I’ve been fascinated by the power of plants to clean the air, as popularized by the NASA Clean Air study released some years back that featured a list of fairly common household plants that acted like air purifiers. The study’s results showed that plants have the power to remove compounds like ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and toluene—chemicals that you definitely don’t want to inhale—from the air.
What I didn’t know when I read the Clean Air Study was the number of plants that it would take to truly clean the air and create a noticeable change. That number has been widely disputed, but it’s many more plants than one or two in a big room.
I don’t want anyone to let go of their plant passion based on this fact, as plants have incredible energetic and space-shifting properties that stretch far beyond their air detoxing ability. Pile on the plants at home, and keep ‘em coming!
A company reached out to let me know they have an air purifier that’s powered by plants. In a small and stylish package, the Briiv air filter features a layer of coconut coir and a gorgeous topping of moss and has the air cleaning quality of “3043 medium size houseplants.” (*that’s direct from their website)
I had to try it!
It arrived in recyclable packaging and was much more compact that I imagined when I saw the images online. I was curious as to the power this gorgeous device had, given my other air purifier is about 10x the size.
With an explosion of pollen in the air and lots of incredibly smelly chemicals being used in nearby construction, there was no better time than now to put this device to the test.
I set it up next to my four foot snake plant on my desk, plugged it in and got ready to roll. The Briiv confounded me at first, as I had no idea how to turn it on. After watching a video sent from the company (*my unit to test did not have a manual inside, but yours likely will!), I realized I just had to tap the front of the device to turn it on.
There are four power settings, and this is how the company recommended I ty them, directly copied from an informative email:
Level 4 – Max power, set and forget. Use for example if you’re in another room or out of the home and want to set the ‘1-Hour Mode’ before you get home from work.
The 1-hour mode is designed to automatically run at maximum speed/level 4 and is ideal for cleansing all the air in your room in just 1 hour. After the hour, the unit will automatically turn off.
Level 3 – High power, for when doing something intensive like cooking a meal on the hob at the same time.
Level 2 – Medium power, ideal for running in the background. The unit will emit a low hum, but is perfectly usable if you are sleeping nearby or watching TV in the same room.
Level 1 – Low power, ideal for when Briiv is next to you all day at your office desk, helping clear the air around you and keep you calm and focused.
I opted for the 1-hour mode to begin. It’s loud, but not louder than my very large air purifier. I couldn’t sit next to it all day long and work at this volume, but I can tell you it did an excellent job with those construction fumes.
I normally keep it at Level 2 now if there’s a lot of dust in the air, and it’s still a bit too much white noise so close to me, but I’m going to put in it a spot in my office further from my desk and it will be perfect.
Living in a city, I appreciate both the dose of nature (and the 90% natural materials it’s made from) and the speed at which the Briiv leaps into action.
While I am grateful we haven’t had a fire season in Los Angeles in the last few months, and I hope we never do again, I will be giving this many more tests with higher than normal air pollution, but for everyday air purification—and even more advanced purifying tasks—I am really grateful to have this in my home.