5 Plants That Can Help Purify Indoor Air

Do you want to clear the air in your home or office? The solution: Get some green plants.

A recent study by researchers at the University of New York looked at common house plants and found that when it comes to removing harmful chemicals from the air, some are better than others.  Indoor air pollution can lead to symptoms called “sick-building syndrome,” such as headaches and fatigue. Toxic compounds emitted are gases from paints, formaldehyde from furniture and other compounds released from copiers, printers, cleaning supplies, and dry cleaned clothes, are often the cause. These toxic compounds are known as volatile organic compounds.


5 plants that help clean indoor air


Bromeliad (Guzmania lingulata)

bromeliad plant

Bromeliad is a spiky plant that works best at removing benzene (92%). Benzene is a toxic gas found in vehicle exhaust and cigarette smoke.  It is also effective at removing several volatile organic compounds.


Dracaena ( Dracaena frangas)

Dracaena plant in a pot on a white background

All five plants did a good job at removing acetone found in nail polish remover. The Dracena plant has trunk-like stems and shiny leaves which were found to remove more  compounds than any other plant tested (94% over a 12 hour study.)


Jade (Crassula argentea)

jade plant


Out of the five plants tested, the study found that this plant is easy to care.  Jade is a succulent and is also known as a friendship tree, lucky plant, or money tree. It is best at removing toluene (91%). Toluene is a strong smelling chemical often associated with paint thinners.


Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

spider plant

The spider plant is ranked number one for removing ethylbenzene (62%), p-Xylenes (92%), and o-Xylene (93%). These chemicals are found in inks, rubbers, adhesives, paints, and varnishes. Another benefit of the spider plant is that it is adaptable to many environments.


Caribbean Tree Cactus (Consolea falcata)



This cactus produces tiny flowers and grows well with lots of sunlight. This plant did not rate as well as the others in the study; however, it did remove more than 80% of chemicals such as ethylbenzene, p-Xylenes and acetone, and approximately 60% of benzene, toluene, and o-W=xylene.


For a complete list of plants that help purify indoor air, purchase my eBook which has a section of plants recommended by NASA.

8 thoughts on “5 Plants That Can Help Purify Indoor Air

  1. This is so interesting. I struggle to keep plants alive. I would love to find one that is low maintenance but provides some good benefits.

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