In the 1980’s, NASA conducted the Clean Air Study which concluded that a large variety of houseplants improve your indoor air quality. That study said that they can eliminate many indoor toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, ammonia, and more. Since then, further studies have shown that to achieve total elimination of these toxins in the air, you’d need to nearly fill every square inch of your house with plants.

However, houseplants do still have their benefits. While we still recommend having other air purifying products in your home, indoor plants can reduce irritation to your eyes, ears, nose, and throat by acting as a natural humidifier. They can also help ease coughing and congestion. Not only do they have those benefits, but looking at and caring for plants can help calm and boost your mood.

With all that being said, here are 10 plants that improve indoor air quality. We’ll be noting whether the plants are safe for pets, so take note of that if you’re going to be planting these in your home.

Spider Plant

plants that improve indoor air quality

Spider plants are a common houseplant since they’re resilient and easy to care for. When exposed to the right amount of sunlight and warm temperatures, they will blossom spiderettes, which can be replanted so that more spider plants can be grown.

They’re said to help remove formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, and xylene.

Safety rating: Nontoxic to pets.

Chrysanthemum

plants that improve indoor air quality

Chrysanthemums, also known as florist’s mums, are a pretty plant that are a bit more tedious to please, but will be worth it when you do. Mums love sunlight and moist soil, so be sure to put it near a window with lots of sun and wateroften.

This flower will help you filter out ammonia and benzene, which is often found in detergents, plastics, and glue. Chrysanthemums make a great addition to any kitchen or living room.

Safety rating: Toxic to pets.

Aloe Vera

plants that improve indoor air quality

Aloe Vera is well-known for its treatment of burns, but it also purifies the air of formaldehyde and benzene. This is another plant that would love to sit in a sunny window.

Safety rating: Toxic to pets.

Devil’s Ivy (Golden Pothos)

plants that improve indoor air quality

This is another popular plant because of its hardiness and low maintenance. Care for it by keeping it by an indirect light source with light soul. Remove any overgrowth that’s too long.

This plant will help remove xylene, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

Safety rating: Toxic to pets.

Peace Lily

plants that improve indoor air quality

Peace lilies are beautiful plants that require little light and water. It can help eliminate formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and more.

Safety rating: Toxic to both pets and people. Keep out of reach of children and pets; always wash your hands after handling.

Chinese Evergreen

plants that improve indoor air quality

Chinese Evergreens come in many varieties, such as red, black, and green. They tolerate most conditions, but this is a great pick for a bathroom since it thrives in humidity. It also helps fight toxins found in detergents and cosmetics.

If you’re placing this plant in a room other than the bathroom, misting the leaves will prevent browning.

Safety rating: Toxic to pets.

Bamboo Palm

plants that improve indoor air quality

Bamboo Palms are a great corner piece because they can grow between four to 12 feet tall. It can help remove many indoor toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, and chloroform.

This plant will prosper in partial sunlight and moist soil. Mist the leaves avoid spider mites.

Safety rating: Nontoxic to pets.

Areca Palm

plants that improve indoor air quality

The Areca Palm is another tall plant, but when you grow them indoors in the appropriate-sized pot, they won’t be too large. This plant loves sunlight, but not direct sunlight. Otherwise its leaves will turn yellow with sunburn. It needs water often in spring and summer, but not as much in winter.

They will help filter out acetone, xylene, and toluene. Many of these chemicals are found in detergents, wooden furniture, gasoline, and cosmetics.

Safety rating: Nontoxic to pets.

Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue)

plants that improve indoor air quality

The Snake Plant, also known as the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, is a hardy plant, so it’s thought to be great for beginners. They can grow up to six feet tall, but they can be put almost anywhere since they’ll tolerate moist condition. Make sure you don’t over-water it because they prefer drier soil.

They can help with carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde, and they’re also said to be good at helping with allergies.

Safety rating: Toxic to pets.

Prayer Plant

plants that improve indoor air quality

The last plant on our list is the Prayer Plant. This plant is recommended for bedrooms and can help improve your sleep. It will thrive in moist, low-light conditions.

Safety rating: Nontoxic to pets.


In conclusion, houseplants can be a great addition to any room for their aesthetics and small benefits they provide. At the end of the day, your home should still be properly ventilated and have air circulation cared for, but these plants can give you a nice hobby along with some air boosts.