The Best Dehumidifiers, Tested by HGTV Editors
Prevent moisture, mold, mildew and musty smells from overtaking your basement with our editors' favorite dehumidifiers.
Our Top Dehumidifier Picks
In the same way that humidifiers offer relief from dry air and mucus in the winter months, dehumidifiers keep away mold, mildew and dust mites, especially in spring and summer when the weather is generally wetter. Basements and bathrooms are the worst offenders of trapping humidity and moisture. If you notice condensation on windows, a musty smell, or that surfaces or the air feel damp, then it's worth trying a dehumidifier to alleviate these issues. Just know, though, that a dehumidifier won't fix underlying moisture issues from water leaks or poorly sealed cracks.
How to Choose a Dehumidifier
For our tests, we focused on ease of use, noise level and tank size. When choosing a dehumidifier for your home, the most important factor to consider is the size of the space in which you'll use the dehumidifier. Most homes won't require anything bigger than a 35-pint tank. However, if you live in an older home, need serious help removing moisture from an unfinished space, like a garage, or want to go longer between emptying the tank, then a larger tank size is ideal. Generally, the cost increases with the tank capacity.
Important Features to Consider
Additional features like filter cleaning/replacement indicators, full tank alerts, fan settings, timers and auto defrost usually come standard. We tested a few models with Wi-Fi and found that this feature, while very convenient, isn't necessary or worth the extra cost for most situations. However, if you want to use a dehumidifier in a remote room, like a basement with an exterior entrance or a detached garage, then a Wi-Fi-enabled app would come in handy for getting updates on the humidity and water tank fill levels. Since dehumidifiers typically run for extended periods of time, make sure you purchase one with Energy Star certification for the highest efficiency.
Using a Dehumidifier
Depending on your preference and setup, you can either manually remove the tank when it reaches capacity, attach a hose to the tank for continuous, hands-off drainage or purchase a dehumidifier with a built-in pump to automatically dump water into a drain or sink. We like emptying the reservoir into a watering can to water plants.
And if you're worried about the air getting too dry, rest assured that a majority of dehumidifiers, including the ones we recommend, will not keep running once your desired humidity level is reached. The EPA recommends keeping humidity levels below 60 percent. Those with dry sinuses and humidity-loving houseplants should pass on a dehumidifier.
Keeping in mind price, reviews and performance, we picked the following dehumidifiers as the best buys. Check out our recommendations below.
Perfect for a bedroom or small bathroom, this scaled-down dehumidifier still gets the job done but takes up less space and runs quieter than larger units. Our tester was particularly impressed with how infrequently she needed to empty the tank. Even when running it continuously, she only emptied the tank every 12 hours. A convenient Smart Dry feature compares the actual humidity of the room to the desired humidity level and adjusts the fan speed accordingly. Of course, the small tank size also makes it easier to empty and move around the house. We give this one bonus points, too, for its sleek look. One downside to this Haier unit is that it isn't Energy Star certified, but because of the Smart Dry feature and its small size, we believe this model won't use excessive amounts of energy anyway.
Our Editor Says: "It looks nice, it's not too loud and it has every feature I could imagine wanting in a small dehumidifier."
For the cost and performance, this Energy Star-certified BLACK+DECKER model is a great value. It's relatively compact with caster wheels for easy maneuverability and runs quieter than other units its size. While it can remove up to 30 pints of water a day in rooms up to 1,000 square feet, we don't recommend using a dehumidifier of this size in a very large room. Our tester used this unit in an approximately 240-square-foot room and emptied the tank once a day during a period of heavy rain. In a larger space, you'd likely need to empty it more frequently. Alternatively, if you have the proper setup, an included hose allows for continuous drainage into a sink, floor drain or directly outside. Overall, our editor liked the sleek design, quiet hum and easy tank removal process.
Our Editor Says "I could definitely tell the space was drier, which is better for my allergies."
Ideal for basements, garages and open spaces, this Energy Star-certified dehumidifier quickly and adequately removed buckets of moisture from our tester's stuffy, damp 400-square-foot basement. Humidity and moisture are especially high in her basement during rainy spring months and humid summer months so she kept it running continuously and had to empty the tank every six hours. Under normal conditions, the tank filled up every nine to twelve hours. The “Comfort Mode” humidistat keeps the room at your desired humidity level and automatically shuts off once that level is reached. Most notably, our tester said this machine was much quieter than other models she tested. While the model we tested does not have a built-in pump, the option is available and would be our preferred method of emptying the tank. But, even removing water from the tank without a pump was easier than expected thanks to a convenient handle and a flexible yet sturdy material that made the tank easy to maneuver. Our tester also noted that users should pay special attention to the float’s location before restarting the machine as this prevents the tank from overflowing. With the ability to remove up to 50 pints of moisture a day, this is a great choice for large, wet spaces.
Our Editor Says: "It did a great job of pulling the moisture out of the air, and quickly. It is easy to operate and the control panel is easy to read."
If you want more control and frequent access to your dehumidifier, this Frigidaire model with Wi-Fi compatibility is a perfect fit. An app allows you to check the tank's fill level, monitor humidity and remotely change the fan speed or turn off the unit. Our tester appreciated getting notifications when the humidity level changed or the tank was full. These features are especially helpful when you're away from home or don't want to check on the unit multiple times a day. Additionally, this machine is Energy Star certified, a must-have feature on a unit this size. A built-in clean air ionizer helps filter air pollutants, and our tester noted that the air actually felt cleaner and her house smelled better after using this feature for a few days. Parents will be satisfied with the child-lock feature to keep curious hands from disturbing your settings. We were surprisingly pleased with the aesthetics of this machine. It's very sleek, a word we wouldn't typically associate with dehumidifiers. The biggest downside to this machine is the noise level. Since it's bigger, we weren't surprised that this model also sounded louder.
Our Editor Says: "Besides the way it looks, I love that it can be controlled via an app; I love that it has the ionizer; I love the quiet setting and the child lock is also super helpful. There wasn't much I didn’t like."