If you’re looking for an unbiased recommendation for the right dehumidifier for your own home, you’ve come to the right place. I have divided up dehumidifiers by the type of room and other information.
Now, some of this information may be completely different from what the manufacturers recommend in their product description and on the box of the product. Keep reading to understand why and what really matters.
Here’s which ones turned out to be the best dehumidifiers based on my research.
Keep reading for my reasons why they’re best, as well as the direct links to them…
Bedroom (100 to 250 sq. ft.)
For this room, the best dehumidifier is:
- low noise.
- a tabletop unit for nursery and toddler rooms.
It may be convenient to buy an oversized portable dehumidifier, put it in the living room, and expect it to dehumidify the entire home. This may be possible to some extent, but most of us keep bedroom doors closed. So unless your dehumidifier is attached to the air conditioning in your home, you’ll need a separate dehumidifier for each bedroom.
Picking the right dehumidifier for a bedroom isn’t all that hard. You just need to get a dehumidifier that’s the right size and isn’t too noisy.
As far as indoor air quality appliances like dehumidifiers and air purifiers are concerned, most operate at a noise level in the 50 to 70 dB (decibel) range, which is about as loud as your dishwasher or air conditioning unit (and a bit louder once you approach the 70 dB range). Now, this may not be a problem in the living room, but it can be when you’re trying to fall asleep at night.
There are low-noise dehumidifiers that can solve this problem – you may see them being advertised as having whisper technology or ultra quiet operation. Some dehumidifiers are quiet because they use Peltier technology, meaning that they don’t need a loud compressor.
Next, you’ll need to figure out what the capacity of the dehumidifier needs to be. It’s best to look for those that can remove 2 to 5 pints of water per day in a real home environment. Stay away from the small ones that are advertised to remove 700 mL (1.5 pints). Most of those are rated for an environment of 86 ºF. Their water removal capacity, in reality, is half of what’s advertised and lower if you keep your home at a temperature below 78 ºF.
I encourage you to pick a dehumidifier that’s in the 5 to 12 pint range if there is some extra moisture or organic material in the room. Many bedrooms are connected to master bathrooms and jack-and-jill bathrooms. If the doors are open constantly, there may be more moisture in the bedroom than you think. Bedrooms also have a lot of organic material that retains water like wood furniture, so the dehumidifier may take a bit longer to draw out the moisture from those things as well before it gets to the setpoint humidity level.
So, the best bedroom dehumidifier is below the 60 dB noise level and can realistically remove 3 to 12 pints of water per day, depending on the size of the room and its unique needs. The Pro Breeze dehumidifier features ultra-quiet operation. It has a built-in humidistat you can control, so you’ll always know what the humidity level is in the room (unlike the mini dehumidifiers that leave you in the dark).
It’s an attractive tabletop unit that takes up a space of about 7 by 10 inches, so you can put it up on the dresser if you have a mischievous, crawling toddler. The 150 watts of power that it uses will make almost no impact on your electricity bill.
Now, the Pro Breeze dehumidifier is advertised as being able to remove 2.7 pints of water per day and is being advertised to work in a space of 5,500 cubic feet. This translates to a room of up to about 26 by 26 feet if it has 8-foot ceilings. But, as with pretty much all dehumidifiers out there, we have to do our own calculations to see if it will work.
The unit is rated for an 86 ºF home, so if you keep your home’s thermostat at around 78 to 80 ºF, this unit will in reality work in a room that’s roughly up to 15 by 15 feet (225 sq. ft.). If you have cathedral ceilings or keep the thermostat below 78 ºF, this dehumidifier may only work in slightly smaller rooms than that.
Bathroom (30 to 150 sq. ft.)
For this room, the best dehumidifier is:
- compact if the bathroom is small and cramped.
- able to handle high moisture.
- able to work in high fluctuations of temperature quickly.
Bathroom sizes can vary greatly, ranging from a small space that’s barely 30 sq. ft. to large master bathrooms with cathedral ceilings.
When picking a dehumidifier for a bathroom, you obviously must take the size of the room into consideration and how the dehumidifier will fit in. Some bathrooms are sometimes too cramped for your necessities, let alone a dehumidifier.
But what’s even more important is that bathrooms tend to be the rooms with the most moisture in our homes. A dehumidifier must be able to remove a large amount of moisture even in a small bathroom.
Another often overlooked factor is how quickly the dehumidifier can do its work. Bathrooms get hot when taking a shower, but can otherwise be cool among all the cold surfaces. Your dehumidifier has to be able to get the moisture out quickly in a room where the temperature changes quickly. This is where the air change rate (ACH) comes into play and how many cubic feet per minute the dehumidifier can cycle. Dehumidifiers work best at high temperatures, so pick one that can quickly process all the air in the bathroom before the room cools down after taking a shower.
Since a dehumidifier can be a bit inconvenient to keep in some smaller bathrooms, you shouldn’t use it as the only solution to a moisture problem. Always turn on the exhaust fan when taking a shower, in addition to using a dehumidifier.
I highly recommend the Tenergy Sorbi air purifier and dehumidifier combo if you have a small bathroom. As of right now, this dehumidifier only has one customer rating on Amazon, but the product simply has too many features to miss. I usually don’t recommend small units like this, but bathroom dehumidifiers will do most of their work at high temperatures (when showering), so the moisture removal that’s advertised should be close to what you should expect.
The Sorbi works up to a temperature of 122 ºF, which is a must for any bathroom. It’s a compact unit and can work in small spaces, but because of its size, it can only move the air at a rate of 22 cubic feet per minute (cfm). Expect it work for small bathrooms only, up to 30 sq. ft.
But what I really love about this small dehumidifier is that it has a built-in True HEPA filter and acts as an air purifier as well. Not only will it remove moisture from the air to prevent mold, but it will actually remove mold spores that are already present in the air. True HEPA filters remove the majority of air pollutants that are 0.3 microns in size and above. Most mold spores are about 1 to 10 microns in size, for reference.
In case your bathroom is so small that you absolutely have no room for a dehumidifier, consider the Eva-Dry E-333 dehumidifier. It’s a small dehumidifier you can mount on a wall. It uses no electricity other than to recharge. You don’t have to worry about cords or using up the only electrical that every small bathroom seems to have for some reason. It adsorbs the moisture through the beads inside, so you don’t have to worry about having to empty out a water container every day.
It may not be as powerful as the other dehumidifiers out there and you certainly shouldn’t expect a single unit to full control a damp bathroom all by itself, but you just can’t ignore all its features. And besides, where else can you get a dehumidifier at this price?!
If you have a medium- or large-sized bathroom that has a neverending moisture problem, you’ll need a much more powerful dehumidifier. You shouldn’t even consider anything with a capacity any less than 10 pints if this is your situation. The highly rated hOmelabs 30-pint dehumidifier can be wheeled around your bathroom in case it’s ever in the way. This dehumidifier offers powerful airflow exchange at a rate of 138 cfm, which is perfect for a bathroom between 300 and 500 square feet, even if it has cathedral ceilings.
One thing you’ll have to get used to with larger dehumidifiers is that the water container can only hold so much water. So while this unit can remove up to 30 pints of water per day overall, you’ll have to empty the container out at least five times a day. To avoid this, drain the water automatically through a hose.
It’s rated to work on a much larger space than that, but these larger sized dehumidifiers tend to use a lot of electricity if they’re constantly running and pushed to maximum capacity. You can learn more about how much more you can expect to pay on your electricity bill in this post.
Living Room (300 to 600 sq. ft.)
For this room, the best dehumidifier is:
- aesthetically pleasing or blends in discreetly.
- powerful enough to cycle all the air in a large space that may often be divided by half walls and have cathedral ceilings.
- able to draw the water caused by cooking in the kitchen, as well as moisture that comes into the home when the front or back patio doors are opened.
For most homes, a living room is a somewhat open space that may include the actual living room, kitchen, dining room, and foyer. We typically think of basements and bathrooms as the rooms with the moisture, but the living room can have plenty of moisture in the air, too.
We spend a lot of our time in this space, so the occupants contribute a lot to the moisture levels. It’s also where the front entrance and backdoor are on a home, inviting the moisture in from the outside. If you have organic materials like wood floors or heavy furniture pieces, the dehumidifier will have to work even harder to draw out the moisture.
I recommend the EcoSeb DD122EA-SIMPLE for living rooms. This unit is able to remove 15 pints of water per day, which is enough even for a living space with 1,000 sq. ft. and high ceilings. The reason I can say that with confidence is because this particular unit is a desiccant dehumidifier. Unlike the other traditional dehumidifiers, it doesn’t use a compressor and maintains its 15-pint water removal capacity even at low temperatures and low relative humidity levels.
How does this benefit you?
First, by not having a compressor, a desiccant dehumidifier is ultra-quiet. Compare this dehumidifier with its 34 dB level to the other dehumidifiers that can be double that! If you’re entertaining at home or relaxing to enjoy time with the family, the last thing you want is a dehumidifier buzzing around you. By the way, this dehumidifier can also work great in very large bedrooms because of its low noise feature.
Another great feature of desiccant dehumidifiers is that their water removal capacity remains steady. Once the humidity level is lowered and under control, you can expect this dehumidifier to be able to remove just as much humidity from the air as some of the larger ones that have a compressor. The unit is also much more lightweight, so you can move it around as needed.
Basement (500 to 3,000 sq. ft.)
For this room, the best dehumidifier is:
- hassle-free since you spend less time in the basement: the dehumidifier drains faithfully through a hose and has auto shut-off functions.
- able to work in low temperatures: it’s powerful enough and its coils don’t freeze over.
- powerful enough to get relative humidity (RH) under control that’s often as high as 90%.
- able to maintain the set RH. It isn’t overworked and isn’t a drain on your electricity bill.
Before we can talk about dehumidifiers for basements, we have to talk about what the real issue is.
It isn’t necessarily the high moisture level that plagues so many basements. That’s an easy fix, as long as you choose the right dehumidifier.
The real problem with basements is that they get too cold for a dehumidifier. The coils in the dehumidifier then freeze over. The dehumidifier is constantly on, sucking up every dollar from your electricity bill, when in fact, it’s just trying to blow air.
So the lesson here is to pick a dehumidifier that’s 1) the right size, and 2) doesn’t develop any frost on its coils.
If you have a small- to medium-sized basement where the humidity level isn’t too bad, I refer you back to a desiccant dehumidifier like the EcoSeb DD122EA-SIMPLE for living rooms. Desiccant dehumidifiers don’t need to cool down the air to the dew point in order to collect water, so they’ll work equally well in a space, regardless of whether it’s 55 ºF or 85 ºF. The same dehumidifier is available in the CLASSIC version, which has more features like a timer and a better user interface.
But this dehumidifier has its limitations. The 15-pint version will fare best in damp basements up to about 700 to 1,000 sq. ft. in size, while the 21-pint version by EcoSeb is better suited for medium-sized damp basements up to about 1,500 sq. ft. While this dehumidifier is a must if your basement temperature gets down to the high 30s or low 40s during the night, it isn’t recommended below freezing temperatures.
(Neither is a basic dehumidifier with a compressor – always make sure to turn off any dehumidifier during freezing temperatures!)
Remember, this dehumidifier is one of the best out there when it comes to noise levels, so don’t pass it up if your basement has bedrooms that are being used by other occupants in the home every day.
For larger basements, you’ll need a traditional dehumidifier that’s able to withstand cold temperatures. I also recommend getting a much larger unit so that the dehumidifier doesn’t have to be on 24/7 and sap your electricity. Don’t be afraid to buy a 50-pint dehumidifier for a 2,000 sq. ft. basement, or even a 70-pint dehumidifier for a 2,500 sq. ft. basement, especially if the basement is extremely damp and cold.
Once you figure out the size you’ll need, pay attention to the features and what’s being advertised. Most good, large dehumidifiers are supposed to operate at a temperature as low as 41 ºF, so make sure to look for that. Obviously, you should be looking for an auto defrost function, which most dehumidifiers in this category will have. I like to look at what the lowest relative humidity (RH) level can be set on the unit. A dehumidifier that can be set at 30% RH should, in theory, be able to perform better in a cold basement than one that can only be set as low as 40% RH.
Couple all these features together with a 50- or 70-pint unit and you should be fine. Remember to get a unit that’s slightly larger than what’s recommended, but don’t go overboard. Even among the Energy Star rated dehumidifiers, the difference between a 50-pint and 70-pint dehumidifier is about 300 watts in power! Great when your basement is extremely damp and cold, but not so great on your electricity bill if the upgrade isn’t necessary.
You may consider the Tosot 70-pint dehumidifier. It’s a lesser known brand, but I like two things about it.
First, it’s able to cycle air at a rate of 206 cfm, which is higher than most of its more well-known competitors. If you want to keep all the doors in the basement open and dehumidify the entire the area with one single dehumidifier, you’ll need one that helps cycle the air as powerfully as this one.
Second, this dehumidifier is surprisingly quiet considering its size and capacity. It measures at only 50 dB – consider it if your basement has daily occupants.
Whole House Dehumidifiers
You might be adding up all the dehumidifiers here and wondering if you really need that many. And how is your house going to look with all those draining hoses coming out of your house?
It’s a valid concern and you should at least consider a whole house dehumidifier system as an alternative option. Here’s a solution for the whole house so you don’t have to buy a dehumidifier for every room.
So how does a whole house system work?
The return air from the air conditioning system is intercepted by a dehumidifier so that moisture can be removed. That way, the new air that goes into the supply ducts has been dehumidified. And because the air moves through the duct system constantly, the level of humidity of all the air inside a home will eventually be equalized.
It’s recommended that these dehumidifiers be suspended if installed in an attic (or crawlspace) so that the air can flow freely around each unit. In attics, make sure to place the dehumidifier with a condensate drip pan underneath to catch any drips.
The humidistat to control the moisture level is installed on the wall next to the thermostat.
The dehumidifier used in the video was the Ultra Aire XT105, which is rated to remove 105 pints of water per day in a home of about 2,500 square feet.
Diagram for connecting a dehumidifier to AC unit in an attic (source: Ultra Aire).
Installation diagram for the Aprilaire 1830 or 1850 whole house dehumidifier system to AC unit (source).
To set all this up, you’ll need a few things.
A Whole House Dehumidifier
First, you’ll need a dehumidifier with a capacity that matches the size of your home. The Aprilaire 1850 that can remove 95 pints of moisture is rated for a space of up to 3,000 square feet. In case you need more coverage, the same Aprilaire in the 1850 series has a 130-pint capacity is rated for a space of up to 5,000 square feet.
If this sounds like too much for your home, know that most large dehumidifiers are rated at something called AHAM conditions (80 ºF and 60% relative humidity, RH). AHAM conditions are easier to meet since it’s easier to remove more water at higher temperatures.
If a big part of your home is humid or is made up of a damp, very cold basement, you very well could need high capacity dehumidifiers like these to cover a much smaller home. It isn’t unusual for some basements to have a 90% relative humidity and constantly be below 50 ºF, which is a far cry from AHAM conditions.
After reading hundreds of reviews of dehumidifiers left by customers, the disparity between dehumidifiers in AHAM conditions and real-life conditions is quite clear.
Realistically, the 3,000-square foot model will probably work in a home of about 1,500 to 2,500 square feet.
Besides the capacity, you’ll also need to look at how much energy your whole house dehumidifier will use. Look for Energy Star ratings. For example, the energy-star rated Aprilaire 1850 claims to be able to collect 4.5 pints of water on a single kilowatt per hour.
A Humidistat Wall Unit
Once you’ve decided on the right whole house dehumidifier, you’ll need to install a humidistat on the wall next to the thermostat that controls your air conditioning. The Aprilaire 1850 series of dehumidifiers I mentioned above requires the 8620 wi-fi thermostat or the 8910 wi-fi thermostat (both have a built-in humidistat to control the dehumidifier). The thermostats conveniently work with Alexa and an already existing smart home network, with the 8910 model having even more features to control indoor air quality overall.
If you’d like something more simple or are on a budget, the Aprilaire Model 76 humidistat will work for the whole house dehumidifier. It’s also about half the price.
A Way to Drain the Collected Water
The last thing you’ll need to do is to decide what to do with the condensing water. Remember, 130 pints is about the same as 16 gallons of milk, so you’ll need to have a reliable system in place to remove all this water every day, for many years to come. This is not the place to cut corners unless you want to have a flooded home.
Speaking of avoiding a flooded home, make sure to install a safety switch on the condensate pan to avoid this from happening. It’s called a float switch. Here’s a pump that will help you remove the condensate through the drain pipe – it also has a built-in safety switch.
This condensate pump and hose are specifically made for the Aprilaire system of dehumidifiers but don’t forget to install the float switch as this product does not have one. Also keep in mind that most good dehumidifiers already come with a hose (for the Aprilaire 1850 this is part # 5665), so don’t buy this product for the hose alone.
Portable dehumidifiers are one of the best solutions to remove moisture from a home. It’s best to separate your home out into areas and then buy the appropriate dehumidifier for it. The damper and the lower the temperature in the area, the more powerful the dehumidifier needs to be. If you wish to have a single dehumidifier that’s centrally controlled for your entire house, then consider a whole house dehumidifier instead of a portable one.
I hope that I have helped you make the right choice of dehumidifiers for your home. I will end this post with the benefits of a dehumidifier to remind you of their importance.
Benefits of a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are often passed up as a clunky nuisance appliance but are very important to have inside a home.
Sure, you know that a dehumidifier is supposed to remove moisture from a room as its name implies, but do you know why it’s important to do this? Why not get a humidifier instead and add even more moisture to a home? After all, those appliances exist, too.
It turns out it’s better to keep the air inside a home free of moisture. There are several benefits to dehumidifying the air inside a home, such as:
- Mold thrives on moist surfaces. By reducing the amount of humidity, mold growth will be severely limited.
- Allergens thrive in moist environments. Besides mold, other pollutants that cause allergies like dust mites and mildew also love high moisture.
- Many of those pollutants give off a musty odor, so a dehumidifier will help remove those odors by default.
- Removing dust mites is not only important to protect your health, but less dust build-up means you’ll clean your home less frequently.
- Wood surfaces will last longer and won’t warp or peel as they would if exposed to excess moisture.
- Lower humidity helps preserve many of other the things in your home as well, from preventing rust on other appliances and computers, to preventing mold from forming on your clothes or curtains and even lessening the condensation in between your window panes.
- Lower humidity helps alleviate rheumatoid arthritis joint pain that happens when the barometric pressure changes with the weather.