5 of the best air-filtering houseplants


If you’re looking to spruce up your home, houseplants are a great addition to rooms. Even if you’re not particularly green-fingered, there are plenty of low maintenance options to choose from. These plants have the added benefit of being air-filtering, cleaning the air from pollutants found in household products. The research to support this was done by NASA scientists who identified the most effective houseplants for filtering toxins and pollutants from the air.

These pollutants include trichloroethylene, xylene, formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene and benzene, found in different products around the home such as glues, paints, furniture, detergents, disinfectants, aerosols and sprays.

Learn more about some of these air-filtering plants and their superpowers!

Snake Plant

Also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, this is an ideal plant to have in your bedroom. It releases oxygen at night, (which most plants do during the day) helping you to breathe better when asleep. They also don’t require a lot of sunlight or water so are great for corners of rooms too.
Filters: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, benzene, toluene

Snake plant in pot at home

English Ivy

Known for reducing airborne faecal particles, this plant is particularly great for filtering the air in bathrooms. It requires at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day so you would need to place it in a bathroom with a window.  It has also been identified as helping to combat mould in the home. As it’s a vine you have the option of hanging it in a room too.
Filters: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, xylene

English ivy plant

Red-edged Dracaena

This is a vibrant spiky plant known for its distinct red edges. If you are looking for an air-filtering plant to inject some colour into rooms it is perfect for decorating. It requires moderate sunlight and is great for filling up space. As they can grow from 8-15 feet high they are best placed in rooms with high ceilings.
Filters: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, xylene

Red-edged dracaena plant

Spider Plant

The aptly named spider plant with its spider likeness is resilient and is one of the most common fastest growing houseplants. It requires watering occasionally and indirect sunlight, so even if neglected for a short period it will continue its filtering properties. You can also repot the flowers which form to create a selection of spider ‘baby’ plants around the home.
Filters: formaldehyde, xylene

Spider plant in the home

Peace Lily

This beautiful looking plant has dark green leaves and tall white flowers and will bring a touch of elegance to any room. It can reduce mould spores in the home so is good for bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, if you have adequate space. Peace lilies do well in the shade and are one of the few plants that filter ammonia.
Filters: formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, benzene, ammonia

Peace lily

Remember if you have pets, try and choose non-toxic plants to have in the house, from our list the spider plant is non-toxic. However, we still wouldn’t recommend letting your pets nibble on the plant. There are a number of plants with air-filtering properties to choose from, it just depends on which you think would work best in your home.

During the winter months, many of us put food out for the hungry birds in our gardens, take a look at these inexpensive DIY bird feeders you can create.

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