Desiccant Dehumidifier vs Compressor Dehumidifier

I remember when I first moved into my new home and noticed how damp it was. I was completely overwhelmed by the humidity and had no clue what to do about it. After researching online, I found that there are two main types of dehumidifiers: desiccant and compressor dehumidifier.

In desiccant dehumidifier vs compressor dehumidifier comparison desiccant ones come out on top for damp rooms. They’re quieter, kinder on your energy bills, and adapt well to varying humidity levels – a real all-rounder for your comfort!

Desiccant Dehumidifier vs Compressor Dehumidifier

So, let’s compare and contrast desiccant versus compressor dehumidifier! Read on to find out more about the differences between these two popular types of dehumidifiers.

How Desiccant Dehumidifiers Work:

Desiccants are materials that absorb moisture from the air, and dehumidifiers use this process to dry out damp areas. In a desiccant dehumidifier, Zeolite is used as the desiccant material, which absorbs water vapour from the air. 

A fan pulls the air into the dehumidifier and passes it through a section of a slowly rotating wheel that contains the desiccant material, drying out the air. To extract moisture from the desiccant, some of the wheel is heated up. 

How does desiccant dehumidification work

The amount of moisture extracted doesn’t depend on temperature; this means you don’t have to worry about the temperature of the room. Desiccant dehumidifiers also don’t require any consumables; the desiccant doesn’t need replacing or topping up. 

Plus, they tend to have a longer lifespan than compressor units since they are less complex and don’t contain compressors or refrigerant gases that can fail under high pressure. So if you’re looking for a dehumidifier that is efficient and will last, the desiccant type might be a great choice.

How Compressor Dehumidifier Work:

A compressor dehumidifier works by drawing in warm, humid air and running it over the cold surface of a refrigerated coil. The moisture in the air then condenses onto the coil’s surface, collecting into a reservoir that can be periodically emptied. 

By using this process, a compressor dehumidifier can effectively draw moisture out of the air and make any home or office more comfortable. 

How compressor dehumidifier work

As a human, you can be sure that your compressor dehumidifier is not only reducing humidity levels in the space but also ensuring everyone inside isn’t suffering from too much heat or cold. It’s an invaluable tool in keeping any area habitable and comfortable!

key difference between Desiccant vs Compressor Dehumidifier:

Some basic differences between desiccant and compressor dehumidifier include their size, cost, and efficiency. 

Some key differences are as follow:

  • Operating Principle
  • Humidity Range
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Noise Level
  • Maintenance
  • Portability

Operating Principle:

Both desiccant and compressor dehumidifier are designed to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. However, they use different methods to achieve this goal.

The main difference between desiccant and compressor dehumidifier are in the type of system that they employ to reduce humidity levels – one using absorption and another using condensation.

Performance comparison between desiccant dehumidifier vs compressor dehumidifier

Desiccant dehumidifiers work well in areas with low humidity levels and can be used for spot cooling since there is no need for a fan to circulate air inside the unit.

Compressor dehumidifiers are better at reducing high humidity levels quickly but require more energy due to its use of a compressor-based system. Compressor dehumidifiers have a wider coverage area and can be used in larger rooms. 

Overall, compressor dehumidifiers are more effective than desiccant dehumidifiers when it comes to reducing humidity levels quickly and efficiently in larger areas.

Humidity Range:

The main difference between desiccant or compressor dehumidifier is in the range of humidity levels that each can handle.

Comparison of removing range of humidity between desiccant dehumidifier vs compressor dehumidifier

Desiccant dehumidifiers are better suited for lower humidity levels, typically between 30-50% relative humidity (RH). They can be used to remove moisture from rooms with higher RH levels, but they are less effective than compressor dehumidifiers in these situations.

Compressor dehumidifiers, on the other hand, work best at higher humidity levels between 50-80% RH. They are designed to reduce large amounts of moisture quickly and efficiently in areas with high RH levels such as basements or laundry rooms.

If you need a dehumidifier for a room or area with low humidity, then a desiccant dehumidifier is likely your best choice. They are more energy efficient and portable than compressor dehumidifiers and require less maintenance.

Energy Efficiency:

Desiccant dehumidifiers are much more energy efficient than compressor dehumidifiers. Desiccant dehumidifiers typically consume between 250 – 550 watts of electricity, while compressor dehumidifiers typically consume 10.24 kWh (kilowatt-hours).

Energy efficiency comparison between desiccant dehumidifier vs compressor dehumidifier

This means that desiccant dehumidifiers use significantly less energy to remove the same amount of moisture from the air as a compressor dehumidifier.

In terms of cost savings, this means that if you run your desiccant dehumidifier for 8 hours per day, it will cost significantly less than running a compressor type unit – especially over long periods of time.

Noise Level:

The difference between the noise levels of a desiccant dehumidifier and a compressor dehumidifier is 10 decibels, with the desiccant dehumidifier producing only 35 dB and the compressor model 45 dB. This can make a huge difference in how quiet or loud an environment feels.

Sound comparison between desiccant dehumidifier vs compressor dehumidifier

The lower noise level of a desiccant dehumidifier makes it more suitable for homes and businesses where people are trying to maintain a peaceful atmosphere. It also means that any ambient noises such as conversations, televisions, or music will not be overpowered by the sound of the machine running.


The maintenance required for a desiccant dehumidifier is much less than for a compressor dehumidifier.


Desiccant dehumidifiers require minimal maintenance and only need to be drained of collected water or changed out as needed. They also do not require any air filter replacements, since the air passes through an absorbent material that does not need to be replaced.

Compressor dehumidifiers, on the other hand, must have their air filters cleaned regularly and may require more frequent checking if they are used in areas with higher levels of humidity or dust.

The condensate drain will also need to be emptied more often depending on how much moisture is being pulled from the air. Compressor-based dehumidifiers may also require more frequent servicing due to their compressor system. This means that any mechanical parts of the unit, such as the fan or compressor, will need to be checked and serviced occasionally.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance option that will still effectively reduce humidity levels in your home or office, then a desiccant dehumidifier is likely your best choice.


Desiccant dehumidifiers are much more portable than compressor dehumidifiers, making them ideal for use in areas with limited space or access.

Compressor dehumidifiers usually weigh between 25-35 pounds and measure up to 24 inches in width, which makes them difficult to move around without assistance. Desiccant dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are typically lighter and smaller than their counterparts and some even come equipped with wheels or a handle to make them easier to transport. This makes desiccants perfect for people who need a dehumidifier but have difficulty lifting heavy objects or accessing tight spaces.

Desiccant dehumidifiers can also be used in places where compressor models cannot. They are able to operate in temperatures as low as 35°F, whereas compressor units require a minimum temperature of at least 41°F for efficient operation. This makes desiccant dehumidifiers much more suitable for garages or other places that do not have the necessary heating systems to keep a compressor model running efficiently.

The portability and versatility of a desiccant dehumidifier make it an ideal choice for anyone who needs to manage their indoor humidity levels without taking up too much space or investing in additional equipment.


You might be wondering what kind of dehumidifier is best for your environment. The type that works best in any given climate or space depends on the temperature and humidity levels around you.


Generally speaking, if you live in a warm climate or plan to humidify a space that is already hot, then a compressor dehumidifier may work better for you. This is because these types of dehumidifiers require a temperature gradient between the room and the condensation surface of their coils, which means they will work harder in warm climates or spaces.

However, if you live in a cold area and temperatures fall below 59°F, then a desiccant dehumidifier might be more effective for you. Desiccant dehumidifiers don’t rely on a temperature gradient between the room and the condensation surface of their coils, so they can operate effectively at low temperatures. Plus, these types of dehumidifiers output more heat compared to compressor dehumidifiers, making them ideal if you need a little extra heating in your space.

So, depending on the climate and temperature in your environment, you can determine which dehumidifier will work best for you.


When it comes to selecting a dehumidifier, some people may think about the sticker price first. It’s true that desiccant dehumidifiers usually come with a higher cost up front than compressor models.


However, you can still find some affordable options out there if you know where to look. On top of that, when factoring in ongoing maintenance costs, desiccant dehumidifiers might make a lot more financial sense.

Compressor models require regular cleaning and filter replacements, which can add up in the long run. So it’s important to take all these factors into consideration before making your purchase decision.

Your best bet is to do some research and compare prices from different manufacturers to determine what option will end up being the best value for you.

Which Dehumidifier is better: Desiccant Dehumidifier vs Compressor Dehumidifier:

When it comes to choosing the best dehumidifier for your home, you have two main options: desiccant and compressor dehumidifier. Desiccant dehumidifiers are especially great for those living in damp climates or high-humidity environments as they efficiently absorb moisture from the air. Compressor dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are more suitable for areas with moderate humidity levels.

Top Rated Desiccant Dehumidifier:

 There are some desiccant dehumidifier which are top rated:

  1. EcoSeb DD122EA-SIMPLE
  2. Meaco DD8L Zambezi
  3. EcoAir DD1 Classic MK5
  4. Pro Breeze 12L/day Dehumidifier
  5. EcoAir DD322 Classic MK5


The desiccant dehumidifier is an excellent choice for anyone looking to effectively manage indoor humidity levels with minimal effort. It has a very low noise level, requires little maintenance and is highly portable – making it perfect for any environment where space or access may be limited.

Its ability to operate in lower temperatures makes it ideal for use in areas not suitable for compressor dehumidifiers. So if you’re looking for an efficient and convenient way to reduce indoor humidity without taking up too much space, then a desiccant dehumidifier might just be the right solution for you!

Related F.A.Qs:

Are desiccant dehumidifiers safe?

Yes, desiccant dehumidifiers are generally safe for use in the home. This type of dehumidifier uses a chemical substance called a desiccant to absorb moisture from the air. The desiccant itself is non-toxic and doesn’t emit any hazardous gases, making it an ideal choice for indoor air quality purposes.

Which type of dehumidifier is most energy efficient?

Desiccant dehumidifiers are generally more energy-efficient than compressor dehumidifiers. Unlike compressor dehumidifiers, desiccant models don’t rely on an internal compressor system and instead use a fan to pull in ambient air which is then passed through an absorbent material that removes moisture from the air. This process does not require as much energy as running a compressor system and therefore makes desiccant dehumidifiers more efficient.

Can I use a desiccant dehumidifier in cold temperatures?

Yes, desiccant dehumidifiers can be used in temperatures as low as 35°F and are therefore suitable for unheated spaces such as garages. Compressor models require a minimum temperature of 41°F to operate efficiently, so if you need to use a dehumidifier in colder conditions then a desiccant model is likely your best option.

Are desiccant dehumidifiers noisy?

No, desiccant dehumidifiers are usually very quiet. The fan used to draw in air is designed to be quiet so that it won’t interrupt everyday activities such as working or sleeping. Some desiccant models are even designed to run at a near-silent level, making them ideal for locations where noise could be an issue.

About The Author

Scroll to Top