These 18 Plants Are The Best Natural Air Filters For Your Home, Declares NASA

These 18 Plants Are The Best Natural Air Filters For Your Home, Declares NASA

These plants are proven to clean the air around you, reducing air pollution and giving your home a fresh aura.

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Our ever-increasing carbon footprint is to blame for the deteriorating quality of air we breathe. You could be living in a sick home and not realizing it, but substances like xylene (in paint and lacquers), benzene (furniture wax, insect sprays), trichloroethylene (cleaners, adhesives), and formaldehyde (upholstery, air fresheners) can produce symptoms like headaches, sore throats, or allergy-related breathing troubles.

In the late '80s, NASA was looking for sustainable methods of air-purification to use in space stations. They conducted a study determining the most effective plants for air-purification and conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen. In 1989, their results were published in a clean air study that provided a definitive list of the plants most effective at cleaning indoor air. The report suggests that having at least one plant every hundred square feet of a space is a good idea, here are their suggestions.

1. Dwarf Date Plant


This plant grows quite slowly but will last for decades. The tips of its leaves have a sharp, needle-like structure and can actually pierce through clothes. For optimal air filtering, place at least one plant per 9 square meters within a space.

2. Boston Fern


Boston Ferns are native to tropical forests and swamp areas and thrive in areas with low light and high humidity—making it perfect for your bathroom. The moisture from your shower will hydrate the plant, which means they require very little care. Besides being decorative, this fern helps remove xylene and formaldehyde. 

3. Kimberly Queen fern


This fern, native to Australia, can take a lot more heat than the Boston fern but requires to be regularly watered. It can thrive both indoors and outdoors, and is useful near the garage to combat xylene produced by vehicles.

4. Spider Plant


NASA’s study found that spider plants removed 95 percent of formaldehyde from a sealed plexiglass chamber in 24 hours. A bonus—the plants send out shoots called called “spiderettes” that flower and eventually grow into baby spider plants you can transplant. 

5. Chinese Evergreen


The best place for this is on your desk or a side table. It thrives in low to medium light and is slow-growing up to 10 years The evergreen plant filters formaldehyde and benzene but is toxic when ingested. 

6. Bamboo Palm



These keep indoor air moist, thus being the best during winters. It loves bright, but not direct sunlight and needs monthly fertilizing and regular misting. Remember to re-pot it as it grows. 

7. Weeping Fig


The weeping fig is very efficient at cleansing airborne formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. Just place a couple of them in your room without exposing them to direct sunlight, 

8. Devil’s Ivy


One of the most effective indoor air purifiers, and best to get if you're an amateur gardener. You can train it to climb walls or window grills or hang it in a pot to fall downwards. 

9.  Flamingo Lily 


Known for its shiny, heart-shaped flowers, these plants remove airborne formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene, and xylene. However, it is quite toxic so keep them way out of reach of babies. 

10. Lilyturf


Though this is more of an outdoor flower, it can adapt to indoor conditions as well. Fill up your workspace or study with these for their pretty blue or white flowers. 

11. Broadleaf Lady Palm


These tolerate low light and do need regular watering and moist soil. However, the plant’s ability to cleanse the air of formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene, and toluene makes it valuable.  

12. Gerbera


Typically used in flower decorations, gerberas are excellent air purifiers. They produce flowers around the year that last around four to six weeks and thrive with full sun, plenty of water, and well-drained soil.

13. Cornstalk Dracaena


This can handle low light and occasional water. If you really want to have a plant in your home, but don't want to give too much of your time to it, this one's for you!

14. English Ivy


The English ivy filters out toxic agents like trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene, which are found in salon products. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate low light and intermittent watering.

15. Variegated Snake Plant


This can filter out the formaldehyde in cleaning products, facial tissues, toilet paper, and hair treatments and dyes, making it a perfect bathroom accessory. Remember to mist it regularly. 

16. Red-edged Dracaena


These plants are best for removing trichloroethylene found in some home improvement materials. They’re easy to maintain and can last for decades under the right care.

17. Peace Lily


These plants boast a high transpiration rate and soak up mold spores. If you want to see pretty flowers, keep it in a spot that gets morning (not afternoon) light, mist the leaves, and keep the soil damp.

18. Florist’s Chrysanthemum


These are technically not a houseplant, but good to keep indoors as they tackle levels of harmful pollutants. Place them anywhere in your room where you don't get a lot of direct sunlight. 

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