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Cloth bags filled with activated charcoal are an affordable alternative to home air purification systems, as well as being a healthy alternative to chemical-filled air freshener sprays, which can make the air worse than it was to begin with. However, a quick glance at some of the charcoal bags available may be confusing. They seem exactly alike.
In this review, we’ll compare two of the most popular brands: Breathe Green Eco-Friendly Charcoal Bags and NatureFresh Air Purifier Bags. On the surface, they seem nearly identical. But is one better than the other? That’s the question we’ll answer.
Ingredient and Component Comparison
There are a lot of things that Breathe Green Eco-Friendly Charcoal Bags and NatureFresh Air Purifier Bags have in common. Both are bags made of gray linen fabric. They each have a metal grommet at the top, left corner. The purpose of the grommet is to make it easy for you to hang the bag a hanger, on a door knob, or on a hook.
Both bags also contain the same kind of charcoal. Specifically, they contain activated bamboo charcoal. Activated charcoal is commonly used as an ingredient in air filters and skin care products because of its proven ability to draw out and capture toxins.
In other words, in terms of what they’re made of and what they contain, these two products are very similar. We’ll do a quality comparison later on and that’s where some of the differences become apparent.
Comparison of Claims
As we mentioned above, charcoal (activated charcoal in particular) has purifying properties. It’s for that reason that many manufacturers use it in air and water filters. They also use it in skin care products, toothpaste, dental chews for pets, and other items you can find in your pharmacy or grocery store.
The claims for Breathe Green Eco-Friendly Charcoal Bags and NatureFresh Air Purifier Bags are virtually identical. Both products claim to be able to:
- Eliminate allergens from your home, including pollen that gets tracked in from outside
- Eliminate bacteria and odors from your home
- Eliminate pollutants from your home
- Wick moisture from the air, thus keeping your shoes and clothing dry (and preventing odors before they start)
- Prevent the growth of mold and mildew
- Keep food fresh by absorbing moisture, bacteria, and mold
The activated bamboo charcoal inside both brands of bags is the answer to why they can make these claims. The idea is that when you place a bag in your home, air passes through the pores in the activated charcoal. As it does, allergens, bacteria, and even odors get trapped on the surface of the charcoal – leaving you with fresh, clean air to breathe.
Breathe Green says that the bamboo charcoal has been “scientifically proven to reduce harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene and chloroform gases emitted from such items as paint, carpeting, air fresheners, chemical cleaners, rubber and plastic.”
Interestingly, the language on the NatureFresh site is nearly identical. Some of that is to be expected, since the two products do the same thing using the same ingredients. However, the similarities are too striking to be accidental.
Next, let’s look at what you’ll get if you order Breathe Green Eco-Friendly Charcoal Bags compared to what you’ll get if you order NatureFresh Air Purifier Bags.
Breathe Green Eco-Friendly Charcoal Bags are very well made. The gray linen that encloses the activated bamboo charcoal is of a high quality. The stitching is attractive, and so is the metal grommet, which is silver and goes nicely with the gray fabric. Each bag has a label sewn onto the front with the Breathe Green logo. The colors are black, white, green, and blue.
What about NatureFresh Air Purifier Bags? In general appearance, they are very similar to Breathe Green’s product. They are made of gray linen with a silver metal grommet in the upper left corner. However, the difference is that the linen is of a cheaper quality than the Breathe Green bags. The finishing is not as nice. The labels look similar, but the overall appearance is not as good as that of the Breathe Green bags.
The takeaway here is that NatureFresh Air Purifier Bags seem like a cheap knock-off of the Breathe Green Eco-Friendly Charcoal Bags. They’re not as well made, and the appearance is cheaper and less attractive than the Breathe Green Bags.
The Science Behind Activated Charcoal
Since both Breathe Green and NatureFresh bags have the same kind of activated charcoal as their key ingredient, we can look at the same research to find out if the products work as advertised.
A Japanese study confirms that activated bamboo charcoal is extremely effective at ammonia adsorption. (Adsorption means that the activated charcoal traps ammonia on its internal or external surfaces.)
A second Japanese study tested the efficacy of carbonized wood charcoal at removing formaldehyde from indoor environments. It found that the charcoal did a highly effective job of removing formaldehyde, which is toxic to human beings and can cause serious health and respiratory problems if inhaled.
There’s also a study that tested the adsorption of benzene and cyclohexane using both activated charcoal and graphitized carbon. It concluded that the adsorption rate of activated charcoal was at ideal or near-ideal levels, while the graphitized carbon achieved less-than-ideal levels of adsorption.
We could not find studies that looked at the effect of activated charcoal on chloroform. However, we did find a review of studies that concluded that activated charcoal could remove gasoline fumes and the chemicals in second-hand smoke from the air.
Finally, we found a study that concluded that activated charcoal did a good job of filtering out carbon monoxide, ethylene, butane, and other toxic gases that can be harmful to humans if they are inhaled.
There are no studies of the odor-absorbing capabilities of activated charcoal, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness. A quick search reveals hundreds of patents on products that rely on activated charcoal to remove odors from shoes, clothing, and other items.
The takeaway here is that activated charcoal like the charcoal found in Breathe Green Eco-Friendly Charcoal Bags and NatureFresh Air Purifier Bags can do what their makers claim. It can filter harmful chemicals and gases from the air, giving you and your family safe, clean air to breathe.
Pros and Cons of Breathe Green and NatureFresh
Now let’s look at the pros and cons of each product, starting with Breathe Green’s pros:
- Breathe Green bags are an affordable alternative to electric home purifiers
- The bags are unobtrusive and can be used anywhere, including in your car or refrigerator
- There is scientific research to support the claims made about Breathe Green bags
- Breathe Green bags can be ordered online and delivered right to your door
There are a few potential downsides to consider as well:
- Breathe Green bags are not sold in stores and are only available online
- There are less expensive charcoal bags available (although they may not be as effective)
- You’ll need to replace Breathe Green bags periodically
And now let’s check out the pros and cons of NatureFresh Bags, again, starting with the pros:
- Nature-Fresh Air Purifier Bags are a less-expensive alternative to electric home air purification units and systems.
- The product can be ordered online and delivered right to your door.
- There is scientific evidence that charcoal does a good job of removing toxins and odors from the air.
Here are a few potential downsides to consider:
- The appearance of these bags is not as nice as some of the other products on the market and that may be an issue for some consumers.
- The bags cannot be purchased as single units – you’ll need to buy at least two bags to order them.
- NatureFresh Purifier Bags are only available online.
Our takeaway is that Breathe Green’s pros outweigh the cons. Because of the difference in quality, the same cannot be said of NatureFresh.
- If you buy two bags for $39.95, you’ll get one bag free
- If you buy three bags for $59.95, you’ll get two bags free
- If you buy five bags for $99.95, you’ll get five bags free
- If you buy eight bags for $159.95, you’ll get 12 bags free
So in other words, the price drops to about $12 a bag, if you buy three, to $10 a bag if you buy five, and all the way down to $8 per bag if you buy eight. There is no shipping charge for either product, so these prices are a true reflection of what you’ll pay.
Our Final Recommendation
Our final recommendation is that Breathe Green Eco-Friendly Charcoal Bags are a superior product to NatureFresh Air Purifier Bags. While the basic claims, appearance, and pricing are similar, Breathe Green’s product is of a better quality than NatureFresh.
To try Breathe Green Eco-Friendly Charcoal Bags for yourself, please click here now.