Like most Neff appliances, the N50 isn’t cheap – in fact it’s among the most expensive slimline integrated machines on the market right now. But with connected Wi-Fi features and extra cleaning modes, does it do enough to earn that price?
Design and build
Slimline integrated design
Since the N50 is an integrated appliance, there’s really not a lot to say about how it looks – after all, in theory it should end up entirely hidden by your cabinet fronts.
I’ve reviewed the slimline model (S875HKX20G), designed for 45cm cabinets, but Neff also offers very similar full-size 60cm variants – look for model numbers S155HVX15G, S155HCX27G, and S295HCX26G to find larger versions that are fundamentally the same as the one I’ve tested.
With integrated models, the only design considerations that really matter come down to installation and the on-device controls.
For the former, Neff’s advantage is what it calls the VarioHinge: a clever hinge design that reduces the clearance needed below the dishwasher – especially helpful if you want to go rogue and install it anywhere above floor height without interrupting your cabinet design.
Just bear in mind that this may mildly complicate installation – even the professional installer I used didn’t know how to fit the cabinet door to the unit, necessitating a second trip to get the job done.
As for the on-device controls, there’s very little to complain about here. There’s a row of chunky square buttons along the inside edge of the door, with an LED display in the centre. It’s bright and clear, and the buttons themselves are clearly labelled and feel sturdy enough to last as long as the rest of the machine.
Cleaning power and modes
Five main washing modes
Effective eco mode
In terms of actual use, the Neff N50 impresses.
While this is a slimline machine, it’s still rated to have enough space for nine full place settings, and there are foldable elements on both the bottom and top level to give you some extra flexibility while loading the dishwasher.
For the most part I’ve use the machine on its eco mode, which runs at 50°C. Fortunately, this is effective enough that I don’t really see why you’d feel the need to use the more powerful settings except in cases of extreme grime – I’ve not had anything come out of the machine still dirty, even with heavy stains and dried-on food.
If you do need to branch out, the additional core modes are an auto mode that varies temperature from 45-65°C, a 60°C ‘classic’ mode, 70°C chef mode (which Neff recommends for cleaning tough pots and pans with serious stains), and finally a 40°C mode for glassware and other delicate bits – though the eco mode hasn’t done my wine glasses any harm yet.
In addition to the core modes, there are also a few extra functions you can use essentially to customise each mode. You can speed up cleaning time – at the cost of extra water and energy consumption, increase spray pressure in the bottom section to clean tougher loads, or extend the drying time (which you might need for plastics and Tupperware, which otherwise do come out still wet). There’s also a timer to schedule a cycle ahead of time.
One handy touch is the programmable ‘Favourite’ button, which lets you save one combination of cleaning mode and extra function to activate with a single button-press – a handy timesaver if you have a go-to setting that isn’t already one of the defaults.
There’s also a self-cleaning mode that you can use to help maintain the dishwasher and keep it running for longer, along with compartments for both dishwasher salt and rinse aid – with helpful icons on the main display to alert you if either needs topping up.
The machine is rated a ‘C’ for noise levels, averaging 46dB on its eco mode. That might not sound great but it’s actually very typical for dishwashers – in practice, I found the N50 impressively quiet. In my open-plan kitchen and living room, the noise of the dishwasher was never a disruption while trying to watch TV, and is barely audible in my bedroom – which shares a connecting wall with the machine.
One final note: the dishwasher also includes what Neff calls an ‘infoLight’ – which is simply a small red LED that shines down onto the floor while the machine is running, so you can tell at a glance if it’s still going.
‘E’ on the EU and UK’s new energy rating system
‘A+’ on the old scale
The Neff N50 has an energy efficiency rating of ‘E’, on a scale of ‘A-G’.
That admittedly sounds terrible, but hold your judgement for the moment: this is based on the EU and UK’s new energy rating system, which is designed to be much tougher than the old model and leave room for improvement over the next few years – on the old scale, this would have been rated ‘A+’.
In fact the best rated dishwashers still only score a ‘D’ on the new scale, so while the Neff N50 isn’t quite the most eco-friendly dishwasher around, it’s not very far off at all.
The rating is based on the dishwasher’s eco mode, on the assumption that this is now what most consumers will use for their main wash. This mode is estimated to use 70 kWh over 100 cycles, and to consume 8.5l of water per wash – although this will vary depending on water hardness and other factors.
Home Connect app
Remote activation and scheduling
Yes, I report with only a slight sigh: this is a smart dishwasher. And don’t worry, I’m with you when you ask: why?
For what it’s worth, there are a few tangible benefits. The dishwasher can connect to your Wi-Fi network and pair through the Home Connect app – a process I found surprisingly painless, having been burned before by awkward smart home connections. This one, to be fair to Neff, works well.
Once connected, the app mostly just lets you do all the same things that you can with buttons on the device. You can adjust water hardness and rinse aid settings, change the volume of the machine’s beeps, and tweak a few of the default settings – including the programmable, on-device ‘Favourite’ button.
As you might expect, you can also activate the dishwasher from the app, with the full range of various settings and the option to schedule a cycle in advance. This might seem handy if you’re the type to leave the house without remembering to run that cycle you’d been meaning to, but remember that you’ll also need to have loaded a tablet and shut the dishwasher door – I don’t think I’d ever be that organised.
Equally baffling is the option to track your dishwasher tablet count and get a notification when you’re running low and need to re-stock. This might be useful in big households where the person loading the machine won’t always be the same person buying the detergent, but otherwise I imagine that most people will notice they’re running low as they grab a tablet – if you do get caught out, remember what you can (and can’t) use instead of dishwasher tablets.
So when do the smart features appeal? Really, it comes down to the IFTTT integration. This allows you to set up notifications for when the dishwasher cycle ends, or even have your smart lights flash or Spotify start playing if you’re so inclined.
If you’re a daily user, you could set your dishwasher to run at the same time every day (again, assuming you’ve remembered to shut the door and load a tablet…). Or, if you want to get really smart about it, you can connect to services that will run the dishwasher at moments when live electricity prices are lower or CO2 emissions are likely to be lower.
These are all niche use cases, and I still think that most people won’t ever feel compelled to connect their dishwasher to the internet. The option is there at least though, and with IFTTT support there are at least some reasons to go for it. And if smart functionality is not for you, don’t fear: you can use the N50 for as long as you like without ever hooking it up to the Wi-Fi if you prefer.
Price and availability
The Neff N50 is available in the UK and Europe, and Neff lists a recommended price of £619/€709.
In the UK at least it is available for less than that – at the time of writing it’s £605 from AO.com or John Lewis, and just £549 from Appliances Direct.
It is still at the expensive end for a dishwasher of its size, so make sure you won’t be just as happy with a cheaper model elsewhere. Aside from the intangible peace of mind that the Neff model might last longer than cheaper rivals (although the 2-year warranty is fairly typical), it’s features like the delicate glassware mode, AquaStop anti-leak tech, and of course the smart connected features that you’re less likely to find on more affordable alternatives.
The Neff N50 is a slimline integrated dishwasher that will impress, so long as you can afford it. A variety of cleaning modes and an impressive eco cycle mean that it’s just as capable for niche needs as it is for the day-to-day stuff, and it’s both quiet and fairly eco-friendly.
There are certainly more economical models out there, and if you don’t expect to use the smart features or dedicated glassware mode then you should probably save your money. But this does everything it sets out to do, and well – even if the smart stuff still feels silly.
Neff N50 slimline integrated dishwasher (S875HKX20G): Specs
45cm slimline integrated dishwasher
5 core cleaning modes
3 extra cleaning functions
Timer and remote start
Home Connect app support
Energy Efficiency Class E
70 kWh per 100 cycles (Eco mode)
8.5 litres per cycle (Eco mode)
Noise Efficiency Class C
46dB (Eco mode)
81.5 x 44.8 x 55cm