After 11 hours of research evaluating 55 products, we picked Frigidaire FAD704DWD Energy Star 70-Pint Dehumidifier as our top choice.
Whether you realize it or not, your dehumidifier is one of the most important appliances in your home! Not only does it reduce excessive humidity—preventing damage to your furniture from mold and mildew—it can prevent allergies and asthma.
It's definitely a must-have appliance:
Finding the best dehumidifier will prevent odors, reduce mildew, fight mold, keep your food fresh longer, reduce dust build-up, reduce energy costs, increase HVAC efficiency, and protect your fabrics from mold damage. All in all, they're very important for the wellbeing of your home.
Here's the thing:
Whether you're installing a dehumidifier in a new home or looking to replace an old one, we've got a model to help you out. We've done the research to find the best dehumidifier for each situation, including a small bedroom dehumidifier, a basement dehumidifier, and a whole house dehumidifier.
We've put together a list of the best dehumidifier options to help you select one that will best serve your needs. Read on to find out more.
Built to last, highly portable, incredibly clever design, no need for energy or battery power, desiccant technology, use it anywhere, 333 cubic feet capacity, works for up to 10 years, needs to be "renewed" every 20 to 30 days, non-toxic, and child safe/pet friendly.
Not suited for large space and doesn't include extra controls or features.
This is a fascinating little dehumidifier. It doesn't work like your typical machine, but uses silica gel crystals to absorb moisture from the air. The gel crystals slowly turn from blue to pink as they contain more moisture. When they're fully pink, you need to plug the machine in for 10 hours, and it will eliminate the moisture—"renewing" the crystals so you can repeat the process all over again.
If you want user-friendly, it doesn't get any better than this! Though it can only dehumidify spaces up to 333 cubic feet, it's perfect for smaller, high-humidity rooms like your kitchen, laundry room, or storage cabinets. You can also use it in your gym bag to keep everything dry and odor-free. It's compact enough to be placed anywhere you want to reduce moisture.
The little dehumidifier comes with a single feature: non-toxic, child and pet-safe silica gel crystals that absorb moisture. With no wires, it's safe to use anywhere in the house. All you have to do is plug it in at the end of 20-30 days (the average amount of time it takes to absorb 4-6 pints of water), and it will automatically be renewed.
At $15, how could you say no to this little dehumidifier? It has a lifespan of up to 10 years, is 100% renewable, and a great option for compact humidity removal!
Built-in air filter, easy humidity control, full tank alert system, auto shut-off when full, built for continuous operation, Energy Star-certified, 15.3 pint tank, automatic restart after power outage, built-in drain port, durable, portable, and includes a frost control feature.
Lacking some useful features, like 24-hour timer or auto defrost.
Suitable for most home sizes, programmable humidistat, hose connector, auto shut-off feature included, automatic restart, large water tank, large capacity, Energy Star certified, well-built, and user-friendly operation.
Noisy, so you'll likely have to turn it off at night. And it's on the pricier side.
This dehumidifier is built with large spaces in mind, with a capacity of up to 4,500 square feet—making it a whole-house dehumidifier for smaller homes and apartments. It's not only packed with highly convenient features (see the next section), but it's durable, reliable, and built for easy operation.
The machine is Energy Star-certified, so it will keep your monthly electricity costs low. The surprisingly large water tank (1.3 gallons) rarely needs to be emptied, and the drain connector port allows you to hook it up to your drainage system for continuous operation/drainage.
This dehumidifier comes with ALL the features you could want: a programmable humidistat that will operate automatically once it's set, an auto shut-off feature when the tank is full, auto-defrost if it gets too cold, LED display, easy-use controls, multiple integrated settings, and so much more. If you're looking for low maintenance, it doesn't get any better than this.
Sadly, it tends to be a bit noisy at night, so you may want to set it to shut off while you sleep.
At $270, this is one of the priciest dehumidifiers on our list. However, given its user-friendliness, versatility, and reliability, it's absolutely worth considering.
Ideal for smaller rooms, highly reliable operation, durable, built to last, reduces odor/bacteria/mold/mildew, electronic controls, 24-hour timer, digital readout visible even in the dark, dehumidify up to 1,500 square feet, easy to empty, auto shut-off feature, and energy efficient.
High price for its smaller size.
If you have a smaller space to dehumidify (up to 1,500 feet), you'll find this machine is more than suited to the task. It's an energy-efficient, durable, well-built little dehumidifier that will run for years without breaking down, and it will deliver visible results. You'll be able to feel the humidity in your home dropping as this machine does its job.
The machine comes with a 7.1-pint water tank, and it's lightweight enough that you can move it around anywhere in your home.
The machine comes with a broad range of user controls, allowing you to adjust humidity, run time, and fan speed. The auto shut-off feature will turn the dehumidifier off when it reaches its desired humidity level or when the tank is full. LED lights will also alert you when the tank needs to be emptied or the filter cleaned. The digital display makes it easy for you to control every aspect of the machine's functionality.
The built-in continuous drain hose port in the back of the dehumidifier allows you to connect a hose (not included, but can be a standard garden hose) to the machine for easy drainage.
At $170, this is definitely a pricey little machine for its size. However, given its 5-year warranty and reliable operation, it's also a dehumidifier worth its salt if you're working with smaller spaces.
Large capacity, portable, Energy Star-certified, suitable for rooms larger than 2,500 square feet, reduces bacteria and odor, built-in continuous drain hose outlet, 6-liter tank capacity, and features user-friendly controls.
Emits a lot of heat when in use, and there's no auto shut-off feature.
If you have a large basement, you'll want this dehumidifier for sure. It's capable of removing up to 70 pints of moisture from rooms between 2,500 and 4,000 square feet, making it perfect for larger basements and storage spaces. Thanks to the dehumidifier, you'll never have to worry about your basement smelling musty or dank again.
The dehumidifier operates with surprisingly little noise, making it perfect for basements with living quarters. Best of all, it's an Energy Star certified dehumidifier that will reduce energy consumption even with all-day use.
This appliance comes with some VERY handy features! In addition to the user-friendly controls, it has a built-in drain hose outlet that allows you to connect a hose to your drainage system so you never have to manually empty the 1-gallon storage tank. There's also a set of wheels that allow you to move the dehumidifier around to place it wherever in the basements suits you best. Thanks to the Turbo Mode, you can run the fan at maximum for a short period to rapidly reduce moisture and prevent odors/bacteria.
At just under $230, this is also a slightly pricier model, but definitely worth it if you're looking for a reliable basement dehumidifier. It gets the job done efficiently every time, and it's built to last for years to come!
Large capacity, easy to control, broad selection options, lightweight enough to be portable, durable, reliable, low power consumption, easy to empty/drain, quick moisture/humidity elimination, reduced energy consumption, quiet operation, quality materials used, and visible water level.
Some models are prone to breakage before warranty expires.
There are two types of dehumidifiers to choose from:
Refrigerant – A refrigerant dehumidifier works by condensing the moisture out of the air. The moisture in the air is sucked into the dehumidifier, where it passes over a cold evaporator that cools the air below dewpoint temperature. This turns the air-borne moisture into condensation, which is collected in the cold coils of the dehumidifier. The water is either collected into a pan to be emptied manually or drains from a hose into your home’s plumbing system.
While the cold evaporator is dealing with the moisture, the dry air passes through warming coils so that it comes out of the dehumidifier at a pleasant temperature. The dry air can actually be pushed out fan-style toward the damp parts of your room, helping to speed up drying times.
Refrigerant dehumidifiers have a faster extraction rate, so they can remove a higher volume of moisture per day. They’re recommended post-flooding to quickly deal with moisture and saturated materials. You may find that refrigerant dehumidifiers cost less to run, as they consume less electricity.
On the downside, they don’t run as well at cold temperatures, but perform best in warm weather. They’re also noisier and larger than desiccant dehumidifiers.
Desiccant – Desiccant dehumidifiers pass the air through a rotor that contains a moisture-absorbing desiccant materials (such as silica gel). Once the moisture has been absorbed by the desiccant materials, the dry air is then blown back into the building to speed up drying. To remove the water from the desiccant, heat is required, and the evaporation is collected within the dehumidifier then drained out via hose.
While extraction rates of desiccant dehumidifiers aren’t quite on par with refrigerant dehumidifiers, desiccant dehumidifiers can operate better in lower temperatures, making them better for colder climates. They’re also quieter and smaller, though they tend to consume more energy.
Finding the right dehumidifier is more about the size and capacity of the appliance than anything. Simply put, you need to get a dehumidifier with a capacity for the specific room or rooms you want to dehumidify.
First, you need to measure the square footage of the space where you’re going to set up the dehumidifier. Once you have the area of the room, you need to evaluate the conditions of the room:
A few of the factors used to assess the conditions of the room include:
The wetter the environment, the higher the capacity for dehumidifying.
Capacity is measured by pints (of moisture) per day.
Whole House Dehumidifiers may be able to treat up to 3,000 square feet, which means they’ll remove 50 to 100 pints of water per day.
Large Capacity Dehumidifiers will usually be rated up to 75 pints per day, and they’re designed for a wide range of humidity levels. For large, very wet spaces, the higher capacity is worth the higher price.
Medium Capacity Dehumidifiers will typically be rated around 45 or 50 pints per day, and they’re best for smaller spaces that are very damp or larger spaces that only have a little bit of moisture or humidity. They’re cheaper to run than large capacity models, but the initial investment will be roughly the same.
Small Capacity Dehumidifiers typically collect 25 to 40 pints per day, and they’re perfect for small or very damp spaces. They’re not only the cheapest initially, but their running costs tend to be lower. That being said, you can really only use them for one room/space at a time. They are typically used in crawl spaces, basements, and other small areas with high moisture.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers has provided a sizing table to make it easier for you to work with:
The larger-capacity dehumidifiers tend to be permanent, anchored to a specific area in your home or building. Smaller and medium-capacity dehumidifiers are more likely to be portable, with wheels that allow you to move them around.
You may be thinking, “My dehumidifier collects all that water from the air, but where does it go?” That’s an excellent question!
Basically, there are two types of drainage or collection options, for both desiccant and refrigerant dehumidifiers:
Drip Tray – This is a simple metal or plastic tray installed in the base of the dehumidifier that collects the water that drips down. The reservoir is usually sized according to the daily water collection rate, and each appliance has its own recommendation of how often to empty it. Most dehumidifiers with a drip tray will also come with a light that turns on when the tray is full or an auto-shutdown that switches the appliance off—thus preventing any risk of overflowing.
Continuous Drainage – Continuous drainage is basically a hose that connects your dehumidifier to your home’s drainage systems. This is a much better solution for large capacity dehumidifiers, as the continuous drainage keeps the water flowing out of the dehumidifier as it is collected.
Some units come with their own hoses, or you may need to purchase a hose specifically for the purpose. You’ll also need to set up the dehumidifier close enough to a drain (sink, shower, large bucket, or sump hole) that it will allow the water to drain out. This may not be ideal for use in bedrooms, but it’s great for your basement, kitchen, or bathrooms.
When shopping for a dehumidifier, here are a few of the features you definitely want to consider:
Digital controls – While some models come with manual controls (a dial you turn), it’s better to work with digital controls. You’ll be able to set specific humidity levels with percentage numbers rather than simply choosing from pre-programming options (like dry, wet, or very wet). It offers much more control over your home environment!
Timer – This is handy for keeping your home humidity levels under control even if you’re out of the house all day long. The timer will turn the dehumidifier off and on, and you can use it to help save on energy. For example, in cities that have cheaper “off-peak electricity hours”, you can set the dehumidifier to run for those specific hours to cut back on energy costs.
Easy-Clean Air Filter – Many dehumidifiers come with built-in air filters that will trap dust and dirt while removing moisture from the air. You’ll want to get an air filter that is easy to clean—usually one that is detachable and washable. That way, you can ensure you’re always breathing clean air while the dehumidifier is running.
Auto-Restart – Your dehumidifier needs power to run, but what happens if there’s a blackout or your power gets cut for a few minutes? Auto Restart is a feature that switches your dehumidifier back on after a power outage, so it will always be running as long as there is power.
Humidistat – A humidistat measures the humidity levels in the room/space and provides a readout (usually digital) so the machine can adapt to the humidity level or you can adjust it as desired. This is a common feature with digital controls, but even if you’re going manual or electronic, you always want a humidistat.
Frost Sensor – A frost sensor will switch off the dehumidifier if the coils get all frosted up (very common in cold weather and cooler spaces). If the coils are frosted, they require more energy to dehumidify the air, making it more expensive to run. Thanks to the frost sensor, the dehumidifier is switched off until the frost melts.
Auto Defrost – In cold and cool weather, it’s common for the dehumidifier to frost up or freeze. With Auto Defrost, the dehumidifier will send a blast of warm air over the coils to get rid of any ice or frost. This is ideal for very cold climates.
Easy-Carry Drip Tray – If you’re going with the drip tray-style dehumidifier, you want to be sure the tray has handles that make it easy to carry. The tray capacity can go as high as 75 pints, which is a surprising amount of weight to carry outside the house to empty. A well-balanced drip tray with easy-grab handles will make the chore a whole lot easier.
Caster Wheels – This is a crucial factor for small and medium-capacity dehumidifiers that you intend to use in various rooms in your home. The wheels allow you to move the dehumidifier without having to physically pick it up, and it will make it much easier to move it between rooms or to get it into the bathroom to drain it.
This is the #1 question that people have about dehumidifiers. After all, moisture and humidity in the home leads to mold and mildew, which can be a health hazard. Getting rid of mold is of the utmost importance!
The answer to your question is “yes and no”.
Mold forms as a result of moisture in the air. Mold needs moisture in order to thrive, so in a high-humidity or damp environment, it can flourish.
Dehumidifiers get rid of moisture in the air. This deprives the mold of its nourishment, so it starves it. The mold will not be able to grow or spread, and you’ll have an easier time controlling it.
However, dehumidifiers will not kill off the mold. Even if you get the humidity in the room to under 50%, it will simply render the mold inactive. Without moisture, it can’t spread, so lowering the moisture in your room is critical for stopping the mold from growing.
But the mold will simply be inactive, not killed off. In fact, it may occasionally release mold spores, which can float on the air currents in your home, travel to another higher-humidity area, and form mold there. A dehumidifier alone won’t be able to kill off mold.
So how do you get rid of mold? The first step, obviously, is to use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in the house to render the mold inactive. After that, you’ve got a few options for cleaning up the place:
Vapor Steam Cleaner – Steam and heat (above 180 degrees) will kill most types of mold, all but the heat-resistant types. These cleaners use a dry vapor (no moisture) to kill off the mold effectively.
Tea Tree Oil and Water – Spraying a mixture of tea tree oil and water onto moldy patches is a great way to kill off the mold. Tea tree oil is a powerful fungicide, and you only need a few drops to do the job. However, be prepared for a very long-lasting minty smell!
Vinegar -- Vinegar is another potent fungicide, and you can pour some into a spray bottle to apply it directly to the moldy area. It’s cheap and highly effective, but it can leave an unpleasant smell, especially in carpets.
Citrus Seed Extract and Water – A mixture of 20 drops of citrus seed extract into 2 cups of water makes for an excellent mold-killing spray. The smell is far less potent than vinegar or tea tree oil, but it does an amazing job of dealing with the mold.
BE VERY CAREFUL WITH MOLD! If you don’t wear a mask while fighting mold, you can breathe in mold spores that will trigger a runny nose, watery eyes, coughs, and even asthma attacks. Mold is very stubborn and hard to kill, and it can easily spread if you don’t deal with it ASAP. If a few attempts to get rid of the mold doesn’t work, it’s highly recommended you call in a professional mold removal service to deal with it once and for all.
If you’re going to use a dehumidifier in your home, it’s important you do it right! That means using it as effectively and energy-efficiently as possible. Here are a few handy tips to help you get the most out of your dehumidifier:
Place it right – The center of the room is the best place for your dehumidifier. If it’s too close to the walls, curtains, or furniture, the air flow could be obstructed—meaning less air passes through the dehumidifier to have the moisture removed. You need at least 12 inches of free space around the air intake and discharge vents for optimum performance.
Close the windows and doors – The point of a dehumidifier is to eliminate moisture from the air, but how can it do its job if more air is always coming in from the outside or the rest of the house? Make sure to close all the windows and doors before running the dehumidifier.
Empty it regularly – The emptier the drip tray, the more effective the operation. If you want a smaller, portable drip tray dehumidifier, make sure to empty it before you move it to another room.
Get your humidity levels right – Most homes should have humidity levels somewhere between 30 and 50%. However, if you’re trying to protect valuable items (classic cars, guitars, wine bottles, cigars, etc.), your requirements will be much more specific. Do a bit of research to see just how much humidity you want/need in each room.
Warning: Lowering the humidity below 30% may be TOO dry—you’ll feel it in your throat every time you swallow.
Run it high, then drop it low – Use it on high until the humidity levels are below 50%, then set it on the lower settings to stop humidity from rising above 50% without sucking up a lot of energy. Dehumidifiers are really only effective at dealing with over 50% humidity levels.
Vacuum first – Vacuum the floor to get rid of dust particles before you turn on the dehumidifier. That way, you won’t spread dust in the air or clog up the dust filter too quickly.
Use it at the right time – There are certain times when certain rooms of the house will have more moisture. For example, the kitchen right after you cook a meal, the bathroom after a hot shower, or the laundry room while you’re drying your clothes. This is when you want to run the dehumidifier to reduce excess moisture in these rooms—thereby preventing damp and mold.
Be wary of frost – Remember that frost forming on the coils can reduce the effectiveness of the dehumidifier’s operations, so it will take more energy and work less efficiently. If there is any sign of frost, switch off the dehumidifier until the frost is gone.
Clean your coils – Yes, you want to clean the coils themselves, not just the air filter. A lot of the dust, allergens, lint, fungus, and spores will cling to the coils, so it’s worth cleaning them at least once every 6-12 months (especially in areas with lots of allergens, dust, and mold). You can use a cloth and spray bottle of warm water for a quick and easy cleaning.
Now, check out our list of the best dehumidifiers to find the best option for you!