127 of 127 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2010
THE QUICK TAKE: The Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360° Humidifier is well designed, quiet and compact, and one of the best choices if you want an ultrasonic humidifier for a small to medium sized room, particularly for a child's room.
COMPACT: This humidifier has a round base 7.5" in diameter, with the water tank above the base. The total height is 13.5", though you'd need some space above that to allow the mist to flow. It's a far more space-efficient design than most other humidifiers, and won't make you re-arrange your room to accomodate it like many other humidifiers do.
This model is particularly good for a child's room, where you want a small ultrasonic cool mist humidifier. (Warm mist is too dangerous, and evaporative cool mist models have noisy fans.) It's hard to find a good option - most people want the Chevy Suburban of humidifiers, it seems, with the biggest tank and the most humidification possible, so that's all that seems to be available.
The tank is surprisingly large for the size of the humidifier - about 0.75 gallons. At the maximum flow setting, it lasts about 10.5 hours, so it should be able to handle about 1.7 gallons per 24 hours if you refill it. Of course, at a lower setting it would last longer. You want to change the water often anyway to reduce bacterial growth, so there's no point in having a bigger tank than you need for one day.
For big rooms, though, you might want to consider something like the slightly larger Crane Humidifier, which also comes in green and pink versions; or something even larger.
WELL DESIGNED: As mentioned, the design doesn't waste space. The controls seem easy to use. And the mist flows out through two spouts at the top which can be aimed in different directions or the same direction, to distribute the humidity or aim it where you'd like it to go. That also helps make it easier to find a location for this humidifier. (Though it would be nice if they could be pointed up a little more than they are.)
QUIET: This model isn't silent but it is quiet - especially if it's several feet away.
VARIABLE MIST: The variable mist feature lets you adjust the flow to allow for the room size and the weather conditions, so you don't have a room that's too damp or too dry. (Even a smallish humidifier can be too much if it has only one or two settings for the flow of humidity, as many do. You end up having to guess how much to fill it up so that it runs out of water before stuff starts to grow on the walls.) With this Safety 1st humidifier, after a little experimenting you can determine what setting will keep the room at a healthy humidity. You can also limit the flow to what will evaporate before it lands on the floor. (If you're getting a wet spot on the floor nearby, you have the humidifier turned up too high - it's more water than the air can absorb.) This humidifier puts out a pretty impressive stream of fog on the maximum setting.
SAFETY 1ST: You might not be familiar with Safety 1st, but they are a well-known maker of products for babies and children.
If you go to a Target store looking for this, you'll need to look in the section of the store with the baby and toddler gear. It wasn't stocked with the other humidifiers in the store I visited.
A FEW SMALL ISSUES: There are a few minor issues, but they won't be problems for most people:
- The feet are hard plastic, so if it's on a smooth surface you might want to add some non-skid feet of your own, or put it on a non-skid liner, to keep it from sliding.
- While the flow of mist is variable, it seems not to go off completely at the lowest setting. There's no real flow of water vapor when it's turned to the minimum, but it's still a little unusual that it doesn't switch off - you need to use the switch in the back to turn it off.
- Also odd is that there's no marking on the knob to distinguish which side of the ridge on the knob is pointing at the level on the dial.
- The trim along the base of the unit is a light hue of a slightly bright green. (See the photo gallery.) That works for us, but I have to wonder why they didn't use a neutral color.
This humidifier has no demineralization feature, so all the minerals in the water will go into the air, and often create a white dust - so it's not a good choice in a hard-water area unless you're willing to use distilled water. We don't have hard water, but do use filtered water to fill the humidifiers - it cuts way down on the amount of brown gunk that builds up.
By the way, the way the feet are arranged on the base, this could fit on a space as narrow as about 5.5" x 6.5" inches. (See the photo gallery for a photo I've uploaded.) But again, you might want to add something to keep it from sliding around if space is tight. Many stores sell self-adhesive rubber bumpers or feet, or you could place it on non-skid shelf liner.
There are a few pros and cons common to all ultrasonic humidifiers, like this one. On the pro side, they are quiet, quick to put vapor into the air, and take very little energy to do that. On the con side, the process of the water evaporating into the air takes heat out of the air. That may be ideal in Arizona, but if you're heating the room it does offset some of the efficiency. (That's not a reason not to use them, just something that it helps to be aware of - it surprises some people.) Finally, and most importantly, whatever is in the tank will go into the air - that includes bacteria and minerals. So ultrasonic humidifiers need maintenance - you need to clean them regularly. There are models available that reduce bacteria, though they are several times the price of this one.
If you don't want to clean the humidifier regularly, and the humidifier won't be somewhere that children might reach it or where it might be tipped over, then you may be better off with a warm mist humidifier (which boils the water, so that bacteria and minerals don't go into the air).
168 of 173 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
I have been looking for a filterless humidifier for the past couple years. I had a humidifier that I liked but it used these strange accordion paper filters. It only took a couple of months for the filter to get moldy or have lots of water deposits. It was pretty disgusting and I kept having to buy refills. That added up quickly. A friend at work brought her humidifier in and said she loved it. So I decided to invest in this one. I am really impressed. I took it out of the box and filled up the reservoir very quickly and had it on the machine running in less than 2 minutes. The other bonus is that the unit is ultra quiet.It makes a little bit of noise which is nice for the white noise but it isn't obnoxious or distracting. I love that you have a lot of options for the mist output. It isn't just 2 or 3 levels. There is a lot of variation. My favorite unique feature is that it has two mist outlets so you can have the air go in two directions (I am not really sure how important this is but it is a nifty feature). When you open the box the two misters are stacked but you can move them whatever direction you want. Finally, and most importantly I like that it is filterless. This saves a lot of money for me and I am just tired of gross filters. I am a big fan of this humidifier and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good humidifier. It is marketed as a baby room humidifier but I would just buy it the blue one and use it in every room of your house.
Update: For some reason the motor has started being loud when I turn it on. If it tap it, the noise goes down. I will keep you updated. 2/24 the noise is no longer an issue. Still working great. Love how quiet it is and the quality of the mist. My little girl is sick right now and it is helping a LOT. We must have got a faulty one. Motor stopped working BUT they are sending me a new base out in 10 days. Make sure to keep your receipt in case of a faulty product. Very impressed with the company.
66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2011
I've owned this humidifier for a little over a year now, and it's never let me down. The product description is a little lackluster though. I wouldn't use this in a room that's over 500 sq ft. It worked great in my bedroom last winter, but I have an open floor studio apartment now (around 7-750 sq ft) and it's just not enough. Even with refilling it twice a day and having it run 24/7 the humidity level in the air has never been above 40% (and that was on a warm, rainy day).
Very quiet operation, when turned up all the way the most you will hear is a slight "trickling" noise from the ultrasonic waves splashing the water around.
Make sure the surface you put it on is level. Even a slight bit off can cause it to leak water.
In the past I've needed to buy on average a new humidifier each winter because they're always cheap and crap out, not so with this one. Overall the merits of this humidifier vastly out weigh my complaints.
83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2012
I enjoy the absence of the whirring sound that my old humidifier had and the lack of a filter to get moldy is great. The first two nights I had issues with the area on the table and floor underneath and around the humifier getting completely soaked with water and thought I would have to return it until I realized that the directional nozzle that fits on the top of the tank had fallen on the floor when I opened it. I decided to try it one more time with the nozzle on the top and that resolved the soaking issue. If I run it at full blast it doesn't last the whole night but it works just fine at about 60% output. You can't refill it at a typical bathroom sink because of the height of the tank but I keep a water bottle handy and it does the trick. No real complaints. Its not fabulous but suits my needs and is offered at a good price.
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2012
I bought this to replace a larger whole-house style humidifier and ultimately it was disappointing.
- Quiet enough not to disturb baby
- Ability to aim mist from top (it turns to direct mist)
- Tank is not heavy and could be filled in bathroom sink
- Bottom base, easy to clean (not easy to clean water tank)
- Tight seal on bottom of tank
- No filters to replace (though does require those useless protect cartridges)
- If you don't leave some water in the base (walk it carefully back to your room), when you load the water tank onto the clean, empty base about 1/3 of the water in the tank is immediately "lost" so you have to refill the tank again to make it through the night
- Impossible to clean water tank (despite soaking with bleach and vinegar) - we had nasty pink stuff growing and it couldn't be reached - soaking in vinegar didn't work, neither did the bleach
- Plastic was flimsy - tank cracked in the middle of the second winter (though I was washing this thing every single day and did my best to be gentle and not bang it on the sink while attempting to reach the mold inside)
For the $25 I paid, it got me through a winter and I learned a valuable lesson about "cool mist" humidifiers - AVOID. I actually ended up writing a review today because I was researching safety of these types of units and as it turns out, cool mist humidifiers have the potential to cause some real harm by spreading microbes and minerals from the water into the air. My next purchase will be a "warm mist" humidifier, with a UV light.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2010
Consumer Reports rated this a best buy. It stood out in their ratings because it is about half the price of others that perform similarly. It works great, and I would buy it again because of the price. However, I can't justify 5 stars.
At Target, it's in the baby department, not with the other humidifiers.
I have to clean my glasses a lot when using it, presumably because of the calcium in our water. I imagine all ultrasonics will do this, if your water is hard.
On high, it runs 8-9 hours per fill and humidifies a large room (about 13 x 35 feet with a high ceiling, in Texas where it's not that cold) adequately for us.
However, it is inconvenient to use, as others have noted:
1. It's easy to cross-thread the cap after filling -- getting it right often requiring several tries while balancing the unit with your other hand. If you don't notice that it's cross-threaded, you will get wet.
2. The tank is difficult to carry. It usually requires two hands, because the handle is at the wrong angle and it tends to slip out of your hand.
3. It won't fit under our bathroom faucets, so we use the tub.
4. You fill it from the bottom. Then, you must remember to turn it upright while still over the sink, or you will spill some water.
Is it worth it to save $30 or so? It is to me, but your answer might be different.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2010
I had been using this to mist my indoor plants (with excellent results by the way); I had the unit turned on for approx. 2-3 hrs. per day, every other day or so, for about 6 months. I would imagine that this would certainly fall into the category of 'typical use.' (In other words I don't feel as though I 'overused' it.) I really enjoyed the product - the compact design and light weight made it very easy to simply pick it up and plug into another outlet (even though mine tended to stay in the same location throughout its life). Well, the thing died on me this morning! Went kaput, out of nowhere! I haven't had this humidifier for that long - less than a year - so I was kind of perplexed. My first thought was that it might be the outlet, so I went around my condo and tried various other outlets, to no avail. I keep the unit clean (a teaspoon of ordinary white household vinegar mixed w/some water works very well for that) so I didn't suspect it had anything to do with something becoming 'clogged.' Even so, I disassembled it and cleaned it thoroughly, dried it completely, then filled it back up and tried it again - nothing. Absolutely no signs of life whatsoever. It's a real shame, because up until now I'd been extremely satisfied w/this product! The price, the performance, ease of use - I had nothing negative to say about it. I didn't happen to purchase through Amazon, I bought mine from an actual Target store, so I plan on taking it back to that store and at least negotiating a store credit. Not even one year out of a humidifier that I didn't use excessively is just unacceptable I think. In the end, it's unfortunate that I cannot recommend this product.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2013
I've had sinus issues since birth and they seem to worsen every day! As winter fell upon us, so did the humidity in my room. I would wake up with the driest mouth/throat -- so dry, it felt scaly. Yeah, gross, I know.
I started to research on which humidifiers would work best for me. I hate products that all have the same function but different brand -- where it's really: 'you gotta try for yourself and see what suits you best.' That doesn't help anyone!
I also thought about the warm mist because I used to have a Vicks one as a kid but read that it's tedious to take care of (honestly, I've made the mistake too many times of telling myself "I can do that!" and ending up never doing it - like cleaning out a warm mist filter-based humidifier every day and wiping it down) so I went with the cool mist. You probably don't need a warm mist unless you or your kid has asthma or stuffy noses. Otherwise, cool mists work just as well.
So after opening up 10 different tabs on my browser with different humidifiers, I decided to give this one a shot. I read other reviews about how great it suited them and their allergies and some reviews covered some of my sinus problems too..
Got my product, easy to put together (the spout, the blue part and screwing in the cap so the water doesn't just burst out) and was surprised at how strong the mist actually blows out! Kinda wish there was a way to have it shoot upward though. You can remove the 360 spout but it kinda just flows downward... That's okay though. The different forces it allows you to choose from is great too. I can leave it on for hours on the lowest setting when I'll be out for a few hours and leave it on medium-blast throughout the night. It works really great! No more scaly tongue!! You'd just have to set it in the right spot and away from, well, everything that you don't want getting wet because if you leave it on for a long period of time, some things WILL get slightly damp but go figure... It's. A. Humidifier. It shoots out water.
Anyway! It does what I need it to and it does it well. Totally recommend it!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2011
I bought one of these at the start of last winter. Worked like a champ all winter. Light cleaning each week, using only filtered water and so far so good. Currently in use for the second winter and love having it!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2011
My 15 month old daughter has a lot of sinus issues, so it's imperative that we run a humidifier in her room every night. I have been researching cool mist humidifiers for weeks, and though it's nearly impossible to sort through all of the reviews and product specifications, I can safely say that I've finally found my ideal humidifier. This is my third (and last) humidifier.
Previously, I used the Kaz/Vicks 4100 impeller humidifier, and while it puts out a lot of mist, it's nearly impossible to clean fully. A lot of the spinning and moving parts are encased in a plastic housing that you can't get into, and when I finally unscrewed the housing, the inside was caked in pink mold. I also own the Crane Adorable Penguin humidifier, and while I was originally impressed with its ease of cleaning and lack of filters to replace, the mist output just didn't live up to my expectations. My daughter's room is small, and the Penguin just wasn't doing the job.
Finally, I saw an article from Consumer Reports that rated the Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 Degree Humidifier as one of their "Best Buys," and boy did they hit the nail on the head. Even though I was still skeptical (having been disappointed twice before), with a price of $30, I figured it was worth a shot.
First of all, it doesn't use filters, which helps with maintenance and saves additional money. Secondly, the inside of the tank and base are just as easy to clean as the Crane Adorable Penguin. Both of these are major selling points for me. Lastly, the mist output is perfect. I used to have to turn the Crane humidifier up to full blast in order to get a moderate amount of mist, but the Safety 1st humidifier puts out twice as much mist when it's set to only half power. And when you "crank it up to 11," the Safety 1st is like getting hit by a fire hose of mist (and the dual nozzles are definitely an added bonus). Needless to say, this is what I've been looking for.
There are reviewers who complain about it being hard to clean, but with minimal daily maintenance (just replace the water everyday) and a thorough cleaning once every week or two, it runs like a dream, and I have yet to see any mold build up. Then there are people who complain that their model is defective. Well, just hold on to your receipt and contact the manufacturer. That's what any responsible consumer should do, and if the company values your business, they'll treat you well. However, I have yet to experience any of these problems. Also, we don't have hard water, so luckily I've never experienced the "white mist" everyone talks about.
Having "been there" and "done that" with all these humidifiers, I can safely say that I'm finally satisfied with my purchase. From the initial price to the ease of use and excellent functionality, I'm a very happy customer.