It’s a touch expensive, but the MeacoDry Arete One is very good. With its humidistat built in, this dehumidifier can stop when your air is at the right relative humidity. Decent running costs and a clever laundry mode help seal its position. If you need a dehumidifier, this is one of the best.
- Runs automatically
- Clever laundry mode
- Competitive running costs
- A little expensive
- Limited manual control
- UKRRP: £259.99
- TypeThis is a compressor dehumidifier, using a refrigerant to remove water. There’s a 4.8-litre water tank that needs emptying regularly, although you can connect a hose and dump water into a drain if you prefer.
As important as it is to have moisture in the air, too much can cause problems, from mould growth to making it feel hotter as a result of sweat being unable to evaporate. Dehumidifiers are the solution, but many are expensive to run and fiddly to use. The MeacoDry Arete One aims to fix that. It’s relatively cheap to run and can aim for an ideal humidity level automatically, so you’ll never over-dry your air.
Design and Features
- Easy to empty with optional hose
- Clever laundry mode
- You can set the humidity level you want to achieve
Looking like a portable air conditioning unit, the MeacoDry Arete One is a fairly large box (562 x 376 x 232mm). Weighing 15kg (without water in it), it’s quite chunky, too, although the wheels make it easy to move around. Cleverly, you can even place the unit against a wall, and it will still work effectively.
There’s little in the way of set-up, although you do need to fit the provided HEPA filter. This is an optional accessory that enables the dehumidifier to clean the air while it’s working, making this a part air purifier. Without any sensors on it, the MeacoDry Arete One can’t react to air quality and adjust the fan speed, however. If you want to know how clean your air is and have a device react to pollutants, check out one of our best air purifiers or the Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool.
There are two versions of this product, one that can remove 20 litres of water per day and a larger 250-litre per day model (at 30ºC and 80% relative humidity; the water removal depends on the environment you’re in). Both have a 4.8-litre water tank, which means that the worst-case scenario would involve emptying it several times per day; in my tests, the tank needed emptying every one or two days. There’s a status light that indicates when the tank needs emptying – the dehumidifier shuts down automatically when the tank is full.
For emptying, the tank simply pulls out the front of the machine so you can pour away the water. Just be careful, though – the tank is quite heavy when full.
If you want to run the dehumidifier permanently, you can connect a garden hose to it, dumping the water straight into a drain. That’s useful if you’re in a building that suffers from damp.
Meaco has made the Arete One easy to use. Via the control panel on the front, you can set the target relative humidity, between 40% and 70%. I’d aim for 50% in most cases, although a higher setting, such as 60%, can help reduce running costs. When running, it shows the current humidity level.
When the dehumidifier hits the set humidity, it turns itself off automatically. The machine then turns on automatically every 30 minutes to check humidity levels and will turn back on permanently if it needs to remove moisture from the air.
As well as the standard mode, there’s a laundry mode, which sets the target relative humidity to 35% and runs the machine for a maximum of six hours. It’s designed to help dry laundry hanging on a clothes rail.
There are two fan speeds on this model, high and low, although the machine will automatically pick which one to use, starting out on high and scaling down to low. However, stick the MeacoDry Arete One into night mode and the screen goes off and you get low fan speed, too.
Finally, you can press and hold the humidity button to activate the fan-only mode, which just runs the humidifier as an air purifier.
- Works quickly and effectively
- Relatively cost-effective
- Can be noisy
The water extraction rate will depend on the temperature and relative humidity. At 10ºC and 60% relative humidity, the dehumidifier can remove 3.4 litres per day; at 20ºC and 60%, it can manage 8.5 litres per day.
Power requirements change, too. The first example draws 179W, while the second one requires 211W. At the maximum draw, the MeacoDry Arete One uses 235W of power. That isn’t unusual for a compressor-based dehumidifier, working out at around 3.3p per hour.
Of course, the environment and target humidity all have a role to play, and you’ll find that this dehumidifier won’t be on all day. Testing in the Trusted Reviews Home Appliance Test Lab, which was registering relative humidity of 70% and a temperature of 18.5ºC, I got down to my target humidity within a couple of hours. At this point the machine was mostly off, occasionally waking to run for a short period. As such, I found the Arete One quite efficient to run.
On laundry mode, I put two loads of just cleaned washing on a clothes horse, letting the MeacoDry Arete One do its job. Once the laundry mode cycle had completed, the washing was dry. Performance can vary, depending on the relative humidity, the room in which you have the humidifier and the temperature.
In terms of noise, on the highest speed fan setting I measured the MeacoDry Arete One at 48.8dB, which is certainly loud enough to hear; on low speed, it was 45.9dB when measured from a distance of 1m.
The lower fan speed level is pretty quiet (I could certainly sleep through it, with the dehumidifier placed a good distance from the bed), but the fan speed isn’t user selectable to offer a bit more control.
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Should you buy it?
If you want smart dehumidifying, then this is a great choice, as you can set the target humidity level and the dehumidifier will run automatically.
If you want manual control over fan speeds and other settings, then this isn’t the model for you: it’s automatic settings or nothing.
What you lose in terms of direct controls, such as being able to set fan speeds manually, you gain with the smart humidity control. Thanks to the MeacoDry Arete One’s humidistat, this model will only run until it hits your desired relative humidity level. That makes it a great tool for the summer months, sucking moisture out of the air so that a cooling fan will work more effectively, or during winter in a damp house. Plus, this keeps running costs low, since the dehumidifier only runs when it needs to.
There’s an optional hose connector at the rear, so you can drain water constantly without having to use the tank.
It can act as a air purifier, too, provided you have a HEPA filter installed.
This runs the dehumidifier for six hours, aiming for a relative humidity level of 35%, helping to dry any washing you have.