Depending on how much room you have in your kitchen, and what is more aesthetically pleasing, there are three basic kinds of units that you can choose from. Freestanding or stand-alone washer units do exactly that.
They are not made to be integrated into your existing kitchen fittings, which do not necessarily mean they might not fit in! Many kitchen appliance companies such as IFB Bosch and Neff have elegant slim designs that come in a range of colors. Depending on the price range, freestanding units have various features although most modern units come quite feature packed and make for energy efficient washing.
If you want your unit to seamlessly blend with the rest of your kitchen cupboards and fittings, you should pick either a semi-integrated or integrated washer unit.
These units are provided top panels (of which you can pick the color) that cover up the units so they can't be seen when the panel is closed. Note that with an integrated unit, the controls and display usually are on the inside; while with freestanding washer units, the display and control panels are on the outside wall.
To save power, it would be best to do the washing during off peak hours in the night. Modern dishwashers come equipped with sound dampeners varying in the degree of 'quietness' depending on how much you are ready to spend for peace of mind while you snooze! Companies like Whirlpool and Kenmore have their patented technologies (QuietPartner and QuietGuard) which provide for quiet operation in the nighttime. Other than sound dampeners, many other parts make up your dishwashing unit.
Made of stainless steel, plastic, or baked enamel lining steel, tubs are the inside of a unit. The most efficient material of the three is stainless steel as it is a more efficient sound dampener; it retains heat for longer hence saving electricity and making drying time quicker. They are also the most expensive. Companies like IFB Bosch provide food disposal units that remove hard pieces of food that have not been rinsed off. This feature helps save water, as you do not need to pre-rinse the dishes before stacking them in.
Almost all modern dishwasher units come with sensors and microprocessors that automatically adjust the temperature, amount and pressure of water released into the tub by testing the quality and quantity of the dirt in the rinsing water. If you have children in the house, avoid accidents by making sure your washer unit comes with a child lockout latch.