Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Room dehumidifiers help you to achieve a better room climate by optimising the existing humidity in rooms or keeping the optimum humidity value constant. In this way, they can significantly support your well-being and health. Long-term increased humidity can, among other things, be the cause of unpleasant odours and mould.

Depending on the type and model, there are hardly any limits to the areas of application of dehumidifiers: from small closed rooms, cupboards, your car to the dehumidification of a building, you can choose from a variety of comfortable devices. With our following dehumidifier test 2021 we help you to find the perfect dehumidifier for you.

We show you the advantages and disadvantages of existing dehumidifiers and answer the most important questions. We provide you with comprehensive information about relevant purchase criteria and helpful recommendations for the use and care of a dehumidifier.




Summary

  • Room or air dehumidifiers are devices that help to lower the humidity of the air. This function is ensured by water-binding materials or condensation, which extract the water from their environment.
  • Depending on the area of application, the purchase criteria for a dehumidifier can diverge greatly. Basically, devices without or with low power consumption are suitable for small enclosed rooms. Electric dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are common for long-term applications and a wide operating range.
  • If you do not want to buy a dehumidifier, many DIY stores also offer temporary rental.

The Best Room Dehumidifiers: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for dehumidifiers

Depending on the model and manufacturer, room dehumidifiers have different capabilities and advantages, which we would like to present to you here. The following criteria will help you compare the individual dehumidifiers:

In the next few paragraphs we will explain the meaning behind each criterion.

Efficiency

The efficiency of a room dehumidifier is determined by its absorption capacity and ambient temperature. The absorption capacity is determined by the amount of water the unit absorbs within 24 hours. To determine how high the capacity should be for your area of application, you can use the manufacturer's specifications as a guide.

Here you can quickly find out the scope of use for which the dehumidifier is designed.

At the same time, it is important to consider the recommended ambient temperature for the location of the dehumidifier. Depending on the dehumidification method, the performance of your device can be increased and decreased at low temperatures, for example.

In general, when determining the required capacity, compare the current humidity in the room in question with the desired humidity value. From these considerations you can deduce the optimal performance level.

Mobility

Depending on the area concerned or the frequency of use, it is important to weigh up how mobile the room dehumidifier should be. This is determined by the necessity and type of energy supply as well as the handiness of the device, which is influenced by the weight, a carrying handle and wheels.

For heavy dehumidifiers, carrying handles and rollers can be a significant relief during use.

Electric dehumidifiers can sometimes weigh up to 15 kilograms.

They are useful for large rooms and long-term use, but require a nearby power outlet. Accordingly, it is worthwhile to pay attention to the equipment of the dehumidifier, especially for extensive as well as continuous areas of use. For small rooms and short-term use, granulate dehumidifiers that function without a power supply are sufficient. In most cases, they weigh just one kilogram. Thus, dehumidifiers that do not need a power supply are convincing due to their lightness and compactness.

Volume

Depending on the area of application, the noise level of the dehumidifier is a decisive purchase criterion. Especially in active living areas, the noise level of the device can significantly influence the quality of life. Here you can get an overview of the decibel rating (dB) of the unit and ratings.

In addition, there is the option to identify your own noise tolerance by temporarily renting a dehumidifier. While powerful building dehumidifiers have a high volume development, Peltier dehumidifiers are usually much quieter. However, additional integrated fans can increase the volume. Only granulate dehumidifiers function silently, as no power supply is required for their use.

Heat generation

Depending on the season and your area of application, the heat generated by the dehumidifier can also be a decisive purchase criterion.

As a rule, only electrically driven compression dehumidifiers generate waste heat, which heats up the location of the unit somewhat.

This can be attractive in the case of drying use in winter, as it reduces additional heating costs. In most cases, appliance manufacturers do not provide information about the heat generated by their dehumidification models. If it is a relevant selection criterion in your radius of action, it is best to ask the respective manufacturer or supplier. Existing customer reviews can also provide information on this.

Environmental friendliness

By far the most environmentally friendly solution is preventive measures that avoid increased humidity. However, if this is unavoidable, you can look at the following factors when buying a dehumidifier:

  • Low or no power consumption: This can be achieved especially if you need the dehumidifier for a small area of application. Either a granulate or Peltier dehumidifier is suitable for this.
  • Observe application instructions: Depending on the model, the efficiency can be influenced by the ambient temperature. For example, while low temperatures reduce the efficiency of a compression dehumidifier, they increase the performance of an adsorption dehumidifier.
  • Timer: Timers are a useful extra function, not only to avoid over-drying. By using them, you can use your dehumidifier in a targeted way and avoid unnecessary power consumption.

By taking the above factors into account and using the dehumidifier in an energy-saving way, you will not only protect the environment, but also your wallet.

Decision: What types of dehumidifiers are there and which one is right for you?

If you have already decided to buy a dehumidifier, you can choose between the following product types:

  • Granulate dehumidifier
  • Peltier dehumidifier
  • Adsorption dehumidifier
  • Compression dryer

In the next sections we will go into more detail about the key features of each dehumidifier.

Granular dehumidifier

Granular dehumidifier

The function of granulate dehumidifiers is based on hygroscopic, i.e. water-binding, salts. In this way they remove light Moisture, in the form of steam, from their environment.

Advantages
  • Works without electricity
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Noiseless
  • Low price
Disadvantages
  • Low drying effect
  • Only suitable for local humidity problems of minor extent

Due to its low power, this dehumidifier is suitable for your car, closed storage rooms, cupboards and small bathrooms.

Peltier dehumidifier

Peltier dehumidifier

Due to the Peltier component of these dehumidifiers, they extract moisture from the air by means of a cold housing surface. Their performance is low and therefore suitable for individual rooms, but not for an entire flat.

Advantages
  • No defrosting device
  • Low power consumption
  • Quiet
  • Low price
Disadvantages
  • Small operating radius

To support the drying process with a Peltier dehumidifier, we advise you to keep the rooms concerned closed.

Adsorption dryer

Adsorption dryer

Adsorption dryers are suitable for use in rooms with temperatures below 10 degrees. Their performance even increases the cooler the environment of their location. This makes them advisable for drying measures in unheated cellars. Models of this type extract moisture from their ambient air by means of water-binding substances, usually a hygroscopic liquid. Adsorption dryers are the only dehumidifiers that can realise humidity values far below 30 percent.

Advantages
  • Increased performance at low temperatures
  • High drying effect
Disadvantages
  • High energy consumption
  • Risk of overdrying

With regard to their performance, adsorption dryers have proven their worth even in cases of serious water damage.

Compression dryers

Compression dryers

Compression dryers create a cool surface on their housing due to an integrated refrigerating machine, on which the water from the ambient air can condense. The following applies here: The higher the room temperature and humidity, the more efficiently the unit works.

Advantages
  • High performance
  • Adaptable and suitable for flats of any size
Disadvantages
  • High noise development
  • Power loss at low temperature

Dehumidifiers of this type can be used in a wide range of applications. However, they promise the greatest effect in heated rooms or in the summertime.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about dehumidifiers answered in detail

Before and after buying a dehumidifier, there are some details to consider. We want to provide you with all the helpful information you need in our guide.

When should I use a dehumidifier?

Room dehumidifiers are used to dry rooms and to keep the air humidity in them constant. This ensures better air conditions and the preservation of furnishings and buildings.
At the first sign of excessive humidity, it is important to act quickly.

Indications of excessive humidity are condensation, musty smells, dust mites and mould growth. The latter in particular can pose a major health risk and cause damage to the building. Another area of application for dehumidifiers is water damage. Although the spores of mould fungi are not visible, they can cause severe irritation of the respiratory tract. In the long term, they can even have an allergenic effect.

Raumentfeuchter-1

For an ideal indoor climate that promotes your health and well-being, room dehumidifiers can be an effective support.
(Image source: Nirzar Pangarkar / unsplash)

Favoured by a high moisture content in the air, mould settles most frequently on the walls of rooms. Wallpaper walls are particularly affected by this. In this way, the spores pose a threat not only to health, but also to the fabric of the building. Although the presence of house mites is normal, their excretions can trigger allergies and intensify symptoms in asthmatics.

How does a dehumidifier work?

Depending on the model, dehumidifiers extract water from the ambient air in three different ways:

  • Condensation (or condensation drying): In this mode of operation, the surface temperature of the dehumidifier is kept lower than the dew point of the air by means of a fan. This allows the water vapour to separate as dew and be collected in a condensation tank.
  • Adsorption to an adsorbent: The adsorbents used for this purpose usually consist of silicate gel or salts, on which the moisture is deposited and condenses. The absorption capacity increases with decreasing temperature and increasing humidity.
  • Adsorption into hygroscopic liquids: In this method, the air to be dried is passed through a fan over a hygroscopic liquid, usually an aqueous salt solution. The adsorption capacity of the solution is increased by increasing pressure and water concentration in conjunction with decreasing temperature.

To identify the ideal mode of operation for you, the range of action of the dehumidifier is primarily decisive.

How much power should a dehumidifier have?

In order to choose the right dehumidifier, it is important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the humidity in the room concerned?
  • What value are you aiming for?
  • What is the size of the environment you want to dehumidify?

In order to avoid possible consequences of too high humidity, a guideline value of 45 to 60 percent is recommended. Of course, the humidity level you want depends just as much on your individual well-being.

What does a dehumidifier cost?

The prices of room dehumidifiers vary depending on the model. For the four types of dehumidifiers mentioned above, you can expect the following average costs:
Type price
Granulate and Peltier dehumidifiers 5 to 50 euros
Compression dryers more than 100 euros
Adsorption dryers 300 to 400 euros

If you do not want to buy a dehumidifier for reasons of cost or uncertainty, you have the option of renting one. You can find potential sources for renting a dehumidifier in the next section.

What are the alternatives to a dehumidifier?

If you experience increased humidity with little or no evidence of possible consequences, you can use the following alternative methods with common household remedies:
Method Use
Ventilate Even short bursts of ventilation can be an effective measure against mild humidity problems. This approach is particularly effective in the cold winter months. This is because it is generally true that the greater the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors, the faster the exchange of air takes place.
Home remedies placing bowls of salt or cat litter are also conceivable and inexpensive alternatives.

As a preventive measure, in addition to regular airing, it makes sense to avoid long-term sources of moisture. These sources include wet laundry, indoor fountains and a large number of plants in largely closed rooms.

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Drying your laundry outside your indoor rooms is a sensible preventive measure against increased humidity and its consequences.
(Image source: Jason Briscoe / unsplash)

What extra functions are useful in a room dehumidifier?

The following extra functions can be useful for comfortable and safe use:

  • Overflow protection: This function prevents the collection container from overflowing: as soon as the container is full, the dehumidifier is switched off.
  • Hygrometer & hygrostat function: With the help of a hygrometer you can read the current humidity in the room via a digital display. The hygrostat, in turn, enables automatic adjustment of the drying capacity so that the desired humidity can be kept constant.
  • Timer: With a timer, you have a timer so that the electric dehumidifier switches on automatically during the day, for example.
  • Drain hose: If large amounts of water need to be extracted from particularly humid rooms over a longer period of time, a dehumidifier with a drain hose is a good idea. This allows the condensate to be discharged directly into the drain.
  • Additional filters: In addition to dust filters, dehumidifiers with powerful fans can be combined with an activated carbon filter or ioniser. This additionally purifies the air.
  • Carrying handle or castors: For regular changes of location or particularly heavy dehumidifiers, models equipped with a carrying handle or wheels are recommended.

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For a stress-free and easy use of room dehumidifiers, there is often the possibility to use some extra functions.
(Image source: Drew Coffman / unsplash)

Many of the features mentioned are already an integral part of numerous models. This primarily applies to powerful dehumidifiers with a high absorption capacity.

How do I clean a dehumidifier?

Due to the air filtration, dust deposits occur in the dehumidifier's housing, while germs can multiply in the water tank. Nevertheless, cleaning is only necessary a few times a year in most applications.
A damp cloth or sponge is sufficient for the outer housing, for stubborn dirt you can also use a brush. Before cleaning, make sure that the dehumidifier is disconnected from the power supply and has cooled down.

To remove germs from the collection container, you can use a vinegar solution. You can also use a hoover to clean the fan. We recommend cleaning the dehumidifier from the outside to the inside.

Image source: Boiko/ 123r.com

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