House Plants That Clean the Air - Backed by NASA

House Plants That Clean the Air - Backed by NASA

By Cameron Perrin

House Plants That Clean the Air - Backed by NASA

Indoor air pollution is a growing concern for many people, and with good reason. The air inside our homes can contain a variety of pollutants, from dust and mold to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from furniture, cleaning products, and even household items like air fresheners. The good news is that there are a number of house plants that can help clean the air and make our homes healthier places to live.

NASA Clean Air Study

In 1989, NASA conducted a study to determine the best ways to remove VOCs from the air in space stations. The study found that certain house plants were extremely effective at removing VOCs, and even went on to recommend a number of plants for use in space stations. Some of the plants that performed the best in the NASA study include:

Air Purifying spider plant

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Air Purifying snake plant

Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Buy a Low-Maintenance White Peace Lily Indoor Houseplant - Purifies Air and Promotes Well-Being

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)

Chinese Evergreen - Lady Valentine

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)

Buy Aloe Vera House Plant - A Touch of Nature in Your Home - Shop Now

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis)

 Golden Pothos A stunning tropical plant that adds beauty and life to any space.

Golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

How Plants Clean the Air

Plants clean the air in a number of ways. First, they absorb VOCs through their leaves and roots. Second, they release oxygen through a process called photosynthesis, which helps to dilute the pollutants in the air. Finally, some plants have microorganisms in the soil that help to break down pollutants.

Benefits of House Plants

Not only do house plants help to clean the air, they also have a number of other benefits. For example:

  • They increase humidity levels, which can be especially helpful in dry climates.
  • They can help to reduce stress and promote feelings of calm and well-being.
  • They can improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants and increasing oxygen levels.

Choosing the Right Plants for Your Home

When choosing house plants for your home, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Consider the size of your space. Larger plants can be more effective at cleaning the air, but they also take up more space.
  • Consider the lighting conditions in your home. Some plants require bright, direct sunlight, while others do better in low light conditions.
  • Consider the amount of care each plant requires. Some plants are very low maintenance, while others require more time and attention.


House plants can be a simple and effective way to improve indoor air quality and make our homes healthier places to live. Whether you choose a peace lily, a spider plant, or another one of the plants recommended by NASA, you can be sure that you're making a positive impact on the air in your home. So why not add a few plants to your home today and start enjoying the benefits of cleaner air? Also, if you'd like some helpful tips on how to decorate your home with plants check out: How to design your house with plants.


NASA's Clean Air Study

We've also included a table below from the initial 1989 study so you can see which plants filter certain air pollutants!


Plant, removes: benzene Total µg/h of benzene removed formaldehyde Total µg/h of formaldehyde removed trichloroethylene Total µg/h of trichloroethylene removed xylene and toluene ammonia
Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) No Yes 1,385 No Yes No
Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) No Yes No Yes No
Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata 'Bostoniensis') No Yes 1,863 No Yes No
Kimberley queen fern (Nephrolepis obliterata) No Yes 1,328 No Yes No
English ivy (Hedera helix) Yes 579 Yes 402 -1,120 Yes 298 Yes No
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) No Yes 560 No Yes No
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) Yes Yes No Yes No
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa') Yes 1,725 Yes 674 Yes 1,128 Yes Yes
Flamingo lily (Anthurium andraeanum) No Yes No Yes Yes
Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum) Yes 604 Yes 183 No No No
Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) Yes 1,420 Yes 3,196 Yes 688 Yes No
Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) Yes Yes 660 Yes Yes Yes
Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) Yes Yes 876 Yes Yes Yes
Variegated snake plant, mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii') Yes 1,196 Yes 1,304 Yes 405 Yes No
Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum) No Yes 353 No No No
Selloum philodendron
(Philodendron bipinnatifidum)
No Yes 361 No No No
Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum) No Yes 416 No No No
Dracaena Marginata - Dragon tree (Dracaena marginata) Yes 1,264 Yes 853 Yes 1,137 Yes No
Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragrans 'Massangeana') Yes Yes 938 Yes 421 Yes No
Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)[5] No Yes 940 No Yes No
Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) Yes 4,486 Yes Yes 1,622 No No
Florist's chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) Yes 3,205 Yes 1,450 Yes Yes Yes
Rubber plant (Ficus elastica) No Yes No No No
Dendrobium orchids (Dendrobium spp.) No Yes 756 No Yes No
Dumb canes (Dieffenbachia spp.) No Yes 754 No Yes No
King of hearts (Homalomena wallisii) No Yes 668 No Yes No
Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis spp.) No Yes 240 No Yes No
Aloe vera (Aloe vera) Yes Yes No No No
Janet Craig (Dracaena fragrans "Janet Craig/Cornstalk Plant") Yes 1,082 Yes 1,361 - 2,037 Yes[1] 764 Yes No
Warneckei (Dracaena deremensis "Warneckei") Yes 1,630 Yes 760 Yes[1] 573 Yes No
Banana (Musa acuminata) No Yes 488 No No No


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