Placing a few plants around your house is a great way to instantly decorate and brighten up any indoor space. Not only do houseplants look fresh and attractive, they can also help to clean and purify the air in our homes.
Breathing in cleaner, fresher air can do wonders for our minds, bodies, and souls. With less toxins floating around in the air we’re able to breathe in cleaner oxygen, which reduces our overall chances of becoming ill or sick. It also makes us healthier all around by boosting our mood and energy levels, thereby reducing depression and lethargy in the process.
While the natural air filtering abilities of plants have been known for some time, they were further backed by science after NASA conducted its Clean Air Study to find out which plants work the best. The space program had been looking for ways to clean the air up in its space stations while also boosting oxygen levels in the process. What they found was that certain plants filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs) a lot better than the rest. VOCs are toxic to human health and include nasty chemicals such as formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, and toluene.
While many plants are beautiful and good to have around, here is a list of the best ones that have been found to be more effective than the rest at naturally filtering out VOCs and other air pollutants:
1. Bamboo Palm
Removes benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene. Bamboo is among the top performing air filtering plant on this list. It prefers shade over direct sunlight and so you can stick it anywhere you have room or in a spot that could use a little greenery!
2. Spider Plant
Removes formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. Spider plants are one of the easiest plants to care for and grow. They flourish with indirect sunlight and are quite resilient. They’re also safe for animals and are specifically non-toxic to dogs and cats, so if you have pets at home this is a plant you should definitely consider getting!
Removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene, ammonia. The beautiful, colorful flowering plant removes all of the toxins on the list that NASA specifically tested for, making it one of the top two most effective air purifiers in the study. The pretty flowers do best in direct sunlight and come in all variety of colors so pick up a few the next time you’re out!
4. Peace Lily
Removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene, ammonia. This hardy, shade loving plant is the one other plant, besides Chrysanthemums, on NASA’s list that removed all of the most common VOCs. However, they are highly toxic to dogs and cats, so keep that in mind if you have a pet that loves to chew on stuff, especially plants.
5. Aloe Vera
Removes benzene and formaldehyde. Aloe is one of the easiest, hardiest, and most widely available plants on this list. It’s long been used for a variety of health related issues and people use the gel found in it to treat burns, sunburns, constipation, scrapes, cuts, and other minor skin related conditions.
6. Snake Plant
Removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and toluene. Snake plants do well in extremely low-light areas which makes them a great plant to stick in a humid bathroom where most other plants would suffer. They’re also super low maintenance and really hard to kill, which makes them ideal for those of us with not so green thumbs!