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)

Choosing the best quiet dehumidifier involves balancing noise level with good operation. After all, there’s no point in having a whisper-quiet model if it doesn’t do a good job of removing excess moisture from the air. 

In this article, I run through my top picks for the best quiet dehumidifiers. I’ve organized them by purpose more than performance, as this is largely dependent on what you need them to do.

After this, I discuss how to pick the best model for your needs and what to do about noise levels. By the end, you should have everything you need to pick the quietest dehumidifiers for your home.

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​

Top Picks for Quiet Dehumidifiers: 50 Pints Capacity

1. Premium Pick: Frigidaire FFAD5033W1

  • Capacity: 50 pints
  • Dehumid. rate 90 to 40% (50 ft²):
    8 min
  • Fan speed: 3 (NC / 194 CFM / 229 CFM)
  • Timer: Yes
  • Water tank: 16.9 pints (9.6 liters)
  • Drain plug: Yes
  • Noise: 50db Min – 54dB max
  • Energy efficiency: 1.8 L/kWh
  • Energy Star: Yes
  • Washable filter: Yes
  • Wheels: Yes
  • Handle: Yes
  • Weight: 42.3 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year

My top pick is the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1, which is a 50-pint dehumidifier without a built-in pump. It’s my top pick because even at the lowest fan speed, it emits only 50 dB (10 ft away) while providing a competitive dehumidification rate. It has 3 fan settings, giving you flexibility over how you deal with humid air (at the expense of quietness).

At any speed, the fan covers the buzzing compressor noise. The fan exhaust is blowing on top of the device, meaning the fan noise emission spreads more uniformly in the surrounding space. This results in a pleasant sound with a low tone and non-aggressive white noise.

It has an excellent dehumidification rate. It takes less than 8 minutes to bring humidity from 90% down to 40% in a 50 sq. ft. room. As a reference, the average for 50-pints units is around 12 min.

As far as energy efficiency goes, it removes 1.8 liters per kWh. Its efficiency profile is excellent, putting it in front of the Homelabs model below. It’s also Energy Star certified.

The control interface is very intuitive. There’s a small LCD panel to help you monitor the humidity level and the timer (0.5 hours up to 24 hours). You can set the humidity range target, and the device will do the rest. The defrost mode is particularly efficient. It does not stop the dehumidification process when the defrost mode is on.

Portability-wise, this device comes with a handle and wheels. It might appear common sense, but at 42.3 lbs, the unit is not what we would call easy to carry.

For maintenance, you can remove and wash the air filter. You have the traditional water bucket, which, at 16.9 pints, is average for the category. The unit has a drain plug. So if you have a draining system at home to which to connect the dehumidifier, it’d save you the hassle of regularly emptying the bucket.

Among issues reported by users are the quality of the filters. They’re fragile, and it’s hard to find replacements. Another downside, more minor this time, is you can set the target humidity by an increment of 5 digits only (40, 45, 50, etc.), and it also reads by increments of 5. The last downside is the short warranty. You’re only covered for 1 year.

PROs
  • Noise profile is pleasant.
  • Dehumidifying rate is fast.
  • Defrost mode is not cutting out the dehumidifying function & saves energy.
  • Good energy efficiency.
  • Big water bucket (16.9 pints).
CONs
  • Warranty only lasts 1 year.
  • Humidity is monitored by increments of 5.
  • Filters are fragile.

2. Top Budget Pick: Black+Decker BDT50WTB

  • Capacity: 50 pints
  • Dehumid. rate 90 to 40% (50 ft²):
    10 min
  • Fan speed: 2
  • Timer: Yes
  • Water tank: 14.3 pints (8.1 liters)
  • Drain plug: Yes
  • Noise: 50 dB min – 54 dB max
  • Energy efficiency: 1.8 L/kWh
  • Energy Star: Yes
  • Washable filter: Yes
  • Wheels: Yes
  • Handle: Yes
  • Weight: 41.4 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Black+Decker BDT50WTB is a 50-pint capacity dehumidifier emitting 54 dB (10 ft away) at the highest fan setting. While not the quietest, it offers an interesting package at a cheaper price point. It comes with a 1-year warranty. You can add a Built-in pump to drain to higher elevation points. 

The noise level is close to the Frigidaire reviewed above. And like the Frigidaire, the fan’s airflow is relatively high. Thus, it does a good job of masking the compressor sound. 

It has a good dehumidification rate. It takes around 10 minutes to bring humidity from 90% down to 40% in a 50 sq. ft. room. This is below the average of 12 minutes for a 50-pints dehumidifier.

We can conclude that it produces around the same noise for a lower dehumidification rate than the Frigidaire. Even so, it’s competitive in terms of noise level and capacity, and at a lower price point, making it a good overall pick for those who don’t want to spend loads of money. 

Consuming 1 kWh for every 1.8L removed, this device comes with Energy Star certification. You also get wheels and a handle for easier transportation. The filter is easily removable and washable. 

It comes with the auto shutoff feature for when the tank is full or when it reaches the set humidity level. The water tank is smaller (14.3 pints) than the Frigidaire but better than the hOmelabs. You still have the choice to use the drain plug, though.

However, the interface and buttons are not as straightforward as the other 2 models. You might need to consult the user manual first to understand the buttons. You get a timer, 2 fan speeds, and a defrost mode.

The main downside is its build quality. It doesn’t feel as premium as others on this list. For example, take the user controls, which require a bit of guesswork. Also, some users reported the hygrometer to be off by up to 10% compared to dedicated hygrometers.

If you’re on a budget, that’s the best option you can get for a high-capacity dehumidifier. It’s performant, noise is average and price is competitive.

PROs
  • Price is competitive.
  • Dehumidifying performance is good.
  • Good energy efficiency.
CONs
  • Hygrometer lacks accuracy.
  • Interface is not clear.
  • Warranty only lasts 1 year.

3. Top Pick for Basements: hOmeLabs HME020031N

  • Capacity: 50 pints
  • Dehumid. rate 90 to 40% (50 ft²):
    10 min
  • Fan speed: 2 (165 CFM / 188 CFM)
  • Timer: Yes
  • Water tank: 15.4 pints (7.3 liters)
  • Drain plug: Yes
  • Noise: 49dB min – 50dB max
  • Energy efficiency: 1.8 L/kWh
  • Energy Star: Yes
  • Washable filter: Yes
  • Wheels: Yes
  • Handle: Yes
  • Weight: 40 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years

The hOmeLabs HME020031N is a 50-pint dehumidifier with a built-in pump, and it’s one of the few brands to come with a 2-year warranty. This is why I’ve chosen it as my top pick for basements: it has a large capacity and the optional pump helps you remove water easily from the area. By extension, this model is also my top pick for a dehumidifier with a pump.

At 50dB (10ft away) at high fan speed, this unit is quieter than the Frigidaire. But decibel levels don’t tell the whole story. First, the max fan speed here (188 CFM) is lower than the Frigidaire’s (229 CFM), which is mainly why the hOmelabs is quieter. Secondly, the fan exhaust blows from the back and the side of the latter. So, the noise measurement is very dependent on the position of the sound meter. But in terms of pure noise emission, the hOmelabs is better.

It has a good dehumidification rate. It takes 10 minutes to bring humidity from 90% down to 40% in a 50 sq. ft. room. It’s 25% slower than the Frigidaire. The main explanation is the hOmelabs draws 22% less air than the Frigidaire because of the difference in max fan speed. Less airflow means lower dehumidification performance. Its dehumidification rate is still better than the average (12min).

Like the Frigidaire, it has Energy Star certification with an energy efficiency of 1.8 L/kWh.

It comes with a handle and wheels to transport the 40 lbs. weight. You also get a washable filter and water bucket that’s 15.4 pints (7.3 L), which is on the small side for a 50-pint model. However, you can use the included drain plug if you have a drainage system ready at home.

Its controls are pretty standard: you get a timer and an LCD screen to monitor the humidity level. The unit will automatically shut off if it reaches the desired humidity or if the tank is full. In addition, you get a defrost mode in case your unit has to go through winters.

The main downside is that the humidity reported is not very accurate. Users reported discrepancies (about 10%) with separate humidity monitors. A second downside is the tank capacity. Users reported how often they had to empty it. You could go with the built-in pump model to directly drain water to an external tank or the outside.You can also buy this unit without a built-in pump. It’s cheaper but relies on gravity for its continuous drain option.

PROs
  • Global dB rating is excellently low
  • Dehumidifying performance is good
  • A light model (only 40 pounds)
  • Good warranty length: 2 years
CONs
  • Humidity sensor is not accurate.
  • Tank size is small (15.4 pints)

4. Top Pick for Bedroom: Airplus AP1907P

  • Capacity: 30 pints
  • Dehumid. rate 90 to 40% (50 ft²):
    ~15 min
  • Fan speed: 1 (70.8 CFM)
  • Timer: Yes
  • Water tank: 2.85 pints (1.35 liters)
  • Drain plug: Yes
  • Noise: 45dB max
  • Energy efficiency: NC
  • Energy Star: No
  • Washable filter: Yes
  • Wheels: Yes
  • Handle: No
  • Weight: 23 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years (Need registration)

The Airplus AP1907P is my top pick for a bedroom dehumidifier because it operates at 45dB. This is quieter than the Frigidaire, but this is because it’s nearly half the capacity (30 pints). Lower capacity translates to a generally less powerful dehumidifier, although this isn’t a massive issue for the bedroom.

Importantly for this application, it has different settings. For example, sleep mode has a higher humidity level, meaning the air is more comfortable while you’re sleeping, and that it shuts off sooner. You also get drying mode (for clothes) and rain mode, plus a 24-hour timer.

The dehumidifier has a manual and continuous drain option (using the included hose). While you might not use this in your bedroom, it could theoretically be fed into an en-suite bathroom. If that’s not possible, it does have full-tank shutoff for added protection. This is a useful feature because the tank is only 1.35 liters (around 2.7 pints).

Using the LCD control panel, you can manually set the humidity level outside of the included settings. It can range from 80% to 40%, and its dehumidification rate for 50 sq. ft. at 70 deg F should be 15min.

A notable downside (depending on your preferences) is that the Airplus only has one fan setting. Also, the fan operates constantly when the unit is running. However, it does a good job of masking the compressor noises, so it might actually be helpful for white noise when you’re trying to sleep!

Another thing worth mentioning is that the Airplus isn’t Energy Star certified. However, its rated wattage is 192W, so it’s still pretty competitive (Energy Star models need to be below 550W regardless of the capacity).

PROs
  • 30-pint dehumidification rate is suitable for bedrooms.
  • Sleep mode helps keep humidity higher (i.e., more comfortable).
  • Operating level of 45dB is generally fine for sleeping.
CONs
  • Fan only has one speed and remains on all the time.

5. Top Pick for Drying Clothes: Humsure 50-Pint Dehumidifier

  • Capacity: 50 pints
  • Dehumid. rate 90 to 40% (50 ft²):
    ~12 min
  • Fan speed: 3
  • Timer: Yes
  • Water tank: 6.34 pints (2.8 liters)
  • Drain plug: Yes
  • Noise: 48dB max
  • Energy efficiency: NC
  • Energy Star: No
  • Washable filter: Yes
  • Wheels: Yes
  • Handle: Yes
  • Weight: 33.9 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years

If you plan to dry clothes indoors, your dehumidifier needs to meet at least 2 criteria. It needs to have fast and efficient moisture removal, and it needs continuous drainage. The Humsure does both of these, and quietly, too.

It operates between 40dB and 48dB depending on mode and distance from the unit. If you run this in a utility room or spare bedroom, it should be barely noticeable. The unit includes a drainage pipe, which you can feed into a sink. But if that’s not possible, the 2.8-liter (5.9 pints) tank can be emptied manually. There’s an auto-shutoff function for when it fills up too.

The unit has 4 modes. One to set humidity range. Another is for continuous operation to ensure the device doesn’t stop when it reaches the desired humidity. One specifically for drying, which ramps up the fan to max speed. This last mode is useful for drying spaces because you get the dehumidifier set up in one touch. The last mode is ionizer which I feel is useless, especially after reading EPA’s take on it.

At 33.9 lbs., it’s easy to move around your home (the rotating wheels also help). You can use the LCD screen to manually set the humidity level in 5% increments, and for setting the timer and fan speed.

There’s no Energy Star rating, but the rated power is 360 watts, which is lower than the 3 other 50-pint models topping our list. The manufacturer hasn’t communicated an L/kWh rating, but users reported the unit being energy efficient.

My main critique is the tank capacity-dehumidification ratio. If it operated at its peak capacity (50 pints a day), you’d need to empty the tank every 2.5 hours. However, I’ve picked this model based on its continuous drainage function combined with its dedicated drying mode. So, if possible, operate it using the included hose.

An alternative model is the Midea 50-pint dehumidifier. It has a higher noise output (51dB) but has a range of smart features, including a smartphone app to monitor water levels and change settings. While these aren’t super necessary, it does make control easier because you don’t need to manually check it. It’s also got a 4.2-gallon water tank, meaning it doesn’t need to be emptied as often.

PROs
  • Fairly quiet for a dehumidifier.
  • Includes dedicated drying setting.
  • Easy to move around your home.
CONs
  • Tank size isn’t great for potential moisture removal rate.
  • No Energy Star cerification.

Can a Dehumidifier be Silent?

It probably comes as no surprise that the idea of silent dehumidifiers is impossible. However, a quiet dehumidifier is certainly achievable. To give you an idea of a good noise level for a quiet dehumidifier, aim for under 55 dB (measured 10 ft from dehumidifier at max fan speed).

My picks for quiet dehumidifiers above range from 40dB to 54dB. In real-world terms, this is the difference between a quiet refrigerator and moderate rainfall. Neither is particularly loud, so there’s no reason why quiet dehumidifiers should be distracting.

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 makes a buzzing sound. If you’ve ever experienced the buzzing sound of a fridge, you’ll know what this sounds like because it has a similar noise profile.
  2. The fan
    • It depends on the airflow capacity measured in CFM (ft3/min). The higher air flow capacity, the noisier the fan is. 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).

Higher noise level for sound masking 

A dehumidifier’s compressor creates what we would consider to be 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, and the better the masking effect.

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

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

Lower noise level for overall reduction of sound pollution

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 possible. This translates to low noise compressor, low airflow 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 the air a day.

Space covered is how much surface the dehumidifier has to operate in. 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 following those size charts. The main reasons are:

  • 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, a 50-pint capacity unit is 43% faster at removing water.
  • Energy saving. Let’s keep the example above comparing 50-pint and 35-pint capacity. To remove 100 pints in 24 hours, which one will run less time and thus be more energy efficient? The 50-pint dehumidifier.
  • Lifecycle. In the long term, using a higher capacity device will solicit fewer cycles in mechanical parts. Mechanical parts’ lifespan is sized per cycle of use. Therefore, the 50-pint device has better longevity.
  • Price. A 50-pint capacity unit is more expensive than a lower capacity. But if you take the 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-pint capacity: from 90% to 40%, expect around 35 minutes for a 50 sq. ft. room (@70 deg F).
  • A 35-pint capacity: from 90% to 40%, expect around 18 minutes for a 50 sq. ft. room (@70 deg F).
  • A 50-pint capacity: from 90% to 40%, expect around 11 minutes for a 50 sq. ft. room (@70 deg F).

I consider anything under the average duration quoted above as a good dehumidifying rate. Note that these values can vary with the room temperature and the ceiling height, as a higher ceiling means more air in the room.

With some math, you can work out the dehumidification time. You know the pints collected per 24 hours. You can use a psychrometric chart to know the water in a room. By inputting the Relative Humidity along with the room temperature, you’ll obtain the mass of water per pound of air. 

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)

The presence of an internal pump is a plus for drainage (I discuss this below). However, be wary, reliability of those added components can vary (according to users’ reviews). The addition of an external condensate pump can be an alternative.

Energy Efficiency

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

For 1 kWh consumed, a 50-pint Energy Star certified device collects at least 3.30 L of water. Interestingly, for the same amount of energy, a 25-pint device will only collect 1.57 L minimum.

This gap in volume of water is a good illustration of the better efficiency of higher capacity units.

Water Tank Capacity

A dehumidifier’s tank capacity refers to how much water it can hold before it needs emptying. Unsurprisingly, a bigger tank is better because it needs emptying less often.

But you should balance this against the unit’s dehumidifying rate. More powerful units (i.e., 50 pints) should have a bigger tank by default. However, for a unit you’re running in your bedroom, a smaller tank should be fine because it theoretically won’t be used as often.

Consider the tank size in relation to potential dehumidification. For example, if your unit can remove 50 pints of moisture a day and the tank is 1 gallon, you’d need to empty it roughly every 4 hours. An alternative is continuous drainage, which I discuss below.

Also, ensure the unit has a full tank auto-shutoff function. This prevents overfilling and spilling, which could damage the unit and your room.

Drainage Options

Most dehumidifiers have manual and continuous drainage. Manual refers to it filling the built-in tank, which you then remove and empty. Continuous drainage means you fit a hose and feed it into a sink or other water outlet.

The benefit of continuous drainage should be obvious: you don’t need to constantly check and empty the tank. It’s useful in numerous situations:

  • Drying laundry in a utility room
  • Operating in a basement (where it might be very humid)
  • Operating in a bathroom

In short, continuous drainage is a sensible option anywhere that has a water outlet. It’s a fairly standard feature, so you shouldn’t have to pay more for it (unless the required hose isn’t included).

Built-in Pump

Some dehumidifiers come with an internal pump to aid water drainage. You might need this if you’re pumping water against gravity (such as into a sink, out a window, or into a sewer pipe). This is helpful in basements, where almost all water outlets will be above the unit, although it’s useful elsewhere in the home too.

The pump is electric, meaning it’ll consume more power than a passive drainage system. However, if your dehumidifier has passive continuous drainage, the outlet will need to be below the unit. It uses gravity to drain water. This isn’t always practical, but it’s certainly a cheaper option.

Air Filter

An air filter is pretty self-explanatory: it removes dust, dust mites and/or contaminants from the air that passes through the unit. It’s not super necessary but can help with allergies or general air quality (for this, you’ll need a HEPA filter).

Most units will have a removable air filter. You can wash these or replace them as needed, depending on what sort of filter it is.

Warranty

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

Summary

I hope this guide gave you a good understanding of noise emissions in dehumidifiers, along with how to choose an ultra quiet dehumidifier for your home.

My personal preference is the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 (50 pints). Again, I can’t insist enough on the importance of buying a higher-capacity dehumidifier. You can always run it at lower fan speed if you want lower noise. 

Do you have any recommendations that I didn’t mention in my article? I’d be happy to hear from you in the comment section below.

Peace & Zen-up,

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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