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Bosch 300 vs. 500 Series Dishwashers: 11 Key Differences

Are you shopping for a Bosch dishwasher but aren’t sure whether to buy a 300 series model or a 500 series model?

How do they differ? Which series is better? Is the 500 series worth the higher price?

In this comparison of Bosch 300 vs. 500 series dishwashers, you’ll learn how they differ in price, capacity, handle design, finishes, drying options, and much more.

I also reveal what appliance experts say about both options.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Bosch 300 vs. 500 Series: Key Takeaways

If you’re in a rush, here’s a quick rundown of the key differences between Bosch 300 and 500 dishwashers. I provide more details and side-by-side pictures throughout the full comparison.

Number of Models: The Bosch 300 series offers a greater variety of models, with 17 options, compared to the 500 series, which has five models.

Capacity: While the 500 series dishwashers are exclusively available in a standard 24-inch size, the 300 series offers both the standard size and a more compact 17 ¾-inch option.

Finishes: Both series offer stainless steel, black, and white. However, the 300 series also provides panel-ready options if you want a dishwasher that blends seamlessly with cabinetry.

Handles: The 300 series offers diverse handle designs, including recessed, scoop, towel bar, and panel-ready. 500 series dishwashers are limited to either pocket handles or towel bars.

Control Panel: The 300 series offers top and front control panels; top control is the only option in the 500 series.

Adjustable 3rd Rack Feature: Unique to the 500 series, this adjustable 3rd rack enhances flexibility in loading different types of dishes.

FlexSpace Tines Flexibility: The 500 series has more adjustable tines than the 300 series, allowing for greater versatility in loading.

EasyGlide Rack System: The EasyGlide rack system, which provides a smoother loading experience, is available on both the top and bottom racks of the 500 series. The 300 series features this system only on the bottom rack.

Drying Technology: The 500 series introduces the AutoAir drying feature for faster drying, a feature not available in the 300 series.

Water Softener: The 300 series includes one model with a built-in water softener, a feature unavailable in the 500 series.

Price Range: The 500 series is more expensive, ranging from $1,110 to $1,150. The 300 series ranges from $850 to $1,100.

Expert Opinions: I spoke to two appliance sales managers that have been selling Bosch dishwashers for decades. They told me the 500 series is quieter and offers more adjustable storage and cycle options. They also mentioned that the 300 series has been challenging to get in stock.

Should You Buy a Bosch 300 or 500 Series Dishwasher?

Although Bosch 500 series dishwashers are pricier, they offer advanced features like AutoAir drying, adjustable 3rd racks, and smoother upper racks. They are also more readily available in stores. On the other hand, the 300 series is about $200 cheaper on average and offers a wider range of sizes and designs. Ultimately, the 500 series is a worthwhile investment for its extra features, especially considering Bosch’s reputation for reliability and longevity. However, if you’re looking for the best value, the 300 series is hard to beat.

Comparison Chart

The chart below provides a quick side-by-side comparison of Bosch 300 vs. 500 series dishwashers.

Bosch 300 SeriesBosch 500 Series
Number of Models175
Capacity10-16 place settings15-16 place settings
FinishesStainless, black, white, or panel-readyStainless, black, or white
HandlesRecessed or scoop handle, towel bar, or panel-readyPocket handle or towel bar
Front ControlsYesNo
Top ControlsYesYes
3rd RackStandardFlexible
Flexspace TinesMore flex tinesFewer flex tines
EasyGlide RacksBottom onlyTop and bottom
Drying OptionsStandardStandard and AutoAir
Water SoftenerOne model SHE53B75UC onlyNo
WiFi ConnectivityYesYes
Price*$850 to $1,100$1,110 to $1,150
*Prices are subject to change and vary by retailer

Similarities Between Bosch 300 and 500 Dishwashers

Before I explain the differences between Bosch 300 and 500 series dishwashers, let’s quickly review the similarities:

Bosch Precision Wash System with Speed60 Option

Both series feature the Speed60 option — a 60-minute quick wash setting.

Bosch dishwasher Speed60 setting
Bosch dishwasher Speed60 setting

Unlike many dishwasher brands, Bosch’s drying system does not use a heating element (so your plastics are safe on the bottom rack).

Instead, they use extremely hot water for the final rinse. When moist air contacts the cool stainless steel walls, it creates condensation, dripping down to the dishwasher’s bottom. This drying method is safer and more energy efficient than using a heating element. 

Stainless Steel Interior

Bosch’s lower-end dishwasher models, like the Ascenta series, have a plastic bottom with stainless steel walls.

However, 300 and 500 series dishwashers feature an all-stainless interior tub that’s much more durable than plastic.

Bosch 300 and 500 series steel interior
Bosch 300 and 500 series steel interior

Leak System (AquaStop)

Bosch’s AquaStop leak system provides outstanding leak protection — the water level in the dishwasher is detected by a float sensor at the bottom of the appliance. If the water level gets too high, it stops the water intake and starts draining.

Quiet

The average dishwasher produces about 70-80 decibels of noise while running. However, the Bosch 300 and 500 series only reach about 44 decibels.

Reliability

While researching for my guide to the most reliable dishwasher brands, I interviewed 15 appliance repair companies. Of the 15 experts I connected with, 11 said Bosch is the most reliable dishwasher brand (across all series).

Synergy Appliances in Wyoming, Michigan, said, “Bosch makes really solid units. Bosch is known for its outstanding dishwasher engineering.”

AM Appliance Repair, an appliance repair company in Fitchburg, WI, said, “Bosch is the best brand. Its better models cost around $1000, but they’re almost always worth it.”

In addition to interviewing appliance repair companies, I also analyzed Yale Appliance’s annual reliability reports from the past six years.

In 2023, Bosch came in second with a service rate (service calls divided by units sold) of 5.1%. In other words, 95 out of 100 Bosch dishwashers don’t need service within the first year. 

The point is that Bosch is one of the most trusted dishwasher brands, and 300 and 500 series models are equally reliable.

Connectivity

As of July 2023, all 300 and 500 series models have WiFi connectivity, which lets you control dishwasher functions through the Home Connect app.

With the Home Connect app, your dishwasher can automatically monitor how many detergent tabs you have left and reorder them through Amazon when you run low. The app also notifies you when the wash cycle is complete or if it detects a leak. 

Now that you know the similarities between 300 and 500 series dishwashers, let’s get into the differences.

Difference 1: Number of Models

The first difference you’ll notice when shopping for Bosch dishwashers is that the 300 series is much more extensive than the 500 series.

In other words, the 300 series offers many more sizes, colors, and styles.

There are only five models in the 500 series. In comparison, there are 17 in the 300 series.

Difference 2: Capacity

The standard size of a dishwasher is 24 inches wide by 35 inches high by 24 inches deep.

Bosch’s 500 series only comes in a 24” size but the 300 series comes in 24″ and 17 ¾” sizes.

For context, 24″ dishwashers have enough room for 16 place settings, and 17″ models can fit 10.

If you have a smaller space, like a compact kitchen in a studio or 1-bedroom apartment, you might need a 300 series dishwasher. Before you start shopping, measure your current dishwasher.

Difference 3: Finishes

All 500 series dishwashers come in a stainless steel finish, but a few are available in white or black.

300 series dishwashers are also available in stainless (pictured below), black, and white. But if you want your dishwasher to blend in with your cabinets, there are a few panel-ready options.

Bosch 300 Dishwasher with front control panel and stainless steel finish
Bosch 300 Dishwasher with front control panel and stainless steel finish

Difference 4: Handle Design

There are three handle design options in the 300 series:

  • Recessed or Scoop Handle: This style is sleek because the handle doesn’t protrude.
  • Towel Bar: The handle sticks out but provides a larger area to grip and allows you to hang hand towels.
  • Panel-Ready: Seamlessly integrate your dishwasher into your kitchen with a matching panel and hardware.
Bosch dishwasher recessed handle
Bosch dishwasher recessed handle

Dishwashers in the 500 series come with either a recessed pocket or bar handle — and each model only offers one of these options.

Bosch dishwasher pocket handle
Bosch 500 Series dishwasher pocket handle

Difference 5: Top vs. Front Control

There are two types of control panels within dishwashers: front and top.

Front control dishwashers have the control panel (i.e., buttons to select the cycle, start, and stop) on the front of the door. You can see and access the buttons with the dishwasher door closed.

Front control dishwasher
Front control dishwasher

With front-control dishwashers, you get easy access to the control panel and can see the status of each cycle without opening the door. But the appearance is less seamless and young kids can press the buttons.

Top control dishwashers are sleeker and more modern. Instead of the control panel being positioned on the front of the door, it’s hidden on the top and only visible when the door is open.

Top control dishwasher
Top control dishwasher

Bosch 300 series dishwashers are available with front or top control panels. The 500 series only comes with the top-control design.

Difference 6: Adjustable 3rd Rack

Both series offer a 3rd rack option, but only 500 dishwashers have an adjustable 3rd rack. This allows you to raise or lower the 3rd rack to accommodate small cups, silverware, and cooking utensils.

Bosch Flexible Third Rack
Bosch Flexible Third Rack

Since the 3rd rack in 300 series dishwashers isn’t adjustable, there’s only enough room for silverware.

Bosch 300 series dishwasher 3rd rack
Bosch 300 series dishwasher 3rd rack

Difference 7: FlexSpace Tines

Tines are the small protrusions on your dishwasher’s lower and upper racks that help separate and sort your dishes. They’re the small “spikes” that help your plates stay upright.

Dishwasher adjustable tines
Dishwasher adjustable tines

FlexSpace tines allow you to customize your dishwasher interior to accommodate larger items like serving platters or frying pans. The tines can flip down or up to change the available space on the dishwasher rack easily.

The added flexibility allows you to accommodate any dish, regardless of size or shape. It’s handy for large casserole dishes, soup pots, or mixing bowls.

Both series offer FlexSpace tines, but the 500 series has more adjustable tines than the 300 series, allowing for more versatility when loading your dishwasher.

Difference 8: EasyGlide Racks

The EasyGlide Rack provides a smooth loading experience. It features ball bearings rather than a traditional wheel system. Ball bearings require less force and offer a smoother glide.

Bosch EasyGlide Rack
Bosch EasyGlide Rack

If you often wash large and heavy dishes like casserole dishes or soup pots, the EasyGlide rack is a convenient option that will allow you to load more weight at once

The 500 series models come with EasyGlide systems on both racks. The 300 series has EasyGlide for the bottom rack but not the upper.

Difference 9: Drying Options

The 300 series drying system relies on a standard condensation process — the final rinse uses hot water, which evaporates off the dishes as the stainless steel interior cools. The water then condenses onto the cool stainless steel walls and drains down through the bottom.

The 500 series also uses this method to dry dishes but also features an optional AutoAir function.

The AutoAir feature pops the door open slightly at the end of the cycle to release moisture and speed up the drying time. If you prefer a shorter wash and dry cycle and want your dishes cleaned quickly, consider a 500 series model.

Difference 10: Water Softener

One 300 series model (SHE53B75UC) comes with a built-in water softener, but 500 series models do not.

Hard water can leave spots, clouding, and streaks on dishes. It can also stain the interior of the dishwasher.

If you live in an area with hard water, a 300 series dishwasher with a built-in water softener is a great option.

Difference 11: Price

The 500 series is one step up in terms of features; therefore, it’s also a step up in price.

On Bosch-Home.com, 300 series dishwashers range from $850 to $1,100, and 500 series models range from $1,110 to $1,150. However, those prices are subject to change and may vary by retailer.

Before you buy, compare prices at several retailers, including Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, and local dealers. Some models are also available on Amazon.

What Appliance Experts Say

I contacted two companies that have been selling Bosch dishwashers for decades to get a broader perspective on this topic.

First, I spoke to a product specialist at Jarvis Appliance in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

He said, “Bosch 300 and 500 series dishwashers both have all welded steel tubs, and there’s no major difference mechanically. The three main differences come down to features. Number one, 500 series dishwashers are quieter. Number two, 500 models have a flexible upper cutlery rack. And third, the door on 500 series dishwashers pops open at the end of the cycle to release moisture and dry faster.”

He also mentioned, “300 series dishwashers are difficult to find right now. Since the 500 and 800 series models are the most popular, Bosch isn’t making as many 300 series models. Currently, we don’t have any 300 series dishwashers in stock.”

I also spoke to a product expert at Yale Appliance in Boston, Massachusetts. When I asked about the differences between Bosch 300 and 500 series dishwashers, he said, “500 series dishwashers are quieter, more adjustable, and offer more cycle options.”

He also called out that 300 series dishwashers are challenging to find. He said, “Bosch has had a ton of issues with lead times. We haven’t had 300 series models in stock in the last two years. The 500 series has also been difficult because we only get a handful of units each month.”

Bottom Line: Should You Buy a Bosch 300 or 500 Series Dishwasher?

Bosch 500 series dishwashers cost more, but you get the AutoAir quick drying feature, adjustable 3rd racks, and a smoother gliding upper rack. And since the 500 series is more popular than the 300, it’s more likely to be in stock at your local retailer.

That said, the 300 series includes more size and design options and costs  $200 less on average.

If you value the extra features of a 500 series dishwasher, the high price is worth it. But if you’re looking for a reliable dishwasher at the best value, go with the 300 series.

In my opinion, it’s worth spending a little more for a 500 series dishwasher. Since Bosch dishwashers are known for their reliability, you’ll enjoy those extra features for a long time.

Compare prices and read more reviews on Amazon, HomeDepot.com, and Lowes.com.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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