The best dehumidifiers can help you to solve a host of problems in your home, from neutralizing musty odors and reducing condensation, to tackling water stains and fighting mold.
Dehumidifiers work by pulling in warm, moist, excess air and releasing cool, dryer air into your home. They help to keep the humidity in your home in check, and reduce the signs of damp, such as mold and condensation.
How they do this depends on the type of dehumidifier you choose. Kyle Knappenburger, Director of Technology for air filtration company Timilon Corporation (opens in new tab), explains that refrigerator dehumidifiers work similarly to air conditioners. “A fan brings and circulates air to the dehumidifier and passes the moist air over coolant cooled coils,” he says. “This results in the moisture from the air condensing on them, which can be collected or drained away. The air is warmed back up and circulates back out into the room.”
A desiccant dehumidifier uses a heated, absorbent material to draw moisture out of the air instead, and the water pulled from the air drips into a water tank. They tend to give out more heat than refrigerator dehumidifiers, and can use more energy too.
You may be wondering if you need a dehumidifier at all, and whether there are any clues around your home to alert you to problems with damp air. Here are some of the signs that your home may benefit from a dehumidifier:
- Your windows often have condensation.
- There are signs of mold on your ceilings and walls.
- There is a musty odor in your home.
- Your wooden window sills are soft and/or rotting.
- There are water stains on the walls.
- Clothes smell damp even if they’re freshly washed.
- You, or members of your family, have persistent respiratory illnesses.
- Someone in your home has a dust mite allergy.
- There are unwanted pests in your home, such as cockroaches, moths, or silverfish.
If any of these sound familiar, you may need a dehumidifier. To help you find the perfect fit for your home, we’ve got a selection of the best dehumidifiers available on the market, from Smart Wi-Fi enabled models to appliances that are easy to plug in and use straight out of the box.
The best dehumidifiers
This refrigerator dehumidifier from Frigidaire features a host of standout features that make it a great choice for fighting dampness and humidity. A built-in pump allows you to leave the Frigidaire FFAP5033W1 working continuously, whether you’re at home or away. A hose attachment allows you to connect the pump with a water outlet, such as a sink or drain. And if you choose not to allow continuous drainage, an automatic shut-off feature stops the appliance when the water tank is full.
What the users say
The Frigidaire FFAP5033W1 scores well on Amazon, with over a thousand users giving it a combined score of 4.5 stars out of 5. Buyers rate its manoeuvrability, suitability for small spaces, and how easy it is to use straight away. They also score it highly for how powerful it is, with one user commenting that their ‘dripping’ basement was dry within 24 hours of switching the dehumidifier on. Negative reviews cite problems with getting the pump feature to work, loud volumes on its highest settings, and leakage from the base of the unit. These do seem to be appliance-specific problems, though, with the majority of users happy.
Customizable humidity controls allow you to set your preferred humidity levels and let the dehumidifier get on with the job, while its portable design, complete with castor wheels and side handles, make it easy to move it from room to room.
The Frigidaire FFAP5033W1 is designed to operate at low temperatures down to 41 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal choice for basements and garages.
Finally, a washable filter helps to trap dust and keep your dehumidifier working efficiently, while auto-restart means that your dehumidifier powers up again automatically, even if you’ve had a power outage.
With a 50-pint capacity per day, three fan speeds, and a maximum volume of 51 decibels, this dehumidifier is no noisier than a refrigerator. The Energy Star-certified Frigidaire FFAP5033W1 could be the right fit for you, if you’re after a sturdy, reliable dehumidifier that just gets on with the job.
- We are still in the process of testing the Frigidaire FFAP5033W1.
Designed for medium to large rooms, the HOmeLabs dehumidifier covers 1,500 square feet. Not quite as wide-ranging as some dehumidifiers in this guide, but suitable for most home spaces.
What the users say
This HOmeLabs dehumidifier has an impressive number of ratings on Amazon – almost 41,000 and counting. Even more impressive is that 92% of buyers have given it four or five stars. They really rate its power to suck moisture from the air, with one user commenting “I haven’t seen mold in so long I’ve forgotten what it looks like.” They also enjoy how simple it is to operate, and its stylish design. Another user said, “It’s also almost too nice looking to be in my unfinished laundry room.” Negative reviews, of which there are only a few, say the water tank is too small to be convenient, while others say the turbo mode is much too loud.
Removing up to 22 pints of water from the air every 24 hours, the HOmeLabs has a sleek, clean design. Featuring continuous drainage, as well as a water tank, you can choose to empty it frequently or let the water run away down the drain using a hose attachment. Note that a hose attachment is not included with this model, so you’ll need to purchase a separate hose if you want to use the continuous drainage feature. HOmeLabs recommends a garden hose with a ⅝ diameter and an internal threaded end.
With automatic sensors to detect humidity levels and adjust settings to power up or down, the HOmeLabs also features a ’Turbo fan’ setting for maximum moisture removal. You can also time it to power off, from anywhere between 1 hour and 24 hours.
A filter check light warns you when the filter needs cleaning, while auto defrost mode helps the dehumidifier remove ice from the coils inside the machine.
One of the smallest dehumidifiers in our buying guide, the HOmeLabs dehumidifier is designed to be tucked away and forgotten about. Its neutral white colorway means that it seamlessly blends in with any decor, and its quiet operation means that you probably won’t notice it running in the background.
- We are still in the process of testing the HOmeLabs 1,500 sq.ft dehumidifier
This sleek dehumidifier is a talking point for any room. Encased in a black shell and featuring a clear plastic side-loading water tank, it’s one of the most stylish dehumidifiers on the market.
What the users say:
The LG UD501KOG5 scores an average of 4.5 stars out of 5 on the LG website (opens in new tab), and 4.4 out of 5 stars on Walmart (opens in new tab). Happy customers say it’s easy to use and reliable during operation, relatively quiet, and they enjoy its sleek design. They also like that the display is clear and easy to read, even from a distance. Negative comments tend to be around individual appliances, and cite problems with operation, the appliance breaking down, or unusually noisy units.
The LG UD501KOG5 also comes with a host of features, from humidity auto controls to maintain your preferred levels, to a continuous drain feature, meaning you don’t have to keep emptying the water tank.
Automatic shut-off means the device sounds an alarm and powers off as soon as the water tank is nearly full, while a safety standby kicks into operation every 23 hours, to prevent overheating.
LG places this safety first aspect in its marketing materials too, highlighting how it uses thermal resistant parts such as glass, wool, and silicon, as well as a metal case, to prevent fire outbreaks.
With an automatic 12-hour timer, and auto restart in the event of a power outage, you can rest assured your dehumidifier will keep working throughout the day.
Side pocket handles and castor wheels make it easy to move from room to room, wherever you need it most.
At 26.2 inches high, it’s the tallest dehumidifier in our buying guide, so you may need to take this into account when comparing models for your specific space.
This Energy Star-rated dehumidifier is suitable for spaces of up to 3,000 feet, making it an ideal choice for homes with medium to large rooms. With a smart digital control system that actively monitors your space for moisture levels and changes modes accordingly, you can leave the Honeywell TP50WK running, as it features continuous drainage as well as a water tank. An auto-shutdown feature allows you to use the water tank alone, without worrying that your dehumidifier will overflow.
What the users say
On the Honeywell Store (opens in new tab) itself, the Honeywell TP50WK scores high, with an average of 4.8 stars out of 5. On Amazon (opens in new tab), it scores a respectable 4.2 stars out of 5, with over 60% of users giving it the full 5 stars. Users enjoy how easy the unit is to set up and operate, and how quiet it is during use. One user commented, “I’ve had several dehumidifiers over the years , but none have impressed me to the level this one has.” Negative comments cite problems with water dripping into the unit itself, a short draining hose, and problems with individual units not working.
One thing to be aware of, however, is that the continuous drain relies on gravity, rather than an in-built pump. So you’ll have to ensure your hose isn’t too straight or long, otherwise water may collect in the hose and even return to the unit.
The tank itself also comes with splash guards to avoid leaks and spills, while a washable dust filter helps to reduce dust and impurities in the air. The Honeywell TP50WKA also features an auto-restart mode, so if your home experiences a power outage, it simply starts up again all by itself. A generous 5-year warranty is also included for extra peace of mind.
The Honeywell TP50WK is easy to move around, with built-in wheels, a robust handle, and a cord winder.
With a clean white finish, easy-to-operate controls, and a digital display that makes it easy to check your humidity levels, the Honeywell TP50WK is an attractive piece of kit that fits discreetly into any space.
Like the The GE Dehumidifier APER50LZ features a built-in pump that helps to continuously pump water out of the unit and drain it away, using the 16 ft-long hose that comes with the appliance. Able to pump 50 pints out every 24 hours, this dehumidifier has a water tank capacity of 15 pints. Available in a sleek ‘stratus gray’ color, this dehumidifier looks more like a piece of tech than a household appliance.
What the users say
The GE Dehumidifier APER50LZ scores an average of 4.3 stars out of 5 on the GE appliances website (opens in new tab), and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon (opens in new tab), with over three-quarters of happy customers giving it the full 5-star rating. Users rate its powerful ability to remove unwanted moisture from the air, how easy the unit is to set up, and how simple it is to adjust humidity levels using the controls. Negative reviews tend to cite problems with individual appliances, but some users say the water tank is hard to re-insert smoothly, while others criticize the 1-year warranty, with a few saying their machine stopped working just as the warranty expired.
The GE Dehumidifier APER50LZ monitors the humidity levels in your space and adjusts its settings accordingly between three fan speeds. It also features a ‘clean filter’ alert, so there’s no need to worry about forgetting when it’s time to clean away any dust and residue build-up.
Like many of the dehumidifiers in our guide, the GE Dehumidifier APER50LZ features an auto-shutoff and auto-restart. That means it shuts down if the water tank is full, and powers up again automatically if you have a power outage.
The water tank is easy to slide out and empty, if you prefer to use that instead of the continuous drainage. It also features an empty bucket alarm, which sounds for 10 seconds if the bucket is full or missing.
Castor wheels and in-built pocket handles make the GE Dehumidifier APER50LZ easy to move around the home. An automatic defrost feature also ensures your machine keeps running, even when frost builds up on the coils inside.
The Smart, Wi-Fi enabled Frigidaire FGAC5044W1 can be controlled from anywhere at any time. Working with voice-enabled control services such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, you can switch on, power off, or change your fan’s speed settings whenever you like. You can even set the humidity levels you want and the Frigidaire FGAC5044W1 will adjust its settings to suit.
What the users say
The Frigidaire FGAC5044W1 scores an average of 4.4 stars out of 5 on the Frigidaire website (opens in new tab), and 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon (opens in new tab), with 77% of buyers giving it 5 stars. Happy customers say this dehumidifier is powerful during operation and works quickly to remove excess moisture. One user went so far as to say, “As someone who has breathing issues, this has been a great help!” Critical reviews mention that the air intake is at the back of the unit, so it can’t be placed up against a wall, while others mention it uses a lot of energy, even at low fan speeds. Some customers say the Frigidaire customer service can be poor, and the packaging or units are sometimes damaged or broken during shipping.
It’s also one of the few dehumidifiers in this buying guide to feature a clean air ionizer. This extra feature helps to reduce airborne particles by charging the particles, making them fall to the floor or other surfaces, ready to sweep up or dust away. This will improve the quality of your indoor air as well as removing excess moisture.
Other bonus features include a ‘quick glance light’ which uses color coding to communicate how your dehumidifier is performing, as well as reminding you to check or wash the filter. A child lock ensures tiny fingers can’t accidentally mess up your settings too.
As with most other dehumidifiers in this guide, the Frigidaire FGAC5044W1 comes with a separate draining hose, so you can operate the appliance continuously without worrying about emptying the tank. It doesn’t feature an in-built pump, though, so you’ll need to make sure gravity helps the water out of the unit and along the hose.
Customizable controls let you set the humidity levels you want, while auto shut-off and restart features allow you to have peace of mind that the unit won’t leak when the water tank is full, and that it’ll power up again after a power outage. The front loading bucket features a splash guard and the portable design, with castor wheels and side handles, means it’s easy to move from room to room.
- We are still in the process of testing the Frigidaire FGAC5044W1
How do we test dehumidifiers?
Each dehumidifier in this guide has been tested to the exact same standards, using the same processes.
We start by noting the humidity level of a closed room. We then let the dehumidifier run on the highest setting. While the machine is running, we measure the noise level of the machine in decibels. After an hour, we measure and take note of the humidity level in the room. This process is repeated for each mode the unit has, such as lower mode and night mode. We take note of how quickly the water tank fills up, how often we need to empty it, and how easy this is to do.
Our testing also takes into account the size of the unit, the cost, ease of use, availability of additional parts, ease of cleaning and the energy use on the lowest and highest settings. Finally, we check online user reviews to see what people think, and we test for any persistent problems or defects that we read about.
As per our testing policy, we fully disclose all our findings in our reviews.
What dehumidifier is best?
If your home is regularly heated, you may prefer to opt for a refrigerator dehumidifier, as these need the air in the room to be warmer than inside the dehumidifier.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are more efficient in cooler temperatures, so if you want to tackle mold or mustiness in a cold basement, garage, or conservatory, one of these may be a better choice.
If you’re replacing an old dehumidifier, you may be dismayed that many models have a lower capacity these days. Be aware that in 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (opens in new tab) finalized new standards for dehumidifiers that changed the testing temperature from 80 degrees fahrenheit with 60% humidity, to 65 degrees fahrenheit with 60% humidity. This new figure more accurately reflects the average temperature of a basement. However, it also reduces the amount of water a dehumidifier can remove from the air.
Be reassured that dehumidifiers with a lower capacity aren’t any worse than your older model (in fact, they’re likely to have more features and be more energy efficient). Rather, the old 70-pint capacity is the same as a 50-pint capacity because of these new testing regulations.
All the models in our buying guide are Energy Star certified. This means that they can help you save on your energy bills without sacrificing performance, features, or comfort. They also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Choosing a dehumidifier that has the Energy Star label means that you’re saving almost 15% in running costs. So look for a dehumidifier with the Energy Star label, to do your bit for the environment and save yourself some cash in the process.
A continuously draining dehumidifier will allow you to turn it on, and forget about it. Many dehumidifiers come with a hose attachment that can drain the water away during operation. Some even come with pumps, so you can direct the hose upwards into a sink if you need to, although it’s usually easier just to let gravity do its work and let the hose empty into a drain.
Dehumidifiers that offer timers can also be a more affordable option, if you only want the appliance to run while you’re at home.
Finally, think about the size of the space you want to use your dehumidifier in. Is it small or large? This, according to Kyle Knappenburger, Director of Technology for air filtration company Timilon Corporation, is the most important factor to consider above all else. So choose an appliance that has sufficient capacity for the space it’s in, especially if you don’t want a continuously draining dehumidifier.
Kyle Knappenberger is the Director of Applications at Timilon Technology Acquisitions. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from Kansas State University and earned his degree while researching and testing water purification techniques. For over a decade, Knappenberger has been working on using safe metal oxide technology for odor control and toxic chemical neutralization applications. He has been involved in several key product development programs related to indoor air quality.
Are dehumidifiers worth it?
Dehumidifiers can actively improve the quality of your indoor air by keeping humidity levels in check. According to the Mayo Clinic (opens in new tab), high humidity levels can increase condensation, triggering the growth of mold, harmful bacteria, and dust mites. These can, in turn, cause respiratory problems, and even trigger allergy or asthma attacks.
Knappenberger also tells Live Science: “The benefits are mainly observed in warmer and moister climates by removing or reducing the amount of water in the air. Higher humidity in warm air makes it much more uncomfortable. In a home, this can also potentially lead to other issues with indoor air quality and mold issues. So reducing humidity can impact comfort and safety.”
The Sleep Foundation (opens in new tab) also points out that high humidity can affect sleep patterns, increasing wakefulness and reducing the amount of time you spend in REM sleep, which can affect your overall health. Worsening allergy symptoms or respiratory problems will also affect your sleep over time.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (opens in new tab), indoor humidity levels should be kept below 60%, but ideally rest somewhere between 30% and 50%.
A good dehumidifier will give you an idea of humidity levels in your home, and allow you to set your preferred humidity levels. It will then adjust its settings continuously to ensure your indoor space meets those preferred levels. Look for the term ‘humidistat’ in the appliance specifications.
If you don’t have a dehumidifier with a humidistat, Energy Star suggests buying a hygrometer. This is a gauge that measures humidity levels. Hang it somewhere near your dehumidifier, so you can check humidity levels and adjust your dehumidifier’s settings when you need to.
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