Best dehumidifier: 5 top buys for fighting damp air in the home

Dry your laundry or disinfecting the air in your home with the best dehumidifier (your) money can buy

best dehumidifier - Meaco Platinum Low Energy 12L Dehumidifier
(Image credit: Meaco)

With the seasons turning from summer into autumn, colder and damper air is filling our homes, whether we like it or not, so you'll want something which can remove any risk of condensation, mould or mildew building up. And sure, if you dry laundry indoors in the winter or you're in the middle of renovating (who isn't?) then those damp levels are only going to increase if the appropriate action is not taken.

Whatever the reason, a dehumidifier is an appliance that you'll find really useful. We've compiled a list of the best dehumidifiers, from budget to hi-tech, eco-friendly and basic models. 

Prefer an appliance to keep your home cool, rather than dry it out? No worries: take a look at our best fan guide for our top floor fans, desk fans and bedroom fans.

These are best dehumidifier buys...

Best dehumidifier you can buy: electriQ 12 litre Low Energy Dehumidifier

1. electriQ 12 litre Low Energy Dehumidifier

Best dehumidifier you can buy: a great all-rounder for average sized homes

Type: Compressor
Extraction rate: 12 litres
Tank: 4 litres
Laundry mode: Yes
Ioniser: Yes
Dimensions: W38cm x D20cm x H58cm
Reasons to buy
+Low energy+Air purifier function with UV sterilisation+Anti-dust+Antibacterial tank+Anti-spill+Timer
Reasons to avoid

Suitable for homes with up to three bedrooms, the electriQ 12 litre Low Energy Dehumidifier is up to 40 per cent cheaper to run than a standard dehumidifier. It's also supremely easy to operate and is quiet. We think it's the best dehumidifier currently out there.

Four different modes
This handsome dehumidifier has four main modes: Smart, where it regulates itself to give your home an optimal humidity level, low, for overall moisture reduction, high for laundry drying, and an air purifier mode where it doesn't suck in any moisture, just draws in impurities from the air in your home.

UV sterilisation function
It has UV sterilisation built in to get rid of pollen, smoke, dust and allergens. It also kills bacteria: we're not making any extraordinary claims about its ability to disinfect your home, but when we used it, we experienced an immediately purer-smelling, fresher air, so it must be doing something.

User-friendly interface
On the front of the machine, there's a coloured ring which will light up green when the humidity in your home is just right, orange when it's higher than recommended levels and red if it's too high, so you know when to use the machine – or not. It also will stop dehumidifying once it's reached the desired humidity level, so you won't even need to remember to switch it off.

Large antibacterial tank
The four-litre tank is antibacterial, so you needn't worry about mould growing in there, and once it's full, the machine will turn off so it won't overflow. 

Best dehumidifier to dry clothes: De'Longhi Tasciugo AriaDry DEX16F Dehumidifier

(Image credit: De'Longhi )

2. De'Longhi Tasciugo AriaDry DEX16F Dehumidifier

Best dehumidifier to dry clothes: always airing your clothes in your home? This is the dehumidifier for you

Type: Compressor
Extraction rate: 16 litres
Tank: 3 litres
Laundry mode: Yes
Ioniser: No
Dimensions: W33cm x D22cm x H50cm
Reasons to buy
+Auto restart+Portable design+3 speed settings+Quiet+Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-No air purifier

The best dehumidifier choice for those who don't have a tumble dryer or like to let their clothes air dry in their home, the De'Longhi Tasciugo AriaDry DEX16F can even be used in a chilly utility room or garage, if that's where your washing is dried.

With handy FrostProtection, you'll have no worries about the water in the tank freezing when the weather gets cold. 

The tank holds a generous 2.1 litres of water before it needs emptying, and it's super quiet at just 37dB. It has a handle and is pretty light at just 9kg (when empty), so you can easily move it around if you're drying out various rooms. 

Best dehumidifier for bedroom: Meaco Platinum Dehumidifier

(Image credit: Meaco)

3. Meaco Platinum Dehumidifier

Best dehumidifier for bedrooms: perfect if you have bedrooms that suffer from condensation, mould or damp

Type: Compressor
Extraction rate: 20 litres
Tank: 6 litres
Laundry mode: Yes
Ioniser: No
Dimensions: W38.5cm x D29cm x H59.9cm
Reasons to buy
+Uses less energy than other models+Automatic shut off +Digital display 
Reasons to avoid
-Quite heavy (but does come on castors)

If you have damp, mould or condensation issues and live in a larger property – or bedroom –, you are obviously going to need a stealthy dehumidifier to target the humidity. The Meaco Platinum Dehumidifier does just that as it is designed for houses with three to five bedrooms and has a massive 20-litre extraction rate and a six-litre tank. 

Despite its size, the Meaco Platinum Dehumidifier is one of the cheapest models on the market to run, using just 255 watts of power to make it really cost-effective. You could be saving up to £100 compared with other 20L dehumidifiers. 

Again, despite its size, it's really quiet. Lots of reviewers say this was an unexpected bonus. The digital display makes it straightforward to use and the castors and carry handle means it's easier to move around your home. 

Best desiccant dehumidifier: Ecoair DD122FW

(Image credit: Ecoair)

4. Ecoair DD122FW

Best desiccant dehumidifier: eco-conscious but still want to remove the excess moisture from your home? This desiccant dehumidifier is the one for you

Type: Desiccant
Extraction rate: 7 litres
Tank: 2 litres
Laundry mode: Yes
Ioniser: No
Dimensions: W29cm x D18cm x H49cm
Reasons to buy
+Can work in freezing temperatures+Quiet+Built-in heater+Slim and compact+Easy to transport
Reasons to avoid
-No air purifier built-in

Want peace of mind and a damp-free home? The Ecoair DD122FW is the best desiccant dehumidifier for you.

It has an extraction rate of 7 litres and a tank capacity of 2 litres; there's an indicator to tell you when the water tank is full, and auto shut-off to avoid overflowing; the silver filter will kill bacteria on contact; and, when on low fan mode, it runs very quietly, just 34dB. 

With a power consumption of 390W to 640W, this dehumidifier is the best pick for those who are eco-conscious, too. There's the option of continuous drainage with the 1m hose (supplied), plus a built-in heater.

Best dehumidifier under £100: Essentials C10DH16 Dehumidifier

(Image credit: Essentials C10DH16 Dehumidifier)

5. Essentials C10DH19 Dehumidifier

Best dehumidifier under £100: a basic dehumidifier which gets the job done

Type: Compressor
Extraction rate: 10 litres
Tank: 1.8 litres
Laundry mode: No
Ioniser: No
Dimensions: W28cm x D19cm x H47cm
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
-Small-ish tank capacity-No laundry mode or air purifier

The efficient Essentials C10DH19 Dehumidifier is great for those who just want a quick, cheap fix to the damp problem in their home. While it doesn't have the added functions of laundry mode or an air purifier, at this low price, you can't really complain. We think it's a great budget dehumidifier and one of the best dehumidifiers you can buy.

Despite being a budget buy, it has a decent extraction rate. It's also easy to move from room-to-room thanks to its carry handle. 

It's also worth noting that it has auto shut-off so when the tank's full the machine will stop to avoid it overflowing. The filter can be removed and washed for easy maintenance. 

How to buy the best dehumidifier

Poor ventilation is the main reason for purchasing a dehumidifier. The majority of households regularly shower or bath, cook and wash clothes, all of which use lots of hot water that creates steam. If there's no way for the moisture to escape your home through windows or vents, then condensation and damp begins to build; this is where the best dehumidifier helps out to prevent and reduce this happening, as well as remove excess moisture from the air to help you dry your clothes in your home. Consider the specs below when buying a dehumidifier.

Not to be confused with a humidifier, which does the opposite to a dehumidifier and adds moisture to the air in your home, there are two different types of dehumidifier you can buy: a compressor ( sometimes known as a refrigerant) or a desiccant. Compressors can remove a larger amount of moisture per day and are cheaper to run. However, desiccant dehumidifiers work better in colder temperatures and are quieter than compressor models. Desiccant dehumidifiers are usually smaller and lighter than compressor models.

Extraction rate
The extraction rate you're looking for really depends on where you live and what you're using the dehumidifier for; however, in the UK, you can aim for one that can extract between 1 litre and 2.5 litres a day. The figures quoted below are litres per day.

Tank size
The dehumidifiers in our list range from 1.8 litres to 4 litres; the tank size you'll need will depend on a) whether your dehumidifier be on all day long; b) whether you're at home to empty it periodically; c) what level of humidity you're dealing with; d) how much space you have.

Laundry mode?
If you often hang your clothes to dry around your home, opt for a dehumidifier which has laundry mode. It'll bear in mind the additional humidity from your wet clothing, and it'll reduce the time it takes for your clothes to dry. Win win?

Another useful add-on for your dehumidifier, although not essential, is an ioniser, which purifies air by removing dust, bacteria, pollen, smoke and more.

What is the best dehumidifier?

To our opinion, we think the best dehumidifier is the electriQ 12 litre Low Energy Dehumidifier. It's great for average-sized homes and also low energy, as well as featuring an antibacterial 12-litre tank, a timer, and it's anti-spill.

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