High humidity indoors can be a breeding ground for mold, mildew, allergens, and other irritants that could be putting you or your family at risk. A cheap dehumidifier could be the best solution to suck out excess moisture in the air.
However, not all solutions are created equal. My team and I have spent countless hours testing all the top brands and reading countless reviews. In this article, you’ll get our list of the 5 best budget dehumidifiers. Along with a handy buying guide to answer all of the questions you may have.
Our Top 5 Recommended Cheap Dehumidifiers
My pick for the best dehumidifier is the Pro Breeze.
The tech specs say that it handles up to 1,200 cubic feet, which in layman’s terms means it can cover 150 square feet (or a 10′ x 15′ room).
For the price, you’re getting a medium-size tank with a capacity of 16 ounces. It also removes up to 9 ounces of moisture in the air each day.
This means if there’s a lot of water vapor in the air, and you’re running it 24 hours per day, you’ll have to empty the water tank every two days. However, it does not come with continuous draining.
The good news is that this product has an automatic shut off feature, so the collection tank won’t overflow. An LED light also alerts you to when it’s time to empty the tank, for added convenience.
If you’re looking for a compact, functional and quiet dehumidifier that’s easy to move then this choice could be for you.
- Removes 9 oz of water per day
- Lightweight compact and portable dehumidifier
- Operates without compressor
- 1200 cu ft (150 square feet) room capacity
Second on my list is the Ivation IVADM35, at first glance, it almost looks identical to my top pick. Just the front grill is different.
However, there are a few more subtle differences that are worth pointing out.
For starters, it covers 2,200 cubic feet (1,000 more than the Pro Breeze). This roughly equals 275 square feet or an 18′ x 15′ room.
The tank holds 68 ounces of water (3x more than the Pro Breeze) and collects 20 ounces of moisture each day. That means you can go for several days without having to empty it.
Like the Pro Breeze, you also get an auto shut off feature and full tank indicator light to prevent water overflowing.
So, which is the best dehumidifier for you? Let the room size be the deciding factor.
- Removes Up to 20 Ounces of Water Per Day
- Up to 2,200 cu ft room capacity
- Compact at 4.45 pounds
- No moving parts for quiet operation
Are you looking for the best dehumidifier that’s small, lightweight and doesn’t require much maintenance?
How about a product that doesn’t use batteries or even needs to be plugged in order to work? If that sounds like what you’re looking for then this product could be the right choice.
There are not many cheap dehumidifiers quite like this one. Instead of using a tank to collect water, it has crystallized silica gel that absorbs moisture and never leaks.
After 20-30 days of collecting 8 to 10 ounces of water vapor, all you have to do is recharge it so it can continue dehumidifying the space. And according to the manufacturer, it lasts up to 10 years.
This product is best for closets and small rooms. It’s especially good for protecting your clothes and valuables from mold, mildew and rot.
If you’re looking for a good moisture-absorbing dehumidifier for small spaces, this compact design could be for you.
For a portable dehumidifier that can cover 333 cubic feet or a 10′ x 10′ area, it’s tough to beat. Although, I didn’t notice an energy star rating.
- Mini 0.375 pint dehumidifier
- Manufacturer 5 year warranty
- Rechargeable battery with control panel
- No power cord or batteries required
Perhaps you like the efficiency of my first cheap electric dehumidifier recommendation but wanted something a bit more modern looking.
If so, this may be the best device for you.
It covers an equal amount of space as the Pro Breeze model at 150 square feet, or a 10′ x 15′ space, which is best for a small basement room, garage, attic, RV or even a boat.
The water tank on this Hysure model is much bigger though (24 ounces) but extracts about the same amount of moisture each day (10 ounces). That means you won’t have to empty it as often as the Pro Breeze model.
A full tank light indicator and automatic shut off feature are also included for peace for total peace of mind. And it looks pretty sharp if I do say so myself.
- 2 year warranty
- Easy automatic shut off feature
- 23 oz collection bucket
- 1 button control for fan speed and humidity level
My final recommendation for the best budget-friendly dehumidifier that covers a very large space is this product right here.
I’ll warn you that it does have the highest price tag of any other product on the page but there’s a good reason for it.
This device extracts about double the amount of moisture each day than my other recommended picks. 68 ounces or 4.25 pints of moisture to be exact.
And it has a large 100-ounce capacity water tank with ideal fan speeds. If you live in an extremely humid area and want something that works fast, and for long periods of time without having to mess with it, this is the dehumidifier I’d recommend.
Total area coverage is strong too, at 323 square feet, making it my preferred choice for bedrooms, basements, offices, garages, storage sheds, living rooms, and other large areas.
Although it’s larger it does not require caster wheels to move.
- 68oz per day capacity
- Tank for room up to 323 Sq.ft
- Easy to use LED light display
- 2 year warranty
Features to Look for in the Best Cheap Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are designed to do one thing, and that’s to suck moisture out of the air. But where does all of that water vapor go? Into a water tank.
The total water capacity determines how much moisture can be collected before you have to empty the tank.
If you’re going to be around your dehumidifier a lot, you may not mind a smaller tank because you’ll be able to check on it regularly. But if you tend to get busy as I do, a larger tank is well worth the investment because you won’t have to keep an eye on it as much.
Smaller units can remove between 16 to 100 ounces of water from the air before they have to be dumped out. Depending on the size of the tank you get, and how humid the room is, it could mean the difference between emptying it every 2 days versus every 5 days, or more.
Daily Moisture Extraction
Another good thing to know about your new dehumidifier is how much moisture it can pull from the air on a daily basis.
If you live in an area with high humidity like I do, the more moisture it can extract from the air, the fewer problems you’ll have indoors.
Some lower priced air dehumidifiers with poor reviews are not very efficient and are limited in the amount moisture they can extract each day. So you’ll want to pay close attention to this number when shopping around.
The top products I review below pull anywhere from 10 to 68 ounces of water vapor from the air in a 24 hour period. This range covers most people’s needs for a compact dehumidifier.
Here’s something you definitely don’t want to run into – buying a brand new electric dehumidifier only to find out that it’s not powerful enough to get the job done.
To avoid this headache, you need to make sure that your device can cover the entire area that you’re going to place it in.
Most brands use the term “cubic feet” (also known as cu ft) to indicate how much space they can handle. This measurement is simply the width x length x height of an area or room.
Some of the best dehumidifiers that are small and portable cover anywhere from 300 to 2,200 cubic feet.
To help you understand what this means in a real-life setting, consider the following:
- 300 cu ft is about 100 square feet (or a 10′ x 10′ room)
- 1,600 cu ft is about 200 square feet (or a 10′ x 20′ room)
- 2,200 cu ft is about 275 square feet (or a 10′ x 27′ room)
Your goal should be to get a dehumidifier that can at least cover the size of the location you need it in. If you don’t, you’ll just be wasting your money.
To make this easy for you, I’ve converted cubic feet to square feet for all of the products I recommend below. Square footage is much easier to calculate. Just multiply the width x length (in feet) of space to get your answer.
Automatic Shut Off
One thing most people enjoy about the modern technology of these products is how quiet they are. While this makes them more pleasant to be around, it also means they’re easy to forget about.
I mention this because it could become a potential problem if your electric dehumidifier doesn’t automatically shut off when the water tank reaches its max point. If the tank runs over you’ll have a big mess to clean up.
For that reason, it’s preferred to choose a product that has an auto shut off function. It could be a lifesaver during those times when you’re not at home or someone forgets to check on it.
Every one of the portable dehumidifiers listed includes this handy feature.
One of the things that I really like about small and mini dehumidifiers is that you can put them almost anywhere.
When you’re comparing options, you’ll want to find a good balance between the overall dimensions. This is especially important if you’re going to use it in smaller locations in the house like a gun safe, or inside an RV, camper or boat.
Additional Information About the Best Dehumidifiers
How Dehumidifiers Work
When the humidity level is high in your home or anywhere, the air feels like it’s very heavy. This can make it difficult to breathe for people with certain respiratory conditions like COPD or asthma. It’s also one of the main reasons dehumidifiers exist.
A dehumidifier is an appliance that pulls the humid air in, removes the extra moisture, and redistributes it into the home. It has a fan, a cooling unit or coils, a reheater, and a reservoir bucket to catch the excess water. Once you turn your dehumidifier on, the fan starts sucking the surrounding air into the unit.
The air gets circulated in the inside of the dehumidifier, and it gets passed through the internal cooling coils. These coils lower the air’s temperature, and this cooler temperature allows the coils to pull the excess moisture from the air. The air is then quickly reheated. This reheated air is pushed back out into the room without the added moisture and therefore reduces the relative humidity levels.
Cheaper dehumidifiers use a tray or bucket to collect the moisture from the air. More expensive dehumidifiers also use that method to remove moisture but some may also come with a hose that allows you to drain the water into a floor drain or pump.
Indirect Health Effects of Humidity
Unfortunately, there are several indirect health effects that come with having high indoor humidity levels.  Learning about these possible health effects can help you to understand why people use dehumidifiers, and why they’re vital in very humid environments.
You’ve likely noticed that the hot, humid, air feels heavy and makes it more difficult to catch your breath. It’s uncomfortable because this type of air actually interferes with your body’s natural ability to cool down and regulate your body temperature. Having too much relative humidity indoors makes it difficult to cool down.
Also, viruses and bacteria thrive better in humid environments. These things are also able to stay in the air instead of settling on surfaces for much longer periods. This means that your risks of breathing them in and getting sick or getting an infection are much higher humid environments.
Mold, fungi, and allergens also run rampant with a higher humidity level. In fact, mold and fungi prefer moist and humid environments to grow. They can grow anywhere in your home, and this includes your carpets, furniture, air vents, ducts, bathrooms, tiles, walls, and closets.
The ideal relative humidity control for indoors is 30 to 50%. Any higher and you’ll likely experience the issues outlined above. A small dehumidifier is an excellent way to reduce the humidity in select areas of your home so that you can maintain proper moisture levels.
Benefits of Owning a Cheap Dehumidifier
The main benefit of owning a dehumidifier is that it lowers your home’s indoor humidity levels. Once these go down, the allergens, mold, and fungi in your home should start to decrease because they won’t have an ideal environment to thrive.
They can also get rid of that musty smell that seems to cling to everything in your home when higher than normal moisture levels exist. These unpleasant smells are usually caused by mold and mildew growth, so reducing the humidity can get rid of the mold and mildew. This will also improve your home’s air quality and will make your home more comfortable to live in.
You might also notice a decrease in skin irritation and respiratory tract irritation if you experience these conditions. This is especially noticeable if you have respiratory issues like asthma, chronic bronchitis, or COPD.
Additionally, if you’ve ever noticed that your clothes feel damp inside your closet then an inexpensive dehumidifier may be just the thing you need. High humidity inside a bedroom can leave your clothes feeling this way and a dehumidifier will help them feel drier (and normal).
Finally, running a dehumidifier can help use your air conditioner more efficiently. Air conditioners reduce humidity in order to cool down a home. If the air inside your house has less moisture in it from using a dehumidifier then your air conditioner doesn’t have to run as hard or often to make the temperatures pleasant. In turn, you can see your overall energy costs reduced, and this can save you money by investing in a cheap dehumidifier.
And the Best Product Is …
Based on my research and the numerous positive customer reviews, I can confidently recommend the Pro Breeze Electric Mini Portable Dehumidifier. It’s compact and quiet with good energy efficiency, making it especially practical for small spots in the home, campers, RVs, and boats.
It can suck up to 9 ozs of water per day to minimize humidity and reduce the potential of airborne allergens. If these benefits are of interest, then this could be the right choice for you. I hope you enjoyed our top picks!