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Honeywell HCM-350 Review

This is a good choice if you appreciate the simplicity of evaporative humidifying
Honeywell HCM-350
Credit: Honeywell
Top Pick Award
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Price:   $75 List
Pros:  Easy to clean, self-regulating evaporative humidifying
Cons:  Requires replacement filters, filter can get moldy if left unattended for too long
Manufacturer:   Honeywell
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Sep 26, 2017
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Humidifying Performance - 35% 6
  • Ease of Cleaning - 35% 9
  • User Friendliness - 15% 7
  • Operating Cost - 15% 6

Our Verdict

With a good balance between performance and price, the Honeywell HCM-350 is a decent choice if you want something inexpensive for a slightly larger bedroom. However, it comes with the caveat of needing a replacement filter every six months, which drives up its long-term operating costs to higher than other premium models. So you have to choose between low up front costs and super easy cleanup, or higher upfront costs that are canceled out in the long run, but without the super easy clean-up.

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Honeywell HCM-350
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Honeywell HCM-350
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $75 List$90 List
$84.99 at Amazon
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Pros Easy to clean, self-regulating evaporative humidifyingPowerful, accurate humidistat prevents over-humidification, convenient remote control, easy to cleanExceptional output, low lifetime operating costsInexpensive, easy to clean, easy to useGood humidifying performance
Cons Requires replacement filters, filter can get moldy if left unattended for too longSomewhat on the expensive sideConfusing user interface, prolonged cleaning processNot the most powerful, no advanced featuresSomewhat difficult to clean
Bottom Line This is a good choice if you appreciate the simplicity of evaporative humidifyingA powerful model with all the bells and whistles you could want, perfect for those looking for high-end performanceWith excellent performance ratings and low operating costs, this is one of our favorite modelsThe perfect budget model for smaller (<150 square foot) roomsGood for mid-sized bedrooms in arid climates, as long as you don't mind a little cleaning effort
Rating Categories Honeywell HCM-350 Levoit LV600HH Levoit Classic 200 Honeywell HUL520B Everlasting Comfort...
Humidifying Performance (35%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
Ease Of Cleaning (35%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
User Friendliness (15%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Operating Cost (15%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
10.0
8.0
Specs Honeywell HCM-350 Levoit LV600HH Levoit Classic 200 Honeywell HUL520B Everlasting Comfort...
Weight 9.6 lbs 4.9 lbs 3.5 lbs 3.0 lbs 3.3 lbs
Dimensions 18.6" x 10.4" x 13" 11.3" x 7" x 10.5" 13.8" x 7.8" x 5.8" 8.5" x 8.5" x 9.5" 13.3" x 11.4" x 6.8"
Tank Capacity 1.0 gallons 1.6 gallons 1.1 gallons 0.5 gallons 1.6 gallons
Humidification Technology Evaporative Ultrasonic Ultrasonic Ultrasonic Ultrasonic
Estimated Lifetime Cost $203 $159 $99 $56 $98
Estimated Annual Electricity Usage 87.6 kWh 65.7 kWh 87.6 kWh 43.8 kWh 65.7 kWh

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Honeywell HCM-350 provides good all-around performance in a package that is very easy to clean. However, it requires replacement filters that push its lifetime cost above that of some of the premium models we tested. It did quite well in our testing earning a Top Pick Award as our favorite evaporative style humidifier. Read on to see how it performed in each of our individual tests.

Performance Comparison



Humidifying Performance


The Honeywell HCM-350 earned a decent score in our humidifying testing, putting it squarely in the middle of the test lineup. It brought our 150 square foot testing room to 45% humidity in just 34 minutes, almost twice as fast as some other models. It also reached a maximum humidity of 58.9%.


This machine doesn't have a self-regulating humidistat, but it has the advantage of being evaporative rather than sonic. This means it essentially uses a fan to blow air over a wet sponge. Water will naturally stop evaporating from the sponge once the humidity gets too high, so you really don't have to worry about over humidification. You do, however, need to replace that wet sponge 'filter' every six months to maintain optimum performance and cleanliness.

The HCM-350 uses a fan to blow air over a wet wick. this evaporative...
The HCM-350 uses a fan to blow air over a wet wick. this evaporative style is slightly louder, but also naturally regulates humidification.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Perhaps the more apt comparison is the Honeywell HCM-350 to the Levoit LV600HH. Though the Levoit costs much more upfront, it is actually less expensive in the long run. It reached 45% humidity in just 30 minutes and has a very accurate self-regulating humidistat. If you can justify spending more money now instead of later, you'll get much better performance.

Ease of Cleaning


This is where the Honeywell HCM-350 really shines, taking the top spot with a near-perfect score. The water tank has a large 3.5-inch opening that makes for easy scrubbing access, and many of the components are dishwasher safe. It is the only model we've encountered that allows you to wash some of the harder-to-clean bits in the dishwasher.


The manual suggests a 15-minute soak in a vinegar solution. It took us a standard 15 minutes to get everything clean, not including the soak. The only reason it didn't earn a perfect score is the filter/wick it uses for evaporative humidifying. If you're not diligent with cleaning and completely drying out the humidifier when it won't be in use, the wick can easily get moldy. If that happens you just have to buy a new wick for less than $10, as it's nearly impossible to clean.

The HCM-350&#039;s base can go into the dishwasher, just make sure you...
The HCM-350's base can go into the dishwasher, just make sure you dry out the wick if you're not going to use it for a while.

User Friendliness


The Honeywell HCM-350 felt fairly intuitive and simple to use and earned an above-average score in our user friendliness testing. Its interface is a single knob that adjusts the speed of the fan that blows air over the wick. The water tank is quite large so you probably won't be able to fill it directly from the sink, but the large 3.5-inch opening makes refilling mess-free. The tank also has a nice handle and easily removes from the machine.


The Honeywell HCM-350 didn't get a higher user-friendliness score because of a few oddities related to its evaporative humidifying method. First off, it makes more noise than any of the other models we tested. It's not loud and just sounds like a small fan, but if you're looking for something quiet this isn't the machine for you. We also found that it made a weird clicking noise when set on its highest setting, which was a bit annoying.

The HCM-350&#039;s simple controls.
The HCM-350's simple controls.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Operating Cost


This is the bane of the Honeywell HCM-350. Its fairly low list price saved it from getting a terrible score, but those replacement filters every six months will add up. It also uses a fan instead of a sonic agitator, which uses more electricity than many models (0.02kWh per hour, to be exact). This led to an estimated lifetime cost of $203. This is higher than the estimated lifetime cost of most other models, including the top-performing Levoit LV600HH ($159).


Value


The Honeywell HCM-350 has a reasonable list price, making it quite a good value in the short term. However, its replacement filter costs do add up over time, making it less economical in the long run than some much higher-performing models.

Conclusion


The Honeywell HCM-350 is a good humidifier that can handle medium to large-sized bedrooms and has the advantage of evaporative humidifying that naturally adjusts based on the humidity of the room. However, that evaporative style also requires replacement filters, making this model cost more than average in the long term.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Max Mutter and Steven Tata