Which moisture absorbers are best?

Wherever there is water in use, there is the likely risk of mold and unwanted odors. Basements and crawl spaces are common culprits, but garages, boats, sheds and underneath a sink can also cause musty smells. An unexpected water leak can also cause standing water that will need additional moisture removal once the initial water is pumped out.

Moisture absorbers effectively remove mold and air moisture while also eliminating odors. Some even come with built-in scents released as the moisture is absorbed. Check out Damp Rid Moisture Absorber, the top product recommendation for an easy and proven moisture absorber.

What to know before you buy a moisture absorber

How long will the moisture absorber last?

Most moisture absorbers last between 30 to 60 days. It will make a significant difference if the product type is a large tub, small tub or hanging bag. The amount of water damage also is a consideration since wetter environments will more quickly saturate the absorbent. Desiccant-style products are reusable over time, but they are typically intended for smaller spaces with less required water absorption volume. 

How efficient is the moisture absorber?

All moisture absorbers claim to absorb air moisture, but how well they do it can vary widely. You want an absorber that quickly begins the dehumidifying process. Keep in mind that removing odors is just as important. Look for products with a strong track record of eliminating smells and restoring some normalcy to your senses.

How durable is the moisture absorber?

Each product uses different ingredient combinations to help pull moisture from the air. The quality of these ingredients can vary among manufacturers. Calcium chloride, potassium chloride and sodium chloride are all excellent hygroscopic agents. Some products also used activated charcoal.

What to look for in a quality moisture absorber

Delivery method

Moisture absorbers come in a variety of packages and sizes. Depending on the space you want to dehumidify, there should be a size and style that meets your needs. Tub containers and cardboard boxes can be placed in large spaces like laundry rooms, garages and basements. Hanging bags work well in closets and kitchens where keeping moisture out of the air is the primary goal. Desiccant moisture absorbers are very small and you can use them in tight spaces.


You can refill some tub-style moisture absorbers from a large bag of desiccant crystals that are simply poured into the original level of the product when first purchased. This is typically more cost-effective as refill bags are less expensive per ounce.


Many moisture absorbers simply remove moisture and eliminate odors, which is all they want to accomplish for many consumers. However, some products include a scented release that introduces a pleasing aroma into the physical space. Be aware that because of the product’s chemical nature, the advertised scent may have a harsher edge to it or may not smell like what you would expect from an air freshener or candle of the same scent.

How much you can expect to spend on a moisture absorber

Typically, moisture absorbers cost $7-$20, depending on the container’s size and style. Many manufacturers offer multi-packs that fall within this price range, while refill bags are priced at $5-$8.

Moisture absorber FAQ

Are the ingredients in moisture absorbers toxic?

A. Like any home cleaning product, you should take precautions from touching or ingesting any moisture absorber. Depending on the ingredients, some moisture absorbers are more toxic than others. Silica gel, in particular, should never be ingested. Calcium chloride and other salts also can cause burns if touched or accidentally swallowed. Read the manufacturer’s precautions in handling and always have the poison control number nearby.

Do moisture absorbers remove mold?

A. No, they will not remove already present mold. That will require specific mold removers or possibly a professional contractor. However, moisture absorbers are excellent at keeping conditions dry once mold has been removed so that mold and mildew do not grow back.

What’s the best moisture absorber to buy?

Top moisture absorber

DampRid Moisture Absorber

DampRid Moisture Absorber

What you need to know: This is a convenient moisture absorber from a popular brand that works in tight spaces where stagnant air is a problem.

What you’ll love: It not only releases a vanilla-lavender scent, it eliminates the offending odors. The product lasts up to 45 days, depending on the conditions. The container cups have a decorative design to fit into most closets, bathrooms and laundry rooms without being noticed.

What you should consider: Once the cups have been saturated, they can spill over if not replaced promptly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top moisture absorber for the money


Dry and Dry Silica Gel Desiccant

Dry and Dry Silica Gel Desiccant

What you need to know: This effective moisture absorber is a silica gel packet intended for individual items like food and books, not large rooms.

What you’ll love: You can reuse the high-quality coated packets with proper heating. They are ideal for items such as food, medications, phones, clothes, books and anything else that may need protection from moisture. They come with an unlimited replacement warranty.

What you should consider: Unlike bead and crystal moisture absorbers, there is no way to know if the product is working.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

VacPlus Moisture Absorber Boxes

VacPlus Moisture Absorber Boxes

What you need to know: These moisture absorber boxes are ideal for large spaces and quickly begin trapping extra moisture.

What you’ll love: The boxes are fragrance-free, so all you notice is the elimination of odors. Each box has a visible water-collecting layer so you can monitor how much moisture has been removed. They are sold in multipacks for use throughout your home.

What you should consider: There were some concerns reported that the absorption rates were inconsistent among boxes.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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