While the air conditioner in your home or apartment might dehumidify the air in your living space to some degree, it’s often not enough. This is especially true for the rooms that aren’t air-conditioned, such as basements, laundry rooms, or storage areas.
Dampness can occur in these areas quite readily from the natural environment. Basements are a particularly notable culprit for dampness since they usually don’t have much ventilation compared to the rest of the house.
Even if you’re not spending much time in your basement, you might be storing things down there – and when moisture accrues, it can damage your things. The best dehumidifier can also help reduce musty odors in rooms like this.
Basements and laundry rooms aside, it might be that you just live in a particularly humid area. This can lead to discomfort pretty quickly, especially during the hot summer months and even during a dry spell in the winter.
A dehumidifier is an affordable way to remove unwanted moisture from the air, but there are so many of them on the market – and all of them claim to be “the best.” Since we use dehumidifiers ourselves, we have quite a lot of experience in finding the ones that actually work.
We’ve gone through and comprehensively researched the current marketplace and selected the best ones out there, both in terms of performance and price. But first, let’s talk a little about how to pick the best dehumidifier.
As we talk about dehumidifiers throughout this post, you’re going to learn about what the different kinds of dehumidifiers are, how they work, and what they do best.
You’ll also discover how to pick one that’s going to work the best for your unique situation while still staying within your budget. Finally, we’ll reveal our top five picks for the best dehumidifiers currently on the market.
- 1 How Does A Dehumidifier Work?
- 2 How to Pick the Best Dehumidifier for 2021
- 3 Best Dehumidifiers Reviews 2021 [Top Picks]
- 4 Best Dehumidifiers Comparison Table 2021
- 5 Final Recommendation
How Does A Dehumidifier Work?
Dehumidifiers aren’t particularly different in how they operate. They force air over coils filled with a permanent coolant, usually with a fan.
Moisture is then captured by these coils, which subsequently drips down into a bucket, basin, or reservoir so that it can be removed from the unit – more on that in the next section.
The air which has been dried out is then pushed out of the unit and back into the room you wish to dehumidify. At this stage, it’s best to consider the size and feature set of the product in order to make an informed buying decision.
The best portable dehumidifier is going to be small enough to carry easily, but large enough to still provide you with enough dryness in the area you’re in.
The best dehumidifier for basements and other similar areas will have a large enough capacity to dehumidify the entire area – not just a part of it. It should also be able to be drained in the easiest way possible, and that’s probably going to be with a pump into a nearby sink.
Speaking of which, the best dehumidifier with a pump should have a long enough hose (and the pumping power) to reach wherever you want to drain it out.
And what about the really, really affordable units? The best cheap dehumidifier should still do a good job, even if the price is low. Yes, they do exist – several of our best picks (discussed below) are very reasonably priced and can get a room as bone dry as you like.
How to Pick the Best Dehumidifier for 2021
Most dehumidifiers work in roughly the same way: they remove moisture from the air. The important consideration to think about before making a purchase is the size of the area that you’d like dehumidified.
If you’d like to dehumidify a small area (such as your personal space around your desk at work), a small, portable dehumidifier will work wonders. However, if you need to dehumidify a large basement, a large capacity model will be necessary.
Live in a cold area? A dehumidifier with an auto-defrost feature will prevent the unit from freezing in environments that go below about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the most convenient way to drain the water from the dehumidifier – since it’s pulling moisture out of the air, it has to put it somewhere, right? Generally speaking, there are three ways by which it can be drained of water:
- An internal container that fills. You will occasionally have to remove it and pour out the water somewhere else, such as a sink or outside.
- A “direct drain” feature which allows the dehumidifier to run continuously by expelling moisture from a ground-level tube. For this to be effective, a floor drain is most likely necessary. If you’re putting a unit like this in your basement and you have a floor drain installed, you’re good to go. Otherwise, consider a unit with…
- An internal pump. The pump will lead to a hose that can be directed above floor level if desired. This means that you can direct the drainage hose up to a sink or even out a window.
So, to recap, the three most important considerations are the size of the area you wish to dehumidify, the average temperature of the area (if it gets cold enough to freeze), and how you can drain the machine conveniently.
Best Dehumidifiers Reviews 2021 [Top Picks]
Through comprehensive testing and real-world reviewing, we’ve compiled a list of the five best dehumidifiers on the market. Just like any other technology, dehumidifiers are getting better and better – if you’re still using one from ten years ago, odds are its time to upgrade to a more modern unit.
Newer units require less energy consumption, so for units that need to run 24/7, you’ll save a bundle on your electricity bill. Not only that, but they just work better. The five models we’ve reviewed each have a different set of pros and cons and are appropriate for different sizes of room.
Frigidaire FAD504DWD Dehumidifier
If you are looking for a medium-size dehumidifier, this might be your best option. It has been built with high-quality components – that means it’s going to last.
Apart from the really stellar consumer feedback, the price is another great selling point – even though it’s so good, this Frigidaire model is the most inexpensive dehumidifier in its category.
You won’t only be getting a dehumidifier with great features and superior functionality; you also get it at a competitive price point. There are similar options at this price (and above) that don’t provide half as much reliability.
This is among the quietest units on the market today. It is rated above average on all noise output tests. It measures at 51.7 dB for high fan speed when 10 feet away – if noise is your primary concern, do not be fooled into thinking small units make less noise.
Not true. This 50-pint model is quieter than many units with half the capacity. This might not be the most energy-efficient model, but it’s not too bad either. It uses 462 watts of power when operating at 50%. This is much lower than the 632 watts a 70-pint model would draw.
It one of the lightest medium units in the market today. It weighs just 37 lbs. and it isn’t hard to transport at all. If you are looking for something portable that can dehumidify a relatively large area, this is a great choice.
It offers terrific value and is recommended if you are looking for a 50-pint unit. It is very portable and has just about every feature that you would be looking for in medium capacity units.
It’s fairly quiet too, which means it can be used in parts of your home where you spend a lot of time, like the bedroom or living room, without disturbing everyone else.
- It is above average in terms of versatility and adjustability.
- The humidity levels can be adjusted in increments of 5% all the way up to 85% relative humidity. They can also be set as low as 35%.
- The timer can be set for delayed starts or stops in increments of half an hour up to ten hours. You can set it for one-hour increments after that for as much as a day in advance.
- Operating temperatures range between 41° F and 96° F.
- User-friendly operation.
- There’s a continuous mode on the unit, but it lacks an auto mode.
- The gravity drain port is standard on the back, though the unit doesn’t include a drainage hose- we suspect that this contributes to the lower price point, but it’s still a small inconvenience.
- It could be a bit more energy-efficient, but overall operating power makes up for this.
Ivation 70 Dehumidifier Pint Energy Star
This compact model is both quiet and energy-efficient. Peltier technology was used in the manufacture of this thermo-electric dehumidifier.
That means that it’s been designed for quietness during operation, durability, and easy movement. When empty, it weighs only four and a half pounds. It won’t take up much space either, as it’s 14 inches high.
Capable of removing up to 70 pints of moisture daily, this Ivation model is ideal for areas of up to 4,500 square feet. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t have a pump.
Moisture gathered from the air will be contained in the 70-pint reservoir, which you should expect to have to drain on a daily basis – for those consumers who didn’t plan to install their dehumidifier with a hose to an above-ground level drain anyway, this isn’t much of a drawback and the unit has enough features to warrant a purchase.
However, if you planned on leaving a dehumidifier unattended in a basement or spare room with the hose running up to a sink for days at a time without having to maintain it, there are better choices. This one does have a hose hookup for ground-level continuous drainage.
As you might know, most dehumidifiers come equipped with an air filter. This is to prevent normal dust and debris from getting inside the unit and clogging the components.
Some units require the air filter to be replaced with disposable air filters, but this Ivation model comes equipped with a washable air filter. While you will eventually have to replace it after regular wear and tear, it’s quite durable and offers more convenience than disposable air filters.
It has a large, easily readable LCD display. The controls are fairly self-explanatory and allow you to adjust the fan speeds – which range between regular and turbo – to manipulate the 24-hour timer feature, and to check the status of both the reservoir as well as the air filter.
For those new to dehumidifiers, the instruction manual is detailed and is in well written English. One feature that may warrant a glance at the instruction manual is the RHT meter, which detects and displays the current humidity levels in the room or area, allowing the user to tweak the dehumidifier settings to the ideal levels for the environment.
- 40 pounds with rolling casters for portability
- Large 70-pint reservoir
- Auto-defrost for colder environments
- 6-foot cord (which compared to many dehumidifiers is actually quite long)
- Washable air filter
- No pump for above ground level drainage
Keystone KSTAD50B Dehumidifier
This Energy Star qualified machine can remove up to 50 pints per day and performs well in areas of up to 3,000 square feet. For a 50-pint unit, that’s particularly impressive, making it a small yet suitable option for basements and other large areas.
Keystone KSTAD50B has a reliable timer function and an easy to use control panel. Unlike many other units, the dust filter is very easy to clean or replace, and – this is really nice – this one will let you know when it’s time to replace the filter.
If you’re like us and tend to forget about the dust filter, this is a really convenient feature. If you have a power outage, it also comes equipped with an auto-restart feature.
The auto-restart feature is one of our favorite things about this model. You’ll find that it is capable of storing all of your settings, so if you have to unplug it to move it or for any other reason, you won’t have to spend valuable time fiddling with the settings again, and the same applies during a power outage.
There’s also an auto-shutoff feature, so if the internal bucket – if you’re not using the external drainage feature – gets full, the unit won’t spill over, it’ll simply stop until you drain out the bucket.
The easily removed dust filters are an excellent convenience option for this unit, and we especially like that the unit reminds you when it’s time to replace them. A note on dust filters: it’s important to keep them clean and replace them when necessary. The dehumidifier (this one or any other model) will be more efficient.
There’s a continuous draining option on this Keystone model in addition to an internal bucket. Having the option to seamlessly swap between the two is very convenient and makes this model quite versatile in comparison to other dehumidifiers that have either-or options.
Anyone looking for a mid-priced dehumidifier with plenty of bells and whistles for added convenience will benefit from adding this appliance to their home. The large 3,000 square foot dehumidifying capacity is excellent for a 50-pint unit.
Overall, if you’re looking for an extra easy to use and maintain the unit, this model is a smart choice. This Energy Star approved dehumidifier from Keystone is in the middle range of prices for comparable dehumidifiers, but over time – thanks to its energy efficiency – becomes quite affordable.
You can pick up units with similar feature sets for a bit lower of a price, but if you plan to use your dehumidifier regularly, you should take into account the ongoing cost of your energy bill as well.
Since this unit requires less power to function, over time – several months to the first year – you’ll actually get a substantial amount of savings after the initial investment.
As we discussed previously, you’re best suited to consider your dehumidifier as an investment, and that’s exactly what this Keystone model is.
- Rolling casters for easy transportation or re-positioning
- 24-hour timer
- Light-up LED display and simple but comprehensive control panel
- Water level indicator
- Auto-restart functionality
- Dust filter reminder alerts
- Drainage hose not included
DeLonghi DD45 PE Dehumidifier
If you plan on moving your dehumidifier from one location to another fairly regularly, it should be easy to move and provide you with multiple drainage options.
This particular machine is a great choice for consumers looking for a portable unit that can be drained in different ways, each appropriate for the location.
The DD45 can be drained in three different ways: as with most dehumidifiers, you can drain it passively through a hose outlet, appropriate for use with a ground-level drain.
If it’s going in your basement and you have a ground drain, you’re all set – but you also have the option to pump water to an above ground level drain (such as a nearby sink or out a window).
Finally, the machine has a 6-liter tank that can store water. You’ll have to manually remove the tank and pour the water out yourself, but it’s a nice added bit of convenience. Generally speaking, the tank will have to be drained once per day, though it may be a bit more if you’re in a very humid environment.
It weighs 42 pounds without any water in the reservoir, which is a bit heavy but still entirely portable thanks to the rolling casters and easy to grip handles. It is taller than other dehumidifiers in its class at 24 inches high, though it makes up for it in slimness – the DeLonghi DD45 is less than a foot deep.
Maintaining this model is equally simple. The air filter can be removed and cleaned. The user simply lifts the back panel of the unit, takes out the filter and washes it by hand – it cannot be safely machine washed.
The air filter will need to be set out to dry for an hour or two before it can be replaced into the unit. The DD45 doesn’t come with a spare air filter, but it can be purchased separately. It may be a good idea to do so since this could provide uninterrupted use while washing the air filter.
Unlike most others, this model does include drainage hoses. One is intended for ground-level passive draining and is 3 feet long, and the other is 16 feet long and intended for use with the pump.
- Three convenient drainage options
- Easy maintenance
- Includes drainage hoses
- User-friendly control panel
- The 45-pint tank is a bit smaller than similar units in its class
Honeywell DH50W 50-Pint Dehumidifier
This Honeywell dehumidifier packs a lot of features into a small package. Designed to be portable, the unit weighs only 43 pounds and has a height of fewer than two feet.
Rather than having a simple on and off feature, the DH50W is equipped with a digital humidistat so that it can sense the humidity of the environment and turn on and off depending on the readout.
This will save on both energy costs as well as reducing the amount of wear and tear on the unit – if you plan on leaving your dehumidifier running constantly, such as one might in a basement, this is a very useful feature to have.
As an added bonus, the unit will also display the current temperature in the room, which is useful if you’re trying to cut back on your air conditioning use with a dehumidifier.
The Honeywell DH50W also sports a range of other useful features, such as the ability to auto-restart in the event of a power outage – again, handy for those putting it in the basement – as well as an auto-defrost and low-temperature operation: it can function all the way down to 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
There’s a water level indicator separate from the large LED display, and can be configured to make a sound (beeping) when the internal tank is full if you’re using it. The unit will automatically shut off if the internal reservoir becomes full.
The display is large and easy to read, and the controls are simple and straightforward. The six buttons on the unit control the above features as well as the 24-hour timer. If you don’t want to use the automatic feature of the humidistat, you can program the DH50W to turn on and off at your discretion.
This model works well, capable of removing 50 pints of moisture from the air in a 2,000 to 2,500 square foot room. The drainage options include the internal 14.4-pint reservoir or a gravity drainage port, but a hose is not included.
The unit does not have a pump, so the two drainage options are to use the internal reservoir or to allow water to drain passively. The reservoir is easily detachable and has a comfortable handle so it can be easily removed and replaced.
- Internal humidistat detects moisture levels and can turn the unit on or off
- Simple control panel operation yet many features
- Relatively light easily moved with rolling casters
- Energy Star certified
- No pump for above ground drainage
- Drainage hose not included
Best Dehumidifiers Comparison Table 2021
|Product Name||Frigidaire FAD504DWD||Ivation 70-Pint||Keystone KSTAD50B||DeLonghi DD45 PE||Honeywell DH50W|
|Area Capacity (feet)||2500||4500||3000||2500||2500|
|Price||Click Here||Click Here||Click Here||Click Here||Click Here|
There is no such best dehumidifier that’s going to be “perfect” for everyone since everyone has different preferences and usage scenarios.
However, we think that if you choose from one of the five dehumidifiers we’ve just talked about that you’ll be able to find the one that works the best for you, whether it’s to remove moisture from your home office, your basement, or needs to be portable so that you can take it to work with you.
We hope that you’ve found this post informative and you’re now on your way to a more comfortable, dry living space.