Recently, I’ve started to think more about the air that I breathe. I mean, for a long time it wasn’t something I worried about at all, but as I get older things like this (that I have a little bit of control over) that could impact on my health, have started to bother me. Living in a big city, the air quality isn’t great, so I’m really interested in doing whatever I can to improve it indoors. I’ve become a bit obsessed!
Luckily we discovered the NASA Clean Air Study, which was originally done to determine the best way to clean the air in space stations. The results suggested that, in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis, certain common indoor plants might also provide a natural way of removing toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air.
You won’t be a stranger to my love of plants for aesthetic reasons, but on closer inspection, a lot of my favourites have air quality benefits too. Some are obviously better at cleaning the air than others, so we thought it would be useful to list a few of those, in case you’re looking to green up your home. I don’t need much more convincing to add a few more of these plants to the house… Do you?
We put together a little illustration for you to use and refer to!
My Favourite Air Purifying Plants
Aloe Vera helps control the air quality, removing particles of formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene, and toluene.
Bamboo Palm does an excellent job as an indoor, air purifying plant, with a particular knack at reducing formaldehydes, benzene and carbon monoxide. As an added benefit beyond air purification, it is also a natural humidifier, producing a liter of ambient water every 24 hours, making it a well suited plant for dry climates or those with breathing troubles.
Boston Fern improves humidity by helping to restore moisture to the air naturally too. Because of these air-purifying properties, the Boston Fern is said to offer some benefits to those who suffer from dry skin or irritably dry noses or throats.
The plant improves the air quality of your indoor spaces with the ability to filter indoor air pollutants and removes benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
Studies have shown that this leaf can improve symptoms of allergies or asthma – which sufferers know can seriously impact both the quantity and quality of sleep. Other studies have indicated that English Ivy also helps reduce mould in your home, which is useful in humid environments!
NASA’s analysis of indoor houseplants revealed that the Peace Lily was the most efficient at removing airborne Volatile Organic Compounds, including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene.
This plant is ideal for the bedroom because it purifies the air from harmful toxins, including xylene, benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.
The Spider Plant is the champion cleaner of air and removes around 90% of the potentially cancer-causing chemical formaldehyde from the air. It can also absorb odors and fumes as well as sustaining oxygen levels in the room.
According to NASA, the Snake Plant is one of the best houseplants for absorbing airborne toxins. Place this plant in your living space to absorb polluting toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE), xylene, and toluene.