House Plants for Health: Indoor Plants Improve Air Quality

10 houseplants improve air quality

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Kimberly Crawford

House plants look great around the home and can be a cheery and welcome addition to any dwelling. They also filter toxins out of the atmosphere.

Adding a few key house plants to the places we live, eat and sleep can really make a difference to the air quality and can reduce the level of pollutants in the atmosphere.

Ionisers, which do a similar job, can take up space, may be noisy, and can be expensive, but potted plants can be as big or small as the space available, as expensive or cheap as the budget at hand, and infinitely more beautiful than another piece of plastic electronics.

10 houseplants for health: indoor plants improve air quality

Pot Plants Really can Clean the Air

Major research undertaken by both NASA and the University of Technology in Australia conclusively prove that ‘particulate matter’, VOCs, are removed from the atmosphere by plants.

It is common knowledge that plant life takes in carbon dioxide and locks it up, but it would appear that plants do a similar thing with other unwanted chemicals too – our undesirable compounds become their food, and in this process they purify the atmosphere – giving out oxygen and increasing humidity.

A Rainforest in the Living Room

There are innumerable varieties of indoor plants, and some may have specific properties like relieving stress, or improving sleep. Clearly none but the most avid green-fingered gardener would be able to create an indoor oasis, but it is within everyone’s reach to have a house plant or two dotted about the house.

A rainforest in the living room is not required, as even one small plant can improve the air quality of an entire room. The growth of organisations such as ‘Plants Clean Air’ and ‘Plants for People’ are testimony to the efficacy of plant purification technology, and many businesses are picking up on the fact that an improved indoor environment can improve concentration and reduce stress.

Indoor Plants that Make an Impact on Environment and Health

The House of Plants is a great on-line resource for all things houseplant. They have an interesting article about the benefits of plant life indoors and have produced a list of the top 10 ‘fresh air’ plants.

This list was first produced by Dr Wolverton in the 1970s when he was undertaking his research for NASA. Further information can be found in his popular book How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office, which is easy to read and understand and is still in print and can be purchased on Amazon or from any good bookseller.

Top Ten House Plants

According to Wolverton’s book, information from House of Plants and a recent poll of favorite office plants, these are the top 10 plants to buy (listed by common name first with Latin name in brackets after):

#1. Kentia Palm (Howea fosterania)

Kentia Palm (Howea fosterania)

Related: Types of palm trees

#2. Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera delicosa)

Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera delicosa)

Read also: How to care for Swiss Cheese plant

#3. Zamioculcas zamifolia

Zamioculcas zamifolia

#4. Philodendron

Philodendron plant

#5. Miniature Date Palm (Phoenix roebelinii)

Phoenix roebelinii plant

#6. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace lily plant

#7. Dracaena fragrans”Janet Craig”

Dracaena fragrans plant

#8. Boston Fern (Nephrolepsis exaltata)

Boston ferns plant

#9. Ficus Alii

Ficus alii plants

#10. Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

Rubber plant

De-contaminate the Home Environment with Plants and Improve Quality of Life

Looking at living things is enjoyable, and humans find the green spectrum of color very relaxing.

Designers know that the right plant placed in the right place can produce a stunning accent or an understated feature, and now science proves that the humble house plant can have a massive impact on the air quality within where we live and work, as well as our general sense of well-being.

Chose a pot plant today and enjoy some indoor fresh air!

houseplants improve air quality