12 Indoor Plants That Help Clean The Air And Remove Toxins

Have you noticed having indoor plants is on the rise these days? Whether it’s a home, an office, a restaurant or café, everyone seems to have a lovely little plant or large plants gracing their spaces.

Interior designers swear it helps open up space and give it more life and in addition to that, there are also several health benefits of having plants in your indoor spaces.

Plants are known to help purify the air as they take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen but what a lot of people don’t know is that certain plants can help clean and clear toxins in the air.

The air indoors can be so easily polluted when it doesn’t circulate properly, and more importantly from domestic activities. Cooking, cleaning and other routine household activities generate significant levels of volatile and particulate chemicals inside the average home, leading to indoor air quality levels on par with a polluted major city, University of Colorado Boulder researchers say.

There are responsible for emissions of toxins like benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, and toluene. These are all health risks and have the potential to cause allergies, breathing and sleeping complications or serious illnesses.

NASA conducted a research study to figure out how to clean the air in space stations and suggested a list of plants and even soil that can help clean indoor air naturally. We selected for you 12 air purifying plants from this study that will fit your home decor perfectly and freshen up the air. Ready to breathe in some pure toxin-free air?

#1. Bamboo palm

Botanical name Chamaedorea seifrizii this tropical shade loving plant is not only beautiful and decorative, but it also works wonders for your indoor spaces as it is an air purifier. It removes toluene, formaldehyde, benzene, carcinogens, and gene altering toxins while adding moisture to the air. This helps dispel dizziness, visual disorders, and nose irritations that can arise from breathing in harmful toxins.

They are easy to grow and maintain, just watering and giving it access to air and fertilizers will keep them healthy, and they can even grow up to 7 feet tall!

#2. Corn cane / Mass Cane

Corn cane or Mass cane as it is also popularly called is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow, so if you are yet to get your green thumb, then this houseplant can help you start off. Its botanical name is Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana, and it has beautiful long green leaves with streaks of yellow in them.

The plant is originally from Africa but has since spread all over the world because it is one of the most popular air cleaning plants. It removes formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and trichloroethylene as well as other harmful toxins. Be careful not to over water or underwater this plant and keep it away from the cold, so the stalks don’t dry out or become infected.

(TIPS FOR THIS PLANT: They fit best in planter baskets)

#3. Philodendron

Philodendron bipinnatifidum is incredibly easy to grow and maintain, and they are among the most popular indoor plants because of their beautiful glossy leaves native to the Americas. They like warmth and can grow up to 8ft tall or more in the wild.

They’re great for decorating, and the climbing type can be hung out to trail around their flower pots beautifully. They are highly effective in cleansing the air of high concentrations of toxins like formaldehyde. Their leaves are poisonous and can cause irritations if consumed, so keep away from pets and children.

#4. Pothos

Pothos botanical name is Epipremnum aureum, and it is ranked among the top tree houseplants by NASA that are effective at removing formaldehyde. This shade-loving plant also improves the quality of air indoors by getting rid of carbon monoxide, bad odors, and absorbing ozone. Pothos plants love the shade and grow quickly. They help soothe eye irritations gotten from staring at a screen for too long.

The speckled gold trailing leaves also make it great for decorating, and they can serve as a centerpiece in your dining/coffee tables, shelves, or hung on a window. Also called devils ivy because of its resilience, Pothos is used in Feng Shui for its calming effects.

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#5. Chinese evergreen

This beautiful air filtering plant leaves often have red or white outlines and dappling, but in addition to their decorative purposes, they also emit oxygen and clean the air of toxins and pollutants.

The tropical Asian forest plant  Aglaonema Cripsum loves humidity and grow well where most plants would struggle. They will also often produce small red berries and blooms. The longer you stay exposed to them, the more effective they become. So keep your plants alive for years and keep nurturing them.

(IDEAS: These Trendy Eco-friendly Tropical Seagrass Handmade Baskets)

#6. Ficus tree

The ficus tree whose botanical name is Ficus Benjamina is a leafy indoor plant that is relatively easy to grow. It does well with lots of sun and bright light so they can be placed near a window and needs moderate watering.
These plants are favored as houseplants because they are proven to remove airborne toxins and give off lots of oxygen. The Ficus tree will help you breathe better and enjoy being in your space again.

#7. Rubber plant

Rubber plants are native to India and have an unusual feature where their roots grow vertically and become intertwined with the tree trunks. This makes it an exotic decorative plant that will have guests intrigued while they do their work of cleaning the air of carbon monoxide, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. You’ll need to clean this large leaves often and prune them, so they remain healthy and look beautiful.

#8. Mother-in-laws tongue / snake plant

This peculiarly named plant gets its moniker from having long snakelike leaves that grow vertically. It is excellent at absorbing harmful toxins like formaldehyde and nitrogen oxides that are exposed in indoor spaces from things like carpets, cigarettes.

And cleaning agents. Sansevieria trifasciata is one of the big 3 in NASA’s ranking when it comes to absorbing toxins like carbon monoxide and producing oxygen. These pretty stemless plants are so commonly used for decorating because of the unique looks that artificial versions of them flood the market although going the natural way is always better.

#9. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera plants are great for cleaning pollutants and toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air. We are often exposed to these toxins through things like paint, cleaners, tints, and so much more. This plant loves sunlight, so they are great for decorating your window areas. Aloe barbadensis miller can do with little or no watering as they hardly die although you are advised to water them at regular intervals. The gel in its succulent leaves can be used to treat burns and skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, and the vibrant pea green color makes it great for adding a pop of color to any room.

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#10. Peace lily

Peace lilies are another one of the top 3 plants ranked by NASA that purify the air. They are so effective that they even get rid of ammonia and other common household pollutants like xylene and benzene, and they also absorb mold spores. The beautiful flowers need moderate lighting conditions to fully bloom and make your home look gorgeous. They may cause skin irritation so keep them away from children and people with sensitive skin. You can place the spathiphyllum plant on shelves, entryway tables or countertops, and they also work for any room in the home like bathrooms where they absorb mildew, laundry rooms, and kitchens.

#11. English Ivy

Hedera helix is an evergreen plant that although can cause contact dermatitis to those with sensitive skin, they also eliminate many common air pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and carbon monoxide. The English ivy needs lots of water when they are still growing, so remember to give them a drink often, and they will remain healthy and lustrous. The plant rids the air of pets fecal matter emissions, so they are a great addition to homes with pets. The English ivy is believed to help boost your focus, so feel free to decorate your study or office with this trailing plant.

#12. Janet Craig

The Janet Craig prefers shade and indirect sunlight and zero fertilizers. Draecana deremensis are beautiful plants that can be placed beside an armchair or at the entrance to your indoor space where they can effectively remove basically all air pollutants and purify the air. This very leafy plant does not need too much watering, and they are believed to improve your memory and improve your attention span. Some of them can grow as tall as a person so you’ll have a long time to enjoy your plant as it grows into maturity.


There are so many health benefits we can gain from having indoor plants. According to a study by NASA carried out with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ACLA), to get the best results and efficient air cleaning you are advised to have more than 3 or 4 plants in your space with one plant per 100 square feet they complement each other. Most of these plants are portable and work well with minimalist designs, so your space looks beautiful, and you find that you sleep better, fall ill less often and reduce the health risks associated with all the chemicals easily found in homes today.




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