7 Air-Filtering Plants to Have in Your Home

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Maybe you’ve heard that having plants in your home is proven to increase happiness, and improve your attention span and even reduce fatigue at work. Even with these psychological benefits aside, there’s no denying the peaceful aesthetic of houseplants.

One scarcely considered benefit of having plants in your home is their ability to replace toxins in the air with 100% pure bonafide oxygen.

Here are 7 filtering plants you can have in your home.

English Ivy

English Ivy

(Hedera helix)
This hearty, climbing vine thrives in small spaces. It also fares well in rooms with few windows or little sunlight.

How it Helps: Its dense foliage excels at absorbing formaldehyde—the most prevalent indoor pollutant, which shows up in wood floorboard resins and synthetic carpet dyes.

Peace Lily

Peace Lily

(Spathiphyllum)
Among the few air purifiers that flower, the peace lily adapts well to low light but requires weekly watering and is poisonous to pets.

How it Helps: This year-round bloomer rids the air of the VOC benzene, a carcinogen found in paints, furniture wax, and polishes. It also sucks up acetone, which is emitted by electronics, adhesives, and certain cleaners.

Lady Palm

Lady Palm

(Rhapis excelsa)
An easy-to-grow, tree-like species, the lady palm may take a while to start shooting upward. But once it does, its fan-like patterned leaves will add charm to any spot.

How it Helps: This plant targets ammonia, an enemy of the respiratory system and a major ingredient in cleaners, textiles, and dyes.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant

(Sansevieria trifasciata)
Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this sharp-leafed plant thrives in low light. At night it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen (a reversal of the process most plants undergo). Pot a couple and put them in your bedroom for a slight oxygen boost while you sleep.

How it Helps: In addition to helping lower carbon dioxide, the snake plant rids air of formaldehyde and benzene.

Wax Begonia

Wax Begonia

(Begonia semperflorens)
Place in an area with abundant sunlight and this semiwoody succulent will produce pretty clusters of flat white, pink, or red flowers during the summer.

How it Helps: The wax plant is a heavy hitter in filtering out benzene and chemicals produced by toluene, a liquid found in some waxes and adhesives.

Spider Plant

Spider Plant

(Chlorophytum comosum)
The spider plant reproduces quickly, growing long, grassy leaves as well as hanging stems, which eventually sprout plantlets—hence its arachnid-inspired name.

How it Helps: Put a spider plant on a pedestal or in a hanging basket close to a sunlit window and you’ll benefit from fewer airborne formaldehyde and benzene molecules.

Red-Edged Dracaena

Red-Edged Dracaena

(Dracaena marginata)
While this slow-growing shrub can get quite tall (up to 15 feet), it’s relatively compact and will make the most out of whatever floor space you can offer it. For best results, keep one in a room with high ceilings and moderate sunlight, and water occasionally. Its red-trimmed leaves will deliver a dose of unexpected color.

How it Helps: This plant will take care of gases released by xylene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, which can be introduced by lacquers, varnishes, and sealers.