7 Best Indoor Air Purifying Plants
Breathing clean air is important no matter where you spend your time. Many people don’t think too much about indoor air quality — but according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research, indoor air is typically 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. With the EPA also estimating that people spend 90 percent of their time indoors on average, the air can represent a serious health risk.
Air purifying indoor plants can be an effective part of any air cleaning system. Adding the right plants to your home or business can reduce invisible toxins while adding natural beauty. In this article, we look at the best air purifying plants for indoor spaces.
How do Plants Purify Air?
Plants use a process called photosynthesis to clean surrounding air. While humans inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, plants do the opposite, taking in carbon dioxide while exhaling oxygen.
This alone makes plants a welcome addition to the home. However, research indicates that certain plants can absorb other airborne toxins, including common volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, formaldehyde and ammonia. Those that can do so with low amounts of light are especially valuable for indoor air purification.
To be effective, it’s recommended you keep at least two good-sized interior air purifying plants per 100 square feet. The larger the plant, the more toxins it will absorb.
Low-Light Air Purifying Plants vs. Air Purifier Machines
If you already have an air-purifying houseplant or an Air Health air purifier, do you really need to be concerned with the air you’re breathing? After all, they’re both working to clean the air, right?
This is true, however what we can't see can hurt us, so supplementing with both is a good idea to keep your air fresher and cleaner. An air purifier with a HEPA filter, such as those used in the SKYE Air Purifier , is excellent at removing solid airborne particles such as dust, mold spores and pollen. Plus, Skye includes UVC and PRO-Cell technology which helps remove gases and other invisible irritants in the air. Adding certain plants to your home supplements the air cleaning process and adds additional beauty to your home.
Air Purifying Plants for Homes with Pets
If you have cats and/or dogs in your home, this affects which plants you can keep. While some air purifying plants are safe for cats and other four-legged friends, others are toxic to animals.
The top three plants on our list below are air purifying plants safe for dogs and cats. Other pet-safe air purifying houseplants include the Boston fern, money tree, prayer plant and most palm trees. Conversely, snake plants, rubber plants, English ivy and aloe vera are among the plants you should avoid if you have pets.
What Plants Purify Air? Top Air Purifying Plants for Indoor Spaces
1. Bamboo Palm
As one of the most popular indoor plants, the tropical palm is especially good at filtering formaldehyde along with benzene, xylene and chloroform in style. They can grow as high as 12 feet, allowing them to purify the air on a larger scale. They do require more sunlight than some other indoor plants, so you should keep them near windows or glass doors if possible.
2. Spider Plant
The spider plant air purifier is one of the most forgiving indoor plants around, growing in just about any home or office environment. Its thick white roots store extra food and moisture when needed, and it can survive with moderate or indirect sunlight. This makes it an easy pet-safe addition for absorbing formaldehyde and xylene.
3. Gerbera Daisy
A pot of these beautiful daisies will help remove benzene and formaldehyde from indoor air while also improving your mood. They are relatively easy to care for and grow best in moderate sunlight. Water them at the base for the best growth. Colors such as white, red, yellow, purple and orange will cheer up your home.
4. Snake Plant
Remove formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and trichloroethylene from indoor air with this plant that’s also known as “mother-in-law’s tongue”. These easy-care plants grow up to 12 feet high, allowing them to purify more air. Since the snake plant releases oxygen at night, it’s an excellent addition to a bedroom. The one drawback of snake plant air purifying is that they are toxic to cats and dogs.
The flowers of a fall chrysanthemum or florist’s chrysanthemum are one of the most effective natural ways to eliminate a variety of harmful VOCs, including ammonia and benzene. The blooms of this perennial last about six weeks and will be a great visual addition in the fall or spring. However, we should note it is a potential irritant for those with allergies to daisies, sunflowers or ragweed.
6. Peace Lily
A peace lily air purifying plant is one of the best (and best-looking) natural solutions for pet-free homes in rooms with little or no sunlight. It also thrives in humid conditions, making it an amazing bathroom or laundry room plant to filter VOCs from cosmetics, hairspray, cleaners and fabric softener. Water your peace lily weekly with distilled water for best results.
7. Aloe Vera
This succulent plant air purifier is a great plant for gardening beginners because of its small and needs little care. Just set these fast-growing plants on a sunny windowsill or desk, water whenever the soil looks a bit dry and let them go to work purifying formaldehyde and benzene. A bonus is that, on large aloe vera plants, you can break off a leaf and use the gel inside to ease pain from scrapes and sunburns.
Purify Indoor Air with Plants
From fresh oxygen and filtering contaminants to improving the overall mood, there are many advantages to keeping some plants. Air purifiers and air purifying houseplants are the perfect pair for your mission of clean indoor air. Shop today for a new home air purification system.