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Published Sep. 30, 2021

Dehumidifiers are specialized appliances that remove excess moisture from your home or office space. Maybe you live in a humid climate and you don’t want your furniture, clothing, or office space to be warped by excess vapor in the air, or you have a damp basement that smells funky. Dehumidifiers are a great option for these types of environments, so you can prevent allergies, dust mites, and mold, all of which are a huge pain in the butt to deal with.

In fact, studies show that indoor humidity can affect respiratory infections and allergies, and that your health and wellbeing may be better off by maintaining indoor humidity levels between 40 and 60%. A dehumidifier can help you identify humidity levels, and keep a consistent air quality.

Dehumidifiers can also help pantry food stay fresh for longer, or accelerate drying time when hang-drying your fresh laundry. With all these benefits, a dehumidifier is definitely a necessary investment if you live in a damp environment. That’s why we did our research into finding you the best dehumidifiers of 2021, so you can breathe easy and stay dry.

Methodology

There are a few crucial elements when considering which dehumidifiers to shop for. First, we looked at pint capacity (i.e. how much water the unit can successfully remove per day). We want to make sure your dehumidifier is as effective as possible in drying out your space. We considered dozens of the most popular models with the most relevant features, drawing on years of experience in the health and wellness space.

We also considered whether or not the model came with a drain pump or hose, so you wouldn’t have to manually empty the excess water reservoir. Additionally, we wanted to recommend models that were as easy to use and operate as possible: features such as auto-turn off, auto restart, Wi-Fi connectivity, etc were among the capabilities we looked for.

Finally, we looked at the noise level. Who wants to be disturbed by loud machinery? Less humidity, and less noise – always.

How Dehumidifiers Work

Dehumidifiers suck out moisture from the air, essentially “dehumidifying” the space. They’re sort of like a vacuum cleaner, but instead of sucking up dust and dirt, they suck in moist air through a fan. Then, they draw out the condensation and release warmer, dry air back into the room. 

Some models work more like a refrigerator, in that the warm, wet air passes over freezing pipes that cool the air. Then, the dry, cool air passes over a hot compressor unit and gets released back at room temperature through a grille.

The excess water can be collected and removed in one of two ways, depending on the model you select. The water is either released into a removable reservoir that you can drain manually, or it’s circulated out of the unit automatically through a hose.

Types of Dehumidifiers

  • Heat Pump Dehumidifier (refrigerator style). These dehumidifiers use a fan, pump, and heat exchange coils to dehumidify the space. The air is sucked in through a fan and then passes over the super cold heat exchanger coils. Excess moisture is then collected into the reservoir or through a drainage hose. They’re not always best for colder climates, as the air is already cold.
  • Desiccant Dehumidifier (aka Chemical Absorbent Dehumidifier). Instead of cooling the air to remove moisture, desiccant dehumidifiers use a chemical drying agent, such as silica gel. The chemical agent is then passed through a heat exchange wheel that helps to draw out moisture, and pushes dry air back into the room.
  • Ventilating Dehumidifiers. These use a sensor control to measure the amount of humidity in the air. Once the humidity reaches a certain level (that you can manually specify), it will turn on the ventilator and draw in air from outside. These aren’t as common. 

Things to consider when looking for the best dehumidifiers

  • Pint Capacity. This affects how much water, or humidity, will be absorbed throughout the day. This is rated in moisture absorbed per 24 hours (i.e. a 30-pint humidifier removes 30 pints of moisture per day, then 50 pints, then 70 pints, etc). Selecting pint capacity depends on your room size and how damp the room is.
  • Whole home vs portable. Do you need a dehumidifier that can work for an entire house or office space? Or will you be needing a smaller, more portable model for just one room? Portable dehumidifiers are less expensive upfront, but whole-home dehumidifiers are more energy efficient in the long term.
  • Water Removal System. Essentially, there are three methods for removing water: using gravity with a drainage pump/hose, an external condensate pump, or internal condensate pump. 
  • Wattage. Dehumidifiers can range anywhere from 50 to 800 watts. The higher the wattage, the more powerful, but also the higher your energy bill might be. This is something to consider, so look for Energy Star certified dehumidifiers to make sure you’re not wasting energy and running up that bill. 

Best dehumidifier overall: hOmeLabs Energy Star Dehumidifier

Grand champ

A little bit of everything all rolled into one.

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Why it made the cut: Designed for use up to 4,500 ft², this device has all the major hits of a high quality, long-lasting, whole-home dehumidifier. 

Specs:

  • Daily rate: 50 pints
  • Coverage: 4,500 sq ft.
  • Dimensions: 15.35 x 11.42 x 24.41 inches

Pros: 

  • 1-24 hour timer
  • Humidity monitors in 1-percent intervals 
  • Attractive
  • Great for large spaces
  • Continuous Drainage

Cons:

  • Some plastic parts feel flimsy 
  • No splash guard
  • Hose is not included, purchased separately

Choosing the hOmeLabs Dehumidifier for our overall best was a no brainer; it’s got all the highlights of what you’d want in a dehumidifier, at a manageable price point. This 50 pint, sleek and attractive looking dehumidifier features a removable water tank, and easy, efficient settings. 

You can let this dehumidifier run continuously for 24 hours and it will shut off automatically when the tank is full. The one downside of this model is that it does not come with a drainage hose, but it does have an outlet for one. You’ll need to purchase the drainage hose separately if you so desire.

If you live in a super humid environment and want the simplicity of using just one device for the entire space, this is your reasonably-priced find.

Best home dehumidifier: Ivation Smart Wi-Fi Energy Star Dehumidifier

A techy option

A handy app offers ample control.

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Why it made the cut: This premium, smart dehumidifier can be controlled through their app, from anywhere in the world, and is our pick for the best home dehumidifer.

Specs:

  • Daily rate: 50 pints
  • Coverage: 4,500 sq ft.
  • Dimensions: 11.1 x 15.28 x 23.5 inches

Pros:

  • Easy to use app
  • Removes up to 50 pints of moisture per day
  • Integrated 16W Pump 
  • LCD Interface w/ Buttons
  • Safety Auto-Shutoff 

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • May leak

The Wi-Fi Compressor Dehumidifier with Pump allows you to control your home or office’s humidity levels and breathability from your smartphone, via the Ivation app. You can adjust settings, set speeds, power on and off, and see what’s happening at home even if you’re away.

With a 2.25 gallon reservoir, this smart model can remove up to 50 pints of moisture per day for up to 4,500 sq ft. It also comes with an adjustable humidistat and fan, built-in thermostat, programmable timer, integrated auto-shutoff and auto-defrost, and a built-in 16W pump and hose. It also features a washable, reusable air filter so you can avoid expensive replacements. 

Best dehumidifier for apartments: Honeywell 70 Pint Dehumidifier

Best fit

Several size options let you nail the ideal humidity levels.

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Why it made the cut: This sleek dehumidifier is perfect for apartments, and comes in three sizes with all the desired functions and settings.

Specs:

  • Daily rate: 70 pints
  • Coverage: 4,000 sq ft.
  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 15.75 x 25.4 inches

Pros:  

  • Quiet
  • Comes in several sizes for a variety of spaces
  • Energy Star Certified 
  • Small enough for discreet storage
  • Remembers settings even after unplugged 

Cons:

  • No built-in way to direct exhaust air
  • Heavy
  • Could have a better pour spout for emptying the tank

This Energy Star unit with a built-in vertical pump comes in three sizes to dehumidify a variety of spaces. It features a smart digital humidistat control system, which automatically detects excess moisture levels to maintain optimal room humidity levels.

One of the best parts of this device is its hassle-free maintenance. It comes with both full tank and filter clean alerts, so you know exactly where your dehumidifier stands at all times. It also has a patent-pending Splash Guard feature so you don’t have to worry about excess water spilling over. 

A continuous water drainage tube is included with this unit, for a mostly hands-off, unattended experience. 

Best quiet dehumidifier: TOSOT 50 Pint with Internal Pump Dehumidifier

De-noise

Whisper quiet so you can dehumidify without being disturbed.

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Why it made the cut: With a peak sound level of 51 decibels, this dehumidifier is one of the quietest on the market.

Specs:

  • Daily rate: 50 pints
  • Coverage: 4,500 sq ft.
  • Dimensions: 14.76 x 11.38 x 24 inches

Pros:

  • Super quiet
  • Comes with built-in pump
  • Works for a large area
  • Easy assembly

Cons: 

  • Pricey
  • Bin capacity is small
  • Can be messy/leaky if you don’t use the pump

According to the CDC, a whisper is about 30 dB (decibels), normal speaking voice is about 60 dB, and a motorcycle engine sound is around 95 dB. The TOSOT dehumidifier has three settings: 52/50/48 decibels on the high/medium/low settings. Therefore, even at the highest setting, this humidifier produces less sound than a normal speaking voice.

It’s Energy-Star rated, so it’ll also help you save money on your utility bill, and is UL-approved to meet the highest safety standards to keep you and your home protected. It comes with a built-in pump that can either be pumped sideways or vertically up to 12 feet away. 

It has several settings, but can also be run nonstop with the “NS” setting, so you can just set it and forget it. And since it’s so quiet, you really will forget it.

Best dehumidifier for bathrooms: SEAVON Dehumidifier 35oz Dehumidifier

Dry and cheap

Move a lot of moisture for a little money.

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Why it made the cut: This super inexpensive, efficient, and high quality dehumidifier is best for portable, single-room use.

Specs:

  • Daily rate: 1 pint
  • Coverage: up to 260 sq ft.
  • Dimensions: 6.3×6.3×10 inches

Pros: 

  • Very inexpensive
  • Quiet
  • Easily portable
  • Great for bathrooms, closets, or pantries 
  • Built-in safety features

Cons:

  • Not suitable for whole house
  • Smaller tank capacity
  • Will not work below 41 degrees F.

The SEAVON portable dehumidifier comes with a 35oz tank capacity tank, which means you can easily and efficiently remove up to 16 oz of vapor from the air per day. At 6.3×6.3×10 inches, it is indeed much smaller than other models. However, this is perfect for budget buyers who are more focused on single-room use or problem areas, such as bathrooms without windows. Many customers buy multiple and place them around their space, where needed.

It’s whisper-quiet, using disturbance-free Peltier tech to remove water in the air. It also features 7 light modes for setting an ambience (which can be used as a night light in the bedroom or for visibility in the basement) and is designed with both high speed and low speed capabilities.

Note that it won’t work in super cold environments (below 41 degrees F), and is not intended for whole-house use.

FAQs

Q: How do I know if I need a dehumidifier?

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), humidity levels indoors should be kept below 60% to prevent mold and an infestation of pests. If your humidity levels reach 60% or higher, you can use a dehumidifier to bring those levels back down. 

Q: How many rooms will my dehumidifier reach?

Generally speaking, a dehumidifier will have the most impact on the room it’s actually in. While some dehumidifiers promote reaching a large amount of square footage, closed doors and long hallways may hinder its ability to reach the humid air in other rooms. 
For example, if you have a particularly damp basement, you can place your main dehumidifier in the basement and then place smaller, portable dehumidifiers in other rooms.

Q: Do I need to replace any filters?

No, you do not need to replace filters. Dehumidifiers come with permanent filters that you can periodically rinse and clean to ensure long-term, extended use. 

Q: Does a dehumidifier use a lot of energy?

It depends on the size of the dehumidifier you’re using. Larger dehumidifiers do use more energy, but they typically do not need to run as often. Therefore, larger dehumidifiers may be more energy efficient in the overall scheme of things. 

Look for Energy Star Certifiedl abels to ensure that your dehumidifier “uses more efficient refrigeration coils, compressors, and fans to remove the same amount of moisture as a similarly-sized conventional unit but uses nearly 15% less energy.”

A final thought about the best dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers are a lifesaver when it comes to keeping our humidity levels at bay. Stave off mold, allergies, and dust mites with the help of this water-sucking device. Just be sure to find ones that are Energy Star certified to keep your utility bill as low as your humidity! 

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