In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Crane Drop Review

Sleek design with basic features and inconsistent performance
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Price:   $55 List | $53 at Amazon
Pros:  Filterless, simple, compact, multiple tank color options
Cons:  Potential issues with motor performance and durability, light always on
Manufacturer:   Crane
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Bob Wofford  ⋅  Sep 16, 2018
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Ease of Cleaning - 40% 5
  • Effectiveness - 30% 5
  • Noise - 20% 9
  • Ease of Use - 10% 5

The Skinny

The Crane Drop is a cool looking compact ultrasonic humidifier with a unique tank shape. This unit has a small design with basic features that make it a simple option that fits almost anywhere. With a variety of available color choices, it can be a nice looking addition to most nurseries and fun to look at for small children. This unit has a family-friendly price and operates in relative silence, even at high levels. Unfortunately, this product isn't as effective as it could be and the lack of programmability means the humidity levels are harder to control. It is also more challenging to clean with small spaces and the shape makes it difficult to fill and carry. These aspects make the Drop less desirable than cheaper competitors including the Crane Adorable which is more effective and just as quiet with a variety of animal shapes.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Crane company started in 205 with a few designs and continued to add to their collection each year. The company works out of Itasca Illinois and is part of the Wachsmuth & Krogmann, Inc (W&K) company. Crane strives to design products that are efficient and stylish with designs that bring a smile to your face. Crane produces humidifiers, air purifiers, fans, and space heaters to increase personal comfort no matter the climate.

The Crane Drop ultrasonic is a compact option but it isn't as effective as other small units.
The Crane Drop ultrasonic is a compact option but it isn't as effective as other small units.

Performance Comparison


The Drop is a quiet machine that has a unique look thanks to a drop shaped tank that comes in a variety of colors.


Despite the smaller footprint and simple dial operation, the Drop isn't as effective as the competition which hurt its overall performance score.

The ultrasonic plate on the Drop is hard to clean and as minerals build up the mist production goes down.
The ultrasonic plate on the Drop is hard to clean and as minerals build up the mist production goes down.

Ease of cleaning


The base of this unit has only a few small nooks and crannies, which made it relatively easy to clean. However, the water tank presents more of a problem and resulted in the drop earning only 5 of 10 for ease of cleaning.

The Drop's tank opening is too small for hands  so you'll need a bottle brush to clean the inside.
The Drop's tank opening is too small for hands, so you'll need a bottle brush to clean the inside.

The tank opening is too small for hands and the longer shape makes it difficult to reach the bottom with a standard bottle brush. It does have a minimal number of parts, but keeping the ultrasonic plate clean and free of deposits was difficult and a hit or miss operation that caused a significant drop in mist production if not tended to regularly.

Parts of the Crane Drop tank can be cleaned with a brush  but not all surfaces on the inside can be accessed.
Parts of the Crane Drop tank can be cleaned with a brush, but not all surfaces on the inside can be accessed.

We find scraping around the washer increases mist production, but the sensitivity of the ultrasonic plate to cleaning causes concern about the overall longevity of the unit.

Using filter water or the accessory filter is highly recommended to reduce minerals and minerals accumulation on surfaces and in the air (aka white dust). The filter (#HS-3161) must be purchased separately for about $11. Crane recommends replacing the filter every 30-40 fillings. Also, replacement is recommended if the humidifier has not been used for an extended period of time.

The Drop is the least effective ultrasonic option we tested.
The Drop is the least effective ultrasonic option we tested.

Effectiveness


Earning a 5 of 10, this humidifier produces adequate mist but isn't as effective as most of the competition with less mist initially and lower humidity levels compared to the competition after one hour of run time at full speed. The Crane Adorable is far more effective at increasing room humidity levels, but this unit may work well enough for small areas around a crib or bed.

Noise


With a score of 9 of 10, this unit is one of the quietest in the group. It is similar in sound to the Crane Adorable and is sure to help little ones stay asleep.

The continuous mist dial on the Drop works well but the mist output seems inconsistent.
The continuous mist dial on the Drop works well but the mist output seems inconsistent.

Ease of Use


The simple design of this humidifier made it easy to put together and operate and earned it a 5 of 10 for ease of use. The single mist jet is easily adjustable to change the direction of the mist, and the continuously variable mist output knob allows for good control over the output. The compact design makes it ideal for placement on a nightstand.

We find the "on" light on the Crane to be distracting at night - it can't be turned off, but by turning the unit to face the wall, the brightness is reduced.

The carrying handle for the Crane Drop Shape is embossed with the words "Don't carry full tank by handle."
The carrying handle for the Crane Drop Shape is embossed with the words "Don't carry full tank by handle."

Finally, we were put off by the design of a handle on the tank with a "Do not carry full tank by handle" instruction embossed into the plastic. Although it appears that the handle can be used with the empty tank, we feel that any handle included in the design of a humidifier should be able to support the tank whether it is empty or full.

Manufacturer Video




Juliet Spurrier, MD and Bob Wofford