14 Best Dehumidifiers: Tackle Damp & Mould - GQ Editor's top picks | British GQ

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14 Best Dehumidifiers: Tackle Damp & Mould - GQ Editor's top picks | British GQ

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By Emily Peck , Esat Dedezade and Daphne Bugler

Keep your home as box fresh as your trainers with one of the best dehumidifiers

If you’re someone who likes to dry their best clobber on the bedroom radiator, or find that your kitchen gets a bit too steamy whenever you whip out the Our Place pan to cook, one of the best dehumidifiers can be an excellent gadget to have to hand this season to tackle those all too high humidity levels.

The best dehumidifiers, of course, do a great job at extracting excess moisture from the air to limit any potential damp, mould and condensation problems. Every home can be prone to these problems in some shape or form - a musty smell in the hall, damp stains on the wall, wet windows in the morning or spots in the bathroom silicone sealant are all tell-tale signs that mould and condensation are present. This can not only be unpleasant for your home decor, but it can also be potentially harmful to your health. Investing in one of the best dehumidifiers can help, however.

You can now find a wide range of designs online that cater for various budgets, room sizes, and moisture levels. There are automatic smart models that turn on if your home reaches a certain level of humidity, and switches off after a set period or when the water tank is full, and those that combine both air purifying and dehumidifying settings in one.

‘Damp can be a big problem in the winter months,’ says Lara Brittain, kitchen expert at Currys, who has seen an increase in sales of dehumidifiers over the last six weeks with sales up by 188 per cent. ‘Whether you’re drying your clothes indoors - rather than on the washing line outside - or if your home is just more prone to damp and mould, a dehumidifier can be a great investment during the colder months.’

Read on to discover the GQ edit and top pick of best dehumidifiers and smart dehumidifiers that will help to see you in good stead this season.

Russell Hobbs 600ml Fresh Air Mini Compact Grey Dehumidifier

Ideal for small spaces, the sub £100 Russell Hobbs portable dehumidifier is one of our best-buys, and can extract up to 750ml water per day. It’s suitable for rooms up to 20m² and has an auto cut-off and defrost function for peace of mind.

We like the great-value Princess 368015 (£200) that works well in rooms up to 20m². It comes with caster wheels that makes it easy to manoeuvre and a 3.7L removable water reservoir. There are also three speed settings and an automatic shut off for when the reservoir is full.

Meaco Arete Dehumidifier & Air Purifier

The Meaco Arete Dehumidifier & Air Purifier (£299.99) removes water between 10°C and 20°C efficiently and doubles up an air purifier to remove 99.95% of particles from the air too.

SKIP TO: What are the best dehumidifiers for drying clothes? | How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier? | Why use a dehumidifier? | What do I need to consider when buying a dehumidifier? | What are the different types of dehumidifiers? | Do you have to clean a dehumidifier? | How we choose/test the best dehumidifiers

One of the less spoken about benefits of a dehumidifier is how it can actually speed up your clothes drying. If you don’t have a tumble dryer and tend to spend the winter months waiting three or more days for your clothes to still feel a tiny bit damp, popping a dehumidifier in your room can make a surprisingly big difference. It works, as you’d expect, by reducing the humidity in the air around the clothes, allowing the moisture in the clothes to evaporate faster. The tricky here is to opt for a larger dehumidifier as there will be more moisture to be sucked out of the air, and then to make sure you’re placing it in a location near your laundry.

With energy prices still quite high, the cost of running electrical appliances such as a dehumidifier can be of concern for your future energy bills. How much electricity you use, however, can depend on the wattage of the device and how energy efficient the model is.

‘To calculate the running costs your dehumidifier the calculation is: power rating (kW)] x [time in use (h)] x [price of electricity (£0.34p per kWh),’ says Ava Pope, Energy Saving Expert at Love Energy Savings.

‘For example, a dehumidifier that can extract up to 20 litres a day - with a wattage of 480w - would use 0.48 kWh, meaning that an hour's usage would cost just under 16p. In comparison, a dehumidifier that can extract up to 12 litres a day - with a wattage of 157w (0.157 kWh) - would cost just over 5p an hour.’

Keep in mind, that running a dehumidifier can help a lot with laundry drying, which can save you with the costs of running a tumble dryer too much in the winter.

The best dehumidifiers work by pulling water from the air, fast and efficiently. ‘Typical problems from excess moisture include creaking floorboards, warped wood, peeling paint and insects such as silverfish coming into your home,’ points out Lara Brittain, Kitchen Expert at Currys. ‘Dehumidifiers are great as they pull water from the air, and the best ones do it quickly and at room temperature without using too much energy.’

You will need to empty the water tank regularly once it is full, so if it’s too small for the room and task in hand, you’ll be doing this more often than not. To combat this, look for a design with a large water-collecting tank that caters for your needs or opt for a design with a continuous drain facility to connect a hose to drain away the water if needed. It’s also worth keeping an eye out on extra features like Alexa compatibility, Wi-Fi, and low energy usage levels.

Think about how much space you want to cover and make sure the dehumidifier can handle your room size – particularly if it’s more than one.

Consider the maximum noise level of your dehumidifier as you’ll want to make sure that it doesn’t interrupt your sleep or annoy you when you’re trying to relax. Decibel levels vary – the MeacoDry Arete One is a whisper quiet at 40 dB, while the Princess 368016 Dehumidifier measures at around 47 decibels, for example.

Do you have space to house the dehumidifier in the room that you want to place it in? Some designs can be clunky and a bit of an eyesore, so it’s worth checking the design fits before you buy.

A dehumidifier with a humidistat will turn itself on or off, while a timer will be handy if you want to set and forget and save on electricity usage costs.

While you'd think dehumidifiers would all be pretty similar, there are actually quite a few different types of dehumidifiers that you need to get your head around, mainly compressor (or refrigerant) and desiccant dehumidifiers, with the most noticeable difference being what kind of air comes out. Compressor dehumidifiers will heat up the air to be about 2 degrees higher than when it came into the machine, while desiccant models will heat it up significantly warmer (we're talking 10-12 degrees higher). Desiccant models can also work at quite low temperatures, meaning they make for a good option if you need to put something in your garage, or an area that isn't heated too often, while some other models use a refrigerant method to extract moisture from the air that doesn't function super well outside.

It's definitely recommended to clean your dehumidifier regularly. Once every one or two weeks should be more than enough for most people, and the process may differ slightly depending on your model In general though, you can wipe the outside with a damp cloth, and clean/rinse out the removable tank with soapy water to help keep it fresh. Some models have built-in air filters which can also be removed/cleaned/replaced, so it's best to follow the guidance in the manual for your specific machine.

We've made our selection of the best dehumidifiers based on a number of criteria. One of these is our own personal experience with various models of dehumidifiers over the years having tested them in our own damp-ridden London flats and homes to see how well they fared. And when we couldn't get our hands on a model to test ourselves, we took detailed notes from those who had and compared their specs against the ones we know and love. We've also chosen a selection across a range of sizes and price points, with some best for the bedroom and for smaller or larger spaces.

Pros: Great for small rooms, compact and easy to store on the desk, price Cons: Only extracts up to 300ml per day

The CD20LE is a superb all-round pick that hits a very tempting balance between top performance, and a more affordable (but still not budget) price. A 20l/day extraction rate is nothing to be sniffed at, and neither is the generous 6l capacity tank. It has all the modes you're likely to need, including a powerful laundry mode, and a smart mode that automatically turns it on and off depending on the reading of the room humidity. You can turn off all the display lights for a darker room at night, and it also doubles up as an air filter too, ticking more boxes than other similarly priced rivals. With a smart white and black appearance, it's one of the better choices out there for most people, as long as they've got a reasonable amount of space to slot it into.

Pros: Great for small rooms, compact and easy to store on the desk, price Cons: Only extracts up to 300ml per day

This Russell Hobbs mini dehumidifier is easy to store and compact and under £100, which is why we’ve highlighted it as our best budget buy. While the water tank can hold up to 600ml, it can only extract up to 300ml per 24 hours, however. But this means that you’ll be able to go for two days without having to empty it. Its small size - measuring just 22cm high - also makes it a good option for areas that are tight on space such as on the desktop, in a bedroom or utility room. It also comes with an auto-shut off when the tank gets full and a defrost feature for when the temperature drops.

Pros: Can be set up with a drainage hose, plenty of settings to choose from Cons: Large

If you’re tired of always having to empty your dehumidifier and are planning on using it for the long term, rather than just pulling it out as and when you need it in the winter, ProBreeze’s model is the perfect problem solver. Capable of extracting 12 litres of moisture from the water per day, it’s a good dehumidifier choice for larger rooms and homes, and for those that have year-round problems you can use the optional continuous drainage hose to link it to your plumbing to stop you from having to empty it on a regular (or even daily) basis. The 24 hour auto-on and off timers and sleep modes can be set up with the automatic humidity sensor as well, meaning you can pretty much just leave it to do its thing and carry on with your new damp-free life.

Pros: Whisper-quiet operation, doubles as an air purifier to help with air quality, includes laundry mode, shows you the current humidity rating on a screen, high extraction rate Cons: Price, bulky

This may be one of the pricier dehumidifiers in our round-up, but it doubles up as an air purifier too, which means you could potentially be saving money over buying two dedicated machines separately. At the very least, there's something to be said for the space efficiency that a two-in-one unit like this unlocks, especially if your home is cluttered with enough tech as it is. At just 40 dB, it’s one of the quieter models you can buy so you’ll hardly notice it make a noise – even on the highest fan speed at 42dB – which is reassuring if you’re looking to use it in your bedroom as you sleep. In use, it's designed to extract water from the air most effectively between 10°C and 20°C, which is ideal for the average British household. It also has a large 4.8L water tank that is easy to empty using the carry handle, with a sleek white and black colour and pleasing design, as well as the incorporation of a hepa filter that rounds off the whole package rather nicely.

Pros: Attractive design, quiet, filters air Cons: On the pricier side

One of the more attractive dehumidifiers you’re likely to come across, De’Longhi’s rather handsome offering breaks the mould of its cookie-cutter white box rivals by daring for a dark dash of navy blue. While it might not be to everyone's taste or fit your decor, we applaud the fact that it's at least trying something a little different. Bring on even more hues, we say. Looks aside, there's plenty of practical things to get excited about as well. Double filtration courtesy of a built-in filtertakes care of dust and allergens, for a start, and it's removable and washable too, letting you prevent too much dust from accumulating over time. A quiet operation of 40 decibels keeps things calm and serene when in use, while a relatively manageable weight of 9.5kg means you can move it around between different rooms without breaking too much of a sweat. You’re paying a price for its looks, mind, but at least you won’t be ashamed of leaving it in full view.

Pros: Two drainage methods provide convenient flexibility, with quiet operation Cons: Design may be too plain for some

Costway's dehumidifier is capable of extracting 12 litres of water a day from the surrounding air, with a generous 2-litre tank capacity. Promising to dry larger rooms, it has an LED touch control panel for easy use, letting you adjust the humidity setting from 30-80%, while blue, green, and red lights indicate the current levels at a glance. With a quiet operation, a 24-hour timer and a washable filter, it has everything you need to dry clothes and keep pesky damp at bay. Better yet, you can choose between two water removal options — continuous draining via an attached tube for a more permanent, hassle-free setup, or a water tank which can be easily removed and emptied.

Pros: Great for small rooms, compact and easy to store on the desk, price Cons: Only extracts up to 300ml per day

EcoAir's offering differs from some of the other options on our list, as it's a desiccant dehumidifier. While most compressor dehumidifiers work using condensers to cool drawn-in air to extract the water, they tend only to work well in relatively warm temperatures (around 20 degrees celsius). Desiccant units, on the other hand, can extract the same amount of water out of the air in temperatures ranging from 1-20 degrees celsius, as they use special chemicals to absorb the moisture from the air. With an 11-litre per day operation and a 4.2-litre tank, this quiet, l[lightweight dehumidifier from EcoAir not only performs well, but also has an antibacterial filter along with a powerful laundry function ti turbo-charge your drying time.

Pros: Includes a drain hose if you'd rather not empty all the time Cons: Not as powerful as some of the more advanced models

Finding a dehumidifier that actually works well for less than £100 isn’t an easy feat, and while we do champion the nice and compact Russell Hobbs model, if you want something a bit bigger that still isn’t too expensive, this one from Banrin makes for a good option. It’s worth mentioning straight off the bat, that you do get what you pay for in the dehumidifier world, and to tackle more serious cases of dampness you should really invest in a Meaco or a ProBreeze, but if you just need a little bit of assistance during the colder months, this model from Banrin should make a good start. Easy to set up with a quiet running system, you can set it up with the drainage hose, should you want to, or just with the water tank that incorporates an automatic shut-off for when it gets too full. It looks good too, something you can’t often say about such clunky machines, with a sleek white design and smart LED screen. £96 £90. At

Pros: Easy clean filter, automatic shut off, low wattage Cons: White finish may not be easy to disguise in your living room

The slim design of this Princess dehumidifier allows it to slip into narrower spaces than some of its rivals. It comes in a simple white finish, with touch controls on top that allow you to change the speed settings with ease. At 47 decibels, it’s average in terms of noise levels and hums away gently to extract moisture from the air. It has a 3.7L tank and automatic shut-off when the reservoir is full so you don’t have to worry about any water overspilling. It’s 13kg weight might seem intimidating on paper, but fear not — it has easy-steer castor wheels for effortless manoeuvrability, with a flexible 1.5m cord for a respectable reach for the nearest plug socket. Depending on which of the three speed settings you choose, it's optimised to extract up to 16L moisture per day, which should be more than enough for even the most humid of environments. A washable filter lets you quickly keep on top of any accumulating dust as well.

Pros: Compact and quiet, this particular model stands out with its black colour option and ease of use Cons: Not suitable for larger spaces

This all-black offering stands out from the white crowd (although there is a more traditional white option if you prefer). Its major selling point apart from its rather chic design, is its slim footprint, letting it slot unassumingly into smaller spaces. A generous 2.2 litre tank and 800ml of water removal per day make for infrequent emptying, though this also means it's best suited to smaller spaces rather than larger rooms. With around 25dB of noise in use, it's one of the quieter options on our list, with a 25-hour timer, auto shut-off and auto defrost options ticking off the features list rather nicely.

Pros: Doubles up as a nightlight, good coverage, price Cons: Max noise level not stated, wattage not stated online

What sets this Pro Breeze dehumidifier apart from other designs is its rainbow LED light that can add ambient lighting to your room. You can choose from one of six vibrant colours, which comes in useful if you’re using it in the bedroom and want a nightlight, although you can also choose to have it turned off while in use. Sure, some people might find it unnecessary and/or gaudy, but if you're all about that RGB life, then this should definitely be on your shortlist. Aesthetics aside, there's also some practicality to the LED madness — the water tank will also turn red when it’s full so you know when to empty it. The dehumidifier is designed to remove up to 450ml of moisture per day but also has a handy timer that switches off after four hours, which is ideal if you’re going out or want to use it through the night. While its water tank volume is 1000ml, it has the ability to remove up to 600ml per day.

Pros: Small and affordable Cons: Doesn’t have a large capacity so won’t make much difference in larger rooms or homes

If you’re after a dehumidifier for small spaces, or just for a bedroom or single room, this Conopu one is a super affordable option that’ll make a good dent on the amount of dampness in the air. Compared to the larger models that can extract up to 25 litres from the air per day, this only has a capacity of 300ml, meaning it’s good for a very small spaces, or just for reducing small amounts of damp. The fun part as well, is that while some dehumidifiers can be much more intense and industrial looking, Conopu’s incorporates seven colours that can add a bit of ambience and atmosphere to your space while doing their job.

Pros: 8 hour timer, 5 humidity settings, good-value Cons: A little louder than some, simple white design

The high-quality compressor on this Logik models removes moisture effectively across a 40 m² space, which makes it a good option if you want to tackle a large area. It has a water tank capacity of up to 3.8 litres, but is powerful enough to remove up to an impressive 20 litres per day - although you will need to be on hand to empty the water each time the tank fills up. With a long 1.8m cord, wheels and carry handle, it’s easy to move around your home too — as long as you're not planning on shifting it up or down the stairs too often. Its 14.8kg weight isn't exactly back-breaking, but it's definitely heavy enough to make the act of regularly carrying it a bit of a bothersome experience. While it’s quite a large design, we still think it’s sleek enough to sit unobtrusively in the corner of your room so it doesn’t interfere too much with your decor.

Pros: Quiet operation, good room range Cons: Water level indicator could be larger, only has one setting

It might not win the award for the most attractive or ground-breaking dehumidifier on our list, but that's not to say that Challenge's offering is ugly. Yes, it's a plain white box, but it's hardly an eyesore— and it's no slouch in the performance department either. Depending on the settings you can extract up to 10 litres of water per day in this design, which has a water tank that measures 2.1litres. It has a good recommended room range that is larger than your average dehumidifier, and for this reason we think it’s great value. At 43dB it’s also very quiet in operation, which is reassuring if you want to use it through the night. It has just one setting and a very discreet water indicator on the side of the design that you’ll need to keep an eye on should you want to empty the water tank. It also comes with an auto-shut off feature so you needn’t worry about it overspilling.

Pros: Covers a large area, comes with air purifying features Cons: Price, basic white design

This Igenix dehumidifier may be more expensive than most, but it's with good reason. It's a mighty powerful bit of kit, with the ability to extract up to a whopping 50 litres of moisture from the air per day. That much moisture-sucking needs an equally capacious tank to match, so there's a generously sized six-litre tank to help ensure that the average user won't be constantly emptying it out. Capable of working in a space up to 115m2, it can also cover a much larger footfall than most designs we’ve seen. It has two fan speeds and two dehumidifying modes that you can adjust depending on the job at hand, while it also has the benefit of an active carbon filter and ioniser function to purify the air, adding an extra bit of functionality to its already impressive repertoire.

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