Water adsorption is becoming increasingly important for many applications including thermal energy storage, desalination, and water harvesting. To develop such applications, it is essential to understand both adsorbent-adsorbate and adsorbate-adsorbate interactions, and also the energy required for adsorption/desorption processes of porous material-adsorbate systems, such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). In this study, we present a technique to characterize the enthalpy of adsorption/desorption of zeolites and MOF-801 with water as an adsorbate by conducting desorption experiments with conventional differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA). With this method, the enthalpies of adsorption of previously uncharacterized adsorbents were estimated as a function of both uptake and temperature. Our characterizations indicate that the adsorption enthalpies of type I zeolites can increase to greater than twice the latent heat whereas adsorption enthalpies of MOF-801 are nearly constant for a wide range of vapor uptakes.