'It's a breath of fresh air': why Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro dehumidifier is a stand-out for small homes

This is one petite, portable powerhouse

Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier on a shelf next to a plant and some books
(Image credit: Russell Hobbs)
Woman & Home Verdict

The Russel Hobbs doesn't even look like a dehumidifier: with its modern, chic, and petite aesthetics. It's cost-effective and perfect for small spaces but limited when it comes to more substantial tasks.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Tiny footprint

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    Chic, modern design

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    Reasonable price tag

  • +

    Useful shut-off

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Limited functions

  • -

    Slow extraction rate

  • -

    Not suitable for more substantial tasks

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.

I don't think I've ever called a dehumidifier cute before, but that's exactly what the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier is. Designed to be different, this portable model looks more like a speaker than it does a dehumidifier and it's a breath of fresh (dehumidified) air.

Most of the best dehumidifiers on the market look like functional appliances, but the dimensions, design, and colour of the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier are something special. If you look at the price tag, things only get more appealing.

I wanted to test the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier against big-name brands, such as Meaco and Pro Breeze, whilst also seeing how it fared with laundry, damp cellars, and condensation-filled bathrooms. It earned a spot in our highly competitive buying guide but with a few caveats.


Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier on a white background

This is the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier. You can see why people compare it to a bluetooth speaker.

(Image credit: Russell Hobbs)
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Dimensions22 x 14 x 14 cm
Weight0.9 kg
Maximum extraction potential (per day)0.3L/day
Tank capacity0.6 litre
Power300 W
Max room size 15 m²
Noise level 35 dB
Operating temperature5°C - 32°C

First impressions

Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier unboxed

This is the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier unboxed on the floor of my home.

(Image credit: Future)

I won't go overboard on the aesthetics of the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier, but it does deserve some recognition. It's not large, bulky, white, or glossy. These are close to the defining features of dehumidifiers, so it's a true success that this petite and portable option has broken the mould. 

When I lifted this out of the box, I was wowed (not just by the appearance), but by how light and compact this is. At 0.9 kg it's at least a tenth of all the other dehumidifiers we've tested. I've carried handbags on my arm for a whole day that weighed more than this.

The neat handle makes the Russell Hobbs easy to lift up and move around. When dehumidifiers claim to be portable, it's normally because they have wheels. This is what portable actually looks like – a much better small-space solution than dehumidifier bags.

Who would it suit?

Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier next to the box

Here's the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier next to it's box. You can see the packaging is minimalistic.

(Image credit: Future)

This is the perfect size for a dehumidifier in a small space. This is ideal if you have a small home and are short on space. It tucks neatly under tables and into cupboards, perfect for small flats and narrow homes. 

Whilst that might be music to your ears, it does mean that this isn’t the best dehumidifier for large rooms or tough tasks. Mine worked hard in the cellar, but other dehumidifiers were better. Yes, they’re more expensive, but I think you’d be wasting money buying the Russell Hobbs to sort out any serious damp problems. 

The 600ml tank is small and the Russell Hobbs has a 0.3 liter a day extraction rate. That doesn't scream desperate damp issues to me. Instead, it's a good option for light tasks, such as steamy bathrooms and loads of washing. The Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier is certainly more of an endurance model. It fills up slowly and steadily, meaning that it's low maintenance and energy efficient. 

It's simple (and dare I say a little limiting?), but that makes it perfect for those petite tasks. Not everyone needs a commercial dehumidifier in their home.

What is it like to use?

Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier controls

These are the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier. They're relatively pared-back.

(Image credit: Future)

The beauty of the Russell Hobbs is that it's a plug-in-and-go appliance. All you have to do is flip a switch and touch the power button and the appliance turns on. It's so quiet that I had to hold my ear right up against it and, even then, I was only sure the dehumidifier was working because the light controls were on. 

It's a shame that the Russell Hobbs doesn't have a humidistat like other dehumidifiers, because then you never really know how effective this is being and how hard it's working. Rather than aiming for a set humidity, the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier will keep running until its tiny tank is full. This means that it's well-suited to small, humid rooms.

Test 1: humidity and condensation

Condensation on a window

This is the condensation task that we set the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier.

(Image credit: Future)

The first test I put the Russell Hobbs through is a simple, but essential test for any dehumidifier. The windows in my house can get covered in condensation, which creates all sorts of mould problems. So, I put the Russell Hobbs in my misty bathroom when the windows looked like the picture above. 

Without a dehumidifier, it would take a morning for the condensation to slowly form droplets and roll down my windows. However, with the Russell Hobbs plugged in and whirring away it took forty minutes before the windows were crystal clear. 

That's slower than some other dehumidifiers (the best ones succeeded in just over ten minutes), but this is efficient enough that I wasn't worried about how much this dehumidifier costs to run.  I did a quick calculation (based on the cost of electricity being 28p per kWh) and found that the Russell Hobbs should cost about 0.64p per hour to run. That's just £15.40 for a full 24 hours, which you would never need.

When I checked the tank, it wasn’t even full. The Russell Hobbs certainly has the stamina for some bigger tasks.

Test 2: laundry

Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier next to laundry

Here's the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier working to dry a clothes horse of laundry.

(Image credit: Future)

The next test that I put the Russell Hobbs through is laundry. Using a dehumidifier to dry clothes is one of the most popular, money-saving methods that people use. Plenty of other dehumidifiers now come with a special laundry setting, but the simple controls on the Russell Hobbs will only let you toggle between high, medium, and low speeds. I put this by a load of laundry on high, which I took to be the equivalent of a laundry mode. 

Hanging up on my clothes horse I had a heavy blanket, some sportswear, pillowcases, cotton napkins, and other items of clothing. This gave the Russell Hobbs different materials to work with. I would normally need to wait for 24 hours to make sure all these clothes were dry, which is a pain since the clotheshorse is big and gets in the way around my house. 

Again, stamina seemed to come into play more than speed. The Russell Hobbs had dried my clothes by 1 pm, which means that it worked in 4 hours. Whilst it’s slower than a tumble dryer, it’s much more efficient (see my geeky calculations in the section above). 

In the grand scheme of things, the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier sped up how quickly my clothes dried without demanding more floor space. That has to be marked down as a success.

Test 3: cellar

Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier in the cellar

This is the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier in my damp cellar. You can see some of the damp on the wall in the background.

(Image credit: Future)

The final test for the Russell Hobbs was in my cellar. This is probably the toughest task for any dehumidifier because the damp in there is relentless. You can even see the dampness on the wall behind the Russell Hobbs (no judgements please).

I set the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier running overnight, so it had 12 hours to collect as much water as it could. Whilst this doesn’t have a humidity display, I have a humidistat which recorded the humidity dropping from 62% down to 54% overnight. 

The Russell Hobbs wasn’t full when I checked on it, so it could be left for longer, especially since it has auto shut-off functions for when it’s full. However, given the size and dampness in my cellar, I'm not sure the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier is quite cut out for this industrial-level job.

What I did notice was just how silent the Russell Hobbs is. If you put this in your bedroom, you’d be able to sleep (we've got more information on how to use a dehumidifier in your bedroom here). Across all my tests, I kept marvelling at its sheer silence. This is easily the quietest dehumidifier I've ever tested.


Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier on the floor

This is the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier on the floor in my home. It's tiny.

(Image credit: Future)

Russell Hobbs recommends that you clean your dehumidifier every three months, making this one of the lowest maintenance models that we tested. All they ask is that you wipe the outside and rinse the water tank. This is a place that can harbour mould, so keep a close eye on it. 

When I pulled the water tank out, I had to use more force than I expected. It's a little fiddly and the drain hole for water is tiny. If I'm being nice, I'd call this a 'quirk'. If I'm being harsh, it's clunky and a pain to empty.

This does double up as an air purifier, so keep an eye on the filters. These are easy to pull out and clean, experts recommend using a vacuum to lift all the dust off the felt. Again, you won't have a sensor to tell you how effective this is, but when I checked the air purifier after a month of using it in my urban flat, I was shocked at just how much this had picked up.

If you want more information on how to clean your dehumidifier, we have a guide which walks you through five simple steps for maintaining your model.

How does it compare?

The De'Longhi, Pro Breeze, Meaco, and Russell Hobbs dehumidifiers lined up on the floor

Here's the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier next to the De'Longhi, Pro Breeze, and Meaco dehumidifiers.

(Image credit: Future)

It's tricky to fairly compare the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier to other models on the market because it's deserving of a category of its own. The MeacoDry Arete One 12L always comes into play for comparisons, because it's energy-efficient, quiet, and reasonably priced. Whilst the Meaco has a bigger capacity, the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro shockingly beats the Meaco on efficiency. It's also quieter and, according to both sites, a better air purifier. Choosing between the two is tougher than you might expect. 

If you want power and you're struggling with some serious damp issues, the Meaco is a better bet. However, if you're willing to take the 'slow and steady' approach, you'll be wise to invest in the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier.

I've been researching the best portable dehumidifiers on the market (to ensure I explore everything you need to know before buying a dehumidifier) and, I'll be frank with you, there's no competition. If you want a small, effective dehumidifier this is the only one worth buying. Comparably effective models are using artistic licence when they describe themselves as 'portable' since this normally means that they're fitted with castor wheels and a handle, so you can lug the 10 kg box upstairs. It's not ideal.

Should you buy it?

Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier box

This is the box for the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier. I tested the model in black but you can buy it in gray too.

(Image credit: Future)

Why should you buy this dehumidifier model? If you have small rooms and light tasks the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier is the perfect dehumidifier for you. It takes the stamina and endurance approach, rather than a sprint, but that means that this will slowly but surely remove water from your room, whilst purifying the air too. I had the greatest success with the Russell Hobbs in my bathroom, but it was still good at drying my laundry quicker than if I had left it to its own devices. 

How we test

Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier controls

This is the handle and controls on the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Pro Dehumidifier.

(Image credit: Future)

At woman&home we have a rigorous process for how we test dehumidifiers. If you want to know all the details we have a whole article dedicated to what our experts look for when we're testing the best dehumidifiers on the market.

In our reviews, you'll notice that we comment on everything. We'll let you know about aesthetics, first impressions, storage, and maintenance, as well as the practical results that we saw when we used them on real-life tasks.

We tend to use these for weeks, in our own homes, before we write up any reviews. This means that we have a holistic experience with what they're like to use. We make sure that the dehumidifiers have had to dry a load of laundry, clear condensation in a bathroom, and work overnight in a cellar. We time each of our tests and look at the water yield in the reservoir after each test. The long-term tests mean that we can pick up any niggles or quirks like you would if you chose to invest in one of these.

We'll celebrate all the dehumidifier's successes as well as point out the quirks so that you know exactly what to expect before you invest – speaking of investing, keep an eye on the latest dehumidifier deals to save money.

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.