Semi-Integrated vs Fully Integrated vs Freestanding Dishwashers

If you’re in the process of buying a new dishwasher for your kitchen and you can’t decide between a freestanding, semi-integrated or fully integrated model, we’re going to talk you through their differences. We’re going to look at this over five factors that you want to consider when buying a dishwasher:

  • Performance
  • Size
  • Noise Levels
  • Features
  • Design

We have wide ranges of all these types of dishwasher, stocked exclusively from market-leading brands and manufacturers. After you’ve made your way through this article, we hope it helps you to decide which type will be best for you and your home. 

Without further ado, let’s start comparing!


When it comes to how each one performs, this isn’t informed by the type of the dishwasher it is, but rather the brand. A freestanding dishwasher won’t wash your dishes any better than a fully integrated unit, this is informed by who is making your dishwasher. 

As such, we’re going to tell you our best dishwasher brands. All the dishwashers e stock come from high-quality brands. But there are some manufacturers names who carry more weight than others in the appliance market and who, generally speaking, sell larger numbers of their dishwashers. They are:

AEG, Bosch and Neff are all popular appliance brands that all hail from Germany. As such, they are a favourite when it comes to performance which isn’t too surprising considering their German heritage. German engineering has always been considered some of the best in the world and that translates into well-designed and high-performing appliances.

Whirpool are one of the most popular appliance manufacturers in the UK and their dishwashers have long been a consumer favourite in Britain and we have a selection of high-quality Whirlpool dishwashers for you. Smeg are an Italian manufacturer that are very design-focused, and we think it’s hard to beat their range of designs. With seriously sleek, modern designs, they also have a collection of patently stylish retro designs for you to check out. 

Result: Draw


Another one that’s hard to distinguish a winner in. The type of dishwasher you buy won’t be any smaller or larger by virtue of the type of dishwasher they are. Generally speaking dishwashers come in two widths: 60cm and 45cm. 45cm dishwashers are called slimline dishwashers and they’re handy for people who don’t have much space to work with, or have no need for a family-sized dishwasher. But the actual functional size isn’t determined by the width of the appliance but rather the amount of place settings.

A place setting consists of a glass, a bowl, tea cup and saucer, dinner plate, dessert plate and an assortment of cutlery. Dishwasher size is measured in place settings instead of volume or width. The more place settings there are in a dishwasher, the more room there is inside.

Result: Draw

Noise Levels

An important thing to consider for your dishwasher are the noise levels, particularly if you keep your dishwasher in the kitchen, and that kitchen is a social hub of the home. If you have to speak up to be heard over the sound of your dishwasher cycle, then you’re going to get frustrated with it.

It’s also something that is often forgotten about when shopping for a dishwasher. You tend to focus on how it looks, the features, size and the price more than you do the noise level. 

Fully integrated dishwashers will mostly be the quietest dishwashers to buy. As they are completely concealed by cabinetry, they are also the most insulated from noise. Semi-integrated models are still slightly exposed and thus will be louder than fully integrated dishwashers. Freestanding dishwashers aren’t concealed at all and will create the most amount of nose.

Result: Fully-Integrated Dishwashers


This category is again decided by brand. Dishwashers all serve one overarching function and that is to wash your dishes, obviously. Pretty much any dishwasher you buy will indeed do that, so in order to keep their dishwasher ranges fresh and exciting and to vye for your attention, manufacturers are constantly thinking up new features and new innovations for the dishwasher, so it can do its job in more interesting, effective and efficient ways.

You need to look into the product descriptions, research the brand and find some opinions on the best dishwasher features to help inform your decision. These features can be adjustable racks, soil sensors, eco modes, rinse cycles, wash zones for added control, special wash cycles that are specific to types of crockery and so on, the control set-up, WiFi connectivity and more. Some of the latest models can be controlled via your phone for example, which is very appealing to some. 

Result: Draw


This is a difficult category as design and satisfaction with it is quite objective. We can discuss this in general terms though, and generally speaking, this one has to be a dead heat between integrated and semi-integrated dishwashers. There’s a reason why they are more popular than freestanding dishwashers and that’s because you can hide them. 

A standalone freestanding dishwasher can disrupt the design of your kitchen, breaking up the uniformity and symmetry of your cabinets. By employing a semi-integrated or fully integrated design over a freestanding one, the clean lines in your kitchen stay intact and unfettered. 

This allows you to create a more complete look in your kitchen. Having said that, there are some exceptions to this. For example, Smeg’s retro range of freestanding dishwashers come in a range of vibrant colours and might actually fit into a retro kitchen perfectly. There are some really modern freestanding designs that look fantastic in their own right and could also match the look of your kitchen at the same time. 

Result: Integrated/Semi-Integrated Dishwasher

For our complete range, head over to our Dishwashers page. With freestanding, integrated and semi-integrated models to choose from a wide range of top-quality and market-leading manufacturers, you can be sure you’re going to get a high-powered, effective model. With other stellar lines of products in our Laundry, Cooking and Refrigeration sections among others, save money when you buy online today with free UK delivery!