Hava R01 review: Efficient, quiet, and maybe too big for a small kitchen

The Hava R01 countertop dishwasher can handle food gunk from a meal or two, but in return, you'll have to feed it most of your counter space.

Matt Wille / Input

The concept of a countertop dishwasher has always been intriguing to me, a millennial who grew up with the luxury of a full-sized one in my parents’ house. Replicating the ease of loading up the dishes in a few minutes without paying close to $1,000 and sacrificing my already-limited kitchen space seemed like a dream.

Hava’s R01 Countertop Dishwasher sets out to fulfill this dream with mixed results. The R01 is a sleek countertop dishwasher that uses just five liters of water for a full 69-minute wash cycle. There’s a lot packed into its 17 x 17 x 18-inch frame, including both an upper and lower wash arm and a vibey blue LED light. It’s boxy in all the ways you’d expect a dishwasher to be — though this model is at least nice to look at.

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The R01’s biggest draw — and, really, the reason I chose to review it — is its look. It’s tapping into the minimalist kitchen aesthetic without being obnoxious about it. The glass door lets you watch the wash cycle, rather than hiding it away behind a sheet of metal; the simple touch panel and interior LED lighting give it a very modern feel.

The touch panel really is very simple. You’ll use it to choose which of the five wash cycles you’d like to utilize: Normal, Speed, Soft, Baby Care, or Fruit. There’s also a cycle countdown timer, a play/pause button, and a power button. It’s responsive and easy to use. It does all it needs to do.

Beware of fingerprints, though.Hava

Five-Minute Setup

The first thing you’ll notice when setting up the R01 is that it feels quite large. The height — which is necessary for that double-arm washing structure — only leaves about an inch of space between the washing machine and my cabinets.

Once you’re done mourning the loss of your dinner prep space, setting up the R01 is very easy. The only real work you’ll need to do is run the included plastic drainage pipe from the back of the R01 to your sink.

Water can be supplied directly from your faucet to the dishwasher by running another line to the back of the dishwasher, but I found it easier to just fill up the R01’s built-in water tank instead. Hava even includes a pitcher that, filled thrice, will be enough to run a wash cycle. The R01 even lets out a cute little series of beeps to let you know you’ve added enough.

Here’s everything included in the box.Hava

Loading Puzzle

Things get a little more difficult from there, mostly because loading the R01 can feel a lot like a bad game of Rush Hour.

Hava markets the R01 for families of two to four people. Its website claims the R01 can hold the following:

  • four serving bowls
  • four cups
  • four small plates
  • four dinner plates
  • seven spoons
  • seven forks
  • seven knives

In practice, I’ve been able to load at most one and a half meals — for my two-person household — per cycle. Let’s say two dinner plates, two small bowls, a few glasses, and a bunch of utensils. Stacking any dishwasher can feel like solving a logic puzzle; with a rack as small as the R01’s the puzzle begins to feel unsolvable.

This loading setup is more aspirational than it is realistic.Hava

The pull-down top rack stands out as particularly unuseful. The R01’s manual depicts this rack being used for mugs, but most of mine are too tall. I’ve used the space for espresso glasses and not much else. Choosing to use the rack also minimizes the vertical space available for dishes beneath it.

Clean as hell

Here’s the good thing: The dishes you do manage to fit in the R01 will come out clean every time. That’s really the best thing about the R01. It gets done the job it sets out to do. I’ve found myself shocked at just how spotless a glass can be — my hand-cleaning skills are just no match for the R01’s cycles.

My hand-cleaning skills are just no match for the R01’s cycles.

Rarely have I found any leftover food bits stuck on my dishes. The few times I have, it’s been something stubborn — like caked-on avocado that I should’ve wiped hours ago — that’s the culprit.

Fruit mode?

Let’s talk wash modes. The “Normal” cycle is the one you’ll use most. At 69 minutes (nice) plus drying time, it’s what you’ll need to wash, well, a normal-sized load of dishes.

The “Speed” setting is only 29 minutes long, and washing and rinsing temps are about 10 degrees cooler than in the Normal wash. You probably shouldn’t put more than a few cups and spoons in there if you’re going for the fast wash. “Soft,” meanwhile, comes in at a smooth 59 minutes and uses the same washing and rinsing temps as the Normal wash. I haven’t really found a use for this one yet.

I mean... I guess?Hava

The two remaining cycles are more specialized. “Baby Care/Heavy” mode adds an extra hot water rinse cycle — only really necessary if you want something really sterile or have forgotten to do your dishes for a week.

Then there’s “Fruit” mode, which is for washing fruit. Yes: a 19-minute room-temperature wash for your fruits. This sounds like a joke, but the R01 actually comes with a plastic fruit basket to use with the cycle. Why you would need to wash your fruit for 19 minutes is beyond me, but hey, surely someone out there will enjoy throwing a bunch of apples in there.

Definitely not skinny

That blue light is niiiiiice though.Hava

Hava’s R01 is very good at cleaning dishes. What’s really holding it back is its size. The ideal consumer for this model is someone without enough room in their kitchen to install a full-size dishwasher.

I should be the ideal consumer for the R01. And yet: The 17 inches of width it takes up is about half my available counter space. (And as far as New York City apartments go, I’m relatively lucky with the size of my counters.) Though the R01 does indeed fit on a countertop, it’s chunky. At 30 pounds, it’s not exactly easy to move around to free up more counter space as you need it, either. This thing is not portable.

Whether or not the R01 will be a good fit for you, personally, depends greatly on your kitchen priorities. If you really hate doing dishes — and don’t have too many of them — the R01 will do a stellar job of automating that process for you. You’ll barely remember it’s running while it does so, too. It’s that quiet.

If you value the minimal counter space you already have, though, the R01’s size-to-capacity ratio might just outweigh its benefits.