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Bosch 500 vs. 800 Series Dishwashers: 10 Key Differences

Are you shopping for a Bosch dishwasher but need help deciding between 500 and 800 series models?

Both are quiet, reliable, and packed with multiple cycle settings and advanced features.

So which should you buy? What are the key differences?

In this comparison of 500 vs. 800 series dishwashers, you’ll learn how they’re alike and what sets them apart. I’ll explore key differences such as performance, drying process, noise level, features, style, cost, and more.

Plus, I reveal what appliance experts say about Bosch 500 and 800 series dishwashers, giving you an inside look from those who sell and service them.

By the end, you’ll have all the facts to decide which dishwasher is right for your home.

Use the links below to navigate the comparison:

Bosch 500 vs. 800 Series: Comparison Chart

The following table offers a quick comparison of Bosch 500 vs. 800 series dishwashers:

Bosch 500 SeriesBosch 800 Series
Number of Models515
Capacity15-16 place settings10-16 place settings
Noise Level4439-42
FinishesStainless, black, or whiteStainless, black stainless, panel-ready
HandlesPocket handle or towel barPocket or recessed handle, towel bar, or panel-ready
Control PanelPush buttonTouch activated
Front ControlsNoYes
Top ControlsYesYes
Info LightYesYes
3rd RackFlexible 3rd RackMyWay 3rd Rack (more space)
EasyGlide RacksYesYes
Drying OptionsStandard and AutoAirStandard, AutoAir, or CrystalDry
Water SoftenerNoYes
Wi-Fi ConnectivityNoYes
Price*$1,110 to $1,150$1,099 to $1,699
*Prices are subject to change and vary by retailer

Similarities Between Bosch 500 and 800 Series Dishwashers

Bosch’s 500 and 800 series share several similarities. Both embody Bosch’s commitment to quality, innovation, and user-friendly design. Let’s explore these common features in detail.

Speed60 – Bosch 500 and 800 series feature Speed60, a quick-wash setting that delivers a 60-minute cycle for dishes with light soil, recent soil, or small loads.

Bosch dishwasher Speed60 setting
Bosch dishwasher Speed60 setting

No Heating Element – Bosch does not include a heating element in its design, making it safe to use with plastic, even on the lower rack. Bosch uses condensation drying, a process that causes moisture to stick to the walls and drip down into the drain. Unlike other dishwashers that may warp your Tupperware with their heating elements, Bosch 500 and 800 series protect your dishes while ensuring they’re impeccably clean.

AquaStop – The Bosch 500 and 800 series also come equipped with a leak prevention system known as AquaStop. This technology reroutes a leak to protect the dishwasher and your home from damage. Once it detects a leak, it cuts the water supply intake, and the leaking water is fed to the dishwasher’s drain.

Stainless Interiors – Lower-end Bosch options like the Ascenta series have a plastic bottom and stainless steel walls. However, the interior tubs on 500 and 800 series dishwashers are entirely made of stainless steel for greater durability.

Reliability – I recently interviewed 15 appliance repair companies, and Bosch was the brand they recommended the most. In fact, 11 out of 15 companies said Bosch is one of the most reliable dishwasher brands. Additionally, according to Yale Appliance’s annual reliability report, Bosch has one of the lowest service rates. Regardless of which series you choose, you can feel confident knowing you’re buying a brand that will last and won’t give you too many problems.

Difference 1: Drying Options

One of the most notable differences between Bosch 500 and 80 series dishwashers is the drying options.

All Bosch dishwashers utilize condensation drying instead of a heating element. The 500 and 800 series both have standard and AutoAir drying cycles.

The AutoAir option aids the drying process by slightly opening the dishwasher door. According to Bosch, this feature results in 40% drier dishes.

However, 800 series models feature CrystalDry, an upgraded technology that transforms moisture into heat. CrystalDry takes drying to a new level, ensuring your glassware, dishes, and even plastic containers come out thoroughly dry and sparkling clean.

According to Bosch, it dries 60% better than Bosch dishwashers with the brand’s standard PureDry technology.

Here’s how it works:

  • Zeolite is housed in a chamber at the bottom of the dishwasher tub. It’s a natural volcanic mineral that attracts moisture.
  • A fan directs the moist air from a wash cycle toward the zeolite.
  • The zeolite transforms the moist air into dry, hot air. Then, a fan circulates that air throughout the dishwasher tub to dry dishes and plastics.

This diagram shows how CrystalDry works:

Bosch 800 series CrystalDry how it works diagram
Bosch 800 series CrystalDry how it works diagram

When you compare Bosch 500 dishwashers with AutoAir to Bosch 800 dishwashers with CrystalDry, the 800 series models provide 20% better drying results.

Difference 2: Third Rack

Bosch 500 and 800 series dishwashers both feature a third rack.

This extra, smaller rack at the top of the dishwasher is designed for items like cutlery and small utensils. It helps to maximize your dishwasher’s capacity, allowing for a better clean, and more organized loading.

With Bosch 500 dishwashers, you get a flexible third rack that accommodates deeper items and comes with adjustable tines, allowing you to customize the rack’s loading space.

Whether you’re dealing with oversized mugs or dainty teacups, it’s up to the task.

The rack even features expandable wings that lower effortlessly to help you load smaller, tricky items like ramekins and measuring cups. You’ll appreciate this feature if you’ve ever struggled to fit these into a dishwasher.

Bosch 800 series dishwashers take it up a level with the MyWay third rack, which is available on select 800 Series Premium models. This rack goes beyond the adjustable features of the 500 series, providing even more space for those chunky cereal bowls, ladles, and small cups.

Bosch 500 vs 800 third rack
Bosch 500 3rd rack (top) vs 800 third rack (bottom)

So, when deciding, consider your dishware. If you’ve got lots of deeper or unusually shaped items, the 800 series might be worth the extra investment. If not, the flexible third rack in the 500 series should suit your needs perfectly.

Difference 3: Noise Level

Bosch 500 series dishwashers are slightly louder than 800 series models.

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The sound is measured in decibels, a unit that demonstrates how much noise you hear. On average, the 500 series dishwashers hit 44 decibels, which is still quiet among dishwasher options today.

Most dishwashers emit 50 decibels or more. However, 800 series models produce a quieter experience, ranging between 39 and 42 decibels. While the difference doesn’t seem like much, the decreased decibels are noticeable. For example, for every 10 decibels of sound, the perceived intensity of the noise doubles.

If you want to hear the difference between decibel levels, check out this dishwasher sound test. It’s clear that 44 decibels, although quiet, is significantly louder than 39 decibels.

So, if the noise level is a priority for you, the 800 series might be worth the investment. But remember, both series are significantly quieter than many other dishwasher brands.

Difference 4: Control Panel

The Bosch 500 series dishwasher models feature a push-button design to operate the appliance. If you prefer a sleeker, more modern look, 800 series dishwashers employ a touch-activated control panel.

Bosch push button controls
Bosch push button controls

Touch panels only require a slight touch from your fingers to select options. However, it’s easier to accidentally hit a setting you didn’t intend to select. A push-button panel requires you to press harder to select cycles and features.

Difference 5: Finishes

Bosch 500 series come in stainless steel, white, or black.

The 800 series is available in stainless steel, a sleek black stainless steel finish, and panel-ready models. Panel-ready means you can attach a custom panel to the dishwasher door to match your kitchen cabinets. It’s a fantastic way to hide your appliance for a seamless, high-end look.

With both series, you can choose between recessed pocket handles and bar handles that double as a towel rack.

Bosch pocket handle
Bosch pocket handle

But with 800 series panel-ready models, you can match the dishwasher handle to the hardware used on the surrounding cabinets.

Difference 6: Water Softener

If you have hard water in your home, you’ll notice water spots on your dishes after running them through a dishwasher, especially if you don’t use a rinse aid. Some 800 series models have a built-in water softener to eliminate this issue. Unfortunately, 500 series models don’t include a water softener.

Difference 7: Connectivity

If you enjoy using apps to control appliances, you’ll like that the 800 series offers Wi-Fi connectivity on some models. You can download the Home Connect app to control many dishwasher functions, such as:

  • Monitoring dishwashing cycles
  • Starting and stopping a washing cycle
  • Choosing the wash features you prefer
  • Speeding up a current wash cycle
  • Creating and launching favorite cycles
  • Running diagnostics to test the appliance

None of the 500 series dishwashers have Wi-Fi connectivity.

Difference 8: Number of Models

The 800 series is much more extensive than the 500 series. The 800 series features 15 models with varying sizes, finishes, and styles.

There are only five different models within the 500 series.

Difference 9: Capacity

Bosch 500 and 800 series both offer 24-inch models — enough room to wash up to 16 place settings.

To help you visualize, one place setting contains:

  • Dinner plate
  • Salad plate
  • Bowl
  • Mug and saucer
  • Drinking glass
  • Fork, knife, and spoon

Of course, you’ll also have food storage containers, pots, mixing bowls, and other dishes. The point is — a 24-inch dishwasher capacity is ideal for a large family.

If you live alone or have a smaller family, the 800 series also offers a smaller-capacity dishwasher. At 17 ¾ inches, it frees up more space, especially in a compact kitchen. However, the smaller appliance can only wash up to 14 place settings. 

Before you choose, measure your cabinet space. If you have only 18 inches, your choice is clear. You’ll need the compact 800 series model. It’s as straightforward as that. So measure before ordering to avoid any fitting issues on installation day.

Difference 10: Price

The Bosch 500 series models are more affordable than the 800 series. Think of the 500 series as the mid-range choice and the 800 series as the high-end option.

On Bosch-Home.com, 500 series models range from $1,110 to $1,150, and 800 series models range from $1,099 to $1,699. 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

To get expert opinions on this topic, I contacted the sales teams at Jarvis Appliance in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Yale Appliance in Boston, Massachusetts. Both companies have been selling Bosch dishwashers for decades.

When I spoke to both experts, I asked, “What’s the difference between Bosch 500 and 800 series dishwashers, and which would you recommend?”

According to the expert at Jarvis Appliance, the true Bosch dishwasher experience starts with the 300 series. The series below 300 (100 and Ascenta) have plastic tubs, while the 300, 500, and 800 series models have welded steel tubs.

He mentioned that 800 series dishwashers are slightly quieter, but there’s no significant mechanical difference between 800 and 500.

He said, “The biggest difference between Bosch 500 and 800 series dishwashers is that 800 models have CrystalDry, which enhances its drying power.”

When I asked about this feature, he explained, “In the back right corner of 800 series dishwashers, there’s a tray holding a natural lava rock. At the end of the cycle, the machine blows moist air from the tub to the chamber that holds the rock. The rock absorbs the moisture and creates a hot vapor. That vapor is blown back into the tub to dry the dishes. This system performs much better on plastics than Bosch’s standard condensation drying process.”

He also mentioned that high demand and supply chain issues make the 300 and 500 series harder to find. But, since the 800 series is the most popular, Bosch is producing more units, so it’s usually in stock.

Yale Appliance echoed Jarvis’s comments about availability and noted progressive improvements in noise level, adjustability, and cycle options as you scale up the series. The expert praised the 800 series for its best-in-class drying system, which addresses the common complaint that Bosch dishwashers don’t fully dry all items.

He also mentioned that the 800 series has a unique MyWay third rack — a feature that outshines the cutlery-focused third rack of the 500 series. The MyWay rack allows you to load various smaller items however you want, creating extra space below.

Ultimately, the experts lean towards the 800 series for its versatility and innovative features. The availability, adaptability, and CrystalDry and MyWay features make it a standout choice. But if these perks aren’t a top priority for you, the 500 series could be a solid, budget-friendly alternative.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy a Bosch 500 or 800 Series Dishwasher?

Now that you understand the similarities and differences between Bosch 500 vs. 800 series dishwashers, it’s time to decide which option is right for you.

I’ll offer my recommendation, but first, let’s recap the key differences:

  • The Bosch 800 series offers a more extensive range of models than the 500 series, with 15 different sizes, finishes, and styles compared to the 500’s five.
  • Both series can accommodate up to 16 place settings. However, the 800 series also offers a smaller capacity dishwasher suitable for smaller families or kitchens with limited space.
  • 800 series models are notably quieter, ranging between 39 and 42 decibels compared to the 500 series’ 44 decibels.
  • The 500 series employs a push-button control panel design, while the 800 series features a more modern touch-activated control panel.
  • The 800 series offers more finish options, including black stainless steel and panel-ready models for a seamless, high-end kitchen look.
  • Both series offer pocket and bar handles, but only the 800 series allows custom handle selection on panel-ready models.
  • The drying options differ significantly between the two series: while both have standard and AutoAir drying cycles, the 800 series features CrystalDry technology for superior drying results.
  • Both series include a third rack, but the 800 series’ MyWay rack offers more space and adaptability for larger or oddly shaped items.
  • Only the 800 series models include a built-in water softener, useful for households with hard water.
  • The 800 series offers Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing for remote control and monitoring of dishwasher functions via the Home Connect app; this feature is absent in the 500 series.
  • The 800 series is pricier than the 500 series, reflecting its additional features and options.
  • Appliance experts recommend the 800 series for its versatility, innovative features like CrystalDry and MyWay rack, and availability despite supply chain issues. The 500 series is a solid, budget-friendly alternative if the 800 series’ perks aren’t a top priority.

Bottom line — your choice between the Bosch 500 and 800 series will depend largely on your specific needs and budget.

If you prioritize a quieter operation, superior drying options, more style variety, and smart connectivity, the extra investment in the 800 series would be worthwhile.

However, if these features are not as essential and you’re looking for a reliable, efficient dishwasher that offers solid performance at a lower cost, the 500 series could serve you perfectly well.

Always consider the size and design of your kitchen, the size of your family or number of users, and your preferred dishwasher features before deciding.

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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