How to Pick The Quietest Dehumidifier? Guide & Reviews

For those in a hurry, this guide’s designated the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 as our Best Quiet Dehumidifier. (See review here)

Have you ever counted how many appliances are ON at the same time in your home? TV, air conditioner, fridge, fans all are sources of noise pollution. 

If you’ve used a dehumidifier, you might have noticed how noisy it can get. Unlike a blender, it doesn’t remain on for a few minutes. Whether it’s a dehumidifier for a basement or a bedroom, it will run and generate a background noise. So this noise’d rather be pleasant. That’s why it’s important to choose a whisper quiet unit.

We’ll tackle together how to choose the quietest dehumidifier.

Top Pick #2
hOmeLabs HME020031N
hOmeLabs HME020031N
  • Capacity 50 Pints
(*)De. Rate
4.5/5
Quietness
4/5
Ergonomy
4.5/5
Price
4.5/5
Our Top Pick
Frigidaire FFAD5033W1
Frigidaire FFAD5033W1
  • Capacity 50 Pints
(*)De. Rate
5/5
Quietness
5/5
Ergonomy
5/5
Price
4/5
Budget Friendly
Black_Decker BDT50WTB
Black+Decker BTD50WTB
  • Capacity 50 Pints
(*)De. Rate
4.5/5
Quietness
4.2/5
Ergonomy
4/5
Price
5/5

(*) Dehumidifying Rate​

What is a Dehumidifier Good for?

If you notice black spots on walls, mildew smells, there’s a high chance the humidity level is too high.

Humid air is a favorable environment for allergy triggers, dust mites, and mold. These allergens spread in the atmosphere and can trigger symptoms like:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Difficulty to breath
  • Asthma attacks
  • Skin irritation.

To prevent the proliferation of those allergens, a solution is to reduce the humidity in the air.

  • Reducing the hygrometry level below 50% is an effective way to reduce the proliferation of mold. 
  • Purifying air helps reduce the level of allergen in the air. Some dehumidifiers also have an air purification function.

Can a Dehumidifier be Silent?

Deconstruct the idea of a silent dehumidifier. It’s simply impossible. To give you an idea of a good noise level for a quiet dehumidifier, aim under 55 dB (measured 10 ft from dehumidifier at max fan speed).

BUT…

When it comes to noise levels, a quiet dehumidifier is not only about picking the lower dB rating score. The compressor and the fan also play a role in how pleasant the sound is. More details below. 

How to Choose a Quiet Dehumidifier?

The Noise Level

The 2 main sources of noise come from:

  1. The compressor:
    Its noise is generally unpleasant. It has a higher frequency vibe and has this buzzing sound. Maybe you have ever experienced the buzzing sound of a fridge. Well, this has a similar noise profile.
  1. The fan
    • It depends on the air flow capacity measured in CFM (ft3/min). The higher air flow capacity, the noisier. But, the sound is smoother and more pleasant.
    • The fan exhaust position also influences how we experience the noise. Top exhaust distributes the noise more evenly (omnidirectional) throughout the room. On the other hand, side exhaust distributes the noise more directionally (unidirectional).

Pleasant sound / Higher noise level

Remember the compressor offers an unpleasant sound. A good way to solve it, is to mask it with a more pleasant noise like the fan noise. The higher the CFM, the noisier the fan, the better the masking effect.

Additionally top exhaust position is better because it blows omnidirectionally. Unlike a side exhaust which masking effect works only when facing the exhaust (on the side).

Pleasant sound / High noise = High fan CFM + Top exhaust

Unpleasant sound / Lower noise level

Let’s say you don’t mind the buzzy noise of the compressor and your focus is on the lowest noise level.

In this case, every component should output the least noise. It means low noise compressor, low air flow fan, and a side exhaust to focus sound in one direction.

Unpleasant sound / Low noise = Low compressor noise + Low fan CFM + Side exhaust

Capacity & Space Covered

The capacity expresses the quantity of water the dehumidifier can remove per day. It is expressed in pints which is ⅛ of a gallon (or 473 mL). For instance, a product with a capacity of 50 pints means it can remove 50 pints of water from air a day.

Space covered is how much surface the dehumidifier has to operate in. The more surface translates into more air volume to dehumidify. But defining a volume of air does not define how much water is present in the air. This is why retailers provide a sizing chart to help pick the right capacity.

I wouldn’t recommend to follow those size charts. The main reasons being:

  • From one manufacturer to another, information can be contradictory. For example, manufacturer A will recommend 30 pints and Manufacturer B 20 pints for the same surface and humidity.
  • Sizing charts are often limited to 1500 ft2.
  • Sizing charts don’t take into account ceiling height.
  • Sizing charts are usually extrapolated data (from tests).

My advice is to buy the highest capacity dehumidifier in your budget. Here are the following reasons:

  • Capacity = Dehumidifying rate.
    A 50 pint dehumidifier removes 50 pints per 24 hours ⇒ 2.08 pint/hour
    A 35 pint dehumidifier removes 35 pints per 24 hours ⇒ 1.46 pint/hour
    Thus, 50 pints capacity is 43% faster in removing water than 35 pints.
  • Energy saving. Let’s keep the example above comparing 50 pints and 35 pints capacity. To remove 100 pints in 24 hours, Which one will run less time and thus be more energy efficient? The 50 pints dehumidifier.
  • Lifecycle. In the long terms using a higher capacity device will solicit less cycles in mechanical parts. Mechanical parts’ lifespan is sized per cycle of use. Therefore, the 50 pints device has better longevity.
  • Price. A 50 pints capacity is more expensive than lower capacity. But if you take time to look at prices on the market, it’s not 2 times more expensive. It’s actually 20% to 30% more expensive than a 35 pint capacity device. But you have to keep in mind the saved money on energy and the better lifespan.

Dehumidifying Rate Effectivity

When dehumidifying a room, you want the humidity to be removed as fast as possible. In this section, we outline the average time expected for a dehumidifier to remove humidity. This time duration depends on the capacity of the model: 

  • A 22 pints capacity: from 90% to 40%, expect around 35 minutes for a 50 ft² room.
  • A 35 pints capacity: from 90% to 40%, expect around 18 minutes for a 50 ft² room.
  • A 50 pints capacity: from 90% to 40%, expect around 11 minutes for a 50 ft² room.

I consider anything under the average duration quoted above, as a good dehumidifying rate.

Ease of Use

The control panel should be ergonomic and simple to use. What controls you should expect:

  • Set desired humidity range
  • Timer
  • Fan speed
  • Defrost mode (in case frost builds up on the evaporator)

Considering draining, the presence of an internal pump is a plus. However be wary, reliability of those added components can vary (according users’ reviews). Addition of an external condensate pump can be an alternative.

Energy Efficiency

The smaller capacity dehumidifiers don’t consume less than the bigger ones. Energy efficiency depends on time. A unit taking less time to remove a certain amount of water is more energy efficient.

The Energy Star certification is a convenient way to know if your device is energy efficient. Energy consumption is defined by how many water liters are processed for 1 kiloWatt hour (L/kWh).

The Energy Star certification is compliant with the Department of Energy (DoE) directives.

Product Capacity
(pints/day)
Integrated Energy Factor Under Test Conditions1
(L/kWh)
≤ 25.00≥ 1.57
25.01 to 50≥ 1.80
≥ 50≥ 3.30
SOURCE

Note: This table also exposes how much more energy efficient larger capacity are to lower capacity dehumidifiers.

For 1 kWh, a 50 pints device has to convert at least 3,30 L of water. While for the same energy, a 25 pints device is expected to convert a minimum of 1.57L.

Warranty

All brands offer a 1 year warranty, in the exception of hOmeLabs, Hisense, and Danby. Those 3 brands offer 2 years of warranty which is not negligible when choosing a model.

TOP 3 Quiet Dehumidifiers: 50 Pints Capacity

1. Frigidaire FFAD5033W1

Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 best quiet dehumidifier

The Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 is a 50 pint dehumidifier and does not include a Built-in pump. For the most nerdy of us, this model replaces the FFAD7033R1.

This device is our top pick because its noise profile is very pleasant and it has almost no flaws in terms of performance.

At any speed, the fan covers the buzzing compressor noise. Also the fan exhaust is blowing on top of the device. This results in a pleasant sound while the noise level is below the 55dB (10 ft away, count 54 dB for high fan speed).

It has an excellent dehumidification rate. It takes less than 8 minutes to bring humidity from 90% down to 40% in a 50 ft² room. The average being 12 min.

It removes humidity fast. As a consequence, its energy efficiency profile is excellent as well (although it’s a 7.8 amps device). No wonder, the device is compliant to the Energy star certification.

It is easy to use. It includes the controls to automatically regulate a humidity range. The defrost mode is particularly efficient. It does not stop the dehumidification process when the defrost mode is on.

Overall, the Frigidaire has no weakness. It’s whisper quiet and very performant.


PROs
  • Noise profile is pleasant and smooth
  • Dehumidifying performance is one of the best on market
  • Defrost mode is not cutting out the dehumidifying function & saves energy
  • Good energy efficiency
  • Big bucket capacity (16.9 pints)
  • Interface is clear and easy to set up
  • Build quality is good
CONs
  • Warranty only lasts 1 year

2. hOmeLabs HME020031N

hOmeLabs HME020031N quietest dehumidifier

The hOmeLabs HME020031N is a 50 pints dehumidifier. The brand hOmeLabs is one of the few brands to deliver a 2 years warranty and does not include a Built-in pump.

This device has a low dB rating. Indeed, 10 ft away from the device, the measure reaches 50 dB at high fan speed. This is better than the 54dB of the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1. This is very positive but the compressor buzzing can still be heard. Because the fan has lower CFM than the Frigidaire, it covers the compressor noise less. On top of that, the exhaust is sideway. So it doesn’t spread noise in all directions and doesn’t mask the compressor from every angle.

It has a good dehumidification rate. It takes 10 minutes to bring humidity from 90% down to 40% in a 50 ft² room. The average being 12 min.

Energy is the power consumed over time.

  • It’s powered by lower current intensity (6.7 amp.) than the Frigidair. 
  • But It takes a bit more time to perform the same task.

So it must be a close one in terms of energy consumption between those two. Note that, it also earnt the Energy Star certification.

Overall, even if the compressor noise is low it could still be heard. This leads to a less pleasant sound compared to the Frigidaire. But if you’re looking for a globally quiet device in raw dB values, this device might suit you better.


PROs
  • Global dB rating is excellently low
  • Dehumidifying performance is good
  • Good energy efficiency
  • A light model (only 40 pounds)
  • Interface is easy to set up
  • Build quality is good
  • Good warranty length: 2 years
CONs
  • The buzzing compressor can still be heard
  • Tank size is small (12.8 pints)

3. Black+Decker BDT50WTB

Black+Decker BDT50WTB silent dehumidifier

The Black+Decker BDT50WTB is a 50 pints capacity dehumidifier. It comes with a 1 year warranty. Built-in pump for drainage is an option. The device can be sold with or without. 

In terms of noise ratings, this model scores 54dB (10 ft away at high speed fan). The noise level is close to the Frigidaire reviewed above. And like the Frigidaire, the CFM fan is relatively high. Thus, it does a good job at masking the compressor sound.

At low speed, the fan is less effective at covering the buzz from the compressor. To summarize, this device is globally quiet but it outputs a more pleasant sound at high fan speed.

It has a good dehumidification rate. It takes a little bit less than 10 minutes to bring humidity from 90% down to 40% in a 50 ft² room. The average being 12 min.

Energy is the power consumed over time. In that regard, this device shows a similar energy consumption pattern as the hOmeLabs. We demonstrated that the hOmeLabs was energy efficient because of low power feed and the fast dehumidification rate.

The device comes with the Energy Star certification.

Overall, this device offers solid dehumidifying performance paired with good energy efficiency. The noise profile is more pleasant than the hOmeLabs but globally higher in dB rating.


PROs
  • Noise level is in the range of a quiet dehumidifier
  • Dehumidifying performance is good
  • Good energy efficiency
  • Built-in pump for drainage in option
CONs
  • The buzzing compressor can still be heard
  • Interface labels not clear might require the manual
  • Build quality is average
  • Warranty only lasts 1 year

TOP 2 Quiet Dehumidifiers: Under 50 Pints Capacity

Smaller capacity dehumidifiers have smaller compressors. Thus, it tends to reduce the global noise output.

Smaller capacity dehumidifiers emit less noise.

If low noise is your first criteria, you might consider looking for small capacity models (22 or 35 pints). It’s going against the recommendation of buying a large dehumidifier in your budget. But you know better than anyone what you need!

Manufacturers tend to propose models that are available at 50, 35, and 22 pints capacity.

They keep the same build quality, features, ease of use and warranty. Of course smaller capacity means reduced dehumidifying performance. But all the above reviews still apply to below.

Our TOP Recommendations:

For 35 Pints Capacity: hOmeLabs HME020006N

The hOmeLabs HME020006N belongs to the same family as the hOmeLabs HME020031N (50 pints) reviewed above.

hOmeLabs HME020006N silent dehumidifier

For 22 Pints Capacity: Frigidaire FFAD2233W1

The Frigidaire FFAD2233W1 belongs to the same family as the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 (50 pints) reviewed above.

Frigidaire FFAD2233W1 silent dehumidifier

Summary

Now, I hope you are ready to choose the dehumidifier that fits your needs. I also hope this guide provided you with a good understanding of noise emission.

My personal preference goes to the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 (50 pints). Again, I can’t highlight enough the better deal it is to buy a higher capacity dehumidifier. And the Frigidaire provides the best performance and the best user experience for the same price as its competitors.

Peace & Zen-up,

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Ludovic
Ludovic
Ludovic uses his technical experience as a Mechanical Engineer to compile Soundproofing DIY guides. You’ll often find him breaking down complex topics to make it clearer for others. He also finds inspiration in sharing mindful habits.

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