Are you recovering from a water leak in your basement? Or have you maybe noticed dampness, condensation or a musty smell? A dehumidifier can be a great help in reducing extra moisture in the air of any room inside your home.
Whether your basement is a living or storage space, maintaining humidity levels below 50 percent is critical to keeping a healthy environment (1). For one, it can reduce allergies. But more still, dehumidifiers can prevent mold from growing, thriving and spreading in your home (2).
Dehumidifiers differ significantly from one device to another. So to help you select the right model for your basement, we’ve discussed every feature and characteristic to look out for. We’ve then evaluated and shared our list of the best basement dehumidifiers available.
Why Invest in a Basement Dehumidifier?
Subject to potential condensation or water leaks, basements are a common source of moisture. A humid basement isn’t only uncomfortable; it can also create complications. By reducing humidity levels, dehumidifiers make the atmosphere less prone to bacterial growth.
First, mildew, mold, dust mites, and bacteria thrive when the humidity level exceeds 80 percent (3). Mold expands quickly and can spread within 24 to 48 hours. The fungus then emits this familiar unpleasant odor of a wet swimsuit left in a closed bag.
Even more importantly, mold is a common cause of many allergies and respiratory conditions such as asthma and lung infections (4). As the spores travel through the air, they can reach and infect other parts of your house.
Keep in Mind
Avoids Rust and Corrosion
Keeping humidity under control should delay your next basement renovation. Mold aside, moisture can deteriorate a home quickly. In a humid environment, rust and corrosion form, attacking electronic devices or any object containing metallic parts.
Decreases Dust and Allergens
Dehumidifiers typically come with an air filter, thereby reducing the amount of dust inside a given area. Some can even trap odors and bacteria, potentially reducing allergy symptoms. Less dust also means that you won’t have to clean your basement as much.
Easy to Use
In addition to their many benefits, dehumidifiers are simple to use; some are even a one-button operation. Whether you select a model with a drain hose or prefer to empty the water tank manually, they’re also a breeze to install.
The device will keep your basement healthy while you may barely notice its presence.
Types of Dehumidifiers
Two main types of dehumidifiers are available, each meeting different needs.
Also called refrigerant, they’re the most popular types of dehumidifiers. A compressor contains refrigerated coils to cool down the air. Condensation transforms the hot air into droplets, which then fall into a bucket.
This type is typically used in warm and moist rooms.
- Ideal for heated or warm basements.
- Easy to use.
- Generally requires less power than desiccant.
- Can freeze in temperatures colder than 41-degree Fahrenheit.
- Less convenient to move.
Unlike compressors, desiccant devices are designed to be used in cold rooms, such as unheated basements. They collect moisture through a spongy material transforming humid air into water. These dehumidifiers contain an internal cooling agent that doesn’t only remove moisture but can also increase the room temperature.
- Ideal for cold basements and winter use.
- Better portability — light and small.
- Quieter than compressors.
- High running costs.
Selecting the Right Size
The capacity of a dehumidifier is a key determinant when choosing the best basement dehumidifier. To find the right size device, you need to consider both the volume of your basement and its humidity level.
First, if you don’t already know the dimensions of your basement, take a measuring tape and determine the length and width. Then multiply these two numbers to find your basement size in square feet.
For instance, if your basement is 10 feet long and 7 feet wide, then its volume equals 70 square feet.
The size of your basement alone won’t be enough to select the right dehumidifier. You also need to look at the amount of moisture present in the air. Both combined determine the number of pints of water you need to remove from the ambient air.
There are two ways to find out how much moisture your basement contains.
Using a Hygrometer
To accurately measure the humidity level — as a percentage — of your basement, you can use a hygrometer. Although the name can sound impressive, it’s a user-friendly electronic device. It automatically measures and displays the percentage humidity in a given area.
A visual inspection can also give you some hints of the severity of the moisture present in your basement. Water condensation on windows, walls and floors, as well as the presence of mold, are clear signs that humidity is at its highest level.
- Low humidity: The place may sometimes smell musty.
- Medium humidity: Your basement always smells musty.
- High humidity: Damp areas can be spotted on walls and floors.
- Extremely high humidity: The room feels wet, with foul odors, potential mold growth and stains.
What Is the Best Size for My Basement?
Once you know both the square footage and humidity percentage of your basement, refer to our chart below. Many manufacturers also have their own sizing recommendations. These may vary from one brand to another.
|Humidity||Low (60–70%)||Medium (70–80%)||High (80–90%)||Extremely High (90–100%)|
|Small (500 sq ft)||10 pints||12 pints||14 pints||16 pints|
|Medium (1000 sq ft)||14 pints||17 pints||20 pints||23 pints|
|Medium to Large (1500 sq ft)||18 pints||22 pints||26 pints||30 pints|
|Large (2000 sq ft)||22 pints||27 pints||32 pints||37 pints|
|Extra Large (2500 sq ft)||26 pints||32 pints||38 pints||44 pints|
For spaces over 2500 square feet, dehumidifiers with a capacity of between 50 and 90 pints are available.
Keep in mind that using a dishwasher, washing machine or drying clothes in your basement will increase humidity levels. In this case, it’s best to select a bigger unit able to remove more water than your space needs.
Equally important, take into consideration the weather in your local area. If you measure humidity levels in winter, plan for extra moisture when summer comes. This might be especially the case if you live in the south of the United States.
Generally speaking, if you’re unsure of the needed capacity, bigger is better as it puts less stress on the device. Once the air reaches the ultimate moisture content, the machine will stop automatically. An inadequate dehumidifier may never be able to shut down, decreasing your device’s lifespan.
Here are some guidelines:
|Special Conditions||Additional Number of Pints|
|Humid climate||Add 10 pints|
|Living basement||Add 5 pints|
|Presence of doors and/or windows||Add 5 pints|
|Presence of washer and/or dryer||Add 5 pints|
Important Features to Consider
Before sharing our selection of the top dehumidifiers, here are a few other essential elements to review.
If your basement is mainly a storage area, noise might not be your main concern. If, however, you’ve turned the space into a living environment, that might not work. A loud device might, over time, challenge your peace of mind.
The more powerful the device is, the louder it generally gets. For this reason, some models come with both high and lower power modes. If you’re looking for an ultra-quiet dehumidifier, one emitting less than 40 decibels is preferable.
A humidifier can increase your electricity bill significantly. The most energy-efficient devices carry the “Energy Star” label. They help you keep your consumption low, which should feel lighter on your waller.
This governmental recognition also helps to support our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, do not fear, you won’t be losing on performance or functionality (6).
Water Collecting Type
There are two ways your dehumidifier can drain the extra moisture it collects.
This type of water removal makes the unit easier to move when needed. The water gathers in a dedicated container located inside the device. To move the dehumidifier to another place, you only need to unplug the machine.
They’re the easiest to install and don’t require additional equipment or professional help.
Keep in mind, however, that the dehumidifier generally shuts off when the bucket is full. This means that you’ll always have to keep an eye on the water level and regularly empty the tank.
As the machine won’t function until the bucket has been emptied, this method can be challenging if you’re often away from home.
Although it may take a little longer to install, these are generally easy to put together. A hose needs to be connected to the machine’s port.
The extremity of the hose is then placed over a floor drain. If the model comes with a pump, it can even be positioned inside a utility sink. As the water tank isn’t being used, this set-up allows the continued use of your dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier shouldn’t require excessive maintenance. Besides emptying the water container, or potentially installing drainage, air filters might be your primary concern. They prevent dust and small debris from entering the machine.
Ensure that the filters are easy to remove and place back. They should also be washable and reusable. The best models will even be able to filter odors and bacteria.
Are you planning on moving the machine from your basement to other rooms? Then choosing a compact and easy-to-move device is critical. Ensure that your selected model comes with carrying handles and rolling wheels for easy transportation.
Other Useful Features
Finally, a few additional features should make your life easier when using the machine:
- A timer.
- Humidistat indicator.
- Remote control.
The Best Basement Dehumidifiers of 2020
With products featuring similar designs and characteristics, differentiating the various dehumidifiers isn’t always an easy task. So we’ve done the hard work for you. We looked into each feature, read the fine lines and analyzed users’ comments. Here’s our selection of the seven best basement dehumidifiers.
1. Vremi Dehumidifier Energy Star Rated
This 22-pint dehumidifier is efficient at removing moisture in small to medium-sized basements — up to 1,500 square feet. The classic and discreet design is meant to fit most styles and tastes. And the wheels and handles make it portable.
The Vremi doesn’t only dehumidify surfaces, it also cleans and purifies the environment. The device is simple to operate, which is always a bonus. It comes with an auto-shutoff feature when the tank is full, and a drain port if you prefer continuous use.
Why We Love It
Cleans the Air
If you’re suffering from allergies or sensitive to dust particles, this is a unit you may appreciate. It includes a high-performance filter that’s able to not only trap dust but also mold, odors and bacteria.
When the humidity or dust is particularly high, activate the Turbo mode to speed up the removal process.
Reviewers enjoy how simple the device is to maintain. The water bucket can be effortlessly removed and is straightforward to clean.
As for the filter, it’s removable and reusable. The manufacturer recommends washing it monthly, which is easy enough to manage.
When needed, this dehumidifier is simple to move. It includes all the features to make this task simple and smooth. The unit comes with two built-in side handles to lift and carry the device.
It’s also lightweight at 30.9 pounds, which seems to be manageable for most reviewers. Lastly, the four wheels will enable you to roll the machine to your desired location.
This model comes with the “Energy Star” recognition to optimize power usage and protect the environment. You shouldn’t notice a huge jump in your electricity bill!
Keep In Mind
Doesn’t Include a Hose
Although the unit comes with drain access, bear in mind that the tube itself isn’t included. However, reviewers mention that it fits standard hoses.
Small Water Tank
If you’re planning on using the water container, users found it smaller than expected. Some even have to empty it twice per day.
|Removal Capacity||22 pints|
|Recommended Basement Size||1,500 square feet|
|Bucket Volume||1 gallon|
|Dimensions||16.1 by 10.4 by 19.9 inches|
2. Lonove Dehumidifier
This portable dehumidifier is ideal if you need to move the unit around the basement or home. It’s also designed to speed up clothes’ drying process. Better yet, its small size — 6.3 by 5.2 by 11.1 inches — should fit the tiniest spaces and rooms.
Although it’s compact, this model can yet remove almost 1 pint of water a day. This is suitable for basements up to 165 square feet. It is, however, only recommended to use this machine with temperatures between 59 degrees Fahrenheit and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why We Love It
We love this model’s tiny size and cute design. While it can be placed on the floor as a regular model, it’s compact enough to be safely positioned on furniture.
Weighing less than 3 pounds, you’ll be able to grab and carry the unit on the go. It will even fit in closets to prevent mold growth on clothes.
Many dehumidifiers can be noisy — over 60 decibels. This model, on the other hand, might be one of the quietest units, emitting less than 35 decibels. If you’ve made your basement a living space, it shouldn’t disturb its occupants’ sleep.
Easy to Use
This dehumidifier is also as user-friendly as it can get. There are no fancy buttons or settings, only one to turn the machine on and off. Besides, it automatically shuts off, and a light turns on when water needs to be emptied.
If this is your first dehumidifier, this economical option allows you to test its efficacy without a heavy investment. Nevertheless, it seems to deliver in performance, and reviewers are thrilled about the quality to price ratio.
Keep In Mind
Doesn’t Come With Drain
This unit doesn’t include a drain port. Although the manufacturer doesn’t specify the exact capacity of the water tank, it will require very frequent emptying. In high humidity environments, some users need to remove the water every hour.
|Removal Capacity||0.75 pints|
|Recommended Basement Size||165 square feet|
|Bucket Volume||Not indicated|
|Dimensions||6.3 by 5.2 by 11.1 inches|
3. Honati Home Dehumidifier
If the previous product caught your eye but you wished the unit had a little more capacity, this unit might be one to consider. While it’s still designed for small spaces, it’s highly efficient for basements up to 269 square feet.
Simple to use, you’ll only need to press one single button to operate the device. Once functioning, the machine will remain on the quiet side — below 60 decibels. Finally, weighing just over 5 pounds, the unit can be easily lifted and carried as desired.
Why We Love It
This model doesn’t trade size for efficiency. It can remove up to 1.5 pints of water per day, and the water tank itself can hold up to half a gallon of water. Some reviewers mention emptying it only every three days.
On top of that, this dehumidifier can stop not only moisture, but also dust, mold and odors. A few users have even used the device after water leakage to prevent mold formation.
Great for Night Use
At nighttime, some of us can get bothered by light emitted by electronic devices, which includes dehumidifiers. As this unit is a single button operation, it only produces a thin green circle, which users are grateful for.
Convenient Water Tank
This model doesn’t include a light indicator. However, when it’s time to empty the water tank, you’ll still be able to keep an eye on its levels. The transparent container — from the back — allows you to easily monitor the water level.
Furthermore, the tank includes a built-in handle to make the water removal process easier.
Keep In Mind
The Honati model doesn’t include a water drain. If your basement is a living space, it shouldn’t be an issue. But if it isn’t, you’ll need to keep going back and forth to check on the water tank.
|Removal Capacity||1.6 pints|
|Recommended Basement Size||Up to 269 square feet|
|Bucket Volume||0.5 gallons|
|Dimensions||8.98 by 5.9 by 14.65 inches|
4. Tosot Energy Star Dehumidifier with Pump
Do you have a vast basement? Still, you don’t necessarily need to purchase several units to handle the extensive space. This powerful device should be able to remove moisture from the air in basements up to 4,500 square feet.
This high-quality model by Tosot is also safe and efficient. It is both “Energy Star,” and UL-approved. Plus, if you have any second thoughts, the manufacturer offers a one-year warranty.
Why We Love It
This highly-efficient unit can move 45 pints of water per day. While many models include two fan speeds, this machine comes with three different modes. In addition, if you live in an area with regular power outages, the last settings will be restored when the electricity returns.
When the water container is full, the machine automatically stops, and a light indicator turns on. On a similar note, when it’s time to clean the filter, the control panel also illuminates.
With this amount of energy, one would expect a loud machine. But on the contrary, this device only emits 48 decibels and 52 at its highest power. Although you’ll be able to hear it, it should be barely noticeable.
Included Water Pump
A significant advantage of this unit is the included water pump. If you decide on not using the tank, attach the hose and the water will be pumped out of the device. Just how powerful is the pump? It’s able to push water as high as 15 feet in any direction.
Other Unique Features
The automatic defrost feature should allow you to use a dehumidifier in all seasons, including cold winters. It also comes with a timer and delay settings of 2 and 4 hours each.
Keep In Mind
When using the water tank, it will need to be replaced every 5 hours or so. This means that you’ll need to turn it off overnight. Otherwise, the loud “beep” of the full water tank will likely wake you up.
|Removal Capacity||45 pints|
|Recommended Basement Size||3000 – 4,500 square feet|
|Bucket Volume||1 gallon|
|Dimensions||14.8 by 11.4 by 24 inches|
5. Inofia Dehumidifiers
This dehumidifier might be ideal for medium-sized basements. It’s compact, but nevertheless, can remove 30 pints of air moisture per day. This is suitable for basements up to 1,056 square feet.
On this machine, the manufacturer offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. There’s also a manufacturer’s warranty for one year.
Why We Love It
If you need to run the device when you’re absent from home, this might be a product worth looking at. Like most other models, set-up your desired humidity level and let the humidifier run its course.
A major difference, however, is the fact that this model will turn back on as the humidity rises again. In the event you aren’t using the drain hose, the machine will automatically shut off when the water tank is full.
The dehumidifier comes with an automatic error detection program. If, for any reason, the device stops functioning, it will give you a hint on the source of the problem. If this is a minor problem, this feature may save you money by avoiding calling a professional.
A few reviewers wondered what the black mesh squares — included in the packaging — were. They are “activated carbon fiber filters,” able to trap fine particles (7).
These special mesh squares are meant to be installed in front of the included regular filter. Keep it in mind, however, that they aren’t washable and will have to be replaced.
The device isn’t made of regular plastic. Instead, it’s built with durable and environmentally-friendly ABS material. In addition, the product is both FCC and ETL certified to ensure the device’s safety (8).
Keep In Mind
Opaque Water Tank
Reviewers appreciate that the machine turns on and off as humidity levels vary. Some users, however, wished they could visually monitor the water container. The device is opaque from both the front and back sides, which doesn’t allow for a quick check.
|Removal Capacity||30 pints|
|Recommended Basement Size||1,056 square feet|
|Bucket Volume||0.5 gallons|
|Dimensions||12.2 by 8.2 by 17.3 inches|
6. Colzer Large Capacity, Compact Dehumidifier
This dehumidifier features a modern design, yet has more than its look to show for. It includes a black LED display humidistat, two fan speeds, a timer and other alerts.
We love that it can remove up to 30 pints of water a day. As such, it should be able to reduce moisture from a basement up to 1,500 square feet.
Unlike other products, the machine includes a 3.2-foot drain hose, if using the water tank isn’t your preferred method. The manufacturer recommends cleaning the device once every two weeks for the best durability and performance.
Why We Love It
Versatile products typically save money and space. This model comes with helpful features making it usable in various conditions.
This model comes with two separate modes. The first one will dehumidify your basement, while the “quick dry” mode can be used to dry clothes. On top of that, the auto-defrost setting should prevent your machine from freezing.
Design and Quietness
We love the compact and trendy look of this product. Rectangular in shape, the clean presentation should be suitable for most living spaces, whether in a furnished basement or other living areas.
This device is one of the quietest available, emitting between 40 and 45 decibels. Besides, the “light off” feature allows the machine to keep functioning at night but without the bothering lights.
This model might be heavier — 29 pounds — than the most compact models. However, reviewers mention it’s light enough to move. It also comes with four wheels and two built-in side handles for easy transportation.
Keep In Mind
Users wished that this device came with an internal pump. Instead, water needs to use gravity to drain out of the dehumidifier. This means that you won’t be able to empty the machine in anything higher than ground level.
Bear in mind that the device will only function when the humidity difference between your basement’s moisture and your desired level is at least 10 percent. For instance, if air shows 55 percent humidity, and you wish to bring it down to 50 percent, the device won’t turn on.
|Removal Capacity||30 pints|
|Recommended Basement Size||Up to 1,500 square feet|
|Bucket Volume||1.2 gallons|
|Dimensions||25.5 by 14.2 by 14 inches|
7. Frigidaire High-Efficiency 70-Pint Dehumidifier
For those who enjoy the extra features making life easier, this Frigidaire model tried to incorporate them all. It features handles, wheels, light indicators, high-quality filters, and several dehumidifier modes.
Reviewers appreciate that the unit doesn’t make excessive noise — 51 decibels. This renowned brand backs up its product with a one-year warranty and up to five years when the product is sealed.
Why We Love It
This product has been granted the “Energy Star” label, which should keep your electricity bill reasonably stable. It has also been UL certified, ensuring its quality and safety (9).
Extra-Long Power Cord
The length of the power cord is a detail often forgotten. Yet, when too short, you’ll need to purchase an extension, delaying your humidifier’s use. The included 6-foot power cord shouldn’t need any addition.
Built for Convenience
The unit comes with a top handle, two built-in side handles, and four wheels to easily move the device. It includes two-speed fans, and the control panel features light indicators for both water and filter change. Finally, you’ll also be able to adjust the humidity level as desired.
All Season Device
Versatile, this model can be used both in summer and winter. It’s able to withstand low temperatures, and the antibacterial filter mesh should keep allergens away when it comes to spring.
Keep In Mind
As much as we’d love it, the water doesn’t flow uphill. Because this unit doesn’t include a pump, you’ll have to drain the water down in a nearby floor drain.
Some reviewers, however, were successful in installing an additional pump. It allowed them to let the water flow, whether through a window or inside a sink.
|Removal Capacity||70 pints|
|Recommended Basement Size||1,400 square feet|
|Bucket Volume||2 gallons|
|Dimensions||24.65 by 11.32 by 16.08 inches|
Detailed Comparison Chart
|Product||Best||Removal Capacity||Recommended Area||Bucket Volume||Dimensions||Weight|
|Vremi Energy Star Dehumidifier||Air Cleaning||22 pints||1,500 sq ft||1 gal||16.1 x 10.4 x 19.9″||30.9 lbs|
|Lonove Dehumidifier||Portable||0.75 pints||165 sq ft||N/A||6.3 x 5.2 x 11.1″||2.75 lbs|
|Honati Home Dehumidifier||Small Basements||1.6 pints||Up – 269 sq ft||0.5 gal||8.98 x 5.9 x 14.65″||5.64 lbs|
|Tosot Energy Star Dehumidifier||Extra-Large Basements||45 pints||3000 – 4,500 sq ft||1 gal||14.8 x 11.4 x 24″||48 lbs|
|Inofia Dehumidifiers||High-Tech||30 pints||1,056 sq ft||0.5 gal||12.2 x 8.2 x 17.3″||24.9 lbs|
|Colzer Large Compact Dehumidifier||Versatile||30 pints||Up – 1,500 sq ft||1.2 gal||25.5 x 14.2 x 14″||29 lbs|
|Frigidaire High-Efficiency Dehumidifier||Feature-Friendly||70 pints||1,400 sq ft||2 gal||24.65 x 11.32 x 16.08″||45 lbs|
Where to Install My Dehumidifier?
In large basements, it’s recommended to place the machine towards the center of the room. Always keep it 6 inches away from walls or furniture that may obstruct ventilation. If you’re looking to attach a hose, you’ll also need to place it near a floor drain or sink.
Adding a dehumidifier in a basement can have a much greater impact than simply creating a more comfortable environment. It prevents mold growth and keeps dust and other allergens down. As a result, the device can contribute to keeping you and your family healthy.
Besides, if you’re storing electronics and objects with metallic components, a dehumidifier can increase their lifespan. The device avoids rust and corrosion caused by excess moisture.
Selecting the best basement dehumidifier starts by identifying the volume and humidity level of your basement. To pick the right type, you’ll also want to consider the ambient air temperature both in summer and winter.