The Best Air-Purifying Plants (2023)

Indoor air pollution

Living in an energy efficient, modern building can have unintended side effects. One of these side effects is less air flow. Lack of air flow allows for indoor air pollution to build up and cause health issues like asthma or sick building syndrome.

In fact, modern furnishings, synthetic building materials, and even your own carpet may carry more chemicals than expected. These chemicals can make up to 90 percent of indoor air pollution.

In 1989, NASA discovered that houseplants can absorb harmful toxins from the air, especially in enclosed spaces with little air flow. This study has been the basis for newer studies about indoor plants and their air cleaning abilities. While plants have less horse power than air purifiers, they’re more natural, cost effective, and therapeutic.

Plants are also known to:

  • increase mood and productivity
  • enhance concentration and memory
  • reduce stress and fatigue

NASA recommends two or three plants in 8 to 10-inch pots for every 100 square feet. Some plants are better at removing certain chemicals than others. Household chemicals come from objects and materials like:

  • carpets
  • glues
  • ovens
  • cleaning solutions
  • synthetic materials such as plastic, fiber, and rubber

You’ll benefit the most when you include a variety of plants in a room.

You may want to reconsider air-purifying plants if you have pets such as cats and dogs. Many of these plants can be toxic to them. Ask the staff at your local greenhouse about pet-safe and allergy-safe options. You can also look up which plants are toxic to animals on the ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants page.

An increase in plants can also affect humidity and promote mold growth. You can prevent this by letting the water drain into a pan or a tray, removing excess water regularly, and using sub-irrigation planters. Covering the top of the soil with Spanish moss or aquarium gravel also removes mold.

For people who want to try out their green thumb first, these plants may be for you. While they don’t require daily care, most of them will thrive better if they get fertilized once a month.

Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum)

Also known as air plants, spider plants grow quickly and look great in hanging baskets, especially in your work space. Sometimes they even produce lovely white blossoms.

Spider plants have more than 200 species and many of them can survive a little forgetfulness from us.

Plant care: Water your spider plants two to three times a week.

Non-toxic: For children or animals who like to play with swinging things, this plant is safe.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, xylene

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Dracaenas

Dracaenas are a newbie green thumb’s dream. This large group of houseplants comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Choose from the tall corn plant, which has interesting markings, or the rainbow plant, which comes in bright purple.

Plant care: Keep the soil damp but not soggy, as too much water is a kiss of death for this plant.

Toxic to animals: Your cat or dog may vomit, salivate more, or have dilated pupils if they eat dracaenas.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, trichloroethylene

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Golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Also known as devil’s ivy, this plant may be as close as plants can get to indestructible. It flourishes in a variety of conditions and can grow up to 8 feet long. It’s also considered one of the most effective indoor air purifiers for removing common toxins.

(Video) Best 10 Air purifying indoor plants | Approved by NASA

Plant care: Water when the soil is dry. You can trim the tendrils when the plant gets too big.

Toxic to animals: Keep this plant out of reach for both cats and dogs.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, carbon monoxide, and more

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Areca palms (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

This small plant from Madagascar is easier to grow outdoors. But if you have a space with bright filtered light, its gracefully arching leaves will make a pretty addition to the room.

Plant care: This thirsty plant needs plenty of water during growth, but less in the winter.

Non-toxic: These tall plants and their leaves are non-toxic to both cats and dogs.

Eliminates: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and more

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Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Florist’s chrysanthemums or “mums” are ranked the highest for air purification. They’re shown to eliminate common toxins as well as ammonia.

Treat yourself to a fresh pot, as this flower only blooms for about six weeks. Or you can fertilize the pot again in the spring when new growth appears. But without the flowers, it won’t be purifying the air. If you don’t want to wait, you might want to just get a new pot.

Plant care: Check the soil’s moisture every other day, and keep it damp.

Toxic to animals: Even though it has a friendly name, mums are toxic to both cats and dogs.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, ammonia

(Video) TOP Oxygen Purifying Houseplants 2022 | Best Indoor Plants for Clean Air

Plants that need a little extra love

(Video) Air Purifier Plants for Bedrooms 2022 - Top Oxygen Releasing Indoor Plants

These air-purifying plants are ideal for people who want to spend more time with their plant. All of them require fertilizer once a month, as well as extra care like misting or repotting.

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Bamboo palms (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

This sturdy plant is known for its easy elegance and height. It likes bright, but not direct sunlight, and does have preferences about its care. Bamboo palms also transpire a healthy dose of moisture into the air, making it a welcome addition in dry winter months.

Plant care: Keep the soil moist. Place bamboo palms where air circulates freely, and mist occasionally to prevent spider mites.

Non-toxic: Bamboo palms are safe to keep in a house with pets.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene, chloroform, and more

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English ivy (Hedera helix)

This evergreen climbing plant is well adapted to indoor conditions. Different varieties will prefer different light situations, from bright, indirect light to low-light spaces. It’ll look especially picturesque growing from a hanging basket or around your windowsill.

Plant care: Water generously during growth, but don’t overwater during the winter.

Toxic to animals and humans: Although the English ivy thrives almost anywhere, it’s known to cause problems in dogs, farm animals, and humans when eaten. The chemicals in the sap can also cause severe contact dermatitis in humans, especially those with sensitive skin.

Eliminates: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and more

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Rubber plants (Ficus elastic)

Rubber plants are evergreen trees from India. Their roots grow upwards and often become entwined around the plant’s trunk, forming interesting shapes. These plants love bright, filtered light and a little attention now and then.

Plant care: Water moderately to keep the soil moist, especially in the winter. Prune the leaves and wipe them down to keep them looking pretty.

Toxic to animals: Rubber plants are toxic to cats and dogs.

(Video) 2022 COMPILATION: Best Air Purifier Indoor Plants You Need for Oxygen in Bedrooms

Eliminates: carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and more

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Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema)

These evergreen perennials are native to tropical forests in Asia. In addition to looking patterned and colorful, these pretty plants can remove many common toxins. But caring for these plants may require extra attention.

Plant care: Water moderately and allow compost to almost dry out before watering. Chinese evergreens like high humidity, a little regular misting, and getting repotted every few years.

Toxic to animals: Chinese evergreen plants are toxic to dogs.

Eliminates: benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and more

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Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum)

In the 1980s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America discovered that peace lilies were one of the top three plants for removing common household toxins, even ammonia.

Plant care: Keep soil slightly moist. Peace lilies thrive in most lighting conditions, but too little light can prevent flowers from blooming.

Toxic to animals and humans: Despite its calming name, this beautiful plant is toxic to cats, dogs, and children. It’s best to keep this as an ornamental plant as it can cause burning, swelling, and skin irritation in adults.

Eliminates: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, ammonia, and more

Besides houseplants, there are other ways you can purify the air in your home:

  • Keep your floors clean by vacuuming and mopping.
  • Avoid synthetic cleaners or air fresheners.
  • Reduce humidity in your air.
  • Increase ventilation.

In fact, some studies also used air filters in combination with plants. So if you’re new to planting or don’t have enough room, purchasing an air filter is one easy step to cleaner air.

(Video) 10 Best Air Purifying Plants For Your Living And Working Space

FAQs

Which plant purifies the air the most? ›

Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Florist's chrysanthemums or “mums” are ranked the highest for air purification. They're shown to eliminate common toxins as well as ammonia. Treat yourself to a fresh pot, as this flower only blooms for about six weeks.

What plants clean the air at night? ›

ALOE VERA – What's great about this plant is that it emits oxygen at night time whilst simultaneously taking in carbon dioxide- something we naturally produce when breathing. All this leads to a purer quality of air and a better night's sleep.

Which plant reduces air pollution the most? ›

Dracaena plants have shown to be one of the most effective air filters. The plant removes formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and carbon dioxide – all of which are linked to health problems. Dracaena plants also tend to increase the humidity of a room which in turn helps to control respiratory distresses.

What plant removes the most toxins? ›

Spider Plant

NASA's study found that spider plants were able to remove 95% of chemicals from the air in 24 hours. Spider plants filter toxins including: carbon monoxide.

Which plant gives oxygen 24 hours? ›

An Indian household is usually incomplete without the presence of a sacred Tulsi plant. Every day, Tulsi gives out oxygen for 20 out of the 24 hours day. It absorbs toxic pollutants from the air such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide.

How many plants does it take to purify the air in a room? ›

So, how many plants do you need to purify a room? You'd need 10 plants per square foot in your home to enjoy any impact on indoor air quality. Let's break that down: For a 320 square-foot room, you'd need 3,200 plants for that room alone.

What plant helps with anxiety? ›

Is there an effective herbal treatment for anxiety?
  • Kava. ...
  • Passion flower. ...
  • Valerian. ...
  • Chamomile. ...
  • Lavender. ...
  • Lemon balm.

What is the best indoor plant for health? ›

Snake plants, spider plants, rubber plants, peace lilies, ferns, and English ivy are some of the best indoor plants for boosting oxygen levels and purifying the air.

Is it healthy to have plants in bedroom? ›

Plants can absorb harmful gases through the pores in their leaves, filtering and cleaning the air you breathe every day. Not only do bedroom plants have many health benefits, but they also add a nice touch of decor and bright energy to any indoor space.

What plant removes the most CO2? ›

This biochemical reaction is the same for all plants, but the faster a plant grows, the more carbon dioxide it will use up per second. By that measure, bamboo might be the best at sucking up CO₂.

What plant eats the most carbon? ›

Oak is the genus with the most carbon-absorbing species and, lucky for us, Chandler Pond is surrounded by oak trees. The common Horse-Chestnut tree is also a good carbon absorber as is the Black Walnut tree.

What takes toxins out of the air? ›

Your lungs filter harmful substances in the air, such as toxins from cigarette smoke.

Do plants improve air quality? ›

This NASA study showed that plants did clean the air in a closed, limited environment or chamber. Other studies have confirmed2 that plants can remove harmful gases, such as formaldehyde, called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which have a long history of health impacts.

How many plants would you need to breathe? ›

Probably best to round up to 700 to be on the safe side. We breathe out about one molecule of extra CO2 for every molecule of oxygen we consume, and plants do the opposite. That means these 700 plants should prevent carbon dioxide poisoning too. So there's our (simplified) answer!

Why should we avoid sleeping under a tree at night? ›

One should not sleep under a tree at night because during night time plants take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. So the amount of carbon dioxide in the air becomes more which leads to respiratory problems.

What plant removes 78% of airborne mold? ›

English Ivy: A Christmastime favorite that's a year-round keeper because it filters 78 percent of airborne mold in 12 hours. Dwarf Date Palm: Loves xylene and other pollutants.

How can I improve indoor air quality? ›

Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions.

Does a snake plant clean the air? ›

Another popular houseplant, the snake plant (also known as mother-in-law's tongue) has a multitude of air-cleaning tricks up its sleeve. It removes formaldehyde, xylene and nitrogen oxides from the air, and at night continues its hard work.

What plants reduce depression? ›

While a few pretty plants aren't going to cure someone with winter depression, green plants can certainly help make people feel a bit better.
...
The Best Plants for Seasonal Depression
  • English Ivy. ...
  • Chinese Evergreen. ...
  • Peace Lily. ...
  • Snake Plant. ...
  • Jade Plant. ...
  • Succulents.
3 Oct 2018

What flower is good for depression? ›

Growing scented flowering plants, such as Lilacs, Lavender or Jasmine, can help you improve your mood, sleep better, and ease other depression symptoms.

Which indoor plants absorb the most carbon dioxide? ›

Thus, the study found most effective plant for absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) and reducing carbon footprint is a prayer plant, a member of the Calathea family. The prayer plant took in 14.4% of the total CO2 in the chamber, which is about 0.0003kg. And the least air purifying houseplant considered is the spider plant.

How many snake plants do you need? ›

"According to NASA's Clean Air Study, the snake plant is so effective in producing oxygen that if you were locked in a sealed room with no airflow, you would be able to survive with just 6-8 plants in it. NASA recommends 15 to 18 medium to large size plants for 1,800-square-foot home for optimum air quality."

Do plants add oxygen to a room? ›

Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels.At night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically respire like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. A few plants –orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads –do just the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

What plants help with mental health? ›

Plants to boost mental health
  • Spider plant. Easy to grow and care for, self-propagating so you can have more or share with friends, it cleans the air, and is pet friendly. ...
  • Aloe vera. ...
  • Peace lily. ...
  • Dracaena. ...
  • Monstera adonsonii. ...
  • Philodendron selloum. ...
  • Lavender.
1 Mar 2019

What is the luckiest plant? ›

The best 12 plants for good luck and fortune are: 1) Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica), 2) Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica), 3) Snake Plant (Sanseveria Laurentii), 4) Citrus Tree, 5) Blue Singapore Orchid (Vanda Coerulea), 6) Holy Basil (Ocicum Sanctum), 7) Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata), 8) Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), 9) ...

Which indoor plant is lucky for home? ›

Lucky Bamboo

It is considered the savior of bad vibes. Lucky bamboo brings harmony in the house among the five elements of Feng Shui namely, water, fire, earth, wood, and metal. The arrangement of the plant in the house also very important as it attracts peace, fortune, health, love, and luck.

Why should we not touch plants at night? ›

In addition, at night you may not be able to see dangerous, spiders, bugs, or snakes that make their home in trees. In addition, at night it is difficult to identify dangerous plants (e.g. poison ivy, poison oak, stinging nettle, etc.).

Which plant is lucky for bedroom? ›

It is advisable to avoid keeping the lucky plants in bedrooms. However, some plants such as Bamboo, Peace lily, Jasmine, and Lavendar can be placed in a bedroom.

How can I reduce CO2 in my bedroom? ›

Ventilation can make a huge difference

Keeping the natural air flowing is the key. Whenever you can, try opening up your windows to allow fresh air in, ventilating your space. Another option is to keep the doors of your rooms open so that fresh air is filtered through.

What converts the most CO2 to oxygen? ›

Half of the world's oxygen is produced via phytoplankton photosynthesis. The other half is produced via photosynthesis on land by trees, shrubs, grasses, and other plants.

What is the best tree for absorbing CO2? ›

One of the best tree species for absorbing carbon is oaks, thanks to their large canopies, dense wood and long lifespans. Other top carbon-absorbing trees include the common horse-chestnut, black Walnut, London plane, and American sweetgum.

What is the best plant for climate change? ›

Broadleaved species – such as oak, beech and maple – are best because they have a larger surface area of leaves which generates more photosynthesis, whereas conifers absorb more heat.

How do you remove CO2 from a house? ›

Increase Ventilation

Proper room air exchange prevents high concentrations of carbon dioxide. Clean Air Ducts once every 3-5 years, change HVAC filters every 60 days, and keep windows open for at least 15 min a day.

What outdoor plants improve air quality? ›

Peace lily*† (Spathiphyllum) Chinese evergreen* (Aglaonema modestum) Ficus*† (Ficus benjamina) Snake Plant/ Mother in Law's Tongue*† (Sansevieria laurentii)

Do plants help with dust? ›

When plants transpire, they emit water particles raising humidity levels which naturally lower dust levels. As there are more water particles in the air, they combine with the dust particles taking them out of the air and towards the floor as they air heavier and can no longer float around.

Do aloe vera clean the air? ›

Aloe Vera

However, it also provides air purifying abilities to help some common chemicals founds in household detergents, paint & glue. Aloe Vera works by releasing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide during the night – which means the air is being cleaned while you sleep!

How can I detox my house? ›

27 Ways to Detox Your Home
  1. Use natural, green cleaning products.
  2. If you treat your lawn, seek out safe alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. ...
  3. Have a “No shoes in the house” policy. ...
  4. Open your windows on a daily basis. ...
  5. Get rid of artificial air fresheners. ...
  6. Eliminate as many plastics as you can.
2 Nov 2016

How do you know if your home is toxic? ›

What Are the Signs of Toxic House Syndrome?
  1. Mold growth.
  2. Condensation around windows and in high humidity areas such as bathrooms.
  3. Lingering condensation.
  4. Dampness that doesn't seem to go away.
  5. Dust build up in your ventilation system.

How can I cleanse my body of toxins naturally? ›

Try starting your day with hot water and a slice of lemon to help flush out toxins and cleanse your system.
  1. Ginger. If too much fatty food or alcohol has caused problems for your digestive system, it may be worthwhile to add some ginger to your diet. ...
  2. Garlic. ...
  3. Artichoke. ...
  4. Beetroot. ...
  5. Green tea. ...
  6. Cabbage. ...
  7. Brown rice.

What plant removes the most toxins? ›

Spider Plant

NASA's study found that spider plants were able to remove 95% of chemicals from the air in 24 hours. Spider plants filter toxins including: carbon monoxide.

Are plants better than air purifiers? ›

Several different plants can help you improve air quality, but they won't be as effective as a high-quality air purifier. Using plants alone to improve air quality will not bring desired results and plants should always be used as a supplementary option for air cleaning.

How many plants should I have in my bedroom? ›

The actual number you should have in your bedroom again varies depending on how many of you are sleeping in there. But as a general rule of thumb, follow the recommended NASA amount of having at least 1 plant per 100 square foot.

What is the best indoor plant for health? ›

Snake plants, spider plants, rubber plants, peace lilies, ferns, and English ivy are some of the best indoor plants for boosting oxygen levels and purifying the air.

What herbs clean the air? ›

8 Herbs to Purify the Air Indoors
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) ...
  • Lavender (Lavandula spica L.) ...
  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) ...
  • Mint (Mentha spicatta L.) ...
  • Jasmine (Jasminum officinale L.) ...
  • Geranium (Pelargoniums) ...
  • Coffee plant (Coffea arabica L.) ...
  • Woodbine (Lonicera periclymenum L.)
28 Jul 2021

What plants help with mental health? ›

Plants to boost mental health
  • Spider plant. Easy to grow and care for, self-propagating so you can have more or share with friends, it cleans the air, and is pet friendly. ...
  • Aloe vera. ...
  • Peace lily. ...
  • Dracaena. ...
  • Monstera adonsonii. ...
  • Philodendron selloum. ...
  • Lavender.
1 Mar 2019

What is the luckiest plant? ›

The best 12 plants for good luck and fortune are: 1) Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica), 2) Rubber Plant (Ficus Elastica), 3) Snake Plant (Sanseveria Laurentii), 4) Citrus Tree, 5) Blue Singapore Orchid (Vanda Coerulea), 6) Holy Basil (Ocicum Sanctum), 7) Jade Plant (Crassula Ovata), 8) Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), 9) ...

Are plants good to have in a bedroom? ›

Bedroom plants can do more than just make your shelves look brighter. They can also boost your mood, enhance your creativity, reduce your stress levels, increase your productivity, naturally filter air pollutants, and much more. Many of us don't realize how important air quality is.

What can I boil to purify air? ›

Liven up stale and stuffy air by simmering whole spices and citrus peels. To a large pot of water, add 1/4 cup whole cloves, 4 whole nutmegs, 6 cinnamon sticks, and the peel of 2 lemons or one orange.

Does vinegar purify air? ›

So, does boiling vinegar actually clean the air? The short answer is no, as far as current scientific research is concerned. Acetic acid, the active component of vinegar, is capable of killing pathogens, but only through direct contact.

What plant is a natural disinfectant? ›

Garlic (Allium sativum), chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), ginger (Zingiber officinale), oregano (Origanum vulgare), mallow (Malva sylvestris), hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), sage (Salvia officinalis), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), Eucalyptus camaldulensis, burdock (Arctium lappa), green ...

How can I increase oxygen in my house? ›

Ventilation. A simple way to increase the oxygen in any room of your home is to open a window. If your home isn't adequately ventilated, it can feel stuffy and exacerbate your respiratory symptoms.

What house plants absorb the most carbon dioxide? ›

Thus, the study found most effective plant for absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) and reducing carbon footprint is a prayer plant, a member of the Calathea family. The prayer plant took in 14.4% of the total CO2 in the chamber, which is about 0.0003kg. And the least air purifying houseplant considered is the spider plant.

How many snake plants do you need? ›

"According to NASA's Clean Air Study, the snake plant is so effective in producing oxygen that if you were locked in a sealed room with no airflow, you would be able to survive with just 6-8 plants in it. NASA recommends 15 to 18 medium to large size plants for 1,800-square-foot home for optimum air quality."

Do plants add oxygen to a room? ›

Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels.At night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically respire like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. A few plants –orchids, succulents and epiphytic bromeliads –do just the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

What tree converts the most co2 to oxygen? ›

Maple, beech, true fir, spruce, and Douglas-fir trees produce the most oxygen. They do this using photosynthesis, which converts carbon dioxide into oxygen.

Is Money Plant Air Purifier? ›

Money plant is ideal for removing airborne pollutants from the indoor air such as Benzene, formaldehyde, Carbon Monoxide, and xylene. Being one of the easiest air-purifying plants to grow and maintain, the money plant is a perfect natural air purifier for your home, especially when the pollution levels are at a peak.

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