The Pure Ultrasonic is an inexpensive appliance, but that is the only positive thing we can say about it. It was one of the weakest models we tested, provides some challenges in terms of general cleaning, and isn't particularly easy to use. If you're looking for a budget option, we recommend looking at other models that offer better performance, are much easier to clean, and cost the same or a bit less.Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Pure Ultrasonic on April 21, 2022, with an impartial judgment of value and a comparison to other products that may pique your interest.
Pure Ultrasonic Review
Cons: Not much humidifying power, somewhat difficult to clean, somewhat clunky interface
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|Pros||Inexpensive||Inexpensive, easy to clean, easy to use||Exceptional output, low lifetime operating costs||Easy cleaning, decent overall performance||Good humidifying performance|
|Cons||Not much humidifying power, somewhat difficult to clean, somewhat clunky interface||Not the most powerful, no advanced features||Confusing user interface, prolonged cleaning process||Limited settings, so-so output, no standout feature||Somewhat difficult to clean|
|Bottom Line||Reasonable performance all around, but can't compete with other more functional budget options||The perfect budget model for smaller rooms (less than 150 square feet)||With excellent performance ratings and low operating costs, this is one of our favorite models||This model is a decent choice for its budget-friendly price point and performs moderately well||Good for mid-sized bedrooms in arid climates, as long as you don't mind a little cleaning effort|
|Rating Categories||Pure Ultrasonic||Honeywell HUL520B||Levoit Classic 200||Vicks Filter Free C...||Everlasting Comfort...|
|Humidifying Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (35%)|
|Operating Cost (15%)|
|User Friendliness (15%)|
|Specs||Pure Ultrasonic||Honeywell HUL520B||Levoit Classic 200||Vicks Filter Free C...||Everlasting Comfort...|
|Weight||1.8 lbs||3.0 lbs||3.5 lbs||4.0 Ibs||3.3 lbs|
|Dimensions||10.9" x 9.2" x 6.9"||8.5" x 8.5" x 9.5"||13.8" x 7.8" x 5.8"||10.87" x 9.45" x 13.46"||13.3" x 11.4" x 6.8"|
|Tank Capacity||0.4 gallons||0.5 gallons||1.1 gallons||0.5 gallons||1.6 gallons|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost||$63||$56||$99||$89||$98|
|Estimated Annual Electricity Usage||21.9 kWh||43.8 kWh||87.6 kWh||65.7 kWh||65.7 kWh|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Pure Ultrasonic lacks some power and isn't particularly easy to clean, which makes it inferior to other models in the same price range. It landed towards the bottom of our overall scoresheet. As discussed in the metrics below, we used several different tests to determine those overall scores.
The Pure Ultrasonic was one of the weakest models we tested, sharing the bottom score in our humidifying testing. It took 2.5 hours of running on high to get our 150 square foot testing room to the ideal 45% humidity. By comparison, other budget models achieved this in 2 hours or less and cost less. If you want to spend less than $50, you're not going to get the sub half hours times of the top-shelf models, but you can do significantly better than the Pure Ultrasonic.
One upside is that the Pure Ultrasonic plateaued at 47.5% in our testing. This means if you use it in an average-sized bedroom, it will most likely plateau at a good humidity level (eventually), and you don't run the risk of over humidification if you forget to turn it off. However, you'll need to remember to turn it on well before bed if you want pleasant humidity when your head hits the pillow.
Ease of Cleaning
The Pure Ultrasonic was just about average in our ease of cleaning testing. The biggest issue is that the opening to the water tank is only 1.5 inches wide, so you'll need a long brush or some other tool if you need to scrub something off the inside of the tank. It does come with a cleaning brush, but it's not long enough to get all the nooks and crannies of the tank. The cord unplugs from the base unit, which is convenient for cleaning. The manual has step-by-step directions for completing a vinegar soak to get everything nice and clean. It took us about 15 minutes to clean thoroughly, not including the soak. This was pretty standard compared to other models.
The Pure Ultrasonic has a frustrating user interface. It has a single button that lets you scroll through its four settings (high and low, both with and without a night light). There is no indicator to let you know what setting you're in, so you must memorize them. It is fairly clear by the sound of the machine whether you're on low or high, but it would be nice if the machine confirmed it visually.
The tank is fairly high, so filling it directly from standard sinks is difficult. The opening is also fairly small at 1.75 inches wide, which can be a deceptively small target when pouring water. Other similar models have openings as large as 3.5 inches, making refilling much easier.
The Pure Ultrasonic is quite inexpensive to own and operate. It earned a very good score in our operating cost testing. It has a reasonable list price and uses just 0.005kWh of electricity per hour, the least of any models we tested. This energy use results in a $63 estimated lifetime cost.
Should You Buy the Pure Ultrasonic?
The Pure Ultrasonic isn't a great performer, but it has an affordable list price and reasonable long-term energy costs. On the other hand, other similarly-priced models perform a bit better and list for a lower price, providing much better value in this price range.
What Other Humidifiers Should You Consider?
The Pure Ultrasonic is a decent, low-priced humidifier, but it just can't match the performance of other competitor models at the same price point. The Honeywell HUL520B is a better bang for your buck if you're shopping on a budget. Or you can step up to the Levoit Classic 200 if you need to humidify a larger room.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata
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