These are the 10 best dehumidifiers to banish mould and damp this summer

Featuring leading brands like Meaco, De'Longhi and ProBreeze, our guide to the best dehumidifiers features options for every space and budget

A compilation image showing three of the best dehumidifiers on a light blue background
(Image credit: Future)
Best dehumidifiers 2024: Jump Menu

The list in brief ↴
1. Best overall: Avalla X-150
2. Easiest to use: MeacoDry Arete One
3. Best for dampness: ProBreeze 20L
4. Best for flats: Wood's MRD10
5. Best multifunctional: EcoAir Desiccant DD128
6. Best clothes-drying: MeacoDry Arete One
7. Best space-saving: Vonhaus 12L
8. Best compact: Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro
9. Best quiet: De'Longhi Tasciugo AriaDry
10. Most cost-effective: Swan Activair
How we tested
FAQ

Fighting foggy windows and fuggy air is a thankless battle if you don't have the help of one of the best dehumidifiers. These ten, tested appliances can beat condensation, mould, and mildew without sending your energy bills sky high.

You don't have to be fed up with mould and mildew to invest in one of the best dehumidifiers though as there are plenty of valid reasons to buy a dehumidifier in summer. These hard-working appliances can optimise the air quality in your home, clear condensation on your windows, lift dampness from rooms and help dry laundry indoors. 

You don't have to spend a fortune to stop mould, mildew, wood rot, and paint peeling. We've tested some industrious models for as little as £50 and seen great results. Although, these are better for lighter dehumidifying tasks. If your home has more serious dehumidifying needs, you might want to turn to bigger brands such as Meaco and Pro Breeze, which can extract up to 30 litres of water daily. These will offer all of the benefits of investing in a dehumidifier — and then some. How do we know? We've tested them all.

Our team of experts have worked in the damp, dank, and the fuggy, testing the best dehumidifiers for your home. The relative humidity of a room should sit at 40-60%, so we've thrown dehumidifiers in mildewy bathrooms, humid laundry rooms, and dripping basements to test how effective they are. Whether you're looking for a quiet dehumidifier for your bedroom or an industrial piece of kit for an older home, these are the ones you can trust.

The quick list

We've tested over ten dehumidifiers to narrow down this list. If you want the headlines, here are three of our experts' favourites. We'll go into more details further down the page.

The best dehumidifiers: tried & tested by our experts

Why you can trust Woman & Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best dehumidifier

1. Avalla X-150 dehumidifier

The best overall dehumidifier

Specifications

RRP: £260
Tank capacity: 3.5 litres
Maximum extraction per day: 16 litres
Modes: Automatic, sleep and fan

Reasons to buy

+
Great size for a family home with a good tank capacity
+
Two-year warranty allows you to buy with confidence 
+
A quiet sleep mode allows you to turn down the volume come nighttime 
+
Additional hose attachment allows for continued use which is very useful in high-traffic areas like utilities or bathrooms

Reasons to avoid

-
You can still hear the night mode while it's running, so this might not be suitable for light sleepers

Our first impressions of this machine are that it’s both compact and stylish in so far as similar models go. It’s a sleek tower design that is small enough to fit in most household spaces and has curved corners and a simple white gloss finish.

For the most part, it’s just a plug-in-and-go job, but this particular dehumidifier also comes with a two-metre long hose which needs to be fitted separately if you’d like to use it. It’s a simple feature but it is hugely helpful in spaces which require extra attention, like utilities or bathrooms, allowing you to have the machine on continually over the course of the day or night. 

Despite its neat stature, it has a large enough capacity to deal with up to 46m² at any one time. However, we found it most efficient in smaller spaces where it drew in a surprising amount of water in just a few hours. This will fluctuate with the levels of humidity in any one environment, but our tank was full after half a day and needed emptying. 

One of the rooms we made use of this in was an old bathroom without an electric extractor. Typically we’d have seen water running down the walls and condensation pooling on the shower walls and the windows. This helped keep the air much clearer and eliminated the most visible moisture in under an hour. 

The clothes drying feature also more than halved the time needed for clothes to be ready to fold, compared to leaving them to air dry normally. Not only is this great in terms of time-saving, it also apparently saves up to 93% on energy bills, according to Avalla.   

The easiest dehumidifier to use

2. MeacoDry Arete One

Easiest dehumidifier to ease

Specifications

RRP: £159.99
Tank capacity: 2.5 litres
Maximum extraction per day: 10 litres
Modes: Dehumidify and laundry

Reasons to buy

+
Contemporary look which would suit most decor schemes
+
Very quiet when in constant use so is ideal for family life if used around sleeping children
+
Child lock for safety when there are little ones around
+
Relatively compact
 so can fit into smaller spaces or be easily stored

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suitable for cold areas like basements or garages 

Meaco is a brand that will no doubt be one of the first to pop up in your dehumidifier research. It has a few models, but we think the easy-to-use Arete One is likely its best value. We were impressed with the extraction potential (up to 10 litres in 24 hours) and the capacity of its easy-to-remove tank, given its modest size and price tag. 

The matte off-white and charcoal finish, along with its sleek shape and minimalist, Scandi-esque design make it about as handsome and unobtrusive as a full-size dehumidifier is going to get. We loved the little extra details too, like the hidden handle that pops up from the control panel and the handy cord tidy which keeps the two-metre-long cable in check when the unit is not in use. 

The Arete One is pretty quiet (we regularly forgot it was there, whirring softly away in the background) and there’s a night mode that turns the fan to low, kills the lights, and stops the buttons from bleeping, meaning it didn’t interrupt our snoozing at all. 

It’s designed to extract moisture from space as big as 42m² (meaning it has whole flats and smaller houses pretty much covered) and can take care of a sizable load of washing pretty quickly, thanks to its laundry mode. Its premium functionality and mid-tier price make it a real standout model. 

See our full MeacoDry Arete One 10L dehumidifier review

The best dehumidifier for damp areas

3. Probreeze 20L Dehumidifier 

Best for particularly damp areas

Specifications

RRP: £249.99
Tank capacity: 5.5 litres
Maximum extraction per day: 20 litres
Modes: Normal, low power, high power, laundry

Reasons to buy

+
Large capacity means this is ideal for bigger homes or for open-plan living
+
Impressive daily extraction potential collects a huge amount of water
+
The 24-hour timer allows you to programme the machine how you like it over the course of the day and night
+
The child lock safety feature is great if you have junior family members

Reasons to avoid

-
The trade-off for such a powerful machine is that it does feel a touch imposing
-
Similarly, it's not very easy to carry so wouldn't suit anyone with mobility issues

We'd heard all about the ProBreeze before we even got around to testing it. Roy Jaramillo, the owner of Amazing Air Solutions, recommended them as 'a more budget-friendly but effective brand. Their dehumidifiers are really great if you want to maintain humidity levels around 40%, even if you've got tougher tasks to tackle.' 

This compressor is the bulkiest model we tested – both in terms of size and weight. While it was tricky for us to lift up a set of stairs, it does have a fold-out handle and wheels on the bottom, so moving it from room to room was a piece of cake. The generous cord length also helped up its convenience. 

Again, there are quite a lot of modes and customizable settings, which is great for efficiency and versatility, but means reading those instructions is a must. 

The 5.5-litre tank is a decent size, but if you fit the hose, it's able to extract 20 litres of moisture a day from the air (the most of any model we tested). The tank simply slides out from the back of the unit and has a useful flip-up handle – this made it easy to carry to the slink without spillages, despite its size. 

There’s an inbuilt sensor that allows you to set your desired air humidity and save on energy (the machine will kick in only when needed to maintain it), a 24-hour timer function, laundry mode, and – our favourite feature of all – a child lock. 

Our 18-month-old is very into buttons right now and was getting heavily involved with all the dehumidifiers we tested. This model, though, protected against those chubby, ever-fiddling fingers: by holding the button down for three seconds we could lock and unlock the control panel easily. 

See our full Probreeze 20L Dehumidifier review.

The best dehumidifier for flats

Wood’s 10M2 Dehumidifier MRD10

This smart, slick dehumidifier was compact enough to store in smaller homes but had enough capacity to tackle a good surface area. 

(Image credit: Lakeland/Wood's)

4. Wood’s 10M2 Dehumidifier MRD10

The best dehumidifier for flats

Specifications

RRP: £249
Tank capacity: 2 litres
Maximum extraction per day: 10 litres
Modes: Automatic

Reasons to buy

+
Sturdy and feels like it's made to last
+
Efficient and powerful, drawing in a lot of moisture over a short time period 
+
Emits low-level warm air which helped dry our laundry quicker than usual

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly heavy to move around the home

The Woods model comes in a few different sizes, with this one of the more petite in its range. Despite its stature, it's one of the more powerful machines we tested, and because of its size, it’s not too bulky to become cumbersome. In fact, we found this really easy to move around thanks to its in-built carry handle (although it doesn't have wheels as some other models do, so this might suit homes with more carpet than solid floors, where you might prefer wheels).

With just a handful of touch buttons, the interface is straightforward to use, allowing for quick programming and slick switching between functions when needed. You simply set the humidity to your preferred level and make use of the timer if you like, and away you go. 

It emits a low hum, but nothing that would disturb you during the day. Come the evening there isn't a night mode which means you’ll be falling asleep to the light buzzing of an electronic device which we could personally do without (much preferring to switch its running time to daylight hours only). 

The best multifunctional dehumidifier

5. EcoAir Desiccant 8L Dehumidifier DD128

Best multifunctional

Specifications

RRP: £289.98
Tank capacity: 2.2 litres
Maximum extraction per day: 8 litres
Modes: 3 drying modes, 2 laundry modes

Reasons to buy

+
The really efficient laundry mode helped us to dry clothes and linen in an impressively quick time frame
+
There's a timer function which is great for busy households
+
The handle makes it easy to carry from room to room 
+
There is also an energy saving mode which can help to keep costs down 

Reasons to avoid

-
This isn't one of the quietest models we tested, so be prepared for a bit of noise

The EcoAir DD128 is a versatile desiccant dehumidifier – while great for colder spaces, it’s also efficient in the home. We found it to be pretty powerful too, collecting moisture much more quickly than some other models, and the cord was long enough that it could reach a socket from all the places we needed to position it.

The laundry mode was especially effective: as well as capturing the moisture it also blew out warm air, meaning our load of washing was dry in a matter of hours as opposed to days. The timer function meant we didn’t have to leave it running all night to get those clothes dry either – it can be set to power down in two, four, or eight hours. 

There’s a decent 2.2-litre tank on this model, which is easily removable from the side of the unit for emptying and even has a built-in handle for ease. But also, if you want to leave it for long periods of time, it also comes with a handy hose for continuous drainage. 

It’s not the most intuitive to use, although that’s to be expected with a model that offers lots of different settings – we got the hang of it after going over the instructions a couple of times. 

The fan is quite loud on all but the economy setting (which is designed for maintaining air quality once optimal dryness has been reached), meaning we felt this wasn’t one for the living room. But there’s no denying it’s a real workhorse and has serious speed and power. Plus, it has an anti-bacterial filter and Ioniser to purify the air. 

Read our full EcoAir Desiccant 8L Dehumidifier review.

The best dehumidifier for drying laundry

6. MeacoDry ABC 12L

Best for drying clothes

Specifications

RRP: £169.00
Tank capacity: 2.6 litres
Maximum extraction per day: 12
Modes: 3 fan speeds, laundry mode

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonably priced for the multiple, effective functions
+
Compact and attractive, perfect for small and large spaces
+
Simple to use, especially for first-time users
+
Efficient and cheap to run, so it won't drain your utilities
+
Can halve the time it takes to dry clothes

Reasons to avoid

-
Relatively noisy, so can't be used in the bedroom
-
Heavy and cumbersome, so you won't want to move it around

MeacoDry is a big name in the dehumidifier world, so it's no surprise that they make the best dehumidifier for laundry. Our expert described this as 'the perfect size for a three-bedroom home which has light condensation.' It didn't solve the damp issues in the room but made some considerable headway towards clearing it.

Where the ABC 12L stands out is as an indoor dryer. Our expert tried drying clothes which would normally need 14-36 hours and found that the very same clothes were iron dry within six hours. The specialised laundry setting more than delivers. Plus, there's an auto-off function, so that when the tank is full the Meaco won't keep running and draining your energy (and your wallet).

Whilst the MeacoDry was impressive and energy-efficient, it's pretty cumbersome and heavy. Plus, whilst it might be fine to run in your laundry room if you had it on in the bedroom, you wouldn't be able to sleep through the night. On the highest fan setting, our expert measured 59 dB of noise. She said that 'on the lower setting the noise was comparable to my dishwasher or a low conversation. It's relatively loud and probably not suitable to be used as a bedroom dehumidifier, or in a living room while you're watching TV.'

Find out more in our MeacoDry ABC 12L review

The best dehumidifier for small spaces

A small white Vonhaus dehumidifier

Great for tight spaces, this well-made dehumidifiers benefits from wheels and can be easily stored in tight places like cupboards or even motorhomes. 

(Image credit: Vonhaus)

7. Vonhaus 12L dehumidifier

The best dehumidifier for small spaces

Specifications

RRP: £139.99
Tank capacity: 2 litres
Maximum extraction per day: 12 litres
Modes: Auto, continuous, sleep

Reasons to buy

+
Ideal size for smaller homes thanks to its neat size
+
Automatically switches off when the water tank fills up, so gives you peace of mind to run it while busy with other things
+
It's lightweight and has wheels for easy maneuverability
+
The child lock feature makes this ideal for family life 

Reasons to avoid

-
The tank can fill up fast, and right to the top, meaning you have to be careful when emptying it
-
You can't turn the machine off once the water tank is full, so you have to empty it before being able to use any of the other controls 

The perfect mid-size dehumidifier, this model was compact enough to easily stow away after use but large enough to tackle a good surface area if localised - like a single room or cupboard, for instance. Aesthetically speaking it’s fairly unremarkable and in line with most other similar machines as a small white box with a touch screen panel on the top. The monitor tells you current humidity levels as soon as it’s switched on, and you can set a desired outcome too, to help you keep your home at your ideal specification. 

Because we tested this in a very damp, under-the-stairs cupboard, the machine's automatic cut-off feature was really useful. It meant we could leave the machine running while we were out, to capture as much water as possible, without having to worry about overflow. In fact, in just a couple of hours, it had filled and switched off. 

To avoid this, if you want to run it for longer, you can attach the continuous cycle hose, which allows you to have the water go straight into a sink, drain or larger receptacle. One thing to note is that despite the tank at the back being easy to remove and reattach, we found that it got really full before it switched off. Because of it its tall, narrow design it was easy to spill water out of when moving it to a sink to be emptied. This wasn't a huge issue, but we did slosh water over our carpet a couple of times while getting used to it. 

As with most dehumidifiers, this was a bit noisy. Not so much that it would disturb you during the day, but you might not want it on at night (even with the night mode, in our opinion). While it’s running you can also hear the water being collected, which we oddly found quite satisfying. 

The best compact dehumidifier

8. Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Compact 2-in-1 Dehumidifier and Air Purifier

Best compact dehumidifier 

Specifications

RRP: £99.99
Tank capacity: 1 litre
Maximum extraction per day: 750ml 
Modes: 3 speed settings

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish appearance to have on show and ideal for modern homes
+
Lightweight to manoeuvre, so really easy to move around if you intend on using it in a few different spaces
+
Compact in size, so not imposing if used in living areas
+
Purifies as well as dehumidifies for cleaner air too

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited capacity so requires emptying often in more damp areas
-
Not ideal for large rooms as it doesn't have the power to cover a large square meterage 

This stylish dehumidifier is one of the least imposing models we tested. It’s sleek and contemporary, not to mention small so blended into the background easily in whichever room we were using it. Its compact size means that it’s easy to transport too, and while that limits the capacity of the water tank, which slots in smoothly at the front, we think it's a reasonable pay-off. 

Really easy to use, and its control panel is kept simple with three fan speeds – we’d barely glanced at the instructions before it was happily whirring away. As you’d imagine, the more powerful settings are noisier, but the lowest is still efficient and quiet enough to have running in living spaces. 

We found it worked well in the small and medium-sized rooms of our house where there was general winter dampness, although the cable struggled to reach some higher sockets in our kitchen – it is modest, though not disastrous, at 1.5 metres long. If you have larger rooms, a more severe damp issue, or masses of laundry to get dry, you might need something just a little heftier.

See our full Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier review.

The best quiet dehumidifier

9. De'Longhi DEX212F Tasciugo AriaDry Multi Dehumidifier

Best quiet dehumidifier

Specifications

RRP : £254.99
Tank capacity: 2.1 litres
Maximum extraction per day: 12 litres
Modes : 3 settings for environment humidity level, plus laundry function

Reasons to buy

+
This machine is very quiet, so it's ideal for bedrooms
+
The setup and usage is extremely intuitive, so ideal for households with less tech knowledge
+
Can filter dust and allergens too, making it a great multi-tasker


Reasons to avoid

-
On the heavy side, difficult to move around as a result
-
It has a shorter cable than other full-size models (1.5 metres) which means you'll need a plug near to where you want to use it

This was the quietest model on test – it didn’t even bother us when it was in the bedroom at night or running in the living room when we were watching TV. And thanks to its simple, smart design, it didn’t look out of place in either room. The 2.1-litre tank is really easy to remove and carry for emptying – the water is completely contained which prevents spillage. 

Navigating the control panel is straightforward – there’s one laundry mode and three dehumidifying settings that allow you to choose your optimum humidity level for the air. Once your chosen level has been reached, the machine will stand down until it’s needed again. 

There’s frost protection functionality here too, making it safe to use in colder environments, which was handy when we had no heating on during a particularly bitingly cold day. 

It’s not all about controlling humidity though: hygiene is another of its concerns, and it has filters for dust and allergens as well as the capacity to neutralize undesirable bacteria to improve air quality in your home

Read our full De'Longhi DEX212F Tasciugo AriaDry Dehumidifier review.

The best cost-effective dehumidifier

Best cost-effective

Specifications

RRP: £219.99
Tank capacity: 4 litres
Maximum extraction per day: 20 litres
Modes: 24-hour timer, auto, sleep

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap to run
+
Sleek and compact design
+
Effective at drying laundry
+
Great moisture extraction

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive to buy
-
Nosier than other models

If you're trying to cut costs on your energy bill this winter, investing in the Swan Activair dehumidifier is one of the best low-cost ways to keep the cold and damp at bay thanks to its 7-per-hour run time and smart settings. 

This dehumidifier is not only sleek and aesthetically pleasing but also easy to use, great at drying laundry, and has a large water extraction of 20 litres with a tank capacity of 4 litres with continuous drainage. 

During testing, we found this dehumidifier works best in large bedrooms or open-plan studio flats. It's also a great option for those who are always washing clothes and looking for a dehumidifier that'll cut your drying time in half. 

How we tested the best dehumidifiers

There is a huge range of dehumidifiers on the market from a host of different brands. We sifted through countless models in our research to find the most effective, efficient, and reliable – then tested our shortlist. 

First, we assessed customer reviews from retail sites and reviews from other experts around the internet. Then we investigated specific brands and the ranges they offer, looking for their specialisms, gauging their reputation, and sizing up customer satisfaction is how we test dehumidifiers to say they are the best. 

To ascertain how effective each dehumidifier model proved we looked at:

  • Ease of use: How easy each dehumidifier was to set up? Did it come with instructions, and how long did it take to read and work out how to use it?
  • How many functions did it offer: Did it only offer different speed modes or a laundry setting?
  • Value-for-money: Is it worth the price tag, or could you get an equal experience for less money? Do the more expensive models offer a better experience?
  • How easy it was to clean and store: We always want to know how to clean a dehumidifier to keep it well-maintained, so we looked at how straightforward that was for each model. We also looked at how easy they were to empty plus if the components were easy to remove for cleaning.

Although our top dehumidifiers are listed above, we're constantly assessing and testing the latest releases to make sure we're recommending the very top products on the market. 

Jessica Carter
Jessica Carter

She works with brands ranging from WIRED and BBC Food to The Independent, Ideal Home and Stylist. She reviewed the Meaco MeacoDry Arete One 10L Dehumidifier, one of the top-rated models in our guide, from her own home. 

FAQs

Probreeze dehumidifier at home being tested as part of our best dehumidifier buying guide

(Image credit: Future)

What to consider when buying a dehumidifier

So should you buy a dehumidifier? As well as the environment in which you plan to use your dehumidifier, there are several other things to consider before you invest. 

For instance, will it stay in the same spot, or do you intend to move it from room to room? Some models are far more portable than others, so pay close attention to the size and weight of the appliance. 

And think about where it’ll be used and stored too; you don’t want to be tripping over it constantly if it’s a heftier model or have nowhere to pack it away in the summer months when you may not need it. 

Size isn’t the only potentially imposing characteristic of a dehumidifier – they all make noise while operating. If it’s going to be used in a living space, consider how loud of a hum or whirr you can realistically live with. 

While dehumidifiers can help keep energy bills down by negating the need to dial up the heating or succumb to the tumble dryer, there will, inevitably, be an initial outlay. So when you’re deciding how much to spend on a dehumidifier, be prepared to play the long game. Net savings will amass gradually over time and use – so if you don’t think you’ll realistically rely on your new appliance very often or plan to still use a tumble dryer, a smaller, more affordable dehumidifier might be the best value for you. 

Tony Abate, a certified environmentalist and CTO at AtmosAir Solutions, says 'the unit should operate with a humidistat too, so you can set your desired humidity (around 40% is ideal) and the unit will automatically operate when dehumidification is needed. It's also helpful if your unit has a removable container connected to an auto cutoff so that it's easy to empty and won't overflow.'

It’s also important to try and work out where your dampness is coming from, too. Modern dehumidifiers have different modes so, for instance, if drying endless loads of laundry (we can relate) is the cause of all that excess moisture, looking for a model that has a specially designed laundry mode is wise. 

How much should I spend on a dehumidifier?

While there are some exceptions, generally in life you get what you pay for. During our various rounds of testing, there was the odd model which stood out for offering good value alongside high performance—like the Russell Hobbs dehumidifier above—but it’s worth keeping in mind that cheaper versions are typically smaller and less robust, meaning they lend themselves to individual rooms or spaces rather than whole apartments or houses.

Depending on your set-up, you might want to keep costs down and just use a neater dehumidifier in a defined area like a cupboard or bathroom. For larger or busy households, where you might want the machine to help with drying clothes and keeping multiple spaces dry, then we’d guide you in the direction of spending a little extra to get a solid performer that will both make a noticeable difference and be able to handle the pace for years to come. 

Check out the latest dehumidifier deals to make that investment more worthwhile.

How do dehumidifiers work?

When trying to understand how a dehumidifier works remember there are two main types of dehumidifiers: compressor (or refrigerant) and desiccant. These both remove moisture from the air using different methods and are designed for different environments. 

Compressor dehumidifiers (which you might also find labelled as refrigerant), work by sucking in air with a fan and passing it over a cold surface (think metal coils or plates). This creates condensation inside the unit, which then drips into the water tank. This method is reliant on the air that’s drawn in being warmer than the cold surface inside, otherwise, condensation won’t form and the liquid can’t be extracted. Compressors, then, are popular for warmer spaces where central heating is used – think bedrooms and living rooms. 

Meanwhile, desiccant dehumidifiers capture moisture using an absorbent material. The liquid that’s been sucked up then trickles down into the tank. This type of appliance doesn’t rely on the air being a particular temperature, meaning they’re great for colder spaces that are perhaps not well insulated or heated, like conservatories, basements, and garages. They do tend to use more energy than compressor types, though. 

Do dehumidifiers save money?

A dehumidifier is the most effective way to reduce excess moisture in your home. If you don't have a dehumidifier, you're probably exercising a few inefficient, inconvenient options at the moment.

Lots of people try ventilating there home, which can be a great solution if you're suffering from musty humidity. However, if it's cold outside, cracking your windows isn’t a tempting prospect as you’d end up losing precious heat and likely pushing up your energy bills. Similarly, having cold showers and during your clothes outside aren't always practical when the weather is unpredictable, cold, and damp.

Speaking of heat, cranking that thermostat up helps to dry out damp too, but with the recent price hikes for gas, this is far less of an affordable option than it once was – how much it costs to run a dehumidifier being a more affordable option. 

If most of your dampness comes from airing laundry, you might also be thinking about investing in a tumble dryer – although these start at around the same price as a dehumidifier and it’s widely agreed they cost much more to run. But there are alternative ways to dry laundry, one of which is to use a dehumidifier to help dry clothes.

So, especially when compared to other methods of damp prevention and treatment, dehumidifiers are sound investments. Plus if you manage to secure a deal you can pick up one the best for less.

Probreeze dehumidifier at home being tested as part of our best dehumidifier buying guide

(Image credit: Future)

What to consider when buying a dehumidifier

So what do you need to know before buying a dehumidifier? As well as the environment in which you plan to use your dehumidifier, there are several other things to consider before you invest. 

For instance, will it stay in the same spot, or do you intend to move it from room to room? Some models are far more portable than others, so pay close attention to the size and weight of the appliance. 

And think about where it’ll be used and stored too; you don’t want to be tripping over it constantly if it’s a heftier model or have nowhere to pack it away in the summer months when you may not need it. 

Size isn’t the only potentially imposing characteristic of a dehumidifier – they all make noise while operating. If it’s going to be used in a living space, consider how loud of a hum or whirr you can realistically live with. 

While dehumidifiers can help keep energy bills down by negating the need to dial up the heating or succumb to the tumble dryer, there will, inevitably, be an initial outlay. So when you’re deciding how much to spend on a dehumidifier, be prepared to play the long game. Net savings will amass gradually over time and use – so if you don’t think you’ll realistically rely on your new appliance very often or plan to still use a tumble dryer, a smaller, more affordable dehumidifier might rep the best value for you. 

It’s helpful to try and work out where your dampness is coming from, too. Modern dehumidifiers have different modes so, for instance, if drying endless loads of laundry (we can relate) is the cause of all that excess moisture, looking for a model that has a specially designed laundry mode is wise. 

How much should I spend on a dehumidifier?

While there are some exceptions, generally in life you get what you pay for. During our various rounds of testing there was the odd model which stood out for offering good value alongside high performance—like the Russell Hobbs dehumidifier above—but it’s worth keeping in mind that cheaper versions are typically smaller and less robust, meaning they lend themselves to individual rooms or spaces rather than whole apartments or houses.

Depending on your set-up, you might want to keep costs down and just use a neater dehumidifier in a defined area like a cupboard or bathroom. For larger or busy households, where you might want the machine to help with drying clothes and keeping multiple spaces dry, then we’d guide you in the direction of spending a little extra to get a solid performer that will both make a noticeable difference and be able to handle the pace for years to come. 

Do you run a dehumidifier in the winter?

Whether or not you need to run a dehumidifier in the winter really depends on the climate you’re living in. If it gets cool and damp then it can be useful to run one for a little while each day, helping to maintain a healthy average humidity level of around 30-50% in your environment. Here are some ways running a dehumidifier in winter can be beneficial: 

  • Drying washing: During the winter, drying clothes indoors makes things extra humid in your environment. Dehumidifiers are great in this situation because not only do they reduce the moisture released into the air by your laundry, but in doing so they also dry your washing more quickly. 
  • Reducing energy costs: In helping to dry washing more speedily, many people who own dehumidifiers default to air-drying their clothes rather than putting them into a tumble dryer. The running cost of the dehumidifier is typically much lower than a drier, so can keep costs down on energy bills come the winter. 
  • Reducing condensation: In rooms without good ventilation, condensation can build up on windows and walls come cooler weather. A dehumidifier will help to keep this to a minimum, to avoid water running down walls and windows in rooms like your bathroom. 
  • Helping to maintain a healthy atmosphere: If you get more wet weather in the winter, dampness and mould can begin to creep in thanks to the more humid, cooler climate. We’d suggest running a dehumidifier regularly to keep the air at a healthy level, which can then help to prevent mould and minimise health risks. 

Do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity?

Probreeze dehumidifier at home being tested as part of our best dehumidifier buying guide

(Image credit: Future)

We've already covered a fair amount of this in our answer for 'do dehumidifiers save money?'. If you want the short answer, yes, they probably do. 

Speaking generally, dehumidifiers use 300-1,500 watts of electricity per hour. Of course, this will depend on the size, capacity, energy efficiency, and usage of your dehumidifier. If this is something you're conscious of, check the wattage rating of the dehumidifier you're interested in and multiply it by the number of hours you'll need your dehumidifier to operate for each day.

Most new models come with energy-saving features, which includes auto-shiyt off and efficient compressor technology. You can also give your dehumidifier a helping hand, by looking for the source of your humidity, ventilating your room, and insulating your space well. 

The alternative ways in which you'll either dry clothes or get rid of humidity in your room will end up pushing up your energy bills. You'll either have to up the temperature on your thermostat; invest in a good dryer; and open the windows inside (losing heat from your home). 

What size dehumidifier do I need?

Choosing the right size of dehumidifier for your room will depend on several factors, namely the size of your room, the level of humidity, and the airflow and temperature of your room.

If you're trying to work out which one you need, start by calculating the square footage of the area that you want to dehumidify. Most models (and our reviews) will give you guidance on what sort of area they can cover. 

If you want to assess the levels of humidity in your room, you can use a hygrometer to get a reading of your room. Then, look at the capacity of your appliance. A small capacity dehumidifier will be able to remove 30-40 pints per day and larger ones will be able to handle 70 pints or more.

Do you run a dehumidifier in the winter?

Whether or not you need to run a dehumidifier in the winter really depends on the climate you’re living in. If it gets cool and damp then it can be useful to run one for a little while each day, helping to maintain a healthy average humidity level of around 30-50% in your environment. Here are some ways running a dehumidifier in winter can be beneficial: 

  • Drying washing: During the winter, drying clothes indoors makes things extra humid in your environment. Dehumidifiers are great in this situation because not only do they reduce the moisture released into the air by your laundry, but in doing so they also dry your washing more quickly. 
  • Reducing energy costs: In helping to dry washing more speedily, many people who own dehumidifiers default to air-drying their clothes rather than putting them into a tumble dryer. The running cost of the dehumidifier is typically much lower than a drier, so can keep costs down on energy bills come the winter. 
  • Reducing condensation: In rooms without good ventilation, condensation can build up on windows and walls come cooler weather. A dehumidifier will help to keep this to a minimum, to avoid water running down walls and windows in rooms like your bathroom. 
  • Helping to maintain a healthy atmosphere: If you get more wet weather in the winter, dampness and mould can begin to creep in thanks to the more humid, cooler climate. We’d suggest running a dehumidifier regularly to keep the air at a healthy level, which can then help to prevent mould and minimise health risks. 

How do I clean a filter on a dehumidifier

If you've chosen to invest in one of the best dehumidifiers on the market, you'll want to keep it clean. We've broken down the process into five easy steps for cleaning a dehumidifier

Cleaning the filter specifically will depend on the model that you choose. Essentially, your goal is to remove all the dust and debris from inside, so that air can flow through freely. Experts recommend carefully vacuuming or using a warm, damp cloth to wipe dirt away. Once this is done, dry the filter and put it back into the dehumidifier. 

If you have a small model, that is difficult to clean, some experts recommend using a toothbrush with small bristles that can reach hard-to-clean areas. Experts will also note that dual-function dehumidifiers come with HEPA filters which will need to be replaced every six months.

Jessica Carter
Freelance Food Editor

Jessica is a journalist and editor who works across print magazines and digital media. Specialising in food, she cut her teeth writing restaurant guides and reviews, before moving on to edit a food and drink magazine. It was her work there which saw her shortlisted for the Best Food Editor award by the British Society of Magazine Editors two years running. These days she works freelance, writing features and shopping guides as well as commissioning and editing content. She works with brands ranging from WIRED and BBC Food to The Independent, Ideal Home and Stylist. 

With contributions from