MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier & Air Purifier review

We test the MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier to see how the improved model measured up

Meaco Arete 20L Dehumidifier
(Image credit: Meaco)
Real Homes Verdict

A sleek and efficient dehumidifier, the MeacoDry Arete One 20L is a worthy upgrade from a trusted brand that pays as much attention to ease of use and design as it does dehumidifying power.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Dedicated laundry mode

  • +

    Also has an air purification function

  • +

    Washable filter and easy-to-remove water tank

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not as quiet as expected

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Those who have shopped around for a home dehumidifier will know the Meaco brand well, and the MeacoDry Arete One is the company's attempt to upgrade its offering with more style as well as substance. Gone are the bulky shape and green flourishes and in its place is an inarguably more stylish black and white unit.

There are also improvements on the inside, such as a 75% larger HEPA filter, and we wanted to see how the new and improved model would measure up against the everyday humidity of early British summer.

We tested the 20L model of the MeacoDry Arete One in our home, and you can read what we thought below. In the meantime, take a look at how it measures up against the best dehumidifiers in our guide.

Meaco Arete 20L Dehumidifier

(Image credit: Meaco)

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier: Key specs

  • Type: Compressor
  • Smart?: No
  • Tank capacity: 4.8L
  • Washable filter?: Yes
  • Removal rate: 12L/day
  • Speeds: 2
  • Continuous draining?: Optional
  • Humidistat?: Yes, between 40-70%
  • Castors?: Yes
  • Recommended room size?: 5 bedroom house
  • Noise: 38-40dB
  • Power: 216W
  • Dimensions: H56.2 x W37.6 x D23.2cm
  • Weight: 15kg

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier: Set-up

Meaco Arete 20L Dehumidifier

(Image credit: Future)

As with most dehumidifiers, there isn't much setup involved with the MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier. The unit is more or less ready to go straight out the box, with the only trouble we had being its weight (to be expected with any dehumidifier). Thankfully, the Arete has a convenient handle on top that helps not only to remove it from the box but also - with the help of castors - subsequently move it around.

After you have the device positioned in a convenient location, you simply plug it in and hit the on button. We will note that Meaco recommends that you leave the unit to stand for six hours, allowing any refrigerant to settle before use.

Once turned on, the Arete takes around ten minutes to get an accurate reading of the humidity levels in the space, which corresponded exactly with the AirThings View Plus that we used to confirm air quality figures.

Meaco Arete 20L Dehumidifier: Performance

On noise levels, Chris Michael, MD at Meaco, says:

"The way the dehumidifiers are tested are in a sealed chamber using calibrated microphones at 1m on all four sides.  These professional microphones measure the sound power level, and then the average of the four readings is the decibel figure that is reported. 

"For the 20L model this is 38 and 40dB on the two fan speeds and for the 25L model this is 40 and 42dB.  Using the HEPA filter will increase these figures slightly because you are increasing the air pressure as the incoming air passes over the filters.

"In the laboratory we are measuring sound power levels and at home you will be measuring sound pressure levels, two different parameters that cannot be compared like for like."

There are four buttons on the top of the Meaco Arete, including Smart Humidity Mode, Smart Laundry Mode, and Night Mode/Child Lock. 

Smart Humidity Mode will be the one you use the most and, when pressed, it will set the target humidity levels to 55%. To test the unit, we set the target to 40%, as levels stood at 45% at the time. You can do this by repeatedly pressing the same button until the desired number flashes on the display. There is also CO mode, which just means your dehumidifier will run continuously.

Over the course of an hour, the humidity dropped by 2% to 43%, with a good amount of water collected in the water tank (it promises to remove up to 12L a day). It didn't take long after this to reach 40%, after which it automatically powered down.

The built-in humidistat periodically (every 30 minutes) scans to see whether levels are in range, powering back on as soon as it is out by more than 3%. Similarly, when levels are within 15% of the target, the fan speed switches from high to low. Night mode automatically switches the fan to low mode, as well as turns off the display.

Though impressed by the efficiency of the dehumidifier, we were a little disappointed with the noise levels. While Meaco promises a maximum of 40dB, during testing, we measured an average of 52.7dB. Depending on where you place the unit (ours was beside the television which... was perhaps not ideal), it may bother some more than others.

Meaco Arete 20L Dehumidifier

(Image credit: Future)

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier: Design

The Meaco Arete has a 4.8L tank capacity and a full indicator light on the control panel, meaning you're notified as soon as it's time to empty. Doing so is incredibly simple, with the tank pulling out from the front like a drawer and slotting back into place just as easily. As an incredibly clumsy person, I was impressed by how hard it was for me to spill the tank's contents on the way to the sink!

You can also choose continuous draining, but the plastic tube ordinarily found at the bottom of the box is missing here. This is not an oversight, but rather Meaco's gesture at sustainability having heard that customers ordinarily don't use the attachment. It's a nice touch, and the tank is roomy enough that you won't worry about repeated trips to empty it.

Overall, the Meaco Arete 20L is more sleek and attractive than most dehumidifiers, including previous models from the same brand. The simplicity of the device when viewed head-on works really well, with only the water level visible.

Meaco Arete 20L Dehumidifier

(Image credit: Future)

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier: Maintenance

Cost to operate: £1.44 per 24 hours/£44 a year based on 2hrs/day usage

Maintaining and cleaning the various parts of the MeacoDry Arete One has been made pretty easy, and most people will never need to replace the HEPA filter positioned on the back of the device. This should be cleaned every two weeks using either warm (under 40C) water or the end of a vacuum cleaner.

The device also gets points for leaving out the continuous drainage tube which, as admitted by Meaco itself, often just gets thrown away.

MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier: Our verdict

During testing the MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier proved it was more than up to the task of tackling everyday humidity at home, and we were impressed with how quickly it could get moisture levels down to the desired level. The controls are all clear and easy to use, but perhaps the best part is the pull-out water tank. It also looks lovely compared to competitors' offerings, with the design making it possible to sit the unit flush to the wall so that it's out of the way. Despite being a little noisier than we'd hoped, the Arete One gets a strong thumbs up.

About this review, and the reviewer

Caroline is the smart homes editor for Real Homes, covering everything from Alexa speakers to home air treatment. All reviews are conducted in genuine home environments to ensure that recommendations are based on authentic experiences rather than testing products in lab environments. The MeacoDry Arete One 20L Dehumidifier was used in a small studio space within a larger home with no known history of damp. Noise levels were monitored using the Decibel X app on iOS, and air quality was measured using the AirThings View Plus.

Caroline Preece
Smart Homes Editor

Caroline has been part of the Real Homes ecommerce team since the start of 2021, after working for the last decade as a journalist across publications in technology, entertainment and various other areas. She took over smart homes content for the site shortly after, and can now be mostly found swooning after the latest gadget or smart speaker release. In her spare time, she's usually obsessing about space-saving and DIY hacks for small spaces, and how to affordably make a rental feel like a home.