Food dehydrators have come a long ways since I bought my first one back in the 70’s. They have become more compact and more affordable. When considering how much dehydrated foods cost in the market, one realizes that dehydrating at home makes good sense even though it may increase the electric bill. I bought the Magic Mill 9 rack stainless steel bundle last year for just a little over $100. I hated my ancient dehydrator (the round one with a hole in the center) and just wasn’t using it. This one I love. It really makes a difference.
In my opinion, the minimum features one needs in a food dehydrator are a reasonably small footprint, stainless steel shelves that slide in and out, nonstick plastic mesh screens and fruit leather trays (not just for leather, but also to catch the crumbs). It should have different time and temperature settings and turn itself off automatically.