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Best dehumidifiers for drying clothes and reducing damp

We've carefully selected the five best dehumidifiers, as tried and tested by Mumsnet users, to help you reclaim your home from damp and mould without sending your energy bills through the roof.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Apr 12, 2024

best dehumidifiers

From dreaded black spots on walls to discoloured patches of paintwork to pools of water around your windows, these are the tell-tale signs that your house has damp. However, with no one wanting to risk a scarily expensive energy bill or open a window in the winter, finding the best dehumidifier is an absolute must for your home and your health. Caused by the cold British weather, excess moisture from cooking and washing, and poor heating and ventilation, it doesn’t matter whether your home is old and draughty or brand new, damp can happen to anyone and can grow anywhere (including in hard-to-see places like the inside the rim of your washing machine!).

A serious consequence of damp and condensation is black mould which can cause respiratory infections and trigger allergies; the key to tackling it is to take action as soon as you see it. One of the most recommended solutions is buying a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. Although it won’t kill any mould spores, as the best mould removers and the best washing machine cleaners will, the reduced humidity will prevent it from spreading and growing. Some models also come with medical-grade HEPA filters that purify the air, collecting spores, dust and other allergens that cause you to become ill.

How we chose our recommendations

Best dehumidifiers

To help you find the best dehumidifier for your home and your family, we’ve used our triple-check vetting process to research our shortlist. That way, we can guarantee that every one of them is tried and tested by Mumsnet users, trusted by experts and rated by verified customers and that our buyer's guide is honest, balanced and up-to-date.

Once we had our list, we tested each dehumidifier in a real family home, using them to keep condensation at bay and help dry washing indoors. Taking detailed notes on ease of use, effectiveness and quality, we compared and cross-referenced the dehumidifiers' performance to bring you our guide to the very best dehumidifiers to help your home stay damp-free in 2024.

Read next: How to use a dehumidifier to dry clothes

Best dehumidifier overall
What we like
  • Dual purpose, dehumidifier and air purifier

  • Developed using customer feedback

  • Excellent features, including laundry mode

  • Efficient, quiet and effective

What we don't like
  • More expensive than alternative models

  • Sells out frequently

Key specs

Price: from £160 | Type: Compressor Dehumidifier | Extraction amount: 12L | Tank capacity:  2.5L | Dimensions: H47.2x W23.7 x D31.9cm | Weight: 10.9kg | Power: 151W | Cost per hour: 5p | Noise level:  38dB | Max room size: 50m² | Laundry mode: Yes | Warranty: 5 years

What Mumsnet users say
cimena · Tried & Tested
Meaco Arete is my best little cellar-dwelling friend. No idea if he’s actually helping anything, but he collects loads of water, and it makes me feel better about the damp situation, so I absolutely love him.
See Post
Catmummyof2 · Recommended
We’ve got a Meaco Arête One dehumidifier. It’s quiet enough to run overnight in the bedroom.
See Post
Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our full Meaco Arete One review

Meaco is the most recommended brand by Mumsnetters, product review sites and experts. Known for its high-quality products, its MeacoDry Arete One 12L Dehumidifier is no exception. Selling out in a matter of hours, Meaco's dehumidifiers are massively popular, and their Arete models won Which Best Buy in 2022. The only downside is that the price reflects the quality, and it is certainly not a budget-friendly option.

Perfect for small houses and flats, Meaco designed its Arete range with the help of 2,000 customers over five years, which is why it is ultra-quiet and easily portable. Not much louder than a whisper (30dB), it has castor wheels to roll it from spot to spot throughout your home. Also, did we mention its dual purpose? The Arete One comes with medical-grade HEPA filters to help you care for your home and health. Manufactured in Britain, its features are optimised for the wet British weather and will remove up to 12 litres of moisture daily (perfect for when you've had your condenser tumble dryer running all day!). Feel free to leave it on and let it do its thing, costing you a cost-effective 5p per hour to run.  Boasting an industry-leading five-year warranty, this is a dehumidifier that is well worth the investment and a brand you can trust to help solve your damp problem. It's also available in 10, 20 and 25l models.

Read next: Best moisture absorbers to keep damp at bay

Best budget dehumidifier

Pro Breeze 1500ml Portable Dehumidifier

What we like
  • Affordably priced

  • Compact, lightweight and portable

  • No compressor, so ultra quiet

  • Very energy efficient

What we don't like
  • Not suitable for large rooms, reduces efficiency

Key specs

Price: £60 | Type: Thermo-electric peltier dehumidifier | Extraction amount: 500ml | Tank capacity: 1500ml | Dimensions: H30 x W21.8 x D6.3cm | Weight: 1.85kg | Power: 40W | Cost per hour: 1p | Noise level: 33dB | Max room size: 150sq/ft | Laundry mode: No | Warranty: 1 year

What Mumsnet users say
chukwe · Tried & Tested
Go for [the Pro Breeze] if you’re watching the pennies.
See Post
aceisback · Recommended
Pro Breeze is the one for you. We used to have really bad condensation in our dining room, and my hubby brought one of these, and it's really helped us out.
See Post
Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our in-depth Pro Breeze 1500ml Portable Dehumidifier review

If you don’t want a big, noisy device taking up space in your home, the Pro Breeze Dehumidifier is the compact, low-cost and energy-efficient answer to your prayers. With a noise level of 34dB, it is whisper-quiet, so you’ll be happy to take it everywhere, including your office, with no loud compressor to deal with - a boon for those of us working from home.

With an extraction rate of up to 500ml daily and a water tank of only 1500ml, this dehumidifier won’t eliminate a severe damp problem or be effective in larger rooms. Still, it will remove moisture from a small space to manage mould build-up or absorb condensation at critical times. Perfect for those with small flats, humid utilities and the beginnings of morning condensation, it is the little dehumidifier that could.

Read next: Best window vacs for getting rid of condensation

Best moisture absorber

Unibond Aero 360 Compact Moisture Absorber

What we like
  • Very budget-friendly

  • Cost-effective refills

  • Compact and portable

  • Non-electric and silent

What we don't like
  • Not suitable for large rooms and would need more than one for houses

  • Not technically a dehumidifier

  • Needs to be stored out of reach of children and pets (liquid can cause eye irritation)

Key specs

Price: £12 | Type: Moisture Absorber | Extraction amount: 12L | Tank capacity:  2.5L | Dimensions: H19.7 x W15.2 x D14.7cm | Weight: 0.8kg | Power: None required | Cost per hour: Free | Noise level: 0dB | Max room size: 20m² | Laundry mode: No | Warranty: N/A

What Mumsnet users say
Dannyglick · Tried & Tested
We put a Unibond Aero 360 moisture absorber, placed discreetly in each room (Asda/ Wilko). I have just put them out for autumn/ winter, as a few days ago, the windows were streaming with condensation in the morning: all gone now with these in place. Open windows when you can, though, too.
See Post
BigbreastsBiggerbeard · Recommended
These are great. You can get them in Asda, Wilko's and other places too. Very satisfying to see the water collect!
See Post
Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our in-depth Unibond Aero 360 Compact review

Silent, compact and non-electric, the Unibond Aero 360 Compact Moisture Absorber is the perfect budget-friendly option for any family. Firstly, it requires no extra spending on your energy bill (much like using clothes pegs and a rotary washing line, going back to basics is an easy way to reduce your energy bills). Secondly, a moisture absorber removes excess water from the air (just like a dehumidifier), and thirdly, you can buy cost-effective refill packs of two, each lasting three months.

Ideal for small spaces or rooms, you can target areas of specific areas of damp and mould in cupboards, bathrooms and laundry rooms for a simple solution to condensation. Just slot the tablet into the top, and that’s it. However, we recommend you make sure you’ve put it out of reach of children or pets, as the salt solution is an irritant. So, how does it work? The tablet uses activated crystals and anti-odour agents to absorb moisture and neutralise foul odours simultaneously. The wave-shaped surface of the top helps to enhance circulation and air exposure, collecting as much moisture as possible as a solution in the container. A tablet already comes included, but you can easily buy standard refills (pack of two) from several places. Don’t forget to try Unibond’s lavender or wildflower or waterfall-scented tablets, too, for a unique fresh scent.

Related: The best washer dryers for time- and space-saving laundry

Best dehumidifier for small spaces

Russell Hobbs RHDH1061G Dehumidifier

What we like
  • Lightweight, compact and portable

  • Affordably priced

  • Sleek design

  • Very quiet (just above a whisper)

What we don't like
  • Only effective up to 15m²

Key specs

Price: £50 | Type: Compressor Dehumidifier | Extraction amount: 300ml | Tank capacity:  600ml | Dimensions: H22 x W14 x D14cm | Weight: 0.9kg | Power: N/A | Cost per hour: N/A | Noise level:  35dB | Max room size:  15m² | Laundry mode: No | Warranty: 2 year

What Mumsnet users say
Roselilly36 · Tried & Tested
They are brilliant, we have one running every night, makes a huge difference, we brought ours based on the number of bedrooms in our house. Saves wiping down windows in the mornings. Drying of washing when you can’t hang it outside at this time of year. Well worth the money, ours is full every morning.
See Post
Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our full Russell Hobbs RHDH1061G Dehumidifier review

You may know Russell Hobbs for electrical goods, such as steam irons or clothes steamers, but they also manufacture dehumidifiers. The Russell Hobbs RHDH1061B dehumidifier, weighing just under 1kg, portable and compact, making it an ideal fixture to tackle damp and mould in the smallest of spaces (up to 15m²).

With the ability to remove up to 300ml per day, thanks to its 600ml water tank, this small but powerful dehumidifier can find a home anywhere you’d like it to. From caravans to garages, from home offices to utility rooms, it is perfect for tackling damp and condensation in isolated areas and at a very reasonable price, too! You won’t have to worry about noise either, as at 35dB, it is just above a whisper. Some Mumsnetters said they particularly loved this dehumidifier because you can afford to buy more than one and dot them around your home.

Related: The best lint removers for fuzz-free clothing and carpets

Best dehumidifier for your bedroom

Silentnight Airmax 300 Dehumidifier

What we like
  • Ultra-quiet, perfect for the bedroom

  • Easy to use, compact and portable

  • Can set your own humidity levels

What we don't like
  • Not as effective as other competitive models

Key specs

Price: £50 | Type: Peltier Technology | Extraction amount: 300ml | Tank capacity:  1000ml | Dimensions: 24 x 15.2 x 15.3cm | Weight: 1.17kg | Power: 23W | Cost per hour: 1p | Noise level:  35dB | Max room size: 15m² | Laundry mode: No | Warranty: 3 years

What Mumsnet users say
olympicsrock · Tried & Tested
We bought a small quiet dehumidifier (Silentnight does one) that we could leave on over night and placed it in the coldest corner.
See Post
Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our full Silentnight Airmax 300 Dehumidifier review

If you’ve noticed that there is a lot of condensation on your bedroom windows in the morning, it might be time to buy a dehumidifier. During the night, we sweat (a lot more than you might think) and breathe out warm air; this adds to the moisture in our room. However, dehumidifiers can be noisy, especially the compressor type, and with sleep already at a premium, finding one that doesn’t keep you awake is an absolute must! That’s where the Silentnight dehumidifier comes in.

Small, portable and whisper-quiet thanks to Peltier technology, you can keep this sleek-looking dehumidifier on your nightstand or dresser and let it run all night without you even noticing. Although, if you are light-sensitive, we suggest covering up the glowing light! Removing up to 300ml of water, the Silentnight Dehumidifier works all day and all night to improve your bedroom's humidity and simultaneously filter out allergens (perfect for those with hay fever!). Then when the light goes from green to orange, just empty the tank, and start it up again. It's simple, easy to use, and the best dehumidifier for your family's bedrooms!

Read next: The best tumble dryer balls, as recommended by Mumsnetters

Best dehumidifier for windows

Kärcher WV 1 Window Vac

What we like
  • Affordable

  • Lightweight

  • Easy to store

  • Great for getting rid of water from flat surfaces

What we don't like
  • Short run time

  • One-trick pony

Key specs

Price: £55 | Battery run time: 20 minutes | Battery charge time: 120 minutes | Tank capacity: 100ml | Dimensions: 13 x 28 x 35.5cm | Suction nozzle width: 28 cm | Weight: ‎700 g  Power: 12W |  Noise level: 54dB | Max room size: 60m²

What Mumsnet users say
Clarice99 · Tried & Tested
I also have a Karcher window vac. It's brilliant for clearing condensation and also for cleaning the windows.
See Post
Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our comprehensive Karcher Window Vac review

If you are fed up with condensation on your windows, the Kärcher WV Classic Window Vac is a quick and easy way to remove excess moisture.

The lightweight, easy-to-use window vac sucks up water and condensation from windows, shower doors, mirrors and worktops. When you’re done, all you have to do is open up the water tank and pour the dirty water down the sink. 

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery cleans up to 60 m² on a single charge. Granted the battery runtime is only 20 minutes, but for a quick, daily vacuum, that should be all the juice you need.

Read next: The best laundry baskets, according to Mumsnetters

More of the best dehumidifiers: tried and tested

Meaco ABC Dehumidifier

Reduced the humidity from about 75% to 60% and removed litres and litres of water to start with.


ABC Dehumidifier

Buy now from Amazon
Essentials C10DH19 Dehumidifier

I really recommend it, if has transformed my bedroom and makes it much easier to heat.


C10DH19 Dehumidifier

Buy now from Currys
Swan 20l/Day Dehumidifier

It's brilliant, collects loads of water and dries clothes quickly.


20l/Day Dehumidifier

Buy now from Amazon

Why do I need a dehumidifier?

Dark patches on your walls, condensation on your windows and patches of black mould or mildew are all signs your house is suffering from damp - this happens when the humidity level regularly goes above 60%.

A lack of ventilation, leaky pipes or poor insulation can cause damp, but daily life does have an impact, too – for instance, cooking, showers and drying washing indoors all add excess moisture to the air. And some houses, built before the advent of central heating and decent extractor fans, just aren’t up to coping with modern life.

So, how does that affect you? Living in a mouldy and damp home can cause serious health issues, particularly for allergy and asthma sufferers, which include an increased risk of respiratory illness and infections. Additionally, damp can make your home look unattractive and give it a musty smell, with the excess moisture causing damage to your walls, carpet, ceiling and furniture.

Related: The best moth repellents for protecting your cashmere, wool and carpets

What does a dehumidifier do?

A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air to dry out the room, depositing it safely inside its water tank until you are ready to pour it away. Its job is to help you reach the optimum humidity level, and some even purify the air, removing allergens and dust through their filter.

They can range in price from £30 to £450. Cheaper units tend to have a smaller capacity. They won’t always have extra features such as wheels, variable humidity levels or a laundry mode, but that may be enough for a small space or to treat a mild damp problem. The more expensive models tend to be more energy-efficient in larger rooms or households, but that doesn’t always mean they are the most effective.

Dehumidifiers do not kill mould, but they help make it inert and stop it from spreading (the spores love humid air!). You need a dehumidifier to treat the underlying cause and a good mould killer to eliminate it completely. Here’s our guide to the best mould removers so you can clean it off any surface and stop it from regrowing.

How do dehumidifiers work?

There are two main types of dehumidifiers that work in slightly different ways: desiccant dehumidifiers and compressor (also known as refrigerant) dehumidifiers. While all dehumidifiers have the same aim, which type you go for will depend on where and how you will use it.

Desiccant dehumidifier

Desiccant dehumidifiers extract water using an absorbent material to draw moisture from the air. Then an internal heater warms it so the moisture condenses and drips into the tank below.

The advantage of this type of dehumidifier is that it works well in warm and cold spaces. The only downside is that they tend to release warm air into a room, which you may not want in an already-heated home. However, they are ideal for a cold garage, loft or conservatory as they can operate below 10 degrees, unlike a compressor dehumidifier. They are also much quieter, so they might be a preferable option for you to use in a bedroom. Their main disadvantage is that they use a lot more energy and therefore cost more to run.

Refrigerant (compressor) dehumidifier

A compressor dehumidifier is the most common type in the UK as it works best in higher temperatures, such as in a heated home.

Compressor dehumidifiers work the same way as a fridge – a fan draws warm, damp air into contact with cold coils, and the water then condenses and drips into the tank.

The advantages of this type of dehumidifier are that they tend to be larger, more energy efficient and much more widely available. The problem is that they don’t work well in lower temperatures as the coils need to be colder than the room, or they start to freeze. Once that happens, a compressor dehumidifier focuses on de-frosting itself over reducing humidity, so they aren’t a great option for garages or cellars. They also tend to be much noisier, and depending on your noise-level preference, this can irritate people.

Should you leave a dehumidifier on all the time?

That depends on your humidity levels and what you’re trying to achieve. You don’t always have to leave your dehumidifier on, but you may want to if your damp problem is severe. Also, it can be cheaper to run them at night.

If you intend to run it at night, you should take a few safety precautions first. Modern dehumidifiers in good working order are not a fire hazard, but ensure you aren’t overloading sockets and four bars, as that poses a possible risk. Also, check that your dehumidifier has an auto shut-off feature to turn itself off once the tank is full.

If you have a serious damp or condensation problem, it’s worth buying a model with a bigger tank so that it keeps working all night.

How to choose the best dehumidifier for your home

There are a few key things you need to consider when shopping for a dehumidifier, and various features you need to weigh up the importance of in terms of quality. Here are the sort of things you should be looking at when considering the best dehumidifier for your needs:

  • Extraction amount: It is essential to consider the maximum amount of moisture your dehumidifier can extract daily. It can range from anywhere from 500ml to upwards of 30 litres. Small units are fine for occasional use or a small area, such as a cupboard or study. Around 12 litres is suitable for a small flat, medium-sized room or a mild damp problem. Up to 16 litres is best for a larger room or one used regularly for washing or cooking, and units with a capacity of up to 20/30 litres can be used to dehumidify whole homes.

  • Water tank capacity: This is how much water the unit can hold, ranging from around 250ml to six litres. The smaller the dehumidifier, the more regularly you’ll have to empty the tank, though some larger models have a continuous drainage option through a hose.

  • Humidity levels: Relative humidity (RH) should sit between 30 to 60%, and most models have a built-in humidistat to keep the room at your chosen level. Devices with an auto-setting monitor adjust the moisture levels in the room, which can save on electricity.

  • Controls: More basic models come with a manual control that turns on and off, while others have digital displays with more features, such as a timer and laundry mode, which removes excess moisture from drying laundry indoors and dries your clothes quicker. It can be a cheaper alternative to a tumble dryer, and an automatic shut-off and humidistat are also handy features.

  • Fan speeds: Some dehumidifiers have just one speed for continuous drying, limiting your control. Whilst others have up to three, which is advantageous if you want to adjust it for faster drying or put it on a lower (and possibly quieter) setting.

  • Portability: A model with a handle or wheels/castors (or both) will be easier to move around, especially if you buy a large, heavy dehumidifier. If you’re only ever going to use the dehumidifier in one room and won’t want to put it away much, this might not be so important to you.

  • Noise: A dehumidifier's noise levels can fall between 34dB to 60dB - 34dB being a whisper and 60dB being the same as a normal conversation. If you choose to run your dehumidifier at a lower fan speed, it will make less noise but may be less effective. Think about where you are using it and whether it will disturb you.

  • Cost to run: This will depend on your energy tariff, how you use the device, and how much power it uses. Check the power usage, which can range from around 22 to 600 watts – newer models tend to be more energy-efficient, for example, using 2.45p per hour based on 15.2p/kWh. Using a timer and humidistat will ensure it only comes on when needed. Desiccants tend to use more energy than refrigerants but are more powerful.

  • Air filter: Some models come with a HEPA filter which helps to provide cleaner air in your home, which will be helpful for any allergy sufferers.

Where is the best place to put a dehumidifier in a house?

To get the most out of your dehumidifier, you will want to place it as close to the source of the damp as you can. As a dehumidifier can be noisy and bulky, it’s tempting to hide it away in a corner. But for larger rooms, try and place your dehumidifier in the centre so it benefits from the circulating air.

That said, dehumidifiers aren’t the most stylish-looking devices. Hence, you’re unlikely to want a large unit sitting in the middle of your lounge but still think carefully about its placement. If the moisture comes from a leaky window or front door, place it near them.

Remember that to maintain your dehumidifier’s airflow, you should never place it too close to a wall or any furniture, and ensure that you keep it away from electrics in case of leaks.

What is the best time of day to use a dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers must run for a few hours to be effective, so if you don’t want to rack up a huge energy bill, it helps to plan your usage.

Research your energy tariff and see if your electricity is cheaper at certain times, such as at night. If so, you could time it to come on during those hours. Alternatively, consider using it when your home is most likely to have high humidity levels, such as when you are showering, cooking or have the heating on.

If you don’t want to think too hard about your usage, a device with an auto setting will be more efficient as it will only come on when the humidity levels go above your RH setting, saving you from wasting energy.

How much does a dehumidifier cost to run?

The cost entirely depends on your power rating and energy tariff. A rule of thumb has always been somewhere between 3p and 12p per hour, but energy prices are skyrocketing at the moment, so do check your tariff. We’ve tried to give you a rough idea based on an average cost for each, but that is subject to change.

As explained above, make sure you’re using your dehumidifier at times of day when it will be the cheapest and most effective.

Does a dehumidifier use a lot of electricity?

According to, a dehumidifier uses between 300 watts and 700 watts of energy per hour, depending on size and efficiency. That’s not much - more than your fridge but less than things like kettles and hair dryers.

Related: The best shower squeegees for streak-free results

What's the best dehumidifier to buy?

The best all-round dehumidifier is the MeacoDry Arete 12L Dehumidifier. Compact, portable and energy efficient, this product is much-loved by Mumsnetters (as are all of their award-winning products). Recommended by parents and loved by experts, Meaco's products are incredibly popular and sell out quicker than they can restock. The only downside is that they are not cheap, and although they are relatively inexpensive to run, the initial outlay is much more than most people would expect.

How we chose our recommendations

Mumsnetter recommended

Because we understand how important the views of real people are, we always seek recommendations from the Mumsnet forums to ensure the information we give you is based on unbiased, trusted opinions from those who have bought the products themselves.

Expert opinions

Having vetted each product that received the most accolades from Mumsnet, we researched independent review sites to find out what consumer experts thought about them. We used print media, Good Housekeeping, Which? and Trustpilot. In particular, we looked for products that had won awards and frequently appeared at the top of the best product lists.

Verified customer reviews

Once we had our short-list, we cross-referenced them with reviews from previous customers across the internet in search of those with excellent 5* reviews. At this final stage, we also ensured that we had eliminated any consistently poor feedback.

Celebrated dehumidifiers

We collated all this information to hand-select what we consider to be the 12 best dehumidifiers UK for 2024. We also make every effort to update our listings regularly to reflect the best dehumidifiers currently in stock, considering price changes and product updates.

About the author

Laura Cooke is a Content Editor at Mumsnet, with a special focus on home care content.

Laura started writing Swears By articles for Mumsnet in 2021 and has recently taken over responsibility for floor care and laundry content. She writes buyers guides, including what to consider when buying a robot vacuum cleaner, cleaning articles and tests products, including the Henry Quick vacuum and the Beldray 60m Rotary Airer, to help Mumsnetters make informed choices when it comes to parting with their pennies.

Laura is also a freelance journalist and has written articles for publications including the Daily Mirror, the i, Metro, Stylist and Happiful magazine.

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