Purifying Plants – 7 of the Most Effective Plants for Cleaning the Air in your Home

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By: Lisa Evans
Published: July 24, 2017
Last Update: February 13, 2023
Bringing some greenery into your home not only looks great but can also work wonders for the air in your house. Houseplants are ideal for purifying air with some plants better at clearing pollution particles then others. Studies have found that the air inside our homes can be dirtier than outside air so if you don’t have any of these attractive plants already, why not think about incorporating them into your décor?  See the most effective plants for cleaning the air.

#1 Aloe Vera

If you’ve never looked after plants before or have a poor track record then you’ll be pleased to know that Aloe Vera is a hardy succulent that’s super easy to grow. This plant has been shown to clear harmful things from the air like formaldehyde and benzene which are found in some household cleaners and paints. Not only does Aloe Vera provide air purifying qualities but the gel inside the leaves has also been used since ancient times for healing cuts, burns, skin problems and sunburn. #1 Aloe Vera

#2 Golden Pothos

This is another plant that will soak the formaldehyde right out of the atmosphere and also look wonderful when draping down from a pretty hanging basket. You can keep this hardy plant just about anywhere around the house as it doesn’t need direct sunlight or to be watered too much. Beware if you have young children and pets as this plant is poisonous if consumed but if you have it in a hanging basket, there won’t be any problems. #2 Golden Pothos

#3 English Ivy

Ever heard the horrible fact about flushing the toilet and toothbrushes? Yes, apparently fecal particles can travel up to six feet across a bathroom! Keeping English ivy in a bathroom is a great idea as it reduces fecal matter that becomes airborne. It can also filter formaldehyde like aloe vera. Ivy is not often popular as it can be aggressive in the wild and threatens other species but in the home, it’s a very useful air purifier. #3 English Ivy

#4 Gerbera Daisy

A very pretty plant with colorful flowers, one of these will also zap the nasty chemicals from your inside air. Nasty chemicals like benzene, which can be found in printer ink and trichloroethylene, used in dry cleaning can be removed by having some gerberas dotted about the place. It will need lots of sunlight and soil that’s well-drained with plenty of drainage holes. The plants, if well-maintained, can last a long time and the flowers will bloom for around a fortnight. #4 Gerbera Daisy

#5 Chinese Evergreen

This evergreen plant is easy to care for which makes ideal for those who don’t want to spend large amounts of time tending to them. The best thing about this plant is that it is effective at removing many types of pollutants from the atmosphere and this filtering increases over time so the plant becomes even more effective at taking toxins from the air. Even kept in a dark spot, blooms and berries will burst through so you can keep it virtually anywhere. Said to be the easiest houseplant, it does like a humid environment so occasional misting might be required. #5 Chinese Evergreen

#6 Chrysanthemums

These beautiful flowers will add joy to any room and clean the air of benzene like the others. Benzene can be prevalent in our homes through items such as glue, plastics and even detergent. They are a little tougher to care for and do require direct sunlight so a position next to an open window would be ideal. The brilliant thing about chrysanthemums is that they come in every color except blue, which makes it easy for you to match them up to your décor. You will need a floral plant and not a garden one though as the garden ones only remain healthy when planted outdoors. #6 Chrysanthemums

#7 Spider Plant

Probably one of the toughest plants and the perfect choice for those who don’t trust themselves to kill a plant alive. It’s a seriously effective purifier too and soaks up benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene and formaldehyde. It’s pet-safe too so really does offer the best all-round solution to making your home’s air cleaner. Buy one and let your friends in on the act too, as cutting one leaf and placing in a pot of soil, you can easily grow another Spider plant. Keep your plant cool, avoid over-watering as it does prefer a dry soil and avoid direct sunlight for best results. #7 Spider Plant