Take the swamp out of summer with an effective and efficient dehumidifier for your home.
Updated April 6, 2023 5:00 a.m. PT
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Reviews ethics statement
Pamela is a freelance food and travel writer based in Astoria, Queens. While she writes about most things edible and potable (and accessories dedicated to those topics,) her real areas of expertise are cheese, chocolate, cooking and wine. She's a culinary school grad, certified sommelier, former bartender and fine dining captain with 10 years in the industry. When not sitting at the keys, she leads in-home cheese classes, wine tastings and cocktail demonstrations.
Humidity inside your home can be more than just uncomfortable. Not only can humidity make warm air feel even hotter and colder air feel colder, but humidity above a certain level can contribute to the growth of mold, which can be anathema to personal wellness, especially for allergy sufferers, as well as hazardous to the structure of your home.
Humidity isn't only problematic in regions with humid climates or seasons, though; certain rooms in your home that are prone to damp conditions such as a bathroom, laundry room, basement or any internal room that doesn't receive air circulation from windows can experience higher humidity regardless of the conditions outside.
We've previously brought you an expert-endorsed way to create your own humidifier and the best humidifiers to buy for a dry winter season. But if the dankness in your home is in need of a foil for those muggy summer months, we've dug deep into the reviews to find the five best dehumidifiers available in 2023 to bring your humidity troubles down to a more comfortable level.
Since dehumidifiers mainly rely on refrigeration technology to pull humidity out of the air in your home, it's no surprise that a company known for refrigerators tops this list. Frigidaire had at least one model on every "best dehumidifier" roundup I consulted.
While I especially like this 50-pint model for its large capacity and smart capability (it allows you to monitor the fullness of the collection tank remotely) depending on your size, budget and functionality needs, Frigidaire is basically always a steady choice. Most high-functioning dehumidifiers aren't winning any points for style, but this Frigidaire model has a clean, unobtrusive look. Reviewers online frequently noted a quick, drastic improvement of the humidity levels in the rooms where this was placed.
This HomeLabs dehumidifier purports to be able to manage the largest square footage among various models, perfect for managing an open-plan, damp basement, or other large space. According to Energy Star, it's one of the most energy-efficient options for dehumidifiers, on top of which its price is right in the middle of the range of the models we selected. While it runs slightly louder than our top choice, people frequently remarked on its ease of both assembly and use.
If you live with humid summers, an easy way to cut down on your monthly energy bill is to run a dehumidifier and fan in your bedroom rather than rely on central air conditioning to cool every unoccupied room in your house overnight. For bedroom needs, you probably require less power and reach, but the noise level of the unit becomes a bigger concern.
This Midea model has one of the lowest decibels available, with user reviews reporting it was no louder than an average fan and emits none of the vibrating or shuddering noises that some models can make. Midea also had a strong showing among various review sites overall, with several models being designated best compact, best budget or quietest dehumidifier.
Update, August 17, 2023: This model number is very similar to the GE ADEL50LRL1, which is part of a recall from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission related to possible fire risk. We have removed the buying links while we determine if it's part of the recall or not.
Most of the dehumidifiers on this list offer a hose option for continuous drainage in addition to the manual functionality of just emptying the internal reservoir when necessary. This GE model, however, was the fan favorite when it came to the ease and effectiveness of its continuous drainage capabilities. You can set it and forget it with confidence, allowing a pump and hose to ferry water out of the reservoir and into a nearby drain without only relying on gravity. This is also one of only a few models that come in black, a potentially less conspicuous option depending on your decor and placement.
A solid dehumidifier that can run continuously for many hours without needing its tanked drained and that can reduce the humidity in your home by a noticeable level is typically going to run you at least $150. If you're not ready for that kind of investment or want to test the waters -- pun intended -- in a small space on a smaller budget, this miniature model had some support among testing labs.
Highly portable and low on energy draw, the reservoir can only collect 13 ounces at once, so its primary use is in a small space like a bathroom or closet for a short amount of time. A small, inexpensive model such as this one, however, might be good to help you determine whether a more expensive dehumidifier can make a positive effect on your home environment.
Size: 6.1 by 8.7 by 5.1 inches
Weight: 1 pound
Drainage style: Manual
Reach: 1,100 cubic feet
Capacity: 13 ounces
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How we picked the best dehumidifiers
Our list of best dehumidifiers was aggregated from numerous review sites among models that had the most inclusions, as well as best-selling and top-rated models at major retailers such as Amazon, Home Depot and Lowe's. Only dehumidifiers that were Energy Star certified were considered for inclusion. I researched the dehumidifiers on this list by analyzing specs and user reviews, diving deep for mentions of persistent issues, and considering the available features and functionality compared to price as a measure of each model's overall value.
I focused primarily on those models that had extremely high user ratings, typically 4.5 and above with at least 1,000 unique ratings. While these were not tested in person in a lab environment, every dehumidifier on this list has been tested by numerous sites for high performance. Additionally, I was able to examine several in person in order to get a feel for their footprint, design and control panel.
2.7 x 15.9 x 24.75
11.93 x 15.43 x 24.41
10.51 x 15.31 x 19.8
11.38 x 14.76 x 24.02
13.5 x 10.5 x 20.1
6.5 x 8.5 x 5.3
Manual or hose
Manual or hose
Manual or hose
Manual or hose plus pump
Manual or hose
4,500 square feet
1,500 square feet
4,500 square feet
3,000 square feet
1,100 cubic feet
Dehumidifier buying guide
Types of dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers typically work via condensation or desiccants, with condensation models being the most numerous and most effective. Among condensation dehumidifiers, some smaller units can only be drained manually, where the reservoir tank must be removed and emptied periodically. (Most dehumidifiers will shut off when their reservoir becomes full.) Many larger units are also built with the option for a hose attachment, where the dehumidifier can drain continuously through the hose directed to a sink or floor drain. While this primarily relies on gravity, some units also include a pump so that condensation can be directed upward to a sink for draining.
Dehumidifier size and volume
Most dehumidifiers are classified according to their reach, the square footage you can expect to dehumidify, as well as their volume, usually measured in how many pints of water per day it can pull from the air. The typical reach for average floor model dehumidifiers is between 1,500 and 4,500 square feet. Capacity is usually between 20 and 70 pints of water per day. Note that this capacity does not necessarily indicate the volume of a given model's reservoir; in order to pull the maximum number of pints per day from the air, the unit must be allowed to continuously drain via a hose, or the reservoir must be drained manually as often as necessary.
As for the size of the dehumidifier itself, if you're trying to dehumidify an average size room in your home, (i.e. not a closet or bathroom,) dehumidifiers are typically going to be placed on the floor, and have a relatively large footprint. Those on this list are, on average, about 12 inches deep by 15 inches wide, with a height of about 24 inches. There are smaller units available that can sit on a counter, dresser, or desktop, but those will typically only be effective for dehumidifying small, enclosed spaces and have a significantly smaller capacity for collecting condensation.
In addition to reach and capacity, you may want to consider a number of other features when shopping for a dehumidifier. Certain models have smart-enabled capabilities, meaning you can monitor and control them remotely when they are connected to your home Wi-Fi. Models with pumps allow you to drain the water upward into a sink without relying on gravity. A defrost function might be an attractive feature if you are running your dehumidifier in a damp and cold environment. Dehumidifiers can also have a wide variety of controls, including sleep timers, custom humidity settings and multiple speeds.
How do I know if I need a dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier might be a worthy investment even just based on your own perception that certain rooms in your house feel uncomfortably humid, or if they smell dank or musty. Certainly, if you live in a humid climate, even seasonally, and don't have a central air conditioning unit, a dehumidifier can make your home more comfortable. Where a fan just moves air around the room, a dehumidifier actually removes humidity from the air.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a relative humidity level between 30% and 50% is ideal for both health and comfort, and too-humid air can affect both your respiratory system and your skin. A hygrometer is a simple, inexpensive device that can measure the actual humidity in your home, to make yourself aware of whether any adjustment is needed.
How do dehumidifiers work?
Dehumidifiers typically work in one of two different ways. The most common is by a system of refrigeration and condensation. (All of the dehumidifiers on our list work according to this method.) Humid air is pulled into the unit where it is cooled to the point of condensation, which is then collected in a reservoir that must be either periodically emptied manually or can be ferried into a nearby drain via a pump and hose.
All but one of the dehumidifiers on our list have a hose output available; not all of them come with the hose included, but you can find them online or at a home and garden store.
Some dehumidifiers work via desiccants: certain substances such as activated charcoal, silica gel or calcium chloride, which are effective at absorbing moisture from the air. DIY dehumidifying solutions typically rely on desiccants.
How effective is a dehumidifier?
The effectiveness of a given humidifier depends on many factors including the size of the space you're trying to dehumidify, whether it's open or enclosed, the power and reach of the particular dehumidifier you're working with and the initial humidity of the space you're trying to treat. The goal of a dehumidifier, when used appropriately, is to bring the humidity condition of the room to less than 50%, and the testing labs we surveyed showed that most dehumidifier models for home use were effective toward this outcome. (The goal is humidity between 30% and 50%. Less than 30 % is considered too dry for health and comfort.)
If you're trying to dehumidify a large space with a model that is not equipped for such a space, you will likely have disappointing results, but if you use and maintain an appropriate dehumidifier for your room size and condition, you should easily notice a marked improvement in the air quality.
Where should you put a dehumidifier?
The best place to put a dehumidifier is as centrally located as possible within the space you are trying to dehumidify, without it being cumbersome or dangerous to move around. Because dehumidifiers rely on air circulation, you want to avoid placing it against a wall or a piece of furniture where airflow is compromised or its vents may be blocked. If you're using a hose for continuous draining, you'll also have to factor in the need to run the hose to an appropriate sink or drain.
Are dehumidifiers energy efficient?
Energy efficiency is important when considering a dehumidifier since you are likely going to run it continuously or for long periods of time to treat the air in your home. Energy Star certification is available for dehumidifiers and all of the models on our list are Energy Star certified, except for the smallest model, which has a much lower energy draw anyway since it's only equipped for a small space. Overall, dehumidifiers are not a significant source of energy usage.