We all know that plants make our homes prettier and can even lift our moods. But did you realize many have all-natural air filtration systems built in? NASA’s clean air study found that plants are also amazing agents for cleansing the air of chemicals and carcinogens. How does that work, you ask? In simplest terms, plants can’t help but suck up chemicals as they take in carbon dioxide—which then becomes oxygen during photosynthesis. (Pretty neat, huh?) Here, the ten best air purifying plants that will make your indoor air a whole lot healthier to breathe.
1. English Ivy
Sayonara, carcinogens: This easy-care plant was found to be the number-one best air-filtering houseplant of all.
2. Peace Lily
This pretty plant is known for its ability to neutralize toxic cleaning product VOCs—like ammonia—and also for its high transpiration rate, which makes it an all-natural humidifier. Ahhh.
This plant’s huge, glossy vacuum leaves were found to be some of the most effective greens at reducing air overall pollution.
Bamboo plants have a superpower—they’re crazy-effective at filtering out formaldehyde—a nasty toxin found in many construction materials like particleboard and paint.
Fun fact: This miracle plant can act as a literal air quality monitor. When high amounts of a chemical are present in a room, the plant’s leaves will develop brown spots as a warning sign.
6. Snake Plant
Psst: This happy houseplant clears the air of over 107 toxins (!), and emits super-high levels of oxygen throughout the nighttime. Sweet dreams, y’all.
7. Areca Palm
This leafy, statement floor plant is also a hard worker: It’s proven to remove harmful toxins like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene from the air.
8. Spider Plant
For a small plant with a big impact, consider the spider plant, which has proven effective at fighting common pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde.
9. Boston Fern
This lush and frilly stunner is the single most effective plant at cleansing the air of formaldehyde, according to a 2010 study from the American Society of Horticultural Science.
Otherwise known as weeping fig, this low-maintenance evergreen doubles as chic decor and a protective agent against benzene, trichloroethylene and toluene.
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