I tried the most popular dehumidifier on the market – MeacoDry Arete One 20L review

It's the name everyone knows, but is it the perfect one for you?

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier in front of a white stone wall with plants on one side and alundry on the other
(Image credit: Meaco)
Woman & Home Verdict

For the price of the MeacoDry Arete One, this is exceptional value. It's cheap to run, effective at tackling even the serious damp problem in my cellar, and doesn't come with many compromises. It's hard to fault.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    User-friendly design that's easy to use

  • +

    Energy-efficient and speedy

  • +

    Has an integrated air purifier

  • +

    Can sit flush against walls

  • +

    Easy to clean

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not very portable

  • -

    No apps or smart features

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.

If we ever did a print issue dedicated to dehumidifiers, the MeacoDry Arete One 20L would be on the front cover. It's one of the best-reviewed, most popular dehumidifiers on the market, but is it worth all the chatter?

Meaco makes some of the best dehumidifiers and air purifiers on the market, so when they combined the two to make the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier, it seemed like our dreams had finally come true.

The MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier boasts a laundry mode, a HEPA filter, available in a range of different capacities. If you suffer from allergies or you have some damp problems at home, this might be the best value dehumidifier you can buy.


MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier on a white background

This is the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier. It's popular for the smooth, curved edges.

(Image credit: Meaco)
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Dimensions61.8 x 36.6 x 27.2 cm
Weight15 kgs
Maximum extraction potential (per day)20 litres
Tank capacity4.8 litres
Power216 watts
Noise level 38 dB
ExtrasLaundry mode, automatic humidity sensor, continuous drain operation
Operating temperature5°C - 35°C

First impressions

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier box beside the dehumidifier and other unboxing accessories

This is the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier in front of its box with all the packaging around it.

(Image credit: Future)

I'll give it to them, the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier is a very neat appliance. The curved edges and matte finish make this classy and subtle. It's the kind of dehumidifier you could sit in social spaces without having to apologise for its presence.

Getting it out of the box took some arm muscles, although there are some useful handles for moving the box around. Once I had unboxed the Meaco, I could immediately see some even more well-considered features. The top handle lifts out (and tucks away), the smooth castor wheels move in all directions, and there's even some cable storage. 

I wheeled this around my home, testing it in a number of different spots. For a dehumidifier with a 20-litre capacity, this was actually really easy to manoeuvre and style. I didn't feel like it was getting in the way at all. 

Who would it suit?

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier on oak floor

Here's the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier in my home.

(Image credit: Future)

As a dehumidifier-air purifier combo, the MeacoDry Arete One 20L is perfect for homes with allergy sufferers. If the dampness in your home is wreaking havoc on your air quality, the MeacoDry Arete One is one of the best models for restoring your rooms back to freshness.

Whilst this is big and relatively heavy, the subtle aesthetics and quiet running noise make this a great option for your social spaces around the home, such as living rooms. The one place I'd be careful of putting this is the bedroom. The noise it makes isn't loud, but it won't be soothing you to sleep either.

This feels solid and durable too, even though it's one of the cheaper dehumidifiers on our list, which is surprisingly nice. It's even built to sit flush against walls, so it will be really unobtrusive in your home. Meaco even put the reservoir at the front of the dehumidifier, so you won't have to pull it out to empty it.

What is it like to use?

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier handle

This is the control panel on the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier.

(Image credit: Future)

Using the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier is easy. It comes pre-assembled, so all I had to do was leave the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier to stand for six hours before turning it on to let the refrigerant settle. Most dehumidifiers say you only need to wait for a few hours, so six hours feels like a lot. However, that could be Meaco erring on the side of caution.

If you want to, the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier comes with a HEPA filter that slides into the back of the dehumidifier. Once all that is set up, there's very little else to do. The controls on the Meaco are as simple as they look in the image above. There are four buttons (with icons) that correlate to each function. You have a power button, a humidity selection, a laundry button, and a nighttime button, which you can also use to set the child lock.

Test 1: humidity and condensation

Condensation on a window that needs to be cleared by the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier

This is the condensation that the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier cleared in fifteen minutes.

(Image credit: Future)

The first test I put all our dehumidifiers through is removing condensation. Whether you wake up with misty bedroom windows, see steam collecting when you cook, or have persistent dampness in your shower room, it's important to clear it as quickly as you can if you don't want to deal with mould around your windows. 

The condensation that you can see in the image above normally takes a morning to clear. I set the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier running in the bathroom and checked on it every five minutes to see how quickly it could de-mist my windows. In just fifteen minutes, there wasn't a drop of water in my bathroom. Whilst that's not the quickest time we tested (the Wood's 22 did it in five), that's definitely quicker than the average dehumidifier and it's the most energy-efficient on test too. 

Test 2: laundry

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier beside a clothes horse

This is the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier next to the clothes horse of laundry that it was tasked with drying.

(Image credit: Future)

The next test that all our dehumidifiers face is laundry. The MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier claims to have a special laundry mode, which is a setting that's becoming increasingly common, as more people try to dry clothes with their dehumidifiers

I wanted to see just how effective this was, so I washed a range of different materials. Hanging on the clothes horse is a plush throw, some pillowcases, cotton napkins, sportswear, and generic clothing. These would take 24 hours to all be cupboard dry, so any improvement on that is welcome in my home.

The MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier, with the laundry mode running, took just over one and a half hours. Again, it's not the quickest time that I have on record, but these clothes, even the throw, were bone dry in a timeframe that's quicker than my tumble dryer. It also only costs 6p per hour (if you take the average kWh to cost 27p).

I looked into the the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier's laundry mode and it turns out, there's more to it. The dehumidifier sets its target humidity to 35% and it will run for up to six hours before turning off. You can select two fan speeds, but if you don't it will start on high and then drop back to low when the humidity sensor can tell that the moisture is almost back to normal. That's some clever stuff, so I can see why it's called the 'Smart Laundry' mode.

Test 3: cellar

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier controls

Here's the top of the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier with the handle pulled up.

(Image credit: Future)

The final, and perhaps the toughest test for all the dehumidifiers is my damp cellar. This space has a serious damp problem and I haven't settled on a dehumidifier that can solve it, yet. I set the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier to target 40% humidity and left it running from 9 pm to 9 am. 

Before leaving, I recorded the cellar's humidity as 67%, so the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier had a busy night ahead of it. When I came down the following morning, I saw it had shut off. Initially, I thought a power trip had ruined my test. 

However, when I turned the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier on, I could see that the humidity levels in my cellar were in fact at 42%. The Meaco had done its work and automatically switched off, saving both my cellar and utilities. I know it's 2% higher than my target, but I imagine this switched off and then the humidity of my cellar started to creep back up.

I did notice that the cellar felt warmer than when I left, so I kept an eye on the Meaco every time I used it over a few weeks. It definitely does warm up the room, which might not be ideal if you planned on using this in the peak of summer. In the winter, it's a fortuitous benefit.


MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier water reservoir

This is the water reservoir, which pulls out from the front of the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier.

(Image credit: Future)

The Meaco is relatively low maintenance considering that it doubles up as an air purifier too. The front water reservoir slides out neatly and is easy to empty and clean. You'll also want to remove the air filter and vacuum it to remove any dust. 

If you can stay on top of your cleaning tasks, the Meaco will keep running at maximum efficiency. Aside from the occasional wipe-down of the outside (which stayed remarkably clean over the month that I used it), the Meaco won't need any other maintenance.

We have a whole article on how to clean a dehumidifier that talks you through five simple steps if you want some more advice.

How does it compare?

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier in the cellar

Here's the top of the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier in my cellar.

(Image credit: Future)

The MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier is one of the most efficient dehumidifiers that I tested. Taking the cost of energy to be 27p per kWh, this will cost you between 4-6p per hour. None of the other dehumidifiers in our buying guide can rival that. 

The most natural comparison people make to the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier is the Pro Breeze 20L. These two are direct competitors and often switch places in buying guides. The Pro Breeze is more effective and speed-efficient, but it will cost you more money to run. I

 actually prefer the design of the Meaco, the fact that it can sit flush against the wall and that the reservoir pulls out from the front prove that the Meaco is thoughtfully designed.

Similarly, the Meaco is one of the quietest dehumidifiers on the market, The only models which I've tested that make less noise are the Russell Hobbs and the De'Longhi, both of which have smaller capacities. With all that in mind, you can see why the Meaco often steals the top spot.

Should you buy it?

MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier cable storage

This is the cable storage at the side of the MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier. It's really useful.

(Image credit: Future)

If you need a dehumidifier for daily tasks, the MeacoDry Arete One 20L is perfect. It's one of the most energy-efficient models on the market, boasting a speedy laundry mode as well as clocking some impressive timings on clearing condensation from the windows. 

I can see why it has scored the top spot in a number of buying guides, because there isn't really a way to get better value for money unless you can buy the Meaco in a rare seasonal sale.

How we test

At woman&Home, we have a rigorous process for how we test dehumidifiers. Before we write a review, we do our research on the best dehumidifiers on the market. As soon as we see one that we think you'll like, we call it in to test. Once it's in the hands of our expert testers, we make notes on the aesthetics, weight, usability, and maintenance. 

We make sure to think about which homes the dehumidifier is best suited to. The best way to do this is through three standard tests, which cover the core home functions for dehumidifiers. 

Our first test is in bathrooms. We look at how quickly the dehumidifier can remove condensation from the windows and mirrors because then we'll know how well it will work in misty bedrooms, and busy kitchens too. We also make notes on how quickly the dehumidifier can dry a load of laundry, which will have heavy, plush materials as well as some lighter, easier threads to work with. Our final test is in a damp cellar, which is a pretty tough task. We check how much moisture the dehumidifier can remove overnight and whether this helps the humidity levels of the cellar.

We timed all of these tasks, measured how much water was extracted, and we also made notes on the noise. That way, we can give you comparisons between other dehumidifiers and we can let you know whether a dehumidifier is bedroom friendly too. 

Laura Honey
Contributing Ecommerce Writer

Laura is a self-confessed, floral-obsessed, fragrance aficionado. She started out her career working for the luxury British perfume brand, Penhaligon's. Whilst working for the iconic brand, Laura qualified as a Master Perfumer and has now set up her own perfume studio. You'll often find her experimenting with her own perfumes, even though she still owns (and buys) more fragrances than she will ever admit to.Alongside her passion for perfume, Laura graduated with an English degree from Oxford University. Whilst there, she belonged to a number of women's groups, so was eager to move into women's writing. Her first job was with the female-owned fashion brand, The White Company. Here, Laura was their only Fashion Writer, so she helped to plan, write and promote the company's quality, luxury, and timeless clothing, season after season. In her evenings, she worked on a women's health start-up, which is coming to the market soon, offering supplements for women's health. Laura is also the eCommerce editor at one of Future's other magazines, Homes & Gardens where she specialises in covering all their coffee and product content, looking for pieces that are tailored for timelessness. The secret to her heart is both simplicity and quality.