Indoor Plants that Clean the Air and Remove Toxins

Pin It

indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins

6 Indoor Plants that Clean the Air in Your Home

Do you have any plants in your home? Typically, the indoor air quality is significantly worse than it is outside.  There are several steps you can take to greatly improve the indoor air quality in your home. One way this can be done, is by having several indoor plants that clean the air and reduce toxins.

Several years ago NASA studied houseplants and their ability to purify the air in indoor spaces. They found that certain plants were better at filtering the air and removing volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) than others.

Why Indoor Plants that Clean the Air Improve Health

Not only are indoor plants beneficial for increasing oxygen levels in our homes, they have also been found to reduce the toxins in the air we are breathing.

The air in our homes has been shown to contain harmful toxins which ultimately end up in our bodies. Whether the toxins are from building materials, paint, out-gassing carpets, dust, or flame retardants, the levels of these toxins in the air can be reduced.

These plants can reduce many air pollutants including formaldehyde, microbial pathogens, benzene and microbial pathogens.

How Many Should You Have in Your Home

According to NASA it is recommended that you have about 15 to 18 of these plants in your home (this was recommended for a 1800 sq foot home). Remember to also place at least one plant in your bedroom, preferably more.

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, these indoor plants that clean the air are very easy to take care for and require little work.


6 Indoor Plants that Clean the Air:

These plants are the most beneficial for improving  indoor air quality. You should be able to find all of these plants locally.

 1. Aloe



Aloe plants are very beneficial for increasing oxygen levels in your home. They have also been found to absorb formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. According to Earthship, one pot of aloe is equivalent to nine biological air cleaners.

2. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

spider plant


Spider plants are able to perform photosynthesis under minimal lighting. They aid in absorbing toxins in the air including formaldehyde, styrene, carbon monoxide, and benzene. One spider plant is able to effectively filter a room of 200 square feet.

3. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

english ivy
English ivy is another great indoor plant that removes toxins. This plant has been shown to reduce 60% of airborne mold and 58% of airborne feces after being placed in a room for only 6 hours!


4. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)

plant 2
Having a peace lily in your home greatly reduces the chemical toxins in the air. Peace lily plants filter out harmful benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde.


5. Snake Plant or mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata‘Laurentii’)

snake plant


This indoor plant that cleans the air is just about indestructible, if you’re looking to start out with easy to care for plant, this would be the one to choose. Snake plants aid in removing toxins from the air and require little to no lighting.

6. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

plant 3


Rubber plants excel at removing  toxins from the air, particularly formaldehyde. These plants require minimal lighting and also easy to care for. Note: the leaves can be toxic, so if you have any pets in your home, be careful.

Want More Variety?

NASA also listed the following plants as beneficial for improving the indoor air quality in homes. These plants may be more difficult to find locally, but if you come across any of these plants, be sure to pick one up!

Golden pothos or Devil’s ivy (Scindapsus aures or Epipremnum aureum)
-Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
-Bamboo palm or reed palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
-Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn.Philodendron cordatum)
-Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum, syn.Philodendron selloum)
-Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
-Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
-Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragrans Massangeana)
-Janet Craig dracaena (Dracaena deremensis Janet Craig
-Warneck dracaena (Dreacaena dermenisis Waneckii)
-Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)


Do you have any of these indoor plants that clean the air in your home?
Photo source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Indoor Plants That Remove Toxins
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...



  1. says

    Great post! Thanks so much. I’m glad to see that many of these plants are easy to care for. I have a tendency to forget to water them or not put them in places where they get enough light so my track record for keeping indoor plants alive is not very good. But… I think I can work with these!!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I always forget too! Especially the snake plant, even if you forget to water it for a few weeks, it won’t mind :)

      • Anonymous says

        I had one once and it old get knocked over, finally I got tired of replanting it and stuck it under the steps in the basement and forgot all about it . Found it 2 years later planted and watered it and the darn plant took off and grew into a beautiful plant once again.

  2. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I need something easy, and not a hazard to the kids. As it turns out, we have 8 aloe plants already but now instead of leaving them all in one room, I will spread them throughout the house.

  3. Cece Amos says

    I’ve finally convinced my husband to buy plants for our apartment. So far we’ve only got a snake plant and a peace lily, but plan on buying a plant a month for the next few months. Luckily our apartment is quite small so 6 plants should do us (although I’d love a bunch more!). I did read somewhere that the snake plant produces more oxygen at night. Since having it next to my bed I’ve been sleeping so well, even with pregnancy induced insomnia!

  4. Anonymous says

    The only one I don’t have is the rubber plant, I’m still trying find one that looks good. Guess I have started a jungle in my apartment lol.

  5. Marlin says

    Two things – airborne feces? I don’t need English ivy to put a stop to that activity. Cracked me up! :-)
    And it’s you’re, not your. (#5)
    Good read, though! Thanks for the info.

  6. Luke UK says

    Hi Lori
    I came across your page today from the facebook related articles box after watching a TED talk on How To Grow Fresh Air by Kamal Meattle from 5 years ago. He participated in the original research. I noticed that two of his plants aren’t in your list above. Is this an updated list or also a USA specific list? Many thanks.

    • Lori Klein says

      This list is from about a year or so ago, so they may have come out with a newer study since then.

  7. Moonweaver says

    Awesome. I love it when Facebook pages share this link. It keeps reminding me that the plants in my home are beneficial to what my children breathe. Interesting though that most of these plants are poisonous yet cleanse
    the air of toxins.
    Blessings Bee xXx

  8. Diana says

    We grow all these plants outside here in Florida. And if my cat would not chew on them, I’d love to have a plant or two inside.

    • Lori Klein says

      A few of them are safe to keep for cats in the home. I keep a few way up high where my cat can’t reach them too.

  9. Tara says

    Great list for plants that clean the air! :-) I felt it was important to add that all these plants are toxic to dogs, except for the spider plant. I’m not sure about cats, as I don’t have a cat.

      • Anonymous says

        I have 3 small chihuahuas and my little guy is 3 pounds soaking wet with his boots on, therefore it is very easy for him to get anywhere he wants when I’m not here. He rarely stays at home as he is my service animal, but when he has stayed here he has never once been interested in any of my plants, unless to lift his leg on my X-LG pots on the floor to mark them with his scent (argh)

  10. Linda Clugston says

    Having been born 1950’s we grew up with all of these plants in the home. Every home had them, all of them. Didn’t matter what class you lived with.
    Heavy smokers around then too. Thank you.

  11. adeana says

    Just a suggestion. When listing plants for the home. Include if it is harmful to small children or pets. As in snake plant (mother in law plant)

    • Lori says

      That’s another great one to use to help improve the air quality. I wonder how hard they are to find. I haven’t been able to find any around where I live.

  12. says

    This post is awesome! I don’t have any plants because I feel as if I don’t have a green thumb but because these will help the toxins in the air I will definitely try ! I’m thinking aloe plant or snake plant. Thanks again!!

  13. Tammy Natlee says

    Hi Lori, I am totally into healthy living and I thank you for the list of beautiful and beneficial plants that you have posted. Please tell me, How do I order or where do I buy these plants? thank you


  1. […] There are a lot of chemicals floating around in our food, air and water these days–and it’s a lot for your body to cope with. Reduce your toxic load when you can by choosing more organic food, switching to natural cleaners (like vinegar and lemon juice), using more edible skincare instead of conventional products, filtering your water, choosing safe cookware, and keeping more plants in your home. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.