This Andrea air purifier review is based on just a small amount of information directly from the manufacturer. We are presenting the facts and sharing why we do not recommend that you purchase this device.
It is officially called and marketed with the name ANDREA: Plant-based Air Purifier. The Andrea purifier pot is designed after the basic principles first invented by Dr. B.C. Wolverton when he developed the Plant Air Purifier. Dr. Wolverton was instrumental in the extensive research done by NASA when it was discovered that plants were effective in cleaning indoor air pollution.
Those studies and later ones proved that the most beneficial part of the plant to clean the air toxins were the roots. This is why pots were designed to help air pass over the roots to clean indoor air much more efficiently than plants in typical pots.
Andrea Air Purifier Review
Andrea Air Purifiers were developed by David Edwards a biomedical engineer at Harvard along with a French product designer Mathieu Lehanneur. The container is designed to accelerate the process and increase the amount of polluted air that passes through so the plant can do its job. A small quiet fan draws toxic air in through the top of the container directing the air flowing all around the leaves. A second fan draws that partially cleansed air down through the roots and soil. This is where the most efficient cleansing takes place. There are microbes on the roots that eagerly and efficiently metabolize the volatile organic compounds and other chemical toxins. Further cleansing takes place while the air finally passes through the soil and the water tray at the bottom. This naturally cleansed air then re-circulates into the room or office.
The Andrea Air Purifier essentially draws polluted air through four stages of natural filtration. Toxic indoor air is cleansed through the leaves, the microbes on the roots, the soil and the water. Noxious chemicals are absorbed and metabolized which biochemically transforms them into waste. All of this takes place with low power consumption and it is also ozone free.
Newly launched in 2008 the Andrea Air Purifier won the Popular Science Invention of the Year. Later it was exhibited at the famous New York City’s Museum of Modern Art.
Disputed and Contradictory Research
There is some dispute about the results of the research but the studies by Andrea claims this container system cleans the air 1,000 percent more effectively than the same plant in a traditional pot. Everything about the pot system is designed to assist plants to de-pollute the indoor air. There is irrefutable evidence that plants can cleanse indoor air by themselves. This device is engineered to amplify and speed up the indoor air cleansing process.
One specific drawback of the Andrea Plant Purifier is that the plants must not exceed in size the lid or top of the small container system.
Reasons We Do Not Recommend the Andrea Air Purifier
The Andrea Air Purifier has very poor ratings on all of the online websites that currently sell it or have sold it in the past.
The official company website was taken down so we can only assume manufacturing has or will soon be discontinued. The only place we could find still selling this product was Amazon.
An extensive study by Consumer Reports found that the Andrea Air Purifier did not actually help remove, pollen, dust, or smoke. It boldly stated that the manufacturers essentially misinterpreted and misrepresented their own research. The study results posted on their now defunct website were described as coming from one potted plant placed in a 12 x 16 foot test chamber that had a 10-foot ceiling. It was claimed that in one hour formaldehyde would be reduced by 80%.
The chief author of the Andrea Air Purifier study was Jianshun S. Zhang, Ph.D., a professor at Syracuse University. He has the credentials to do such a study since he is the director of energy and indoor environmental systems. When refuting the Andrea website claims he stated, “it would take four Andrea-type purifiers to have a significant effect on formaldehyde, a common VOC. The potted-plant purifier we tested in that study actually did not perform well.” He also emphatically stated, “They are misrepresenting my study.”
We could not find the source but another reputed study by RTP Labs concluded that the Andrea Air Purifier performed 4400% better than conventional HEPA filtration systems. Other questionable sources have stated that the Andrea device effectively removed indoor toxins 1000% more efficiently than just plants alone.
In summary we would not recommend the Andrea Air Purifier for your home or office. There are just too many poor reviews and not enough solid science. Right now the pot is being sold on Amazon for just under $200. We suspect as the last ones are sold they may end up becoming dirt cheap. In that case, especially if you are a testing geek, you may want to pick one up just to try it out. You may discover that it does help plants clean the air just not as much as some of the early claims