Top 10 Houseplants for Cleaner Air

Houseplants are our often-overlooked helpers in ridding the air of pollutants and toxins, counteracting outgassing and contributing to balanced internal humidity.

Find out which houseplants are our most effective allies in keeping your household air clean and pure.

It is suggested that one plant should be allowed for approximately 10 square yards of floor space, assuming average ceiling heights of 8 to 9 feet. This means that you need two or three plants to contribute to good air quality in the average domestic living room of about 20 to 25 square yards.

Research has shown that these 10 plants are the most effective all-around in counteracting offgassed chemicals and contributing to balanced internal humidity.

  • Areca palm
  • Reed palm
  • Dwarf date palm
  • Boston fern
  • Janet Craig dracaena
  • English ivy
  • Australian sword fern
  • Peace Lily
  • Rubber plant
  • Weeping fig

Although many plants like light, they do not all have to be placed near windows. Many indoor plants originated in the dense shade of tropical forests and have a high rate of photosynthesis. These are ideal for the home and can be placed in darker corners. When positioning plants, try to strike a balance between light and ventilation because the effect of plants on indoor air pollution appears to be reduced if they are set in a draft.

Adapted from Your Naturally Healthy Home, by Alan Berman.Copyright (c) 2001 by Francis Lincoln Limited. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from Your Naturally Healthy Home, by Alan Berman.

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Past Member
Past Member 2 months ago

Beware!! Many of the plants listed are toxic to pets! Research each plant carefully before you bring it home if you have pets.

Sharon F.
Sharon F.3 months ago

Yes, indeed! My mother always had houseplants; she lived to age 90 and father to age 98. I have about a dozen houseplants in winter; put them outdoors in summer. They are my 'pets.'

Sarah L.
Sarah L.10 months ago

Thanks for adding good article. Just bookmarked it.
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Natasha S.
Natasha S.10 months ago

Good information. Love plants . I like to start them small an challenge my self to grow them . You do need to fertilize your plants once a week or every other . The thing of plants let them dry out before watering them again . If you keep them wet it will rot your roots an die . Spray the leaves instead of watering the soil . It helps the plant to breath .

Natasha (Healthcare Administrator

Dredd K.
Dredd K.about a year ago

There are few more plants like Ficus "Alii" (Ficus macleilandii), Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum), Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) used as cleaner air.

Dredd (HVAC Training Specialist)

Elena B.
Elena Bonati2 years ago

Thank you.

Natalie C.
Natalie Cortez2 years ago

I definetly need a house plant to help my roommate and me breath better! I forgot that there are house plants out there that do just that! I need to get one as soon as I can!!

Valentina R.
Valentina R.2 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Prince Yuan C.
Prince Yuan C.2 years ago

Different plants have different abilities to clean up different toxic substances. The indoor air quality of your house is essential to your health. With these houseplants, you can filter the air without dumping large sums of money into electronic air screens. Read more here

Tamara r Pearlman

Another solid contribution to the helpful / healing affects of plants in one's household. Thank you Care2!