What is the best dehumidifier for a bathroom? Expert advice on safely removing moisture and preventing mould

Bathrooms are one of the most humid spots in the home so a dehumidifier makes sense, but only the best dehumidifiers for bathrooms will safely solve all your problems

Black bathroom with white freestanding bath to support expert advice on the best dehumidifier for a bathroom
(Image credit: Future)

Dehumidifiers are an essential appliance for any space that suffers from excess moisture. One of the most humid rooms in any home is the bathroom because of all the steam and water that arises from showering and bathing – but with all that water what is the best dehumidifier for a bathroom?

Finding the best dehumidifier for your bathroom can be the solution to all your problems, but it's important to remember that not all dehumidifiers are suitably safe to use in all bathrooms because of IP ratings when it comes to electrics. Therefore it's important that you should buy a dehumidifier that suits the enviroment.

Some traditional dehumidifiers are a little too big and bulky to be used in the bathroom, not to mention that electricity and water are a no-no. So instead we've sourced expert-recommended options that will help you to prevent condensation on windows and glass, eliminate mould and remove odours associated with high humidity in the bathroom and leave you with a clean, fresh space at all times. 

What is the best dehumidifier for a bathroom?

At woman&home we’ve tested some of the best dehumidifiers on the market to find the best dehumidifiers for a bathroom. A dehumidifier works by pulling in any excess moisture and pushing out warm dry air so you don't experience any of the negative side effects associated with moist areas.

To find the best dehumidifier for a bathroom, we looked at various sizes and types, and how much it costs to run the dehumidifier to allow you to tackle the high humidity in your bathroom safely with the right methods.

We also love a good deal, so if you want the best price, it's worth checking the best Black Friday dehumidifier deals, because the deals are updated regularly. 

Things to look for in a bathroom dehumidifier

what to look for in a dehumidifier for a bathroom

(Image credit: AbsoDry)

When it comes to choosing the best dehumidifier for a bathroom, there are a few factors that you need to consider that differ from if you were buying one for another area of your home. 

  • Operational mode: While electrical dehumidifiers are super effective at removing excess moisture from the room fast, some potential safety concerns come with using them in the bathroom. Bathrooms, of course, are wet environments, which means you run the risk of electric shock or short circuits if your dehumidifier gets exposed to water. Even a minor splash could comprise the dehumidifier. Consider opting for a dehumidifier that uses an absorbency method such as gel or beads rather than powered by electricity.
  • Size and capacity: Your bathroom is easily the most humid place in your home. However, chances are it is the smallest too. So, the first thing you need to do is determine the size of your bathroom in square footage. This will help you narrow down the dehumidifier capacity you require, as all dehumidifiers have a maximum room size. 
    Size-wise, if your bathroom is compact, then you don’t want a huge, bulky dehumidifier getting in the way. So make sure you take a close look at the dimensions. If you’re going to opt for an electrical version, then you will need to ensure that it’s big enough to service the entire area surrounding the bathroom, as we would advise placing an electrical appliance within your bathroom, especially when you’re showering or bathing. 
  • Noise: Noise levels vary for dehumidifiers, but one thing is for sure, you don’t want to listen to anything too loud while you’re trying to relax in the bath. Look for dehumidifiers that have a decibel rating under 40, this is especially important if you’re looking for the best dehumidifier for the bedroom too. 
  • Auto-humidity: Bathrooms never stay in the same humidity because you’re in and out and doing different things. So, if you are going to opt for an electrical version, look for one with an automatic humidity setting. That way, it will kick in when it rises past a set level and stop running when it brings that humidity back down.

Is it safe to use a dehumidifier in a bathroom?

Using a non-electrical dehumidifier in a bathroom is completely safe. If your chosen dehumidifier uses a gel or beads to collect the water, then there is no problem. It’s a great idea because the bathroom is one area where humidity levels are always high, even if you’re not taking a shower. So by using a dehumidifier in the bathroom, you’re reducing the chance that mould and mildew will spread elsewhere in the house. 

A non-electrical dehumidifier is the perfect way to reduce humidity in a house, especially in a bathroom – it's also ideal for preventing mould in wardrobes with ease.

Chris Michael, managing director at Meaco, a leading dehumidifier manufacturer, advises, “We don’t advise using a (electrical) dehumidifier in the bathroom because it isn’t IP rated, but positioning a dehumidifier as close to the bathroom as possible with the door open still can help to reduce moisture quickly.” 

Electrical dehumidifiers also have cords and plugs not designed to be used in wet environments. Constant exposure to moisture can cause the corn insulation to fray or crack, which could increase the risk of electrical shock. Not to mention, draping cords are a trip hazard.

"Because I don't have the correct IP-rated electrics in place in my bathroom my only option was to seek a dehumidifier that is not mains-powered," says Tamara Kelly, w&h's lifestyle editor. "I decided on the UniBond Moisture Absorber AERO 360º and it does the job perfectly. My bathroom is only small but you'd be amazed at how much moisture the device captures. All you simply do is buy the refills every few months to keep it functioning at all times." 

UniBond AERO 360° Moisture Absorber Neutral Refill Tabs, pack of 4 for £12.54 at Amazon

UniBond AERO 360° Moisture Absorber Neutral Refill Tabs, pack of 4 for £12.54 at Amazon

Mine last at least two months 9but each household will differ) before they need to be replaced with new ultra-absorbent and odour-neutralising tablets that you can very easily slip into the top compartment of the device in a matter of seconds. 

Moisture absorbing dehumidifier for a bathroom

The UniBond Moisture Absorber AERO 360º dehumidifier in Tamara's bathroom

(Image credit: Future | Tamara Kelly)
Chris Michael
Chris Michael

Chris Michael is the expert co-founder of Meaco. Since its launch in 1991, Meaco has become a leading UK provider of air treatment products and the brand’s products have won a wealth of industry and design awards internationally.

What kind of dehumidifier do I need for a bathroom?

When it comes to choosing the best dehumidifier for a bathroom, you first need to determine the right size. If your bathroom is small, opt for a non-electrical version using silica gel or beads to soak up the moisture. These dehumidifiers are super versatile as they’re small, compact, and can be placed anywhere. 

If your bathroom is a little larger or you want to ensure the rest of your home stays within normal humidity levels, then opt for an electrical version. Be sure to purchase a dehumidifier that is the right size for the area. 

To do this, measure the square footage of the area and cross-check against the manufacturer's specifications. You can then place the dehumidifier in a central position and leave it to work its magic. Just be sure to leave the bathroom door open when you’ve finished to release the moisture for the dehumidifier to remove.  

white ensuite bathroom off a bedroom

(Image credit: Future | David Parmiter)

In general, it’s a great idea to use a dehumidifier for bathrooms because it’s the ideal environment for mould, condensation, and dampness to occur. However, it is advisable to avoid using electrical dehumidifiers within the action room itself. The potential safety hazards associated with their use in these damp environments far outweigh the benefits of moisture removal. 

If you do wish to use an electric dehumidifier, then always situate it outside the bathroom itself. You will still reap the benefits, and as a bonus, it will work to remove excess moisture from the surrounding areas, too as well as perform other functions like being able to use a dehumidifier to dry your clothes

While some bathrooms have adequate ventilation to stop the moisture from causing dampness, mould, and condensation in your bathroom, sometimes they’re just not enough to stop the problem. Likewise, opening up a window is all good until winter kicks in and you’re shivering in the shower. Therefore it's also a good idea to have a solution in place, such as one of the recommended dehumidifiers above.

Rachael Phillips

Rachael has been a freelance journalist specialising in lifestyle, home, and technology for the past 19 years. She has been reviewing household appliances, from vacuum cleaners to dehumidifiers, across various Future publications for the last five years. This means she's tested dozens of dehumidifiers over the years to compare the best brands and models based on how well they work in her Victorian terraced house, which suffers from dampness and condensation, the perfect environment to test the best dehumidifiers.