The Duux Ultrasonic's cute and compact design is certain to attract parents for baby's nursery. After all, it even has a night light feature. Some may be attracted to the fact that essential oils can also be used so that it acts as a misting diffuser, although we did not test it as such. However, we were left disappointed with its functionality and effectiveness. It just doesn't have the oomph and features that we consider to be essentials in our search for the best humidifier.
Duux Ultrasonic Review
Pros: Compact, attractive design, approved use of essential oils
Cons: Limited tank capacity and run time, mist exits horizontally and saturates surfaces
Our Analysis and Test Results
Upon removing the Duux Ultrasonic from its box, its spherical design is definitely aesthetically pleasing. It has three simple parts: a top with an ultrasonic vibrator, a base to hold the water, and a cord to connect it to a power source. Unfortunately, our first impressions were soon overshadowed by weak performance and other design faults that were soon revealed when we lived with this humidifier on a daily basis.
Ease of Cleaning
The Duux Ultrasonic earned the second highest score for ease of cleaning in our testing group with a 7 of 10. It's simple design consisting of two easily-accessible parts made cleaning a snap. We had no problem fitting our hand with a sponge or using a brush inside the tank base to clean all surfaces. For the top part, it was difficult to clean in the cage surrounding the ultrasonic vibrator (and, thus, we didn't attempt to use any essential oils), but we managed to reach some surfaces using a small brush, and hoped that rinsing the other areas with tap water would be sufficient.
Earning a 2 of 10, this humidifier is the poorest performer in our humidity tests. It struggles to raise the humidity in a small room by even 10% whereas other performers such as the Vornado Ultra3 were able to punch the humidity up 60% by the end of the test. Part of the problem may be that the Duux's mist exits are placed horizontally around the sphere and quickly fall to the ground rather than exiting vertically up into the air as all of our other tested units did. As such, it did not perform well when placed on a table; it made the surrounding surfaces damp and tended to deposit a lot of white dust. As this humidifier has a filterless design, we definitely recommend using either distilled or well filtered water for use with it to reduce white dust production.
Another issue is that this machine is either on or off. Although there is no variable mist control dial, the amount of moisture in the air can be reduced by using the interval timer which cycles the unit on and off in 30 second intervals. Use of the interval timer theoretically doubles the operating time of the unit and saves energy, as the manual claims. In our testing, we found that its use does extend run time for small rooms.
During operation, this humidifier is almost noiseless except for a few dripping and gurgling sounds. As such, it has better-than-average marks in our noise metric at 7 of 10.
Ease of Use
With a 4 of 10 for ease of use, this humidifier presents problems right out of the box. Our testing model was missing one rubber protector on the bottom which put the unit out of balance making it tippy. The unit is lightweight and easy to refill, but there is a very narrow range between the max fill line and min fill line (which is the point at which the auto shut-off feature kicks in). The max line is a bit difficult to see so if the unit is slightly overfilled, it won't operate. And, in our testing, we had to refill the tank at least once to get it through more than eight hours of use. So, if you want to run it continuously over a 24 hour basis, you will need to refill it several times a day.
We feel that the Duux Ultrasonic would work best when placed on a very high pedestal so that mist has a chance to disperse throughout the air before it reaches a table or night stand surface. It should also be sufficient for humidifying small areas within a room such as the immediate area around the crib. And, though the manual states that you can use essential oils in this unit, we did not test it as such. It was already difficult for us to clean inside the cage surrounding the ultrasonic vibrating plate.
The value of this humidifier lies in its appearance. The futuristic controls and soft glow of its night light make it visually appealing, but it does not meet our needs for performance or ease of use.
Despite the attractive appearance of the Duux, we feel that it just doesn't offer enough power or features to make it a strong contender for decent humidification.
Watch this video for all Duux Humidifier Cleaning Instructions:
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team