The Safety 1st 360 is an ultrasonic humidifier with a compact design, variable mist output control, and dual-output mist jets. The Safety 1st offers the basic features required in a portable humidifier but it is challenging to clean with more nooks and crannies and a small opening for tank cleaning. With its budget-conscious list price, the Safety 1st has some likable qualities. Unfortunately, it isn't the most effective option, even in its price range and its overall average performance is disappointing compared to the competition resulting in a lower overall ranking.
Safety 1st 360 Review
Pros: Quiet, simple design, auto shut-off, budget-friendly
Cons: Difficult to clean tank, not as effective
Manufacturer: Safety 1st
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Safety first started with a simple "Baby on Board" sign we've all grown familiar with. 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 humidifier.
While the Safety 1st is compact and quiet, this budget-friendly option isn't as effective or easy to clean as other options in the same price range.
This makes it a unit that struggled to rank as high as the competition.
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 all the way to the end, just barely. The smaller opening is a huge contributor to the cleaning score of 5 of 10 for this unit. 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 could result in 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 of only 5 of 10 for this metric. 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 earning a 9 of 10 for noise. 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 rating with a 5 of 10 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 be placed 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 smaller capacity of only 0.5 gallons. The tank does provide more than enough water to provide mist through the night, but it requires daily refillings when used in this way. On the upside, daily 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 running while empty.
The Safety 1st has an "on" light that cannot be turned 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