The best dehumidifiers for removing damp and drying clothes


Your home is almost certainly stocked with all the essential appliances, but what about a dehumidifier? It might not be on your wedding present list, but they’re an invaluable addition to any home — particularly if your home has damp or mould, or someone in your home suffers from allergies.

A dehumidifier can also save you money on bills, which is especially welcome as we head into winter and the cost of living crisis.

But which dehumidifier should you buy? Let’s be honest: Unless you’re a moisture expert, dehumidifiers all look the same. It’s hard to know what tech is right for you and your home. That’s why we’re here to help. Let’s get started with some basic information.

What is a dehumidifier?

Ultimately, a dehumidifier is a unit that sits in the corner of the room and sucks moisture out of the air. This means cleaner, healthier air. Just set the humidity level you want and let the machine do its thing. The recommended humidity in your home is between 40 and 60% during the summer months and somewhere between 30 and 50% when it gets colder. Anything over 60% and then humid conditions can lead to damp, condensation, mould, and bacteria. This is especially problematic for asthma and allergy sufferers, as mould can cause respiratory problems. Carpets in damp environments can also retain moisture and attract dust mites.

How do dehumidifiers work?

There are two main types of dehumidifiers. Refrigerant dehumidifiers (which are also known as compressors) work by using a cold coil, which draws condensation out of the air when it makes contact with the cold surface of the coil. That condensation then drips into a tank (which can vary in capacity).

Alternatively, desiccant dehumidifiers pass the air over a wheel that’s coated with a water absorbing material known as a desiccant (a bit like how a sponge works). The desiccant is regenerated by an internal heater, so the moisture drips into the tank.

Desiccant dehumidifiers can let off some heat — ideal for unheated rooms — while refrigerant dehumidifiers struggle in colder temperatures.

How much water does a dehumidifier collect?

Dehumidifiers are generally listed by their moisture-collecting quota per day, from 10 litres to 20-plus litres every 24 hours. It’s worth noting that some models are advertised based on performance in countries with more humidity than the UK, and you’re unlikely to actually collect 25 litres every day. Remember that dehumidifiers have a maximum water tank capacity, usually between 1 and 4 litres. So even if you’re collecting litres upon litres of water from the air, the tank will need to be regularly emptied. Unless it has a continuous drain function, in which case you can attach a hose to the ring from the unit to a drain.

Where should you place a dehumidifier?

The obvious answer is to put the dehumidifier in rooms with a damp problem. Close the windows and doors, too. If it’s a bathroom, put the dehumidifier outside the door and let the unit suck moisture out of the room.. 

Can you use a dehumidifier to dry clothes?

Yes, absolutely. In the winter months, using a dehumidifier for drying clothes is a real game changer. It saves you expensive trips to the laundrette or the cost of running your own dryer — or even cramming your radiator with wet clothes. Besides, wet clothes on radiators or clothes racks are only adding moisture to the air in your home. For best results, hang your washing on a rack alongside your dehumidifier in a small room. The dehumidifier will draw the wetness out from your clothes so that they dry more quickly. 

How does a dehumidifier save money?

As well as saving on laundrette costs, a dehumidifier will save money on heating bills because less moisture means less of a biting chill in the air. You can also save money on products for shifting mould or odours. And that tumble dryer you were thinking of buying? Forget it. A dehumidifier will cost you significantly less.

What is the best dehumidifier?

It’s not a case of which is the best but which works best for you and your home. Or more specifically, the damp in your home. We’ve done the hard work of researching the best models and brands to help you make an informed decision.

There are the best dehumidifiers in 2022.


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