Mitsubishi Electric Dehumidifier review: Brutally efficient
Quick verdict: It dehumidifies and does nothing else – and I respect that.
- Dehumidifies efficiently
- Excellent controls and screen
- Easy to empty
- Very quiet without having that weird “opposite of noise” sound that’s so disconcerting
- A bit pricey
- Would be nice if the water tank had a handle
- Isn’t an effective air purifier
The quest for the perfect dehumidifier is a long and arduous one. These little machines use a lot of electricity and can be all that's separating you from a mouldy hellscape. So it's important to get it right, and the Mitsubishi Electric Dehumidifier certainly manages that.
Mitsubishi Electric is relatively new to the dehumidifier game, but given the company's expertise in air conditioning, the designers were hardly starting from scratch.
This dehumidifier has only been on the market for a few months, but it has crushed more experienced brands like De'Longhi and Philips in my direct comparisons.
At $1,499 (though I've seen it for cheaper), it's absolutely at the top of the price range. Previous models I've tried have been around $600-$800, so you'd want this one to excel. But given its performance and ease of use, this would be my pick if you have the budget.
The Mitsubishi Electric Dehumidifier MJ-EV38HR-A's design is as utilitarian as its name. It doesn't exactly blend with its surroundings, but it's not ugly, either. It exists to do a single purpose and isn't much fussed beyond dehumidifying. "Unassuming" or "non-descript" is how it would be described were it the second-best friend of the love interest in a teen novel.
It has a white front, a grey back and little louvres that stand up on top to direct the air. I appreciate that it looks like a dehumidifier and not something you'd find in a sci-fi movie, but there really isn't a lot you can say about its appearance.
As far as portability goes, it does have a handle and wheels. It's also 18kgs, according to the specs, so its portability will depend on whether you lift and have stairs and whatnot.
Where things get more interesting is the controls and screen. For $1,400, I would have expected Mitsubishi Electric to try and shoehorn some kind of colour touch-screen nonsense onto this bad boy. Thankfully, there are physical buttons you can comfortably press, even with damp hands, and a basic digital display that tells you only what you need to know and nothing more. I love it.
Not everything needs a touch screen and a complicated menu. I will pay extra for something that's easy to use so my parents don't have to constantly call me to ask what "beast mode dehumidification" or whatever ridiculous over complication is being foisted upon an unsuspecting appliance.
The only downside of having the buttons so accessible is that children can press them just as easily. Fortunately, there's a child lock button.
My favourite feature, though, is how easy it is to empty the tank without spilling water all over your feet. There's a little flip top on the tank so you can empty it quickly and easily. Others I've used have either had one weirdly placed hole that spills everywhere or a massive opening that's open all the time, begging to be spilled as you take it out of the machine.
The only thing that's not perfect about the tank is that it doesn't have a little handle, so it can be awkward to carry, especially if your sink is far away.
My one major irritation is that while there is an on/off timer, I wish it had a scheduling function or would work with a smart plug. The way it's set up is to be easy for people to use to dry their laundry indoors or during a humid summer where it's humid all the time. It's perfect for those scenarios.
But I live in a tiny, well-sealed apartment in Melbourne where night times in winter are my most humid times – I need this sucker to turn on at 9pm and stay on until 8am. With my old De'Longhi model, that was easy because I could just use a smart switch. The Mitsubishi Electric Dehumidifier MJ-EV38HR-A has no such consideration, and thus I am doomed to either leave it on all the time or have to remember to turn it on before bed. It's not a major problem, but it is irritating and would have been easy to avoid during the design stage.
Mitsubishi Electric Dehumidifier review: Performance
In terms of performance, I am in love. It seems to take moisture out of the air faster than the Philips Series 5000 I also use. However, some of the Philips' energy goes into purifying the air, so I can forgive its trespasses.
The 5.5L tank is large enough that most people will only need to empty it once every day or so. Though, if you're somewhere very humid, or you're cleaning up after floods, the machine can remove up to 38L of water a day. But you'll' have you keep emptying it or use a hose (which you'll have to buy separately) to have it drain into a sink or other pipe. I haven't been able to test that 38L theory because I am lucky enough to live somewhere that generally only gets to 70-85% humidity in spring, but it seems efficient enough that I can believe it.
The ideal humidity range in a home is 30-50%. The Mitsubishi Electric Dehumidifier MJ-EV38HR-A defaults to aiming for 60%, and that's fine enough if you want to save electricity. All in a row, there is generally a 1-2% difference in humidity sensed on the Philips, Mitsubishi and the Eve air quality monitor I use, and I have no idea which one is accurate.
The Mitsubishi tends to guess a bit lower than the others, but that amount of difference seems negligible enough to not really matter, and it's easy enough to change the targets based on what feels most comfortable to you.
What I'm most impressed by is how quiet the Mitsubishi is. On low, you can barely hear it at all. I can comfortably sleep with this in the same room, and I'm like the Princess and the Pea, so that's high praise. It's a big contrast to my old De'Longhi which sounded like a wind machine at the merest suggestion of moisture. The Philips I have seems to try to cancel out the fan sounds and ends up sounding like the Absence of Noise, which is disconcerting and can create an uncomfortable ear pressure.
On higher fan speeds, the Mitsubishi can get a bit loud, but because it's so efficient on Eco Auto, it'll go back to being quiet pretty quickly.
Supposedly it's also an air purifier, and it is a bit, but that's clearly not the focus of the machine because there's no particle count screen and you need to choose between purification and dehumidification. I would not be relying on this machine as an air purifier. It's nice to have as a backup and it stops the water from turning brown (like on my old dehumidifier), but without a HEPA filter, it'll never be effective as a purifier.
I love the Intelligent Laundry Mode, it's perfect for apartment dwellers who don't have clothes dryers. It wasn't perfect at guessing how long until my laundry dried, but it was close enough that I was impressed. Automatically turning off after it thinks the laundry is dry is a great power-saving feature. The mildew guard feature is also a nice touch, and misreading the "Drying Inside" button brings me great joy each day.
Should you buy it?
- Buy it if you want the best dehumidifier on the market and money is no object.
- Don't buy it if money is an object or you need a 2-in-1 dehumidifier and air purifier.
The Mitsubishi Electric Dehumidifier MJ-EV38HR-A is the best dehumidifier I've ever tested. This is the model I recommend to family members who need a powerful dehumidifier. Its claims of being an air purifier are overstated, but this is a dehumidifier that dehumidifies with brutal efficiency. It is a little hard to justify spending $1,400 on a dehumidifier when there are so many around the $600-800 mark, even if the others are a little less efficient and use more power. This is the model for people with major humidity issues. It's well made, does the job extremely well, and if it fits in your budget, it's the premium model I would spring for.
Mitsubishi Electric Dehumidifier review: Pricing and availability
How we tested
I used the Mitsubishi Electric Dehumidifier MJ-EV38HR-A for around 6 weeks in a variety of conditions. I was loaned the Mitsubishi Electric Dehumidifier MJ-EV38HR-A by Mitsubishi Electric's PR company.