Dehumidifiers – such wonderful and essential devices, yet so confusing for a lot of people. And that’s kind of understandable – if you have never owned a dehumidifier before then researching about their many features, options and differences can be tiresome and off-putting, let alone being able to easily identify the best one.
If you struggle through the initial confusion, however, with the best dehumidifiers available you can literally improve the whole atmosphere in your home. You can get rid of the mold, mildew, allergens, algae and any unpleasant and heavy odors and excess moisture. This is great for storage spaces which are susceptible to damp like attics, garages and others, as well as for living rooms. Because this is such a popular topic, we've covered crawl space dehumidifiers in a separate article.
To help you get there we’ve produced a lot of how-to articles and product reviews, including this one. Below we’ve tested and listed the 5 best dehumidifiers on the market, at least in our humble opinion. We’ve divided them by their size so that you have an option for any situation. If you want to see more great options for a particular size category, we have other reviews for several other popular sizes of dehumidifier which we will link to below.
And if you don’t know exactly what size of dehumidifier you need, that’s probably where we should start from:
The size of the dehumidifier is categorized by how many pints of water it can draw from the air within a 24 hour time period (pints per day). 70 pint dehumidifiers draw 70 pints of moisture per day, while 30 pint dehumidifiers draw 30 pints. 1 pint is equal to 0.125 gallons and 0.47 liters.
In terms of how many pints correspond to how many square foot (sq ft) of physical space, this is a bit trickier to calculate since the level of moisture in the air can vary considerably. A dehumidifier for the bathroom has to work harder than one in the kitchen for example.
Generally speaking this is how pints and footage correlate:
Once you’ve figured out what size and power dehumidifier you need, the main first step is done. After that comes a simple choice of quality as well as a choice of what additional features and functions you need and like. Different dehumidifiers have different size water containers, they have different options for continuous drainage, they have different energy efficiency, use different refrigerants, have different control displays, and so on. A lot of these features are a matter of personal, subjective choice, while others are objectively great to have.
Take a look at the 5 choices below and you will get an idea of which is the best dehumidifier on the market right now. If anything catches your eye – great, we’ll be happy to have helped! If you want more options, check our other product lists and reviews as well.
Frigidaire make a start to our list with their Energy Star awarded portable dehumidifier. This model has a great removable water bucket that will hold 12 pints of water. The dehumidifier also has an adjustable percent humidity range that goes from 30% to 90% of relative humidity via the built in humidistat.
There’s also an auto shutoff function that stops the dehumidifier when the water container is full, an auto reset function in case of a power outage, and an auto defrost function to protect against ice build-up on the inside. There are two additional drainage options - manual or continuous drain and there is an included drain hose too.
We've said it before and we'll say it again. Frigidaire make some of the best dehumidifiers you will come across. Their products are well made and offer a good blend of price and performance.
The 40 pint dehumidifier we have for you here is a great model from Whynter. This model operates with ease at low temperatures, making it a great choice for your basement or garage, as long as the temperature there don't fall below 40°F. That isn’t the only reason you should buy it, however, since it operates very quietly and is almost certain not to disturb you at home either.
The maximum power consumption is 580W / 3.8A and the air flow works at 245m3/h / 144 CFM. As a result, this model is a very efficient machine that won’t let you down. It also has a 2 in 1 silver-coated washable pre-filter combo and 2 fan speeds. This dehumidifier is small and light, which, together with its great castor wheels and handles makes it easy to move.
The water reservoir on this model is a little more fiddly than it needs to be but this minor shortcoming can be overcome. Here are some of the pros and cons of the Whynter 40 Pint Dehumidifier:
To change things up, here we have hOmeLabs and their 50 pint model. This dehumidifier is a highly effective and efficient device. Not only that, but It is also quieter than most other humidifiers, and is very suitable for your living space.
This model also has a very user friendly design and is quite easy to move around even though it isn’t actually as light as other similar dehumidifiers of the same power class. As far as the electronic display goes, it is simple and a joy to use. It has an auto restart, an auto shutoff and an auto defrost function. These make sure that the dehumidifier always works as and when you want it to and you don’t need to worry about internal freezing, the water bucket overflowing or the dehumidifier needing to be restarted after a power outage.
There is also a level indicator that will help you manage the water tank without a problem. The fact that the water tank is very easy to operate is a great plus as well. Of course, there is also the continuous drainage option for when you don’t want to bother with the water bucket.
This model has two different operating speeds – Normal and Turbo. There are also two drainage options which complement the onboard water bucket. Both the gravity drain function and the continuous draining function via the built-in pump are quite useful. The water bucket itself is very easy to operate and empty, thanks to the wide opening and side handles. This model works comfortably at temperatures as low as 41°F and has an auto defrost feature, making it great for storage spaces such as garages and attics.
The air filter lasts for 250 hours and is reusable and washable. What’s more is that the dehumidifier’s dimensions are 10.8 x 15.4 x 23.2 inches, making it very easily portable.
Here are some of the pros and cons of the GARRISON 60 Pint Dehumidifier:
Frigidaire make another appearance here too, to bring our list to a close. Their powerful 70 pint dehumidifier (Frigidaire FFAD7033R1) is something truly special and will easily rid your home of any bacteria, mold, mildew, allergens, odors and unwanted moisture from the air which could cause damp. The 70 pint Frigidaire also has a very user-friendly electronic display and a digital humidity level readout.
Operating in low temperature is not a problem for this model as it is very comfortable working at temperatures as low as 41degrees F. This makes it great for any unheated spaces such as a cellar, a shed, an attic or a storage space, as well as for your house. For such a powerful model, it is not too heavy and it’s easily movable.
This size category (70 pint models) is the largest that most people need, even for the most spacious of environments. What better product to fill this environment than the best dehumidifier of this size that money can buy.
Buying a dehumidifier should be a straightforward task but we often receive requests for assistance from buyers who are struggling to ascertain exactly what it is they require from their dehumidifier other than humidity reduction and moisture removal.
This section is designed to clear up much of the confusion that shoppers have - and in conjunction with our earlier dehumidifier recommendations – should be sufficient for you to feel confident in purchasing the perfect dehumidifier for combating humid air whether in the summer or winter.
Not only do dehumidifiers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they also utilize a variety of different technology types to dehumidify the air in your home.
The most common type of dehumidifier available and the one we've tested in this dehumidifier guide is the compressor variety.
They utilize compressed refrigerant to cool metal evaporator coils which are designed to strip moisture from the air that passes through the machine.
Due to the energy efficiency of this technology, they are perfect for home use and the only type of dehumidifier that we recommend that you buy.
Desiccant technology is utilized in both small and large dehumidifiers, but the term takes on a different meaning depending on the size of the device used.
A desiccant dehumidifier that is suitably sized for home use employs the use of both a condensor and a heater to remove moisture from the air.
Even though they can be used at home, this type of dehumidifier is generally used commercially do to the energy cost of running this technology. It is for this reason that they're often deemed unsuitable for use in the home.
There are several sizes of dehumidifier available which are each designed to perform in a specific type of environment.
Portable dehumidifiers (also known as a mini dehumidifier) are often used within small, enclosed spaces such as closets and cupboards. They are also commonly used within RVs as a substitute for a larger model.
This is the type of dehumidifier that we have tested in this guide. Each model usually features a set of wheels and a carry handle, making it relatively easy to move from room to room as required.
This type of dehumidifier is the largest variety available for domestic use. They are usually located within basements or an attic and are designed to dehumidify the air in your entire home through your home's HVAC system (similar to a whole house air conditioner).
In the preface of this article, we covered the sizing categories which are typically attached to each dehumidifier which relate to how much moisture they are able to extract from the air in any 24-hour period.
In this section, we wish to go further and provide you with a recommendation that will cover every eventuality;
“We suggest always purchasing the largest dehumidifier that you can find, regardless of the size of the space that you are trying to dehumidify.”
For most people, this will mean that a 70 pint capacity dehumidifier (the largest consumer size available) is always the best option, whether for a large open plan living room or a small office. And the reason for this is simple; large capacity dehumidifiers are more efficient because they can reduce humidity levels much faster than their smaller equivalents.
If a 70-pint dehumidifier can remove 70 pints of moisture in 24 hours and a 50 pint dehumidifier can remove 50 pints of water in 24 hours – the larger capacity model must be removing water and removing moisture at a much faster rate.
For example - if you had a space which contained a volume of air which held 100 pints of water, the figures below will demonstrate just how quickly each model classification would completely remove the moisture from the air;
70 pint – 34 hours
50 pint – 48 hours
30 pint – 80 hours
Another important specification for any dehumidifier is the volume of air that it can process on a per minute basis. A higher CFM rating essentially means that a dehumidifier can suck air from a greater distance due to the power of its fan than a lower rated dehumidifier.
Larger dehumidifiers usually have a much better CFM rating which is another reason why we suggest purchasing the largest dehumidifier you can.
Each dehumidifier in our review utilizes a compressor in conjunction with a fan. You therefore need to expect a level of noise output whenever you are using your dehumidifier.
Each model will differ in how loud they are in operation which we have commented on within each individual review. If you expect to be using your dehumidifier 24 7 or frequently within your living quarters, purchase a quiet model.
You will also find that adjusting the fan speed setting of each model offers you flexibility in just how much sound is emitted during dehumidifying.
Tying into our previous point; dehumidifiers run on electricity and are often required to run for extended periods of time. For this reason, a dehumidifier that gets its job done faster means that it can switch itself off and go into maintenance mode faster, essentially lowering your electricity bills. Always look to buy an energy star dehumidifier if you can.
We always recommend the use of compressor or thermoelectric dehumidifiers for home use rather than desiccant dehumidifiers, simply because they are far more energy efficient.
Generally speaking, the shorter the duration that a piece of equipment has to operate for, the longer it will last. Mechanical parts wear out over time and will often need to be replaced – but since a larger dehumidifier will run for a shorter amount of time, this should in theory mean it will be able to provide you with reliable service for much longer.
And we think that this theory is backed up by statistics as you will notice that consumer reports and complaints about dehumidifier failures almost always concern smaller capacity models.
Just as with any electronic device, dehumidifiers can fail and stop working after a period of time. Fortunately, this is relatively uncommon.
The manufacturer of your dehumidifier is obliged to supply you with a warranty that can be used to prompt a repair under the warranty period.
In addition, the retailer you purchase your dehumidifier from is also legally obliged to provide you with a warranty which can be used to exchange your appliance should it fail during the warranty period.
The last point for consideration concerns just how you intend to use your dehumidifier.
All dehumidifiers need to store or discharge the water that they collect and will shut off automatically if unable to do so.
What this means for you is that if you intend to leave your dehumidifier running for prolonged periods of time, you will need to ensure that you have provided a way for water to drain away, whether into an internal floor drain, a very large bucket or tank, a sink or somewhere outside through a window. Buying a model with a built in pump makes this task much easier. If your dehumidifier is supplied without a drainage hose, you can make one yourself with a length of garden hose.
If you only intend to run your dehumidifier for a few hours at a time, the internal water tank will be sufficient for holding collected water. If instead you're looking to use your new model as a commercial dehumidifier, we suggest looking for an auto draining model to avoid emptying it more frequently than is convenient.
Many homeowners dry their laundry indoors, especially during the colder, wetter months of the year. The problem is that drying your clothes indoors generates a significant amount of moisture which will increase the water content of the air within your home.
For this reason, the use of a dehumidifier is the perfect way to combat this problem if opening the windows isn't an option or isn't enough to get rid of the additional moisture.
As always, buy the largest model you can as they are capable of faster moisture removal which will dry the air out quicker and prevent mold growth.
And there you have them – the 5 best dehumidifiers on the market right now in our experience based on our testing process. If we had to choose a top pick out of the units we reviewed and compared, we are partial towards the Frigidaire brand which has topped several of our other dehumidifier reviews, however, the other appliances are amazing picks as well and are produced by well regarded brands.
If you are set on a specific size of dehumidifier, be sure to check out our capacity based dehumidifier review pages for a more in-depth look at the model you require.