Dehumidifiers come in many sizes. Small dehumidifiers for a room or two, maybe even small flat dehumidifiers, are becoming increasingly more popular.
Example: For a bedroom or bathroom, you don’t really need a big 50-pint dehumidifier; that’s overkill. You need a small room dehumidifier.
Here are the 3 standard sizes of dehumidifiers according to the new 2019 DOE standards:
- Big dehumidifiers; 50-pint units. These have maximum theoretical coverage of up to 4,500 sq ft and realistic coverage of about 1,200 sq ft.
- Standard-sized dehumidifiers; 35-pint units. These have maximum theoretical coverage of up to 3,000 sq ft and realistic coverage of about 800 sq ft.
- Small dehumidifiers; 20-22 pint units. These have maximum theoretical coverage of up to 1,500 sq ft and realistic coverage of about 400 sq ft.
Even in individual rooms, high relative humidity levels above 60% don’t only feel damp. These kinds of moisture levels can also cause nasty mold infections, among other things. Here’s the EPA’s recommendation for small dehumidifiers and indoor relative humidity levels:
Indoor relative humidity (RH) should be kept below 60 percent — ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible. Low humidity may also discourage pests (such as cockroaches) and dust mites. (EPA on indoor humidity levels and mold)
Small dehumidifiers are primarily used when you have high humidity in a single room. The bathroom, for example, is prone to high humidity. Sleeping in a damp environment can be very unpleasant; that’s why small bedroom dehumidifiers are used to lower the relative humidity levels.
When choosing the best small dehumidifiers, you need to take into account 3 key factors (along with 2 secondary factors) we explain further on. On top of that, we need to distinguish between small room dehumidifiers (20-22 pint units) and mini dehumidifiers (the smallest 1-pint units).
Based on analyzing these primary and secondary factors, we have chosen the best dehumidifiers currently on the market. You will find a list of the best dehumidifier for a bathroom, a bedroom, and so on below. The list of complete with a spec-by-spec small dehumidifier comparison table and reviews. You can skip to the whole list here:
Before we check which small dehumidifiers are the best, let’s dive into how we can test how good a small dehumidifier actually is:
3 Primary Specs To Check Out When Picking A Small Dehumidifier
Any small dehumidifier should be small in dimensions, portable, and, above all else, have an adequate (independently) measured dehumidification rate.
Here’s how we define which dehumidifiers are small, based on the specification sheet:
- 20-22 Pint Dehumidification Rate. Any small dehumidifier should have a small dehumidification rate, tested and measured by AHAM. 35-pint and 50-pint units are not considered small; a small dehumidifier should have below 25-pint capacity.
- Small Dimensions (Compact). If you’re going to use a small dehumidifier in a bathroom or bedroom, it should indeed be small, even dimensions-wise. Small compact dehumidifiers have should not surpass 17x12x20 inches dimensions for width, depth, and height respectively.
- Lightweight (Portable). If you want to use a small dehumidifier for the bathroom and bedroom, for example, it needs to be portable. That means it has to be light enough to pick it up and place it in another room with ease. Aim for lightweight dehumidifiers that weigh less than 40 lbs.
As you might imagine, the most important specification is the dehumidifier capacity. Even with small dehumidifiers, there might be some confusion as far as the measured dehumidification rates go.
Let’s clear that up before we check the secondary factors that go into choosing the best small dehumidifiers:
Small Dehumidifier Capacity (2012 Vs. 2019 DOE Standards)
The capacity of dehumidifiers is expressed in ‘Pints’. All dehumidifiers sold in the US have to pass the ‘Pint Capacity’ test, designed by DOE and verified by AHAM. What do those pints actually mean?
Pint capacity determines how much air moisture per day can a dehumidifier extract from indoor air at test conditions. Example: A small 22-pint dehumidifier can extract 22 pints (2.75 US gallons) of air moisture from indoor air per day (at test conditions).
Now, here is where the confusion comes in:
Before 2019, we had 30-pint, 50-pint, and 70-pint dehumidifiers. In 2021, we have 22-22 pint, 35-pint, and 50-pint dehumidifiers. These are exactly the same products. What gives?
In short, test conditions. Before 2019, we used the 2012 DOE testing standard for measuring the pint capacity of small dehumidifiers. Every dehumidifier was tested at 60% humidity levels and 80°F temperature.
In 2019, DOE brought out the new ’10 CFR Parts 429 and 430′ standard generally referred to as ‘2019 DOE testing standards for dehumidifiers‘. According to these standards, every dehumidifier sold in the US has to be tested at 60% humidity levels and 65°F temperature.
The pint capacity changed because we now test them at a 15°F lower temperature. Before 2019, 30-pint units were considered small. Now, according to the new DOE standard, 20-22 pint dehumidifiers are considered small.
When checking out various small dehumidifiers, you might see this:
Dehumidification capacity: 22-pint (30-pint old 2012 DOE standard)
That difference is simply due to different testing conditions. We hope that this clears up some confusion that people buying small dehumidifiers (or any dehumidifiers) might have.
Let’s look at what else we have to check when buying small room dehumidifiers:
3 Secondary Specs To Check Out As Well
On top of the dehumidification rate, compact dimensions, and weight, you should also check for two other specs.
- Water Tank Capacity (Above 0.5 Gallons). All the water a small dehumidifier will extract from indoor air will be accumulated in the water tank. Nobody really likes emptying that tank every few hours. To avoid that, go for a small dehumidifier with bigger water tanks; shoot for at least 0.5-gallon tank capacity. The bigger the tank the better. Another option is a small dehumidifier with a drain hose; this will continuously empty drain the tank so you don’t have to manually empty it.
- Energy Factor (Energy Star Rating). With big whole-house dehumidifiers, the EF factor is one of the most important specs you should check. Not so with the small dehumidifiers because these units use less electricity. However, if you can save on electricity by choosing an energy-efficient small dehumidifier, you should do just that. In many cases, the specification sheet of a small dehumidifier doesn’t list the EF factor. It does list, however, if a small dehumidifier is Energy Star rated or not.
In short, the Energy Star rated small dehumidifiers will save you some electricity (you can check how much does it cost to run a dehumidifier here). A bigger water tank will save you a bit of trouble as far as how often you will have to empty it.
A Note On Mini Dehumidifiers
You might notice that the smallest dehumidifiers have a 1-pint or even 0.5-pint capacity. That’s a lot less than 22-pints, right?
Here it is important to understand that there are small dehumidifiers and compact mini dehumidifiers. Both are the smallest units in their own respective category but there are huge differences between small dehumidifiers and mini dehumidifiers.
Namely, mini dehumidifiers are almost toy-like. They are really tiny and often less efficient and less reliable than actual small dehumidifiers. You will usually find 20-22 pint, 35 pint, and 50 pint dehumidifiers. The 50 pint ones are ‘big’ and the 20-22 pint ones are considered small dehumidifiers.
These small dehumidifiers are the real thing. They are tested by AHAM, have a measured capacity according to the 2019 DOE Rating Standard, have Energy Star labels, safety certifications, and so on. The mini dehumidifiers usually don’t have any of that; they are basically considered to be a joke in the HVAC community.
Regardless, however, we have included the two best mini dehumidifiers in the list below.
Considering all of these primary and secondary specifications, we can now check which are the best small dehumidifiers for sale in 2021:
Best Small And Mini Dehumidifiers (+ Specs, Reviews)
- Best Small Dehumidifier For Bedroom: Vremi 22 Pint (Best Small Room Dehumidifier)
- Best Small Dehumidifier For Bathroom: hOmeLabs 22 Pint
- Also Good Small Dehumidifier With Drain Hose: Tosot 20 Pint
- Best Compact Mini Dehumidifier: Vremi 1 Pint
- Smallest Mini Dehumidifier: hOmeLabs 0.5 Pint
1. Best Small Dehumidifier For Bedroom: Vremi 22 Pint (Best Small Room Dehumidifier)
For the bedroom, you will need a small dehumidifier that is both quiet and energy-efficient. Quiet because you want to sleep with it running and energy-efficient because it will run for at least 8 hours while you sleep. Vremi 22-pint unit is the best small bedroom dehumidifier.
Vremi 22-pint dehumidifier is the quintessential small room dehumidifier. It has a not-too-big dehumidification rate; 22-pint capacity is all you need even for a large 300 sq ft master bedroom.
Dimension-wise it’s sufficiently small. You can put it on the floor, on a table, or even on a bigger nightstand. It’s less than 20 inches tall and weighs 33.1 lbs; it’s quite a portable small dehumidifier.
Vremi 22-pint dehumidifier has an above 0.5-gallon water tank (0.8 gallons, to be exact). That means that even if you put it in a bedroom with 60% relative humidity levels, it can sufficiently lower the humidity levels and it will run for 8 hours without the tank needing to be emptied.
Most importantly, this is pretty much the quietest small dehumidifier, perfect for bedrooms. On top of that, it has an Energy Star rating. That means that – despite running it throughout the night – it will have no significant impact on your electricity bills.
All in all, the Vremi 22-pint model is the best dehumidifier for a bedroom. It’s quiet, energy-efficient, and small enough to be moved to other rooms when needed:
2. Best Small Dehumidifier For Bathroom: hOmeLabs 22 Pint
A room with the highest indoor relative humidity is in most cases the bathroom. That’s why we can first notice signs of mold infestation there (dark spots in the corners). To reduce above 70% relative humidity levels there, you will need the best bathroom dehumidifier; and that’s the hOmeLabs 22-pint unit.
Due to all the water in the bathroom, this is a room with constantly higher relative humidity levels, compared to other rooms. When showering (especially with hot water), for example, there is a surge of moisture. To quickly reduce all that moisture, the hOmeLabs 22-pint unit uses high dehumidification rates for a small dehumidifier. This is to fight the acute increase in the bathroom relative humidity levels.
The hOmeLabs 22-pint dehumidifier is also small enough to be placed in the bathroom. You usually put it on top of the washing machine or a bathroom mantel. Do be aware that this is an electric device and shouldn’t be placed on the bathroom’s floor. That’s a safety measure to avoid problems that may occur if the bathroom is flooded.
With the 0.8-gallon water tank, you won’t be troubled with emptying the water every hour. Be mindful, however; when showering with hot water, your bathroom with be full of hot and humid air. Capturing all that hot moisture can quickly fill the big hOmeLabs dehumidifier’s tank.
As far as energy efficiency goes, the small hOmeLabs dehumidifier was awarded the Energy Star rating. That makes it one of the most efficient small dehumidifiers.
In short, the bathroom is the most troublesome room in your home, at least as far as high relative humidity levels are concerned. To high-powered and best small dehumidifier for bathroom is the hOmeLabs 22-pint unit:
3. Also Good Small Dehumidifier With Drain Hose: Tosot 20 Pint
For everybody who hates manually emptying water tanks, here’s the best advice: Just get a small dehumidifier with a drain hose. Tosot makes the best small dehumidifier with the continuous drain hose; it’s the Tosot 20-pint unit.
20-pint capacity is the smallest dehumidifier capacity, measured by AHAM according to the new 2019 testing standards. That’s a 10% lower capacity than the small Vremi and hOmeLabs dehumidifiers.
The key advantage of a small Tosot dehumidifier is the drain hose. At the back of the unit, you will find the hose attachment part. You can connect a 3/4 female threaded garden hose there. The gravity will ensure continuous drainage of the water tank. That means you won’t have to manually empty its big 0.9-gallon tank at all.
Be aware, however, that the end of the hose has to be located at a lower point than the dehumidifier. That’s because this is not a small dehumidifier with a pump (anti-gravity); it is a gravity-based drainage system.
With only a 13.4-inch width dimension, this is the most compact small dehumidifier. The depth dimension is 9.9-inch and the height dimension 19.5-inch.
Small Tosot dehumidifier is also Energy Star rated, ensuring that you will spend the least amount of electricity to run it.
All in all, if you want to avoid emptying the water tank, your best option is the Tosot small dehumidifier with a drain hose attachment:
4. Best Compact Mini Dehumidifier: Vremi 1 Pint
|Dehumidification Capacity:||1 Pint per day|
|Coverage:||Up to 150 sq ft|
|Water Tank Capacity:||0.4 Gallons|
|Energy Star Rated?||N/A|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||7 x 4.9 x 11 Inches|
Mini dehumidifiers are very small dehumidifiers with less than 20-pint capacity. These, as mentioned, are not tested by AHAM and are not considered ‘true’ dehumidifiers. Nonetheless, they might help if you have a small room with a little too high indoor relative humidity levels. Out of all these tiny units, the best mini dehumidifier is the Vremi 1-pint unit.
As opposed to 20-pint dehumidifiers, the Vremi has a pint capacity of only 1 pint. That’s a 95% smaller capacity than the smallest true dehumidifiers. The specified coverage area is 150 sq ft. However, all of this is to be taken with a grain of salt.
These tiny dehumidifiers just don’t have the capacity to deal with over 60% humidity levels. Their dimensions are tiny; about half of the standard small 20-pint dehumidifiers. So is the water tank; Vremi 1-pint unit has a 0.4-gallon water tank.
Water tank capacity to dehumidification capacity is huge. Vremi has 20 times smaller dehumidification capacity than 20-pint units but it has 1/2 of the water tank compared to those units. That means that you can easily run it for several days without the need to empty the water tank.
All in all, if you’re in the market for a mini dehumidification, the 1-pint Vremi unit is your best choice:
5. Smallest Mini Dehumidifier: hOmeLabs 0.5 Pint
|Dehumidification Capacity:||0.5 Pints per day|
|Coverage:||Up to 150 sq ft|
|Water Tank Capacity:||0.1 Gallons|
|Energy Star Rated?||N/A|
|Dimensions (WxDxH):||6.5 x 5.3 x 8.5 Inches|
hOmeLabs has also designed the tiniest possible dehumidifier. That’s a tiny mini dehumidifier with only 0.5-pint capacity. That is equal to 0.0625 US gallons. You can literally place this mini dehumidifier on a nightstand.
Of course, a 0.5-pint dehumidifier has a lot to be desired in terms of capacity. It’s 40x smaller than the smallest real dehumidifier; the 20-pint unit. However, it has a 0.1-gallon tank. That’s only 10x smaller.
The result is that you can run the hOmeLabs dehumidifier literally for a whole week without needing to touch the water tank.
Nonetheless, the impact of indoor humidity levels is very limited. Limited by the capacity, of course.
Such mini dehumidifiers are very cheap but it’s doubtful that they make a sensible decision if your goal is truly to lower the indoor humidity levels.
That’s about it on small, smaller, and the smallest dehumidifiers. Hopefully, you can see that mini dehumidifiers are a joke, so to speak, and that the 20-22 pint dehumidifiers, verified by AHAM, are very useful, especially for lowering indoor relative humidity levels in bathrooms and bedrooms.