If certain rooms in your home—like basements and bathrooms—are prone to high humidity, and you live in a climate where spring and summer’s warm air traps even more moisture, then you may want to consider getting a portable dehumidifier. The ideal humidity range indoors is between 30 and 50 percent, and once the moisture level gets any higher, your home may breed mold and mildew, or even get water damage. (On the other hand, if the humidity level gets below 30 percent in winter, you’ll also want a humidifier.) You can test the humidity levels in your home with an $11 hygrometer if you don’t already know them.
Dehumidifiers work by drawing in moist air (with a fan) through coils that cool the air and trap the excess moisture through condensation in a water reservoir, then spread dry air back into the room. Some dehumidifiers require you to regularly dump the tank, while others have the option of a passive, continuous drain system or a pump to expel water through a nearby sink or window. We took convenience features like these into consideration when selecting a variety of dehumidifiers that should work for your needs.
Check out the quick reviews below of the top five dehumidifiers, then scroll deeper for buying info and full reviews of these models plus other high-ranking options.
What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need?
There are two main characteristics to consider when selecting the right size dehumidifier: the size of your room and its humidity level. A dehumidifier’s size (or capacity) is based on how many pints of moisture it can remove per day. Here’s a general guide to match the size of dehumidifier to your room size and humidity level.
- 30-pint dehumidifier: rooms between 500 to 1,500 square feet
- 50-pint dehumidifier: rooms between 1,000 to 2,500 square feet with more humidity
- 70-pint dehumidifier: rooms over 1,500 square feet with very high humidity
Keep in mind that if you have very high humidity levels in smaller rooms, you still may want to size up to a larger unit. In addition, the temperature of the room matters, since cool air holds less moisture than warm air, so the dehumidifier has to work harder to remove the same amount of moisture from cool air than warm. As a result, cool but humid basements would require larger units. In general, it’s better to size up if you’re unsure.
The Department of Energy (DOE) changed the standards for rating dehumidifiers in 2019. Before, their performance was gauged at 80 degrees, but they’ve since been tested at 65 degrees to better reflect how they’d perform in a cooler basement setting. This change doesn’t actually affect the performance of each model, but the DOE explained that dehumidifiers tested according to the new procedure will report smaller capacity. For instance, a dehumidifier that was rated to remove 50 pints of moisture in an 80-degree room may now only be rated to remove around 30 pints at 65 degrees. We reported on the humidifier capacity based on the new guidelines, but keep this in mind if you see varying pint sizes for one model. All of the models below are also Energy Star rated.
Other Dehumidifier Features to Consider
In addition to the right size, here are some other features you may want to look for in a dehumidifier that will make operating it easier.
- Continuous drain vs. pump: Most dehumidifiers allow you to connect a hose to continuously drain the machine, instead of having to regularly manually empty the water tank. However, unless you have the option of a nearby water drain in the floor, you may require a pump to send water to a sink or out a window.
- Filter indicator: Most dehumidifiers have washable filters, so an indicator will help you keep on top of washing it regularly (about once a week) to ensure the unit is running efficiently.
- Auto-humidistat: Some machines can sense the humidity levels, so you can set your preferred level, and the machine will auto adjust its fan settings accordingly.
- Auto-defrost: If you plan to place your dehumidifier in a cooler place, this feature is important to ensure ice doesn’t build up.
How We Selected and Rated Them
We researched nine expert sources such as Good Housekeeping, The Spruce, and Tom’s Guide, as well as 30,000 consumer reviews to select the best dehumidifiers of the year. Our Consumer Score represents the percentage of consumers who rated the product at least four out of five stars on retail and review sites like Amazon and Home Depot.
Homelabs 22-Pint Dehumidifier
Consumer Score: 93% give it 4 stars or more
A versatile, energy efficient dehumidifier with auto-shutoff and turbo mode.
Capacity: 22 pints | Drainage: Pump or 1 gallon tank | Dimensions: 20 x 15 × 10 inches
Rated to remove 22 pints of water per day (30 pints according to 2012 DOE standards), this Homelabs dehumidifier is a versatile option for medium to larger rooms, designed for spaces up to 1,500 square feet. It features a continuous drain option (though the hose isn’t included, so count on the extra expense) and a built-in pump compressor, along with auto-shutoff when the tank is full and turbo mode for maximum moisture removal. The dehumidifier is also energy star rated.
Honeywell 50-Pint Dehumidifier
Consumer Score: 86% give it 4 stars or more
Set your preferred humidity level; let the Honeywell do the work
Capacity: 50 pint | Drainage: Continuous drain or 0.8-gallon tank | Dimensions: 25 x 15 x 12 inches
The Honeywell TP50WK was rated to remove 70 pints according to the older DOE standards, but at 65 degrees, it can remove around 50 pints of moisture from 3,000-square-foot rooms every 24 hours. The Honeywell is an excellent option if you want to be able to set your optimal humidity level and have the machine automatically adjust its setting to maintain that. It has smart digital controls, as well as alerts for a full tank and when the washable filter needs cleaning. Plus, the wheels and heavy-duty top handle allow you to move it fairly easily.
Honeywell 30-Pint Dehumidifier
Consumer Score: 86% give it 4 stars or more
Wi-Fi connectivity is useful when you have to empty the tank or change the filter.
Capacity: 30 pint | Drainage: Continuous drain or 0.8-gallon tank | Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 10 in.
This Honeywell model is equipped with smart features that make it stand out for those who want to connect their appliances to their Wi-Fi and control them via app or Amazon Alexa. This model is designed for spaces up to 1,000 square feet and removes up to 30 pints of moisture from the air. While it doesn’t have a pump, it does offer continuous drainage, plus will alert you when the tank is full or the filter needs cleaning (the filter is washable, which is a bonus). If you aren’t home, use the app to change things like fan speed and humidity settings.
Frigidaire 22.6-Pint Dehumidifier
Consumer Score: 93% give it 4 stars or more
An affordable model for smaller spaces
Capacity: 22 pint | Drainage: Continuous drain or 9.1-pint tank | Dimensions: 20 x 16 x 11 in.
Now on sale for well under $200, this Frigidaire is an excellent pick if you’re on a budget. This model is rated to remove 22 pints of moisture daily (or 30 according to the older DOE standard), so it’s ideal for small indoor spaces. Despite being compact and fairly affordable, this Frigidaire dehumidifier comes with all of the feature you’ll want like automatic shut off when the tank gets full, an adjustable humidistat, continuous drain option, and a front-load bucket with a handle for easier emptying.
Pro Breeze 16-Ounce Dehumidifier
Consumer Score: 81% give it 4 stars or more
This tiny dehumidifier removes a bit of moisture from extra-small spaces like bathrooms and closets
Capacity: 16 ounces | Drainage: 16-ounce tank | Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 6 in.
If you aren’t looking for a unit of a dehumidifier for your basement or large living space, you may want to consider a much more compact and cheaper model like the Pro Breeze Electric Mini. This will only remove nine ounces of moisture from the air per day, but it’s quiet, compact, and energy efficient if you only need a small unit for tiny spaces under 150 square feet, say bathrooms and closets. Unlike most large dehumidifiers, the Electric Mini requires you to manually dump the tank, but it also has a light indicator and auto shut off for when it hits capacity. Because it only weights about two pounds, it’s also much easier to move around to different parts of your home.
—ANOTHER OPTION TO CONSIDER—
GE APER50LZ 50-Pint Dehumidifier
Consumer Score: 91% give it 4 stars or more
Capacity: 50 pint | Drainage: Pump | Dimensions: 24 x 15 x 11 in.
Another 50-pint dehumidifier with a built-in pump like the Frigidaire, GE’s APER50LZ has a slightly lower price tag. But it also comes with smart features to set your ideal humidity level and auto adjust the fan setting accordingly. In addition to auto mode and auto defrost settings, it’ll alert you to when the filter needs to be cleaned or when the tank needs to be emptied. Its main (albeit minor) downsides are that its side handles are shallow and it doesn’t have anything to wrap the cord around, so it may be more of an inconvenience to move and store than others.
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