Honeywell HUL520B Review
Pros: Inexpensive, easy to clean, easy to use
Cons: Not the most powerful, no advanced features
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|Pros||Inexpensive, easy to clean, easy to use||Exceptional output, low lifetime operating costs||Good humidifying performance||Inexpensive||Inexpensive|
|Cons||Not the most powerful, no advanced features||Confusing user interface, prolonged cleaning process||Somewhat difficult to clean||Not suitable for larger rooms||Not much humidifying power, somewhat difficult to clean, somewhat clunky interface|
|Bottom Line||The perfect budget model for smaller (<150 square foot) rooms||With excellent performance ratings and low operating costs, this is one of our favorite models||Good for mid-sized bedrooms in arid climates, as long as you don't mind a little cleaning effort||A decent choice for small bedrooms, but there are better options in the same price range||Reasonable performance all around, but can't compete with other more functional budget options|
|Rating Categories||Honeywell HUL520B||Levoit Classic 200||Ultrasonic||Crane Drop||Pure Ultrasonic|
|Humidifying Performance (35%)|
|Ease Of Cleaning (35%)|
|User Friendliness (15%)|
|Operating Cost (15%)|
|Specs||Honeywell HUL520B||Levoit Classic 200||Ultrasonic||Crane Drop||Pure Ultrasonic|
|Weight||3.0 lbs||3.5 lbs||3.3 lbs||4.5 lbs||1.8 lbs|
|Dimensions||8.5" x 8.5" x 9.5"||13.8" x 7.8" x 5.8"||13.3" x 11.4" x 6.8"||8.6" x 13.4" x 8.6"||10.9" x 9.2" x 6.9"|
|Tank Capacity||0.5 gallons||1.1 gallons||1.6 gallons||1.0 gallons||0.4 gallons|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost||$56||$99||$98||$108||$63|
|Estimated Annual Electricity Usage||43.8 kWh||87.6 kWh||65.7 kWh||87.6 kWh||21.9 kWh|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Honeywell HUL520B combines simple operation and easy cleaning with decent humidifying performance in a tiny, affordable package. If you don't need advanced features like a self-regulating humidistat or an off timer, this is a great low-price option. The Honeywell HUL520B ended up at the top of our overall scoresheet, mostly due to a simple and user-friendly design. In the following sections, we discuss how it performed in all of the different tests we used to find the best humidifier.
The Honeywell HUL520B's humidifying performance was respectable given its small size and low price but overall was fairly average.
The Honeywell was somewhat slow in our testing, taking a full two hours to get our 150 square foot testing room up to 45% humidity. The good news is that it plateaued at around 47% humidity. This means that in most average-sized bedrooms the Honeywell will reach something close to the ideal 45% humidity and settle in there. This makes it perfect for bedroom use, and generally negates the risk of over humidifying if you forget to turn it off. The two hours it takes to reach that humidity can be a bit of a drag, as you'll have to remember to turn it on well before bedtime if you want to snuggle into a pleasantly humidified room.
If you want something with more humidifying power, you're unfortunately going to have to spend quite a bit more.
Ease of Cleaning
Ease of cleaning is one area where the Honeywell HUL520B really shined. The only model that scored better did so because some of its parts are dishwasher safe.
The Honeywell HUL520B's water tank has a 3.5-inch diameter opening, the largest opening of any of the water tanks we tested. All but the largest of hands are able to get in there and give everything a good scrubbing. The sonic agitator itself is fairly blocky, so there aren't any tiny nooks where mold can escape your sponge and start to take hold. The manual also gives clear instructions for using either vinegar or bleach (never use both at the same time) soak for deeper cleaning. Scrubbing, prepping the soak, and drying everything off took us about 15 minutes, with a 15-minute soak in between. This was on par with most other models in terms of time but felt like less effort than models that require more diligent scrubbing with difficult-to-reach spots.
The Honeywell HUL520B is incredibly simple, and thus incredibly user-friendly. Accordingly, it shared the top score in this metric.
The Honeywell HUL520B has a single dial to turn the machine on and select the level of mist it puts out. It also has an auto-off feature, so it automatically turns off when all the water is gone, which prevents the sonic agitator from buzzing away with no water in the tank and possibly damaging itself. That single knob makes it incredibly easy to operate, but it also means there are no additional features like an off timer or a self-regulating humidistat.
The large 3.5-inch tank opening that we mentioned in the ease of cleaning section also makes the Honeywell HUL520B very easy to refill in almost any sink. In fact, it was the easiest to refill of any of the models we tested.
The Honeywell HUL520B was far and away the most inexpensive model to buy and own that we tested. It only uses 0.01kWh of electricity per hour of operation. This led to an estimated lifetime cost of just $56, the lowest that we calculated.
While the Honeywell HUL520B lacks some power compared to larger models, it can still handle a small bedroom. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better value for use in a smaller room.
The Honeywell HUL520B isn't the most powerful humidifier, but it is easy to use and clean, can still get the job done and is incredibly inexpensive. If you're looking for something simple and affordable, this is the perfect model.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata