Are you shopping for a Bosch dishwasher but can’t decide between the 100 and 300 series?
Do 300 series dishwashers provide enough extra value to warrant their higher price tag?
In this comparison of Bosch 100 vs. 300 series dishwashers, I break down the differences in materials, noise levels, capacity, design features, finishes, and more.
I’ll also share insights from leading appliance experts, giving you a well-rounded understanding of both series.
Ready to figure out which Bosch dishwasher is right for you? Let’s get started.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Bosch 100 vs. 300 Series: Comparison Chart
- Difference 1: Tub Materials
- Difference 2: Quietness
- Difference 3: Adjustable Middle Rack
- Difference 4: Adjustable Tines
- Difference 5: Standard 3rd Rack
- Difference 6: Water Softener
- Difference 7: Capacity
- Difference 8: Price
- Similarities Between Bosch 100 and 300 Series Dishwashers
- What Appliance Experts Say
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy a Bosch 100 or 300 Series Dishwasher?
The chart below provides a quick side-by-side comparison of Bosch 100 vs. 300 series dishwashers.
|Bosch 100 Series
|Bosch 300 Series
|Steel walls, plastic base
|Adjustable Middle Rack
|100 Plus and Premium models only
|RackMatic with adjustable height and positions
|FlexSpace™ Tines on Lower Rack
|100 Premium models only
|Standard 3rd rack
|Available in select models
|14-15 place settings
|16 place settings
|Push Button Controls
|Recessed/Scoop Handles or Towel Bar handles
|Recessed/Scoop Handles or Towel Bar handles
|Black, white, stainless steel, panel ready
|Black, white, stainless steel, panel ready
|Top Reason to Buy
|Steel tub, quieter, adjustable middle rack, 3rd rack
|Top Reason to NOT Buy
|Plastic tub base, louder, no 3rd rack
Difference 1: Tub Materials
The tub materials are the most significant difference between the Bosch 100 series and the 300 series dishwashers. If you’re unfamiliar, the term “tub” refers to the interior chamber of the dishwasher, where you load the dishes.
Bosch 100 series dishwashers have steel interior walls, but the base of the tub is plastic — specifically, polypropylene. Polypropylene is a sturdy type of plastic that can handle the dishwasher’s heat and detergent. But, compared to steel, plastic doesn’t offer the same longevity or heat retention.
On the flip side, the Bosch 300 series dishwashers boast an all-steel tub, which is incredibly durable. It’s also fantastic at retaining heat, which improves the dishwasher’s efficiency. When hot water fills the tub, it stays hot and cleans the dishes thoroughly.
Plus, steel won’t stain, meaning the interior will keep looking clean and bright even after years of use.
The steel tub’s sound-absorbing qualities are another aspect worth noting. If you value a peaceful kitchen environment, you’ll appreciate how the steel tub on 300 series dishwashers dampens the sound of water spraying and draining during a wash cycle.
The second distinct difference between Bosch 100 and 300 series dishwashers is their noise level during operation.
The Bosch 100 series dishwashers generate a noise level of 46 to 55 decibels. To put that in perspective, the noise of these dishwashers can be likened to moderate rainfall or a typical conversation at home. While not loud, this noise level can still be heard in a quiet kitchen.
On the other hand, the Bosch 300 series models are even quieter, emitting around 44 decibels of noise. This is approximately the volume of a library or the hum of your refrigerator.
If noise level is a significant factor for you, the Bosch 300 series dishwashers, with their lower decibel output, provide a quieter dishwashing experience.
The Bosch 300 series dishwashers feature an adjustable middle rack system, which Bosch calls RackMatic.
This system is designed with practicality in mind, as it offers the ability to quickly adjust to three different heights and nine different rack positions.
This feature comes in handy when you need to make space for taller items, such as stemware on the middle rack, while also needing room for more oversized items like pots and pans below.
In July 2023, Bosch released updated versions of its 100 series dishwashers called the 100 Plus and 100 Premium. These new models now also include the RackMatic adjustable middle rack feature.
However, the standard Bosch 100 series dishwashers without the Plus or Premium names still lack this adjustable middle rack feature. So, on those basic 100 models, you’re limited in loading flexibility, especially when trying to fit larger or awkwardly shaped dishes and glassware.
Bosch 300 series dishwashers are equipped with FlexSpace Tines on the lower rack. Tines are the prongs on the dishwasher rack where you place your dishes.
In the Bosch 300 series, these tines are adjustable, meaning they can be folded down to accommodate bulky items or awkwardly-shaped dishes. This ability to adapt the configuration of the lower rack enhances the flexibility and efficiency of your dish-loading process.
The tines on the lower rack of 100 series dishwashers are fixed in position, providing less flexibility when it comes to fitting large or unusually shaped items.
The Bosch 300 series dishwashers come standard with a third rack. This additional rack provides 30% more loading area, offering extra space for items like flatware, large utensils, and measuring cups.
Plus, the third rack features a convenient V-shape design, which means there’s room underneath both sides for tall items. The 300 series also includes a removable silverware basket, which adds an extra layer of flexibility and convenience to your dish-loading routine.
Bosch 100 and 100 Plus series dishwashers do not come standard with a third rack. However, it’s worth noting that there is an option to upgrade to include this feature, offering increased flexibility should your dishwashing needs require it.
The new Bosch 100 Premium dishwashers that were released in July 2023 do come standard with a third rack, similar to the 300 series models.
Some Bosch 300 series dishwashers, including SHE53B75UC, SGE53B56UC, SGE53B52UC, and SGE53B55UC models, come equipped with a built-in water softener.
A water softener is a handy feature that helps reduce the hardness of the water used in the dishwasher. It’s particularly beneficial if you live in an area with hard water.
Hard water is rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium. While these minerals don’t have health impacts, they can create issues when cleaning dishes. Hard water can leave spots or film on glassware or cause detergent not to work as efficiently.
A dishwasher with a built-in water softener helps counteract these effects, ensuring your dishes come out sparkling clean, without any spots or residue.
Unfortunately, the Bosch 100 series dishwashers do not come with this option. So, if hard water is a concern in your home, the Bosch 300 series is a better choice.
The Bosch 100 series dishwashers have the capacity for 14 to 15 place settings, meaning they can hold the dishes and cutlery used by 14 to 15 people in one washing cycle.
Bosch 300 series dishwashers provide slightly more capacity with room for 16 place settings.
The 300 series dishwashers further enhance their capacity through flexibility.
Remember the adjustable middle RackMatic rack, FlexSpace Tines on the lower rack, and the standard 3rd rack? All these features add to the number of place settings you can fit and provide more flexibility in terms of the types of dishes and utensils you can accommodate.
So, if maximum capacity and loading flexibility are high on your priority list, the Bosch 300 series is your best bet.
Difference 8: Price
Bosch 100 is the brand’s entry-level series; therefore, it’s generally more wallet-friendly, with prices spanning from $550 to $900.
The Bosch 300 series, with its additional features and enhanced specifications, understandably comes at a higher cost. You can expect to find models in this series priced between $850 to $1100.
Remember, prices can fluctuate based on retailer and market conditions. So it’s always a good idea to compare prices at different outlets before purchasing. Ultimately, your budget will significantly affect your decision between these two series.
Now that we’ve discussed the differences between Bosch 100 and 300 series dishwashers, let’s look at their shared features. Regardless of which series you choose, you can expect the following:
I recently interviewed 15 appliance repair companies, and Bosch emerged as the most recommended brand. Of the 15 experts I spoke to, 11 said Bosch is one of the most reliable brands on the market.
Further reinforcing this point, Yale Appliance’s annual reliability report places Bosch among the brands with the lowest service rates. That implies fewer malfunctions and a lower probability of needing repairs.
Whether you opt for a Bosch 100 or 300 series dishwasher, rest assured you’re investing in a reliable brand known for its long-lasting performance and fewer operational issues.
Both Bosch 100 and 300 series feature leak prevention systems. However, you might notice different names when reading product descriptions online — the 100 series mentions 24/7 Overflow Protection, while the 300 series uses the term AquaStop. To clarify the difference, I reached out to Bosch directly. They confirmed that these are simply two different names for the same system.
So, how does AquaStop work? This advanced system kicks in the moment it detects any leakage or risk of overflow. The mechanism behind it is a double-walled supply hose. If a leak occurs in the inner hose, the water instead fills the outer hose. A float switch then detects this water at the machine’s base, immediately cutting off the water supply to prevent further inflow and potential water damage.
With this protection, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that whether you choose a Bosch 100 or 300 series dishwasher, it’s equipped with technology designed to stop leaks before they can cause damage.
Bosch 100 and 300 series dishwashers are equipped with PureDry Technology. It’s essentially a drying method that uses a closed system — it does not pull in outside air, avoiding any potential introduction of contaminants.
Instead, this technology relies on the residual heat from the wash cycle to gently whisk away moisture from your dishes as they cool.
Since PureDry doesn’t use a heating element, you can safely place plastics anywhere in the dishwasher without the risk of warping or melting. So, whether you have plastic cups or containers, they’ll get just as dry as the rest of your dishes.
The Bosch 100 and 300 series dishwashers utilize PrecisionWash — an innovative system that uses intelligent sensors to scan and monitor your dishes during the cycle. It’s not just about blasting water; it’s about targeted cleaning.
These sensors orchestrate powerful spray arms to target every item in every load, ensuring a thorough clean every time. The benefit? You can be confident that your dishes will emerge sparkling, no matter how full the load or stubborn the food stains may be.
Bosch 100 and 300 series dishwashers have convenient push-button controls, offering a straightforward and reliable interface for operating the dishwasher.
In contrast, the more expensive Bosch 800 series dishwashers feature touch-activated control panels, which only require a slight touch from your fingers to select options.
While touch panels can be convenient, they do have a drawback. It’s easier to accidentally hit a setting you didn’t intend to select.
In both the 100 and 300 series, all top-control dishwashers come with an InfoLight that projects a red light onto the floor when a cycle is in progress.
Once the dishwasher completes its cycle, the InfoLight automatically turns off, providing a convenient and unobtrusive way to stay informed about your dishwasher’s operation.
Bosch offers various handle design options for 100 and 300-series dishwashers. You have the choice between Recessed or Scoop Handles and Towel Bar handles.
Recessed or Scoop Handles are sleek and modern, as they don’t protrude from the front of the dishwasher. It offers a clean and seamless look, blending seamlessly with the overall design of your kitchen cabinetry.
Towel Bar Handles provide a larger area to grip and allow you to hang hand towels. This handle extends out from the front of the dishwasher, making it easy to open and close the dishwasher door. Additionally, it provides a convenient place to hang a towel for quick access or drying purposes.
Bosch offers the flexibility of front and top control panels for 100- and 300-series dishwashers.
With front control dishwashers, the control panel, including the buttons to select the cycle, start, and stop, is located on the front of the dishwasher door. This placement lets you access and operate the control panel even with the dishwasher door closed.
However, it’s important to note that the appearance may be slightly less seamless compared to top control models. Additionally, if you have young children at home, they may accidentally press the buttons on the front control panel.
On the other hand, top-control dishwashers offer a sleek and modern aesthetic. The control panel is hidden on the top edge of the dishwasher door and is only visible when the door is open.
The top control panel gives the dishwasher a clean and integrated appearance, blending well with the surrounding cabinetry.
Bosch 100 and 300 series dishwashers come in various finishes to match different kitchen aesthetics. You can choose from black, white, stainless steel, and panel-ready options.
I contacted two companies that have been selling Bosch dishwashers for years to get their expert opinions on this topic. When I spoke with each expert, I asked two simple questions:
- What’s the difference between Bosch 100 and 300 series dishwashers?
- Are 300 series models worth the higher price?
I first spoke to the sales team at Warrendale Appliance in Waltham, Massachusetts.
He said, “The biggest difference is that Bosch 300 dishwashers are made with an all-stainless steel tub, and 100 models have a plastic base with steel sides. The steel tub makes 300 dishwashers a bit quieter. With 100 series models, the noise level is about 50 decibels, but 300 models are around 44. Besides that, 300 series dishwashers have a 3rd rack and more adjustable tines.”
When asked which series he recommends, he said, “100 models are in stock more often, but 300 is the more popular series. People love the 3rd rack, and the steel tub does a better job cleaning because it retains heat better than plastic.”
The appliance expert at Hudson Appliance in Hudson, Massachusetts, echoed the same themes. He said, “Bosch 100 series dishwashers have a plastic tub base, while 300 series models feature an all-steel tub. When water goes into the stainless steel tub, it stays hotter longer and therefore cleans better. Plastic doesn’t hold heat as long.”
He also mentioned the upgraded features of Bosch’s 300 series: “The 300 series comes with a 3rd rack for spatulas, silverware, and lids. It also has fold-down tines in the bottom rack.”
When I asked about his recommendation, he said, “The 300 series is one of the best values in Bosch’s lineup. It’s a reliable machine that’s quieter and offers more loading flexibility. In my opinion, it’s worth the higher price tag.”
When comparing Bosch 100 series and 300 series dishwashers, here’s what you need to know:
- Tub Material: Bosch 100 series dishwashers have steel walls and a plastic base, while Bosch 300 series dishwashers feature an all-steel tub.
- Quietness: The 300 series is quieter, emitting around 44-46 decibels, while the 100 series is around 50 decibels.
- Adjustable Middle Rack: Only the 300 series offers an adjustable middle rack, allowing for more flexibility in loading taller items.
- Adjustable Tines: The 300 series comes with FlexSpace™ Tines on the lower rack, providing more options for organizing dishes.
- Standard 3rd Rack: The 300 and 100 Premium series includes a standard 3rd rack, offering additional space for flatware and utensils.
- Water Softener: Some 300 series models have a built-in water softener, ideal for homes with hard water.
- Capacity: The 300 series has a slightly larger capacity, accommodating up to 16 place settings compared to the 14-15 place settings of the 100 series.
- Price: The 300 series tends to be pricier than the 100 series, with a range of $850 to $1100 compared to $550 to $900.
Bottom line — If you’re looking for a dishwasher with enhanced features and versatility, the Bosch 300 series is the way to go. With its steel tub, adjustable features, and additional conveniences like a water softener, the 300 series offers a higher level of performance and customization.
While the 100 series still provides reliable performance at a more affordable price, the 300 series truly stands out with its superior features and functionality.
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