We review 15 dehumidifiers - 14 refrigerative models and one dessicant model - rated from 10L to 30L per day and priced from $188 to $880.
Whether in a hot humid summer or a cold wet winter, damp indoor air can be a problem. It's uncomfortable, it encourages mould and dust mites, and condensation can stain or even ruin paintwork. A dehumidifier could be the answer.
Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which dehumidifiers:
- perform the best at removing water,
- are the most energy efficient, and
- are the easiest to use and clean.
On this page, you'll find:
For more heating and cooling test reports go to Heating and Cooling.
How dehumidifiers work
- Most dehumidifiers, including most of the models we test, work by refrigeration. They draw air in, filter it, cool it to condense the moisture, and then reheat it and push the warmer, dryer air back into the room. This warms the room somewhat, but not as much as an actual heater.
- Desiccant rotor dehumidifiers, such as the newly tested Ionmax ION632, are becoming more readily available. These models use a slowly rotating disc or belt of material which absorbs moisture from the air; the damp section then moves through a drying process (typically a heating element) which evaporates the water and collects it in the tank. Because they don’t use cooling to extract the moisture, desiccant rotor models can be much more effective than refrigerative models in cold climates; in fact, their performance should be largely unaffected by the air temperature.
- In winter you can use an electric heater and dehumidifier together; each will boost the effect of the other. Note that an unflued gas heater won’t help, as it releases moisture into the room.
- An air conditioner can be an alternative to a dehumidifier, as it dries the air as well as cooling or heating it, and may be a better option in hot humid climates where a dehumidifier’s heating effect could be undesirable.
- The colder the room, the slower the rate of water removal, so we test the units at different temperature/humidity combinations that reflect humid winter climates (between 8°C and 16°C and 65% to 90% relative humidity). Refrigerative units that perform well in cold air should perform even better in warm air, so whether you live in a hot or a cold climate, the best performing models in our test should suit your needs.
- Dehumidifiers are rated to extract a certain volume of water (in litres per day); the larger and damper the room, the greater the water extraction it will need.
Brands and models tested
- Cli-Mate CLI-DH12 #
- DeLonghi CF05M
- DeLonghi CF08E #
- DeLonghi CF08M
- Dimplex DHM20 #
- Dimplex GDDE20 #
- Dimplex GDH-DEH30E
- Dry Home DH24
- Flipperdry 300 #
- Ionmax ION632 #
- Omega Altise ODE10 #
- Omega Altise ODE20
- Suki WDH-928DB-20
- Suki WDH-928DBH-20R #
- Teco TD12M1 #
# Newly tested.
Note re Suki models: The Suki WDH-928DB-20 and WDH-928DBH-20R are very similar except that the latter has a built-in heater. The WDH-928DB-20 appears identical to the Moisture Cure 20 sold by moisture.com.au.
How we test
Water removal and energy efficiency
We set up our dehumidifiers in a temperature- and humidity-controlled test chamber. For each model, we measured the amount of water removed during three test "runs" at different temperature/humidity combinations that reflect humid winter climates (between 8°C and 16°C and 65% to 90% relative humidity). We found the best-performing models removed over twice the volume of water compared to the worst at the coldest temperatures.
Cold, humid conditions present a worst-case scenario for most dehumidifiers; it's easier for a refrigerative dehumidifier to extract moisture from warm air than cold air (which is why manufacturers usually quote removal rates at conditions which make their machines look the best, typically 30°C and 80% relative humidity). Models that perform well in this test will usually perform even better in warm climates.
Ease of use
Our lab testers also assess each model for ease of accessing and emptying the water tank, quality of instructions and labels, using the controls, mobility of the unit and ease of cleaning it.