dishwasher for one person

Is It Worth Having a Dishwasher Just for One Person?

Thinking about getting a dishwasher, but you live alone, so you’re not sure if it would be worth it?

You’re not alone! There are lots of individuals pondering over this idea at this very minute.

So, is it worth having a dishwasher just for one person?

The answer to this question actually depends on several factors. These include:

  • Are you happy to wait for your dishwasher to fill up throughout the week, so you can run an economical wash?
  • Do you have enough dishes in the house to keep you going in between washes?
  • Personal preference.
  • Cost.
  • Is it practical for you?

Let’s look at these in more detail.


How Long Will It Take to Fill the Dishwasher?

To get the most out of your dishwasher, you need to fill it up and then run a cycle. This is fairly straightforward if you live with multiple family members, whereby lots of plates, cutlery and pans are used daily.

However, if you are a single person who lives alone, it’s unlikely that you will use that many plates, bowls and pans on a daily basis.

This means that to get the most out of your dishwasher and to run a full cycle, you’ll need to leave your dishes to pile up inside the machine.

This may take a number of days to achieve, especially if you have a regular-sized appliance. If you’ve got a smaller dishwasher, you may not have to wait so long.

If you can wait and let the washing pile up, a dishwasher might be suitable for you. But if you can’t leave your dishes to mount up that long, you’ll have a problem. Which brings me onto my next point…


Do You Have Enough Crockery and Cutlery?

plates and cutlery in the dishwasher

As mentioned above, if you have to wait a few days for your dishwasher to fill up so you can run a cycle, you need to make sure that you have enough dishes to see you through this period.

You may have plenty of plates, pans and cutlery. But in a lot of cases, you’re not likely to carry such a vast stock, because you don’t need to as a single person. So, you may end up running out of cookware before you can clean your dirty dishes.

If this is the case for you, you’d either need to buy a smaller dishwasher so you could fill it up and use it quicker, you could purchase more dishes, or ultimately, you could just wash the dishes by hand.


Personal Preferences

What you actually think is best also plays a big role in the decision-making process.

So, if you really hate washing dishes by hand, then getting a dishwasher would be better. In this case, you’d be able to load the dishwasher up, start a cleaning cycle, and the cleaning work would be done for you.

It can be tiring standing at the sink and washing dishes. And in some cases, this isn’t possible for everyone to do. So, in this case, a dishwasher would be the better option.



buying dishwasher

When thinking about cost you can split it into three subcategories: the initial cost of buying a dishwasher, the cost of running one, and any extra additional costs. Let’s look into these points in more depth.

Up-front costs

Unless you’re lucky and someone hands you their unwanted dishwasher, you’re going to have to go out and buy one. So, you’ve got to cover the initial cost.

The price of a dishwasher depends on the size, make, model and features it has. But in general, it’ll cost you a few hundred pounds to pick up a dishwasher.

This price can go above a thousand in some cases, but it’s unlikely a single person would require such an appliance.

Ideally as a single person it would be better to get a smaller, and arguably more practical dishwasher, so a dishwasher under £300 would be most suitable. For this price mark you should be able to buy a standard dishwasher or a table top one.

Running costs

When choosing a dishwasher, you should check out the energy rating of the appliance. Ideally, you should choose an appliance with a good energy rating because this means that the dishwasher is more efficient. Of course, the better the energy rating, the more the machine costs, so do factor this in.

In addition to this, you should look into how much the dishwasher will cost to run. Think about how many loads you’re likely to run per week, and calculate a figure based on how much you get charged for your electricity.

Once you’ve got an average figure in mind, you can then use it to learn how much it’ll cost you per week and per year to run the dishwasher. If the price you come back with suits your budget as a single person, then perhaps a dishwasher would be valuable to you. But if the price is going to be too high, it might be worth leaving the dishwasher for a while.

Other costs

water in the dishwasher

It’s also important to factor in how much water your dishwasher will use, as this will be an additional cost for you to cover.

So, look into how many litres of water your desired dishwasher uses, and then find out how much a litre of water costs you. You can then calculate how much the water in a cycle is going to cost you on average.

In addition to this, you’ll also need to buy tablets for the dishwasher. You can buy tablets from various supermarkets and online, and you don’t necessarily have to pay over the odds for them. But it is a cost that must be absorbed.

Of course, as a single person, you may not go through too many dishwasher tablets on a weekly basis, particularly if you wait to fill your appliance up! So, you may be able to get away with buying tablets infrequently!

You will also have to clean the dishwasher too, so you’ll likely need to invest in an off-the-shelf cleaner to help you with this matter.

If you don’t actually maintain your appliance regularly it’s not going to work effectively, and this applies to single people and large families. There’s no way around the matter, you’ve got to clean the dishwasher.



While there are many good points to consider when it comes to getting a dishwasher as a single person, there’s one question you’ve got to ask yourself: Is it practical?

In short, do you have enough room in your home to accommodate such an appliance?

If the answer is yes, and you’ve got a gap under the cupboard or there’s ample room on the countertop for such an appliance, then there’s no harm in getting one.

But if you’re short on space, it’s not exactly practical to get a dishwasher, whatever its size may be.

The last thing you need is for a dishwasher to be cluttering up your countertops and taking vital space away. Or worse still, putting the dishwasher in a place whereby it becomes a hazard!

If you don’t have enough room to accommodate such a machine, it would be better for you to abstain from buying one in the first place.


Pros and Cons of Having a Dishwasher as a Single Person

woman using dishwasher

Below you’ll find the pros and cons of getting a dishwasher as a single person.

In addition to this, you’ll also find out the cost and benefits of cleaning dishes by hand.

So, you can compare hand washing dishes to using a dishwasher. In turn, you should be able to decide what’s better for you as an individual.


  • Using a dishwasher can save you time, in turn, you can use your spare time to do what you want to do.
  • A dishwasher can use hotter water, so it can get rid of more germs. This can make your dishes more hygienic.
  • By using a dishwasher you’ll use less water, in comparison to hand washing the dishes.
  • Dishes should be glowing and cleaner because you can use specialised products and much hotter water.
  • Using a dishwasher is incredibly convenient.
  • Dishes can be packed into one space. You don’t have to leave them out on the countertop while you wait for them to pile up, so you can run a cost-effective cycle.
  • You can buy different sized dishwashers to suit your personal needs. You can pick a small countertop dishwasher or a bigger one, it’s your choice. But do remember to pick a practical machine that’ll suit your home set up.


  • Dishwasher cycles take longer to complete than washing by hand, so you may have to wait a while to get clean dishes.
  • As a single person you may have to wait for your dishes to pile up to run a cost-effective cycle.
  • As a consequence of waiting for your dishwasher to fill up, you may not have dishes to use in the meantime.
  • Dishes can start to smell if they’re left unattended in the dishwasher for days on end.
  • Dishwashers can break, so there might be some maintenance work involved and this can mean additional costs. You’ve got to clean, unclog and sometimes repair a dishwasher. Sinks usually don’t require as much maintenance and cleaning work, in comparison.
  • You may not have the space to house a dishwasher, regardless of its size.
  • If you buy a smaller dishwasher, you may not be able to fit all your dishes into the appliance in one go. In turn, you might have to run more cycles and this might not work out as cheap as you’d hope. And if you can fit everything into a smaller dishwasher, you’ve got to be careful how you layer your dishes, so your dishwasher actually cleans the items properly.


Pros and Cons of Hand-Washing Dishes as a Single Person

woman handwashing dishes


  • If you only have a few dishes to wash, it’ll be much quicker for you to hand wash them.
  • You’re less likely to run out of dishes, if you wash them as you use them.
  • There’s less of a chance that you’ll leave a mountain of plates and cutlery hanging around if you can wash them immediately, so your worktops should be clutter-free.
  • A sink generally doesn’t cost a lot to maintain, nor is it difficult to keep it clean.
  • Washing the dishes can be quite calming and meditative.
  • Some items can only be hand washed!
  • Most kitchens come with a sink regardless.


  • You’ll typically use more water to clean your dishes.
  • Time consuming, particularly if you’ve got loads of dishes to clean!
  • Can be tiring scrubbing extra dirty plates and pans.
  • You may go through more cloths, especially if you’re cleaning greasy plates and saucepans.


Is It Worth Getting a Dishwasher Just for One Person?

woman behind dishwasher

It’s worth considering getting a dishwasher as a single person if:

  • You can absorb all the costs involved with getting a dishwasher (buying, running, and purchasing tablets).
  • You’re happy to wait for your dishes to pile up (so you can run a cost-effective cycle).
  • You’ve got enough room to safely house such an appliance.
  • It makes sense for you to get one due to your personal preferences.

A dishwasher can make a tremendous difference to your cleaning routine, it can save you time, is valuable, and can clean your greasy dishes with ease.

However, if you cannot absorb the general costs attached to getting a dishwasher, it would be impractical for you to buy one, and you don’t have enough dishes to keep you going until you can run a full dishwasher, it would be unwise to get such an appliance for your home.

As a consequence, you may not be able to run the machine effectively or at all, it may then sit empty and idle for a while. This, in turn, could give rise to technical problems inside the dishwasher.

If this could potentially be the case for you, steer clear of getting a dishwasher.