Can I Place the Dishwasher Next to My Refrigerator? Layout Guide

The kitchen is often composed of two main appliances – the refrigerator and the dishwasher. If you just moved to a new apartment, or you’re considering a kitchen renovation, you may be wondering – can I place my dishwasher next to my refrigerator?

Refrigerators and dishwashers should never be placed side by side. The heat coming from your dishwasher can lead to your refrigerator working overtime and potentially shortening its lifespan.

While your dishwasher may not be fully affected by this, your refrigerator could suffer from decreased efficiency.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Place Dishwasher Next Refrigerator

dishwasher next to fridge

No matter how small or big your kitchen is, there are always other places you can put your dishwasher. There should be at least 2 inches of space on all sides of your refrigerator, so it can properly circulate air.

Dishwashers can be placed across the refrigerator, but never directly beside it, and here are some reasons why:

Increased Energy Consumption

Dishwashers tend to give off heat when they’re running. If you place your dishwasher next to your fridge, the fridge will have to work harder to keep cool, which could lead to an increase in your energy bill.

Refrigerators should always be placed in a well-ventilated area so that they can properly cool down. If your dishwasher is blocking the vents on your fridge, it won’t be able to do its job efficiently.

Poor Functionality

If your dishwasher is placed next to your fridge, it’s going to be harder to load and unload. You’ll have to move around appliances to get what you need, which can be a pain, especially if you’re in a rush.

Additionally, keeping food and drinks cool in your refrigerator may be difficult, especially with constant heat coming from the dishwasher.

Shortened Lifespan

Aside from increased energy consumption, placing your dishwasher next to your fridge can also lead to a shorter lifespan for your fridge.

The extra heat from the dishwasher can cause problems with the compressor and other internal components of the refrigerator. Moisture, heat, and humidity – all of which come with running a dishwasher – are not suitable for your fridge.

Dishwasher Filth

When the dishwasher is close to the refrigerator, it can spew dirty water and food particles onto the fridge. This can create an unsanitary environment and lead to bacteria growth.

Noise Pollution

Dishwashers can be pretty loud when running, and so are refrigerators. If you place them next to each other, the noise can be pretty overwhelming. Not only is this annoying, but it can also be disruptive at the same time.

Kitchen Appliances You Can Place Next to Dishwasher

If you’re not sure where to put your dishwasher, don’t worry – there are plenty of other places you can put it. Here are a few appliances that work well with dishwashers:


Placing a dishwasher next to a stove is relatively okay, depending on your dishwasher model. Just make sure there’s at least a two-inch gap between the dishwasher and the stove to avoid any fire hazards.


If you have a small kitchen, placing your dishwasher next to the microwave is a great option. This will free up counter space and make it easier to unload dishes.


If you have a double sink, placing your dishwasher next to the sink is ideal. This way, you can quickly rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.

Kitchen Appliances You Can Place Next to Refrigerator

Most kitchen appliances can be placed next to a refrigerator, with the exception of dishwashers. Here are a few appliances that work well with refrigerators:


If you have a lot of frozen food, it’s best to place the freezer next to the refrigerator. This way, you can easily access your food without having to move any other appliances around.

Coffee Maker

If you’re a coffee-lover, placing your coffee maker next to the fridge is a great option. This way, you can easily get to your coffee grounds and milk.

As a general rule of the thumb, appliances that do not produce too much heat and moisture are safe to be placed next to a refrigerator. If you’re not sure if an appliance is a good fit, it’s always best to consult with a professional.

Final Thoughts

Your kitchen should be made as functional as much as possible. Aside from the above reasons, having your dishwasher next to your fridge just doesn’t make sense from a layout perspective. Aesthetically speaking, it’s also not the most pleasing arrangement.

If you’re planning a kitchen renovation, be sure to keep these things in mind and if you’re ever in doubt, always consult with a kitchen designer or contractor. They’ll be able to help you make the best decision for your space.