A cheap dehumidifier

Even if you don’t live in a humid environment, many things can cause humidity to build up inside a home. For example, boiling water, drying clothes indoors and hot showers can all release moisture into the air. If there isn’t enough ventilation, the result may be excessive humidity, which can lead to growth of mold, mildew and other bacteria, or even cause damage to property, such as peeling wallpaper and rotting furniture. 

A dehumidifier can help prevent all of these issues, and there are many cheap and effective models that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The Ivation Mid-Size Thermo-Electric Intelligent Dehumidifier stands out as a top choice because it is one of the few very affordable models that features a humidistat. It is also quiet enough that you won’t mind using it in your bedroom at night.

What to know before you buy a cheap dehumidifier

Room size and relative humidity

In order for a dehumidifier to be effective, it must be used in the appropriate room size. If used in a room that is too large, it won’t be able to suck enough moisture out of the air to make a difference. Manufacturers provide room size recommendations with their product, which makes it easy to determine if a certain model you are considering will be suitable for your needs. 

That said, the relative humidity in your air also plays a role. The higher the relative humidity, the harder a machine will have to work to lower it. If you have a 250-square foot room that has a relative humidity of 60%, then a machine rated for 250 square feet may have no problem bringing it down to a comfortable 40% or 50%. However, if the relative humidity is 80%, that same machine may only be effective enough to bring a 100-square foot room down to a comfortable 40% or 50%.

Tank size

When looking at dehumidifiers, you will see two liquid measurements. One refers to the amount of water it can remove from the air every 24 hours and the other refers to the size of the tank. Once the tank is full, the dehumidifier will shut off and no longer work until it is emptied. The larger the tank size, the longer you can run the dehumidifier before needing to empty it.

Features to look for in a quality cheap dehumidifier

Washable filter

Some models are equipped with filters that can trap dust and other impurities in the air as the dehumidifier sucks moisture out of it. Depending on how often you use the machine, it may need to be cleaned or replaced as often as once a month. Buying a model with a washable filter is more environmentally friendly and can help save you money over time.


If you don’t want to run your dehumidifier constantly until the tank is full, look for a model with a timer. This allows you to set it to run for a certain amount of time, after which it will turn itself off.


Some dehumidifiers may only have a single speed. Others feature several speed settings, so you can suck moisture out of the air more quickly on days with a lot of humidity. This also allows you to set it to a lower speed when you want it to run more quietly.

Auto defrost function

Some dehumidifiers don’t work well in cold temperatures. This is because the coils can freeze up, which not only makes them ineffective but can also lead to damage if the machine continues to run. Models with an auto defrost function can be safely used in colder temperatures because the unit will automatically turn itself off to defrost if the coils freeze up.

Touch controls

Touch controls are not a necessary feature, but they do add to the overall aesthetic of a dehumidifier. Models with touch controls tend to have a sleeker, more modern appearance. Usually, they will be equipped with more features too.

Continuous drainage

If you want to run your dehumidifiers continuously for days on end without having to worry about constantly emptying the tank, you can buy a model that can be set up for continuous drainage. You’ll need to attach a hose or pipe to the unit that you route directly to a drain or sink.

How much you can expect to spend on a cheap dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers can get very expensive, especially when you are talking about whole house units. Typically, any model that costs less than $100 can be considered a cheap humidifier. You can find plenty of good models between $40 and $85, though these are generally only suitable for single-room use.

Cheap dehumidifier FAQ

How do I know if I need a dehumidifier?

A. The most obvious indicator that you need a dehumidifier is if you see growth of mold and mildew. Two other indicators are condensation on the windows and air in your home that feels moist and uncomfortable. Anyone who often dries their clothes in rooms without good ventilation or has a bathroom without a window or ventilation fan may benefit from a dehumidifier.

Are cheap humidifiers actually effective?

A. The biggest difference between cheap and premium models is often the amount of water they can remove from the air per day and what size rooms they are intended for. If you purchase a dehumidifier of adequate size for your space, a cheap model can be just as effective as a more expensive unit. It may just have fewer bells and whistles.

What is the best cheap dehumidifier to buy?

Top cheap dehumidifier

Ivation Mid-Size Thermo-Electric Intelligent Dehumidifier

Ivation Mid-Size Thermo-Electric Intelligent Dehumidifier

What you need to know: This whisper-quiet model is both efficient and effective for use in small spaces.

What you’ll love: It has a humidistat that allows it to turn itself off and reduce energy usage when humidity levels are low, and it can run for over two days before the tank needs to be emptied.

What you should consider: It is only suitable for rooms up to 100 square feet.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Top cheap dehumidifier for the money

Pure Enrichment PureDry Mini Dehumidifier

Pure Enrichment PureDry Mini Dehumidifier

What you need to know: The quiet operation and small size make this model ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms.

What you’ll love: All the controls are on the back, so it has a clean aesthetic, and the transparent water tank makes it easy to see when it needs to be emptied.

What you should consider: The power plug connection is located in a spot that makes it difficult to hide.

Where to buy: Sold by Kohl’s and Macy’s

Worth checking out

Afloia Dehumidifier 2,000 ml

Afloia Dehumidifier 2,000 ml

What you need to know: This sleek model has a simple on-off operation and is suitable for spaces up to 269 square feet.

What you’ll love: It features a washable filter that lasts up to six months between cleanings, and it has a built-in handle in the back to easily carry it from room to room as needed.

What you should consider: It lacks a timer.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.