Indoor plants that clean the air are seriously amazing! I mean, who knew that our beloved houseplants can also remove toxins, and keep us breathing easier. In this post, I share my top picks for some of the best plants for indoor air quality.
Indoor plants are not only beautiful to look at, many of them can clean the air in your home too. Yes! All plants are natural air filters (thank you mother nature!), but some are better at removing toxins than others.
Of course I had to read both studies right away, but discovered that they are very technical. There are also tons of different plants on those lists, and it can be difficult to weed through it all to figure out which are the best.
So I decided to break it down, remove the technical mumbo jumbo, and make it super easy for you to choose your favorite air purifying plants!
Indoor Plants Scientifically Proven To Remove Air Toxins
We all know that plants naturally absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. But did you know that some are scientifically proven to help remove toxic gases in the air?
The plants in this list clean the air by removing common household toxins, and creating fresh oxygen for us to breath. Amazing stuff!
Many homes and corporate offices are closed up for most (or all) of the year, and don’t get much fresh air. So adding some houseplants that purify the air is super important!
Why Are These My Top Houseplants For Clean Air?
As I mentioned above, the two NASA studies have tons of houseplants listed in them.
So, how did I narrow it down to just these 19? Well, I created this list of houseplants that clean the air based on several factors. They are all…
- Commonly found at garden centers and big box stores
- Low maintenance plants that anyone can grow
- Beautiful and fun to care for
- Some of my favorites
- Plus, I have experience growing all of these plants, so I can vouch for them
Best Indoor Plants That Clean The Air
Now let’s get to the list. Below I will share my top choices with you, and I’ll also give you some quick care and maintenance tips too.
That way it will be easier for you to choose the ones that will work best in your home.
1. Snake plant (Sansevieria laurentii) – Not only are they one of the best houseplants for clean air, snake plants (aka mother-in-law’s tongue) are also tough, and thrive on neglect. They grow well with minimal light and water, and love to be pot-bound. Learn exactly how to care for them here.
2. Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium) – One of my favorites, the heartleaf philodendron is also super cute! These air purifying plants is great to grow on top of a shelf or cabinet, on a window ledge, or in a hanging basket. It does best with regular waterings, and filtered sunlight.
3. Golden pothos (Scindapsus aureus) – A true classic, I was so happy to learn that pothos was one of NASA’s picks for air purifying houseplants. Not only are they beautiful, but they grow well in any indoor environment, and require little care. Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Learn all about growing pothos here.
4. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) – NASA’s research has shown that the peace lily might just be the best of all for indoor air toxin reduction. And they get flowers too, double bonus! They are also very adaptable, and don’t need any special care. Keep the soil consistently moist, but don’t overwater, and give them bright, indirect sunlight. Learn exactly how to grow peace lilies here.
5. Dragon tree (Dracaena marginata) – If you’re looking for a larger toxin-reducing plant, then Dracaena marginata may be for you. They live for many years, and can grow to be several feet tall. They will perform best near a sunny window. One of the things I love the most about them is that you can find them in multiple colors!
6. Spider plant (Chlorophytum elatum) – Another recipient of the NASA study, and one that proved strong in its toxin-reduction capability. Spider plants look great in hanging baskets, or grown atop a bookshelf or pedestal. They love to be pot-bound, don’t require any special care, and will happily grow in a room that doesn’t get much sun. Learn all about spider plant care here.
7. Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) – As one of the best air filtering houseplants, Areca palms are also pretty easy, and adapt well to living indoors. They don’t need a ton of light, and will tolerate a bit of neglect too. It’s best to keep the soil evenly moist on this one. Learn how to care for indoor palm plants here.
8. Banana (Musa oriana) – I don’t know about you, but this one came as a surprise to me. I love my banana plant, and I’m thrilled to know it has the added benefit of removing toxins from the air in my home! They like lots of light and water, and can be a bit high maintenance. So, if you want to keep one as a houseplant, be sure to look for ‘Musa oriana’, as other varieties are more difficult.
9. Aloe vera – Best known for its healing properties, aloe vera are also houseplants that clean indoor air. Wow, talk about a powerhouse! They are succulent plants, so they don’t need much water, and they do best on a sunny window ledge.
10. Corn plant (Dracaena fragrans) – They have a funny name (because the foliage looks similar to corn), but they are one of the best houseplants for cleaner air. And who can argue with that! Corn plants grow great in a dark corner, and don’t require any special care. They will even get cute little flower poofs when grown in the right conditions.
11. Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) – If you’re looking for a large floor houseplants to clean the air in your house, then look no further! Weeping figs are wonderful, and can get very tall. Grow it near a sunny window, keep the soil evenly watered, and you’ll have a large tree in no time!
12. Rubber plant (Ficus elastica) – Another one that can grow quite large, rubber plants are known to be among the best in their ability to absorb toxins in the air. They prefer bright light, and moderately dry soil (take care not to overwater). If you can find one with variegated leaves, grab it! Those are one of my all-time favorites! Learn how to care for rubber plants here.
13. Dieffenbachia (dumb cane) – Not only are they excellent houseplants that help to clean indoor air, dumb canes require minimal maintenance. They also have gorgeous foliage, and come in variety of sizes. Give it bright, filtered sunlight to keep it from getting leggy, and average waterings. Learn how to grow dieffenbachia here.
14. Phalaenopsis orchid – Who doesn’t love orchids! There are tons of different varieties, but the ones that are the best at cleaning the air are phalaenopsis (aka: moth orchids). Lucky for us because those are also the easiest ones for the average person to grow. Learn how to care for orchids here.
15. Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) – Yet another of the many indoor air filtering plants, Boston ferns are gorgeous too. My favorite way to display mine is on top of a tall pedestal. They also look gorgeous in hanging baskets and urn planters. Keep the soil consistently moist, and place it in a spot where it will get filtered sunlight, for best results.
16. Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum) – This cool looking vining plant not only cleans the air, but can grow to be very large, with huge leaves. EE philos have average watering needs, and adapt extremely well to shady spots.
17. Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii) – According to NASA, bamboo palms, also called reed palm) are one of the best air purifiers. For the greatest success, place it in a spot where it gets mild morning or afternoon sun. It also has normal watering requirements, just don’t overdo it.
18. English ivy (Hedera helix) – Not only are they one of the best plants for indoor air quality, they’re also one of the most common. English ivies are super fun to grow on topiary forms or in hanging baskets. Place it in a spot where it gets bright, indirect light, and keep the soil consistently moist.
19. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum) – In addition to the dramatic leaf shape and texture, and their stunning dark green foliage, Chinese evergreens are great air purifying indoor plants too. Who knew!? They don’t like a ton of light or water. Never let the soil dry completely, but keep it on the dry side.
20. Flamingo Lily (Anthurium) – Another wonderful indoor plant that will clean the air is Anthurium. Plus, when cared for properly, it will flower for you. Keep the soil evenly moist, and give it a sunny window for best results.
21. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) – Also known as broadleaf lady palm or miniature fan palm, Rhapisis excelsa is great for removing toxins from indoor air. Place it in a spot away from direct sunlight, water when the soil feels dry, and this one will live for decades.
Add a couple clean air houseplants to the rooms that you use the most, like your bedroom, living room, or office, and you’ll be breathing easier in no time. This list of my top picks for the best indoor plants that clean the air is a great place to start.
Do you have trouble maintaining healthy indoor plants through the coldest and darkest months? Then you need my Winter Houseplant Care eBook! You’ll learn all you need to know in order to keep your houseplants thriving year round. Download your copy today!
- The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual
- The House Plant Expert
- The Indestructible Houseplant
- The Unexpected Houseplant
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- 15 Easy Indoor Plants That Anyone Can Grow
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Share your top picks of the best indoor plants for clean air in the comments below.