" /> UA-98802162-1

Best indoor plants for air purification – Buying air purifying plants


Indoor plants are the underrated heroes of interior design and air quality. Air purifying plants should be in every home.

For many people, plants come way down on the list of things needed for home improvement. However, plants can be the first line of defense against dirty air in the home. It’s no wonder that NASA dedicated time, money and effort in researching plants for air quality. The fruits of that research can now benefit you in cleaning the air in your home.

Buying guide: What to look for in your air purifying plants

First of all, let’s get the obvious out of the way. All plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during the day. The process is generally reversed at night. For our list, we have given extra points to plants that still absorb carbon dioxide at night.


Indoor plants display in an apartment

In addition to carbon dioxide, the absolute best indoor plants for air purification also clean the air of other compounds. These may include things like formaldehyde, benzene, nitrogen dioxide among others. Our list tells you which plants have this ability.

Our list also pays attention to the low light adaptability of the plants. Being indoor plants, this is a very important quality. This is especially so for homes that don’t receive a lot of natural light through the windows.

The Tipper’s best indoor plants for clean air


Jump to:

Snake plant Peace lily  English Ivy  Golden Pothos Gerbera daisy  Aloe Vera  Mums  Dracaena


1. Snake Plant – Best all round indoor plant


Potted snake plants (Peter A. Mansfeld)

The snake plant is the James Bond of indoor plants. It does well in low light. It doesn’t need too much watering. You can basically place it and check up on it every couple of weeks or months. Plus it’s a superstar air cleaner. Not only does it release oxygen at night, it also cleans the air of nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and benzene. In short this plant just rocks.

The snake plant is a perfect fit for homes that don’t receive a lot of light, people that are just getting their first plants and learning about plant care, as well as heavily polluted neighborhoods and cities. Experts recommend 5 to 6 snake plants (also known as mother-in-law’s tongue) to take care of one person’s oxygen needs.


  • Easy to maintain
  • Grows well in low light
  • Can absorb many pollutants
  • Releases oxygen at night.


  • Contains saponins which are mildly toxic to cats and dogs. Not recommended for households with pets


The snake plant can be found at Amazon, Walmart or your local garden store



RELATED: Best indoor air quality monitors of 2017


2. Peace Lily

The peace lily is another great air purifying plant. It’s very efficient at absorbing trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde. This is in addition to being an excellent decorative plant. It’s another superstar from NASA’s air cleaning plants list. However, pet owners and parents of small children should be aware that the plant is mildly toxic and should not be ingested.

In addition to its awesome air cleaning capabilities, the peace lily can grow well in low light conditions. This makes it a perfect fit for even the most cramped apartment. It’s the best plant on our list at absorbing toxins so it will be great in a pollutant-heavy environment. It is also low maintenance and needs watering once a week at most.


  • Low maintenance
  • Extremely good at air purification
  • Can thrive in low light conditions


  • Mildly toxic to pets and humans. Not recommended for houses with pets or little children


The peace lily is available at both Amazon and Walmart.


3. English Ivy

The English Ivy is a pretty good indoor air cleaner. As with all ivy plants, it’s a crawling/ hanging plant so you should keep this in mind as you consider where to place it. It forms a dense foliage that is very good at pulling formaldehyde and benzene from your indoor air.

English Ivy needs adequate indirect sunlight so it’s best placed on a well lit window sill. It grows in moderate temperatures and needs to dry out before being watered again.


  • Very good at absorbing common household pollutants
  • Takes up very little space


  • Needs good care. Not recommended for beginners


The English Ivy is available at Amazon and Walmart.


4. Golden Pothos

The Golden Pothos is another hanging/climbing plant. It is variegated with yellow streaks on its leaves (thus the ‘golden’ part of its name). The Pothos is very good at removing benzene from the air. As such, they would be perfect for homes around major highways (benzene is a component of petrol as well as some household detergents). It also absorbs xylene and carbon monoxide.

Also known as devil’s ivy, the golden pothos is quite hardy and easy to care for. It needs watering every 2 weeks or so. In addition, it can tolerate low lighting conditions. When the stems get too long you can cut them for continued health and vigor.


  • Easy to maintain. Good for beginners
  • Can survive through low light


  • Is toxic to cats and dogs. Not recommended for homes with pets
  • May need to be combined with other plants for well rounded purification


You can find the Golden Pothos on Amazon and Walmart


5. Gerbera Daisy


Bev Currie

While the Gerbera daisy is widely known as an ornamental flower, it is also extremely good at cleaning the air of pollutants. The NASA test ranked it the highest in absorbing benzene from the air. Nearly twice as good as the next best plant in that category. So if you were to go for this plant you can rest assured that your houseplant not only looks good, it’s also a potent purifier.

The Gerbera daisy isn’t a low light plant. Therefore you will need to place it close to a window. You will also need to ensure to water regularly, keep the soil mildly moist during bloom time.


  • Excellent air purifying plant
  • Can serve dual purpose, decorative and air cleaning


  • Need extra care. Not recommended for absolute beginners

The Gerbera daisy can be bought at your nearest nursery.

6. Aloe Vera

air purifying aloe vera

A potted aloe vera

The Aloe Vera is a well known plant with a multitude of uses. It has found utility for its medicinal and cosmetic properties and is already a popular houseplant. In addition to these already formidable qualities, the aloe vera plant is also adept at cleaning the air of benzene and formaldehyde. It also helps bring down the ambient temperature of the room it is placed in. This makes it ideal for areas with warmer climates.


Aloe Vera is a pretty hardy plant and is quite easy to take care of. It needs to planted in well drained soils and you should let it dry out before watering. It’s not a good low light plant and prefers sunny indoor spaces.


  • Quite easy to take care of
  • Multiple uses


  • Toxic to pets


Aloe Veras can be bought on Amazon and Walmart


7. Florist’s Chrysanthemum (Potted mum)

The mum is a popular houseplant. It’s another flowering plant on our list that delivers both on beauty and cleaner air. It excels at air purification, ridding the air of benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, trichloroethenes and ammonia. Yes it is that efficient.

Like all flowering houseplants, chrysanthemums require careful maintenance. They need to be watered twice or thrice a week and fertilized every month. They therefore demand a dedicated owner.


  • Very efficient at cleaning the air
  • Can serve dual purpose of beauty and air cleaning


  • Require meticulous care. Not recommended for absolute beginners


Potted mums can be bought on Amazon or your nearest nursery



8. Red-edged Dracaena

Dracaenas are well known garden plants. This particular dracaena is an excellent air cleaner. It is adept at clearing the air of benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethene. You cannot go wrong with one in your home.

Dracaenas require minimal maintenance and can tolerate irregular watering. Too much water can cause root rot so be careful about that. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for an indoor plant for your office.


  • Needs very little maintenance. Good for beginners or busy people
  • Clears a wide range of pollutants


  • While low maintenance, it requires periodical fertilizer application. Not really a ‘place and forget’ houseplant


Dracaenas are available on Amazon and Walmart


9. Janet Craig

Rounding off our list is the Janet Craig. It’s a plant from the dracaena family and is also good at clearing the air of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.


  • Very good low light plant
  • Needs minimal maintenance


The Janet Craig dracaena can be bought on Amazon and Walmart



Content Protection by DMCA.com
DMCA.com Protection Status