Safety 1st 360 Review
Pros: Quiet, simple design, auto shut-off, budget-friendly
Cons: Difficult to clean tank, not as effective
Manufacturer: Safety 1st
Our Analysis and Test Results
Safety first started with a simple "Baby on Board" sign we all know. This company is over 30 years old, expanding to child home safety products soon after the success of their baby car badge. They now include a variety of baby gear products, including car seats, strollers, and humidifiers.
Ease of Cleaning
The simple construction of the Safety 1st looks like it will be easy to clean at first blush with a mist tube that fits a bottle brush to the end, just barely. The smaller opening is a massive contributor to the lower cleaning score. However, the tank opening is small, and we couldn't get our hand or the brush all the way inside so you'll be stuck shaking the tank to get it clean. This process could create a less than clean feeling if minerals or bacteria collect inside the far end.
Also, the nooks and crannies, especially around the float area and mist diverter (above left), are challenging to clean, and any mineral deposits inside the float area will be virtually impossible to attack, even with a small brush (above right).
The 360 isn't as effective as the competition with a below-average rating for effectiveness. The manufacturer claims this unit can humidify a maximum room area of 250 square feet. This range is average for a humidifier of this size and capacity, but our tests reveal it has a difficult time keeping up with the competition. This unit starts out strong with an initial output that quickly increases the humidity of the room until about 39 minutes. At this point, the effectiveness drops off, and the competition surpasses its capabilities leaving it behind. This option may work well if your goal is the surrounding crib area, but we aren't sure that 250 sq ft will be covered.
This humidifier is one of the quietest models in the group. The motor noise is faint, and we only notice occasional bubbling sounds as the water empties into the tank base. The maximum decibel for this unit is less than 40, making it one of the best in the bunch.
Ease of Use
The Safety 1st continues it's below-average performance for ease of use. While it features a basic variable mist output dial, it lacks features that make a humidifier user-friendly if left to its own devices. This unit is small and has a space-saving footprint that can work almost anywhere. While quiet and unobtrusive, this unit doesn't offer in place filling, so you'll need to remove the tank for refilling, something that can be challenging to do in the dark near a sleeping baby.
The tank itself is lightweight, though the thin construction could be an issue with durability down the line. The tank has a handle, and if you remove the mist spout, it can sort of stand on its own in the sink. However, as it fills with water, you'll want to help support it, so it doesn't tip and spill out all the contents. Removing the mist ports will also help prevent potential cracking that could happen as the weight of the tank increases with the water.
The tank capacity is only 0.9 gallons, making it the second smallest in the group with only the Honeywell HUL520 providing a lower capacity of only 0.5 gallons. The tank does offer more than enough water to provide mist through the night, but it requires daily refillings when used in this way. On the upside, regular refilling could be a benefit as it requires you to interact and inspect the tank regularly, which could result in less chance for mold and bacteria buildup. Also, if the tank runs out of water, the auto shut-off function will kick in to prevent the unit from running while empty.
The Safety 1st has an "on" light that you cannot turn off unless the unit is off. This free nightlight could be too bright for a light sleeper. You can turn the unit toward the wall to decrease the impact, but if additional lighting is a problem, you'll be stuck with this unit.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Bob Wofford