Safety 1st 360 ReviewPrice: $33.00 List | $32.99 at Amazon
Pros: Quiet, simple design, powerful, auto shut-off, inexpensive
Cons: Difficult to clean tank
Bottom line: Basic yet effective and provides the most bang for your buck
Empty Weight (BGL): 2.3 Lbs
Max Operation Noise Level in dB (BGL): <40
Manufacturer: Safety 1st
The Safety 1st 360 was our Best Value winner and overall runner-up in our testing group. With a compact design, continuously variable mist output control, and dual-output mist jets, the Safety 1st delivered the basic features we wanted in a portable ultrasonic humidifier. The Safety 1st presents a few challenges in cleaning, but the limited number of parts and relatively simple cleaning requirements makes maintenance less complicated than the procedures required for humidifiers such as the Boneco U7147 and the Optimus U-31002. Read on to learn why we think you should seriously consider this humidifier for your baby's nursery.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Safety 1st 360 was the least expensive humidifier of our testing group. Despite the low price tag, the Safety 1st offered an ideal combination of performance and features that made us likely to choose it over more expensive models for baby's nursery. The Safety 1st company manufactures this unit in both transparent light blue and raspberry tank colors.
Ease of Cleaning
The simple construction of the Safety 1st helped to make it easier to clean than models requiring multiple maintenance steps such as the Boneco U7147 Digital, earning a 5 of 10 in our tests. The Safety 1st consists of a base, water tank, and removable adjustable mist jets. Its lightweight and compact design made it easy to handle during cleaning too.
We would have liked the tank opening to be large enough to fit our hand for cleaning, but at least we were able to fit our preferred bottle brush (the Munchkin Bottle and Nipple Brush) into parts of the tank to reach some, but not all of the inner surfaces. The mist jets also presented a cleaning challenge: the small openings made them impossible to clean with a cloth or standard brush, but the inner parts could be accessed by a small nipple brush such as the Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Cleaning Brush.
Despite its small stature, this humidifier performed surprisingly well for mist output. During BabyGearLab in-house testing, the Safety 1st earned a 7 of 10, the same score earned by our Editors' Choice winner, the Sunpentown SU-4010. The manufacturer recommends that this unit be used to humidify a maximum room area of 250 square feet. We feel this is an accurate estimate of performance, mainly due to its tank size which was one of the smallest in our testing bunch.
This humidifier was one of the three quietest models in our testing, earning a 9 of 10 for noise. The motor noise was very faint and we only noticed occasional bubbling sounds as the water emptied into the tank base.
Ease of Use
With a 6 of 10 in this category, the Safety 1st was a simple, easy-to-operate unit with a small space-saving footprint. During use, it was quiet and unobtrusive. During trips to the sink for refills and cleanings, we appreciated the light weight of the tank and base. We also liked that once the dual-output mist jets were removed, the tank could balance on its own during refillings.
Before testing this model, we uncovered some user reviews complaining of durability and poor construction. As a result, we payed close attention to the quality of the parts and any potential areas that might be likely to cause problems in the future. While we did notice that the plastic water tank was rather thinly constructed, we had no problems with its function. It did seem like it was more likely to crack than other tested tanks when dropped onto a hard surface, but it held up to the demands of daily use. On the other hand, the light weight of the water tank was a definite benefit during handling and transporting.
Another issue we noticed dealt with the removable dual mist jets. If these jets were not removed prior to refilling, the extra weight of the water tank could cause them to crack or break. We had to be careful to remove the jets before refilling. We also felt that the construction of the Safety 1st mist jets appeared less durable when compared with the construction of the mist jets for the Sunpentown SU-4010 and the Boneco U7147 Digital. We felt that we had to be delicate with them when adjusting their direction.
Finally, the Safety 1st has the second smallest tank capacity, larger than the Duux Ultrasonic, but not as large as the tank capacity of the Crane Drop Shape. While the tank provided more than enough water to provide mist output through the night, the Safety 1st required daily refillings when used in this way. However, should the tank run out of water, we were able to rest easy knowing that the auto shut-off function would kick in and prevent the unit from continuing to run.
For light sleepers who need a dark room, it is important to know that the Safety 1st has an "on" light that cannot be turned off unless the unit is off. Our solution to avoid shining a bright red light towards sleeping eyes was to turn the unit around to face the wall and then adjust the dual mist jets so that they could direct the mist into the room.
The Safety 1st 360 is a great basic humidifier for small rooms such as a nursery. It is quiet, effective, and relatively easy to clean. As it neither includes a filter in the original package, nor offers a filter available as a separate purchase, we recommend using distilled or filtered water. The manufacturer backs us up in the recommendation, stating that distilled or filtered water should be used to reduce the accumulation of white dust.
Despite some user review complaints about quality of construction, we had no problems with the Safety 1st during our BabyGearLab tests and in-home testing period. We felt that the features and function of the Safety 1st made it an excellent value for its price.
This ultrasonic humidifier packed the necessary features we wanted for our baby's nursery into a compact design. The continuously variable mist output knob, adjustable dual mist jets, and auto shut-off gave us plenty of control during use, and we loved its quiet operation.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Safety 1st 360 is currently offered in tank colors of light blue and raspberry.
— Ellen Baker & BabyGearLab Team
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