Most of us love plants for their sheer beauty and ability to bring life and good energy into our homes and gardens. However, it is essential to remember that they do a lot more for our planet than just look beautiful!
In fact, some indoor plants are great for air purification and can help us to all breathe a little bit easier.
So, to help you on your journey to breathing healthier, cleaner air in your home, here are 21 of the best indoor air purifying plants.
Best Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Aloe vera is a great plant to have around for multiple reasons. Not only is it a beautiful succulent, but it also has amazing healing properties. That is why it is commonly used in beauty products. In fact, using the gel directly inside the leaves can help with burns, sunburns, and moisture.
But did you know that aloe vera plants are also great for purifying the air? These plants are particularly good at capturing formaldehyde.
It is best to keep these plants in warm, well-lit areas of your home so that they continue to thrive.
The barbaton daisy is a stunning bloom that arrives in bursts of pinks and oranges. It’ll also reportedly do well getting rid of toxins in the air such as benzene and formaldehyde, making it a plant that’s a feast for the eyes as well as the lungs.
This plant tends to do really well in a room that’s awash with light, though be careful not to place them too close to the direct sun. You’ll also need to make sure its soil gets plenty of drainage, while you keep it moist all the while.
This isn’t a choice a lot of people may have heard of, but it’s a prime pick for cleaner air.
The Painter’s Palette is a wonderful green that you might already know as the Anthurium. It tends to do well in rooms that have indirect light – there needs to be a careful balance, otherwise you’ll risk it never flowering or even wilting and dying altogether.
This lovely air purifier is brilliant at keeping your rooms easy to breathe in, and what’s more, its stunning colours will draw lots of focus. It’s named a palette for a reason – it’s a sheer burst of colour.
You won’t need to water this plant extensively, but keep an eye out for soil dryness.
Swiss Cheese Plant
The Swiss cheese plant sounds tasty, but sadly won’t give you much to fill your sandwiches with. What it will do, however, is offer you super tall-growing leaves and fresh, breathable air for years to come. You’ll normally find that this plant grows best when it’s not receiving direct sunlight.
The monstera, as it’s otherwise known, loves moisture, and you’ll likely need to keep it wet at least twice a week. Be warned, again – these plants grow impressively large, so make sure you have the space for it.
Misting your Swiss cheese’s leaves is another great idea – they will love it.
Parlour palm is a great plant for beginners as they are very easy to maintain and adaptable. They also add tons of colour and tropical atmosphere – and one of the best parts is, they only require to be placed away from direct sunlight and watered sporadically.
One way of knowing whether or not it needs watering again is by checking the top two layers of soil to see if they are completely dry. Naturally, if they are dry, then it is time to give them a little more H2O.
Finally, these plants are great at removing toxins such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene from the air.
While chrysanthemums are traditionally given during sad or sombre occasions, they do still offer a lot of wonderful colour and charm. These blooms are great at getting rid of benzene as well as ammonia, too.
To get the best out of your ‘chrysanth’, be sure to pop it on your windowsill so it can drink in as much light as possible.
They are generally easy to look after and have uniform colours – if you’re keen on symmetry, you’ll likely get on famously with a crop or two.
Spider plants are a great choice if you are looking for unique-looking, low-maintenance greens that add an extra touch of style to your home.
They are also easy to care for as they can do well in different kinds of light and do not need to be watered too frequently.
Bonnie spiders are also superb at removing formaldehyde and ethylbenzene from the air – a great option all-around if you’re new to houseplant ownership.
Snake plants have endless benefits beyond their appealing look and flexibility in placement. They are very easy to care for and will normally prosper very well in medium to low light.
They are often kept in bedrooms due to their ability to remove nitrogen oxides and formaldehyde from the air. They like warm areas and can grow their long, upright leaves to impressive heights.
Rubber plants are classic houseplant choices for many people – they can look artificial, but believe us – they are very much the real deal, and they will help you to breathe easier. They do need plenty of light and occasional watering in order to thrive, however.
These are (again) toxic to animals, so make sure to house them out of reach.
However, if you do have a pet-free household, then you will be happy to know that these beautiful plants are great for removing formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene and xylene from the air, making them genuine air purifying powerhouses.
English ivy plants are great to have in your home as they are easy to grow, easy to come by, and they can grow into beautiful, long trails that can completely change the look of your shelves, hanging baskets and more besides.
However, did you know that they are also great at removing mould from the air? In fact, it is believed that in just 24 hours, English ivy makes a massive difference to air breathability.
Therefore, they are considered ideal for those of us who suffer from allergies and/or asthma. However, it is important to note that this plant is toxic to cats and dogs if ingested.
Again, this houseplant tends to be a popular favourite, largely due to its beautiful white flowers that bloom multiple times in a year. Peace lilies are also very easy to keep as they do not require much sunlight. Therefore, they can help to brighten up any room!
They have also been proven to be very beneficial for purifying the air. In fact, studies show that peace lilies are great at dealing with formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and benzene, as well as other toxins in the air.
However, this is yet another plant that is toxic to cats and dogs, so do be careful if potting with pets in the vicinity.
Philodendrons, such as the hugely popular heart leaf variety, are superb at getting rid of formaldehyde. In fact, this is to such an extent it’s seen as a bit of a specialist in the field.
These plants will grow big, thick and wide, and you normally won’t need to give them too much attention all the same.
These plants are also some of the easiest and therefore most rewarding to propagate. Its leaves are even big enough to block sound – strange but true, try it for yourself!
Dragon Trees (Dracaena)
Dragon trees are known for their long, spiky leaves and their beautiful red and green colours. However, what they are maybe less known for is that they are great for dealing with trichloroethylene and xylene, making them fantastic air purifiers.
That being said, it is essential to note that in a well-balanced environment, these plants can grow up to about eight feet tall, so remember to keep them in a room with a high ceiling!
They also need good access to sunlight and to be occasionally watered.
Again with the mini palms – why not set up your own tropical garden indoors? What’s great about Kentia palms is that they are very forgiving plants. As long as they are not overwatered, they can thrive in both low and high light areas.
Their deep green leaves add solid colour to any room, and they can grow to be very tall, so again, remember to keep them in spaces where they can scale high.
However, what is possibly their best quality is that they are great for removing formaldehyde.
Sword ferns or Boston ferns are technically forest plants and therefore are used to living in very low light conditions. They are a beautiful bright green and boast a quirky, bushy style that is hard to find elsewhere in the natural world.
They need plenty of humidity, so keeping them in a kitchen or bathroom is a good idea.
Thanks to their ability to remove formaldehyde from the air, you’ll also find that a Boston fern is a great asset in keeping things breathable.
Broad Lady Palm
Palms, again, are always likely to keep your air clean and fresh. Broad lady palms are fantastic for removing ammonia from the air. Sadly, many cleaning products still contain high levels of ammonia, making them dangerous to use regularly.
They have a dark green colour and can grow very tall and wide, so do ensure that you have the space for them.
If purchased tall, they can be very expensive to pot as-is, so perhaps opt for a smaller plant. They are also going to need plenty of humidity and sunlight.
Dramatically green and great to look at, ZZs are great for those of us who are new to houseplants – as they are incredibly easy to care for. They, too, can be placed in medium to low light areas and only need watering sporadically.
They are also one of nature’s best air purifiers! They are particularly good at removing toluene, xylene, and benzene from the air.
They are bright, with a unique shape thanks to their oval leaves and straight stems.
However, this is yet another plant on this list that is toxic to both people and animals. Keep this one out of reach, but in pride of place to keep your air clean.
Dumb Cane Plant
Although the name of the dumb cane plant may make it sound a little confusing as to why you would want one around, these beautiful little greens actually have a lot to offer.
First of all, their long leaves have a superb combination of greens and white with unique patterns on each leaf, which is perfect for adding a touch of colour and life to any room.
However, their real quality lies in their ability to remove carbon monoxide from the air.
That being said, again, this plant is toxic to people when ingested, so do keep it away from children and pets.
Areca palms can grow very tall and wide, so they do need plenty of space, water and sunlight. That said, they are beautiful greens that can provide a tropical and relaxing feel to any home.
They are also great for removing toxins from the air, such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene.
These plants can be kept around animals – making them one of the more viable air purifying picks for pet owners.
Devil’s ivy, or as you may know it, pothos, is a very easy plant to keep. It can do well in both medium to low light rooms and does not require much watering or intensive care.
Moreover, this plant is fantastic for removing trichloroethylene, xylene, formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
However, again, this plant is toxic to dogs and cats. It can cause severe irritations – if not worse.
Despite the sad name, this plant is great to have around. Its dark green leaves add a certain texture and feel to a room, and its shape is fairly unique, too. They can grow to about ten feet tall, so do remember to place them in a room with plenty of vertical space. They need bright areas but very little water, making them very easy to care for.
They are fantastic for removing benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and formaldehyde from the air, too.
However, yet again, these plants are toxic to pets, so do be careful!
As you can see, the best air purifying indoor plants come in all shapes and sizes.
As is the case with all plants, ensure that you do research what exactly your chosen greenery needs (based on light and humidity specifically), as this will help you to determine where exactly you can place it in your home.
For example, if you are looking for good air cleaning plants for your bathroom, then opt for those that thrive on humidity.
On the other hand, if you are looking for the best air purifying house plants to use across all rooms in your home, lean more towards those that thrive in drier air conditions.
You’ll soon find a houseplant or two you can rely on to help make your space calmer, cleaner and altogether more pleasant to be in.