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  • 10 Best Indoor Plants for Air Quality in 2022 (Master Gardener-Reviewed) 2
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10 Best Indoor Plants for Air Quality in 2022 (Master Gardener-Reviewed)

If you're looking to add some liveliness to your living room, a plant can be just the thing you need. Not only are plants attractive and calming, but some of them even have air-cleaning benefits. They can filter out common household toxins like ammonia, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are found in home furnishings, carpets, cleaning fluids, cosmetics, and more.

We’ve scoured the internet to find plants that are both nice to look at and effective air purifiers. Whether you're a new plant parent or a seasoned green thumb, you can't go wrong with a simple, sturdy snake plant like the one from Burpee. They're easy to care for and will release oxygen into the air. Browse more below and check out our buying guide reviewed by a master gardener and homestead blogger for tips on how to choose the right air-purifying plant for your home.

Last updated 09/26/2023
Amy Jeanroy
Expert
Master Gardener, Homestead Blogger
Amy Jeanroy

Gardening and wildcrafting food for her family, Amy grows in a variety of gardens including hydroponic, raised beds, containers, and in the ground. As a master gardener, she has successfully gardened across the country.

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The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.

Table of Contents

How to Choose an Indoor Plant for Air Quality – Buying Guide

When deciding which plant is the right one for you, consider both its air purifying properties as well as how practical it will be for your home and your lifestyle.
1

Know Which Toxins Plants Can Remove

Know Which Toxins Plants Can Remove
The ability of plants to remove household toxins (specifically, volatile organic compounds) from the air was first studied in a 1989 NASA experiment. This study found that not only were different plants able (or unable) to absorb different toxins but that they also do so to different degrees.


Some plants are really good at cleaning just one toxin whereas others are good at absorbing several. If your primary concern when choosing a plant is how well it can clean the air, be sure to check which and how many toxins it’s most effective against.


Some of the most common (and most dangerous) indoor air pollutants include formaldehyde, which can be found in most pressed wood furniture pieces; carbon monoxide, which can come from gas-powered heat sources or from outdoors; and ammonia, which can come from commonly used cleaning products.

2

Be Sure That You Can Take Care of Your Plant Properly

Be Sure That You Can Take Care of Your Plant Properly

Some plants are hardier than others. For example, snake plants only need to be watered every two to six weeks, which is great for travelers. They tolerate most temperatures and like medium light, which means they can be placed almost anywhere in your home. Plus, they don’t need much air circulation.


On the other hand, English ivies can be quite finicky. They like humidity, but not overwatering. They're prone to spider mite infestations. And since they originated in northern Europe, they prefer cooler conditions. If you don’t give them just the right amount of water, light, and fertilizer, they could turn brown and drop leaves.


Long story short: if you’re out on business trips a lot, or if you know that you aren’t going to remember to water your plants, get something hardy.

3

Match Your Plants to the Size of Your Space

Match Your Plants to the Size of Your Space
In any given species of plant, a larger plant will be more effective at cleaning the air than a smaller one, although having several smaller ones will have the same effect as having one larger one. So if you’re low on the floor space necessary for a big plant, feel free to get several smaller ones to dot around your room.


As a point of reference for how many plants you want to aim to have, the NASA study recommends having one six to eight-inch plant per 100 square feet of space.

4

Ensure Your Plant Isn’t Poisonous if You Have Indoor Pets

Ensure Your Plant Isn’t Poisonous if You Have Indoor Pets

Even though a plant may clean the air, that doesn’t necessarily make it totally benign, and in fact, many air-cleaning plants are toxic to pets and humans when ingested.


So if you have pets or young children, it’s vital that you check whether a plant is poisonous before you buy it. Even if you plan on keeping it in a hard-to-reach location, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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10 Best Indoor Plants for Air Quality

Keep in mind that while these plants can filter out certain compounds from the air to a degree, if you have sensitivities or a compromised immune system, you’ll still want to invest in a quality air purifier. *Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Amy Jeanroy. For more on our selection process, check out our content policy.
Popularity
Products
Image
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Key features
1

Burpee

Black Coral Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Burpee Black Coral Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) 1枚目

A Low Maintenance VOC Cleaning Plant

2

JM BAMBOO

Peace Lily Plant (Spathiphyllum)2-pack

JM BAMBOO Peace Lily Plant (Spathiphyllum) 1枚目

Add Some Flowers to Your Space

3

Costa Farms

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Costa Farms Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) 1枚目

A Plant You Can Easily Propagate

4

Hirt's Gardens

Wintergreen Weeping Fig Tree (Ficus benjamina)

Hirt's Gardens Wintergreen Weeping Fig Tree (Ficus benjamina) 1枚目

An Air Purifying Houseplant-Sized Tree

5

Hirt's Gardens

Reverse Variegated Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Hirt's Gardens Reverse Variegated Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) 1枚目

A Temperature-Resistant Plant for Pet Owners

6

JM BAMBOO

Aloe Vera (A. barbadensis)

JM BAMBOO Aloe Vera (A. barbadensis) 1枚目

Use This Plant as a Soothing Ointment

7

Hirt's Gardens

Victorian Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

Hirt's Gardens Victorian Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) 1枚目

An Indoor Palm for Tropical Vibes

8

Costa Farms

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Costa Farms Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) 1枚目

A Fern That Loves a Hanging Pot

9

Costa Farms

Red Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)

Costa Farms Red Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum) 1枚目

Tall and Easy to Care For

10

Josh's Frogs

Clean Air Houseplant Multipack3-pack

Josh's Frogs Clean Air Houseplant Multipack 1枚目

A Variety Pack for Indecisive Plant Owners

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

BurpeeBlack Coral Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Black Coral Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$22.99
Reference price
$22.99

A Low Maintenance VOC Cleaning Plant

If you’re looking for air cleaning abilities, Sansevieria is one of the best. It can clean up a wide range of different VOCs from the air and releases oxygen at night. Snake plants only need occasional watering and thrive in moderate to low light conditions.

This particular plant is a unique variety with darker leaves and less yellow variegation than most other snake plants. Reviewers write that it arrives in beautiful condition with the largest leaves already about two feet tall.
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No.2

JM BAMBOOPeace Lily Plant (Spathiphyllum)2-pack

Peace Lily Plant (Spathiphyllum) Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$25.99
Reference price
$25.99

Add Some Flowers to Your Space

Peace lilies are both extremely effective and easy to care for. They grow best in low light (direct light can actually burn them) and require weekly watering.  And not only do they have lush green foliage, but they also flower year-round.

However, peace lilies are mildly toxic to both pets and humans, so these are best for homes without animals or curious little ones. Reviewers said these particular plants arrived healthy, full-sized, and with a strong, established root system.
No.3

Costa FarmsGolden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$19.99
Reference price
$19.99

A Plant You Can Easily Propagate

If you already have houseplants, chances are you have a pothos. Aside from being one of the easiest plants to care for, it’s also one of the easiest to propagate - meaning your one plant can turn into several within the span of a couple of months.

This variety of pothos has variegation on the leaves that will increase with a good source of bright, indirect light. Some reviewers note that this plant may arrive with dead leaves due to the cold. On the other hand, many found a well-established root system and even some new growth.
No.4

Hirt's GardensWintergreen Weeping Fig Tree (Ficus benjamina)

Wintergreen Weeping Fig Tree (Ficus benjamina) Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$43.99
Reference price
$43.99

An Air Purifying Houseplant-Sized Tree

Ficuses have long been a staple houseplant, particularly for those looking for some height. They don’t require too much care - bright, indirect light and weekly watering – but can be a little finicky as they prefer more humid climates.

This little tree starts at three to four feet tall, but can grow to be up to 10 feet given the right conditions. Reviewers note that this particular tree arrives strong and healthy and that it can tolerate lower light conditions than your average ficus.
No.5

Hirt's GardensReverse Variegated Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Reverse Variegated Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$13.99
Reference price
$13.99

A Temperature-Resistant Plant for Pet Owners

Spider plants are great for new plant owners. They’re extremely easy to care for and can tolerate large temperature swings. Plus, they put out little baby plants that you can snip off to make more spider plants.

This is one of the few air cleaning plants that is not toxic to pets, and in fact, cats love chewing on these. Reviewers for this particular plant write that it’s extremely fast-growing and will put out tons of new plants in no time.
No.6

JM BAMBOOAloe Vera (A. barbadensis)

Aloe Vera (A. barbadensis) Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$32.00
Reference price
$32.00

Use This Plant as a Soothing Ointment

If you’re looking for a plant that’s useful beyond its air-purifying qualities, why not get an aloe vera? Its succulent leaves have anti-inflammatory properties, and it makes a great topical ointment for burns and even psoriasis.

While aloe vera is not poisonous for humans (you can actually eat it!), it can be dangerous for pets to ingest, though you can still use it topically on animals. Reviewers write that it arrives well-packaged and healthy.
No.7

Hirt's GardensVictorian Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

Victorian Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$6.39
Reference price
$6.39

An Indoor Palm for Tropical Vibes

This pet-friendly plant is also known as a bamboo palm, and it’s one of the best formaldehyde-filtering plants out there. Unlike most air cleaning plants, this one prefers bright sunlight. It will thrive in normal to higher humidity.

With care and re-potting, these plants can grow to over six feet tall. However, reviewers noted that this palm is quite small and will take a while to reach a good size. Many said theirs arrived healthy and quickly began to thrive.
No.8

Costa FarmsBoston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)

Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$27.23
Reference price
$27.23

A Fern That Loves a Hanging Pot

If you’re looking for a jungly feel, ferns are the way to go. Boston ferns are relatively easy to grow, but they require pretty specific conditions - their soil should be checked daily and kept moist, and their leaves require regular misting or high humidity.

The fern measures about 20 inches and can grow to up to three feet in height and width. It's shipped in a hanging pot, so it's ready to be added to your collection. Some reviewers found this plant difficult to care for and said theirs died. However, many said their fern arrived in great condition and was beautiful.

No.9

Costa FarmsRed Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)

Red Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum) Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$23.69
Reference price
$23.69

Tall and Easy to Care For

This tropical plant is great for newbie plant parents. It's drought-resistant and able to withstand low light, although sunlight will really help it thrive. It's been shown to cleanse formaldehyde and benzene from the air, which are commonly found in detergents and cosmetics.


When shipped, it measures around 14-inches tall. On receiving the plant, some reviewers found that it consisted of multiple starter pots placed into a larger pot and they needed to cut the small pots free. However, many other reviewers were impressed that their plant arrived healthy, strong, and beautiful. 

No.10

Josh's FrogsClean Air Houseplant Multipack3-pack

Clean Air Houseplant Multipack Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$52.99
Reference price
$52.99

A Variety Pack for Indecisive Plant Owners

For those who can’t decide which plant to get, why not get a multi-pack? This set of three plants comes with one tropical plant, one fern, and one vine and can include plants like Dracaena, spider plant, English ivy, and pothos among others.

Reviewers note that they arrive in good condition, though some may not be well-rooted yet. The seller also guarantees live arrival at temperatures between 20 and 85 degrees.

More Products to Cultivate Your Green Thumb

Fill your home with foliage and give your plant babies the best care. Check out some of our other favorite products for indoor plant lovers.

Top 5 Indoor Plants for Air Quality

No. 1: BurpeeBlack Coral Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

No. 2: JM BAMBOOPeace Lily Plant (Spathiphyllum)2-pack

No. 3: Costa FarmsGolden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

No. 4: Hirt's GardensWintergreen Weeping Fig Tree (Ficus benjamina)

No. 5: Hirt's GardensReverse Variegated Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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