The 3 Best Dehumidifiers of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

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We’ve updated two picks to reflect a refrigerant change and an energy-efficiency upgrade by Frigidaire. We are also planning future testing of machines by Midea and Tosot, among others. Dry Room System

The 3 Best Dehumidifiers of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

If you’ve ever used the words musty, muggy, dank, fuggy, wet, mildewy, or the dreaded moist to describe the air in your home, you may get relief from a dehumidifier.

We say may because, though dehumidifiers do measurably dry the air, they have also long suffered from a shocking rate of mechanical failure. The problem spans multiple brands and years of testing (although we’re cautiously hopeful after the first couple of years with the Midea Cube and its innovative design). With any dehumidifier, we also suggest addressing the causes of moisture-infiltration issues to improve your odds of long-term success.

The huge drainage bucket in this powerful, effective, and reliable dehumidifier means fewer trips to the sink for emptying—but also requires heavy lifting.

Capable performance plus remote monitoring via an app make this model attractive for out-of-the-way areas, but judging from our experience, some Frigidaire dehumidifiers last only a few years.

This compact, efficient, and affordable dehumidifier is designed for smaller spaces such as bedrooms and laundry rooms.

The huge drainage bucket in this powerful, effective, and reliable dehumidifier means fewer trips to the sink for emptying—but also requires heavy lifting.

The Energy Star Most Efficient–rated, Wi-Fi–equipped Midea 50 Pint Cube is unique among 50-pint dehumidifiers in that it can collect 4.25 gallons of water—twice the typical amount. That means fewer trips to empty the bucket.

However, to access the bucket, you have to lift off the upper compressor unit, which weighs 38 pounds, and a full bucket itself weighs 40 pounds. If that task would be difficult for you, draining the Cube passively via a hose is an option, or you might look to our other recommendations, which require far less lifting.

The Cube performed very well in our testing, both in its ability to lower the humidity and in the quietness of its operation. And promisingly, Midea dehumidifiers receive far fewer complaints about mechanical failures than other manufacturers’ machines.

That said, connecting the Midea app can be buggy, the wireless connectivity works only with 2.4 GHz networks, and Midea customer service gets lousy reviews—though we’ve found that to be true for most dehumidifier makers.

Capable performance plus remote monitoring via an app make this model attractive for out-of-the-way areas, but judging from our experience, some Frigidaire dehumidifiers last only a few years.

The ability to monitor and control a dehumidifier remotely is a plus, since these machines often do their work in an out-of-the-way corner of a home, such as in a storage room or basement. The Wi-Fi connectivity of the Frigidaire Gallery FGAC5045W1 allows you to monitor and control it via Frigidaire’s app (iOS and Android), and you can also sync it with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control.

The app is easy to set up. We found its alerts to be accurate, and we were able to cycle the dehumidifier through its settings with a touch of the screen.

The 2.1-gallon bucket in the FGAC5045W1 requires more frequent dumping than that of the Midea Cube, but it weighs only about 20 pounds when full, and it simply slides out, without requiring you to lift a heavy compressor unit. Like the Cube, the FGAC5045W1 carries an Energy Star Most Efficient rating.

In owner reviews, Frigidaire dehumidifiers receive more complaints of mechanical failure than the Midea Cube does, but Frigidaire’s superior app makes this dehumidifier worthy of consideration if you need remote monitoring and control.

This compact, efficient, and affordable dehumidifier is designed for smaller spaces such as bedrooms and laundry rooms.

Frigidaire’s FFAD2234W1 dehumidifier is smaller than our other picks—think carry-on bag versus suitcase—and costs far less. It’s less powerful, too. But all of that makes it a better choice for smaller spaces such as laundry rooms, where a burlier machine would be overkill.

It has Energy Star Most Efficient certification, comfortable pocket handles, and the same handy cord storage that the larger Frigidaire Gallery FGAC5045W1 provides.

Like most small dehumidifiers, the FFAD2234W1 lacks a pump, so you have to empty the bucket manually (a full bucket weighs about 12 pounds) or place the machine where it can drain into a sink or a floor drain. Although it has performed reliably in our testing, this model, which carries a one-year warranty, shares the common dehumidifier problem of simply not lasting as long as many people expect it to.

If you have a cellar or basement—especially one with a persistent musty smell—you may benefit from a dehumidifier. Such spaces are prone to elevated humidity due to groundwater penetration, and humidity that’s consistently above 60% or so can promote mold, mildew, and insect infestation. Those spaces frequently lack air conditioning and heating, too, both of which help keep the air dry in the rest of the home. An inexpensive hygrometer, such as the AcuRite hygrometer we use in our testing, can help you pinpoint any suspected problem areas.

Laundry rooms can also get damp, and enclosed porches and garages can be a problem because they tend not to be sealed as well from the outside elements as the rest of a home; they may also benefit from dehumidification.

We do not recommend using dehumidifiers in bathrooms, however, because of the risk of electrical shock. It’s safer to use bathroom exhaust fans or to simply keep bathroom doors open to let the air equalize with the humidity in the rest of the home.

If you have an alternate means to dry out a space, such as a window air conditioner or a central HVAC system, the results are usually more reliable than what you can get from a dehumidifier. If your home’s high humidity comes from a leaky wall or roof, the only long-term solution is to fix the root cause. We’ve covered a lot of home-moisture scenarios—from routine to catastrophic—in guides to items such as wet/dry vacs, as well as in a firsthand account of cleaning a flooded basement.

Water damage in the home requires immediate attention. Knowing what to do—and how to be prepared—saves time and money.

For this guide, we have always focused on condensing dehumidifiers, the most common and practical type for homeowners. These machines work by drawing air over chilled metal fins, causing water vapor in the air to condense and collect in a bucket, from which you then manually empty the water, pump it out, or passively drain it.

We have also always focused on two “sizes” of dehumidifier: those meant for keeping large or challenging spaces, like cellars, comfortably dry, and those meant for smaller and simpler spaces, such as a bedroom or laundry room. Under current Department of Energy regulations, these machines are commonly designated as 50-pint models (for spaces of up to about 1,200 square feet) and 20-pint models (for spaces of up to around 500 square feet). The pint number refers to the volume of water that a dehumidifier can remove from the air over the course of 24 hours, not the capacity of its bucket.

Because the Department of Energy regulations strictly constrain performance and energy-efficiency requirements, most dehumidifiers within a given “size” category work about the same. So we consider several other factors in narrowing our choices, including the following:

Ease of setup, maintenance, and operation: Dehumidifiers are heavy, so it’s a plus if they have comfortable, sturdy handles and smooth-rolling wheels. Simple, well-lit controls are nice to have, too, as you may be running one of these machines in a dark basement.

Livability: Quiet operation is important in a dehumidifier, especially one that you’re using in a living space. Features such as built-in cord storage and easy-to-access drainage points (when you’re hooking up a hose for passive draining or removing it when the machine is not in use) make a dehumidifier less of a hassle to operate.

Owner reviews: Dehumidifiers are often asked to work around the clock for years at a time, so the long-term observations of owners is a valuable, if unscientific, record of their collective experiences with a given model—both positive and negative.

Pump-equipped options: Pump-equipped dehumidifiers can send the condensed moisture upward into a sink or out a window. That feature lets you use them in almost any cellar or basement, even those lacking floor drains, and theoretically it means that you won’t ever have to empty the bucket manually. However, pumps add up-front cost, and pump failures are common. We no longer prioritize a pump option in our picks, though we do note when one is available.

R-32 refrigerant: This type of refrigerant is replacing the previous standard refrigerant, R-410A, in many condensing appliances, including dehumidifiers. R-32 is more efficient and has lower global warming potential (GWP), so we prioritize its use.

We’ve tested dehumidifiers multiple times, in multiple settings, including in a pair of unsealed, chronically damp basements in Buffalo, New York, but since 2020 we’ve run the machines in a 135-square-foot (13.5-by-10-foot) basement office at Wirecutter’s Long Island City, New York, headquarters.

We use one of our humidifier picks to raise the humidity in the room, closing off the air-conditioning vents with tape and foil to minimize their effect on our readings. We then run each dehumidifier twice, once with both it and the humidifier on their highest settings, and once with each machine on low. These tests simulate, respectively, conditions in a very damp cellar after a rain event and conditions in a moderately humid living space. We run each test for an hour, during which we monitor the change in humidity using a digital hygrometer.

To get a sense of the dehumidifiers’ livability in a bedroom or a living room, we also measure their noise output from a distance of 6 feet.

Finally, we run each machine in an overnight shakedown test in the ambient conditions of our 3,100-square-foot open-floor-plan basement test space to discern their extended performance and to assess their ability to reach and maintain a target humidity.

When relevant, we test the functionality and ease of installation (or lack thereof) of the apps associated with Wi-Fi–enabled models.

The huge drainage bucket in this powerful, effective, and reliable dehumidifier means fewer trips to the sink for emptying—but also requires heavy lifting.

The Midea 50 Pint Cube is a solid performer that’s quieter than any other dehumidifier we’ve tried, and we’ve seen fewer reports of problems with Midea dehumidifiers relative to those from other major brands. The Cube doesn’t look or work like any other dehumidifier we’ve tested, and that’s a good thing—mostly.

It has greater capacity than other models. Whereas other dehumidifiers are single, self-contained machines, the Cube consists of two parts: a condenser unit and a separate bucket that it sits atop when in use and nestles inside for storage. That design gives the Cube more than twice the typical capacity of other 50-pint dehumidifiers. It can collect 4.25 gallons of condensed water vapor, so you can go several days without needing to empty it, whereas competitors’ buckets often require daily emptying. This is a major distinction of the Cube, and we believe that it adds a lot of convenience, but it can also make the Cube physically difficult to manage.

It has a reputation for reliability. Every other dehumidifier we’ve looked at over the years—even those we’ve made our top recommendation—has had a worrisome number of complaints about short service life and catastrophic mechanical failures. On retailer comment boards, the majority of dehumidifier owners have reported themselves as happy with their machines, but a steady 8% to 12% have reported that their dehumidifier went kaput within a year or so. The Midea Cube lineup has been available for several years at this point, and reports of such failures for the Cube models are much less frequent.

It offers solid performance. The Cube reduced humidity just as well as most other 50-pint machines we tested, lowering humidity by about 13% over the course of an hour when set on high and by about 11% on low. (The humidifier we used to create a damp atmosphere was running on the same settings simultaneously.) Thanks to its daily capacity of 50 pints of moisture removal, it’s capable of drying out large spaces, up to about 1,200 square feet.

It’s energy efficient. All of the Midea Cube dehumidifiers have an Energy Star Most Efficient rating, thanks in part to their use of the R-32 refrigerant (which also has a lower global warming potential than its predecessor, R-410A). That said, keep in mind that all dehumidifiers consume considerable power when their compressors are running, namely when they are removing moisture from the air. We measured the 50-pint Midea Cube at 460 watts when we set it on high.

It provides quiet operation. We measured the Cube at 51 decibels from 6 feet away with the machine’s fan on high and its compressor running. It’s the quietest 50-pint dehumidifier we’ve seen so far in our testing. When the compressor is not running, the fan emits an unobtrusive white noise, akin to that of a room fan or AC vent.

That big bucket comes with a big “but.” Taking full advantage of the Cube’s capacity can require a lot of fairly heavy lifting. To empty the bucket, you first have to lift the 38-pound compressor unit off. Then you have to maneuver the bucket—which also weighs nearly 40 pounds, when full of water—to wherever you can pour it out. The wide, comfortable handles help, but gravity is unforgiving. Based on our own testing and many positive owner reviews, we believe the trade-off is worth making, but it’s not for everybody.

The casters don’t help much. The Cube comes with easy-to-install casters to help you roll it around, but they are cartoonishly small—about an inch in diameter, by our measurements—and they were of little use in our tests on uneven concrete floors, like what you might have in a basement.

If this model is too heavy, you have some options. Midea’s 20 Pint Cube is somewhat lighter overall, as its condenser unit is about 30 pounds, and its full bucket weighs about the same. You can also set the 50 Pint Cube to turn off with its bucket less than full, reducing the weight that you have to lift. Or you can passively empty the Cube into a sink or a floor drain via the included hose. Alternatively, consider our other picks: The 50-pint Frigidaire Gallery FGAC5045W1’s bucket weighs about 20 pounds when full, whereas the 22-pint Frigidaire FFAD2233W1’s bucket weighs about 14 pounds; in neither case do you have to lift anything but the tank. A pump-equipped version of the Midea 50 Pint Cube is also available, but if the pump fails—and they are prone to—you’re stuck with manual or passive draining.

The app may cause issues. The most common complaints from Midea Cube owners are that the app is buggy and hard to sync with a smartphone (all the models are Wi-Fi equipped), that the touted Alexa integration is unreliable, and that Midea customer service is of little help. We experienced the connectivity issue, even when using a known 2.4 GHz network, and we were never able to use the app. A Midea representative sent us an internal training video, and it showed that the app, when it’s working, displays your space’s current humidity level, lets you turn the machine on and off, and allows you to change settings such as the fan speed, target humidity, and timers. It also sends full-bucket alerts.

A less common but not infrequent complaint is that the Cube’s humidity sensor is inaccurate. In our testing, it tracked about 5% above the pair of AcuRite hygrometers we used to take measurements. That result is not ideal, but the sensor is still accurate enough for most people’s needs.

The owner manual is sparsely written, and its diagrams are vague to the point of uselessness. Midea’s how-to video, thankfully, is a model of clarity.

Capable performance plus remote monitoring via an app make this model attractive for out-of-the-way areas, but judging from our experience, some Frigidaire dehumidifiers last only a few years.

If smart control is important to you, the Wi-Fi–equipped Frigidaire Gallery FGAC5045W1 has a particular advantage over the Midea 50 Pint Cube: In our tests, its app was stable and easy to connect with, and it delivered accurate alerts when the machine’s bucket got full. (Both dehumidifiers work only on 2.4 GHz wireless networks.)

But the FGAC5045W1 has some drawbacks that made us reluctant to select it as our top pick.

It needs more frequent dumping. The FGAC5045W1’s smaller bucket capacity (2.1 gallons versus the Cube’s 4.25 gallons) is a disadvantage if you have to drain it manually, because it requires you to do so twice as often as our top pick does.

It may not last as long. A significant percentage of Frigidaire dehumidifiers receive reports of mechanical failure from owners. (This model, which uses the newer R-32 refrigerant, has not, as of September 2023, been available long enough for us to know whether that pattern has changed.) We’ve seen similar rates of failure in competitors from GE and other well-known brands; so far, Midea’s dehumidifiers prompt fewer such complaints in comparison.

But it tests well. On the most important metric—the ability to remove moisture from the air—this Frigidaire model excelled in our tests, dropping the humidity in our space by 12% on high and by 15% on low over the course of an hour. In addition to working with its useful app, it can respond to voice controls through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

It’s pretty easy to live with. A tuck-away handle and a cord hanger make the FGAC5045W1 easy to move in and out of storage. The hose attachment—which you use for passive draining into a sink or a floor drain—is easier to access than in some competitors’ cramped, knuckle-scraping designs. And the FGAC5045W1 is much quieter than the discontinued Frigidaire FGAC7044U1, a prior smart-dehumidifier pick.

A note on air filtration: Beyond the primary dehumidifying function, the FGAC5045W1 also contains an ionizing “air purifier.” As we do with the ionizers found in some of our air-purifier picks, we recommend leaving that feature off, as ionizers are of dubious utility and can generate small amounts of ozone. But in addition to the washable prefilter that the machine comes with, which is there to capture relatively large airborne contaminants such as pet hair, Frigidaire sells two upgraded filters, the RAC-1 and RAC-2, that can capture small airborne particles such as pollen and mold spores. These are not true HEPA filters, but they are worth considering if you’re concerned about the air quality in the space you’re dehumidifying.

This compact, efficient, and affordable dehumidifier is designed for smaller spaces such as bedrooms and laundry rooms.

If you need to dehumidify a smallish space (up to about 500 square feet), such as a laundry room or bedroom, a 20-pint dehumidifier is plenty—and will cost you less up front and to operate over the long term. Our pick among such machines is the 22-pint Frigidaire FFAD2234W1 dehumidifier.

It performs well for its size. This model did well in our office test space, dropping the humidity by 6% in an hour on both high and low (with a humidifier constantly adding moisture back into the air at the same time). That’s about half the performance we got from the more powerful 50-pint machines, which makes sense: The FFAD2234W1 has only about half the larger machines’ moisture-removing capacity. Its bucket, at 1.125 gallons by our measurement, is the smallest among the models in our test group and the lightest when full (about 12 pounds).

It earned good marks in efficiency, noise, and design. The FFAD2234W1 has an Energy Star Most Efficient rating. With the compressor on, it draws 260 watts—less than half of what its 50-pint cousins use—so it can save you a few bucks on your electrical bill. The low setting is quiet enough to sleep near, and the sound mostly consists of the white noise of the fan, not the mechanical chugging of the compressor. The FFAD2234W1 also shares several of the design details that give the 50-pint Frigidaire models the edge in their category, including the cord hanger and the user-friendly external drain-hose attachment.

We plan to test more dehumidifiers from Midea in the future, including those with a more conventional design, such as the MAD50C1ZWS and MAD50PS1WBL. We don’t have any indication that these models share the design touches that make the Midea Cube such a standout, but the company has produced several successful appliances in recent years.

We will continue to look out for lesser-known brands at retail, and with reliability in mind, we will be looking for well-reviewed warranty service and customer support. (Although availability is limited for a lot of these niche names, we have kept an eye out for models from Tosot, for example.)

The pump-equipped and Wi-Fi–enabled GE APHR50LB performed fine in our 2023 testing, but design shortcomings such as slippery, shallow pocket handles—not safe for moving a 44-pound machine—and a hard-to-access hose connection for passive draining prompted us to dismiss it.

The Hisense HT5021KP is inexpensive for a 50-pint dehumidifier, and it could be worth a shot if you need help with a temporary humidity issue such as wet drywall from a minor plumbing leak. But the high rate of mechanical failure evident in buyer reviews led us to dismiss it.

We looked at and dismissed hOmeLabs’s dehumidifiers, which had design shortcomings like those that prompted us to pass on the GE APHR50LB and were very similar to it overall. We were never able to reach a company representative or get any useful information about the machines from customer service.

Two LG dehumidifiers, the barebones LG UD501KOG5 and the pump- and Wi-Fi–equipped LG UD501KOJ5, performed just as well as other 50-pint models in our testing. However, their compressors emitted a persistent mechanical hum that we easily heard over their fans’ white noise. They also have the most difficult passive-drain hose hookup of all the dehumidifiers we’ve tested, requiring you to remove an extremely stiff cap from the body of the machine and then thread an adapter into the tight confines of the bucket compartment.

For previous versions of this guide, we had difficulty getting customer support from Whynter; we believe that more widely available brands will serve you better on warranties and repairs.

This article was edited by Harry Sawyers.

Tim Heffernan is a senior staff writer focusing on air and water quality and home energy efficiency. A former writer for The Atlantic, Popular Mechanics, and other national magazines, he joined Wirecutter in 2015. He owns three bikes and zero derailleurs.

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The 3 Best Dehumidifiers of 2024 | Reviews by Wirecutter

Dehumidifier System To Remove Moisture Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).