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Watching rain drops fall outside while you're tucked up snug and warm inside feels lovely and cosy. But water gathering on the inside of your windows and forming pools on your windowsills? Not so much.
When it's warmer inside than out, excess moisture in the air is drawn to cold surfaces such as windows, creating condensation. This humidity can potentially lead to other issues too, such as black mould, water stains and lingering musty smells, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens.
Dehumidifiers can help prevent these problems by drawing the moisture out of the surrounding air and collecting it in a tank so that it can be easily disposed of down the drain.
They also come in handy if you dry laundry inside, as they will help your clothes to air dry quicker.
There are two types of dehumidifiers: refrigerant and desiccant. The former contain a cold surface, on which condensation forms when it comes into contact with humid air. Whereas, the latter contain an absorbent material that works like a sponge to soak up moisture from the air. Desiccant dehumidifiers work at lower temperatures than refrigerant ones, so are more effective in garages or unheated rooms, plus they are more powerful, so smaller models can clear the air in larger spaces.
When choosing a dehumidifier you'll want to think about how much space it will take up, the level of noise you're happy with and it's capacity (ie. how many litres of water it is able to extract from the air each day) - the larger the capacity the larger the space it will be effective in.
You may also want to consider whether it is worth investing in a model with a timer, or a quieter "night mode" — which will be particularly important for use in bedrooms.
To make your search a little easier we've rounded up some of the top-rated models currently on the market, with prices ranging from £40 to £260.
Best dehumidifiers to invest in
MeacoDry ABC Dehumidifier, White | £149.99 at John Lewis & Partners
This John Lewis bestseller is a refrigerant dehumidifier that is easy to use and very quiet, with a noise level of just 35dB. It is so quiet in fact that it has earned a Quiet Mark award meaning it is one of the quietest models of its size on the market.
It has a medium capacity with the ability to extract up to 10.26L of water in 24 hours, which the manufacturers say make it suitable for a one bed house.
Its tank can hold up to 2.6L of water before needing to be emptied, which is on the small side, but there is the option to attach a hose (which you'll have to buy separately) to connect it to a drain outlet for continuous drainage.
The digital display on the top shows the humidity level and a humidistat (which monitors the humidity in the air so it can adjust its settings accordingly. There is a timer, a dedicated laundry setting, (which will run the machine at max power for six hours) and a child lock to ensure settings aren't accidentally changed by inquisitive fingers.
Measuring 46cm x 29.5cm x 25.1cm (HxWxD), this is a compact design but it is quite heavy (11.5kg) and it doesn't have a carry handle or wheels, so isn't the easiest model to move from room to room.
EcoAir DD3 Classic MK2 | £219.96 at Amazon
This desiccant dehumidifier is lightweight but powerful. With a capacity of 10.5 litres per day (even at temperatures as low as 1ºC) and a large tank with a lid and carry handle, which can collect up 4.2 litres of water before needing to be emptied.
Measuring 52cm x 37.9cm x 23.9cm (HxWxD), it weighs just 7.5kg and features a carry handle to make moving it easier.
There is a control panel on top with a sensor that detects and displays humidity levels, as well as a laundry function and timer.
This model also comes with a washable antibacterial nano silver filter that promises to kills bacteria on contact, as well as 'Tilt Over’ safety protection, which means it automatically turns off if the unit tilts over.
This is another quiet design with a noise level when in "quiet mode" of just 36dB. It also expels air that is slightly warmer than the ambient air, which can help to heat the room.
Meaco Arete Dehumidifier & Air Purifier | £259.99 at John Lewis & Partners
This refrigerant dehumidifier also works as an air purifier, making it a good space saving option if you were thinking of investing in both gadgets.
It comes with a medical grade H13 HEPA filter, so when in air purifier mode it can help to remove smells and physical particles such as duct, pollen, pollutants, mould, dust mites, smoke and viruses from the air.
When used as a dehumidifier it has a large capacity of up to 20L per day, but despite its power, it is relatively quiet with a noise level of 38dB.
It also has a large lidded water tank which can hold up to 4.8L and there is the option for continuous drainage (but you'll need to buy a hose).
This model measures 56.2cm x 37.6cm x 23.2cm (HxWxD) and weighs a substantial 15kg, but it does come with castor wheels and a handle. Plus, one major selling point of this design is that unlike most dehumidifiers it has been designed with a side air intake so that it can be positioned discreetly against a wall.
The control panel is simple to use and the machine can be operated with one press of a smart humidity button, which will allow it to monitor humidity levels and increase the fan speed if needed and change to a quieter mode when the target humidity has almost been reached.
There is also a laundry mode, night mode and a child lock.
PureMate PM468 Portable Mini Compact Dehumidifier | £48.99 at Robert Dyas
This compact refrigerant model is the most popular dehumidifier on Robert Dyas' website. Reviews say it is "small, efficient, easy to use and easy to store".
Measuring just 22cm x 12.5cm x 15cm (HxWxD) it is lightweight (1.4kg), so very easy to move around and use in small spaces, (it is suitable for rooms up to 15m²).
It has a capacity of just 250ml of water a day, but for its size it has a relatively large water tank that can hold up to 500ml of water, meaning it will only need to be emptied once every other day.
Also available in black, there is no information available on this model's noise level in decibels, but the manufacturers claim it is a "whisper quiet" design.
Igenix IG9813 12L Dehumidifier - White | £137.99 at Robert Dyas
Another popular option at Robert Dyas, one happy shopper wrote in a review that this dehumidifier is "the best thing" they've purchased for their flat. "I can't believe the amount of moisture it removes," they continued. "It's quiet, energy efficient and a great price."
With a noise level of 45dB and a capacity of 12L in 24 hours, this refrigerant dehumidifier has a 2.5L water tank and a continuous drainage option (with the hose included).
The easy to use control panel is located on top of the unit, with functions including four dehumidifying modes (manual, auto, high and laundry dry), two fan speeds, a timer, sleep mode, child lock and an ioniser function.
Measuring 46cm x 28cm x 24cm (HxWxD) and weighing 10kg, it features handles and removable casters.
Logik L20DH19 Dehumidifier | £149.99 at Currys
This refrigerant dehumidifier has a capacity of 20L in 24 hours, a tank that will hold up to 3.8L of water and the option for continuous drainage via a hose.
Controlled via the LED digital display on the top of the unit, it has an efficient humidistat, timer, child lock and a dedicated laundry mode. Its noise level is 48dB.
Measuring 59cm x 34.6cm x 24.2cm (HxWxD) and weighing 13.3 kg, it has a carry handle and wheels.
Essentials C10DH19 Dehumidifier | £109.99 at Currys
With more than 500 customer reviews rating it on average 9 out of 10 stars, this is a popular choice at Currys. One recent customer review reads: "[It] completely transformed our porch from a very damp and moulding space to a clean welcoming entrance to our home. 100% recommend."
With a capacity of 10L in 24 hours and a tank capacity of 1.8L, it also comes with a hose for continuous drainage and runs at less than 47dB.
Easy to use, with four humidity settings and a timer, it measures 47.8cm x 29cm x 19cm (HxWx D) and weighs a relatively compact 9.6 kg.
Russell Hobbs RHDH1001 Portable Dehumidifier | £120 at Currys
This Russell Hobbs refrigerant dehumidifier has a noise level of 45.5dB and can extract up to 10L of water per day, with a 2L water tank, and the option to connect a drainage hose.
You can control how long it's on for using the timer on the display panel on the front and its LED indicators will let you know the humidity level in the room and when the water tank needs emptying. It also has an auto-defrost function to prevent the tank icing over if in a cold room such as a garage.
Measuring 40cm x 32cm x 21cm (HxWxD) and weighing 11.4kg, it has both a carry handle and wheel.
Pro Breeze 12L/Day Dehumidifier | £149.99 at Amazon
If you're after a quiet model with a slightly larger capacity than the Meaco ABC, this 12L a day model has also been awarded a quiet mark, with a noise level of 42dB..
Ideal for use in large rooms with persistent damp issues, its 1.8L water tank is on the small side, but a continuous drainage hose is also included.
Measuring 24cm x 28.5cm x 49.5cm and weighing 9.5kg, it is mounted on four wheels for easy portability between rooms.
The digital display shows the room humidity level and allows you to choose between three dehumidification modes (auto, continuous and sleep). It also features a timer, humidistat, fan-only mode for air circulation, child lock and a defrosting system.
EcoAir DC18 Compact Dehumidifier | £179.94 at Amazon
This compact dehumidifier has a large capacity of up to 18L per day, a 3.5L lidded water tank and a hose for continuous drainage.
Measuring 35.3cm x 49.6cm x 35.3cm and weighing 14.5kg, this is a substantial bit of kit, but it does have concealed easy glide castor wheels to make it easier to move around.
Humidity levels can be monitored and managed via the control pad, with a humidistat and self diagnosis indicators that let you know if the filter needs cleaning or the water tank is full. There is also a timer and auto defrost and the machine runs at a noise level of 43dB.
Inventor EVA ION PRO Wi-Fi 20L Dehumidifier | £179.99 at Amazon
This top-rated dehumidifier is Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled remotely using the INVMATE II App on your phone or tablet.
Alternatively you can set your desired humidity and choose settings (such as the laundry mode) on the digital control panel, which will alert you if the filter needs cleaning or the water tank is full.
It also has an integrated ioniser, HEPA mini-filter and an Activated Carbon mini-filter which may assist in relieving the air from odours, allergens and viruses.
With a capacity of 20L per day and a 3L water tank, it has a very low noise level for its large capacity at just 37dB.
Measuring 51cm x 35cm x 51 cm and weighing a hefty 16kg, it is a large machine, but it does have rolling casters to make repositioning it easier.
Duronic DH05 Mini Dehumidifier | £39.99 at Amazon
This compact model is ideal for small rooms and small spaces of up to 15m². It has a daily capacity of between 150ml and 250ml, and a 500ml water tank, so you won't need to empty the tank every day.
There is just one speed setting, which operates quietly with a noise level of just 36dB.
It measures just 15.4cm x 14.5cm x 22cm, so you can easily position it on a shelf without taking up too much space.