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The best dehumidifiers we’ve tested for banishing damp and mould in 2024

A collection of dehumidifiers

Here are the best dehumidifiers for drying your home and laundry, all of which have been tried and tested by our experts

If your home suffers from damp patches or mould, one of the best dehumidifiers could alleviate your problems.

Damp is bad for both you and your home and the root cause of it is typically excess moisture. While opening windows and fixing up your home can help, a dehumidifier is one of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing how much water vapour is in the air.

Expert Reviews has tested dozens of dehumidifiers in real-life conditions, measuring their impact using humidity metres and air quality monitors, to provide you with a list of the best options for a variety of use cases and budgets.

You’ll find reviews of our recommendations below, along with an explanation of how we test dehumidifiers and a breakdown of the things to consider before buying one.

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Best dehumidifiers: At a glance

Best for larger spacesMeaco Arete One 20l | £260Check price at Meaco
Best value option for smaller homesVonHaus Dehumidifier 12l | £140Check price at Amazon
Best for colder spacesEcoAir DD1 Simple | £230Check price at Amazon
Best for low noise and drying laundryMeaco DD8L Zambezi | £260Check price at Meaco

How we test dehumidifiers 

We test dehumidifiers between October and March in real-world conditions in a damp-prone, three-bed detached home.

Initial testing takes place in the living room, with humidity readings taken before the device is switched on using its built-in humidity meter and an air quality monitor. A second humidity reading is taken after the device has been running for one hour and a third after two hours of operation.

We also measure noise levels across the dehumidifier’s various modes using a smartphone app sound meter from a distance of one metre. Every mode and feature available is tested comprehensively to ensure we have a thorough understanding of each aspect of the product’s performance.

Once these tests have been completed, we retest the dehumidifier in other areas of the house, including an upstairs landing and – with desiccant models – a free-standing concrete garage.

We also check how easy it is to empty the water tank, and how easy it is to clean and store the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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The best dehumidifiers you can buy in 2024

1. VonHaus Dehumidifier 12l: Best compact dehumidifier

Price when reviewed: £140 | Check price at Amazon

VonHaus 12L dehumidifier against white background

  • Great for: Small rooms, portability 
  • Not so great for: Larger rooms, serious mould issues

This VonHaus dehumidifier is the least obtrusive and quietest option I’ve tested, producing around 39dB at its highest fan setting. It can be moved around the house without much bother and is easy to use too, with an automatic mode that can simply be left to work until your desired humidity level is reached.

Given its diminutive size, you might not expect much in terms of performance – and you’ll find the 2l tank needs emptying a few times a day if you’re working in a larger space. Yet the VonHaus surprised me in my test room by reducing the humidity levels from 80% to 70% within an hour and down to 65% within two hours.

You should buy something bigger for larger areas or if you have serious damp and mould. However, if you simply want to clear a lounge or bedroom of excess moisture, this compact champ will do the job.

Key specs – Dehumidifier type: Compressor; Tank size: 2l; Extraction rate: 12l per day; Maximum noise level: 39dB; Dimensions (WDH): 255 x 220 x 445mm; Weight: 9.5kg 

2. De’Longhi AriaDry Multi: Best dehumidifier for small to mid-sized rooms

Price when reviewed: £269 | Check price at Amazon

De'Longhi Tascuigo AriaDry Multi 16L dehumidifier against white background

  • Great for: Small to medium-sized rooms, drying laundry
  • Not so great for: Noise levels  

The AriaDry Multi isn’t quite as compact or quiet as the VonHaus Dehumidifier but is significantly more stylish and proved more effective during testing. It managed to reduce the humidity in a damp-prone living room by nearly 22% within two hours, a very impressive feat given its size.

It’s portable enough to be moved between rooms as required and has the VonHaus beaten when it comes to extraction rate, although this does mean you’ll need to empty the water tank more often. I found doing so very easy, however, as it pulls out neatly from the side and De’Longhi supplies an outlet and 1m plastic house for continuous draining, which is handy.

The AriaDry Multu dried laundry successfully in its dedicated mode too but I found it rather noisy, pumping out 50dB on all three of its dehumidifying settings, so it’s not one to leave on if you’re watching TV.

Key specs – Dehumidifier type: Compressor; Tank size: 2.1l; Extraction rate: 16l per day; Maximum noise level: 50dB; Dimensions (WDH): 332 x 220 x 508mm ; Weight: 9kg

3. Princess 368120 Smart Dehumidifier: Best dehumidifier for remote control

Price when reviewed: £230 | Check price at B&Q

Princess 368120 Smart dehumidifier against white background

  • Great for: Remote control and smart features
  • Not so great for: Speedy moisture removal, noise levels

This dehumidifier can be controlled entirely remotely from your smartphone using the Princess Home app. That’s incredibly useful if you’re out of the house and want to check humidity levels or simply want to schedule when the dehumidifier turns on and off during the week. If you’re not bothered about remote control, it’s still easy to operate through the touch controls on the top panel.

With an extraction rate of 20l per day, this model can easily handle larger spaces but was a little slower to remove moisture than the MeacoDry Arete One and ProBreeze – reducing humidity levels by 12% within two hours in my tests. It was, however, effective at drying clothes, doing so within six hours.

Sound output of between 46dB and 51dB means it’s not the most subtle operator going but it’s certainly the smartest I’ve tested and gets the job done in rooms of all different sizes.

Key specs – Dehumidifier type: Compressor; Tank size: 3.7l; Extraction rate: 20l per day; Maximum noise level: 51dB; Dimensions (WDH): 344 x 250 x 572mm; Weight: 13kg

Check price at B&Q

4. MeacoDry Arete One 20l: Best dehumidifier for larger homes

Price when reviewed: £260 | Check price at Meaco

MeacoDry Arete One 20L dehumidifier against green wall next to shoe rack

  • Great for: Large homes, air purification
  • Not so great for: Drying laundry, granular control

High-capacity dehumidifiers are usually power-hungry and noisy, but the MeacoDry Arete One is designed to do more with less energy and at lower volume. It topped out at 40dB during typical use, with power consumption kept to around 200W, figures that fell dramatically as humidity levels started to drop. It’s an excellent dehumidifier for larger spaces and, unlike most compressor models, will work at temperatures of between 5ºC and 25°C.

Its talents don’t end there, though. I also like that it has a laundry mode to dry your washing and a night mode for working quietly while you get some kip, it’s still not suitable for lighter sleepers, though. There is also an air purifier mode, complete with a proper HEPA filter, which worked nicely in my tests. Throw in easy-to-use controls and you’re looking at one of the most feature-packed and effective dehumidifiers out there and easily the best for medium-sized and larger homes.

Read our MeacoDry Arete One review for more information 

Key specs – Dehumidifier type: Compressor; Tank size: 4.8l; Extraction rate: 20l per day; Maximum noise level: 50dB; Dimensions (WDH): 376 x 232 x 562mm; Weight: 15kg

Check price at Meaco

5. EcoAir DD1 Simple: Best dehumidifier for colder spaces

Price when reviewed: £240 | Check price at Amazon

EcoAir DD1 Simple dehumidifier against white background

  • Great for: Portability, low-temperature settings
  • Not so great for: Power consumption, tank capacity

As a desiccant dehumidifier, the EcoAir DD1 works at lower temperatures than compressor options and thrives in colder spaces. It’s louder and consumes more power than dehumidifiers that use a refrigerated coil but can run more effectively over shorter periods, making it great for drying clothes or using in an outside office or garage. It’s relatively lightweight too, meaning it can be moved around easily.

Its 2l tank needed emptying more regularly than similarly specified models I’ve tested but there’s a 1m hose included if you need continuous draining into a sink or drain. And while there’s no timer, the laundry mode works brilliantly, the quiet and turbo functions are effective and the controls are simple and easy to use. Running costs will mount up if you leave the DD1 Simple running all day long, but it’s an excellent dehumidifier for situations where a refrigerant model just won’t work.

Key specs – Dehumidifier type: Desiccant; Tank size: 2l; Extraction rate: 7l per day; Maximum noise level: N/A; Dimensions (WDH): 290 x 175 x 485mm; Weight: 6kg

6. Meaco DD8L Zambezi: Best humidifier for use anywhere

Price when reviewed: £260 | Check price at Meaco

Meaco DD8L Zambezi dehumidifier on laundry room floor

  • Great for: Portability, quiet operation, low-temperature settings
  • Not so great for: Power consumption, simplicity of controls

The Zambezi may be a desiccant dehumidifier but effectively reduces humidity both in your home and in colder external structures. It’s eminently portable and took the humidity in my test room down 21% within an hour and a further 5% within a second hour. It doesn’t skimp on features often omitted by desiccant models either. There’s a digital display, a daily run timer and a built-in ioniser, which helps remove airborne germs.

Noise levels were low during testing, with the unit outputting between 39dB and 44dB. What’s more, the Laundry+ mode did a fantastic job, drying my washing in under six hours. Power consumption can be high, peaking at over 600W at full power but this comes down to around 350W as it nears your required humidity level. The controls also take a bit of getting used to, but neither of these issues detract from the Zambezi’s ability to perform admirably anywhere.

Key specs – Dehumidifier type: Desiccant; Tank size: 3l; Extraction rate: 7.5 litres per day; Maximum noise level: 44dB; Dimensions (WDH): 360 x 200 x 550mm; Weight: 7.8kg

7. Swan ActivAir SH16810N: Best dehumidifier for ease of use

Price when reviewed: £192 | Check price at Amazon

Swan ActivAir 20L dehumidifier on living room rug

  • Great for: Ease of use, minimalist design
  • Not so great for: Tank capacity, additional features

If you’re after a set-and-forget dehumidifier, this option from Swan is for you. There are no fancy modes and I found using it an absolute breeze; just set the desired humidity level, pick one of the two fan speeds and let it go to work. Beyond that, all you get is a shutdown timer and a “swing” function to make the air output oscillate upwards and downwards, which optimises air distribution and aids in the removal of moisture.

It’s not the quietest unit around, putting out between 45dB and 49dB while in use. I would also like to see a larger tank, as with a capacity of just 4l it’s going to need emptying at least once or twice a day in the colder, damper seasons. But the ActivAir has decent dehumidifying power – levels in my test room were reduced by 18% within two hours – and it’s well-designed and more affordable than a lot of the competition.

Key specs – Dehumidifier type: Compressor; Tank size: 4l; Extraction rate: 20 litres per day; Maximum noise level: 49dB; Dimensions (WDH): 342 x 251 x 561mm; Weight: 13.2kg

8. ProBreeze PB-08: Best large-capacity dehumidifier

Price when reviewed: £220 | Check price at Amazon

ProBreeze PB 08 dehumidifier against a white background

  • Great for: Drying laundry, larger homes
  • Not so great for: Power consumption

While it can’t oust the MeacoDry Arete One as the best dehumidifier for larger homes, the PB-08 runs it close. It’s also cheaper and has a larger tank, meaning it doesn’t have to be emptied as often. It reduced the humidity of my test room on a chilly winter’s day by 15% within two hours, which is a pretty impressive result, while the dedicated Laundry mode worked wonders on just-spun washing.

It’s not all good news, however. While I didn’t get near the stated 440W power consumption, peaks of 284W make this model more expensive to run than the Arete One. It’s also louder during general use, despite maximum output being higher on the Meaco.

Still, as long as you’re not planning to run it continuously throughout the colder months, the PB-08 is great value, giving you plenty of drying power and massive tank capacity at a surprisingly low price.

Key specs – Dehumidifier type: Compressor; Tank size: 5.5l; Extraction rate: 20 litres per day; Maximum noise level: 47dB; Dimensions (WDH): 320 x 200 x 580mm; Weight: 13.8kg

How to choose the best dehumidifier for you

All dehumidifiers do the same basic job of removing excess moisture from the air. However, there are three different technologies that do all the hard work.

  • Compressor dehumidifiers work in much the same way as a fridge or freezer. They draw in air and cool it, condensing any moisture as it passes across a refrigerated coil. The water then drips off into a water tank below, while the air is reheated and released into the room. Compressor dehumidifiers can be noisy and may use more energy than other types, although new compressor technology and refrigerants are bringing improvements on both counts. They’re most efficient at warmer temperatures of 20°C and above, and your best bet if you need to remove lots of moisture from a larger space.
  • Peltier dehumidifiers also cool the air and condense the moisture content into water, but they do it using a cold heat-sink rather than a compressor. They’re not as effective as compressors, removing smaller amounts of water in a given time, but they’re quieter and more energy-efficient. Peltier dehumidifiers tend to be compact, lightweight units designed for smaller spaces.
  • Desiccant dehumidifiers don’t use a heat-sink or refrigerated coil to condense excess moisture, but instead draw the air across a wheel made from a desiccant material, which sucks the moisture out. As the wheel turns, moisture drips into the tank, while the damp patches are heated to dry them out again, warming up the air. Desiccant models tend to be expensive, but they’re generally quieter in operation than compressor dehumidifiers and more effective at lower temperatures. In fact, they will work in temperatures below 10°C, where compressor and Peltier units won’t work at all. If you need to dry out a loft or garage, you really need a dessicant model, but they can also be useful in a cold British winter for drying out your colder, damper rooms.

What size dehumidifier do I need?

It all depends on how much space you need to dehumidify. Dehumidifiers are often rated in terms of their extraction rate: how much water they can remove from the air in a single day. This is separate from their water tank capacity, which covers how much water they can store before you need to empty them out.

An extraction rate of around five to ten litres per day is fine if you’re dehumidifying a small to medium-sized room in an average UK home, but if you want to dry out larger rooms where you spend more time, you might want to go up to ten litres and beyond. Push that further to 15, 18 or 20 litres and you can dehumidify large rooms or even a flat, terraced house or a floor of a detached house or semi.

If you’re only planning to dehumidify occasionally – for a few hours here or there in a kitchen or bathroom, for instance – you can get away with a mini-dehumidifier with an extraction rate of less than one litre. It will be cheap to buy, cheap to run and perfectly effective. The same applies if you’re trying to fight damp or mould in a smaller area, such as a wardrobe, utility room or box bedroom.

If you’re pulling out 15 to 20 litres per day, the dehumidifier needs to have a tank with the capacity to handle it or you will be emptying it out every few hours. Three litres is the absolute minimum, while five or six litres will give you a bit less emptying to do.

Is there anything else worth looking out for?

Dehumidifiers don’t have to be noisy, and there are some good near-silent options. They will work discreetly in your home without interfering with your sleep or work, so a quiet mode or eco mode is well worth any extra, particularly if it will save you some cash in running costs.

Laundry modes are another great feature. Wet laundry drying on a rack or radiator is one of the most common causes of excess moisture in the winter months, and models with a specific laundry setting are designed to suck the water out of your drying clothes at a faster rate and prevent it from adding to the room’s humidity. They might even create airflow across a drying rack. Your clothes should dry quicker, too, making this a more eco-conscious alternative to slinging them into a tumble dryer.

How much do dehumidifiers cost to run?

This varies according to the design, size and extraction rate. Generally speaking, desiccant dehumidifiers use more energy per hour than a compressor model, but can also work more effectively at removing moisture, which means costs tend to even out.

However, it’s worth looking out for newer and more energy-efficient designs. For example, Meaco’s MeacoDry Arete One 20L costs around 6p per hour to run, based on an electricity rate of 28.3p per kWh, while some models will cost significantly more at the same rate. Use your dehumidifier daily for a couple of hours and the difference soon mounts up.

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