The Crane EE-5301 Cool Mist Humidifier earns very positive reviews thanks to its compact size, excellent moisture output and sleek design. Features include variable mist output (controlled by a simple dial) and an automatic shut-off. Despite positive reviews, several owners complain that the small tank must be refilled frequently. Others complain that the Crane tends to emit fine white dust -- caused by water-borne minerals -- that settles on fixtures and furniture.
Basic, but it works well: While the Crane EE-5301 Cool Mist Humidifier may not have as many features as other top-reviewed models, consumers say that it's simple to use and efficient. The manual controls are easy to use, and users love the automatic shut-off feature. Consumers appreciate that the water tank can be quickly filled in a kitchen sink -- which is good, as one of the major drawbacks is that this machine needs to be filled at least twice a day it it's to be used continuously.
Suitable for small rooms only: This compact humidifier is able to output an estimated 2.3 gallons of moisture per day, which should be enough to regulate a space of around 250 square feet. The tank, to some reviewer's concern, holds just 1 gallon of water. The size of the tank is another drawback; because of this, the machine will go through more than two full tanks a day at maximum output. If you're looking to regulate the humidity in a larger space, this model is probably not the best option. You may want to consider alternative models with a stronger output. For those who are looking to maintain the moisture level in a bedroom, for example, this may be the perfect, budget-friendly pick.
Relatively quiet operation: While the manufacturer claims that the Crane EE-5301 Cool Mist Humidifier is practically silent, we did find some users who felt this humidifier was too loud while in operation. Most, however, say that the sound is reminiscent of a fish tank and can be quite soothing.
Tank is hard to fill, keep clean: The Crane EE-5301 Cool Mist Humidifier's features include variable mist output (controlled by a simple dial) and an automatic shut-off. They also appreciate that it does not require any expensive filters or cartridges. However, some users find cleaning the machine difficult because the tank has crevices that are hard to reach. Others say that filling the tank is awkward because it must be turned upside down and balanced on its curved top. Like other ultrasonic humidifiers, this one may leave white residue on furniture from minerals dissolved in the water; some users recommend using filtered or distilled water to prevent this problem.
Review Credibility: Excellent Editors test 45 tabletop humidifiers and five console models. Models are rated on their moisture output, convenience, noise level, efficiency and performance when filled with hard water.
Review: Humidifier Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of September 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good The Crane EE-5301 Cool Mist Humidifier receives more than 1,700 user reviews at Amazon.com, with an average rating of 3.8 stars out of 5. Most users say it is quiet and performs well, but they are divided over its ease of use. Some say it is easy to clean and fill; others disagree.
Review: Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2012
Review Credibility: Good We found just over 150 reviews for the Crane EE-5301 Cool Mist Humidifier at Walmart.com, spread across several pages. Users give the humidifier about 4.5 stars out of 5 overall, praising its quiet operation. We saw only a few complaints about leakage and white dust buildup.
Review: Crane Cool Mist Humidifier, Contributors to Walmart.com
Review Credibility: Good The 30-plus reviews of the Crane EE-5301 Cool Mist Humidifier on Viewpoints.com are generally positive. It earns an average rating of 86 out of 100, and 92 percent of reviewers say they would recommend it. The most commonly cited benefits are its price, performance and design.
Review: Crane 2.3 Gallon Cool Mist Humidifier Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of October 2012
Review Credibility: Fair Target has about 50 reviews for the Crane EE-5301 Cool Mist Humidifier, spread across four pages. Users award it 4.5 stars out of 5 on average, praising its output, quiet operation and ease of maintenance. Only a scattered few complain of problems such as leaks, noise and white dust.
Review: Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Teardrop Humidifier, Contributors to Target.com, As of October 2012
Review Credibility: Fair Reviews on Buzzillions.com are pulled from a variety of online sources. The 160-plus reviews here give the Crane EE-5301 Cool Mist Humidifier an average of 3.9 stars out of 5. Users praise its quiet operation, adjustable settings, ease of use and compact, lightweight design. A few say it is hard to clean.
Review: Crane Teardrop Shaped Cool Mist Humidifier, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of October 2012