One of the best humidifiers for damp areas.

When temperatures and humidity rise in hot weather, a dehumidifier is a good defense to keep mold and mildew at bay. But to be most effective, you first need to address the sources of the moisture in your home.

“If a space has recurring standing water or a musty smell, even the best dehumidifier won’t fix the dampness problem on its own,” says John Banta, the engineer who oversees Consumer Reports' dehumidifier tests. 

More on the Home Environment

Fixing the problem might involve patching foundation walls, installing a sump pump, adding bathroom exhaust fans, venting a clothes dryer outside, regrading soil near the foundation, or maintaining gutters and downspouts to shunt rainwater away from your home. Those steps—and a good dehumidifier—can help keep humidity indoors lower than 50 percent, the level at which mold and dust mites start to thrive.

During the summer season your dehumidifier will likely be running most of the time, so it's good to know that tougher energy standards enacted in recent years have not only made the appliances cheaper to operate, but have made smaller-capacity models just as energy efficient as larger ones. And dehumidifiers that qualify for the Energy Star designation, like most of those we test, use about 30 percent less energy than those that don’t.

How We Test Dehumidifiers

We test dehumidifiers with three different capacities: small (rated to remove 30 to 35 pints of moisture per day), medium (50 pints per day), and large (60 to 70 pints per day).

Our water-removal tests measure how much water the model can remove from the air at two different temperature/humidity levels (80° F and 60 percent relative humidity, as well as 70° F and 70 percent humidity). The humidistat accuracy tests determine how closely each dehumidifier can reach and maintain a set humidity level. Our cool room performance tests judge each model’s water removal and efficiency performance in a room at 50 degrees with 60 percent relative humidity (a good indicator of performance in a cold, wet cellar or basement).

Below are seven top-performing models from our ratings, arranged in alphabetical order, with picks from each of our three capacity categories. For more models and shopping advice, check our complete dehumidifier ratings and buying guide

Small-Capacity Dehumidifiers

Hisense DH35K1W
Price: $170
CR’s take: This small-capacity Hisense dehumidifier is a CR Best Buy pick. It costs only $170 and earned strong scores in all of our tests, even netting an Excellent for humidistat accuracy. In addition to a digital display and frost control, this model also features a filter cleaning alert, a timer, and an auto-restart function.

Whynter RPD-321EW
Price: $185
CR’s take: One of our highest-rated small capacity dehumidifiers, this Whynter earned high marks in all of our tests, including a Very Good for cool room performance. It also offers a plethora of features, such as an auto-restart function, a filter cleaning alert, and a drain hose so that you don’t have to worry about periodically emptying its collection tank.

Quick Take

Whynter RPD-321EW dehumidifier

Price: $185.00

Water removal
Humidistat accuracy
Energy efficiency
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Medium-Capacity Dehumidifiers

Kenmore KM50
Price: 
$250
CR’s take: As its name would suggest, the Kenmore KM50 is a 50-pint dehumidifier and one of the best models of its size. Aside from the standard digital display and frost control, its only other feature is a timer. But what it lacks in features it makes up for in performance, with stellar scores in all our tests, including a Very Good for cool room performance. This Kenmore’s only potential downside might be its price. It costs $30 more than the higher-capacity Danby DDR070BBWDB (below), which offers many more features for the money.

Keystone KSTAD50B
Price: $180
CR’s take: This Keystone 50-pint dehumidifier is a CR Best Buy, offering performance almost on a par with the Kenmore KM50 above. It earned almost identical individual scores, and got a Very Good for energy efficiency. It also comes with a few more features, including a timer, a cleaning filter alert, and an auto-shutoff function. Sure, it's $70 less than the Kenmore. But if performance is paramount to you, the extra $70 for the Kenmore might be worth it.

Quick Take

Keystone KSTAD50B dehumidifier

Price: $180.00

Water removal
Humidistat accuracy
Energy efficiency
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Large-Capacity Dehumidifiers

Danby DDR070BBWDB
Price: 
$220
CR’s take: This Danby 70-pint dehumidifier is a CR Best Buy pick thanks to its stellar performance and relatively low price. It earned a Very Good score for humidistat accuracy and similarly high marks in our other tests. In terms of features, you’ll get an auto-restart function (good for summer power outages and brownouts), a filter cleaning alert, and a timer. There is one other large-capacity model that undercuts the Danby on price, but it can’t match its high level of performance.

Frigidaire FFAP7033T1
Price: $280
CR’s take: The Frigidaire FFAP7033T1 is our highest-rated 70-pint dehumidifier with a built-in water pump, which some models offer so you can pump collected water into a utility sink, a basement drain, or even outside your home. It got a Very Good score for noise, meaning it’s pretty quiet compared with the competition, and earned strong scores in our other tests. Its only weakness is cool room performance, where it got a Fair score. In addition to the built-in water pump, this Frigidaire features an auto-restart function, a filter cleaning alert, and a timer.

LG UD701KOG3
Price:
 $280
CR’s take: If you have a large, unfinished basement (or other damp space), you might want to consider this LG dehumidifier. It has a capacity of 70 pints per day and features an auto-restart function, timer, filter cleaning alert, and more. It earned an Excellent for noise (meaning it's quiet) and offers great water removal, humidistat accuracy, and energy efficiency. One important function to note is that the LG’s fan is always on, unlike the other models listed here. But given how quiet it is, that may not be a cause for concern. This high-end LG dehumidifier offers performance that won’t disappoint.

Quick Take

LG UD701KOG3 dehumidifier

Price: $280.00

Water removal
Humidistat accuracy
Energy efficiency
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