10 Houseplants That Clean the Air

Indoor air quality has become a real problem. Indoor air often contains formaldehyde from carpets and adhesives, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from paints, petrochemicals from fragrances, and a laundry list of chemicals from fabric softeners. While it’s always important to let some fresh air in, research by NASA found that many houseplants are capable of reducing harmful toxins in the air, such as: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE), toluene, and more.

Benzene is a cancer-causing agent found in many glues, solvents, paints, and art supplies. Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing agent that off-gases from furniture and carpets. Trichloroethylene is a solvent used with metal parts, dry cleaning, paints and paint remover. Toluene is found in nail polish and nail polish remover as well as foam.

Here are some of the best air-purifying houseplants and the toxins they are most effective at reducing:

1. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii)—benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE)

2. Chrysanthemums or mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium)—benzene, formaldehyde, TCE (the most effective plant against TCE according to NASA)

3. Common Ivy or English Ivy (Hedera helix)—benzene, formaldehyde, TCE, toluene, octane, terpene (the most effective plant against benzene according to NASA)

Keep reading to discover the most effective plant against cancer-causing formaldehyde…

4. Ficus tree or Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)—benzene, formaldehyde, TCE, octane, terpene

5. Mass cane (Dracaena massangeana)—benzene, formaldehyde, TCE (the most effective plant against formaldehyde, according to NASA)

6. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)—benzene, formaldehyde, TCE (Avoid lilies if you have cats – they can be toxic)

7. Purple heart (Tradescantia pallida)—benzene, TCE, toluene, terpene

8. Red Ivy (Hemigraphis alternate)—benzene, TCE, toluene, octane, terpene

9. Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum, Chlorophytum elatum)—formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide

10. Wax plant (Hoya carnosa)—benzene, TCE, toluene, octane, terpene

Related:
8 Best Plants to Grow Indoors
8 Hard-to-Kill Houseplants
24 Common Plants Poisonous to Pets

241 comments

Tara Humble
Tara Humble7 months ago

Bought a spider plant yesterday! :)

New G.
W. C7 months ago

Thanks.

Anteater Ants
Anteater Ants2 years ago

housepl... ANTS!

Rosemary H.
Rosemary H2 years ago

There was no need for 2 pages!

Karen Everton
Karen E2 years ago

thank you

Erin H.
Erin H2 years ago

I have a peace lily sitting right here on my desk at work!

Val M.
Val M2 years ago

Thanks

Elena P.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se2 years ago

ty

Erin H.
Erin H2 years ago

Interesting article, thank you!