Top Houseplants That Purify the Air in Your Home


Houseplants are a great way to add style and color to your home. Leafy greenery provides texture and makes a space feel welcoming and inviting. Unexpected pops of color from intricately patterned leaves or flowers are striking accents. Indoor plants can also cleanse the air, making them decorative and functional. Find out how houseplants purify the air in your home and which plants to select to improve the air quality in your space.

How Do Houseplants Purify the Air

Plants support themselves through photosynthesis; they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen during this process and ensure a fresh oxygen supply. During the conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen, plants also remove harmful chemicals, as found in an infamous NASA study. Some compounds plants can remove from the air include VOCs or volatile organic compounds, chemicals used to construct everyday items like carpeting and furniture. These chemicals slowly dissipate from items and negatively impact air quality. VOCs can build up in enclosed spaces like the inside of a home. Symptoms of exposure to VOCs include eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, and in severe cases, damage to the liver, kidneys, or central nervous system.

Houseplants remove these harmful chemicals from the air while naturally conducting photosynthesis. Indoor plants clean or purify the air and make it safe to breathe. VOCs do not harm houseplants, allowing the plants to work to improve the air quality in a home continuously.

VOCs or chemicals houseplants remove from the air include:

  • Formaldehyde

  • Benzene

  • Trichloroethylene

Air Purifying Houseplants

All houseplants conduct photosynthesis and clean the air, but some are more effective than others. Typically, plants with multiple or large leaves cleanse the air more quickly because they have more stomata which means they can process more air quickly. The best houseplants to clean the air in your home include:

  • English Ivy

  • Aloe Vera

  • Ficus like Rubber Tree or Weeping Fig

  • Snake Plant

  • Bromeliad

  • Dracaena

  • Philodendron

  • Peace Lily

  • Spider Plant

  • Pothos

  • Pilea

  • Anthurium

  • Chinese Evergreen

  • Palm

Bringing any of these plants into your home will purify the air while introducing style. Styling a home with plants makes the space feel comfortable and lived in, while introducing a laidback vibe. The plants you select matter, and improving air quality is just one thing to consider when choosing houseplants.

Find the Right Houseplant

Consider the needs of the plant and the conditions in your home. Plants that need bright indirect sunlight will not do well if your home doesn’t have many unobstructed south-facing windows, while houseplants that crave humidity may struggle in a naturally dry home. You can adjust things like sunlight and humidity with grow lights and humidifiers, depending on your commitment level. Easy-care houseplants are great for new plant owners or those interested in greenery but not a big time commitment.

Lastly, consider the other inhabitants of your home. Some plants are toxic to humans and animals, so do your research before bringing home a plant if you have curious little ones or a cat or dog prone to nibbling houseplants.


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