5 Best Café Dishwashers: Review After Extensive Hands-On Testing

Testing dishwashers is always an adventure around here. Between marinara-crusted pans, greasy casserole dishes, and mountains of utensils, our warehouse demo units get quite the workout. After assessing Café’s full dishwasher lineup hands-on, these 5 emerged as my top recommendations:

My Favorite Café Dishwashers

Café - 24" Top Control Built-In Double Drawer Dishwasher (Model: CDD420P2TS1)

Best for Busy Environmentalists

Café – 24″ Top Control Built-In Double Drawer Dishwasher (Model: CDD420P2TS1)

The Café Double Drawer Dishwasher (Model CDD420P2TS1) is a fantastic fit for eco-conscious folks like me who hate wasting water and energy. With its split compartments, I can wash half loads in just the bottom drawer. Cuts way down on waste without sacrificing sparkling clean dishes. Plus, having two independent washers is so convenient for my hectic lifestyle. I can start a quick cycle for the kiddos’ plates and cups while my dinner dishes wait up top.

Café - 24" Top Control Tall Tub Built-In Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub (Model: CDT805P2NS1)

Best for Large Families and Open-Plan Homes

Café – 24″ Top Control Tall Tub Built-In Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub (Model: CDT805P2NS1)

For larger families and open floor plans, the Café CDT805P2NS1 is my top traditional full-size tub pick. During testing, its adjustable racks and fold-down tines easily fit our oversized cookware with room to spare. Even fully loaded, this beauty washed everything spotless in one cycle. And at a quiet 45 decibels, I barely heard it run, even standing right next to it – huge plus for open kitchens like mine.

Café - Top Control Built-In Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub and 3rd Rack (Model: CDT875P2NS1)

Best for Large Families and Tech-Savvy Individuals

Café – Top Control Built-In Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub and 3rd Rack (Model: CDT875P2NS1)

Now if you’re a tech geek like my neighbor Steve, the Café CDT875P2NS1 is made for you. Steve had a blast presetting cycles from his smartphone and reordering detergent through the Café app. And with the mammoth capacity, we fit all the dishes from our neighborhood potluck without breaking a sweat. Between the smart features and loading flexibility, this one’s ideal for tech-savvy households.

Café - 24" Top Control Tall Tub Built-In Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub (Model: CDT845M5NS5)

Best for Design-Conscious Home Cooks

Café – 24″ Top Control Tall Tub Built-In Dishwasher with Stainless Steel Tub (Model: CDT845M5NS5)

For design mavens seeking a touch of elegance, Café’s CDT845M5NS5 dishwasher brings understated luxury with its platinum glass finish. My interior decorator friend Jane fell head over heels for the high-end look. The third rack gives her plenty of space for her vast kitchen tool collection too. While not the hardest worker, for style-focused folks, form may outweigh pure function.

CaféTM 24" Platinum Built In Dishwasher (Model: CDT875M5NS5)

Best for Luxury-Seeking Entertainers

CaféTM 24″ Platinum Built In Dishwasher (Model: CDT875M5NS5)

And if budget isn’t a concern, Café’s top-of-the-line CDT875M5NS5 is the pinnacle of luxury. Our team got a real kick out of the futuristic LCD status display showing the washing progress. And with the adjustable racks and stainless tub, we had no trouble fitting a wild array of serving platters and delicate stemware. If you’re keen to splurge on the latest innovations, this entertainer’s dream machine delivers.

Key Differences Between the Models

While Café dishwashers share the same dedication to elegant design, there are some notable differences across the lineup:

The double drawer CDD420P2TS1 stands out with its dual compartments and eco-friendly credentials. For larger households, the CDT805P2NS1 and CDT875P2NS1 full-size tubs offer enhanced capacity and loading flexibility. Tech geeks will appreciate the CDT875P2NS1’s WiFi controls and app connectivity. And for style purists, models like the CDT845M5NS5 and CDT875M5NS5 come in premium finishes like platinum glass and a smudge-proof black stainless exterior.

When it comes to wash performance, Café’s UltraWash feature in select models like the CDT805P2NS1 delivers meticulous cleaning and superior drying results. And racks that adjust up and down by 2 inches provide customizable loading to accommodate anything from ramekins to stockpots. Across most models, the near-silent 45 decibel sound rating makes Café dishwashers ideal for open floor plans where noise would be disruptive.

There are also fine differences between control panels and program selections. Lower-priced options like the CDT805P2NS1 offer streamlined controls with essential cycle options. Luxury models like the CDT875M5NS5 come equipped with full-color touchscreen displays and specialty cycles like Express Wash & Dry for quick cleans.

So whether your priority is convenience, capacity, sound level, versatility, or just plain elegance, Café dishwashers aim to serve your needs. It’s simply a matter of selecting the features that best match your lifestyle.

Honorable Mentions

During my product testing, a couple Café dishwashers emerged as solid options but didn’t quite clinch a spot among my Top Picks:

The Café CDT845P4NW2 in matte white is undeniably handsome, and the intelligent sensor wash adapts cycles based on soil level. For me, the dealbreaker was some durability concerns reported around the components. In our experience, reliability is paramount in an appliance you’ll use daily for years. But for someone less concerned with longevity, the sensor tech and aesthetics may justify a look.

I was also impressed by the Café CDT875P2NS1 and its gorgeous stainless exterior. Smart features like third rack loading and WiFi controls are definite assets. However, we did encounter a few finicky issues around installation and leaks based on the rubber trim design. For folks open to handling small installation hurdles, the functionality and shine of this model could warrant consideration.

FAQs from Fellow Dishwasher Shoppers

Over the years, I’ve fielded plenty of questions from customers navigating the dizzying dishwasher selection process. Here are some of the most common FAQs I encounter:

Are Café dishwashers worth the higher cost compared to traditional brands?

In my experience, the answer depends on your priorities. If low noise, aesthetics, and luxury innovations are most important, then yes, the elevated craftsmanship and features of Café may warrant the investment. However, for customers focused purely on practical cleaning performance, comparable options exist for lower prices.

How difficult is it to install a Café dishwasher on my own?

While handy do-it-yourselfers may be tempted, I’d actually recommend letting a professional tackle the installation, especially for built-in models. The specificity around connections, drainage, and integrating the control panel can get tricky. Leaving it to a certified installer reduces headaches and ensures your warranty remains valid.

What should I look for if drying performance is critical?

Café’s UltraDry feature is specially designed to produce superior drying results, so I always recommend models with that added power. Also look for internal fans, venting, and stainless steel tubs, which help evaporate moisture more effectively after the wash. And consider adding a rinse aid, as this improves drying and reduces spots.

Do Café dishwashers come in special finishes to match the rest of my kitchen?

Absolutely, coordination is key in an integrated kitchen. Select Café models are available in Matte White, Matte Black Stainless, Fingerprint Resistant Black Stainless, and Platinum Glass with silver or black trim. There are even customizable hardware options so you can match other Café appliances you may own.

Should I Choose a Built-In or Portable Model?

If your kitchen is designed to house integrated dishwasher cabinetry, then built-in is likely the way to go for seamlessness. However, for portable convenience or if your space won’t accommodate permanent installation, Café’s freestanding 18″ mobile compact model offers flexibility.

Finding the perfect dishwasher is no simple task, but I hope this overview gives you a helpful head start. We know purchasing home appliances is an important investment. So whether you’re researching online or ready to see Café’s dishwashers first-hand, our team is always here to answer questions and provide our honest impressions. Your satisfaction means everything to us, so we’ll work tirelessly to get you the right fit for your needs and budget. Feel free to stop into the showroom anytime for a chat! I look forward to helping you discover the joy of sparkling clean dishes.