DampRid vs Dehumidifier: How Each Works, Effectiveness, & Cost

Portable dehumidifier shown next to a couch

Short Answer

While DampRid is ideal for small, musty spaces like closets and bathrooms, a dehumidifier is best for larger spaces and areas that also need some temperature control. DampRid is cheaper, especially upfront, but dehumidifiers last longer and have a high capacity.

DampRid vs. Dehumidifiers

How They Work


DampRid uses a crystalline chemical product to trap and absorb excess moisture in the air, eliminating mustiness, mildew, mold, and foul odors. These crystals are non-toxic and all natural, according to DampRid’s website.

Many DampRid products are hanging, refillable pouches; the crystals are held in a pouch and a plastic bag is attached to the bottom of it. The crystals collect water, and the water drains into the bag below. When the bag is full, you dump out the water. This setup is ideal for closets or other spaces where you have a handy spot to hang something. DampRid also comes in refillable tubs that are good for nooks and crannies, especially in bathrooms. These DampRid products are especially useful where you don’t have an outlet to plug in a dehumidifier or where a dehumidifier simply won’t fit.

Just because DampRid is natural, doesn’t mean its always safe. DampRip contains calcium chloride, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride. DampRid may cause irritation if it comes in contact with the eyes or skin, and it shouldn’t be inhaled. If you become exposed, dust the powder off (if it’s still dry), and then rinse with water and a soap or mild detergent.


A dehumidifier is a home appliance that uses electricity and refrigerant technology to extract water from the air. It sucks air in, uses cooling mechanisms to lower the temperature of the air (which removes water from the air through condensation), and then reheats the air and expels it back into the environment.

Dehumidifiers have a greater capacity than products like DampRid, and they’ll be better suited for larger spaces. In most cases, you’ll need to manually empty a reservoir or bucket that will slowly fill with condensation, but some dehumidifiers come with hoses so you can set them up to drain continuously, if your space allows.

Dehumidifiers may also come with a humidistat, which allows you to set custom humidity levels according to your preferences. Some units can also work as air conditioners, so if you need AC and want to lower humidity, these types of units can be great for your needs.

Cost & Effectiveness


A “hi-capacity,” four-pound DampRid tub is about $15. But, the crystals expire after 45 days of use, so you’ll have to buy regular replacements. A three-pack of 42-ounce refill bags is available for about $20 on Amazon, so, while this is not terribly expensive, the recurring cost can add up over time. You can also buy DampRid at home improvement stores like The Home Depot and Lowe’s.

High capacity DampRid products can only handle 1,000 square feet of space or less, meaning DampRid is ideal for smaller spaces. In fact, the company recommends supplementing DampRid with an electric dehumidifier when necessary. DampRid is also less effective in higher-temperature settings; while it may work well in your basement, it won’t work as well in your attic.


A dehumidifier can range in price from about $30 to more than $200, depending on brand, quality, and capacity. Dehumidifiers also require electricity, which is an added expense. According to a calculation by dehumidifier brand Pingi, a mid-sized device might cost a little over $150 per year in electricity if you run it every day for 10 hours a day.

Because dehumidifiers physically pull water from the air by condensation, they’re effective even in very damp environments. Of course, efficiency and longevity will vary depending on which model you purchase. According to BestReviews, Frigidaire makes some of the best dehumidifiers on the market.

To get an idea of how cost plays into effectiveness, consider the size and capacity of the dehumidifier. There are several dehumidifiers on the market. Here’s a look at a few offerings from Frigidaire:

1. Frigidaire 30-Pint Capacity Dehumidifier

  • Capacity: The water reservoir holds 30 pints of water (3.75 gallons).
  • Size: 20.5 inches tall; about 14 inches wide; about 11 inches deep; weighs 34 pounds
  • MSRP: $239

2. Frigidaire 50 Pint Capacity Dehumidifier

  • Capacity: The water reservoir holds 50 pints of water (6.25 gallons)
  • Size: About 25 inches tall; 15 inches wide; about 12 inches deep; weighs 46 pounds
  • MSRP: $279

3. Frigidaire 70-Pint Capacity Dehumidifier

  • Capacity: The water reservoir holds 70 pints of water (8.75 gallons)
  • Size: About 25 inches tall; 15 inches wide; about 12 inches deep; weighs 47 pounds
  • MSRP: $319

You’ll notice that dehumidifiers can be large and heavy. While they often come with wheels for easy transport, if the weight and size of the machine are going to be difficult for you to handle, you might want to at least try DampRid first. There are also some smaller, mini dehumidifiers on the market, but the selection is limited.


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