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Best dehumidifiers 2023: affordable units to beat damp and mould at home

We've selected the top 10 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 this winter.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Feb 2, 2023

A picture of a boy playing, whilst his Mum relaxes. There is a dehumidifier in the background.

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 this 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 or 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. 

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 decent dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. Although it won’t kill any mould, 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. 

To help you find the best dehumidifier for your home and your family, we’ve used our triple-check vetting process to research our top ten list. 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. The only downside is that everyone loves the dehumidifiers we pick so much; they sell phenomenally fast! So, remember to sign up for back-in-stock emails from the retailer if a popular item isn’t available, as they replenish them regularly. 

For more helpful tips on the best products to help you manage your home during the energy crisis this winter, check out our guide to the best washing machines for the top cost-effective and energy-efficient models. 

Here are the 10 best dehumidifiers UK to help keep your home damp-free this winter.

1. Best overall: Meaco Arete One 12L Dehumidifier

A picture of the MeacoDry Arete One 12L Dehumidifier.

RRP: £315 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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 we love

  • Dual purpose, dehumidifier and air purifier 
  • Developed using customer feedback 
  • Excellent features, including laundry mode
  • Efficient, quiet and effective

Reasons to avoid

  • More expensive then alternative models 

What Mumsnet users say

"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" (Recommended by Mumsnetter cimena)

"We’ve got a Meaco Arête One dehumidifyer. It’s quiet enough to run overnight in the bedroom." (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Catmummyof2 )

Our verdict

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! 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.

*Meaco is a very popular brand that sells out very quickly. If you click and they are out of stock, remember to sign up to email notifications as they get replenished regularly.*

2. Best budget dehumidifier: Unibond Aero 360 Compact Moisture Absorber

A picture of the Unibond Aero 360 Absorber Compact.

RRP: £17.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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 we love

  • Very budget-friendly 
  • Cost-effective refills 
  • Compact and portable 
  • Non-electric and silent 

What we know

  • Not suitable for large rooms and would need more than one for houses.
  • Needs to be stored out of reach of children and pets (liquid can cause eye irritation)

What Mumsnet users say

"We put an Unibond Aero 360 moisture absorber, placed discreetly in each room ( Asda/ Wilko). Have just put them out for autumn/ winter, as a few days ago, the windows were streaming with condensation in a morning: all gone now with these in place. Open windows when you can, though, too." (Vetted by Mumsnetter Dannyglick)

"These are great. You can get them in Asda, Wilko's and other places too. Very satisfying to see the water collect!" (Recommended by Mumsnet user BigbreastsBiggerbeard)

Our verdict

Silent, compact and non-electric, the Unibond Aero 360 Compact Moisture Absorber (a smaller version of the larger Unibond Aero 360 Moisture Absorber) is the perfect budget-friendly option for any family. Firstly, it requires no extra spending on your energy bill (hallelujah!). 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, wildflower or waterfall-scented tablets, too, for a unique fresh scent.

3. Best dehumidifier for drying laundry: ElectriQ 20L Low-energy Dehumidifier

A picture of the 20L ElectriQ dehumidifier.

RRP: £269.98 | Buy now from Appliances Direct

Key specs

Type: Compressor Dehumidifier | Extraction amount: 20L | Tank capacity:  6L | Dimensions: H62.3 x W37.7 x D26.2cm | Weight: 13kg | Power: 280W | Cost per hour: 9p | Noise level:  41dB | Max room size: N/A | Laundry mode: Yes | Warranty: 1 year

What we love

  • Dual purpose, dehumidifier and air purifier 
  • Developed using customer feedback 
  • Excellent features, including laundry mode
  • Efficient, quiet and effective

Reasons to avoid

  • More expensive then alternative models 

What Mumsnet users say

"Appliances Direct own brand Electriq is good. I have the big 20litre one, and it’s very egos down supposed to be low energy. Significantly cheaper than more well known brands too" (Tried and trusted by Mumsnet user  gluenotsoup)

Our verdict

When it comes to drying laundry, Mumsnet users know their stuff. Their number one advice is to combine a heated clothes airer (find our guide to the best heated clothes airers here), a dehumidifier and a bed sheet as a cost-effective alternative to the tumble dryer. The airer dries the clothes, the sheet traps the evaporated water, and the dehumidifier collects it, helping your clothes to dry much more quickly. It is an ingenious way to cut back on bills and is perfect for those who don’t have the space for a tumble dryer or an outdoor rotary washing line

So, which is the best dehumidifier for drying your laundry? We think it's the ElectriQ Low-Energy dehumidifier. Cost-effective, portable and powerful, it has a six-litre water tank capacity and its very own dedicated laundry mode that’ll easily battle through your washing pile. We know you’ll particularly appreciate its easy-to-read traffic light humidity indicator, convenient timer and active carbon and HEPA filter, which simultaneously remove foul smells and allergens. The only downside (aside from the price) is that it is one of the noisier models available, so light sleepers might want to keep it out of their room at night.

4. Best dehumidifier for winter: EcoAir DD1 Simple Dehumidifier

A picture of the Black EcoAir DD1 Simple MK3 Dehumidifier.

RRP: £235.98 | Buy now from OnBuy

Key specs

Type: Desiccant Dehumidifier | Extraction amount: 7L | Tank capacity:  2L | Dimensions: H47.5 x W29 x D17.5cm | Weight: 6kg | Power: 300W | Cost per hour: 10p | Noise level:  34dB | Max room size: N/A | Laundry mode: Yes | Warranty: 2 years

What we love 

  • Perfect for drying laundry in the winter, works at cold temperatures 
  • Lightweight, compact and portable 
  • Dual purpose 
  • Excellent features and modes 

What we know 

  • The tank needs to be carefully handled to prevent leakage
  • Less energy efficient 

What Mumsnet users say

“It blows out warm air and, if we shut the door where the washing is, it gets quite toasty. It turns itself off if the water container gets full. We don't have huge damp problems – it's an older property though so it’s a little damp, but feels better since we started using the EcoAir.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user Fourmagpies)

“I have an EcoAir and wouldn’t be without it. Dries winter washing so well. Used to dry clothes on our radiator and had mould and musty smells but no more.” (Recommended by Mumsnetter Tellmetruth4)

Our verdict

A desiccant dehumidifier, the EcoAir DD1 Simple 7L s highly recommended by Mumsnetters. It can effectively control mould, bacteria growth and condensation inside your home and in unheated spaces such as a garage or basement. While it can extract up to seven litres in a day, it is slimline and lightweight (6kg) and comes with a handle for moving it around, making it extra portable. 

While it can only hold up to two litres of water and can be tricky to remove without spilling, it does come with a hose so you can continuously drain the tank. This device is easy to use with a choice of economy or turbo mode when you want to dry an area quickly and a pinpoint mode for targeting mould in a specific area. There’s also a humidistat for maintaining the appropriate humidity levels in a room. This helpful dehumidifier comes with a unique laundry setting to help dry clothes more quickly indoors (making it a perfect pairing for one of these: best electric clothes airers). As with most desiccants, it uses more energy than other dehumidifiers, but it’s also more effective over shorter periods. The DD1 Simple is quiet, too, at just 36db (34dB when in an economy setting), so you can work or sleep nearby without being disturbed.

5. Best portable dehumidifier: Pro Breeze 1500ml Dehumidifier

A picture of the Pro-breeze Dehumidifier.

RRP: £84.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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 we love 

  • Affordably priced 
  • Compact, lightweight and portable 
  • No compressor, so ultra quiet 
  • Very energy efficient 

What we know 

  • Not suitable for large rooms, reduces efficiency 

What Mumsnet users say

“Go for [the Pro Breeze] if you’re watching the pennies.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user chukwe)

"Pro Breeze is the one for you. We use to have really bad condensation in our dining room and my hubby brought one of these and it's really helped us out." (Tried and tested by aceisback)

Our verdict

If you don’t want a big, noisy device taking up space in your home, the Pro Breeze Dehumidifier is the compact, energy-efficient and cost-effective 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.

It’s a really reasonable price too. With an extraction rate of up to 500ml daily, 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, particularly if you’re drying clothes. The Pro Breeze can hold up to 1500ml of water, so you won’t need to empty it too often (and it has an auto shut-off setting, just in case!). Perfect for those with small flats, humid utilities and the beginnings of morning condensation, it is the little dehumidifier that could.

6. Best dehumidifier for large spaces: ElectriQ 25L Dehumidifier

A picture of the 25L Electriq dehumidifier.

RRP: £299.98 | Buy now from Appliances Direct

Key specs

Type: Compressor Dehumidifier | Extraction amount: 25L | Tank capacity:  6L | Dimensions: H62.3 x W37.7 x D26.3cm | Weight: 13kg | Power: 320W | Cost per hour: 11p | Noise level:  41dB | Max room size: N/A| Laundry mode: Yes | Warranty: 1 year

What we love 

  • Smart connectivity, via app, Alexa or Google Assistant
  • Large capacity, powerful extraction rate 
  • Easy to use, portable and convenient 
  • Ideal for 6-bedroom houses 

What we know 

  • Has a larger power usage, costing more per hour to run 

What Mumsnet users say

"I have one downstairs, dries washing, stop condensation, it's only 25 litres but works really well in my 3 bed house ...I can't believe how much water was in it when I first got it, was emptying 3 plus times a day...usually once a day now, more when washing in the room. Definately a good bye, wish I had got one years ago. Def gonna get a bigger capacity when this one packs in." (Size of dehumidifier recommended by Mumsnet user Lemonlady22)

Our verdict

If you have a large home with a damp problem, you might be tempted to forgo larger, more expensive dehumidifiers in favour of several small, cheaper ones in each room. The problem is that it can be more expensive than buying the larger model and much less cost-effective. That’s why we recommend the 25L ElectriQ Smart Dehumidifier as the best dehumidifier for hours with up to six bedrooms. 

So, why choose this one? Firstly, it's smart; using an app from your phone, you can control it from anywhere, even on the school run or while at the supermarket. You can even connect it to your Alexa or Google Home to operate it with the sound of your voice! Secondly, it is powerful; with the ability to extract 25L of water from the air and a 6L tank capacity, you can rest easy knowing that this dehumidifier has your damp under control. Thirdly, although its power usage is much higher, it is super energy efficient; ElectriQ claims it is 50% more efficient than other standard dehumidifiers. We love that for our energy bills! Lastly, for the price, this dehumidifier doesn’t just control your home's humidity. It also purifies the air and eliminates terrible odours using a combination of UV sterilisation, an active carbon filter and a HEPA filter. In short, it works hard to keep you and your family feeling fit and healthy!

7. Best mid-budget dehumidifier: Challenge 12 Litre Dehumidifier

A picture of the Challenge 12L dehumidifier.

RRP:  £160| Buy now from Argos

Key specs

Type: Compressor Dehumidifier | Extraction amount: 12L | Tank capacity:  2.1L | Dimensions: H42 x W32 x D21.5cm | Weight: N/A | Power: 250W | Cost per hour: 0.8p | Noise level:  45dB | Max room size:  35m²| Laundry mode: No | Warranty: 1 year

What we love 

  • Affordable price 
  • Easy to use, good capacity 
  • Effective, energy efficient and value for money

What we know 

  • It is not as quiet as other competitive models 

What Mumsnet users say

"We have a humidifier and use it when the heat is on occasionally to make sure the rooms are dry. We live in an old house and am surprised and what it removes. We open wardrobes in bedrooms and use it every so often. Haven't used it yet but ours was an Argos own brand one and it is excellent. We have it years." (Brand recommended by Mumsnet user billy1966)

"Yes, I have two. One upstairs and one downstairs. Its the challenger brand from argos. They make a huge difference." (Brand tried and trusted by Mumsnetter Pixiedust1234)

Our verdict

With the cost of living going up, we know that dehumidifiers can be expensive, so we’ve included this mid-budget option from Argos’ Challenge range. Effective, energy efficient and reasonably priced (comparatively), their 12L dehumidifier is reportedly a little noisier than other models, but Mumsnet users and previous customers agree that it does the job! 

It is rated highly for its performance, design and capacity and is ideal for a 3-bedroom family home costing just 8p per day. Able to absorb 12L of water, it is simple and easy to use, with many of the standard features of its more expensive competitors. The only challenge is that many previous customers say it's pretty noisy, coming in at 45 decibels, so if you're a light sleeper, we wouldn’t keep this in the bedroom. If you’re interested in the range but looking for a smaller dehumidifier, Argos have a 0.5L mini version and a 10L version too!

8. Best dehumidifier for small spaces: Russell Hobbs RHDH1061G Dehumidifier

A picture of the Russell Hobbs Dehumidifier.

RRP: £51.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

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 we love

  • Light weight, compact and portable 
  • Affordably priced 
  • Sleek design 
  • Very quiet (just above a whisper)

What we know 

  • Only effective up to 15m²

What Mumsnet users say 

"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." (Vetted by Mumsnet user Roselilly36)

Our verdict

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.

9. Best standard dehumidifier: Essentials C10DH19 Dehumidifier

A picture of the Essentials C10DH19 Dehumidifier.

RRP: £149.99 | Buy now from Currys 

Key specs

Type: Compressor Dehumidifier | Extraction amount: 10L| Tank capacity:  1.8L | Dimensions: H57.5 x W34.5 x D23.6cm | Weight: 9.6kg | Power: 280W | Cost per hour: 9p | Noise level:  47dB | Max room size:  25m²| Laundry mode: No | Warranty: 1 year

What we love

  • No fuss, no faff 
  • Efficient and effective
  • Can set your own humidity levels 

What we know 

  • Not as quiet as other competitive models 

What Mumsnet users say 

"So I bought the dehumidifier from Currys essentials range. It was about £150 and has a 10litre capacity I think. I really recommend it, if has transformed my bedroom and makes it much easier to heat. Cash is tight at the moment but i think if you can get a bigger capacity one it is worth it. A few years ago I bought a cheap one which only had a few litre capacity and it didn't do anything to affect the moisture in the air. As well the one from Currys has a timer so you can put it on in the morning and go out about your day. Also it can start automatically if it detects moisture in the air above a certain threshold (which you can change)." (Tried and trusted by Mumsnet user Needmoresleepmorecoffee)

Our verdict 

If you are looking for a no-fuss, no-faff dehumidifier, then Currys Essentials has the best 10L dehumidifier for you! Quite a few Mumsnetters mentioned it by name because it is easy to use, effective and reasonably priced, perfect for those who can live without the bells and whistles. 

Simple and standard, the only additional feature is that you can choose between their four pre-set humidity levels to match your and your home's needs. All you’ll need to do is pop it in a corner and let it run, it costs around 9p an hour so that it won’t break the bank, and when it is full, the dehumidifier will automatically shut off to avoid spillage. The only downside is that at 47dB, it is between a whisper and a normal voice; it is a little noisier than its competitors, so we recommend keeping it out of the bedroom at night.

10. Best dehumidfier for your bedroom: Silentnight 48849 Dehumidifier

A picture of the Silentnight Dehumidfier.

RRP: £44.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs

Type: Compressor Dehumidifier | Extraction amount: 300ml | Tank capacity:  600ml | Dimensions: H22.6 x W14.6 x D14.6cm | Weight: 0.9kg | Power: 23W | Cost per hour: 1p | Noise level:  35dB | Max room size:  15m²| Laundry mode: No | Warranty: 3 years 

What we love

  • It is ultra-quiet, perfect for the bedroom 
  • Easy to use, compact and portable 
  • Can set your own humidity levels 

What we know 

  • Not as quiet as effective as other competitive models 

What Mumsnet users say 

"We had exactly your problem and solved it. Also bathroom next to bedroom.Open the window for 20 mins after you get up. We bought a small quiet dehumidifier ( silent night does one) that we could leave on over night and placed it in the coldest corner." (Brand recommended by Mumsnetter olympicsrock)

Our verdict 

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, 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 600ml 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!

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. 

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 learnmetrics.com, 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. 

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 ten best dehumidifiers UK for 2023. We also make every effort to update our listings regularly to reflect the best dehumidifiers currently in stock, considering price changes and product updates.

Why you should trust us

Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

Main image credit: Meaco

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