What every best Humidifiers has:
- Simple maintenance.
- Low noise.
- Maintenance reminders.
Basic, but it works well. While the Honeywell HCM-350 may not have as many features as other top-reviewed models, reviewers say that it's simple to use -- just a single dial to set fan speed -- and efficient. The water tank has a wide mouth and is easy to fill -- and a sturdy built-in handle makes carrying the tank a snap. One feature it does have is a UV lamp to kill germs, but experts say that its effectiveness is dubious, making this more hype than help. There's a filter that needs to be periodically replaced, but it's inexpensive. Experts largely say that the HCM-350 is designed to make ongoing maintenance easier than with most competing humidifiers. "The Honeywell didn't have any of the difficult-to-reach areas and small spaces that some of the ultrasonic humidifiers had, and we could easily fit our entire hand into the water tank to clean it," BabyGearLab.com reports. As an added plus, the tank and the base are dishwasher safe.
Plenty of moisture for medium sized rooms. This humidifier is rated to humidify a space of around 500 square feet, though TheSweethome.com says it is best with rooms of 400 square feet or less -- which covers all but the largest rooms. The tank, to some reviewers' concern, holds only a gallon of water; because of this, the machine can go through two full tanks a day at maximum output. However, the TheSweethome.com notes that the tank is easy to fill in an average bathroom sink.
In the ear of the beholder. We saw split opinions regarding noise. As an evaporative unit, noise levels will certainly be higher than with an ultrasonic model. TheSweethome.com tests sound levels from one meter away and says that while the HCM-350 is loud enough to be noticed, it's not loud enough to be objectionable at top speed, and drops down to barely noticeable levels at medium speed. The editors add that the pitch of the sound helps minimize any issues. "It's a pleasant white noise that sounds like a box fan on a medium to low setting," they say. BabyGearLab.com downgrades the HCM-350 quite a bit more over its noise, while conceding that, "During in-home testing, we actually found the Honeywell's fan noise at the lowest setting to be soothing and felt that some parents may appreciate the added "white noise" benefit." ConsumerReports.org also weighs in on noise level and rates it at Very Good at its highest fan speed, but offers little additional insight.
Well-made to reduce leaks. TheSweethome.com likes that the tank on the Honeywell HCM-350 is made from a single piece of plastic, without the seams that tend to develop leaks over time with other humidifiers -- and something that will help make sure the HCM-350 survives to the end of its generous three-year warranty. Because this is an evaporative humidifier, there are no issues with a fine white dust settling on furniture; a byproduct of minerals in water, especially hard water, that's unavoidable with ultrasonic models (even those with good filtration), and the source of lots of user complaints with such models. The HCM-350 is physically large compared to some ultrasonic models -- so large that it might be a tight fit on some nightstands. User feedback, while not universally positive, is better than we often see with most humidifiers.