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Don't be disturbed by loud appliances while you're eating, take advice from Poppy Szkiler, founder and MD of Quiet Mark (

  • Many manufacturers focus on performance features; the level of noise a machine makes may be a lesser priority. But Quiet Mark appliances have third-party independent verification that the awarded products are technically approved to be among the quietest available.
  • Sound is measured in decibels [dB), which is a logarithmic measurement of the effective pressure of a sound relative to a reference value. Every 3dB increase equates to a perceived doubling of the noise level.
  • Judging sound output purely as a dB rating can be misleading, as the figure needs to be considered in the context of models of the same type, and measured in a real-life environment. The Quiet Mark award enables those looking for a new appliance to see a product's relative quietness straight away.
  • For large appliances such as fridges, washing machines, dishwashers and boilers, manufacturers must declare dB levels on their EU energy label, displayed as a sticker on the front of the product, or online.
  • Large appliances are tested to specific legal standards, so the dB levels on the energy labels can be compared to each other. Quiet Mark's database identifies the quietest machines of a particular type, such as dishwashers, washing machines, etc.
  • There are no such legal standards for small appliances, such as kettles, juicers and food processors. However, Quiet Mark tests these products in a kitchen facility and publishes the results.
  • As more manufacturers begin to invest in and prioritise acoustics, low-noise performance is continuing to improve. As a rough guide, some of the quietest built-in dishwashers have a noise rating of just 39dB, which is around the same level as a quiet conversation.