With all the different options available many people ask: What is the best dehumidifier for home use? If you live in a high humidity area without a dehumidifier then you know that there’s nothing worse than a damp and moldy home.
Besides the musty smell and black mildew marks on the walls, high humidity can cost you dearly in other areas. Once mold sets into ceilings, basements or into crawl spaces the repair costs can be substantial. Left untreated you could even find yourself with some medical bills too.
Even if you don’t normally suffer from allergies, the spores that flourish in a home that is too humid can cause all sorts of respiratory problems. You know you need a dehumidifier, but which one?
What size dehumidifier do I need? What’s the ideal dehumidifier for my bathroom, basement or garage? Should I get a desiccant dehumidifier or is the regular compressor type fine for my application?
We answer all these questions and more in our dehumidifier buying guide below. Our dehumidifier reviews also list the top rated dehumidifiers on the market today.
Before we get into more detail about the different dehumidifier ratings to consider, take a look at which the best dehumidifiers were that made our top 10 list.
Best Dehumidifier Comparison Table
11.6 x 15 x 24.4
10.8 x 15.4 x 23.2
12 x 15 x 23.2
15.3 x 12.4 x 24.3
6.9 x 11.4 x 18.7
13 x 9 x 22
11.6 x 15 x 24.4
10.8 x 15.4 x 23.2
11.4 x 15 x 24.7
15.4 x 11 x 23.2
Best Dehumidifier Reviews
We’ve done a lot of research into the best dehumidifiers and the most efficient dehumidifier options on the market today. Spending more money doesn’t always mean that you’ll get a better product. That being said, we did notice that the cheap dehumidifiers really weren’t worth considering if you want something that will work and last more than a few months.
We looked at the best combination of price, performance and features. Here are the best dehumidifiers that made it into our top 10 dehumidifier reviews.
This is our choice for top rated dehumidifier and it’s easy to see why. At this price you just aren’t going to get a better product. Even if you spent more money it would be tough to find a better dehumidifier. Its 70-Pint capacity and strong fans mean that it will do the job in most spaces and applications.
The electronic controls are easy to use and make it simple to enter your desired humidity level. The continuous drain option allows you to set it up with a hose to drain the water or you can make use of the easily accessible collection container.
We really like that it has a washable air filter which helps reduce bacteria, odors and other particles.
The wheels and handles make it portable and very easy to move around. We’re always mindful of our energy bill and were very happy to see that this unit comes with an Energy Star rating confirming that it is a very efficient dehumidifier.
Although it has a 50-Pint capacity this dehumidifier is certainly no slouch. It will make short work of humid air in a space of up to 3,000 square feet and will outperform a lot of 70-Pint units we’ve seen.
It comes with auto defrost function so it’s perfect for garages and basements that get really cold. This function will defrost the compressor coils when needed so that the compressor will turn on even in low temperatures.
It also has an auto restart function so you don’t need to re-enter your settings or restart it manually after a power failure.
The water reservoir is easy to check and empty but we’d rather attach a hose to the outlet as it supports continuous drain function. It’s Energy Star rated so you won’t need to worry that it’s going to cost you a lot more in your utilities bill because this is a very efficient dehumidifier.
It also comes with a washable air filter and we really liked that it has an indicator to let you know when it could do with a clean.
While Friedrich may not be as well known as some of the other dehumidifier brands we were really impressed by this product of theirs. If you're looking for the best dehumidifier with pump then this is it.
It works really well and the electronic panel makes it easy to use. It’s a really attractive product as well so you won’t mind it being in plain view in your house.
What really pushed this unit toward the top of our list is the fact that this is a dehumidifier with built-in drain pump. This means that you can run your hose into a basin or drain that is a few feet higher than the outlet of the dehumidifier. No need to rely on gravity to do the job for you. The unit comes supplied with a hose.
If you don’t want to use this function the water reservoir holds a fair amount and is easy to check because it’s transparent. The unit will shut off automatically when the container is full so you don’t need to worry about any spills if you’re not using the continuous drain option. This is a great option for your basement.
DeLonghi are probably better known for their other domestic appliances than for making dehumidifiers. This 50-Pint unit they’ve made continues their good run of form in producing quality products.
When designing this dehumidifier they obviously wanted to pack it full of all the best features. It comes with a built-in drain pump which allows you to run a drain hose up to 10-feet higher than the outlet of the unit. This makes it ideal to use in a garage or basement where you may need to run a hose through a window or hole to the outside.
The auto defrost function means that even in cold temperatures (down to 41 deg) this unit will be running more often than other units without this function. The auto restart function will get it up and running with your settings in place when the power comes back on after an outage. The easy roll castors and handles make it really easy to move around too.
We couldn’t resist having a desiccant dehumidifier making into our top 5. This product is certainly not one of the cheapest but it’s a top quality product and the best bathroom dehumidifier we've seen.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that it only has a 15-Pint capacity. At low temperatures this unit will work more efficiently than most larger capacity compressor type dehumidifiers.
It’s really compact and light so you could move it and store it really easily. Because it doesn’t have a compressor it’s really quiet so it perfect for using in a bedroom while you sleep. If you’re looking for something small to use to dry laundry indoors then this is the perfect product.
It’s really efficient too. It will automatically sense the room temperature and humidity level and will then toggle between full power, economy and standby. This results in the best dehumidifier performance at the most efficient energy usage. It’s a quality product and it comes with a 2-year warranty.
Our best dehumidifier top 10 list is rounded off by these 5 top rated dehumidifiers.
What Is A Dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier is a device that draws in humid air from its surroundings, removes the moisture from the air, and then expels dry air. The water that is removed from the air is either stored in a reservoir or drained via a hose. Dehumidifiers can be divided into two main types: Compressor and Desiccant. The compressor type is the most common type and, under most conditions, will give you the most bang for your buck.
Desiccant dehumidifiers don’t have a compressor and this gives them 3 main advantages. They can work effectively at lower temperatures, they’re more compact and they’re quieter that compressor type dehumidifiers. That being said, for the same dehumidifying capacity you’ll be paying a lot more for these kinds. Choosing between the two types really depends on your application. More on that later.
In some cases, like basements and crawl spaces, sometimes a decent extraction fan with a humidistat is all that’s needed. For very damp or high humidity areas you’re going to need a decent dehumidifier.
Best Dehumidifier Brands
Some of the best dehumidifier brands are more recognizable as companies that make a variety of household appliances. These include brands like DeLonghi or Samsung. The majority of dehumidifier brands come from companies with a greater focus on making air quality management products. Some of these top dehumidifier brands are Frigidaire, Keystone, Friedrich, eBac and EcoSeb. Some of these companies make products for a variety of applications while others may focus mainly on specific areas like small bathroom dehumidifiers or crawl space dehumidifiers.
While the products above are all great it’s important to understand the space or room you’re looking to control before buying your dehumidifier. Here are some of the different application areas and associated factors to consider.
Basements are notorious for being damp and moldy. Because these spaces are often just used for storage we don’t pay them much attention until there’s a problem. Most basements don’t benefit from central heating or air conditioning either and this compounds the problem. While the rest of your house may feel fine the environment in the basement can be very different.
If you don’t keep the humidity down around at least 50% you’ll soon be getting that musty smell and start seeing signs of mold. Left unchecked this can quickly get into the structure of your home and can even end up costing a fortune to repair. The ventilation inside your house is really good at drawing up any mold spores up from the basement. For the sake of your health and your home make sure you get the best dehumidifier for basement spaces.
When you think about the valuable things you store in your garage you begin to realize how important it is to make sure they stay in good shape. Whether it’s your car, your tools or machinery, all of these things can deteriorate really quickly in a high humidity environment. If you don’t control the humidity in your garage then you’ll pretty soon begin to see signs of rust and mold. Because your garage isn’t generally air conditioned like the rest of your home it can be more of a challenge to regulate the humidity.
This is especially true if your garage experiences temperatures close to freezing. The size of your garage is also an important factor to consider. If you live in a high humidity area then buying a good dehumidifier that will do the job can sometimes cost a bit more than you expected. When you consider the cost of replacing the contents of your garage then it’s obvious that investing in a garage dehumidifier is worth the money.
Crawl Space Dehumidifier
While basements and garages can be tricky to dehumidify, your crawl space can present a particularly tough challenge. These spaces are more exposed to the elements than any other part of your home. The floor under your crawl space is generally exposed earth which can remain damp all year round in some areas. The air that comes into the crawl space from outside can make it a damp space that is ideal for mold and mildew to set in. Once that happens you can be sure that health problems and costly home maintenance is soon to follow.
If you stay in an area that isn’t a particularly high humidity area than you might get away with using a set of good crawl space fans. These are high power fans that are controlled by a humidistat. While they don’t actually dehumidify the air they do pull the damp air out allowing dryer air from outside to enter the crawl space. If you live in a high humidity environment than fans just won’t be enough. The narrow space of most crawl spaces means you will need the best crawl space dehumidifier that is purpose made to fit into these spaces.
Bathrooms are generally fairly small rooms but they are also your highest humidity spaces. The steam from your shower and bath will quickly create an environment that mold and mildew loves. If you haven’t used a dehumidifier in your bathroom yet then you may already see some black spots on your ceiling or on the grout between your tiles. There a a number of dehumidifiers that are made especially for bathrooms. These are generally smaller, more compact devices that fit easily in a corner or on a bathroom shelf.
Because they need to be small they are mostly the desiccant type which don’t have a compressor. There are some really small capacity, cheap units available but they really aren’t worth it to buy. They will either break within a few months or they just won’t have the dehumidifying capacity that you need in a bathroom. You don’t need a high capacity unit but you should get the best bathroom dehumidifier with good reviews.
The effectiveness of a dehumidifier is very dependent on the temperature of the air. While compressor type dehumidifiers work really well under normal conditions, they are not effective when temperatures drop towards freezing. If the space you’re trying to dehumidify often experiences very low temperatures then you’ll need to consider a desiccant dehumidifier. These units don’t have a compressor.
They work by pulling in air, heating it, passing the heated air over a desiccant material and then blowing the dehumidified air out. Because they have their own internal heater and don’t rely on a compressor they are far more effective in colder temperatures. The other benefit of a desiccant dehumidifier is that the absence of a compressor makes them really compact and quiet. This makes them perfect for using in your bedroom, bathroom or study or anywhere else that you need a portable and quiet dehumidifier.
The best dehumidifier brands have all made progress on making their dehumidifiers quieter but you’re still going to hear them in the background. The main contributors to the noise are the compressor and the fans. The quietest dehumidifier options will be desiccant dehumidifiers. These don’t have compressors so all you will be hearing is the fan. These can be pretty pricey if you’re looking for a higher capacity unit though.
If you want a quiet compressor type dehumidifier then look for something that has a fan with adjustable speed settings. When you want it to really perform you can set the fan on high. When you don’t want to hear it then set the fan to low speed. A number of manufacturers will quote dB sound levels so that you can make comparisons between different units when you’re shopping for a dehumidifier. These can be fairly subjective, or biased, readings so it’s best to take them with a pinch of salt.
What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need?
Sizing a dehumidifier really comes down to how humid the space is and how big it is. A lot of people just look at the Pints per day rating of a dehumidifier and assume that more is better. This can be a misleading indicator of exactly how effective the dehumidifier is. Besides its ability to extract water it’s also important to know how much air its fans are capable of shifting.
The first thing you’ll need to work out is how big the space is. To get the area of the room you simply multiply the width by the length to get the square footage of the space. Next you’ll need to estimate or measure the humidity of the air. Combining these two factors will help you to understand how much air needs to be cycled per hour and how much water needs to be extracted per day. Here’s a page explaining in detail how to answer the question: “What size dehumidifier do I need?”.
Dehumidifier Buying Guide
If you're looking to buy the best dehumidifier for the money there are a number of things to consider before making your purchase. While a lot can be said about each of these factors here is a brief summary of what you should think about before buying a dehumidifier.
Application - What room, or space, will you be using this in. It’s important to understand that spaces like garages and basements experience different conditions than rooms inside your house. A crawl space again will also have conditions specific to that environment. The main difference between these spaces will be temperature and humidity levels.
What size dehumidifier do I need? - Make sure you get the right capacity dehumidifier. The size you need is determined by the size of the room as well as the humidity of the environment.
Temperature - If the space you’re wanting to dehumidify will regularly experience temperatures that approach freezing then you will need a desiccant dehumidifier. Most compressor type dehumidifiers will be ineffective at temperatures below around 45 degrees.
Humidity - How low do you want to go? You need to aim to keep the humidity around 50% to prevent mold and mildew. For most people this is a comfortable level and most dehumidifiers will be able to maintain this level. Some people prefer to have humidity at around 40%. Make sure that your dehumidifier has adjustable settings and capacity to maintain the level you want. In winter your house is heated and the air gets dry. Then you'll need to install the best furnace humidifier to get your home's humidity up to the ideal level.
Getting rid of the water - Are you ok with emptying the water reservoir from time to time or do you want a set and forget type of solution. If you’re OK with emptying a reservoir then make sure that the unit comes with an auto off that kicks in when the container gets full. Otherwise make sure the unit supports continuous drainage. This means you can connect a hose to the outlet and have the other end empty into a drain. If you need the hose to go higher than the outlet of the unit then you’re going to need a unit with a built-in drain pump.
Noise - Does it matter if the dehumidifier is silent or not? If it’s in your garage or basement then it probably doesn’t matter. If you plan on trying to sleep with a dehumidifier in your bedroom then it’s going to be a big deal. If you need a quiet dehumidifier then your best bet is a desiccant type as they have no compressor. If you prefer the compressor type dehumidifiers then make sure you get one that allows you to set the fan to a low speed.
Energy Efficiency - Unless you don’t mind a higher electricity bill then this is crucial. Make sure that you get an Energy Star rated dehumidifier. Your energy bill is never going to be zero but if you get one that cycles on and off and is Energy Star rated then you’ll be saving yourself some bucks.
If you live in an area that regularly experiences high humidity levels then it’s almost certain that you need a dehumidifier in your home. It’s important to view your purchase as an investment in your home, the contents of your home and your health.
When trying to decide what dehumidifier to buy you need to understand that not all dehumidifiers are created equal. Besides performance you also want to be sure that you get an efficient defumidifier. Make sure that you read the dehumidifier reviews of customers who have bought the product you’re considering. If you do this then you can avoid any problems they may have had. If you do a bit of research first and understand the size, humidity and special conditions of the space you’re looking to control then you’ll be able to choose the best dehumidifier on the market.
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