Are Small Dehumidifiers any Good? Should You Buy Them?

are small dehumidifiers any good

Dehumidifiers are a necessity for any home. They filter moisture out of the air to keep your room at an appropriate moisture level to avoid mold and mildew.

This helps prevent the slew of health issues that mold and mildew bring, protects your walls and flooring from looking horrendously ugly, and stops your house from feeling like a humid Florida summer.

That said, normal dehumidifiers are often far too large and clunky for smaller rooms and flats.

Despite this, dehumidifiers aren’t any less needed in these rooms; if anything, smaller rooms need dehumidifiers more due to their tendency to attract mold or mildew, particularly near water sources or the floor/roof.

Unless you want your walls and roof to be covered in mold by next week, you need to get a small dehumidifier.

A small dehumidifier is exactly what it sounds like – its a device specifically made to fit in smaller rooms and areas. But if you’ve never bought a small dehumidifier before, you might not know where to begin.

Luckily, we’ve compiled this mini-guide on what you need to look out for when buying a small dehumidifier.

The Benefits of Small Dehumidifiers

One of the most simple but important reasons to buy a dehumidifier is that it makes any room more comfortable.

We’re super sensitive to high humidity; as soon as the moisture in the air reaches 40% or more, nearly every part of your body will feel it instantly.

Everything gets worse when it feels like you’re waddling through swampland just to get to the fridge.

Besides the moisture, a higher humidity level also means that the temperature will feel even hotter than usual.

Don’t crank the AC up and pay extra on power when you don’t need to.

Getting a small dehumidifier will make everything feel less hot, wet, sticky, and generally sucky.

Dehumidifiers also help prevent mold, as we’ve already said.

Mold doesn’t just look super ugly—it’s also hazardous to your health.

You can get terrible allergic reactions to it, such as irritation of the eyes and skin, sneezing, coughs, etc.

Plus, once you get mold, it’s hard to get rid of… unless you fix your humidity.

A dehumidifier will lower your room’s humidity, eliminating the conditions allowing mold to cultivate.

Be proactive, not reactive; don’t wait for your walls to be covered in mold before you get a dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers will also help protect your furniture

Even beyond mold, there’s tons of havoc that high humidity will wreck your furniture.

Damp air will cause your furniture to decay far more quickly than usual.

Some decaying materials—-like rotting wood—-will also stink up the place if not taken care of quickly.

Unless you want your living room to be filled with Eau de Mort, you should probably get a dehumidifier.

Finally, small dehumidifiers are lightweight, convenient, and easy to maintain

As we said, a regular humidifier may be too large for smaller rooms and apartments.

Plus, although they’re capable of dehumidifying more air, they’re often a lot clunkier to clean and set up due to their size.

Small dehumidifiers are not only petite enough to be placed just about anywhere—from a bedroom to a closet—-they’re also far easier to store and clean.

Some of them are so mini that you can even place them inside a gun safe or a shoe cabinet/rack to keep your belongings moisture-free and safe.

They’re also small enough that you won’t have to worry about loud, disruptive sounds at night.

What Should I Look for In a Small Dehumidifier?

There are many different factors to consider when buying a small dehumidifier—-some obvious, some that wouldn’t have crossed your mind until you’re stuck with the dang thing.

Below are some of the more important ones.

Consider the size of the dehumidifier.

Duh! You’re looking for something on the smaller side, but what small means exactly may depend on the person.

How much space do you have? Do you want something that can fit in a tight, cramped closet, or are you working with a kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom with a bit more space?

Consider the CFM and ACH of the dehumidifier.

A dehumidifier works in two values: CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) and ACH (Air Changes per Hour).

CFM tells us the units of air that can only be extracted directly through the unit—-in other words, if the air is going to be dehumidified, it will need to pass directly through the dehumidifier.

The bigger your room, the more CFM you want to look for.

To calculate the CFM, you need the ACH value. ACH tells us the number of times the humid air should be processed through the dehumidifier.

This is based on the moisture level of your room; the more humid the room, the more ACH you’ll need.

A room with somewhat damp air—say, 60-70% humidity—-should have a dehumidifier with an ACH of 3. Still, if you’re looking to dehumidify a very wet room with standing water, it’s recommended to have an ACH of about 6.

To calculate the CFM you’ll want for your dehumidifier, take the ACH value, and multiply it by the number of cubic feet in your room.

Then, divide that value by 60 minutes to get the ideal CFM value of your dehumidifier.

How much moisture capacity does the dehumidifier have?

You don’t want to constantly be emptying your dehumidifier’s moisture tank every hour.

Your typical small dehumidifier will hold about 10-15 ounces of water at a time, but there are units capable of carrying far more or far less.

We recommend you get a dehumidifier that only requires you to empty the tank about once every 24 hours.

How much power does the small dehumidifier use?

Small dehumidifiers typically use less power than their larger counterparts, but the power they need might depend on the model you buy.

Older, less optimized models may be cheaper, but they may also use more energy than newer models with energy-saving options.

Also, consider what power source you’d want to look for in your dehumidifier.

If you have outlets available and accessible, a plug-in dehumidifier might be for you, but if not, consider buying a battery-powered dehumidifier.

How many features does the dehumidifier have? Some small dehumidifiers come with many handy features, from mobility wheels to timers.

One typical—though not guaranteed—feature is automatic shutoff whenever the moisture tank gets too full, which will help you avoid messy overflows.

That said, while extra features are cool and all…

How user-friendly is the dehumidifier?

You don’t wanna get a dehumidifier with a bunch of extra buttons and gizmos you have no idea how to use.

Ideally, setting up a small dehumidifier should be a simple and quick experience that you can do without too much pain.

You’ll be doing it repeatedly, so you don’t want to get discouraged from doing it.

Try to balance cool features with user-friendliness, and make sure that whatever brand you end up buying has good manuals and documentation if you need help.

Will it be an eye-or-ear-sore?

Your dehumidifier will probably be nearly constantly turned on and put on display, so considering the aesthetic aspects of your device is a good idea. 

Small dehumidifiers can come in a vast array of styles and patterns, so take your pick to ensure it fits the rest of the room.

Do you want something slick and modern or a bit cozy and rustic?

Maybe you’d ideally like for no one to notice it at all, or maybe you want it to be flashy and bright.

As for noise, higher-quality models tend to make nearly no noticeable noise, but some may make slight background noise.

If you find yourself sensitive to small noises like that, make sure you read reviews and try the dehumidifier to test the waters so that you don’t find it driving you up the wall when you’re trying to get work done.

That said, while a nice-looking and sounding dehumidifier is ideal, an ugly and loud small dehumidifier is still preferable to mold all over your walls, so don’t waffle too much.

In Conclusion: Are small dehumidifiers any good?

Still thinking about whether you need to have a small dehumidifier in your home?

Let me tell you, small dehumidifiers are a fantastic way to make sure that smaller apartments and flats don’t become too damp, rotten, and mold-ridden, but they’re no easy purchase.

When looking for a small dehumidifier, we recommend ensuring you get the right size and CFM/ACH for your room with helpful features like auto-shutoff to avoid unfortunate accidents.

That said, you should also consider things like how much moisture a dehumidifier can hold, how user-friendly it is, and how the dehumidifier will look/sound.

Hopefully, we’ve managed to enlighten you about the utility of small dehumidifiers. If not, well…enjoy the mold!