(Last Updated On: October 8, 2020)

5 Air Purifying Plants That Remove Toxins in the Home

Many of us love houseplants in our house, why not choose air purifying houseplants that remove toxins, to serve a dual purpose and make the air more healthy to breathe in?

Ever want step inside your house, take a deep breath, and say, “Ahhh”? Using Air Purifying Plants in our homes can allow us to remove toxins and make the air healthier, allowing for clean breathing. Research says indoor air can be up to 5x more polluted than the air outside.

The level of particulate contaminants in indoor settings often contributes to allergies, asthma, headaches, and fatigue. Toxins range from formaldehyde from our furniture, benzene, and trichloroethylene from solvents or cleaning agents, disinfectants such as phenols, and pesticides. Thankfully, awareness of these toxins is becoming more prevalent, and consumers are choosing to purchase greener products. In the meantime, a quick fix can be to add some more beautiful green plants to your space that serve a dual purpose of decor and make the air healthier to breathe?

NASA conducted a clean air study to identify the top plants to detox your home air. The study suggested that air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet of space.  Something to note- as I am a science nerd and like to know the research- the study was conducted under sealed lab conditions, which is obviously not our typical home environment!

All this is to say, the results can likely be translated to our homes or offices, but the study did not investigate multiple open air environments. However, given these plants were powerhouses in getting VOCs (volatile organic compounds) out of the air in a lab setting, you may want to consider buying these species next time you’re out shopping for plants!

  1. Areca Palm- Extremely effective at removing toxins from indoor air, it also emits large amounts of water vapor.
  2. The Bamboo Palm is another plant that scored very high in its ability to remove formaldehyde from the air. This plant also effectively removed benzene—an ingredient used to make dyes, lubricants, rubbers, and detergents—and trichloroethylene, an industrial solvent.
  3. The Rubber Plant is effective at removing formaldehyde from indoor air.
  4. Dracena, rated as one of the best plants for removing trichloroethylene from the air, it is also one of the easiest houseplants to grow.
  5. The Dwarf Date Palm scores high for its ability to remove airborne chemicals, this guy is especially effective at ridding the air of xylene, a solvent ingredient.
  6. Ivy (English and Devil’s Ivy) remove both formaldehyde and benzene. English
    ivy is the most common indoor ivy. Let your ivy dry out a bit before
    watering and make sure it gets enough light.
  7. The Snake Plant (or Mother-in-Law’s tongue) isn’t as mysterious as it sounds. You’ve
    probably seen one. NASA shows this tolerant plant can rid your air of formaldehyde
    and benzene. They survive in low light, drought, and rarely have insect issues.
    Just make sure they have well-draining soil. They love indirect sunlight; let them
    dry out between waterings, and you will have one happy plant.


Snake Plant, Air Purifying Plant

Snake Plant


If you need any assistance with decreasing the toxins in your home or office in the first place, please sign up for our free Ebook on decreasing toxic exposure. We welcome any thoughts or questions!







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