The Best Dehumidifiers for Basements in 2022

To control the humidity of the air down there—and thwart the growth of mold and mildew—get the right device.

By Glenda Taylor | Updated Sep 21, 2022 12:45 PM

BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Best Dehumidifier for Basement Picks

Photo: homedepot.com

Dehumidifiers for basement ventilation reduce the likelihood of mold and mildew growth leading to cleaner, safer air in your home. Since basements are located below ground level, they tend to absorb moisture from surrounding soil, making them damp and musty. Inhaling mold spores can incite respiratory and allergic disorders, while also damaging furniture and other items stored in the basement.

If you’re in the market for an appliance to remove excess moisture from the air, read on. You’ll learn how to choose the best dehumidifier for basements and other areas in your home, and get the lowdown on our top picks.

  1. BEST OVERALL: FRIGIDAIRE Energy Star 50-Pint Dehumidifier
  2. RUNNER UP: hOmeLabs 4,500 Sq. Ft Energy Star Dehumidifier
  3. BEST BUDGET: GE 22 pt. Dehumidifier for Rooms up to 500 sq. ft.
  4. BEST FOR SMALL BASEMENTS: Vremi 22 Pint 1,500 Sq. Ft. Dehumidifier Energy Star
  5. BEST FOR LARGE BASEMENTS: Ivation 4,500 Sq Ft Large-Capacity Dehumidifier
  6. BEST SMART: LG PuriCare Energy Star 50-Pint Dehumidifier
  7. BEST COMPACT: Midea Cube 20 Pint Dehumidifier up to 1,500 Sq. Ft.
  8. BEST WITH PUMP: GE Energy Star Portable Dehumidifier 50 Pint
Best Dehumidiifer for Basement Options

Photo: homedepot.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Basement Dehumidifier

When asking: what is the best dehumidifier for a basement? One has to consider the special features to look for in products like this. Options for the best dehumidifier for basements will vary greatly in each product’s features, type, capacity, and ease of use. Before selecting a dehumidifier for your needs, consider the size of our space and how much humidity is suitable for your needs.

Type

Different dehumidifiers operate in different ways, and some methods are better suited than others to the high humidity levels found in basements. Here are a few of the most common types of basement humidifiers:

  • Compressor dehumidifiers: The majority of dehumidifiers for basements use a compressor to operate a fan that draws air over cold coils, causing moisture to condense (like droplets on the outside of a cold drink). The droplets then run into a tank, which must be emptied regularly, or to a floor drain via a drain hose. For the best dehumidifier for basements or crawl spaces with high humidity, a compressor dehumidifier may be your best option.
  • Desiccant dehumidifiers: In this type of dehumidifier, moist air is drawn through a filter made of a desiccant material (a chemical drying agent). The desiccant traps the moisture, which then drips into a collection tank. Desiccant dehumidifiers can control moisture levels in small rooms above ground, but may not be powerful enough for basements.
  • Thermo-electric dehumidifiers: Also known as “Peltier dehumidifiers” after physicist Jean Charles Peltier, who discovered the thermo-electric method of extracting moisture from the air, these units work by drawing moist air along the surface of small heated surfaces (called “sinks”) where it collects and then drips into a collection tank. Thermo-electric dehumidifiers operate best in warm rooms, and they’re often on the small side. Though they may be the best basement dehumidifiers for small spaces, they may not be the best choice for a large or cool basement.

Capacity and Cost

Dehumidifiers are categorized by capacity (how much water they can remove from the air per day.) Though labeled “small, medium, and large,” this refers to their power, not to the size of their collection tank. Collection tanks hold between one to three gallons, and as a general rule, the more powerful the dehumidifier, the greater its capacity. To remove the high level of humidity present in many basements, a large-capacity dehumidifier is necessary.

  • Small capacity: These lightweight, portable, and affordable units collect an average of 15 to 30 pints of moisture per day. They’re well-suited to small rooms or closets and typically cost less than $150.
  • Medium capacity: Capable of collecting 30 to 50 pints of moisture per day, medium-capacity dehumidifiers work well in medium-sized to large rooms but may not be powerful enough for a basement. They generally cost up to $250.
  • Large capacity: With the ability to remove up to 70 pints of moisture per day, a large capacity unit is the best dehumidifier for basement mold. Expect to pay between $250 and $350 for one of these units.

It costs an average of $25 to $50 per month to operate a large capacity dehumidifier, depending on your utility rates, the size of your basement, and the humidity levels. While today’s dehumidifiers are more energy efficient than those of a decade ago, it’s wise to look for the Energy Star label when shopping. These models are the most efficient dehumidifier for basements and you could save up to 30 percent on electricity over a standard machine.

Drainage

All dehumidifiers come with collection tanks, but some models also offer the option to attach a drainage hose (typically a standard garden hose) to direct collected moisture into a floor drain. The unit will automatically shut off when the collection tank is full, so if you won’t be able to empty it daily, you should probably purchase a unit with a drain hose.

Keep in mind that a pint weighs approximately one pound, so while a large capacity dehumidifier can collect up to 75 pints a day, tanks generally hold up to three gallons to allow for easy, frequent emptying—only the mightiest bodybuilder would want to haul a 75-pound collection tank around!

Additional Features

All dehumidifiers let you choose a basic humidity level—normal, dry, or very dry. But the top dehumidifiers for basements have additional features that you might find useful.

  • Digital controls allow you to select the desired humidity level by percentages, such as 35 percent or 45 percent humidity. The unit will shut off automatically when the moisture in the room meets the preset level, and then turn back on as necessary.
  • Timers allow you to program to turn the dehumidifier on/off automatically at a preset time, so you needn’t do so manually.
  • Memory or auto restart: Many of the most humid months bring thunderstorms with them, which often knock out the power. Some models with auto-restart or memory functions will remember their settings prior to the power outage and continue working where they left off.
  • Easy-carry collection tanks with comfortable handles and a well-designed spout that lets you dump water without spilling.
  • Frost sensors detect frost buildup and turn the machine off to save energy. When a compressor unit runs for long periods of time, frost can develop on the coils, which reduces the dehumidifier’s effectiveness. While a unit with frost buildup will continue to run, it won’t remove moisture from the air as effectively. Some models also come with a restart feature that turns the unit back on after the coils have defrosted.
  • Water level sensors alert you when the water level in your tank is approaching or has reached max capacity. Though most produce an auditory alarm, some models will also alert you via smartphone.
  • Humidistats, also known as “hygrostats” measure the humidity in the air to control excess moisture. Once a humidity level is programmed into your dehumidifier, the humidistat will automatically adjust its operation to keep your room at the desired moisture level.
  • Wheels are usually attached to portable units allowing you to move your dehumidifier with ease.

Noise Level

Dehumidifiers generate a noise similar to the hum of a window air conditioner, and the larger the capacity, the louder the device will be. Most dehumidifiers produce between 53 decibels (comparable to a normal conversation) and 65 decibels (comparable to the sound of street traffic), but manufacturers aren’t required to list the noise levels on their units.

Reading customer reviews is the best way to determine how noisy a dehumidifier will be. Placing the unit on a level surface can also help reduce noise.

Our Top Picks

The dehumidifiers for basements listed below all did great in independent testing and have highly positive customer reviews. One of these powerful machines can keep musty basement smells, mold, and mildew at bay in your home whether you are looking for a small, medium, or large basement dehumidifier.

Best Overall

The Best Dehumidifiers for Basement Option: FRIGIDAIRE Energy Star 50 Pint Dehumidifier
Photo: homedepot.com

Choosing the best dehumidifier for basements from the wide range of excellent devices available is no easy task, but the FRIGIDAIRE takes top spot for its combination of control, efficiency, and user-friendly features.

The compact unit has a 50-pint capacity suitable for spaces of up to 1,500 square feet. A 24-hour programmer is fitted, and it will restart automatically in the event of a power outage. A three-speed fan gives control over air flow, and a washable filter captures dust and dust mites.

The 16.9 pint bucket is front-mounted so it’s easy to access, and comes with a convenient carry handle. There is an automatic shut-off to prevent overflowing. A built-in pump offers continuous draining as an alternative, but a hose will need to be purchased separately (ordinary garden hose is fine). Castors are fitted to make moving it easy, and at 42 pounds it isn’t too heavy to be carried upstairs if required.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 50 pints
  • Coverage: Up to 1,500 square feet
  • Noise Level: 47 – 51 decibels
  • Dimensions: 15.96 by 24.25 by 12.19 inches

Pros

  • Energy Star certified
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Built-in pump for continuous draining
  • Portable with castor wheels

Cons

  • Drain hose must be purchased separately

Get the Frigidaire dehumidifier at The Home Depot.

Runner up

The Best Dehumidifiers for Basement Option: hOmeLabs 4,500 Sq. Ft Energy Star Dehumidifier
Photo: amazon.com

The hOmeLabs humidifier provides a budget-friendly solution for basements of up to 4,500 square feet. It offers many of the features you would expect from a quality device, with a 24-hour timer, overflow protection, automatic restart, and a washable air filter. There is also a defrost function, and a turbo fan to maximize moisture removal.

In order to make their humidifier as easy to use as possible, hOmeLabs have included a ‘Comfort’ button. Once set to the desired humidity level the device will maintain that balance while running 24/7, or until the tank is full. Continuous drainage is an option (hose not included).

The bucket holds 1.6 gallons. The plastic used in its construction is a little thinner than we would like, and the handle attachment is not particularly robust.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 50 pints
  • Coverage: 4,500 square feet
  • Noise Level: 58 – 59 decibels
  • Dimensions: 15.4 by 24.3 by 11 inches

Pros

  • Affordable model
  • Automatically adjusts humidity level
  • Turbo-boost fan control
  • Defrost function
  • Continuous drainage with hose

Cons

  • Drainage hose not included
  • Bucket and handle could be stronger

Get the hOmeLabs dehumidifier on Amazon

Best Budget

The Best Dehumidifiers for Basement Option: GE 22 pt. Dehumidifier for Rooms up to 500 sq. ft.
Photo: homedepot.com

Those with smaller basements could find this compact 22 pint GE humidifier the ideal solution, yet despite the low cost it has all the features you would find on the best basement dehumidifiers.

The top-mounted LCD screen provides control over the on/off timer, and humidity level. Once the latter is set, the Smart Dry function means the dehumidifier can be left to run automatically. The three-speed fan boosts air flow when necessary. Dust is removed by a washable filter. There is auto restart should power be interrupted, and auto defrost.

Buckets generally have an overflow shutoff, but the front-mounted bucket on the GE humidifier also provides a useful audible alarm. It holds 8.5 pints.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 22 pints
  • Coverage: 500 square feet
  • Noise Level: 48.5 decibels
  • Dimensions: 13.23 by 19.41 by 9.88 inches

Pros

  • Compact and discrete
  • Quiet operation
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Alarm warns when bucket is full

Cons

  • For modest-sized spaces
  • Drain hose not included

Get the GE dehumidifier at The Home Depot.

Best for Small Basements

The Best Dehumidifiers for Basement Option: Vremi 22 Pint 1,500 Sq. Ft. Dehumidifier Energy Star
Photo: amazon.com

At just 33 pounds, the compact Vremi dehumidifier is remarkably lightweight. Portability is enhanced by handles built into the top of the casing. Yet it still offers the range of features you would expect from much larger models.

Humidity is variable via the control panel, but the Vremi is very much designed for unattended operation. It will run automatically until the tank is full, at which point it will shut itself off until emptied. There is also an anti frost setting, auto restart, and a timer.

The only real challenge with this otherwise excellent, and very affordable device is an 8 pint bucket which might need emptying relatively frequently. There is an option for continuous drain, though as usual a hose is not included.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 22 pints
  • Coverage: 1,500 square feet
  • Noise Level: Max 60 decibels
  • Dimensions: 16.1 by 19.9 by 10.4 inches

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Designed for unattended use in basements
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Anti frost setting

Cons

  • Louder than other models
  • Relatively small bucket

Get the Vremi dehumidifier on Amazon.

Best for Large Basements

The Best Dehumidifiers for Basement Option: Ivation 4,500 Sq Ft Large-Capacity Dehumidifier
photo: Amazon.com

With an adjustable fan speed, an easy-to-program LCD interface, and the ability to maintain preselected humidity levels in large areas, the Ivation 50-Pint Dehumidifier is a top-rated dehumidifier for basements. The Energy Star certified machine is easy to move from room to room (it weighs just 45 pounds and comes with caster wheels).

With a 50-pint capacity, it’s no wonder we selected this option as our best dehumidifier for large basements. Consumers can monitor the current humidity level and program the unit to come on at preset times. The Ivation features an easy-empty 2.25-gallon tank and an optional hose connection (hose sold separately). It also has an automatic shutoff and a restart sensor that detects frost buildup and turns the unit off to allow the frost to melt before turning back on.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 50 pints
  • Coverage: 4,500 square feet
  • Noise Level: Unspecified
  • Dimensions: 11.1 by 15.28 by 23.5 inches

Pros

  • Energy Star certified
  • High performance unit for large spaces
  • Continuous drain hose included
  • Defrost setting
  • Portable with caster wheels

Cons

  • Bucket is on the small side
  • Occasional failure to defrost reported

Get the Ivation dehumidifier on Amazon

Best Smart

The Best Dehumidifiers for Basement Option: LG PuriCare Energy Star 50-Pint Dehumidifier
Photo: walmart.com

With its black metal casing the high-quality LG Puricare dehumidifier makes an instant impression. It is stronger than many plastic models, though at 45 pounds there isn’t much of a weight penalty. It is also relatively quiet for a machine at this performance level.

A clear LED panel provides controls for humidity level, and timer. There is an overflow alarm, and an auto shutoff that ‘rests’ the LG humidifier for one hour in every 24 to prevent overheating. The bucket is side-loading, and has a 1.7 gallon capacity. Continuous drain is an option, and the LG also has a pump so water can be fed to a sink above the height of the unit if necessary.

Smart control comes from the SmartThinQ app. The LG humidifier can be started and stopped remotely via phone, and full bucket alert can be received. Compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant gives further home integration options (other devices required).

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 50 pints
  • Coverage: 2,000 square feet
  • Noise Level: 48 decibels
  • Dimensions: 16.8 by 26.2 by 12.6 inches

Pros

  • Monitoring and operation via smartphone
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Durable metal case
  • High-capacity bucket with overflow alert
  • Continuous drainage option

Cons

  • Premium price
  • Drainage hose not included

Get the LG dehumidifier on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Best Compact

The Best Dehumidifiers for Basement Option: Midea Cube 20 Pint Dehumidifier up to 1,500 Sq. Ft.
Photo: amazon.com

The stand-out feature of the compact Midea Cube dehumidifier is how small it is when not in use. The 13.5” cube will fit in a variety of small space. In use, the compressor unit sits on top of the bucket, and is 27” tall. This allows the bucket to be a surprisingly large 4.2 gallons so it can be left unattended for long periods. For those who require full-time use, the upper unit could sit on the side of a sink and drain continuously using the hose provided.

The Midea Cube dehumidifier is another that benefits from a smartphone app, providing real-time monitoring of humidity and water levels, and a full bucket alert. There is also the potential for voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 20 pints
  • Coverage: 1,500 square feet
  • Noise Level: 54.5 decibels
  • Dimensions: 13.5 by 13.39 by 13.5 inches

Pros

  • Fits into small spaces
  • Smartphone notifications
  • Voice control using Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Large bucket with overflow alert
  • Drainage hose included

Cons

  • Slightly loud

Get the Midea dehumidifier on Amazon or at Lowe’s.

Best with Pump

The Best Dehumidifiers for Basement Option: GE Energy Star Portable Dehumidifier 50 Pint
Photo: homedepot.com

Our second GE model is a high-performance device that can remove 50 pints of water a day, and provides accurate control over humidity. It can run non-stop if required. A three-speed fan allows for increased air flow to clear damp areas more quickly. There is an audible alarm when the bucket is full, and an alert when the air filter needs to be rinsed. It also has auto-restart in the event of power loss, and auto defrost.

At 15 pints, bucket capacity is better than many. Constant draining is an option, and this is where the GE’s main benefit lies. Where many dehumidifiers rely on gravity for this, the GE model can pump the water up to 16 feet from the unit to a convenient sink or other outlet. The hose is included.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 50 pints
  • Coverage: 1,500 square feet
  • Noise Level: 47 – 51 decibels
  • Dimensions: 14.76 by 24.02 by 11.38 inches

Pros

  • Built-in pump provides continuous drainage
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Full-bucket alert
  • Comes with drainage hose
  • Handles and wheels aid movement

Cons

  • Faults are rare, but buyers are critical of customer service

Get the GE dehumidifier on Amazon or at The Home Depot.

Our Verdict

The FRIGIDAIRE dehumidifier is a high-quality all-rounder. It has a comprehensive feature set, and sufficient performance for most people’s needs, though it isn’t cheap. This GE dehumidifier is a solid and budget-friendly alternative, but only for relatively compact spaces.

How We Chose the Best Dehumidifiers for Basements

The important features to be considered when buying a basement dehumidifier are discussed in detail above, and these formed a key part of our selection criteria. However, most of the leading models share similar feature sets regardless of size, so it can be challenging to choose between them.

When making our choices we have tried to offer as wide a selection as possible. Brand reputation is another crucial factor. Generally-speaking, buying from the leading manufacturers ensures reliability and durability. Cost was another consideration, and the resulting list should offer something for different property sizes and budgets.

Basement Dehumidifier Brands to Consider

To get a better sense of the dehumidifiers on the market today, here are a few of the most trusted brands we recommend:

  • Aprilaire creates reliable dehumidifiers, humidifiers, thermostats, air purifiers and filters, and more. Though some products are on the expensive side, this company values innovative, reliable designs in small and large spaces. Founded in 1954, this ENERGY STAR-certified brand includes digital control panels and corrosion-resistant coils on their products for long lifespans and durability. When it comes to this brand’s dehumidifiers, each one comes with a built-in drain and only requires yearly maintenance and filter replacement. Plus, this brand offers models that are compatible with 2,200 to 7,200 square foot spaces.
  • Honeywell is one of the most well-known brands for air filtration and quality with humidifiers, heaters, thermostats, and more in their inventory. With 11 different dehumidifier models available, there is a range of options for spaces of 2000 to 4000 square feet at affordable price points. Many of these ENERGY STAR-certified models also come with 30-70 pint tanks, pumps, wheels, and handles for portability and ease of use. Finally, each of the dehumidifiers in their inventory come with glossy white constructions that look good in any room.
  • Homelabs offers 10 different dehumidifier models intended for commercial and residential use. Though they also carry HEPA air filters, refrigerators, air conditioners, kitchen appliances, and more, their dehumidifiers are some of the most popular products sold in their inventory. With tank sizes ranging from 16 ounces to 50 pints, this brand offers dehumidifiers for small and large spaces and most models have built-in wheels and handles for maneuvering. For added convenience, this brand has select models that are ENERGY STAR-certified and all of the dehumidifiers are budget-friendly.
  • FRIGIDAIRE offers high-tech dehumidifiers with ENERGY STAR-certifications and WiFi connectivity included. Though some of their dehumidifiers are on the pricey side and there are only 6 models to choose from, some of their large picks can remove over 60 pints worth of humidity per day. For smaller spaces, there are also 22-pint constructions available. Digital control panels, ionizers for airborne particles, and the convenience of washable, reusable filters also makes this brand’s dehumidifiers convenient and easy to use.
  • LG carries a single, smart dehumidifier that comes with built-in wheels, a large digital control panel, and an ENERGY STAR certification. As LG constructs many types of household appliances and tools, this brand has a stellar reputation and dedicated customers. Its dehumidifier offers the same reliability and ease of use as many of its appliances, as it has a safety standby, thermal resistance, and sturdy metal construction. It also drains continuously, has humidity auto control, a washable filter, and automatic restart.
  • Haier offers 4 different types of dehumidifiers ranging from 20 to 50 pint tanks. Though this brand is well-known for kitchen, laundry, and air quality appliances, their dehumidifiers come with smart technology including smart dry, an empty bucket alarm, built-in pumps, and filter reminders. Each of their dehumidifiers is also ENERGY STAR-certified, affordable, and come in glossy, white constructions with wheels to fit in any space.
  • Toshiba is a well-known brand for cooking appliances, air conditioners, and, of course, dehumidifiers. With 20 to 50 pint tanks included, each of these models comes equipped with automatic and manual humidity settings, change filter and full tank alerts, and ENERGY STAR ratings. Select picks also have built-in wheels, and a continuous run option. Though these dehumidifiers are reliable and affordable, none of them come with a drain hose.

FAQs

Choosing the best basement dehumidifier can be a complex process, as can be seen by the technical considerations, and product recommendations above. While that information is likely to have answered many buyers questions, there are a number of further issues that crop up frequently. We have provided answers for those below.

Q: Will a dehumidifier in the basement help the whole house?

Ensuring moisture removal under the house can benefit the floor above. However, the most effective whole house solution is usually a humidifier that works with your HVAC system.

Q: How big of a dehumidifier do you need for a basement?

The size of the basement, and the level of humidity have an impact. Our top picks provide a variety of models to suit different areas.

Q: Should you run a dehumidifier in the basement all the time?

It depends on humidity levels. It may be necessary to run the humidifier 24/7, but anywhere from 12 to 18 hours could be sufficient. Smart dehumidifiers provide constant monitoring so you can adjust accordingly.

Q: Where should I place my basement dehumidifier?

It depends where the air exits the unit. If it’s at the top it can be placed near a wall. Otherwise it may need 12” to 18” of space for proper air flow. Try not to place it near windows or doors which attract excess humidity. The dehumidifier manufacturer should provide guidance.

Q: What should I set my dehumidifier to in the basement?

The recommended summer rate is 30% to 50%. This should prevent the formation of mold and mildew. In winter it can be 40% to 60%.

Q: Why does my basement dehumidifier ice up?

It’s likely that the air in the basement is too cold. If it’s practical, try raising the basement temperature a couple degrees. If the humidifier is running all the time, try switching it off at night. It may also help to raise it above floor level.

Q: How to drain a basement dehumidifier?

Most drain into a removable bucket or via a hose, though the hose is often not included.

Q: How to dry a basement without a dehumidifier?

It can be challenging to dry a basement without a dehumidifier. Good air flow is very important, and a fan may help. Avoid putting damp clothes in the space. Charcoal or other desiccant material can help soak up some of the excess moisture.

Q: How do you clean a dehumidifier?

Cleaning a dehumidifier should be relatively straightforward, most parts just needing to be wiped down with a damp cloth. It’s possible the reservoir may have a build up of limescale, which can usually be removed with white vinegar or lemon juice. An air filter usually needs a quick rinse once a month. To ensure the longevity of your machine it is vital you follow manufacturer’s instructions.