The 9 Best Indoor Plants To Clean Air

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Can plants help clean up the air indoors? YES! Plants are an easy and beautiful way to remove toxins and purify the air you breathe every day. Check out my list of the best indoor plants to clean air!

Is indoor air pollution a real thing? Yes, it is. Did you just get chills thinking about the air in your home being polluted? I did!

Our modern/synthetic building materials and furnishings include more chemicals than most people may realize. Chemicals can be found in everyday common materials such as carpets, cleaning solutions, ovens, glues, and more.

Those chemicals are the major cause of indoor air pollution. 

When you’re looking to reduce the toxins in your home, it’s important to remember toxins that you can’t see and may not think of: those in the air that you breathe. 

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “How can I detox the air in my home?” If so, I have a great solution for you: house plants!

A bedroom with indoor plants to clean the air.

Indoor Plants Can Clean the Air and Remove Toxins

NASA conducted a study in 1989 that discovered that houseplants have the ability to remove many harmful toxins from the air in enclosed spaces like homes.

Many common (and easy to care for!) plants can filter out several types of indoor air pollution, including:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Styrene
  • Toluene
  • Ammonia
  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene

With that in mind, I say “Let there be houseplants in every room!”

Important Safety Information!

While many of these indoor plants can help filter out carbon monoxide, they are not a replacement for a carbon monoxide detector!

My Favorite Indoor Plants to Clean Air

Adding indoor plants to your home will benefit you in more ways than one! In addition to removing toxins from the air, indoor plants also help to reduce stress, improve well-being, and add living beauty to your home.

Plants are natural wonders at removing toxins and cleaning up indoor air. But different plants clean up different types of indoor air pollution, so it’s best to have a variety of plant types in your home.

Note: Plant Safety and Toxicity

I also needed to include that some plants can be harmful to dogs and cats. I’m including a note about the toxicity of each plant so that you have an idea. For more information, please check the ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants page or check with your veterinarian.

Spider Plant

Spider plants are not only one of my favorite indoor plants, but these beautiful hanging plants with variegated leaves are very easy to care for and double as powerhouse filters! According to NASA’s study, spider plants can remove up to 95% of chemicals from the air.

Pet toxicity: This plant is safe for pets.

Filters out: Carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and more.

A hanging spider plant.

Golden Pothos

Also known as devil’s ivy, this leafy vine is one of the easiest indoor plants to grow because it thrives in a variety of conditions. This is a perfect beginner plant! Plus, it’s an effective air purifier.

Pet toxicity: This plant is not safe for cats or dogs.

Filters out: Xylene, formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene.

A golden pothos in a pot.

Peace Lily

Peace lilies are beautiful and easy to care for plants with simply stunning white blooms in the summer. NASA’s study concluded that peace lilies are one of the best indoor plants to clean the air.

Pet toxicity: This plant is toxic for both cats and dogs.

Filters out: Carbon monoxide, xylene, formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, and more.

Read More: We have a full guide on how to grow and care for peace lilies so they thrive and grow healthy indoors.

A peace lily in a pot.


This beautiful houseplant is a member of the asparagus family and originally hails from Madagascar. It sort of looks like a bushy tree and has striking leaf coloring patterns that make a beautiful focal point in any room.

Pet toxicity: This plant is harmful to cats and dogs and may cause dilated pupils and vomiting.

Filters out: xylene, formaldehyde, toluene, benzene, and trichloroethylene

A dracaena in a pot.

Rubber Tree

These evergreen trees from India have large dark green leaves and can grow as medium-sized houseplants or into larger tree-like indoor plants. They provide more oxygen than any other plant and also make great air filters.

Pet toxicity: This plant is toxic to both cats and dogs.

Filters out: Formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and trichloroethylene.

Rubber tree in a pot.

Snake Plant

Snake plants are one of the easiest indoor plants to grow, and their tall spiky leaves and interesting coloring patterns make a striking addition to any room. Plus, they are one of the best indoor plants to clean air.

Pet toxicity: This plant is toxic to cats and dogs and can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Filters out: Xylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.

Snake plant in a pot.

Boston Fern

Also known as Lemon Button Ferns, this feathery plant works well as either a hanging or potted plant. They can tolerate dry conditions better than most ferns, grow about a 12” high, and are very effective at filtering out toxins.

Pet toxicity: This plant is safe for cats and dogs.

Filters out: Xylene and formaldehyde.

Boston fern in a pot.

Bamboo Palm

The bamboo palm can grow large (4-12 feet!), but they make terrific indoor houseplants because, unlike most palms, they can thrive in low light and they’re very easy to care for. Don’t let their easy-going personality fool you because they are air-filtering workhorses.

Pet toxicity: This plant is safe for cats and dogs.

Filters out: Xylene, formaldehyde, ammonia, toluene, and benzene.

Bamboo palm in a pot.

English Ivy

English Ivy (also known as California or sweetheart ivy) is a vine that can grow up to 50 feet, grows berries, and makes a terrific indoor hanging plant. And, this plant is wonderful at purifying the air.

Pet toxicity: This plant is toxic to both cats and dogs (the leaves are more toxic than the berries).

Filters out: Xylene, formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, toluene, and more.

English ivy in a pot.

No matter what your experience is with growing indoor plants, there are plants on this list that will not only look beautiful in your home but will also help purify the air so that you can breathe a little easier!

Environmental Notice!

English Ivy is highly invasive! Do not replant it outdoors, and don’t dispose of it in your compost or yard clippings. Depending on your location, there may be bylaws or guidelines that you can check for proper disposal of English Ivy.

More Indoor Plant Inspiration

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