Get More Loading Flexibility with the Best Third Rack Dishwashers

SaveSavedRemoved 0
Deal Score0
Deal Score0

If you’ve ever found yourself playing a real-life game of Tetris trying to cram pots, plates, bowls, cups and cutlery into your dishwasher racks, it may be time to look into getting a model with an extra rack. Dishwashers with third racks are becoming increasingly popular due to the added loading capacity and flexibility they provide.

In this post, we’ll discuss what third racks are, their benefits, and what to look for when shopping for a dishwasher with this feature. We’ve also done the research and trials to provide reviews of the top 4 third rack dishwashers based on price, performance, features and reliability.

What is a Third Rack Dishwasher?

A third rack refers to an additional rack built into a dishwasher, above or below the main upper and lower racks. This extra rack provides more space for loading additional dishes, cutlery and small items like lids.

The key benefits of a third rack include:

  • Extra capacity: More space to fit dishes and cutlery that may not squeeze into the regular racks. Allows you to wash larger loads less frequently.
  • Seperate cutlery space: Designated area for cutlery, utensils and small items. Keeps them from nestling between dishes in the main racks.
  • Flexibility: Accommodate more glasses, mugs, bottles or large/awkward items in the main racks while small items go in the third rack.
  • Organization: Specific place for cutlery, lids etc. No more hunting for stray forks and spoons between loads!

There are a few common third rack designs:

  • Upper rack: Additional rack that sits above the main upper rack. Often foldable or height adjustable.
  • Lower rack: Extra rack beneath the main lower rack, may be fixed or retractable.
  • Cutlery tray: Pull-out drawer built into the front bottom rack to corral cutlery and utensils.

Upper racks are convenient for small plates, mugs and plastic items that may fall through larger upper rack spaces. However, they do steal some usable height from the upper rack.

Lower racks keep cutlery handy but items may get less direct wash coverage. Cutlery trays make unloading flatware easier but reduce space in the lower rack.

Key Factors to Consider in a Third Rack Dishwasher

While third racks add great utility, they aren’t all created equal. Keep these factors in mind while shopping:

  • Rack design: Upper, lower or cutlery tray? What fits your loading needs?
  • Adjustability: Can you fold down or remove racks when not needed?
  • Rack size: Does it offer decent loading capacity?
  • Tines: Fixed, foldable or removable to customize space.
  • Material: Nylon coated or stainless steel for durability?
  • Cycles: Are there optimal cycles for third rack loads?
  • Wash performance: Does the third rack get directly washed as effectively as main racks?
  • Dry performance: Do items in third rack dry properly?
  • Price: Third racks add cost. Set a reasonable budget.
  • Reliability: Stick with reputable brands known for performance.
  • Reviews: Check for complaints about the specific model’s third rack.
  • In-store testing: Try the third rack before you buy.

After extensive research and testing, we’ve picked the top 4 third rack dishwashers to suit different needs and budgets.

Dishwasher with Third Rack Reviews

1. Bosch 800 Series SHPM88Z75N

Priced around $1,600

Bosch’s 800 series dishwasher stands out for its flexibility and durability. Details include:

  • Rack types: Upper and lower third rack.
  • Upper rack: Foldable tines and rack to customize height. Fits mugs, small plates.
  • Lower rack: Fixed position with fold down tines. Great for cutlery and utensils.
  • Cycles: Half load, auto wash, delicate/economy, speed perfect.
  • Performance: Powerful wash cleans third rack items thoroughly. Excellent drying.
  • Pros: Quiet at 44 dB. Upper rack adjustability. 16 place settings.
  • Cons: Expensive. Upper rack may block wash arms.
  • Reviews: Over 4 stars average. Praised for third rack utility and quietness.

2. LG QuadWash LDT7808BD

Priced around $1,100

LG’s QuadWash offers large, adjustable third racks. Details:

  • Rack types: Upper and lower third racks.
  • Upper rack: Foldable tines and rack. Height adjustable. Fits cups, glasses, small plates.
  • Lower rack: Removable cutlery tray. Fits utensils, cutlery.
  • Cycles: QuadWash, dual wash, deli wash, half load.
  • Performance: Direct coverage of third racks. Items come clean and dry.
  • Pros: Adjustable racks. Easy to load. 14 place settings.
  • Cons: Plastic rack tines. Some motor noise at 48 dB.
  • Reviews: Over 4 stars. Praised for large third rack space.

3. KitchenAid KDTM404KPS

Priced around $1,100

KitchenAid’s architect series dishwasher has an innovative third rack design. Details:

  • Rack types: Upper and retractable lower racks.
  • Upper rack: Removable split racks customize space. Fits cups, glasses, flatware.
  • Lower rack: Slides out for access then tucks away. Great for utensils.
  • Cycles: ProWash, heavy duty, pro dry.
  • Performance: Excellent cleaning and drying of both third racks.
  • Pros: Sleek design. Easy to load. Quiet at 40 dB.
  • Cons: No height adjustability. Some rattling noises.
  • Reviews: Over 4 stars. Owners love racks and performance.

**4. GE GDF535PSRSS *$900*

GE’s affordable Profile series dishwasher includes a third rack. Details:

  • Rack types: Upper rack only.
  • Upper rack: Fixed position. Holds cups, mugs, small plates.
  • Cycles: Wash zones, presoak, rinse only.
  • Performance: Cleans upper rack well. Condensation drying struggles.
  • Pros: Budget friendly price. Easy to load standard racks.
  • Cons: No lower rack. Noisy at 55 dB.
  • Reviews: Just over 4 stars. Satisfied with value but noisy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Third Racks

What items should go in the third vs. main racks?

The third rack is ideal small items like cutlery, utensils, small plates, cups, mugs and lids. Larger dishes like pots, pans, dinner plates go in the main racks.

Upper or lower third rack – which is better?

Upper racks provide great space savings but may reduce upper rack room. Lower racks keep cutlery handy but may get less wash coverage. Choose based on your needs.

How much extra capacity does a third rack add?

Typically 2-4 extra place settings. Upper racks provide less space than full-size lower racks.

Are items in the third rack washed and dried properly?

Yes, with most models the wash arms directly cover all racks. Some dishwashers even have targeted “cutlery” wash cycles. Drying performance varies by model.

Are special detergents or cycles needed?

No – regular dishwasher detergent works for all racks. Some units have tailored wash cycles for half loads or concentrated washing of third racks.

Can third racks fit wine glasses safely?

Some can fit stemmed glasses in fold-down compartments, but most third racks are best for hardier items. Use the top rack for delicate glassware.

Can you adjust the third rack when needed?

Many have foldable or removable tines/racks to customize the space as needed. Upper racks that lower down provide maximum flexibility.

Does the third rack need special loading?

Not usually, just evenly distribute items with open faces pointing down and water can flow between. Avoid cramming in too many utensils.

Are third racks prone to malfunctions?

If well built, third racks are quite durable. Look for quality materials like stainless steel. Plastic racks can warp over time.

How do you maintain a third rack?

Check for debris trapped in slots and rinse out thoroughly. Replace damaged tines. Follow dishwasher cleaning recommendations.

Are third racks available in countertop dishwashers?

Yes, many portable dishwashers now come with a third cutlery basket or upper rack for added capacity.

What are the best third rack dishwasher brands?

In our testing, Bosch, LG, KitchenAid and GE stood out for their third rack design, performance and durability.

Get More Dishwasher Loading Flexibility

Third racks provide welcome extra capacity and organization if you regularly max out your dishwasher space. Focus on adjustable rack designs for maximum utility. Also consider your budget, noise levels, rack sizes and dishware needs as you shop.

What has been your experience with third rack dishwashers? Let us know in the comments if you have any recommendations or tips!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Lowes Online Shopping
Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Cameras (0)
  • Phones (0)