Top Control vs Front Control Dishwashers

Top Control vs. Front Control Dishwasher


In today’s fast-paced world, dishwashers have solidified their place in modern kitchens. On top of reducing the cumbersome work of manually doing dishes after every meal, it also makes the kitchen look professional and sophisticated. 

Dishwashers have evolved alongside us to keep up with our growing needs. Brands have upgraded their old models with new configurations, designs, and more. 

Today, dishwashers are mostly classified into two types: the top control dishwashers and the front control dishwashers. While both do the same job – cleaning the dishes, top control and front control dishwashers vary in their designs and certain features.

Now you may ask: which is better? Worry not. We are here to answer precisely that. 

In this article, we will have a comprehensive look at both top control and front control dishwashers. We will have a thorough look at their similarities and differences while also highlighting each of their advantages. 

Ultimately, we want to help you narrow down the one that will match your kitchen needs and overall aesthetics.

Comparison Table: Pros and Cons

Below is a table highlighting the pros and cons for both top control and front control dishwashers.

Dishwasher TypeProsCons
Top Control DishwashersControl panel is hidden from view.

Sleek and seamless appearance.

Perfect for minimalists.

Most units have smart dishwasher capability options.

Aesthetically pleasing. Can work well with most modern kitchen settings.

Can offer a place to hang kitchen towels
Some units have external handles that stick out of the appliance too much.

Most units do not have a detailed external cycle status display.

Generally more expensive than other dishwasher types.
Front Control DishwashersMost units have pocket handles that keep its aesthetic in line with other cabinets.

Control panel is in clear view.

Making it more accessible and user-friendly.

Easy access to controls even with its doors closed.

Large capacity and compact size options.
Control panel buttons can be accidentally pushed.

Not as aesthetically pleasing as other dishwasher types because its buttons and lights stick out front.

Usually do not have smart dishwasher features.

May feel outdated to some.

Top Control Dishwashers: What is it?

Simply put, top control dishwashers are dishwasher units with their controls on the top. Although it seems self-explanatory, several details in top control dishwashers set it apart from its market contemporaries.

Top control dishwashers are sleek and smooth; it fits perfectly well with any modern kitchen setting because of their sophisticated look. There are no bulky knobs or control buttons on the outside or in plain view. 

These machines hide their controls out of view to preserve a classy aesthetic that we cannot help but fall in love with. You can only see them after opening the dishwasher door itself. 

With this feature alone, top control dishwashers have successfully become one of the most in-demand dishwasher types for new or renovated kitchens.

More and more people are now becoming more inclined to minimalistic approaches in designing their homes. Top control dishwashers are just perfect for such. 

With fewer visual disturbances, such as knobs, buttons, and control panels on the front of the appliance, these machines would feel like heaven’s gift to minimalists.

While aesthetics may be what separates top control dishwashers apart from their fellow dishwashers, it is worth noting that its functionality is top-notch as well. 

Top control dishwashers are often considered top-of-the-line choices and are mostly found in well-thought-out kitchen settings for a reason.

Expect to pay around $500 for a basic top control dishwasher, with some high-end options over $1,000. Generally speaking, more features mean a higher total price.

Front Control Dishwashers: What is it?

Front control dishwashers are the classic dishwasher types you have seen dozens of times. Unlike the first dishwasher type we discussed above, the front control dishwasher has its control panel on the machine’s exterior. This ensures that anyone can easily see its control settings and operate it comfortably. 

These dishwashers typically have handles tucked into the exterior resembling conventional cabinets. This feature makes front control dishwashers perfect for mixing in with kitchen counters and cabinets.

While the top control dishwashers focus most on being aesthetically pleasing, front control dishwashers have functionality front and center. It sacrifices a bit of beauty in exchange for being more practical to use and being more user-friendly. 

However, seeing as its buttons are on the exterior control panel, there may be times when you or anyone in your household pushes them accidentally.  

At the most basic model, you can get a front control dishwasher at around $400, while a mid-range dishwasher could start at around $600.

What’s the Better Choice for You?

At the end of the day, what dishwasher type fits you the most depends on what exactly it is that you prefer or need. Below are some scenarios that may incline you choosing one from the other.

You may prefer a top control dishwasher if…

  • You are a minimalist. You just love that seamless and classy look.
  • You have children at home or are clumsy yourself. You won’t have to worry about accidental button pushes.
  • You don’t mind smaller buttons or a smaller control panel overall.
  • You are looking for a higher-end or panel ready dishwasher.
  • You want to build a smart home.

You may prefer a front control dishwasher if…

  • You want quick access to your dishwasher’s controls.
  • You want a classic-looking dishwasher in your home.
  • You want a pocket handle to keep the appliance flush with your cabinets.
  • You are a bit tight on budget to pick up higher-end dishwasher versions.

Related Article: Dishwashers 101: Beginner’s Guide for Beginners


Both top control and front control dishwasher work for the same cause – to clean your dirty dishes for you with a press of a button. There are several things to keep in mind before choosing one of each. What’s best for you falls squarely on your own needs. 

Pick up the top control variant if you want a classy unit that improves your kitchen and cleans your dishes just as effectively. On the flip side, if you are currently tight on budget and are simply looking for a dishwasher that gets the job done thoroughly, then go for the front control one.

You may also want to check out our top 11 best dishwashers to make sure that you get the right one for you.