The best house plants to clear the air

Everyone who paid attention in biology class knows that plants are pretty important contributors to the air we breathe. But as they do their photosynthesis thing – you know, absorbing carbon dioxide to produce oxygen – they also absorb a lot of other chemical nasties too.

But some plants are better at purifying the air than others, and some are particularly good when it comes to cleaning the air in your home. All they ask for in return is an occasional watering. We’ve rounded up some of the best air purifying house plants that look great and are easy to take care of to boot. Some even have special talents!



Bamboo plants remove harmful tonxins like benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air, while also acting as a natural humidifier. Some people also believe that keeping bamboo in the home will bring you good luck. Bamboo is very easy to look after, but be careful as it grows very fast! It’s best to place it somewhere with plenty of room to flourish.

Aloe Vera

Best known for its healing properties, Aloe Vera is also very effective at removing chemicals like formaldehyde from the air. This fleshy plant grows slowly and doesn’t require much looking after, making it a great plant for the office or conservatory. What’s more, you can simply cut a chunk of the leaf off and rub directly onto sunburn, cuts and pimples too as a soothing home remedy.

Spider plant

The spider plant has been rated as one of the top three plants for removing toxins by none other than NASA’s Clean Air Study. If you’re looking to fill your home with greenery, the spider plant is a great investment as it produces lots of offshoots which will grow happily in their own pots once removed from the parent plant. These baby spider plants make great gifts if you’re on a tight budget!

Peace Lily

Although this plant enjoyed a moment in the spotlight in Hot Fuzz, the Peace Lily hasn’t let fame go to its head. It will still work hard to remove airborne chemicals commonly found in cleaning products, making it a great plant to keep in the bathroom or kitchen.

Golden Pothos

This vine-like plant is very easy to care for and can survive in almost any conditions – great for people who struggle to keep plants alive, and perfect for rooms with less natural light. They process general air toxins to keep your home fresh.

English Ivy

This creeping plant does wreak havoc on the outside of buildings and on trees, but kept in check in the home it will remove toxins from the air. Asthma sufferers will love having ivy around to keep irritants like benzene at bay.


Kimberley Queen Fern

This foliage-rich fern is great at removing pollutants from the air and also acts as a natural humidifier. It does require regular watering or spraying, so is perhaps better suited to plant-keeping pros.


Areca Palm

This exotic palm will brighten up any room while removing toxins effectively. It’s also easy to look after and resistant to insect infections.