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Best moisture absorbers to keep damp at bay in 2024

Is damp driving you to distraction? Investing in a cheap and efficient moisture absorber can help to keep mould and mildew at bay.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Apr 2, 2024

If you have noticed ice forming on the inside of your car windscreen or caught a musty smell wafting from the wardrobe, the chances are that you have a damp problem.

Damp can cause serious damage to paintwork, wallpaper and clothing, and it can also cause black mould to develop, which can make you and your family very ill.

While the best dehumidifier will sort the issue out, you may not be too keen to shell out some £200-plus, particularly if you only have a relatively minor damp problem. (Although we do recommend checking out our guide to the best budget dehumidifiers for some pocket-friendly alternatives). Non-electric moisture absorbers are a highly effective alternative and cost a fraction of the price of a dehumidifier. They can be discretely placed on window sills, in cupboards and on dashboards without making a noisy fuss.

But which one to choose? We scoured the Mumsnet forums (which have around 8 million unique users each month), collating tried and tested recommendations on the best moisture absorbers that users rate and would happily recommend to others. We’ve also investigated the views of experts and consumer champions Which? Before scrutinising wider consumer reviews to learn more about the products on our shortlist.

Here are the best moisture absorbers to buy in 2024.

Best moisture absorber overall

Unibond Aero 360 Compact Moisture Absorber

What we like
  • Cost-effective refills

  • Compact and portable

What we don't like
  • Needs to be stored out of reach of children and pets (liquid can cause eye irritation)

Key specs

Price: £13 | Extraction amount: 1L | Tank capacity:  2.5L | Dimensions: H19.7 x W15.2 x D14.7cm | Weight: 6.61kg | Max room size: 20m²

What Mumsnet users say
Dannyglick · Recommended
We put a 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.
See Post
Our verdict

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

As far as Mumsnetters are concerned, there is one hands-down winner when it comes to the best moisture absorber - take a bow, the Unibond Aero 360 Compact Moisture Absorber.

Ideal for small spaces or rooms, you can target 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 of the absorber, and the activated crystals and anti-odour agents will absorb excess moisture while neutralising unpleasant pongs. Although a tablet does come included, you will need to buy refills to keep the Aero 360 working at its best.

Read next: Best window vacs for getting rid of condensation

Best budget moisture absorber

Lakeland Moisture Trap

What we like
  • Cheap 

  • Easy to use and easy to empty

What we don't like
  • Only lasts three months - although this should get you through the winter

  • Irritant - take care when handling

Key specs

Price: £7 | Extraction amount: 1L | Dimensions: 25 x 9 x 11cm | Weight: Doesn’t state | Max room size: Doesn’t state

What Mumsnet users say
Chamomileteaplease · Tried & Tested
I bought quite a reasonably priced thing from Lakeland. It's a plastic box with crystals in it which soak up the moisture from the inside of my window. I am sure it could work for your cupboard too.
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Our verdict

If you are looking for a cheap and effective damp trap, then the Lakeland Moisture Trap is a great buy, and the bargain price means you can invest in more than one to dot around your window sills.

This compact moisture absorber contains 500g of crystals which can suck up one litre of moisture. When the box is full, all you have to do is unclip the lid and pour the water away using the built-in spout. The crystals only remain active for three months, but this should be enough to get you through the worst of the winter weather.

Read next: Best budget washing machines as recommended by families

Best moisture absorber for windows

Kontrol Streamline Moisture Absorber Traps

What we like
  • Great value

  • Easy to use

What we don't like
  • Not very pleasing on the eyes

  • Can be messy to clean out

Key specs

Price: £11 (pack of two) | Extraction amount: Doesn’t state | Tank capacity:  Doesn’t state | Dimensions: ‎29 x 23.4 x 11.1 cm| Weight: 2kg | Max room size: Doesn’t state

What Mumsnet users say
Madhairday · Tried & Tested
We have these in our caravan but I don't see why they wouldn't work in houses, they pick up so much water. They are refillable with the crystals you can buy separately so a more budget option than a dehumidifier.
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Our verdict

The Kontrol Streamline Moisture Absorber Traps are amazingly versatile. As well as working like a dream on windows, previous buyers say the Kontrol traps have helped to tackle damp in caravans, wardrobes and even in a powerboat that had been kept in storage.

Selling on Amazon at £11 for a pack of two at the time of writing, this works out at just £5.50 a trap, which is great value. However some have reported that cleaning out the traps can be a messy process.

Read next: The best washing machine cleaners for a clean, fresh-smelling washing machine

Best moisture absorber for wardrobes

Damp Kontrol Hanging Dehumidifier

What we like
  • Affordable

  • Lavender scented

  • Large size

What we don't like
  • Single use - cannot be refilled

Key specs

Price: £3 | Extraction amount: 450ml | Tank capacity:  N/A | Dimensions: H6.5 x W9.5 x D13.5cm | Weight: Not stated | Max room size: N/A

What Mumsnet users say
667TheNeighbourOfTheBeast · Recommended
Yes I use the wardrobe hanging ones [...] Kontrol brand as these are the largest ones I’ve found. They definitely work. I’ve also got a proper electric dehumidifier but still had problems in wardrobe so I’ve kept them. They aren’t cheap depending on how much moisture there is in your house of course, but worth every penny not to have mouldy or mouldy smelling clothes.
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Our verdict

Is a musty smell in your wardrobe driving you to distraction? Just pop a lavender-scented Damp Kontrol Hanging Dehumidifier in amongst your clothes and watch as the bag fills with moisture that has been sucked out of the air.

For just £3 at the time of writing, it is a great budget buy, but once it has filled up the bag cannot be reused, so if you are trying to cut down on waste, this isn’t necessarily the most sustainable choice.

Read next: The best mould removers that actually work

Best moisture absorber for cars

Eco Friendly Car Dehumidifier

What we like
  • Can be reused over and over again

  • Gets rid of unpleasant odours

  • Can also be used in caravans and lorry cabins

What we don't like
  • Works best in small, enclosed spaces

Key specs

Price: £12 | Capacity: 1kg | Dimensions: L25.5cm x W15cm x D5cm | Weight: 1.22kg | Max room size: N/A

What Mumsnet users say
Tippytappytoes · Tried & Tested
I bought one of these (other types are available) and I’ve not had a problem since.
See Post
WhoGivesADamnForAFlakeyBandit · Recommended
I've got one of those windscreen microwave bags - so far no more ice on the inside of the windscreen.
See Post
Our verdict

Cold, damp weather can cause condensation to form inside your car, leaving the interior damp and a bit whiffy. This ingenious little bag will help to change things for the better.

The active carbon in this car dehumidifier absorbs up to 60% of its weight in moisture, keeping windscreens free from condensation. It also manages to do away with any unpleasant smells in the process. We love that the bag can be reused over and over again - all you have to do is wrap it up in kitchen paper and microwave for five minutes every 30 days.

Read next: The best washing machines, tried and tested

What is a moisture absorber?

Moisture absorbers take damp out of the air, ridding glass and walls of condensation, preventing damp and mould from developing. They are small and work best on window sills, in cars, wardrobes and smaller rooms, such as utility rooms, home offices and basements. Some moisture absorbers are refillable, others can only be used once.

Related: The best moth repellents for clothes, carpets and cashmere

What are the benefits of having a moisture absorber?

By controlling moisture levels, a damp trap can prevent mould and mildew from growing, which can damage wallpaper and paintwork. Damp can also cause considerable damage to personal belongings, including books and clothing.

A strategically placed moisture absorber or two can prevent black mould from developing, which can cause respiratory infections and trigger allergies. A damp trap also helps to eradicate damp and musty smells, making the air a lot more pleasant to breathe.

What is the difference between a dehumidifier and a moisture absorber?

Dehumidifiers mechanically remove moisture from the air, while moisture absorbers use desiccant materials to passively soak up excess moisture. Dehumidifiers are best suited to large areas and tackling larger areas of damp. Moisture absorbers, or damp traps, are more efficient when used in smaller spaces, such as in wardrobes, window sills or on the inside of vehicles. Dehumidifiers are more costly to purchase (although there are some great budget dehumidifiers out there), but last longer than moisture absorbers, particularly if they are single-use.

Read next: The best steam irons, tried and tested by Mumsnetters

Which is the best moisture absorber?

Time and time again, we hear Mumsnetters singing the praises of the Unibond Aero 360 Compact Moisture Absorber. It’s cheap and works a treat, sucking up an impressive amount of moisture and doing a fab job at keeping damp and mould at bay.

Read next: The best laundry detergents for fresh, clean clothes

How we choose 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 moisture absorbers

We collated all this information to hand-select what we consider to be the best moisture absorbers UK for 2024. We also make every effort to update our listings regularly to reflect the best moisture absorbers 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, writing buyers guides, cleaning articles and product reviews, 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.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

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.