement can vary by model, so check your installation instructions for the specifics.

Drawing of dishwasher opening with yellow arrow and line measuring depth.

Step 2. Measure for dishwasher depth

  • Measure from the back of the opening to the front. 

  • Make sure to leave enough room (at least 27 inches) in front of the dishwasher to comfortably load and unload dishes, plus enough room to move around between the open door and any counters and islands.

Installing a dishwasher with a panel may affect depth.

Drawing of dishwasher opening with yellow line measuring height.

Step 3. Measure for dishwasher height

  • Measure from the floor of the opening in which the dishwasher will be installed to the lowest point of the countertop.

  • Most dishwashers require a 34 1/2–36-inch tall opening.

Additional layers of flooring in the kitchen may impact your installation process.

Compact stainless steel dishwasher next to stainless steel refrigerator.

Are there different sizes of dishwashers?

Dishwashers typically fall into one of four size categories: standard, oversized, compact and portable. The dimensions of dishwashers installed in cabinetry only vary by width, while portable dishwashers are often deeper and taller than built-in models.

As you measure for your space and shop for the best fit, keep in mind that the dimensions of dishwashers are determined by the opening size they’re made to fit, rather than the measurements of the dishwasher. A dishwasher labeled as 24 inches wide might actually be more like 23-1/2 inches wide.

Line drawing of standard built-in dishwasher surrounded by height, width and depth measurements.

Standard built-in dishwasher dimensions

A standard dishwasher is about 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 35 inches high. Most cabinet openings are made to fit a standard dishwasher size. Note that certain handles may affect the overall dishwasher depth

Shop Whirlpool® Standard Size Dishwashers

Line drawing of oversized built-in dishwasher surrounded by height, width and depth measurements.

Oversized built-in dishwasher dimensions

Oversized dishwashers are built wider than the standard opening. An oversized dishwasher is about 30 to 42 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 35 inches high.

Line drawing of compact built-in dishwasher surrounded by height, width and depth measurements.

Small space or compact built-in dishwasher dimensions

Designed for apartments, space-conscious homes and entertainment spaces, small space dishwashers have a slimmer width than standard dishwashers.  A compact dishwasher is about 18 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 35 inches high.

Line drawing of portable dishwasher surrounded by height, width and depth measurements.

Portable, in-sink and countertop dishwasher dimensions

Portable, in-sink and countertop dishwashers should not require an opening in your cabinetry, but you’ll still need to measure where they’ll go. Portable dishwashers are typically about 24 inches wide, 27 inches deep and 37 inches high.

Close-up of top of open dishwasher door beneath white cabinetry.

Does a dishwasher need space around it?

To make sure you have plenty of room for loading and unloading, keep at least 27 inches of open space in front of the dishwasher. If you plan to install your dishwasher in a corner location, give it at least 2 inches of space between the side of the open door and wall or cabinet.

How much space should be between the countertop and the dishwasher?

Standard dishwashers are designed to fit common dishwasher cavity dimensions and typically run one-half to one-third of an inch smaller than the opening. This naturally provides all of the wiggle room the dishwasher needs to fit properly within the cavity between cabinets. Double-check your dishwasher’s installation manual to find out if there’s a minimum requirement for space between the dishwasher and countertop.

Stainless steel dishwasher, refrigerator and wall oven in kitchen with tan cabinetry.

Should the dishwasher be flush with the cabinet?

Aligning the dishwasher door panel with the front of the cabinet doors helps provide a sleek aesthetic in the kitchen. Dishwashers with a pocket handle can align completely with kitchen cabinets, while those with bar handles will likely protrude past the face of cabinets.

Getting the right layout

At some point, you’ll need to decide whether you want a front control or top control dishwasher. Front control dishwashers let you easily see and select cycles, while top control dishwashers hide controls for a more streamlined look.

You’ll also need to think about your dishwasher's interior. The exterior dimensions of a dishwasher rarely affect the interior capacity, but there are other ways to add increased space for dishes. Many dishwashers have two racks, but dishwashers with a 3rd Rack give you extra room for hard to fit items.

Learn more about the different types of dishwashers or check out the dishwasher buying guide to choose the best one for your kitchen.

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