A definitive guide for buying the best desiccant dehumidifier in 2021

Last updated on: October 1, 2021.

Put up a good fight against allergic asthma.

Did you know? Over 90% of children and 50% of adults diagnosed with asthma suffer from the condition classified as allergic asthma. It means that the shortness of breath, respiratory tract inflammation, and wheezing you experience are triggered by allergens such as mold, mildew, dust mites, etc.

High humidity levels can breed allergens in your living space and work area, making it harder for you to breathe. Thus elevated moisture levels trigger asthma attacks.

One of the MOST effective ways to get rid of these allergens is by dehumidification. To breathe easy and live a healthy life, the moisture level in your homes must be maintained optimally. A good dehumidifier in a basement or any other room removes excess moisture levels in the air and helps families live in allergy-free environments. Click here to get straight to our table of 5 best desiccant dehumidifiers.

Drawbacks of a refrigerant dehumidifier

Refrigerant dehumidifiers are generally used in spaces where the humidity requirement is beyond 40% RH. It is widely used in domestic areas such as basements, crawlspaces, living rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Refrigerant dehumidifiers with larger pint capacity are utilized in commercial environments such as storage spaces, data centers, substations, switchgear rooms, food and cloth drying plants, and swimming pools.

The major disadvantage of the refrigerant model is its low performance in COLD conditions below 37.4°F, with less than 40% RH. It also has ducting issues when the dehumidifier unit is smaller in size. The refrigerant dehumidifier cannot be used in explosive environments due to flammable refrigerant hazards. With large compressors and refrigerants, these dehumidifiers are heavy, noisy, and emit noxious gasses. The refrigerant dehumidifiers also have a shorter lifespan compared to the desiccant counterparts.

Signs You Need a Desiccant Dehumidifier

Do you suffer from frequent running nose, sneezing, and allergic reactions while inside your home? Then you most definitely need a dehumidifier. Apart from health issues, there are other signs that DEMAND the need for not just any dehumidifier, but a desiccant dehumidifier.
Here are some of the signs.

🔸Your area temperature dips to less than 37 degrees Fahrenheit
🔸Condensation on windows in certain parts of your home
🔸Rusting electronic appliances and gun safes
🔸Water stains, and black and green colored spots on walls and ceilings
🔸Rooms with poor ventilation
🔸Indoor laundry that does not dry
🔸Musty, damp smells in rooms
🔸Pest infestations
🔸Persistent water leakage
🔸Utility bills that are too high
🔸Inefficient working of air conditioner


The signs mentioned above clearly indicate the presence of excess moisture in your living space. As humidity levels vary according to seasons, weather, temperature, wind direction, energy use, air circulation, and other factors,  you need to measure the relative humidity level at home using a hygrometer.

Once you know the moisture levels in your space, you must make sure you invest in the best desiccant dehumidifier. This investment will resolve all humidity related issues by maintaining the ideal moisture level at around 45% to 50%.

Why desiccant dehumidifier is the best option?

Now dehumidifiers can be classified into three types, viz., Refrigerant or Compressor based, Desiccant, and Whole House dehumidifiers.

Wondering which type of dehumidifier will be economical and efficient at low temperatures and low moisture levels?

Without any doubt, the most viable option is to invest in the best desiccant dehumidifier. Desiccant based dehumidification systems are more cost-efficient and perform better than their refrigerant counterparts at colder temperatures and humid spaces. Since the desiccant dehumidifiers DO NOT HAVE COMPRESSORS or refrigerants, their noise levels are much less. The unit operates quietly and is ideal for the living room and bedroom areas.

Again because there are no compressors, the consumer grade desiccant dehumidifier is lightweight and does not emit any harmful gases. The dehumidifying desiccant used in the dehumidifier plays a vital role in increasing performance efficiency. It helps dry and de-rust electronic equipment, gun safes, and home appliances in the shortest possible time.

Utilized for domestic and commercial applications from 45% RH to 1% RH, the desiccant dehumidifier comes with a laundry program designed to provide the right measure of dryness to indoor spaces. Drying clothes, upholstery, rugs, and curtains this way, works out much cheaper than a tumble dryer as it uses less electricity.

What more reason do you need to get a desiccant dehumidifier?

5 Best Desiccant Dehumidifiers (October 2021)

Image PRODUCT/ Features Rating  
Our Top Pickivation dehumidifier Ivation 19 Pint Small-Area Desiccant DehumidifierSize: 8.5 x 12.5 x 19.5 inches
Weight: 17.75 lbs.
Additional Features: Adjustable Humidity Control, High Capacity Reservoir & Whisper Quiet Operation 
9.8
Runner UpMeaco-zambezi Meaco Zambezi 8-Liter Desiccant DehumidifierSize: 36 x 20 x 55 inches
Weight: 17.16 lbs.
Additional Features Meaco Control Logic, rotating air deflector, Daily Run Timer
9.6
Budget Pickivation-13-Pint Ivation 13-Pint Small-Area Desiccant DehumidifierSize: 10.59 x 6.85 x 17.52 inches
Weight: 13.96 lbs.
Additional Features: Adjustable fan, Desiccant rotor, Built-in timer
9.4
Ecoseb-21-Pint EcoSeb 21 Pint Classic Desiccant DehumidifierSize: 7.3 x 16.4 x 20.5 inches
Weight: 18.7 lbs.
Additional Features: Anti drip tank, water full shut down, Quiet 
9.0
Keystone-junior Keystone Desiccant KSTAD70DD7 DehumidifierSize: 7.4 x 13.8 x 19.7 inches
Weight: 20 lbs.
Additional Features: Energy Saving Model, Laundry mode, Variable humidistat
8.8


1. Ivation 19 Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier

Highlights:

1. Sleek Digital Interface
2. High Capacity Reservoir
3. Perfect for Colder Seasons

ivation dehumidifier

If you have identified that your home needs a desiccant dehumidifier, you should look into Ivation 19-Pint Small-Area Dehumidifier. This desiccant unit has been designed to effectively remove the musty smell, dust mites, damp air, and mold. It can warm air in ambient temperatures and is indeed the perfect choice for colder weather.

Similar to how most desiccant dehumidifiers work, the Ivation model is also capable of giving whisper-quiet operation and humidity control for small spaces. It can cover an area of up to 410 square feet, be it in your home, laundry room, boat, or RV.

The Ivation desiccant dehumidifier has a high-capacity water tank that can hold 1/2 gallon of water.

The device comes along with a connection hose meant for continuous drainage. Other benefits of using this dehumidifier model are; user-friendly LCD display, a sleek and stylish digital interface with which you can power On/Off, adjust humidity, fan speed, timer and sleep mode, vent swing, and even adjust the screen brightness. The carry handle makes portability better and the washable filter ensures you get rid of dust mites thoroughly. If these features are what your home will need from a desiccant dehumidifier, you ought to look into this unit.

Pros

✔️ User-friendly design.
✔️ Continuous drainage facility.
✔️ Portability enhanced with easy-to-carry handles.
✔️ Quiet operation.

Cons

❌ None

2. Meaco Zambezi 8-Liter Desiccant Dehumidifier

Highlights:

1. Brilliant in low temperatures
2. “Turn Me On” indicator
3. Rotating air deflector

meaco-front

Removing 17 pints of water from the air, the Meaco DD8L Zambezi dehumidifier is one of the most advanced and feature-rich domestic dehumidifiers globally. Big on conserving nature and wildlife, this brand donates a specific amount to help protect African baby elephants ( via David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Elephant Orphanage in Zambia) with each purchase.

Christened after the orphaned Zambian elephant Zambezi, this Meaco model uses the sterilizing ionizer technology that is clinically proven to destroy viruses, bacteria, mold, odors, and germs over a 32-foot range. A clever dehumidifier, Meaco’s Zambezi, continuously monitors the amount of moisture in the air and varies the electricity usage between 650, 350, and 40 watts to ensure that your clothes are dried cost-efficiently and quickly as possible.

Meaco’s control logic and 20+ control indicate the current humidity level, advising when to turn on or switch off the unit. The digital display provides complete access to fully variable humidistat and other critical functionalities.  Its motorized rotating air deflector helps direct the dry air to where you need it.

The unit stops working automatically when the collection bucket is full, thereby avoiding spillage issues. It has a daily run timer, which allows you to set the exact time for turning on and off the dehumidifier every single day. Its Laundry+ mode senses the dryness of your living space and clothes.

Here are its pros and cons.

Pros

✔️ Effective moisture removal
✔️ Supports wildlife conservation
✔️ Eliminates allergens

Cons

❌ No cons

3. Ivation 13-Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier

Highlights:

1. Removable reservoir 
2. Sleep mode
3. Safety auto-stop

ivation-side

Removing 13 pints of moisture from the air per day, the Ivation dehumidifier can dry living spaces up to 270 square feet. Its efficient desiccant rotor technology helps sustain its efficiency at low temperatures, delivering consistent moisture removal that is quieter and faster. It provides more significant energy savings by warming ambient air and helping you regulate room temperature. Its performance is quite versatile at temperatures between 33°F and 104°F.

Weighing just around 13 lbs, this model is portable and comes with a convenient carry handle, washable filter, adjustable swinging air vent, and auto-shutoff features. Its removable water reservoir holds up to 4 pints of water, providing reliable non-spillage before emptying. The outlet can be connected to the included hose for optional continuous drainage.
Its anti-tilt shut off functionality ensures perfect safety against water damage and electrical malfunctions.

The LCD helps you control operations such as humidity percentage, timer, and swing effortlessly. It also provides reservoir alerts that let you know when to drain the water tank. The internal system monitors the unit’s stability by automatically shutting off the unit, if there are any sudden movements.
Here are its pros and cons.

Pros

✔️ Energy efficient 
✔️ Value for money

Cons

❌ Hot air emission in colder temperatures

4. EcoSeb 21 Pint Classic Desiccant Dehumidifier

Highlights:

1.  Turbo & Economy modes
2. Auto-Restart
3. Continuous Drainage

ecoseb side

Removing up to 21 pints of moisture from the air every day, the Ecoseb DD322EA model is ideal for dehumidifying cold temperatures (68°F, 60% RH) efficiently. Its electronic control panel, automatic shut down, auto-restart, and tilt-over-stop protection features ensure easy complete safety and prevents spillage.

The 7.4 pint water tank comes as a sliding drawer with a lid and carry handle for easy emptying. If you want to avoid frequent manual draining, you can connect the condensation tank to an external drain.

Quietly operating with 42 dBA noise levels, this unit comes with an efficient auto setting with turbo and economy modes for laundry, three timer options, and three auto louver setting. Lightweight and easily maneuverable, the Ecoseb dehumidifier has a two-year limited warranty.
Here are its pros and cons.

Pros

✔️ Ergonomic
✔️ Safe

Cons

❌ Warranty coverage issues

5. Keystone Desiccant KSTAD70DD7 Dehumidifier

Highlights:

1. Four operating modes
2. ULTRA QUIET
3. Anti-spill cover

KEYSTONE-FRONT

Removing up to 14.37 pints of moisture from the air every day, the Keystone DD7L Junior is one of the most energy-efficient desiccant dehumidifiers. Once the targeted relative humidity is reached, the unit runs its fan for five more minutes and then turns itself off to save energy.

It operates in four modes and three fan speeds, meeting every possible dehumidification need. With noise levels at just 38 dBA, it is ultra-quiet and is popular for bedroom use. It also works great in humid spaces such as garages, RV, boats, campers, basements, and crawl spaces.

It has a 4.22 pint water collection tank with an anti-spill cover, full tank alert, and auto shut-off control when the bucket is full. Instead of emptying the condensation water tank frequently, you can connect the rear end to a standard garden hose for continuous drainage into a sink. It comes with a two-year warranty on parts and labor.
Here are its pros and cons.

Pros

✔️ Energy efficient
✔️ Quiet

Cons

❌ Heats up the area a bit

BUYING GUIDE

Make an informed decision by reading our guides and tips. We’ve tried to cover as many models as possible.

buying-icon

What is a desiccant dehumidifier, and how does it work?

Desiccant dehumidifiers are electrical appliances that absorb moisture from the environment using a desiccant. A desiccant is a hygroscopic substance that dries out the environment in its vicinity.

A more familiar example of a desiccant is the small pack of crystals, labeled ‘silica gel’ that is found in packages that contain dry items. Desiccant dehumidifiers use commercial-grade and consumer-grade desiccants based on the purpose.

Wondering how a desiccant dehumidifier works?
Don’t sweat the details. We will break it down into nine simple steps.

👉The dehumidifiers’ desiccant absorbs the moisture from the air through a rotating wheel.
👉The ambient air is ducted through the rotor in one stream to be dried.
👉The rotor reactivates the desiccant and heats the air stream.
👉The moisture in the air is then expelled through the desiccant material as water vapor.
👉The vapor condenses in the collection tank and is automatically drained out through a hose.
👉Moist and warm air is ducted outdoors.
👉The air streams are directed to different directions.
👉The debris is blown away, cleaning the processed air.
👉Dried air with the targeted humidity level is circulated back into the living space.


Its that simple!

Five features you might want to look for while buying a desiccant dehumidifier

Desiccant dehumidifiers leverage chemical attraction to remove moisture from the air. The best desiccant dehumidifiers are quiet, easy to use, safe, and energy-efficient.
ENSURE you lookout for the following features while buying a desiccant dehumidifier. We did!

Moisture extraction: The larger the water removal pint capacity per day, the better its dehumidification capability.

Water tank and continuous drain facility: Desiccant dehumidifiers with a larger, sliding tank with a lid will facilitate mess-free, easy emptying. The hassle of emptying also can be eliminated once you attach a hose to the drainage port. The collected water will continuously drain through the hose into a sink or an outlet.

Automatic humidistat and shut down:  Constantly monitoring the moisture levels in the air, the automatic humidistat helps in turning the unit on and off. Once the condensed water fills the tank, the dehumidifier must automatically shut down to prevent spilling issues.

Washable filter: This feature makes the dehumidifier easy to use.  The dust filters must be removable and washable with soap and water, thus making the maintenance simple. It is even better if the unit possesses silver filters that kill bacteria upon contact.

Our Verdict

Here is the time for our big verdict.

1. Winner for the best desiccant dehumidifier to buy today:
Ivation 19 Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier
2. Runner Up:
Meaco Zambezi 8-Liter Desiccant Dehumidifier
3. Budget Pick:
Ivation 13-Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier

FAQ Section

1. What is the best portable desiccant dehumidifier?

Portability is an important factor when buying a desiccant dehumidifier. To make sure that the unit is maneuverable, the dehumidifier must be compact and lightweight with easy handles. All five desiccant dehumidifiers reviewed in this article are portable. They provide a means to dry laundry rooms, bedrooms, basements, and even crawl spaces quietly.

2. What is a compressor dehumidifier?

Also known as refrigerant and legacy dehumidifiers, the compressor units use the condensation mechanism to absorb water from the air. Absorbing warm, damp air, the compressor dehumidifiers runs it over refrigerant coils and then condenses the vapor into water tanks. They are best suited for warmer climates and are a bit noisier and bulkier than their desiccant counterparts.

3. What is the definition of Munters?

Slashing energy costs up to 50%, Munters manufactures desiccant dehumidification systems for commercial buildings and industrial processes. 

4. How long do desiccant dehumidifiers last?

Effective at extracting moisture in a much shorter time, desiccant dehumidifiers can last three to five years without any significant issues.

5. Which is the best gun safe rechargeable desiccant dehumidifier?

Guns will begin rusting when exposed to high humidity. The gun safes need to be dehumidified to protect the integrity of the firearms inside. Investing in a small dehumidifier with silica gel desiccant is the best way to maintain the right moisture levels in the gun safe.

Final Words:

Ready to buy your desiccant dehumidifier?

Choose your favourite model based on our reviews and guidance to get rid of health issues related to humidity. We love Ivation 19 Pint Desiccant Dehumidifier for all its features.

Click here to read more on famous dehumidifiers. After all, health is wealth!

author-image

About The Author

Olivia — a self-confessed air quality addict — is a home climate enthusiast, fresh air advocate, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about mold extermination. Her work was mentioned in countless notable humidity publications. Previously she was an editor at Mold Remediation.