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Frigidaire FFBD1821MS

Reviewers agree, the Frigidaire FFBD1821MS is small but mighty -- a top performer in both cleaning and drying, and an energy miser compared to other 18-inch dishwashers. The stainless-steel drum is a nice upgrade at this price point in an18-inch built-in dishwasher. In spite of its small footprint, it boasts six wash cycles and the option to turn off the heated dry to save even more energy.

Pros

  • Good performer
  • Energy Star certified
  • Six wash cycles
  • Stainless steel interior

Cons

  • Doesn't dry plastics well
  • Pricier than a comparable full-sized unit

Breaking it down

Performance

A good value, for an 18-inch. At YaleAppliance.com blogger Steve Sheinkopf praises the Frigidaire FFBD1821MS's many features, adding that it's better than the 24-inch version. Among those features is a delay start, a China & Crystal and Heavy Wash cycles and high temperature wash. It also has the option to turn off the heat dry option to save energy. Owners say this compact dishwasher works very well, both in cleaning and drying; although a few say it leaves some things quite wet. Still, most say they are very happy with this Frigidaire. It also has a stainless steel, rather than plastic, tub, which is a very nice feature at this price point.

Ease of use

Read the instructions before loading. Some who complained to Frigidaire about the small capacity of the FFBD1821MS18-inch dishwasher were advised to read the instructions for loading the dishes that are in the owner's manual. That advice definitely helped them maximize the dishwasher's capacity. Others have no problems at all with the size, and say it's perfect for a couple or a small family. The silverware basket has slots to keep the flatware separated.

Noise

Mixed reviews for noise. As we see with almost any item we review that makes any kind of noise, volume is highly objective. We read a number of reviews from owners praising how quiet the Frigidaire FFBD1821MS is, and just as many others naming its noisy operation as its only "con." With a noise specification of 59 dBA, it's the loudest built-in dishwasher in this report.

Appearance/durability

Great choice for a small kitchen. The Frigidaire FFBD1821MS is a fine-looking dishwasher, owners agree, with an attractive stainless steel and black exterior and unobtrusive electronic controls -- a few people even post pictures proudly showing off how nice their new dishwasher looks in their kitchen. We did see a few complaints about durability, but we also saw a lot of proactive assistance from Frigidaire, reaching out to unhappy customers with direct offers of help. Which is good, because there is no customer service phone number, just an email form. Although this model is stainless, it also comes in white as the Frigidaire FFBD1821MW (Est. $650) and in black as the Frigidaire FFBD1821MB (Est. $650). This Frigidaire is Energy Star certified and its estimated yearly operating cost is $30.

Specs

  • Type: Built-in
  • Control type: Electronic
  • Number of place settings: 12
  • Number of wash cycles: 6
  • Types of cycles: Heavy, normal, light, china/crystal, energy saver, rinse only
  • Tub material: Stainless steel
  • Rack material: Nylon
  • Delay wash: Yes
  • Food disposer: Yes
  • Soil sensor: Yes
  • Child lock: No
  • Noise level: 59 dBA
  • Energy Star compliant: Yes
  • NSF certified: Yes
  • Energy consumption: 280 kilowatt hours/year
  • Color: Stainless
  • Dimensions: 32-1/2 to 35-1/4 (h) by 17-5/8 to 18 (w) by 22-1/2 (d)
  • Warranty: 1 year

Sources

Steve Sheinkopf, March 6, 2017

Steve Sheinkopf a blogger for YaleAppliance.com puts the Frigidaire FFBD1821MS at the top of his list of best 18-inch dishwashers. He says it's the best value of the five, although it's noisy. Elsewhere on this site, a handful of owners give it a perfect 5-star score.

Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of April 2017

There are quite a few more reviews at HomeDepot.com, more than 100, and the Frigidaire FFBD1821MS earns an overall rating of 4.1 stars out of 5; 85 percent would recommend the dishwasher. Some of the HomeDepot.com reviews are culled from the Frigidaire website, others are unique to HomeDepot.com. The white and black finishes have their own reviews, and satisfaction is somewhat higher with those two colors.

Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of April 2017

The more than one dozen reviews we see here are all unique to BestBuy.com, and the Frigidaire FFBD1821MS gets an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. Most give it a 5-star rating, and say it's an excellent product. There are a couple of quibbles related to delivery issues -- not the dishwasher's fault -- and one about a product that arrived defective.

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