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NASA identified 19 houseplants that purify the air in your home. Learn the benefits of the most popular houseplants from the list and the toxins they remove.

5 Houseplants that purify the air in your home
Kaboompics / Pixabay

5 Houseplants that clean the air in your home

Did you know there could be many toxins in your home that are hazardous to your health?

In extreme cases, the toxins found in the air can cause headaches, throat irritation, dizziness, coughing, nausea, and vomiting. If exposed in the long term, these toxins can cause kidney and heart problems.

These chemicals are usually found in everyday products like window cleaner, paint, exhaust fumes, furniture wax, floor cleaner, and more. To maximize the cleanliness of your air, you can take extra precautions. By keeping your floors clean, using organic cleaners, reducing the humidity in your air, and encouraging air circulation in your home, you can reduce the number of toxins and their unpleasant side effects.

How do plants purify the air?

While studying the effect of plants on their environment, NASA discovered that 19 plants have the unique ability to remove toxins and pollutants out of the air.

These plants have the ability to remove benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia giving you cleaner and healthier air. They are like little organic air purifiers, except they are way cheaper and better to look at.*

How many plants do you need?

In order for a plant to effectively purify the air in and around your home, NASA recommends two to three 10 inch plants every 100 feet. Placing more plants than the NASA recommendation in your home will increase the air purification effect but they will take more work to maintain. And you should keep the size of your plant’s leaves in mind, too.

According to the same study, a big leaf is able to absorb greater amounts of air — and, consequently, suck in more toxins out from the air. If you live in an urban area, the more plants you have, the better. The toxins build up much quicker in the city because of all the pollutants expelled through cars, factories, and construction.

*Maximizing Air Purification: Two to Three 10 inch Plants Every 100 Feet.*

How do plants help boost mood?

Although this may sound preposterous, plants do in fact help improve mood without you having to make them into a medicinal cocktail or a tea. In fact, scientists studied how plants affect people’s mood and found that those who were given a plant or were surrounded by plants tended to have lower blood pressure, improved mood, reduced anxiety, and were more productive and attentive.

The reason plants are able to boost mood is because they simultaneously reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and increase the amount of oxygen in the air. Hence, boosting the amount of oxygen that gets to your brain.

They also eliminate toxins in the air which can place strain on your body causing headaches, fatigue, and anxiety.

*Indoor Plant Benefits: Improve Mood, Lowers Blood Pressure, and Decreases Anxiety.*

What plants are best to have in your home?

Although 19 plants were identified in the NASA study, aloe vera, sansevieria, spider plant,
peace lily, and chrysanthemums are the most popular. They require very little water and very little light which makes them optimal for indoor growing. To learn more about them, read

  • Aloe Vera
Daria Shevtsova / Pexels

This powerhouse plant is not only good for the air quality in your home, but the gel inside its meaty leaves is also good for skin care, can treats burns, helps moisturize the skin to prevent wrinkles, and you can even eat it.

Aloe vera is one of the most efficient and fast-acting ayurvedic ingredients for skin. When ingested, aloe vera can lower blood sugar, reduce constipation, and is good for your teeth and gums. When there are excessive levels of benzene in the air, the aloe vera leaves will turn brown.

  • Sansevieria
Tanuj Handa / Pixabay

This plant is easy to maintain and requires very little water. In fact, overwatering can cause its leaves to turn yellow, so be cognizant of how much water you give it. This wonder plant also filters out high amounts of carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, giving your living space a much-needed oxygen boost and toxin cleansing.

  • Spider Plant
Happy Flowers / Flickr

Known as a spider plant because of its heavy foliage, this indoor plant is low maintenance, can withstand people who forget to water them, and can absorb carbon monoxide, xylene, benzene, and formaldehyde. Spider plants also produce more oxygen than other plants since they tend to contain high amounts of chlorophyll.

This plant was used in the plant study and found that it lowered people’s blood pressure, reduced their anxiety and pain, and reduced their fatigue. According to the National Wildlife Federation, it removes up to 95 percent of toxins from the air.

  • Chrysanthemum
Chelsea Francis / Unsplash

These beautiful flowers aren’t just nice to look at, they can also be turned into an amazing tea. In fact, chrysanthemums have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. Their purported benefits include reducing inflammation and treating osteoporosis.

This flower tastes very similar to chamomile tea. Apart from being edible, these plants are great air filtration systems. They can absorb ammonia, formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene.

  • Peace Lily
Mitch Lensink / Unsplash

These beautiful flowers are able to absorb toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia. They also absorb acetone which is emitted by some electronics.

Peace lilies are very low maintenance so they are very easy to keep healthy and vibrant. Peace lilies also release a lot of moisture which can be beneficial in a very dry environment.

Bottom line

Plants are nature’s natural air purifiers. Not only can they reduce toxins in your home, but they also can give your home a much-needed oxygen boost. They will also beautify your home and add a natural aesthetic.

Having a plant in your home can make you feel better in the long term. They reduce the amount of strain put on your body caused by toxic chemicals and pollutants. And certain plants, like aloe vera and chrysanthemums, are edible and contain a chock full of extra health benefits.

Whatever your case may be for wanting a plant in your home, choose a plant that best suits your home and your personality.


*If you have a pet, some plants may be toxic to them. To find out if a plant is toxic for your pet, here is a link to a list of poisonous plants.

Polly Ironclad


Please share if you know someone who would find this helpful. Thanks! 🙂

Do you have any plants in your home? Do you find houseplants help to clear the air? Share your comments below.

5 Houseplants that purify the air in your home.


  1. “Growing Healthy Houseplants: Choose the Right Plant, Water Wisely, and
    Control Pests. A Storey Basics” — Ellen Zachos 
  2. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a32552/houseplants-that-purify-air/
  3. https://www.sunset.com/garden/flowers-plants/best-houseplants-for-clean-air?webpgal&utm_expid=.qk1Y6YAxTMOdux9QjJLZsw.1&utm_referrer=
  4. https://www.countryliving.com/uk/wellbeing/a668/houseplants-to-purify-house-air/
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/air-purifying-plants
  6. https://lifehacker.com/this-graphic-shows-the-best-air-cleaning-plants-accord-1705307836
  7. https://monq.com/eo/mood/how-plants-impact-mood/
  8. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318591.php
  9. https://lifestyle.co.za/sansevieria-snake-plant/
  10. https://balconygardenweb.com/spider-plant-benefits-health/
  11. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/peace-lily/do-peace-lilies-help-air-quality.htm
  12. https://www.purehimalayanshilajit.com/skin-beauty
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3230460/
Polly Ironclad
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    1. Hi Charlene,
      I’m not sure about the other 3, but I know aloe vera and spider plants aren’t high maintenance.

      I’ve never been very good at taking care of plants, but I’ve had a spider plant for years, and it won’t die no matter how much I neglect it…lol, thank goodness!

      Little trick I learned recently – if you drink coffee, dump your leftover coffee grounds in your plants. I heard coffee was good for plants so thought I’d give it a try and my spider plant is actually growing new leaves…during a Canadian winter! This has never happened, so I have to attribute it to the coffee. One caution here though, make sure you mix the coffee grounds in a bit of water before adding it to the plant, otherwise you’ll end up with moldy soil, I learned the hard way, ha!

      1. Sorry all, I have to say my previous advice wasn’t good advice. No matter how much water I add to dilute the coffee grounds, I end up with mold in my plants. So, I don’t advise adding coffee grounds to your plants after all.

        Also, I think the reason my plants are doing better is simply that I’m watering them more often lol!

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