Buying a dishwasher is probably pretty low on the shopping-excitement scale. You can spend anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands, the main difference being the noise factor and the design. But keep in mind that the more expensive models tend to be the quieter ones.

“Depending on the brand and model, everyone is looking for a quiet, energy-efficient machine,” says Adam Dahl of The Appliance Loft in Oakley. “The biggest trend in the last five to 10 years has been the integrated dishwasher where the controls are completely hidden with just a simple handle outside.” But there are several other features you want to consider:

Interior: White plastic interiors don’t make a machine clean any better and they do tend to stain. If the plastic staining bothers you, look for gray-speckled plastic tubs. Stainless-steel tubs are more durable and more expensive, though they are starting to turn up more and more in mid-priced models. “Stainless tubs allow the manufacturer to heat bond the insulation around the tank to make it quieter n operation,” says Dahl.

Adjustable racks: “People like adjustable racks that move up and down or reconfigure to accommodate different loads,” says Dahl. A third rack is sometimes an option. But what’s hot now is a utensil silverware rack that slides out and is easy to load. It keeps the silverware from clumping together and more easily accommodates serving spoons, ladles, spatulas.

Dirt sensor: These can sense the soil level and make adjustments for water use and length of the cycle.

Built-in disposers: In self-cleaning filters, the particles get ground up and sent down the drain which can be a bit noisier. But the grinder-less filters need occasional cleaning.

Hidden controls: Buttons run along the top edge of the drawer and can’t be seen when it’s closed, but you also can’t monitor the cycle as easily.

Cabinet fronts: “Some brands have the ability to put on a full wood front,” says Dahl. “Unlike the old wood panels with metal trim, these looks like cabinets with matching hardware. Fisher & Paykel is one of the few that offers a stainless steel door with a fingerprint-less finish.”

Double-drawers: “Two-drawer models fit in the same space as a traditional one but you can run a half load or two different loads at two different cycles at the same time,” says Dahl.

Countdown displays: Tell you how much longer the cycle has before the finish.

Soap dispenser: GE’s Smart Dispenser automatically releases the right amount of soap for the load and holds a month’s worth of detergent.