Top 5 Desiccant Dehumidifiers in 2020

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When you’re dealing with excess moisture in your home, there are a number of ways you can address the problem. One of the simplest solutions is a dehumidifier, especially if you are only dealing with a seasonal issue in your home. Many consumers turn towards a traditional dehumidifier, but in this review, we are going to take a look at the best desiccant dehumidifiers for residential use that are available today.

The Best Desiccant Dehumidifier Reviews

If you’re looking for a decent desiccant dehumidifier, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Compressor and thermo-electric dehumidifiers outnumber desiccant models by 3-to-1 or more. That means the selection is limited, and several popular models are no longer available because of the new DOE testing standards. With that in mind, our review of the best desiccant dehumidifiers consists of models that are built to use in living areas, along with a few specialized units geared for smaller spaces.

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Ivation IVADDH09

Ivation IVADDH09

  • Capacity: 19 PPD
  • Operating Range: 33° to 104°F
  • Coverage: 410 sq. ft.
  • Bucket Size: 3.8 pints
  • Warranty: 1-year
Meaco MEACODDL8-Z2

Meaco MEACODDL8-Z2

  • Capacity: 17 PPD
  • Operating Range: 41° to 99°F
  • Coverage: Not Specified
  • Bucket Size: 6.4 pints
  • Warranty: 2 years
Eva-Dry Mini Dehumidifier

Eva-Dry Mini Dehumidifier

  • Capacity: N/A
  • Operating Range: N/A
  • Coverage: 500 cu. ft.
  • Bucket Size: None
  • Warranty: 5 years
Ecor Pro DryFan

Ecor Pro DryFan

  • Capacity: 17 PPD
  • Operating Range: -4° to 104°F
  • Coverage: 500 sq. ft.
  • Bucket Size: None
  • Warranty: 1-year
Keystone Junior

Keystone Junior

  • Capacity: 14 PPD
  • Operating Range: N/A
  • Coverage: N/A
  • Bucket Size: 4.2 pints
  • Warranty: 2 years

#1 Ivation Small Area Desiccant Dehumidifier

Ivation IVADDH09

Whenever someone suggests we recommend an affordable dehumidifier, Ivation is one of the first brands to come to mind. The company frequently finds themselves on our lists, and they took the top spot this time around with the Ivation IVADDH09 desiccant dehumidifier.

With a capacity of 19 pints per day, this dehumidifier is one of the largest residential desiccant systems available. The desiccant rotor is efficient and capable of running at two speeds with normal or turbo. A large LCD panel makes the IVADDH09 a breeze to use and allows you to access the timer, set the humidity level, or adjust the angle of the blower.

That big display is dimmable, so it won’t keep you up at night. Sleep mode is an option as well; however, if you plan to use this system in a bedroom. It’s rated to handle rooms up to 410 square feet and has a wide operating range as well. This system is listed at 33° to 104°F, which is ideal for a wide variety of conditions throughout the year.

Other features of interest for this Ivation desiccant dehumidifier include an anti-tilt feature, auto shut-off, and alerts for the bucket and filter. That filter is washable, and the bucket can hold 4 pints of water before it needs to be dumped. The humidity range on this dehumidifier is 35% to 85% and is adjustable in 5% increments, but continuous mode is an option as well.

The Ivation IVADDH09 won’t win any awards for its design, but it’s the best desiccant dehumidifier for larger rooms in your home. It’s well-regarded by consumers, and there’s really no drawback to the system if you need a larger machine. If you’re interested in something a bit smaller, the company has a 13-pint variant of this model as well.

Pros: Simple to use with a wide operating range and multiple modes. Adjustable dryer vent with coverage up to 410 square feet.

Cons: None.

#2 Meaco 17-pint Desiccant Dehumidifier

Meaco MEACODDL8-Z2

This dehumidifier looks like a basic system with a fairly bland design. Well, don’t let the looks fool you. Meaco designed this desiccant dehumidifier with ease of use in mind and has several features you won’t find on our other picks.

The Meaco DDL8-Z2 is of average size with a moisture removal rating of 17 pints per day under optimum conditions. It’s highly efficient thanks to the Meaco control logic system and an off timer that can be set for up to 8 hours. The water bucket is listed at 6.4 pints and sports and has an anti-mold coating on the tank, but that’s not the only surprise found on this system.

While not described in the product listing, the Meaco DDL8-Z2 has a built-in ionizer. It can dry clothing with the warm air it produces like other desiccant systems, but the louver is motorized and highly adjustable as well. We were unable to find an airflow rating for this model, but it’s quiet on low and little noisy on high with a range of 38 to 49 decibels.

Another perk of the DDL8-Z2 desiccant dehumidifier are normal, minimal, and laundry modes. When activated, this unit will run until a certain level of relative humidity is reached within a room. Continuous drainage is an option through the port on the back, and the system will automatically restart if there’s a power outage.

There’s a lot to like about this dehumidifier like the ionizer and motorized louver, but consumers were most impressed by how well it worked. While there were a few scattered reports dealing with quality control issues, the DDL8-Z2 provides a lot of value for the cost. There is a 14-pint variant of this system as well, and both come with a solid 2-year guarantee.

Pros: Three speeds and a removal rate of 17 PPD with several operating modes. It’s reasonably priced with a motorized louver and ionizer.

Cons: Some reports of quality control issues.

#3 Eva Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier

Eva-Dry Mini Dehumidifier

Humidity can strike in any other of your home, including small areas like cabinets and closets. Unfortunately, a normal dehumidifier won't fit in those spaces, and leaving doors open isn't ideal. The Eva-dry mini dehumidifier solves that problem and will outlast every other system on our list.

This miniature dehumidifier measures 5.5” x 2.5” and weighs less than 2 pounds. It doesn't need power to work, which means you can place it anywhere in your home. That includes closets, gun safes, and the other small enclosed spaces. It only needs to be plugged into a power source to recharge around once a month, and the desiccant is good for 10 years.

Inside this dehumidifier, you'll find silica beads that absorb moisture without making a sound. The viewing window turns from orange to green when it's reached capacity, and a recharge takes 12 – 14 hours. It's a system you can set and forget, and as the Eva-dry 500 is completely sealed, there's no mess to deal with.

Aside from a few quality control issues out of the box, there's no reason not to pick up this mini dehumidifier if you need to remove moisture in a small area up to 500 cubic feet. The Eva-dry 500 is small, effective, and comes with a 5-year guarantee.

Pros: Easy to use and very effective in small spaces. Affordable and rechargeable with desiccant that will last for 10 years.

Cons: None.

#4 Keystone Junior Desiccant Dehumidifier

Ecor Pro DryFan

Keystone doesn’t have as many dehumidifiers as some of the larger brands, but they caught our attention with the KTSAD70DD7. It’s a newer model from the company, and one of the better desiccant systems available when you need a machine around 15 pints per day.

This is another deceptive dehumidifier as it looks basic, but actually has three speeds and four modes. That includes the popular laundry mode, which makes good use of the excess heat along with normal, medium, and standard modes. It’s listed with a capacity of 14.3 PPD and has an easy to dump 4.2-pint water bucket as well.

Continuous drainage is also an option with the Keystone KSTAD70DD7. Tech specs were hard to come by, but it is very quiet on low at only 38 decibels. It has standards alerts and makes use of Meaco’s control logic technology to save energy, but is otherwise light on features. The vent is fixed on this model while the timer and humidistat settings are limited.

This dehumidifier is one of the more affordable desiccant models outside of the desktop class. While there aren’t many reviews at this time because its new, early adopters of this system have been pleased with the performance. We also like the fact it comes with a 2-year warranty on parts and labor, which is better than most portable systems in this class. 

Pros: Attractive system with a nice price point to go along with multiple modes and speeds. Runs extremely quiet on low.

Cons: Limited to a degree by the settings.

#5 Ecor Pro EPD30-PRO DryFan Dehumidifier

Keystone Junior

The majority of desiccant dehumidifiers have a similar style and are made to be used in living areas or basements. When you need something a bit more rugged, the EPD030-PRO from Ecor Pro is a fine choice and the best small desiccant system for commercial use.

This little dehumidifier is a cube measuring around 8” on all sides. It’s lightweight at only 10.5 pounds, which is impressive considering it can cover a 500 square foot area. The system is listed as a 30-pint machine by some retailers but is actually only 17 pints by the new standards. There is no bucket, however, so consider the installation of the EPD030-PRO beforehand. 

On that note, the design of this system allows you to install it in a variety of ways. It’s ductable, with 5” in and out lines to go along with a 1.5” duct for moisturized outbound air. It also has the widest operating range of any machine we’ve covered at -4° to 104°F. Other standout features include IP24 certification, auto-restart, and an adjustable humidistat.

Whenever a homeowner needs an appliance that’s tougher than off the shelf products from big box stores, we always recommend considering something in the commercial class. While the Ecor Pro EPD030-PRO may not be fancy, it gets the job done and will outlast other desiccant systems by years. The warranty is short, but replacement parts are easy to acquire for commercial dehumidifiers.

Pros: Lightweight, industrial design that’s built to last. Ductable with an operating range below freezing and IP24 certification.

Cons: The price tag.

How to find the Best Desiccant Dehumidifier

Excess humidity can cause a variety of problems in your home from moldy and musty smells to water damage. A good dehumidifier can clear up those issues quickly, but finding the best model is difficult even if you’re just looking to upgrade.

The goal of this guide is to help you figure out the type of system that best suits your home. To do that, we’re going to break down several key areas like capacity, features, and operating ranges.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers Explained

If you have never owned a desiccant dehumidifier, but understand how compressor-based systems work, it’s important to know what goes on inside of a desiccant dehumidifier. While both types of systems have a similar set of parts, they work in a completely different fashion. Instead of a compressor and refrigerant, a desiccant dehumidifier has a wheel inside with a type of silica gel.

As air is driven through the unit, the desiccant wheel absorbs moisture from the air in your home. Heat from the dehumidifier is used to reactivate the gel, while the “processed” air from the system is blown into the room through a vent as dry, hot air. Moisture is either sent outdoors or to a drain bucket, and the hot air can be used to dry clothing or to stabilize or warm a room.

Diagram of Desiccant dehumidifier

That’s a very simple explanation of how a desiccant dehumidifier works but covers most types of systems. That being said, not every machine has a desiccant rotor, condenser, or blower as there is more than one type of desiccant dehumidifier.

Types of Desiccant Dehumidifiers

The best desiccant dehumidifier can take on many forms. While we focused on larger dehumidifiers for this guide, you may be surprised by some of the options available.

  • Disposable Desiccants – While not technically a dehumidifier, this is a cheap form of moisture removal for small spaces like closets. A disposable desiccant is essentially a supersized silica pack that’s in a bag or box. They can draw a considerable amount of moisture from an area, but when they are full, they are finished and have to be disposed of.
  • Mini Desiccant Dehumidifiers – These little wonders can be smaller than a disposable system, but can last longer than a traditional desiccant dehumidifier. Often smaller than a tablet, these dehumidifiers are filled with silica gel that can be recharged by plugging them into a wall socket. You can only cover small areas with a dehumidifier of this style, but they often last between 2 to 5 years.
  • Rotor-based Desiccant Dehumidifiers – The most popular style of desiccant dehumidifiers for most homeowners is a rotor-based machine. They are ideal for areas between 200 and 500 square feet but limited from a capacity standpoint like most desiccant systems. You’ll get the most bang for your buck in this class in terms of features and settings.
  • Commercial Desiccant Dehumidifiers – Last but certain not least are commercial grade desiccant dehumidifiers. They can handle larger spaces or specific areas like a crawl space or an unfinished basement. They are expensive and not suitable for living areas, but most are ductable and built to outlast a residential system.

Dehumidifier Capacity

Dehumidifier capacity refers to how much moisture a system can remove within a 24-hour time period. It’s easy to understand, and a PPD rating can be found for every machine on the market today. You have to pay close attention to those numbers; however, as the standard by which dehumidifiers are tested was recently changed in the United States by the Department of Energy.

While capacity lets you know how much moisture a machine can handle, it still doesn’t tell you how large of a unit you need in your home. That’s not something that’s a major concern with this style of system as options are limited with a desiccant dehumidifier. You are unlikely to find anything above 20 PPD in the residential class, but still need to pay attention to the ratings.

Drainage Options

Drainage is a key component with any style of dehumidifier, and there are typically three options to choose from. There are machines with internal pumps, buckets, and drain ports. With desiccant dehumidifiers, pumps are extremely rare, so you will need to focus on continuous drainage and bucket size.

Dehumidifiers with smaller buckets are easier to manage but will need to be dumped more often. While a drain port may seem like a great idea, it’s only usable if you have somewhere to send the water to. With no pump, you have to rely on gravity to do the work, so placement is key.

Operating Range

The operating range of a dehumidifier tells you the temperatures it can function in. It’s an area where desiccant machines have an advantage over a compressor-based system, although we’ve seen plenty of models that don’t go quite as low as others.

On average, we found most desiccant dehumidifiers top out around 100°F, which is better than thermo-electric and refrigerant systems. When temperatures drop, you can expect most desiccant systems to work around 32°F with no problems. There are a few systems that go beyond those marks, however, and several that don’t measure up to those standards.

Decibel Level

We aren’t going much time here as another reason homeowners choose desiccant dehumidifiers are the noise levels. These machines are known for being quiet, so it’s not uncommon to find systems under 40 decibels at full speed. If you’re not sure how loud 40 dB is, this chart will give you an idea of what to expect from noise levels.

Decibel Scale Infographic

Dehumidifier Features

We’ve touched on a number of advantages of going with a desiccant dehumidifier over other styles, but one drawback comes into play with features. As mentioned, pumps are rare in this class, but so are systems with Wi-Fi. In fact, we were unable to find one despite the popularity of connected dehumidifiers with a compressor.

Timers are still common in this class, although somewhat limited. Washable filters and auto shut-off features are standard, and the latter can save you from a mess when the water bucket becomes full. Want a system that can clean the air? There are a few desiccant dehumidifiers with an ionizer built-in. Drying vents are common, but ones you can adjust manually or automatically can be challenging to find.

Warranties and Replacement Parts

Regardless of the appliance or product we cover, we always talk about the importance of looking for a good warranty. While you can get a decade or more with some types of HVAC systems, you are only going to get a year from most dehumidifier manufacturers.

A “good” warranty from a dehumidifier manufacturer is considered anything beyond one year. Customer support is also important, along with access to replacement parts. With desiccant dehumidifiers, parts can be harder to come by – especially with a smaller system.

FAQ

Q: How long will the material in my desiccant dehumidifier last?

A: That depends on the type of system you choose. It should be clearly listed by the manufacturer with any mini or disposable systems. Residential and commercial-grade machines are built to automatically recharge.

Q: What size dehumidifier should I buy for a bathroom?

A: Unless you have a large master bathroom that’s several hundred square feet, anything below 10 pints should be more than sufficient. That being said, there’s more to choosing the right size dehumidifier than just square footage, so check out our sizing guide if you’d like to learn more.

Q: Will a desiccant dehumidifier smell or put off an odor when it’s in use?

A: It’s possible with some types of dehumidifiers depending on the type of desiccant used in the machine. It shouldn’t be an issue for most homeowners, but you may notice a slight smell with some systems when they are first being used or recharged.

Q: Are there any residential desiccant dehumidifiers rated higher than 30 PPD?

A: By the old standards, yes, there are still systems on the market rated at 30PPD or higher. Newer models built for living areas are usually listed between 10 to 20 PPD, however.

Other dehumidifier options you may also like:

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