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Humidifier Performance (continued)

Quiet Humidifiers.

Humidifiers generally go where people congregate or sleep, so noise level is an issue for at least some consumers. We read humidifier reviews indicating that some of the best humidifiers pass the sleeping baby test, others generate welcome white noise, and still others are irritatingly loud.
In the first category we'd place the Crane EE-5301, an ultrasonic model that's so quiet even one dissatisfied user commenting on Toys R Us says the absence of noise is the only good feature; other reviewers say their children sleep peacefully when the humidifier is running and a few mention the gentle dripping and gargling of water. Users of the Vicks Warm Mist V745A report this model is reasonably quiet, with some asserting the white noise is calming; a couple of others, meanwhile, claim to be bothered by the sound. Although many consumers say the the Honeywell HCM-630 QuietCare lives up to its name, we noticed a few negative comments on Amazon, including one that says it sounds like a box fan when set on high. The Holmes HM630-U fares poorly in this arena. Humidifiers reviews on Amazon, for example, complain loudly about the noise, describing the sound variously as high-pitched squeaking, fingernails-on-blackboard grating; many also express annoyance with misting cycles that continuously click on and off.

Moisture Output.

Apart from a few dissident voices, consumers seem satisfied with the ability of these cheap humidifiers to add moisture to the air. In reviews on Home Depot, the Crane EE-5301 is lauded as one of the best humidifiers for sending plumes of cool mist into the air that work wonders on sinuses and congestion and enable plants to thrive. The Vicks V745A scores with consumers posting on Viewpoints who say this model sends out comforting mist in a matter of minutes -- enough to warm cool air, clear up dry skin, and stop nose bleeds; one user cautions against closing the door in the room where the humidifier is running to avoid condensation settling on the walls. Dry, itchy eyes are soothed with mist from the Honeywell HCM-630 QuietCare, according to humidifier reviews, and even mid-sized rooms get nicely humid, although we did note some grumbling about inaccurate humidistats.

Humidifier Durability.

Longevity and reliability are must-have attributes in the best humidifiers, even in low-cost models, but the paucity of user comments about this topic lead us to conclude that the cheap humidifiers on our list are fairly durable. Of course, we found scattered reports about units that ceased functioning after a few days or a season in storage, but for the most part, complaints about durability are rare. One exception among the models we researched is the Holmes HM630-U, which is panned by users on a variety of websites for tanks that crack (after dropping while trying to refill) or leak, auto settings that don't know when to stop cycling, and fans that seize up.

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