5 Best Closet Dehumidifier to Remove That Musty Smell

There is nothing like the smell of damp clothes to ruin your day. The only thing worse is realizing that mildew has destroyed your precious threads! 

If you have had that experience like me, you know how important it is to get a decent dehumidifier.

So, here is our review of not just the good or the manageable, but the best closet dehumidifier available!

Best Dehumidifier for Closet or Wardrobe Reviews (Updated List)

Last update on 2021-08-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Eva-dry E-500 –  The best dehumidifier for closet

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New and Improved Eva-dry E-500 Renewable Mini...
  • Environmentally Safe
  • No Messy Spills or Refills to buy EVER!
  • 10 year life span!
  • Brand NEW design
  • Completely silent when operating

Last update on 2021-08-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

After you hear about this, you might not want to bother with the rest, but don’t be so hasty.

The Eva-Dry E-500 is an improvement on the E-333 wireless mini dehumidifier, which was already considered by some the best dehumidifier for closets. 

Unlike your typical closet dehumidifier, this one is rechargeable and lasts for a ridiculously long time. It also does not need a battery, and it operates completely noiseless. All you have to do is hang it in your closet and check on it every few days.

Both the E-500 and the E-333 use non-toxic silica gel technology and absorb 6 to 8 ounces of moisture before it needs to be recharged. When it’s full, the orange silica gel beads turn green. After charging (for 8 – 10 hours), the beads turn back to orange, and you can once again return the unit to your closet.

Though the manual says it lasts between 20 to 30 days after each charge, it does depend on how humid your closet is. That is why many users have to recharge it every week.

This new version can operate in any space up to 500 square feet, which is a significant upgrade from the previous 333 square feet range.

You may also choose to use this mini dehumidifier in your bathroom, cabinets, drawers, wardrobes, gun safe, gym bags, or shoe rack.

One thing we particularly like is the incredible 5-year warranty and the ten-year life span. No other reusable dehumidifier comes close in these aspects.

Pros

  • Noiseless
  • Affordable and reusable
  • Long life span
  • Generous warranty
  • Eco friendly

Cons

  • It takes a long time to recharge (8 – 10 hours)
  • It cannot absorb a lot of moisture.

2. Pro Breeze PB-04-US Renewable dehumidifier – best portable dehumidifier for walk-in closets

Pro Breeze Electric Dehumidifier 1200 Cubic Feet...
  • Large Coverage 1200-2200 Cubic Feet: The Pro Breeze Dehumidifier can effectively cover up to 2200 cubic feet. This powerful dehumidifier removes up to 9 ounces of Water/Day in areas up to 215 square feet or 2200 cubic feet.
  • Auto Shut-Off: When full the dehumidifier will automatically shut off and the LED light will turn on, indicating the water tank needs draining. Simply empty the water tank and place it back into the dehumidifier.
  • Lightweight, Compact and Portable: Capable of removing up to 9 ounces of water per day with a 16-ounce water tank capacity. Only works effectively above 15°C / 59°F.
  • Ultra-Quiet & Energy Efficient: Whisper quiet operation in bedrooms, bathrooms and offices, at an output of 23W per hour, which means only using 0.55kW after running for 24 hours.
  • Lowers Humidity: Perfect for high humidity in your home, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, RV, trailer, garage, closet, cabinet. Like all mini dehumidifiers, optimal operating temperature is 59-86°F. It will not work below 41°F.

Last update on 2021-08-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

As impressive as the Eva Dry mini humidifier is, its major drawback is its limited ability to absorb a lot of moisture. That is where the Pro Breeze Electric Mini Dehumidifier takes the lead.

This device comes with a 16 oz water tank and can absorb 9 oz of moisture every day in optimal conditions (86 degrees Farenheight and 80% RH). You can use it in any space up to 205 square feet, making it ideal for walk-in closets or other small rooms in your home.

Unlike the other mini dehumidifiers on our list, this one needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet to work. However, it consumes very little energy. And thanks to its thermoelectric cooling technology (Peltier), it is rather quiet, with a noise level of just 39 dB.

Suppose you’re worried about it spilling and making a mess, don’t. It has an auto-shutoff function that kicks in when the water tank is full, every two to three days. 

One major downside of electric humidifiers is that they can’t work in all conditions, and Pro Breeze is no exception. This unit performs best at temperatures between 59-86 degrees Farenheight, and you have to make sure you never put it on when the temperature is below 41°F. It also won’t absorb as much moisture when the humidity level is lower than optimal.

Despite being the priciest item in our review, it’s the best dehumidifier for closet if you’re looking for something reusable. So it still works out cheaper than the disposables in the long run.

Pros

  • Great for larger closets and walk-in closets
  • Absorbs up to 10 ounces of water per day
  • Auto shutoff
  • Eco friendly 

Cons

  • Relies on power to work
  • The water tank needs to be emptied often.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


3. airBOSS closet dehumidifier – best dehumidifier for shelves and wardrobes

airBOSS Closet Dehumidifier, For Storage Closets...
  • DEHUMIDIFIER FOR CLOSETS & STORAGE: Remove excess moisture from the air with fragrance-free drying crystals to help protect your belongings against dampness, rust & musty odors often trapped in closets & other small, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces.
  • DEHUMIDIFIER FOR A SMALL SPACE: Keep out the damp with airBOSS dehumidifiers for small places prone to mildew or moisture. From kitchens, bathrooms, closets, basements and storage spaces, keep your belongings dry with our small, non-electric dehumidifier.
  • CLEANING SUPPLIES FOR A CLEANER HOME: Does it feel that no matter how you scrub, spray & mop, your home or bathroom will never be as clean & odor-free as you'd like? From activated charcoal deodorizers to toilet bowl cleaners, we're here to help clean.
  • WILLERT HOME PRODUCTS: Willert Home Products began in 1946 with a single moth repellant product. Still owned & operated by the Willert family, we make over 100 home cleaning supplies & pest control items, including Ty-D-Bol, Bowl Fresh, airBOSS & Enoz.
  • PUT AIRBOSS IN CHARGE: Let airBOSS keep humidity and odors at bay, in closets, attics, and storage spaces. Try airBOSS if you've had success with deodorizer and dehumidifier products like DampRId, Ever Bamboo, Arm & Hammer, Bright Air, Renuzit, or Glade.

Last update on 2021-08-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With a name like airBOSS, you can’t help but expect a lot from the brand. Fortunately, it delivers.

The airBOSS Closet Dehumidifier is made explicitly for smaller closets, wardrobes, and other small spaces. It is also not a machine but rather a container filled with drying crystals that absorb moisture from the air.

It has a flat bottom so that you can conveniently place it at the foot of your closet or on a shelf. This fragrance free dehumidifier has a spill-proof lid, so you don’t have to worry about your clothes getting wet or ruined.

Besides keeping mold and mildew at bay, this mini dehumidifier also discourages small insects from hanging around your clothes.

Once you open the seal and place it where needed, it will quietly get to work and absorb as much water as it can. This may take days for very humid closets or even months. As the crystals absorb moisture, they dissipate. When all the crystals disappear, simply throw the container away and get a new one.

airBOSS is the best dehumidifier for closet if you want a disposable unit that is both noiseless and fragrance-free. Each pack can absorb about 15 oz of water before it needs to be replaced.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Easy to use
  • Keeps some pests away
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Not reusable
  • More expensive than a similar-sized disposable dehumidifier

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


4. Vacplus Moisture Absorber Packets – best petite disposable dehumidifier

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Vacplus Moisture Absorber Packets, Fragrance...
  • EFFECTIVE ABSORBING - Vacplus dehumidifier bags(Unscented Version) use Spherical calcium chloride to enlarge the area to absorb quickly. One-way moisture permeable paper absorbs effectively. 500 ml/pack large capacity moisture absorption keep dry for a long time.
  • VISIBLE EFFECT - The moisture is contained in a little plastic bag at the bottom. What amazing is that you can see the water added day by day, and really see the effectiveness. Vacplus create a dry and comfortable indoor environment.
  • EASY & SAFE - Vacplus moisture absorber packets provide an easy solution to protect items and fabrics from excess moisture. By Hanging them up, physical dehumidification gives you a Safe, Green & Energy-saving life.
  • COMPACT DESIGN - Vacplus hanging packets are designed to hang in closets and other closed spaces, ideal for us in bathrooms, basements, closets, laundry rooms, and basements.
  • BEST SERVICE - Vacplus moisture absorber packets stand a full refund or a replacement FOR LIFE under your normal use. Please contact us ASAP if there are any problems. Get 100% SATISFACTION from Vacplus now!

Last update on 2021-08-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nothing beats an easy-to-use product, and that’s precisely what this is. Vacplus moisture absorbers are sold in packs of ten. Each one comes with a small hook for hanging in a smaller closet or wardrobe, bathroom, under the kitchen sink, or literally, anywhere with excess humidity.

The top half of each bag contains spherical calcium chloride, a non-toxic and environmentally friendly substance that is great at extracting water. The moisture is deposited in the lower half of the bag. Once the crystals fully dissolve, simply throw the bag of water away.

Unlike the airBOSS Closet Dehumidifier, these are meant to be hung, making it easier to see the bags at work. Each pack can absorb almost 19 ounces of moisture, so you can use them in large closets.

If you want to use them in your living room or bedroom, simply hang a few of them around. Their small size makes them inconspicuous, so you don’t have to worry about it becoming an eye-sore.

One advantage these mini dehumidifier bags have over electric dehumidifiers is that they can work during winter. Therefore, you can leave some in your basement, RV, boat, car, or crawl space without fear of freezing up.

The dehumidifier bags are also unscented and can help prevent mold growth. Their major drawback is the small size of the bags, compared to some competitors. While a few users have complained about the bag falling, this is not often the case and maybe the result of not being appropriately hung.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Best portable
  • High moisture absorption capacity
  • Eco friendly

Cons

  • Small bags
  • Not reusable

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


5. DampRid Fresh Scent – best large disposable

DampRid Hanging Bag, Moisture Absorber, Pack of 3...
  • DampRid Hanging Bag Moisture Absorber attracts and traps excess moisture from the air. Nontoxic and septic safe
  • By trapping excess moisture, these bags eliminate musty odors creating fresher, cleaner air
  • The hanging bag design is ideal for closets, storage cabinets, the kitchen pantry, wherever stagnant, damp air is a problem
  • 3 Fresh Scent bags are included in each box, each filled with 16 ounces of moisture absorbing crystals
  • To use, simply hang in the desired area. Dispose once moisture absorbing crystals have fully dissolved

Last update on 2021-08-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Whoever comes up with these names is a genius. This is another trendy brand, and it delivers on a low budget.

DampRid does precisely as it says on the pack. It comes in a bag similar in shape to VacPlus, but each of the dehumidifier bags contains 16 oz of calcium-chloride crystals, which is almost twice its competitor’s size. Every packet comes with three Fresh Scent bags.

The bags are designed to be hung in a closet or wardrobe, curtain rail, pantry, under the kitchen sink, or anywhere else with a high humidity level. They absorb a lot of moisture from the air in all weather, especially during winter when you can’t use an electric dehumidifier.

Each bag is expected to last up to 60 days in optimal conditions, and they function the same way as the other absorbing crystals. When it is time to dispose of the bag, we advise you to put a bucket under it, just in case the plastic hanger snaps.

As the bags hold a lot of water, the weight can cause the hanging clip to break. This has happened to a few users, and it is not a pleasant experience. The chemical residue can ruin your clothes, closet, and carpet.

This mini dehumidifier’s ability to absorb moisture from the air and prevent mold is great; we were inclined to rate it as the best closet dehumidifier. However, the fresh scent isn’t to everyone’s liking.

We could not find a single review that said they noticed more mold growth, there was still a lot of moisture in the air, or there was still a musty odor in their closet. Nearly every negative review was about the smell.

If you are sensitive to smells, you can try the Lavender Vanilla bags or any of their other products.

However, the smell does die down after a few days, so you can let it air in your corridor or garage for a couple of days before putting it in your closet.

Pros

  • It can be used in low temperatures.
  • Large dehumidifier bags
  • Absorbs excess humidity quickly

Cons

  • Complaints of weak plastic
  • It is not fragrance-free

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


Do I Need a Dehumidifier In My Closet?

cloths arranged in a closet

For some reason or other, not everyone struggles with excessive humidity. It could do with the part of the world you live in, your home’s arrangement, or other equipment you have like HVACs.

A closet dehumidifier’s function is to eliminate moisture and musty odors and prevent mildew or mold growth on your clothes, shoes, or the closet itself.

If you don’t have high humidity levels, you don’t have to get a closet dehumidifier. At least not until the humidity levels change.

If you would like to be sure, you can measure the humidity in your closet with a hygrometer. You may borrow one from a friend or buy one for less than $20.

Of course, an easier way to tell is to smell your closet or look for mold signs. If your closet smells musty or damp even after you put in fresh laundry, then you need a dehumidifier.

Read more: Top Crawl Space Dehumidifiers.

How Does a Wardrobe/ Closet Dehumidifier Work?

People generally have low expectations of closet dehumidifiers. They wonder how a simple bag or cup can expel moisture. But then they try it and can’t help but gush over the products (the ones on our list anyway).

The reason people are quick to underestimate them is because of how they look. How can a bag of crystals or a tiny box eliminate damp smells or prevent mildew from growing? Where is the battery? Where is the electricity? Where is the compressor?

Besides Pro Breeze, the other closet dehumidifiers in our review use either silica gel beads or calcium chloride crystals, both of which are great at absorbing moisture. So while they look small, they are very effective in smaller closets.

For a larger closet, you can use several devices or packets to achieve the desired result.

Types of Dehumidifier for a Closet or Wardrobe

When you do a cursory search for a dehumidifier on the internet or Amazon, you’ll be bombarded with a lot of great options. However, most of them won’t be able to help you sort out whatever moisture cocktail is brewing in your closet.

Most dehumidifiers are too expensive, too big, too noisy, or require an electrical connection, making them inappropriate for a closet or wardrobe.

Evaluating the different types’ pros and cons will help you find the best dehumidifier for your closet or wardrobe.

Non-electrical rechargeable dehumidifier

These are also known as wireless or cordless dehumidifiers. They are tablet or even phone-sized devices such as Eva Dry E-500 that work using silica gel beads or other desiccant material.

They are called wireless because they work without a cord but need to be recharged. The most common way to recharge them is with electricity, but you can also buy silica gel beads that can be recharged in an oven or even under the sun.

What’s great about these is they last a long time, they are noiseless and are very affordable. The downside is they don’t absorb as much water as other types, and even then, they do it slowly.

Disposable dehumidifiers

You will often find these tagged under the previous type of dehumidifier, or even specifically as closet dehumidifiers.

Disposable dehumidifiers mainly work using desiccant materials. They can absorb the excess moisture in your small closet or wardrobe and stop the growth of mold and mildew.

Besides being great at improving your closet or wardrobe’s humidity level, they do so without raising your electric bill. They are affordable and can fit anywhere.

Despite how cheap they are, their disposable nature means you end up spending more in the long run than you would on a portable dehumidifier.

Battery-powered dehumidifier

Battery-powered dehumidifiers have nearly fallen off the map lately, but they might make a comeback soon. They work like rechargeable dehumidifiers, and the battery can last about 30-60 days in optimal conditions before it needs to be plugged into an electrical outletet.

Besides being useful in a closet or wardrobe, they can easily be carried in your car or your bag when traveling for the weekend.

Like their more advanced sibling, they cannot absorb moisture quickly. The goods ones are pretty solid, however, and can last for up to 10 years.

Electrical dehumidifier

Electrical dehumidifiers are the most common because they have much higher pint per day ratings, handle large spaces, and better value for money than disposables. However, most of them are too big to be closet dehumidifiers.

There are different types of electrical dehumidifiers, and we arranged them from the least to the most popular (and most expensive)

  • Heated Rod

This device is so simple; it can hardly even be called a dehumidifier. Heating rods are placed beneath closets or lockers. As the name implies, they generate a lot of heat (150 degrees Fahrenheit), which decreases the amount of moisture hanging around your clothes.

  • Thermoelectric dehumidifiers

These are often referred to as mini-dehumidifiers. Instead of using a compressor, they use Peltier technology, so they are quiet. They require a direct power connection and are capable of dehumidifying walk-in closets and small spaces.

Thermoelectric dehumidifiers are best for small spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. They absorb a decent amount of moisture per day but nothing close to the next type.

  • Compressor dehumidifiers/Refrigerant dehumidifiers

If you have high humidity levels and you need to absorb moisture quickly, this is what you need. These are the most common type of electric dehumidifier, the largest, and the most expensive. They are also believed to be the best dehumidifiers, but that depends on what you need.

These are best for large rooms, so they should only be used in walk-in closets, shoe rooms, and living spaces rooms. They require an electrical outlet and can be quite heavy. You also have to make sure you don’t turn these on when the temperature is below 41℉.

Where to Place a Dehumidifier in a Closet

Many closet dehumidifiers come with a hanging apparatus, which suggests they are better suited for the closet’s top.

However, this depends on where the humidity is causing the most damage. If you are noticing mildew at the bottom of your wardrobe, closet, or drawers, you should ideally get a disposable or refillable cup. Make sure you place the cup on a sturdy surface or against a wall.

If you are getting a dehumidifier because the entire closet is beginning to stink, then putting it at the top is perfect.

Of course, heating rods only go at the bottom, as do electrical dehumidifiers. If you have a walk-in closet, place the mini dehumidifier in the center of the room or closest to where any mildew is present.

Wherever you place it, it will remove the excess moisture as long as you followed the cubic feet guidelines.

Related article: Best Dehumidifier For Small Spaces and Bathroom

How to Choose the Right Dehumidifier for Closet

  1. Capacity

The most important thing to look for is how much water the dehumidifier can absorb and the size closet. The larger your spacing, the larger your dehumidifier should be. Otherwise, you would have to use multiple packets or devices of a smaller size.

Eva Dry is probably your best bet for small closets unless it is very humid and you need quick action. In that case, Vacplus or DampRapid will do the trick. If you need the best dehumidifier for small spaces or walk-in closets, Pro Breeze is your winner.

  1. Season

The relative humidity fluctuates with the weather, so you need the right closet dehumidifier at the right time. After all, a large-capacity dehumidifier that won’t work well is worse than a smaller size that does work.

While a mini dehumidifier might be useful in summer, you would need to replace it with a non-electrical dehumidifier during winter.

  1. Ease of use

The beauty of a small dehumidifier is that you don’t need electrical outlets, drainage pipes, or a manual. Simply get it out of the box, shove it in your closet or wardrobe and watch the humidity level decrease day by day.

Pro Breeze mini dehumidifier is great for a walk-in closet and is arguably easier to use in this sense, as only one is required. For your small closet, no more than 500 square feet, it is a chore.

Nothing beats a disposable dehumidifier when it comes to ease of use. That isn’t to say rechargeables are not easy to use, but they need electrical outlets.

 

  1. Value for money

The question is, do you really have to spend hundreds of dollars just to get rid of a musty odor? The short answer is no if all you want to use it for is your small closet.

Looking at just the prices, you might think a mini dehumidifier like Pro Breeze is too expensive, but it isn’t. Yes, it needs electricity to work, but the Peltier technology makes it energy efficient. Besides that, it will also last you several years.

On the other hand, a disposable dehumidifier comes in bags that only last for 60 days in 80% relative humidity. How many will you have to buy to last you for two years?

The small dehumidifier that delivers the best value for money, however, is the Eva Dry E-500. It works great in small closets, is cheap, and is long-lasting.

You can read more about the best dehumidifier under $100 to get even more affordable options. 

  1. Warranty

Nothing gives peace of mind like knowing a defective product can easily, quickly, and freely be replaced. Even though most of the dehumidifiers on our list are disposable, they still all come with warranties.

Nevertheless, none of them can compete with Eva Dry’s five-year cover.

FAQ

Q: Can a small dehumidifier get rid of existing mold in my closet or wardrobe?

A: No, a small dehumidifier cannot get rid of existing mold in your closet, and neither can a large dehumidifier. A dehumidifier can only eliminate the excess moisture, which will prevent the spread or growth of new mold or mildew in your closet or on your clothes.

Q: Is mold in the closet dangerous?

A: Most molds are harmless and are only mere irritants. Black mold, on the other hand, can be harmful to people with asthma and respiratory allergies. A dehumidifier can help prevent further growth of mold and mildew.

Q: Will a dehumidifier make my clothes smell nice?

A: If the clothes in your closet are fresh out of the laundry, then they probably already smell lovely. The problem is the musty smells in your closet are killing the scent.

When you begin to use a dehumidifier, it will seem as though your clothes smell nicer. However, the fragrance from products like DampRid’s Lavender Vanilla can latch onto your clothes.

Q: Why do closets get humid?

A: Closets get humid because lack of ventilation in closets makes them a kill-box for fresh air. As a result, the low air circulation allows moisture gets trapped there. Spreading your clothes out may help reduce the humidity level, but you should still get a closet dehumidifier.

Interesting reads: 

Basement dehumidifier with built in pump

How to make a homemade dehumidifier

Best Crawl Space Dehumidifier With Pump

Conclusion

Having swept a few categories such as value for money, warranty, and seasonal appeal, it is no surprise that the best closet dehumidifier is Eva Dry E-500. Quite frankly, this small dehumidifier gives you much more than you bargained for and never stops working.

Okay, maybe not never, but it lasts a very long time!

What is your verdict? Which of these products have you used in your closet or wardrobe, or what would you like to recommend?  Let us know what you think in the comment section.


 

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AUTHOR
Melanie Mavery is an aspiring HVAC technician who is fascinated by the trends and opportunities in the HVAC industry. She spends most of her day writing content on home improvement topics and outreaching to prospects.  She's always looking for ways to support HVACs!