Best Dehumidifiers for Drying Clothes (2021 UK)

The main purpose of a dehumidifier is to reduce the level of humidity in the air, which is why people often use them to tackle damp and prevent related problems such as mould. One surprising thing about dehumidifiers is that they can be very effective at drying clothes, which is why some people use a dehumidifier rather than a tumble dryer.

Drying clothes indoors can be bad for your health, as it raises the humidity level and exacerbates problems such as asthma and allergies. If you have no option but to dry clothes indoors though, using a dehumidifier will make the process healthier and quicker.

Many dehumidifiers come with a laundry function for the purpose of drying your washing quickly. When on laundry mode, the dehumidifier will have usually more airflow and will keep running at full power rather than switching itself off after a while. For the best results, position your dehumidifier underneath or next to a clothes horse/drying rack in a small room.


Best Dehumidifiers for Drying Clothes in the UK

If you’re interested in using a dehumidifier to dry your clothes, read these reviews of what we consider to be the top 5 models available in the UK.

1. EcoAir DC12 Compact Portable Dehumidifier


  • Laundry mode
  • Portable with castor wheels
  • 12 litres a day water extraction rate
  • 5-litre water tank
  • Humidistat
  • Timer
  • Auto shut off
  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Power: 230 watts
  • Dimensions: 49.6 x 35.3 x 22.5 cm


The EcoAir DC12 Compact Portable Dehumidifier is very effective at drying laundry, and will also help reduce the humidity in your home to a safe level of 60% relative humidity or below. The laundry mode can dry clothes in 2-4 hours, which is much better than letting them air dry and not too bad compared to a tumble dryer.

It can extract up to 12 litres a day into the 3.5-litre water tank, which will need to be emptied regularly. You also have the option of attaching a hose for continuous drainage.

The EcoAir DC12 is bigger than you might expect from looking at pictures—it’s about 50 cm tall and 35 cm wide. However, it can be easily moved around since it’s on wheels.

This dehumidifier can be quite noisy, so it’s best to use it in the laundry room or somewhere where it won’t disturb you.


2. Pro Breeze 12L Dehumidifier


  • Quiet Mark certified
  • 12 litres a day water extraction rate
  • 8L water tank
  • Auto shut off
  • Dimensions: 49.5L x 28.5W x 24H cm
  • Built in humidity sensor


At a rate of 12 litres per day, the Pro Breeze is an exceptional device for removing moisture in your house. Clothes are dried in a matter of short hours without using an enormous volume of electricity.

Using the digital display, you can easily control the level of humidity in your household, as well as set up to 24-hour timers to turn it on or off at any time of the day. Whilst it’s a great product, the price can be somewhat discouraging for those with lower budgets.


3. TROTEC Dehumidifier TTK 68 E


  • Carrying handle and castor wheels for portability
  • 20 litres a day water extraction rate
  • Timer
  • Child lock
  • Power: 345 watts
  • Dimensions: 62 x 43 x 31 cm


The TROTEC Dehumidifier TTK 68 E can extract up to 20 litres of water from the air in a 24-hour period, making it a very quick-acting dehumidifier for drying your clothes. It will help your whole house or flat feel warmer, especially if it has a tendency to feel damp in the winter.

This dehumidifier has a nice white and green design and is made in Germany but comes with a UK plug. The water tank can be easily removed and put back again.

The TROTEC TTK 68 E can be quite noisy when used on the highest setting, but this is a common issue with dehumidifiers.


4. EcoAir DD122 Simple Desiccant Dehumidifier


  • Laundry mode
  • Economy and Turbo modes
  • Handle for portability
  • Timer
  • 7 litres a day water extraction rate
  • 2-litre water tank
  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Power: 580 watts
  • Dimensions: 48.5 x 29 x 17.5 cm


As you might have guessed from the word ‘desiccant’ in the name, this dehumidifier is very good at drying things out, including laundry. It has a special laundry mode which makes the dehumidifier work continuously, drying your clothes out within 2-4 hours.

As well as drying your laundry, the EcoAir DD122 Simple Desiccant Dehumidifier is also good at reducing condensation, preventing the formation of mould and easing allergy symptoms. It’s a great gadget to have in your home over the winter months.


5. Meaco 12L Platinum Dehumidifier


  • Can be used with a HEPA filter for cleaning the air
  • Carrying handle for portability
  • Timer
  • Humidistat
  • Child lock
  • 28 litres a day water extraction rate
  • 5-litre water tank
  • 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Power: 165 watts
  • Dimensions: 48.5 x 32.5 x 24.8 cm


This dehumidifier has a low-energy design, so it’s relatively cheap to run. It’s also fairly quiet, so it’s unlikely to disturb you if you use it to dry your laundry overnight.

The Meaco 12L Platinum Dehumidifier is quite compact and has a carrying handle so you can move it around easily. It’s a good choice for drying clothes indoors in the winter, or if you live in a small flat and don’t have outdoor space.


Drying Clothes with a Dehumidifier

Most of us love to dry our laundry outside when the weather allows, but there are times when this simply isn’t an option. It can be really difficult to get clothes dry in wet or cold weather, and those of us living in flats may not have a suitable outdoor area for drying clothes. A tumble dryer is an option for some people, however not everyone has enough space, and they can prove costly to run.

Using a dehumidifier is an option you may not have previously thought of for your drying laundry indoors, but there are several benefits of using one.

Problems with drying clothes indoors

Many of us dry wet clothes directly on radiators or clothes airers when we have no option to dry our clothes outdoors, but this can take a long time and produce a lot of excess moisture in your home – as much as a whole bucket-full of water each time we dry an average wash.

The increased moisture can then in turn be bad for your house and your health, as the water vapour condenses on cold surfaces such as windows and walls, and mildew and mould begins to grow. This is a particular worry for anyone with health problems such as asthma or allergies.

How does a dehumidifier work and what does it do?

The main purpose of a dehumidifier is to reduce the level of humidity in a room. Most dehumidifiers have an internal refrigeration system, which cools the air drawn into the dehumidifier over a coil. As the air cools, the water vapour condenses on the cold surface of the coil and this is collected in a water container.

Because dehumidifiers reduce the level of moisture in the air, they are excellent at preventing the growth of mildew and mould in the home; however they can also be very effective at drying laundry. A dehumidifier will suck the moisture out of your clothes, reducing drying time.

The recommended indoor humidity is between 40% and 60%, and a dehumidifier will generally aim to maintain a level of around 55%.

Although different types of dehumidifiers work in different ways, the overall process is basically similar. The main difference tends to be the way the moisture is extracted from the air.

All dehumidifiers use a fan to draw moist air in through a grille at the front of the machine. The moisture is then extracted from the air and the dry air is heated, although the method of doing this varies between the different types of machine. The dry and warm air is then expelled using the same fan or a different one.

The moisture extracted from the air is generally dripped into a collecting tank, which needs to be emptied periodically. When the tank is full, the machine shuts off automatically and a warning light is displayed. Some dehumidifiers have a hose that takes the water directly to a drain, so emptying is never needed.

Dehumidifier types

Compressor dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers originally had a compressor to help extract moisture, using a similar technique to refrigerators and air conditioning. This type of machine has an array of pipes through which coolant is circulated constantly by the compressor.

The moist air passes over these pipes and, as it cools, the moisture condenses to form water that drips into the tank. The dried air is then passed over a heating element before being expelled through another grille.

Desiccant dehumidifier

Another variation is a desiccant dehumidifier, where the moist air passes over a rotating wheel that has absorbent material similar to the silica gel often found with products that need to be kept dry. This material absorbs the moisture, which is then heated to re-vaporise it before ducting externally.

Thermo-electric dehumidifier

The third option is sometimes described as a thermo-electric dehumidifier, or one that has peltier technology. Here the input fan draws the moist air onto a cold heat sink, where the moisture condenses and drips into the collecting tank. The dried air then passes to a hot heat sink and is then expelled as warm and dry air.

Pros and cons of the different dehumidifier types


Because the older condenser types use a pump to circulate the coolant and generally have larger fans, they are noisier than the other two types.

The desiccant types have a rotating wheel instead of a compressor and so are quieter, while the peltier types, with few moving parts and often only one small fan, are the quietest of all. See the quietest dehumidifiers available in the UK here.


The extra noise level, however, is partly the result of increased throughput, with compressor models on average able to extract 70 pints of water a day, while desiccant versions are capable of 15-20 pints and peltiers only 0.5-1.25 pints.

This can of course vary depending on the size of the machine but does suggest that the latter are suitable only for small areas and compressor types are the main workhorses.


Since they have very few moving parts, the peltier models should in theory be the most reliable and the longest lasting.

However, this will depend on the quality of the build, with many being made from cheap components to keep the cost to the customer as low as possible.

The most likely part to fail is the fan. However, in the peltier models at least, this is often a low powered type, the same as used in PCs, and can be replaced easily and cheaply.

How to dry your laundry using a dehumidifier

When drying your clothes using a dehumidifier, firstly decide which room to dry them in. It’s usually best to dry your clothes in the smallest room you can.

The smaller the room, the quicker the dehumidifier can dry the air and reduce the humidity, and therefore dry your laundry more quickly and efficiently.

It’s also a good idea to close the door and windows in the room where you’re drying clothes, so that the dehumidifier is only working in the room where the washing is drying and not working on reducing humidity in the rest of your home.

It’s generally not recommended to dry laundry in rooms with a lot of soft furnishings (such as bedrooms) if at all possible.

Once you’ve found the best possible spot for drying your clothes, hang your clothes evenly spaced onto an airer or clothes horse, and place the dehumidifier close by. Depending on the model of dehumidifier, you may be able direct the air flow from the dehumidifier towards the clothes horse and particularly towards heavier items of laundry.

Many dehumidifiers have a laundry setting, which creates a greater airflow for drying clothes and also prevents humidity level cut off, so it’s always best to use this option if available.

Dehumidifier vs. Tumble dryer – Which is better for drying clothes?

If space isn’t a problem in your home, you may wonder which is the best option for drying laundry – a dehumidifier or a tumble dryer?

Tumble dryers may cost more to run, but they are generally much quicker for drying clothes, and also prevent VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) being released into the air during the drying process.

A dehumidifier will costly roughly the same to buy as a budget tumble dryer, however they are usually much cheaper to run, and are portable too.

A dehumidifier will also reduce the humidity in your home, so you are effectively getting two uses from one appliance. Dehumidifiers also produce heat, therefore your home will be warmer, reducing heating bills.

Using a dehumidifier to dry your clothes may also help the appearance and feel of your laundry, and reduce ironing time. Tumble drying clothes uses heat which can mean clothes feel rough and rigid, and can even shrink them. Drying your laundry with a dehumidifier can result in your clothes feeling much softer.

Dehumidifiers are usually cheaper to run, and have the added benefit of being portable. The upfront cost of buying a good dehumidifier is similar to that of buying a budget tumble dryer. Both dehumidifiers and tumble dryers have their own advantages, which are summarised below.

Dehumidifier advantages:

  • Cheaper to run
  • Portable
  • Useful for reducing humidity in the home (great if you live in a small flat with little ventilation)
  • Produces heat, so will help warm your home in the winter

Tumble dryer advantages

  • Quicker
  • Healthier (no VOCs released from washing into the air)
  • More convenient (no drying rack needed)

Dehumidifier vs Tumble Dryer